An increasingly common complaint among the current generation is that their university degree is not the key to employment they thought it would be. Millennials now struggle with problems like job-skill mismatches, underemployment, and unemployment.
In such a fast-paced environment, it can be difficult to keep up when you realize that there is more to getting a job than your sixteen years of education — as a fresh graduate, you’ll need to find other ways to prove that you are suitable for a job and that you stand out.
So it’s time to ask the question we all have on our minds: why does a Bachelor’s degree not hold as much weight as it used to?
There is more competition in the job market. As more people have access to quality education, graduating college has become less of the one-of-a-kind achievement it was a decade ago, and more of an ordinary prerequisite for employment. In the quest to stand out, more and more professionals are choosing to go after post-graduate programs like an MBA, a Master’s, and other professional courses and certifications to stand out.
More employers are requiring higher degrees. Now that the Bachelor’s degree has become a benchmark for education, employers seek job applicants with MBAs and Professional Certifications as evidence that what they have learned in their degree can also be applied in the real-world simulations that higher learning offers.
Average drop in salary for bachelor degree holders. The pool of bachelor degree holders continue to expand, and job openings are not increasing at the same rate. Since more qualified candidates are in the market, the demand is lessened — and the price you have to pay for this development is reflected in your salary.
These new developments oblige the fresh graduate to step up their game — and here are a few ways you can do so:
Go for an MBA or a Master’s degree. Taking up programs like these will help you learn more about what it’s like to work in the real world — a valuable introduction that the safe space of colleges may not give. It can help in expanding your knowledge, your way of thinking, and your connections to people who could help you along in your career. The post-grad title also gives you a greater sense of credibility, and ranks your CV higher in a pile of resumes.
Take short professional courses and get certified. Technology has helped speed up the transfer of information and enhance potential for innovation. Now more than ever, training courses are important in the development of your skills and in staying updated with the latest changes in your industry/field. Participating in these courses also implies you are hardworking and open to constantly learning new things, which every employer looks for in a potential employee. If you have a difficult schedule and still want to take up a course, there are several online that you can invest in.
Apply for internships. If you’re having difficulties finding a paying job, consider applying for internships instead. This can be used to gain valuable hands-on experience from established companies, as well as to increase the changes of getting hired later.
The Bachelor’s Degree is not useless — it’s just taken on a different purpose. What was previously an exclusive one-stop avenue for finding a job has now become a springboard for further learning. Take this opportunity to use your degree to get to know yourself better — to figure out your working habits, your interests, your dreams.
This evolution in purpose gives everybody more time to build on themselves, and to work out a direction in life. Instead of regretting this change in circumstances, let’s celebrate this as a step forward to a more inclusive and educate society, where more people have better access to knowledge and opportunities. Education is no longer a privilege — it is a right.