Talking To Your Parents About Not Going To University

By Dayna Spear, April 04, 2018

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all well, and enjoyed your Easter bank holiday weekends!

Today’s blog post is a little different - it’s going to be a chatty one, so sit back with your popcorn (or Easter eggs) and relax.

It's all about talking to your parents or carers about what options you have future-wise, whether that's when leaving school, during school or after another point of education, like sixth-form college. I'm going to be focusing on two main things: not going to university, and breaking the apprenticeship stigma.

Before I start - I am aware university is right for some, and some career paths do actually require degrees. But, it's certainly not right for all, and if it's not for you, this blog post should give you some advice on how to approach the subject with not-so-keen parents.

Everyone's parents are different - some are strict, some aren't. Some are very involved in their child's choices and future, some are not. And, young people are often left without unbiased advice and unsure what to do next.

It's undoubtable that lots of parents have expectations of their children when it comes to university. Maybe it runs in the family, maybe it's just what they assume will happen, but it can often be an issue when the young person feels pressured and stressed about their next step. Being a teen in today's society is tough enough, without the added worry.

Not Going To University

Many people today still believe that you need a degree to get a decent job and to be successful in life. I don't think you need me to tell you that that is not true, not one bit. Unfortunately, such archaic views are very prevalent in some families, even some institutions, which can put young people under pressure, especially if they already know they don't want to go to university.

You need to think about WHY your parents might want you to go to university - perhaps, it's the only option they know enough about? If that is the case, take the wheel in educating them about what else you could be doing. Ask for their support, even if they aren't obliging at first. Make sure you stand firm with your opinion and if need be, build your case. That law apprenticeship they thought wouldn't get you a foot in the door? Find someone who completed a law apprenticeship and use them as an example. Are they aware that the average debt for a graduate is now around the £50k mark? Ouch. Take a look at our post summarising the advantages of an apprenticeship vs university here.

Breaking The Apprenticeship Stigma

Unfortunately, even in 2018 when apprenticeship options have soared into the hundreds and the industry is no longer dominated by just manual trades, many people still see them as a second choice. There is definitely a stigma attached to apprenticeships, and this is something we should work together to beat, as, well, there is simply no need for it. There were 491,300 apprenticeship starts between 2016-2017 - 92% of which said their career prospects had improved.

Some of the most successful people have once been apprentices, and they are, in a lot of areas, the best way to kick-start your career, as you learn from genuine, first-hand experience.

If you're interested in apprenticeships and your parents are not so much, talk to them and explain to them why you think this choice is best for you. Focus on the main advantages of apprenticeships, such as:

- Earning your own salary

- Getting real skills that employers look for

- Networking opportunities

- Gaining new qualifications

- Gaining work experience

Or, if you're still struggling to get your point across, feel free to contact us directly. We will help you!

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