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29th Jan 2024

Oxford student explains why Oxbridge degree isn’t what it’s cracked up to be

Charlie Herbert

Oxford student explains why Oxbridge degree isn't what it's cracked up to be

‘Most degrees aren’t that useful in terms of your career prospects’

For many teenagers, going to university is the ultimate endgame of their education. Whilst the chance to have the ‘student experience’ is a strong selling point for many, another key factor is getting a qualification to pursue your dream job or career.

Of course, going to uni is also a hefty financial commitment. Along with student loans, you need to fund rent on accommodation and other living costs, which can be difficult for those who don’t have the luxury of the bank of mum and dad to rely on.

Then there’s the studying as well. Uni is hard and you don’t want to spend all that time on money on a course only to not get the degree at the end.

After all this, most of the 1.6 million uni students in the UK would be forgiven for wondering if it was all worth it when they enter a saturated job market saddled with debt.

So, is it worth the time, money and effort, even if you go to one of the most prestigious universities in the world?

To find out, PoliticsJOE went to Oxford – where more than half of the UK’s prime ministers studied – for the latest episode of Extreme Britain to ask the smartest place in the UK if university is worth it.

One of those asked was definitely keen to urge caution to anyone considering a degree at Oxford or Cambridge, claiming that most of them “aren’t that useful in terms of your long term career prospects.”

Whilst he acknowledged there are some degrees which are “really tailored towards employment opportunities straight after you’ve graduated”, such as engineering, the story was different for humanities.

He said: “When it comes to the humanities like history, in terms of training you up with human capital and making you more employable, I’m really not sure they do make you more employable.

“I think really what degrees from universities like Oxford do is give you that rubber stamp approval on your CV to tell corporations that you are one of them, that you work out of a corporate environment, even if you don’t actually have the skills to work in a corporate environment.

“Which is why so many people in this university go to consultancy and finance in London. I mean, really, how much skill is there in these jobs.

“I think more it’s just about talking in the right way and using the right social codes, which isn’t really a skill. It’s just something you learn.”

You can watch the full episode of ‘Extreme Britain: Asking the smartest place in the UK if university is worth it’ below.

The previous episodes of Extreme Britain are:

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