Is a university education essential for success?

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 June, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 June, 2004, 12:00am

Pulcheria Chung, 18 St. Mary's Canossian College

To define success, we need to know what people generally consider to be success nowadays, which is having a well-paid job, high social status and a luxury lifestyle.

But some people have shown that a university education is not essential for success. For example, Sir Richard Branson, chief executive of the Virgin group of companies, is a billionaire, running a record label, an airline, and his own island in the Caribbean. He was a high-school drop-out. Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing only made it to Primary Three. This shows that university is not vital for success. The most essential element is your own strength and personality, along with a little bit of luck. Without hard work, perseverance and a willingness to take up new challenges, they wouldn't have become what they are today.

If you're lazy, you'll be fired by your boss, regardless of your education level. However, I would never deny the importance and advantages of a university education. But is it essential? Definitely not!

Oliver Kwan, 17 Delia School of Canada

What exactly is success? Each person has their own definition of what they believe to be success: some are happy with a roof over their head, others desire a family, and some want as much material gain as they can get.

It's easy to see that those who want non-material success can easily achieve this without a university education. However, if one wishes to have material success, a different situation awaits.

Today's workforce is mostly made up of university graduates. As a result, standards have been raised to the point where many prospective employers won't even consider applicants without a university degree. Considering that a high-paying job is essential for material success, the lack of a university degree could make life difficult for the less-educated.

It is true that some people have obtained material success without a university education, but they all have one thing in common: valuable talents which cannot be ignored. A person like Microsoft chairman Bill Gates doesn't need a university education because he's, simply put, the best at what he does.

The rest of us, however, need a university education to get anywhere in terms of material success.