Nights out, mounting debts, Dominos pizzas and 24-hour study crams – nobody would claim university wasn’t fun, but is it worth the cash?

That’s a question that thousands more students are asking themselves this year as clearing season approaches. With the tuition fees cap likely to rise, does the risk of lifelong debt outweigh your degree qualification?

According to Top Universities, more than half of universities in England and Wales charge a full £9,000 in tuition fees. But Universities UK, which represents all major institutions across the country, has pressed the government to remove the fees cap altogether.

Under the current budget, student grants are also due to be cut, leaving the poorest in dire straits.

Those from a working class background probably feel as though university is little more than a spin of the wheel – and one with little payoff.

With that in mind, you’re probably on the hunt for a few alternative paths to the university career. So what routes to success can we recommend?

The beautiful beauty game

Globally, the beauty industry is worth billions of dollars – doesn’t that sound like a promising prospect?

Competition in the beauty world is, however, fierce, leading to a wider net in the range of services on offer.

But there are courses available to keep you on the cutting edge. MATA courses, for instance, provide expert lessons in the fields of Botox, Dermal Fillers and many more cosmetic training programmes to boost your skillset.

And where could you end up should you follow the beauty path? In a billion dollar industry, that choice is yours.

A net success

The internet has become too crowded for the rags to riches stories of yore. With a population of billions, even the most committed of business people would struggle to duke it out with the likes of Amazon.

But that doesn’t mean the ground is fallow. With the right business and tech knowhow, you can still push your plans to the fore.

Start with a small business idea and see how you can develop it into a major money spinner. Provided you optimise your site for SEO and make it mobile responsive, you’ve got a major chance of turning a profit.

Trading places

“Get a trade, son,” warbled floppy-haired rockers The View, “and you’ll go far.” And they were absolutely right.

With a course as an electrician, painter, joiner or any other trade, you could have a secure job for life. Moreover, it’s a career that could open many other avenues in the long run.

With plenty of experience under your belt, you could seize the chance to open your own business and grant yourself full autonomy.

The take home message is this – university isn’t the be all and end all of your life experiences. So don’t think you’re out of chances if you don’t attend.