Some people believe the aim of university education is to help graduates get better jobs. Others believe there are much wider benefits of university education for both individuals and society.
Discuss both views and give your opinion.
It is often argued that tertiary education’s main purpose is to enhance students’ employment prospects, while others would say that there are broader advantages to society as a whole. This essay disagrees that the primary goal of third-level education should be to get learners on the career ladder and there are far more important perks to consider.
It is clear that a degree does help someone get a better job to a certain extent, but it by no means guarantees one. Since the financial crisis of 2008 most graduates find themselves working in jobs that do not require a university education, such as manual labour or customer service. It is for this reason that this essay believes that going to university solely to improve your career opportunities is illogical. The Sunday Times recently reported a survey that found 67% of graduates in 2010 were working in jobs that required no qualifications beyond high school.
The real benefits surpass individualistic considerations and help society both socially and economically. Areas that have world class institutions like San Francisco and Cambridge consistently rank as having the highest standards of living on the planet. This essay therefore believes that these factors trump increased job opportunities as the primary purpose of higher education. For instance, the area around Stanford University is not only home to Apple, Facebook and Google, but also world-leading schools, hospitals and civic facilities.
To conclude, although colleges can lead to increased career prospects, this should not be considered the be all and end all, and instead we should consider the socio-economic benefits that make seats of higher learning so valuable to their communities.
For more IELTS sample answers please visit our IELTS writing task 2 page and you might also be interested in our task 2 discussion essay lesson.