University Tips Blog
Image of a group of students in the library
A headshot image of the author, Nia Stokes

by Nia Stokes

Student Recruitment Officer at Swansea University

posted on 21 Nov '23

The benefits of university – independence, jobs, life skills and more

If you are the first in your family to consider going to university, or if you’re unclear about what your options are, this article will provide more clarity on the benefits of university.

Moving away for university is a key life event and can seem daunting if you haven’t left home before, so it is important to understand the potential benefits of this decision.

How does university education differ from school?

University allows you to pursue a passion, focusing on one or two core subjects. This can be an extremely motivating concept after studying multiple subjects at school or college and provides a new academic challenge with a different system of teaching and marking.

Large lectures will introduce you to university- level topics, while smaller tutorial groups will allow for in-depth discussion. Students can also request one-to-one time with lecturers during open office slots, providing direct academic support.

University can help improve job prospects

Higher education degrees can improve your career prospects, and universities present graduate prospect data in their prospectuses and marketing materials. Looking at these figures will help you to compare which degree will provide you with the most job security in the future, but this is merely one of several factors to consider when choosing a university.

Some courses also offer a year abroad or a year in industry, which you can complete in your third year, making these four-year degree courses. A year abroad can include studying, working or volunteering in a partner organisation, providing a range of experiences to present to employers following your graduation. A year in industry may involve a paid placement, offering invaluable work experience and networking connections to use at the end of a degree.

University develops independence and life skills

Although daunting, studying in a new place and living away from home will contribute to your independence. You will be responsible for managing your own finances, organising domestic activities like cooking and cleaning and making friends in an unfamiliar environment. University is a great way to practice these life skills, especially with the help of support teams, such as student finance and the students’ union. Friends for life are usually made at university, as socialising in halls, lectures, clubs and societies often connects like-minded people.

As well as domestic skills, university develops your key skills. Time management is essential to organising independent study and you will need to use your initiative to join extracurricular activities. Communication skills will also be developed in everything from group tasks to written assignments.

Even if you progress into a career that doesn’t directly link to your degree subject, employers universally recognise the transferrable skills that a degree offers.

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