Does a college degree really help land/ keep a great job in today's society? Your thoughts?
With pay cuts and lay offs on the rise in today's culture, can having a degree(s) guarantee your spot among employers? Please share your insights.
I think a degree can help but it is definitely not a guarantee! Jobs are more and more difficult and employers are looking for people who have skills (which a degree can indicate) but whom are also intelligent, confident, hardworking etc. Soft skills are definitely very important. You can have all the degrees in the world but if you can't sell yourself in an interview, no employer is going to believe you can "sell it" to customers/clients etc.
Speaking from experience (2010 graduate) and the experience of close friends who all graduated within the last five years, no. What lands you a great job is a variety of circumstances, but simply having a college degree won't get you a high paying job or even a career in the the field you majored in. With the economy the way it is, the high price of a college degree and a budding student loan crisis on the way I wouldn't advise anyone go to college unless their career field of choice requires it AND if they can afford it. If going to college is a way to find themselves I would highly advise that person to not attend college and go straight into the work force and use trial and error instead. If the person can't afford college and paying out of pocket and scholarships/grants aren't enough I would advise against going to college because all it will do is make them a slave to student loan companies once they graduate. I know plenty of people who succeeded in the work force that attended college. But college alone didn't help those people land the jobs they were hired for. Being in the right location, knowing the right people, and employment experience got them their jobs. Of course people who want to be come certified professionals such as teachers, doctors, lawyers etc should go to college but college isn't for everyone.
I think the best answer depends on what type of job you want. If you want to be a teacher you have to have a degree, and you will probably land a job. If you want to be a doctor you will need a degree, and there is always a shortage of doctors (and nurses.) And if you want to be a statistician, your degree would be extremely valuable today!
However, if you want to go to college a ride through four years with a basic Liberal Arts degree and no work experience, then no, it may not help you get a great job, or any job at all. The reason so many people don't find jobs with their degree is because they have not built a competitive resume - no work experience, no volunteer experience, nothing. At that point, a four-year degree is not worth much more than a high school diploma and I have friends on both ends of the spectrum whose pay rates would attest to that.
A degree is only as valuable as what you plan to do with it. I waited several years after high school to start college because I had no idea what I wanted exactly. I didn't think it was wise to go into that amount of debt for something that was just going to get me a job as an administrative assistant. (Seriously, check out Craigslist sometime and you will see requests for secretaries with four-year degrees at a $10.00/hour pay rate!) In the years of hiatus, I worked multiple jobs and gained a wealth of skills that I would have never learned in college. If education is important to you, then a degree is worth it, but I definitely recommend that everyone sits down and really evaluates what type of degree plan they are attempting to complete to determine the "worth" of it.
In certain industries a degree is a requirement, yet these requirements are not always enforced. In civil service it will be. In the private sector, experience is far more important. If you can bring real world experience to the table, that is is infinetly more valuable than any degree. For most white collar jobs, a young person often now needs the degree to get their foot in the door to get the experience. So if your goal is a white collar job, I would pursue at least a graduate degree.
The real question is what do you wish to pursue. What's interesting about the labor market these days is that I happen to believe many of us where told the wrong thing by our parents, even though they were well intended. Their parents came out of the depression where blue collar workers were a dime a dozen. They were largely left out in the cold if they didn't belong to a union shop. So many of them taught their kids the importance of higher education to protect against the economic risks they could otherwise face. There kids then taught my generation the same thing. Unfortunately, over the last generation we have produced too many MBA's and not enough people who can put a nail in the wall or sweat a pipe. I personally have built a successful invesment firm after more than 15 years in the white collar world. Yet when I look at the guy that handles my HVAC service contract, he gets paid more by the hour than I do. And he is so busy I can barely get him to the house. The point is the resources have shifted too dramatically. If you are looking at things economically, there is more opportunity in the trades these days, especially if you run your own business rather than work for someone. Yet we have more MBA's than we can shake a stick at.
In the end, it is really about what you want to do with your life. But earning a degree for the sake of having it is a waste of time and money. It is not anything to fall back on. With the exception of specialty areas, It will do little more than get your foot in the door in most cases.
A college degree is more valuable than ever. The days of getting and keeping a factory job with family-supporting wages are mostly over. But a college degree is not enough. You also need to continually upgrade your skill set and stay current. You also need a lot of luck.
As a college student and being in the process of earning my first degree, I honestly don't feel having it will guarantee a job. It isn't just about the economy, the competition in almost every field is rising due to everyone pursuing and obtaining college degrees. I can imagine in a decade or so, the later generations will need a masters degree just to have a simple office job.
I like this question and it is highly relevant. It's sad to say but I no longer believe that a college or University degree actually helps land or keep the job. However a degree will open doors and help get interviews. But a degree alone won't help you keep a job. You will still need good organisation skills, a good range of contacts that are updated regularly. If you can finance an Master Degree after your BA or BSC then it will add weight to your quest for longer term employment. You will still need good health, sound legal advice and more if you are to land and keep your dream job. Good luck.
Oh before I go let me say this. While a degree may not land you the job you were looking for, the growing and developing you did while at University can never be taken away.
It all depends upon many factors & variables. Conventional wisdom decrees that a Bachelor's, even more advanced degrees like a Master's or Ph.D. in the liberal arts, humanities, &/or soft sciences did not really guarantee a job commensurate to one's educational level. This wisdom further decrees that many such college graduates & postgraduates, on the average, have Mcjobs that does not require a college degree. However, there are some college graduates & postgraduates with degrees in such subjects that have landed/kept great jobs, even venturing into entrepreneurial arenas because they were flexible, resourceful, aggressive, & thought/acted outside the job/career box. They also knew how to sell themselves & market their brand(themselves). They were also persistent in the face of obstacles, never taking no for an answer.
Then there are those with degrees in the STEM subjects i.e. science, technology, engineering, & mathematics. Their degrees are & especially now, will always be in demand. Their college & postgraduate degrees are paying quite lucratively. Many of these graduates are either working in mid-level to top level positions for others or going into businesses for themselves. Business & accounting majors also have little to no problems finding & keeping jobs.
Besides the degrees, attitude matters & knowledge of the particular corporate culture. In addition to that, is the employee likeable to superiors, co-workers, & the clientele. An employee can have all the necessary educational requirements & then some. He/she can graduate magna cum laude, summa cum laude, or be in honor societies; however, if he/she has a bad/negative attitude, is in the wrong corporate culture, & is unlikeable according to superiors, co-workers, & the public, he/he is not going to get far in the corporate world. In fact, one can say that he/she will be the first to be laid off if there are monetary problems w/n the corporation. In order to successfully land & keep a job, one must have the right attitude, be flexible, willing to go that extra mile, familiar with the corporate culture, & be personable.
No I don't think a degree is the main factor an employer looks for, I think that the way you present yourself at interview or even when you forward your c.v. is where the main factors are made.
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