In the UK, we use a search site called UCAS to help us decide where we want to go to University and what to study. You type in the degree of choice or even just a word relating to a degree and suddenly you are inundated with results. At school, it was demonstrated to us simply by typing the word 'pig' and sure enough, at least 10 results appeared to do with the little pink animal.
This is an extremely sensitive topic, at school I remember being sat at lunch and a particularly bitchy girl was slagging off English Literature degrees. At the time, me and 2 of the other girls at the table had just applied and got offers from University for that very same course. Obviously we were offended, who wouldn't be? But with rates of unemployment going up for graduates and the amount of people earning degrees also rising, people have began this talk of a 'pointless degree'. These typically range from non-vocational degrees that don't lead to a particular path, unlike medicine graduates or education graduates to the more obscure degrees which have come around in the past five years or so, like 'horticultural studies'. Students have begun to treat degrees with a hierarchy, Law or Medical student? You're right at the top. Film and Television Studies? Not so much.
In my opinion, there are definitely some things you don't need a degree for. You don't need a degree to ride horses and you don't need a degree to learn how to farm. But if you want to go to University for the experience, to meet new people, and if you work your ass off and end up with a 2:1 or a first, whatever the subject. Then who is really to say it's pointless. If somebody comes out of University with a degree in Horticultural Studies but has got their act together, knows what they want to do and used their time at uni to make contacts for once they've graduated then they're far better off than the Law student who didn't really know what to do, thought Law sounded intelligent, ended up hating it, pissed around for 3 years and came out with a 2:2. A pointless degree only exists if you make it pointless. If you make it worthwhile then it can be of complete value.
I think education, much like life, is what you make of it. If you don't want to go to university then good for you. But make the most of the free time, get out there and find something you love to do and earn money. Earn money so you can support yourself and support a family and don't end up living with your parents when you're 40. Equally, if you do want go to university, find something you're passionate about and prove you love it, do extra curricular classes, join sports teams, be active in your role as a student. Just don't let it go to waste. People underestimate the worth of life experience. But if you have one graduate who's never worked a day in his/her life up against somebody who has traveled and experienced new things, met new people, employers will often vouch for the latter. I honestly believe a degree isn't everything, but experience definitely is. Who cares if you don't know what you want to be 'when you grow up', my dad says he still doesn't know and he's 52. It's all about what you make of it, to prove that your degree isn't pointless at all.
I know this is a very controversial topic, and knowing my majority demographic is teenage girls, I'd love to hear some opinions and views in comments or through email.
Ciao for now!