Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Is Degree That Important?

The previous generation often emphasizes on the importance of education in order to land a good-paying and secure job. In the past, it may be true. A degree 30 years ago was seen as a pre-requisite criteria to achieve success or a passport to high-paying jobs. However, does this belief hold in today's volatile world?

I grew up in a middle class family. My parents often tell me to do well in school and get a degree in order get a job in the office. Wear nice clothes, air-conditioned workplace... which appealed very much to me then as I saw my dad returning home from his job as a contractor feeling exhausted everyday.

Lack of maturity during my childhood years led me to believing that degree will eventually lead me to a comfortable life in future. It motivated me to study hard and achieve good grades to a certain extent. However, as time passed by, I realized the world was more complicated. The picture was not as rosy as painted by my parents. Especially after I entered University, where I learnt that companies looked out for many other factors besides your academic performance.

So why are the degree papers so highly sought after?

Education only serves as a headstart for most people. A better education profile will probably improve your chances of employment and secure a higher salary. I can't think of any further benefits. From the point you are employed, you are judged on your performance. No longer is the degree your trump card.

Have you heard of someone being promoted because he has scored 3As in his 'A' levels in the past? Or received a bonus due to excellent academic performance in the past? Promotion, pay increments or bonuses are based on performance. Its your performance that counts, not your degree.

Therefore, in my view, the degree is not really as important as made out to be. What truly matters is your work performance, not your paper qualifications.

P.S Please do not take this as an excuse for not doing well in school. There are still benefits of education.

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