You don’t need a degree to be successful

“Due to your grades your application has not been successful”

2012 A Level results day – 18 year old me should have cried, should have been upset but as I read this words on my UCAS form I felt relief and I started laughing. Until reading those very words off my screen I was adamant that I wanted to go to uni, to this day I am still not really sure why. I was rushed into the careers advisers office to discuss my options and was strongly advised on clearing, something I never had a good feeling about so I politely declined. I knew I had an interview for an apprenticeship the next day so didn’t really feel like rushing into a decision then and there I was going to see how this played out.

Other parents and fellow students took pity on me and some even became judgmental about how i couldn’t  possibly ‘make it’ in the world without a degree but with four years of hard work and determination behind me I feel like I can safely say I proved them wrong.

I’m Charlotte, I am 23 year old Marketing Assistant and I have never gone to University.

In fact not a single member of my immediate family has.

I started my first apprenticeship 3 days after results day. Apprenticeships are a great way to get on the job experience as well as learn a qualification. So I started as a Rural Development apprentice and studied for a NVQ Level 2 in Business Administration which gave me a good solid foundation to get me started in the working world. My boss, who was an absolute gem, tailored my work to things that interested me most including social media, website work and photography to make sure i got the most out of the experience.

With all that under my belt, I managed to secure myself a job as a Communications Assistant at the same company who were keen to develop my skills. This is where I truly developed my sense of professionalism, my social media skills, my photography skills, my project management skills and so on. I spent three years at this job and really loved it but when I saw a job advert that ticked all the boxes I couldn’t help but give it a shot.

The job application like many I have encountered did want you to have a degree but it was my dream job and company so I knew I would regret it if I didn’t at least give it a shot! Within a month of the application being submitted it seemed my four years work experience played in my favour because I got the job. I am now studying for a further NVQ and I can’t wait to get stuck in.

Now I know, my journey above seems easy breezy (believe me at some points it most definitely wasn’t) and I know that not everyone is so lucky to have a job lined up pretty much straight outta college but I am truly a believer in what is meant to happen will happen. I would have missed out on meeting my best friends, I wouldn’t have met the blogging girls, I would’t be were I am today without my results day fail!

If you are thinking about not going to uni here are my top things to remember:

  • Work and learn at the same time – its double the fun!
  • Contrary to what many say you CAN and should if you so wish go to college and do A Levels and then NOT go to uni.
  • Not going to uni doesn’t have to be the end of your education
  • Yes, your friends may be leaving you to go to uni but you will gain a whole new set of friends wherever you find yourself next. I have met best friends for life on my post-school journey.
  • You don’t need to justify yourself to other people – “you do you”
  • You can always do a degree later in life if you still feel the need to.

I think that when you are in college you are not given nearly enough options to choose from and not given the opportunity to discover what works best for you. Now I am not disputing that for some jobs – lawyers, doctors, nurses, teachers etc you should go to uni but people who want to go down other paths should be given more of an option of how to get there.

Did you skip uni? Did you go to uni? Let me know about your experiences below.

Charlotte xx





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