At the age of 17/18 years of age most young people at college are pushed in the direction of university, university is considered the pinnacle of ones academic career and the place where the foundations for the entire future shall be laid. Going off to university is without a doubt a fantastic experience and opportunity. For me it was just the opportunity I needed to become an independent person and find my way in the world. What I have gained from university life are things that I shall carry with me for the rest of my life, unfortunately I cannot say the same for my degree. If anything I regret what I studied and if I could I would go back and choose an entirely different course.
For my degree I studied joint film studies and philosophy. Before anyone says anything I know what an interesting combination that is, I've been told often enough. I certainly won't deny as far as degrees go it did throw up interesting subjects and topics of conversation but let's be honest for a second what actual practical use is this degree? How far in life is a Marxist analysis of a film going to get you? What are the career prospects of someone who can tell you what camera angle is used in a particular scene?
Students considering going to university to study the "arts" need to be made aware that it is unlikely they will enter that field after they graduate. As important as film, media, fashion, performing arts are to this country the thousands of students who choose these courses are going to find themselves sorely disappointed when they leave university. The disappointment shall come in a variety of forms, disappointment from the fact that they cannot enter into the field that they have put so much effort and money into studying and disappointment when they find themselves unable to use their degrees to get into other decent jobs.
For me and people I know film studies degrees have yielded nothing of value, where I am now is not because of my degree. My film studies degree did not lead me to a work experience placement at Pink News, it did not lead me to write a blog for the Huffington Post UK. In terms of my day job I work in a burger restaurant on £6.31p/h, the supposed opportunities that my degree was suppose to open up for me have not appeared and I have had to make my own way in the world. Another friend of mine who did the same course graduated four years ago and he now works in a supermarket, he has made respectable attempts to enter the industry but has not had any opportunities come his way.
And don't just ask me, an in depth report in Canada has shown that those who study the soft subjects are more likely to struggle financially than those who study your medical and your science courses. The other side shall argue that the arts courses provide the kind of analytical and critical skills that just aren't available in other courses. That argument doesn't hold any water with me at all, are you seriously saying that a person who has studied to be a doctor doesn't have the same level of critical skill that a person who has studied film or media studies. That is absolute and utter rubbish and to be honest rather insulting.
It is both shocking and tragic when I think back on my college years, the emphasis on going to university and getting a degree in any subject was immense. I remember students being told when they'd opined that they didn't want to go to university that they were wrong and it would be a decision they would come to regret. At the time i agreed with the career advisers and tutors who pushed so hard for us to go university, now I look back and think I was pushed into a discipline that is a completely over saturated market and something I am never going to get a job in. There are thousands of students up and down the country studying film, media, fashion etc and I hate to say it but the vast majority shall never break those industries and have been fed a lie about how fantastic having a degree in that field is.