Asked on 04 Aug 2020
For context, took the ite > poly route thus just finished ns. Most ppl my age are either uni grad or already started working so in terms of earning potential I'm way behind. The reason why I'd consider uni is because I'm keen to study IT but I was a creative graduate so am in a dilemma. Should I go to uni 3-4 years with potential high starting pay or start work as a low paying creative but work my way up. The latter would mean I'd be debt free but I'm really keen on IT. Will uni be worth it?
I think it depends on your current options, situation and what you intend to do.
Though not exhaustive, I believe the following questions will allow you to have a more thorough evaluation of your choices.
What do wanna do in the future? Do you want to run a business or do you want to hold a corporate job? You don't need to have an exact answer but at least a rough sensing.
Are your current qualifications able to get you to where you want to be? Be it a corporate job or an entrepreneur.
If you were to choose a university route, do you intend to enter a local, private or overseas university? Also, do you intend to study full-time or part-time?
Assuming you're able to get placements in each of those
All in all, different people take different routes depending on their circumstance and goals.
Some choose to work for a year or two before going to university, some choose to go straight to work, some start their own business and some choose to go to university.
If you're concerned about the opportunity cost of earning money by starting work earlier as compared to studying, then rest assured I can tell you that it's not a huge concern. You've the remaining 20-30 years of your life to continue working. Also, in a competitive society like Singapore's, I believe that having an additional qualification wouldn't hurt you as long as it's within your financial means to acquire it.
Perhaps you can consider doing a part-time undergraduate degree? You can work to finance your degree and also enjoy the potentially higher pay that you mentioned. Here are some part-time programmes:
But there are definitely a lot more out there if you do a Google search.
Regarding your interest in IT, perhaps you can take some online courses to see which areas of IT interest you the most? From there, you can see how technical you wish to go in the IT industry next time. Because the IT industry is really broad and there are both technical and non-technical jobs in IT. Knowing what you want will help you decide the course to take in uni - e.g. computer science, business analytics, computer engineering, information systems etc. (they should like the same things but they are not).
And if age is a concern for you, from my experience in uni, there is actually quite a significant group of undergraduates who are 25 yo and above and I personally know someone who took a similar route as you so no worries about that in my opinion, just focus on what you want :)
Having gone to university studying tech myself, I would say... if you can learn online, that would be the best. Reason being, in Singapore university, you would have to pick up on a lot of extra subjects not related to your main degree, like math, arts & social science subjects, general modules etc etc. Those will waste your time and money.
HOWEVER, Singapore universities has 2 benefits: you get to network with alot of people, half of them will become bosses and entrepreneurs. Another is you get to exchange overseas to meet new ppl + experience new stuff.
TLDR: go to university if you wan the experience, learn online if you wanna level grind quickly