Is university necessary to get a good job? Well what do you consider a “good” job to be? Traditional good jobs may be jobs with high pay, high prestige, and lots of opportunity. These jobs, often referred to as “True Professions” are quite difficult to come by.
The sociological term of a “true profession” (such as doctors, lawyers, dentists, professors, etc) refers to any occupation in which the individuals currently in the occupation control the entrance of future hopefuls into their profession. For example, in order to be a doctor, you must be trained by doctors at a medical school. Doctors control the number of people who are allowed into medical school each year. By limiting the number of people who are able to become doctors, they can therefore increase their wages, increase the demand for their profession, and (arguably) increase their prestige. Furthermore, the “true professions” require government support. Again with the doctor example, in order to practice medicine a doctor will need a medical license from the government. This is also true with other professions such as lawyers.
These types of jobs, obviously, involve many years of university, graduate school, and professional school. But there are many cases in which very little, is any schooling (let alone post-secondary) is needed in order to make money. Musicians such as famous rock stars hardly ever have a university degree. Yet these people make millions of dollars a year. Also, athletes also may become quite wealthy from their job. NHL, NBA, and NFL superstars can rake in millions of dollars a season for their job. Again, very few of these athletes have a university degree. Golfers on the PGA tour can often make a million dollars in a single week. Movie stars and TV actors are paid huge salaries, despite having little academic training (aside from some acting classes, maybe). These, of course, are rare exceptions. We all cannot be a famous rock star or a super star athlete.
Let’s turn our focus back to the traditional idea of a “job”. There are many places today in which the trades are very well paid. For example, people from all across Canada flock to Alberta becomes they can become very rich, very quickly with a job in the trades. This does not require a university degree. A year or two in trade school and you could be looking at $100 000 a year, or more in some places.
But money isn’t everything, after all. Maybe a “good” job does not include money. Maybe it’s just all about doing what you enjoy. If somebody enjoyed helping people and customer service, then perhaps they would consider working in a shopping mall to be a “good” job. If somebody likes serving people and being cheerful and pleasant, then maybe they will enjoy being a waiter or a waitress at a restaurant. Some people may even enjoy being a stay-at-home mother or father. This job receives no financial pay, although it can be a very “good” and rewarding job.
So do you have to attend university to get a good job? That entirely depends on what you’re looking for in your job.