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Should you get a degree?

Discover the benefits of getting a degree and the opportunities you'll get at uni

Choosing to go to university is a big decision and a big investment in your future. And you might be wondering if it's the right decision for you.

Going to uni can give you many opportunities, from boosting your career prospects to making new friends. But if you're unsure whether you should get a degree or not, take a look at the many benefits going to uni can give you.

Don’t just take our word for it – check out some of our Student Stories to see the great experience our students had at uni.

Reasons to get a degree

Boost your career prospects and earn more

Getting a degree unlocks doors to exciting careers. And you're more likely to get a job and a higher salary if you have a degree.

At Portsmouth, we're number 1 in the UK for boosting graduate salaries (The Economist, 2017). The average Portsmouth graduate earns £3,100 (13%) above expectations, 5 years after they finish their course.

Get work experience

University gives you lots of opportunities to gain work experience and improve your CV. Depending on the course you choose, you could do a short work experience element or a year-long, paid placement in industry.

If getting work experience on your course is important to you, make sure to keep this in mind when searching for a course.

Find out more about work experience opportunities at Portsmouth.

Start your own business

Some universities offer help with setting up businesses, including offering mentoring programmes and networking opportunities. So you could create your own start-up while you study.

Take a look at the startup help our students can get, and Vincent Pericard's story of starting a business as a student.

Learn transferable skills

You'll pick up loads of useful, transferable skills at uni that will help you in whatever job you choose. You'll get better at things like problem-solving, money-management, time-management and presenting . You'll also have access to lots of resources and support to develop your skills.

Make friends from all over the world

International students from all over the world come to uni in the UK. You'll get to meet them on your course, in societies and sports clubs, and socialising around campus. Making friends from other countries will open your eyes to all kinds of new things like different cultures, music and food.

Travel or work abroad

Uni is an opportunity before you start your career to travel abroad to work or study. You could spend a summer overseas or go for a whole year of your course to another country. You could learn a new language and you'll make memories for life.

Discover which countries you could go to on an exchange or study abroad programme when you're a student at Portsmouth.

Study something you love

At uni, you can explore a topic you're passionate about. You don't have to study things you didn't enjoy in school or college. You get to pick something that really excites you.

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You get to choose your optional modules based on your interests. And you get access to thousands of books, films and online journals so you can really dig deep into what you care about.

You'll be taught by lecturers who've worked or researched in the field you want to work in. And you'll study with other students who have the same interests as you.

Take up a new hobby

With thousands of students and hundreds of clubs and societies, you're bound to find an activity you'll enjoy at uni.

Universities and students' unions have sports teams and clubs where you can play a sport for fun or competitively. You could take up a new sport or keep playing the sport you already love. To get an idea of the sports clubs you could join, see our page on sport in Portsmouth.

If sports aren't your thing but you're keen to meet people into the same things as you, join one of the student societies. You'll find everything from language societies, to board games, drama, dance, cookery and film. You can get involved in the management of the society and develop skills like leadership, organisation management and communications. And if you don't find a society that interests you, you can set one up yourself. Find out more about societies at Portsmouth.

Become independent

Going to uni might be your first time living away from your parents. You'll learn how to manage your money, pay your bills, cook for yourself, possibly even do the laundry.

You'll be exposed to different ways of thinking and seeing the world. And you'll grow your mind as an independent thinker.

If you want to gain independence and grow as an individual, uni could be the path for you.

Support when you need it

It's ok to need a bit of extra support now and again. And universities offer loads of support services. We want to make sure you're happy and healthy at uni, so you can focus on your studies and enjoy yourself. Whether you need help managing your money, finding a place to live or getting support with things like your mental health or learning differences, there's someone to help you at uni.

You'll also get access to careers support to help with finding part-time work, volunteering roles and a graduate job. Careers support will also help with your CV and preparing for interviews. And you can attend events to meet employers and pick up job-hunting skills.

Our Careers and Employability Service offer support from your first day at uni until 5 years after graduation.

Discover the support available to you at Portsmouth to see all the ways you can get support when you need it.

Questions to ask yourself

There are also lots of personal reasons people choose to go to uni. If you're still not sure about getting a degree, ask yourself these questions:

  • What kind of job would you like to do in the future?
  • Do you need to get a degree to do the job you want?
  • If you don't go to university, what will you do?
  • Will you be able to commit enough time to your studies?
  • Will you be able to afford to study full time, or would a part time degree be better for you?
  • Do you want to earn while you study?

Remember, going to uni isn't the only way to get a degree. Take a look at some of the alternative ways to get a degree. And if you're still unsure, we've got a guide to overcoming barriers such as worries about tuition fees and making friends.

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