If College Degrees Are The Anchor, Skills Are Your Wings
French fashion designer Louis Vuitton was born to a working-class family. He left home at the age of 13 and walked a 292-mile trek to Paris where he was employed by a box-maker and packer. For a boy with almost no formal education in fashion, he went on to use the skills he learned from his employer to establish the foundations of one of the biggest fashion houses recognized all over the globe. This is one of the many stories of successful personalities who went on to prove to the world that your skills matter a lot more than your degrees.
We live in a world that has spurred a culture of productivity and workaholic. This is probably why we have started seeing a significant shift in the viewpoint of employers who are beginning to question prospective workers on their skills rather than the degrees they have acquired. After all, a business requires the employees to have the ability to handle various business situations according to their job description. This ensures that the business does not have to invest further in training the employees so that they can attain the skillset required by the company.
In 2013, The Gates Foundation urged employers to encourage skills-based hiring so that capable people who do not have a degree are not overlooked by the business simply to hire those who have a college degree. Keeping in mind that Bill Gates himself never finished college this initiative known as “Innovate + Educate” seemed to be an attempt to recognize the skills of those may not be able to pursue a college degree for various reasons.
For a business, degree and skills are two sides of the same coin. While formal education ensures that the person has the knowledge required for the position they will assume, skill is an abstract term which can be nurtured without following a degree course. When a company hires an individual it is the skill of the person that attracts the employers, the degree is just a validation of their knowledge. The world has started laying more emphasis on the need for being skilled rather than just being educated.
This is why it is important that we change our perspective about degrees and begin to understand the effectiveness of employability programs that nurture your skills. A degree does not warrant that the degree holder will have the right set of skills. It is only a certification that validates the knowledge that may have been acquired through the degree course. Acquiring employability skills, on the other hand, means that the person will be able to display the skillfulness required for a certain job. With cut-throat competition forcing companies to acquire the best brains and work productively, a skillful worker is much more valuable than a degree holder with fewer or no skills. After all, most businesses exist for the purpose of maximizing profits and gaining higher returns on investment. Skills inevitably trump over degrees when it comes to the importance of the two for a business.
So what makes skills so important?
They are a much better reflection of your career goals
The fact that you have developed a certain set of skills through an employability program shows your interest towards the skills and your objective of mastering those skills. It helps the business or your employer identify the importance of the job for you. The fact that you have opted for a program that hones your employability skills shows that your objective is to achieve success in this area.
Skills help you succeed and grow in the company
Once you begin your employment in an organization, you will be given the opportunity to grow and take higher positions. Every organization lays emphasis on your abilities and how you have used your skills in various business situations or to solve business problems that aided the growth of the company. If you are hoping to get promoted then you should be able to show your skills to the higher management.
Skills are representative of your actual abilities and experiences
A degree shows that you are educated, but your skills prove that you can effectively do your job. Someone who owns a degree may not be skilled. They may not have the ability to lead a team since they lack leadership skills, or they may not be able to manage their work schedule effectively because of the absence of time-management skills or they may not be able to work in a team because of inadequate communication skills. While more and more educational institutes are beginning to recognize the importance of skills and trying to incorporate it in their curriculum, a good program that offers employability skills is more effective because it values skills over plain theories.
A degree makes you knowledgeable, your skills make you capable of using that knowledge
Acquiring a degree is not wrong in any way. It helps in showing your seriousness for the field of study you have chosen. However, the focus of companies on a degree is waning because many degree holders join the company and display little or no skills to carry out the job effectively. This is why global employers are starting to look for skills in a person. When applying for a job put your skills on focus and let your employers know about your unique skills and values which will have a greater impact on their decision of hiring you.
A degree cannot warrant a job, your skills can
Lots of students pass out with a degree and begin looking for a job only to realize that it is not as easy to land the job of their dreams. It requires skills to get a job. No matter how big or small or job is, your skills can help you grow and succeed. The knowledge you gain from college degrees can supplement your growth but your skills are responsible for your success. So if you have been mulling over the importance of college degrees than knowing this that the world is going through a transformation of ideologies and skills are being placed way higher than degrees.