Degrees or Skills? A two-way approach
Adesh Chaurasia- Degrees or Skills? A two-way approach
The question, “Degrees or skills, which is more important?” is a matter of heating debate among professionals and knowledge-seekers today. The arguments on both sides of the debate are equally strong and hence it is not possible for us to reach a conclusion without looking at both sides of this debate. And before that, let us understand the fundamental difference between degrees and skills as most people tend to confuse the two as almost similar. A degree is a qualification given by an educational institution when you complete a course of study but skills refer to your competency to perform a job with efficiency.
The necessity of skills
Robert Greene’s words, “Future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways” seem apt to a great degree today. Most of the successful people around the globe, from Bill Gates to Steve Jobs are dropouts, that is, they have not completed their graduation. They have climbed the ladder of success with their extraordinary skillset. Even Apple’s CEO Tim Cook announced in 2019 that in the year 2018, about half of the employers of Apple consisted of people who have not acquired a four-year degree. Not only that, for certain jobs, Google and Apple have waived the need to acquire a degree or diploma.
In our country and other developing nations, every year we see lakhs of young people holding degrees struggling to get jobs. A large section of the graduate youth is considered to be unemployable. The reason behind this is that though they have gained one or multiple degrees, they do not possess the skills that are much needed in the ever-growing and developing job industry. This shows how everywhere in the professional sphere the focus is shifting from degrees to competency and skills. And lastly, unlike degrees, skills are not static, they are dynamic and they need to be constantly cultivated and advanced throughout your professional career.
Why we cannot disregard degrees?
But does it mean that degrees hold no value in today’s world? That is not at all the case. Degrees act as proof and validation that you have gained skills in a certain arena from a particular educational institution. In other words, they are a testament to your skills and expertise in a field. A degree makes it much easier for you to make the employers believe in your proficiency and it certainly gives you an edge over the other people who do not have a degree.
Giving equal importance to both
Therefore, what I have understood is that there is not a definite answer to the question that we began this blog with because degrees and skills are both equally important in the practical world and they need to go hand in hand. A mere degree will definitely not help any of us to succeed in this competitive world because every person who holds a degree does not necessarily possess the necessary skills. And similarly, as the CEO of LinkedIn Jeff Weiner said, “Its not skills at the exclusion of degrees.” Even if we have all the required skills, not attaining a degree can make the path very difficult for us.
The way ahead
The idea is to enhance the education system in such a way that first of all, quality education should be accessible to everyone. And when I say quality education, it means education that makes people capable of getting jobs in that sphere and that provides them with the essential skills needed to fulfill the requirements of their jobs successfully. The need of the hour is to enable every individual to hold a degree that embeds the necessary skills. Also, a complete skill-based education should be promoted to such an extent that employers view skills-based credentials as equal to a degree.
Author- Adesh Chaurasia
He is an active learner, author and speaker when it comes to the subject of national development through scientific and relational ways. He presents his knowledge about his line of work in such a simple yet engrossing manner that it reaches out to the people so as to enhance their knowledge and put it to good use.