Picture this. Two identical candidates walk into your office for a job interview. The only difference between the two candidates is one has a resumé with four years of experience, the other has four years of college.
Which person do you hire (or consider)?
There’s another way to ask the same question. Two identical candidates walk into your office for a job interview. The only difference between the two candidates is that one of them studied how to manage meetings, in a classroom of 50 students and the other actually had the experience of managing meetings in a room with 50 people (excuse my not-so-great business jargon)
Which person do you prefer?
This is a very interesting question I was asked by my sister who just recently completed her Bachelor’s in Business Administration. By “just” I mean, it took her 5-6 years to complete her degree in Business. She wasn’t backpacking around the world or partying in clubs spending her dad’s plastic. She was simply working, like most young adults who started working right after high school and never stopped. At 26 and brilliant communications and relationships skills, she has 11 years of work experience and is considered one of the best teachers in the city.
When employers look at her resumé they look at her work and degree may or may not come. Now don’t get me wrong, a degree is important but the question is HOW important?. The question also is, is a college education the ONLY investment or ONE of the investments?
I am a South Asian and a Pakistani. In my society and culture, a degree is a life and death situation. You lose your worth if you have not spent your early years in college and gotten a degree even if you have no idea what you are going to do after that degree and what your path really is in life. It is like “when in doubt, wear red, when in confusion, go to college”. Even after you become a successful entrepreneur choosing your own path, it takes a huge amount of struggle to make the community and in most cases your family recognize the worth you carry. Asian societies will carry the notion and teach you that studying is always done in the classroom and the path to education is only college.
We also tend to value two professions the most: Engineering and Medicine. I doubt it would matter if parents could see the future and could see that their kids were instead brilliant musicians with money and fame. In their minds, Engineering and Medicine are followed by: success, wealth, family reputation and a great spouse (edit: beautiful or handsome).
My point is, it is time to realize that textbooks are not the only source of knowledge and education. I recently read an article on the internet (the first part of my question is from that article) that discussed the radical idea that college is not important at all and presented *4 brilliant reasons not to go to college*.. It makes some great points; the one-line summary of it is that if you think you don’t need a college degree to succeed, then take your hard work, ambition, skills and make something out of that.
To answer that question, if I’m an employer, it will not matter if a person comes in without a degree. But it WILL matter if that person has a PhD and zero management skills.
This is the end of rant. Answers and opinions are appreciated.
Thank you for listening