This blog has been discontinued. See Adam Gonnerman for all future posts.

Monday, April 8, 2024

A Reality Check for Degree Holders

This young lady's very entitled rant has me thinking. And here's what's on my mind.

In today's competitive landscape, a college degree is often seen as the golden ticket to a successful career. However, the harsh truth is that obtaining a degree does not guarantee immediate access to a job. While it certainly broadens the range of opportunities for which you are qualified, it is not a magic wand that opens all doors.

The modern bachelor's degree has, in many ways, replaced the high school diploma of the past. It has become a baseline requirement for a vast array of positions. This shift in expectations means that more people are pursuing higher education, leading to a saturated market of degree holders. As a result, the value of a bachelor's degree in distinguishing oneself in the job market has diminished.

Paying your dues is an unavoidable part of the journey. The job market is challenging, even for those who are well-qualified. It's a rite of passage that requires perseverance, resilience, and a willingness to start from the ground up. The early stages of a career often involve roles that might not be the dream job but are stepping stones to gaining the experience and skills needed to advance. My first corporate job was in customer service, and I'm a bit insulted by this young woman's snarky attitude about such work.

It's important for graduates to set realistic expectations and be prepared to navigate a job market that is more competitive than ever. Networking, continuous learning, and adaptability are key to standing out and securing opportunities. The degree is just the beginning; the real work lies in the relentless pursuit of growth and excellence in your chosen field.

None of this means in any way that degrees are a "scam" or not worth it. I'd hate to be out on the job market right now with only a college diploma. Then again, not everyone needs a degree. Someone who is properly trained and licensed can be a plumber, for instance. The same goes for HVAC technicians and electricians, among other professions. However, for anyone looking to get into corporate life, a degree and possibly a professional certification are going to be necessary. In my case, I started out on a Bachelor's degree and then got a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. In recent years I took it to the next level with a Master's degree in Management. I'm glad to have invested in my career.

This young lady in the video falls short entirely on a few levels. She comes across, as I indicated at the outset, as entitled. She certainly is naive about how the world really works. She's giving herself a bad image by posting this rant online. And she needs to grow up. I would have thought that four years in college was enough to do that, but I guess not.