When you’re fourteen, sixteen or eighteen, you find yourself asked to make big decisions about your future. To decide what to study, what you ultimately want to do for a living and the subjects and degree that will make that possible. You might event find yourself questioning whether or not to go to university: if you have the prospect of a well paying, satisfying job straight out of school or college, why take on a huge amount of debt and spend three years getting poorer instead, with no job waiting for you at the end, necessarily?
There are plenty of advantages to going to university, from the financial – it opens up a world of higher paying jobs, depending on your degree – to the social – it’s a chance to meet and mix with a huge variety of people from all over the world and really learn who you are with them.
There are also degree courses strongly linked to particular jobs that mean you can enjoy your three years of study and know that you’re also breaking ground on a career. Many of these jobs are for big public institutions – for schools, for the welfare state in one way or another – which means that additional funding may be available to keep the costs of your study down too!
Finding a social work degree endorsed by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) means you’re studying to prepare for a broad variety of jobs. Social workers work with children, with adults, with the elderly. They’re attached to schools, prisons and hospitals. You might end up looking at community care jobs or research positions.
The great advantage to studying social work at university means you eventually get to design your own career based around your own strengths and interests, whether you want to be a boots on the ground social worker, intervening directly to help individual people, or work your way up until you’re in a position to help set policy that affects the entire nation!
Again, teaching degrees are vocational courses that can lead directly to jobs after you have graduated: the three year curse comes with placements and work experience that equip you with contacts and references to ensure that you can find a job when you really need one.
Degree courses exist for doctors, nurses, midwives and various other medical specialists, while other jobs become available as you progress along the training paths available for doctors and choose to specialise. The NHS is hungry for every type of skill, so while doctor’s contracts and nurses’ pay are frequently political footballs, you will never be short of a job when you need one.