College degree is important because the prevailing education system does not provide support for natural aptitude without a degree. It’s impossible to get government recognition for your skills and talents if you don’t have a college degree.
Even private companies tend to look for degree holders as basic eligibility criteria. But It’s has been established by several Degree-less entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs of Apple and Evan Williams of Twitter, that a degree is not the sole proof of your knowledge and skills.
The degree and diploma is the proof that you’re an expert on a certain subject.
The degree is an entry pass into any private company office with resume.
The degree is proof that you have learned skills and expertise in a stepwise manner from good teachers.
The degree is most important for getting a much sought after government job.
MBA, BE, MCA, BCA, M.sc, B.Com, M.Com, MA, B.Ed, B.Tech, M.Tech, BA etc. are various degrees that many get after pay high fees annually and it takes 4-5 years to become eligible for any ‘good’ job.
Parents work hard and compromise with their desires, to save money for the degree course fees of their children. They provide the utmost facilities and environment for them to study hard and excel. So that their children can become successful in their careers after completion of the ‘good’ degree.
But the problem is our students are not getting ‘good’ jobs as per the degree. Unless someone is part of the ‘cream’ that pass out from IIT’s and IIM’s.
A Student’s life is full of hopes and dreams. Students do a great amount of work with their still-developing minds, even more than entrepreneurs and politicians. But when some of them do not get the opportunities they wanted to hone their skills, they are forced to redirect their efforts to some work that is not as per their expectation and eligibility.
There are many reasons why they do not get the jobs even after getting top marks. After getting a degree, students have to face few obstacles such as government job policies, rampant bureaucracy and corruption, lack of transparency in the hiring process, lack of infrastructure, skill gap, lack of sync between job demand and supply process, cutthroat competition from other candidates and fewer seats for jobs due to reservation policy for certain communities and groups.
So people do not get a job even after spending a lot of money in 4 or 5 years on a degree in a reputed college. So in a way, a college degree is reduced to nothing more than a wallpaper or a photo that you can hang on the wall. So why is this happening?
Apart from the aforementioned reasons above, there are a few more reasons for unemployment, such as Lack of practical skills, lack of career development strategy before joining the online and offline degree programs and nonexistent career planning.
So it’s not a guarantee that having a college degree will give you the job. It’s just an eligibility that you have got after paying money. There are thousands of successful people who are earning more money than college degree holders.
This includes countless entrepreneurs who have started a business after basic school education and now they are millionaires. Many people enter politics to win elections and become ministers without a degree, sometimes not even primary education. It’s about the ideas and a person’s determination to make it big in life that decides how much success he will attain.
Some people even buy their degrees and diplomas to get the jobs. I know it is not a good thing but it happens. But it’s an even worse thing if you ignore talented people who do not have any degree.
Everyone should deserve equal opportunities and there should be a transparent process in a democratic country.
There are many great things and inventions done by people who do not even have degrees and diplomas. So is there any importance of the degree in today’s time?\
One of the greatest documentaries of recent times “William and the windmill” is a real eye-opener about a 14-year-old boy in Africa who made an electric windmill from spare parts to save his family. Today William speaks at TED and the documentary based on his life has received more 20 international awards.
I still believe that a college degree is important, no matter what the outcomes are. But I disagree with those people and systems that do not provide opportunities based on talent. They only provide opportunities for degree holders. William from Malawi, Africa would never have achieved anything in life if the people were still hung up on the fact that he didn’t have a degree.
Actually, we always compare degrees with the job perspective, and It’s not wrong as online and offline degree courses are advertised as a doorway to a guaranteed job. But you will notice that students have genuine complaints and criticism for certain colleges on the basis of employment conversion.
Today, we need to look at a college degree from another perspective too, not just for getting a ‘job’. And that is called knowledge. The combination of knowledge and degree will open many career opportunities for students. But only if they do it right during college time.
So the current problem or paradox that we are facing is “People who have a degree do not have practical knowledge. And people who have practical knowledge do not have a degree”
Truth 1: Students can be successful without a degree.
Truth 2: Students can get a job with the help of degree.
Truth 3: Job after degree, does not necessarily mean that you are successful in your career and job.
Truth 4: Talents do not require a degree. I am not saying degree held people are not talented.
Truth 5: Degree is a systematic process of learning and acquiring knowledge.
Truth 6: Without degrees/diplomas and proper education in certain fields, you have to do lots of struggle in your career.
Now, what is the solution if someone wants the degree and practical knowledge at the same time?
Run own part-time project and do a part-time job in the field of selected degree.
For example: If someone is doing B.Tech. or M. Tech then they have to start learning how to create apps, websites, algorithms. They can participate in the part-time work related to Computer Hardware, Electronics shop, and factory. They can even start following the practical engineer in their field within the city. A TV, Mobile, Computer, Car, Truck mechanic is also an engineer, but without the degree. Such people do not know many things that someone else has learned in the Engineering books. But the truth is that maximum content in the books is based on practical know-how and real-life work experience done by such people.
So this is the best method. I myself suggest colleges and institutions hire practically talented people who do not have a degree but are running a business for years along with well-qualified teachers who have a degree.
In Mahabharata, the teachers of pandawa and kaurawa learned from practical gurus. And there are many such examples which prove that practical knowledge far surpasses any bookish information than usual degree courses give.
So if we want to improve employment, if want to avoid lack of talent in the market, we need to follow and emphasize the practices in which degree+practical knowledge is essential. Just imagine, if practically sound people get the degree he/she will be a formidable and powerful talent in the market.
So the college degree is powerful with practical knowledge.
Anyone can make mistakes, all can fail in their career it’s not about who has a degree or practical knowledge. Even a well-qualified engineer can do many mistakes, but that doesn’t mean that all are alike. Similarly, many practically sound people also make many mistakes but that doesn’t mean all are the same. Exceptions are always there. That is a general rule of life
We do not need to compare or compete aggressively, we need to align both practical knowledge + books knowledge for students so that they complement the learning process. For example, for 1 subject I recommend 2 teachers. 1 for theory and 1 for practical (External). Of course, this means more staff but if we don’t have staff, we can always start using modern aids like AR ( augmented reality ) for teaching. Not only does this make learning complex things easier, it also helps to identify a child inherent talents at an early age.
In the end, I will say that college degree is the fastest medium to grow and become successful in a career if your target is to get a standard job. This target can be a banking job, government job or a typical software engineer job.
On the other hand, without a degree, you can be an entrepreneur, businessman, and even minister. But then you have to go through a lot of struggle, you need great time management skills, you need a strong will power and you need to face many challenges in daily life. But in the end, you will win!
Both scenarios- having a degree (but no career) and having a career without the degree has many advantages and disadvantages. But the solution I think from my personal point of view is explained above.
Opportunities have to be created out of thin air. Students need to experiment and learn from part-time businesses related to their field. Students learning from colleges teachers must start using this knowledge in a practical way by observing market technicians.
A complete overhaul of our prevailing education system is needed if we want our country to tap into the real abilities of its children. So that a student isn’t forced to be a Mechanical Engineer when he is, in reality, a very talented painter or musician, just looking for support.
Always remember, it’s not easy to get a degree if you don’t put in the hard work and are not determined enough to pursue your dreams. Likewise, you don’t get a job even with a degree if you don’t do the hard work. There is no substitute for hard work and no one can stop you if you think you can do it.
What do you think? Please share in comments with us.
Vijay Kumar is Entrepreneur, IT Career/Leadership Skills Trainer and likes to help students, freelancers, and job seekers with his personal and professional experiences and ideas. The goal of writing is to help students to grow IT related Career and Leadership Skills.
For updates and messages: FACEBOOK TWITTER