University or the world of work? Gazette readers have their say on future skills in online poll

Which do you think is more important, university education, or hands-on work experience?

Saturday, 17th August 2019, 9:00 am
A Level results at Harton Academy Sixth Form, South Shields.

As hundreds of nervous student across South Tyneside headed to pick up their A Level results, we asked Gazette readers on Facebook which they thought was of the biggest benefit in later life.

In our poll, 92% of the readers voted that hands-on experience in a job is far more valuable than the 8% who believe that a university education is what the new generation needs.

On Facebook, Ian Davies said: “My grandson was offered a place to study law - cost of tuition and estimated living costs above £56,000. He is working for Shell instead with on-the-job management training & is happy in it & debt free.”

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Irene Crammond said: “I would say in most cases hands-on, but it depends on the sort of work. Doctors etc need university degrees, but other careers can be learned on the job. Lots of degrees aren't worth the paper they are written on!”

Susan Goldsbrough said: “Too much emphasis on degree education these days! Ok, they’ll graduate with a degree in whatever, but they’ll also graduate with huge debt, from student loans taken out to pay for studies, which will be paid back IF they get a job!”

Heather Ditchburn Curry echoed the results from the poll, and added: “Hands on and life skills.”

Education stats from show that less people are turning to apprenticeships to get their foot on the career ladder.

Between 2017 and 2018, there were 261,200 apprenticeships started, compared to 362,400 reported in the previous year.