“University will be stressful, I would like to take a break first.”
“I just need a year before I work hard again.”
“I want to earn a little money before starting studies again.”
These may be the words of a student looking to take a gap year before continuing their university or even college chapter. A gap year could either be a positive or negative impact towards your professional outlook, and it depends on how you utilize it.
So let’s discuss the implications of a gap year to help you decide if it is for you.
Loss of Academic Momentum
A well planned gap year could provide you the extra time to recharge. However just like our muscles, what has not been flexed or used in a long time would be worn off. The same applies to our academic momentum.
Taking a year off is sufficient to remove you from your academic routines and rigor. This would affect your ability to:
- utilize academic knowledge and skills that was previously acquired
- efficiently schedule your study routines
- adjust back to a structured nature of academic life
You would therefore require additional effort and time to adapt to the academic rigor upon returning to college or university.
Delayed Career Progression
The earlier you join the job market (with a degree), the better it is for your professional career. Your peers would have gained a year’s worth of career expertise in the form of internships by the time of graduation or some form of management training as they enter the workforce. In other words, upon resuming your education after the gap year, your friends would have already be ahead and your current coursemates are younger.
Need for Structure and Plan
Some students make the most of a gap year to engage in internships and part-time jobs to mitigate delay in career progression. However, what many would not share is that companies may only assign mundane tasks to graduates with lower qualifications. The reason for that is the individual would not have the required or sufficient skill set.
The odds of securing an internship without undertaking a degree in a well-established company is exceedingly difficult, as most employers have no way to gauge the aptitude or competence of a candidate (you).
Many students we have counselled believe that starting a year later makes no difference to their educational outlook. To their dismay, that is not the case for these two reasons:
- Education cost increases.
- Colleges and universities have generally seen increasing fees at 3-5% year-to-year.
- Lesser scholarships available
- Some higher valued scholarships have a time of expiry, from the moment a student receives his/her results.
These two factors alone will impact your education financial planning.
All in all, taking a gap year creates opportunity for students to work and recharge. However, students must account for both short term and long term goals. Decisions like a gap year impacts your start of a promising career. Therefore we encourage you to reach out to us to gain a professional opinion on before engaging a gap year.
Contact AUG to discuss your next educational chapter