Friday 25 August 2017

Alternate Learning: Is It Time To Gather More Skills, Than Degrees?

I know quite a few people from millennial generation. Most of them are engaged in any one of the following:

1] Pursuing their Masters
2] Done with their Masters
3] Getting ready for PHD
4] Attending tutorials for entrance exams (This is a huge industry in itself)
5] Preparing for banking exams (Another big revenue - forms, fees, coaching etc) 
6] Pursuing an additional certification (This has nothing to do with passion, something they think or were told is in demand - Digital Marketing. If they had basic research skills, they would find several free webinars on the subject)
7] Waiting for exam results
8] Applying for jobs however not well prepared for interviews

Then you have a whole different range of permutation and combination:

9] Getting ready for PHD while looking for a job as a school teacher
10] Quit a job after training, when it was time to perform
11] Preparing for bank exams though could not keep a job with a bank franchisee
12] Travelling 25 kms to attend classes for appearing in bank entrance exams
13] Done with Masters in Bangalore, internship in Delhi, getting ready for PHD
14] Done with Masters, teaching in a local school and getting ready for marriage
15] Pursuing PHD and amidst semesters, got married because she was nearing thirty and couldn't risk losing her fiance to someone else.
16] Completed Masters and doing multiple jobs to pay bills
17] Completed Bachelors in Science, Paramedical and now pursuing dance while looking for a job as a school teacher or for that matter anything

The points I am trying to drive are:

The rationale behind the pursuit for Masters is not learning
Their understanding of the Market is limited
Their currency to Measure results and success is one dimensional

In simpler words,

Do they know their minds – what they want to achieve?
Do they have any financial goals within a definite time frame?
Do they have bare minimum self-esteem to fund their whims and fancies without depending on parents?


1] In most cases the pursuit for Master’s degree is mainly a stop gap – killing time (a few years) without feeling guilty about it while hunting for jobs and keeping parents happy

2] Deep down they entertain wishful thinking - an additional degree will make it easy for them in the job market giving them competitive edge. Future managers will consider this for promotions. 

3] When they do get a job that gives a salary, not quite up to their expectation or standard, it is this very degree that stands tall as hindrance – because they are too qualified.

Reality Check:

1] Masters is the new excuse, the new average. If you do not know or do not have any plan to apply the knowledge you acquire you are wasting your time.

2] Apart from degree, you need skills, different levels of intelligence that is not limited to your academics alone in order to succeed in a job.


1] What is point in having an additional certification if you have not learnt to use any of your existing skill to get a job or build revenue streams?

2] Show your target job market how you are different from others by using the existing skills in a meaningful way that gives you fodder to talk about during interviews – tutoring, freelancing, handling clients, community initiatives - something that hints at your ability to use your existing skills.


1] The education system is obsolete in the prevailing economy – The direct connect between education and business world is missing or the gap is so wide that you will need many skills to bridge that gap

2] Is money the only measure for your success? In most cases it is one’s paycheck that limits one from getting rich because unconsciously they fall into a habitual thought pattern and predictable flowchart which goes something like this:

A] Paycheck - Degree - Certification - Work Hard - Promotions - Life style 
B] Paycheck - Degree - Certification - Work More - Onsite - Loans
C] Paycheck - Job Change - New Boss - Permanent relocation -Liabilities

The fundamental questions:

1] Why did you do that Masters in History if you did not like that subject or had no intention to use that knowledge?
2] Did that help in the corporate world? 
3] Was any of your promotions based on that degree?

Write to to bridge skill gaps and be global workforce ready. Ask those fundamental questions today to take more informed decision on your next steps, next skills, next study and next scope.

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