Before you read this article, I feel it’s probably important to say that I am writing about choices in the UK; how much this differs from the choices in the US, I’m not really sure, but I just thought I’d warn you that everything I write about may not be relevant.
You’ve just finished school and the world of work beckons, hell that 4 digit salary sure sounds attractive now, but how does it sound 10 years down the line, because the truth is without qualifications (decent A-levels, not whatever you managed to pull off at GCSE), your career ladder is going to look like more of a career slide. All those highly paid jobs you dreamed of doing when you were ten will be more out of reach than Liverpool’s chances of winning the Champion’s League. So unless you can come up with some novel idea to publish on the internet and make millions overnight, you’re going to have to put some effort in to earn that cash.
But further education isn’t all a bed of roses; to get a decent set of results you WILL have to work for them, but then the same is true if you get a job, after all that’s why they call it work! On the plus side college rules are a bit more lenient than those in the workplace; you can’t exactly get fired from college, but detentions are still around, so be sure to keep the alcohol out of sight.
If at this point I haven’t managed to convince you that college is the right choice, you could always take the middle ground and take on a less intensive college course and a job at the same time, and if you’re one of the lucky people whose parents have an annual income of under 30,000 a year, you can add up to another thirty quid a week on top of your salary. As much as I hate to quote that stupid advert that seems to be everywhere on TV at the moment, how’s that for earning while you’re learning?
So overall the choice really is down to you, but it’s always worth remembering that the more qualified you are the more likely you are to earn a decent salary, and the additional 2 years of work can definitely have some long term benefits.
However if you’re reading this article in 2011, the government has already made this choice for you, as every child after this date will be FORCED to remain in education until the age of 18. Blame your parents if they voted Labour; if not, I’m sure someone you know did, so feel free to take it out on them.