Through Jonas Yeung
We’ve all been faced with the dreaded question: “What can you do with your degree?” Undergraduates who have spoken with concerned parents of prospective students are all too familiar with this situation.
A grueling amount of time and money is invested in obtaining this piece of paper. Unsurprisingly, students like me have reflected on the value of their degree. It quickly becomes clear that degrees aren’t worth much in isolation. It is what you have acquired throughout your undergraduate career that has real value: your skills, your experiences and your connections.
A bachelor’s degree in health science isn’t a golden ticket to medical school without the hours of extracurricular activities and decent reference letters.
Even the iron ring of engineering does not guarantee a job without adequate experience and a marketable personality.
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner Further justifies, âMore and more I hear this mantra: Skills, not degrees. It is not about skills excluding diplomas. It’s just a matter of broadening our perspective to go beyond degrees.
More emphasis should be placed on skills rather than qualification. After all, a degree supposedly marks the years of study responsible for acquiring these valuable skills.
The acquisition of skills arises organically for those who are inclined to study. For example, McMaster University is recognized internationally for being a pioneer in problem-based learning, which gives students the opportunity to develop their skills by solving open-ended problems.
For many students, however, the final destination seems unclear due to a wide range of interests, or lack thereof. We should take advantage of their first cycle, because this is where there are the most opportunities to explore new interests.
The wisest strategy is therefore to be “path-oriented” rather than “goal-oriented”, as there is a greater probability of reaching the goal or finding a goal that makes sense to pursue. . A student will ideally acquire skills and experiences throughout their journey that would complement their degree to a particular destination.
This concept of travel-destination embedded in our undergraduate careers reflects a deeper story of life. A journey usually involves an adventure towards a destination who is upset by the uncertainty.
These are questions that prey on our insecurities and make us anxious – and we have every reason to be worried; there is no guarantee that things will work out in our favor. Most people are dissatisfied with their jobs. And how can you say that you will not be an arbitrary person afflicted by tragedy?
There are many instances where an aspiration will never be fully realized despite its best efforts. It is the drama of life. Therefore, a “goal oriented” strategy can produce bitterness throughout life, as happiness often depends on achieving that goal.
The alternative approach is someone who is âpath-orientedâ; where the individual can find lasting satisfaction throughout the journey, whatever the circumstances.
We are encouraged to adopt a healthy attitude and pursue what makes sense in the midst of chaos. For some, it may be friendships, love, or acts of service. Rarely are isolated accomplishments that produce lasting meaning. Obtaining a degree makes little sense without representing the skills and wisdom acquired over the years of study.
A âpath-orientedâ strategy that focuses on the significant aspects of life is the key to lasting satisfaction. So, just maybe, we can find happiness along the way.