You’ll read in any opinion piece that ‘Education is too easy now’ or ‘They’ll give anyone a degree these days’, which gives the impression that a degree or associated qualification really doesn’t have any impact in the future of careers; however this is a fallacy.
Whilst many will contest that experience is the key to breaking into a career, a lot of recruiters will actually state that ‘A degree in…. is required for this role’, which will essentially bar a number of people from being suitable for the role. Heck, a previous job I worked in would actually disregard any CV that did not have a degree or relevant qualification without a second thought.
Jack Calareso, President of Anna Maria College, Massachusetts, firmly believes in the power of a degree, referencing the earning potential for someone that has their bachelor’s degree can expect to make 75% more money over the span of a 40-year working career than someone that’s just graduated with their high school diploma. When you talk about doctoral degrees you’re looking at 2 ½ to 3 times more than the average high school graduates lifetime earnings. The proof is in the numbers.
The Wonderful Game Called Life
Anyone who has played the Game of Life will know that those who take the college route earn more in the long-run, and whilst they may find it difficult in the short-term, there is a definitive long-term benefit.
I think it’s the perception of the lazy student that’s to blame for making it seem as though degrees are useless; however actually attaining a decent end mark isn’t achievable for someone who simply lies around drinking all day, so that stereotype obviously doesn’t reflect a lot of the graduates. Also to blame is that achieving a degree doesn’t automatically land you a job, and it can feel as though those three years studying could have better spent.
Open Doors, the Internet
Naturally some people simply cannot afford to go to University, may lack the qualifying grades to get in or the logistics of it might not be feasible for attendance. Thankfully, the internet has opened up greater opportunities for almost anyone and the barriers of education are quickly falling, allowing for everyone to learn and attain a qualification.
“The question is no longer IF the internet can transform learning in powerful ways.” – The Web-Based Education Commission
This could prove especially useful for postgraduates wishing to take up a Masters Course without having to take out another loan on top of their student loans, which have already risen greatly in cost.
This can also help the student to partake in work experience or an internship whilst still studying from home and little would impress an employer than demonstrating learning whilst gaining experience – a lot of students actually supplement their course with an income of the experience they are gaining.
A degree might only appear to be a meaningless couple of letters applied to the end of a name, but with a display of effort and a willingness to take the hard road, will lead to greener pastures in the future.
Liz is a freelance writer and student. She’s currently studying for a Msc Degree.