My daughter is currently in her first year at university, studying for a degree in criminology and sociology. She never gives much away, but I think she’s enjoying it. Assuming she’s successful in obtaining her degree in a couple of years, I’m not sure whether she will pursue a career in this field and I don’t think she is either. Even if she does decide to do something unrelated, the time and cost spent on obtaining her degree certainly won’t go waste.
Nowadays even the most mundane looking jobs require the applicant to have a degree level education before being considered. I’ve always thought this was unfair and really just lazy recruiting. Surely somebody with experience in a particular field, even without a degree is better qualified for a job than someone else who has a degree in an unrelated field. However, this is often how it works.
Therefore there is a lot of pressure on school leavers to take the university route rather than find a job and learn as they go. Unless they stay in one particular field for the rest of their career they could have problems finding a job in the future, without a degree.
I’ve had similar problems with my own career. When I left school I went to college and did a two-year Business Studies Diploma course, which I successfully completed. I then got a job with a finance and accountancy firm. I never felt the need to take a degree. At the time you could get a decent job without one.
Later in my life, I had the desire to try something different. I did a number of courses in my spare time, including in computer engineering and teaching English as a foreign language and successfully completed all the associated exams. However, when it came to taking things further, I hit a brick wall. I didn’t have a degree!
Due to various life circumstances, I never did do a degree and I never achieved as much with my career as I would have liked. I now mainly blog for a living but I’ve had to do that off my own bat.
So I was relieved my daughter decided to take the university route, following school. For her, it felt like a natural progression. She stayed at school to do her ‘A’ Levels. Then like most of her friends, she chose university as the next step. There was also a lot more career advice available than when I was a student, which helped to guide her in the best direction.
It’ll be interesting to see what she does at the end of her course. I’ve always taken the approach of letting her make her own life choices, as much as possible. Sometimes I feel compelled to say something if I feel she’s heading for a fall but I try not to be a pushy parent. I know she probably wouldn’t listen anyway!
She’s spoken about travelling once her course finishes, possibly on a gap year or perhaps to get some kind of work experience. Of course, she could do both, which got me thinking.
I did a bit of research on students wanting to study and gain work experience abroad. This took me to international internships, which gives the opportunity to live and work abroad, gaining valuable employment skills. At the same time, you’re also gaining additional knowledge through being exposed to different cultures, languages and cuisine.
I have to admit I did feel a little envious seeing all those amazing international cities listed and the opportunities available. I think I would want to travel somewhere culturally totally different to the UK, so nowhere English speaking for me. The Far East would be at the top of my list. Somewhere like Bangkok, Tokyo or Seoul. I think I’d plump for Seoul. It’s the city I know the least about and it’s not known so much for its tourism, but I know the people are generally friendly and respectful. At the same time, it’s a vibrant, modern city and at the cutting edge of new technology. I would therefore expect anything learned there to be of a very high standard and extremely relevant to current trends.
International Internships Seoul would offer this kind of opportunity here. They are an established and reputable provider of internships giving career boosting skills, across a range of industries. They also offer internships in many other global destinations too.
This year 2022, would seem like a great time to start an international internship. The world pandemic has started to ease, with the increasing availability of the covid-19 vaccines. Overseas travel is becoming easier and industries are beginning to recover and will be looking for more talented new recruits in the near future.
Any prospective employer is going to be impressed if your CV shows you’ve completed an international internship. Not just for the knowledge and experience, you would have gained but also for the valuable life skills you would have learned during the process.
Meanwhile, my daughter is still acclimatising to Guildford! It’s the first time she’s lived away from home so it took a bit of getting used to. She was brave enough not to just go to the nearest university from home, where all her friends went. So that was a good sign of her increasing independence and willingness to be a bit more ambitious. Next stop Bangkok, Tokyo or Seoul? Time will tell!
So if you are lucky enough to have the chance to study for a degree and then follow it up by taking an international internship. I would say seriously consider grabbing each one with both hands! You never know where it will take you and the opportunities that may arise as a result.