Don't we overrate college degrees today?
Answering the Quora question about the information hiring managers look in resumes, Engineering Recruiter of Facebook confesses that it's not a diploma but skills what matters. Well, it's not surprising to hear that from the corporation which CEO didn't graduate from Harward in his day. And we all know the stories of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, and others who didn't get college degrees yet became millionaires and successful entrepreneurs.
Why does higher education lose value today? And does it, indeed?
In the last few years, several studies took place in the niche, proving the overrated nature of college degree. Plus, respectful publications s.a. Huffington Post and Forbes revealed the ugly truth of life that might wait for yesterday graduates with diplomas of top-ranked universities.
Entrepreneur Gary Shapiro writes at Forbes that graduation from Ivy League doesn't guarantee a job in higher-paying fields. And yet, graduates continue seeking jobs in finance, for example, instead of launching start-ups because they have massive student loans and can't afford to own business. What is worse, some yesterday students stay unemployed, as they don't know what to do with their college degrees.
In England, this fact has caused the crisis of confidence in the education system. The previous generation graduated from universities with big hopes and ambitious targets; and when reality had dotted their i's and cross their t's, forcing them to work at small-time positions, they started to recommend kids paying less attention to grades.
So it was the moment when teachers had lost their #1 team-mates aka parents.
Parents are easy to understand. Higher education ceased to be a #1 priority in resumes, turning into nothing but a ticket to job interviews that still gave no guarantees to grads.
In 2014, Huffington Post published a series of articles from Americans who fell into income poverty despite having degrees from prestigious universities. Among them was a story of LeAndra Martinez who graduated from college with a degree in film production but had to work at low-paying jobs, trying to pay student debts. Or, a story of a married couple who had to choose between getting a college degree and buying food. All those student jokes about useless diplomas don't seem so funny when it comes to refusing from the Internet or cable TV and pinching pennies to survive.
Most college students face problems after graduation:
- First, it's the virtuous cycle of employment: high-paying positions require work experience, and students get it at jobs that don't require education.
- Second, the acquired knowledge and skills get out of date by the time of graduation, making students continue learning and getting new skills at different courses. This applies specifically to IT specialists.
Let's face it:
Education plays a less significant role in recruiting today. All experts consider skills and work experience a key to success because high grades in college don't guarantee creative thinking or ability to solve problems at work, especially when so many students don't get but plagiarize knowledge. Higher education teaches us to assimilate and remember big flows of information. In other words, education teaches us to learn.
Far and away, this skill is useful but still not the only one necessary. Dozens of resumes from recent grads are available on the Web, and many have problems with describing their skills! Not to speak of writing a business offer or doing professional business correspondence.
Many blame educators for that, saying that academic research and publications are more important for them than teaching students. Not to speak of a gap between knowing a science and ability to tell about it.
UnCollege gives much advice to students who decided to drop out of schools. One says that "if your plan is to skip class, get straight Cs, and do the least amount of work possible to get a degree, you need to seriously reconsider how you’re spending your time." They believe students "can use other resources to develop the skills that they need for the future."
So, the question appears:
Does it mean students shouldn't think about diplomas but spend money, time, and energy on anything more practical and vital?