I am surprised he managed to get taken on as an accountant without a degree, I have a family member who is also an accountant, but he had to have a degree to even be considered. As for schools, I think schools trying to push people to uni is better then how it used to be, as I said before if I could turn back the clock I would, when I left school there was no advice been given to children, my parents didnt point me in any direction, all I had was my working mindset, I got myself onto an IT YT scheme, and was probably quite unlucky the gov at the time pulled the funding for YT schemes, so it was cancelled halfway through the two years, a few who I was with managed to get work placements in the first year and carried on those jobs, I tried meekly to get a job in a few computer shops, got no where then got into factory line of work. Conversation with my dad many years later, he told me he didnt want me to go in that direction, I wanted to say why didnt you stop me but didnt. However I dont work in factories now, I managed to get out of that path several years later. To give you an idea what the job market has become I remember once trying to get a unpaid job, and they were requiring degrees for volunteers. Thats how the job market has become in some areas. No degree? then go work for tesco or a factory. Out of my sisters children, her daughter went to uni, and her first paid job paid 37k a year at early 20s. This in a city that has one of the lowest rates of pay in the country. Her son didnt go to uni and however isnt doing too badly, he got himself in a industry with manpower shortages so pay is good. So I do agree uni is not essential, I think it does increase the odds a lot of having a better working life (and non working life as well if its decent salary).