Want to know the biggest challenge to secure a job in the future of work? How can we stress enough the importance of a mere ‘want’ that was accelerated into becoming a need within months? This trend of honing the right skills is now adopted both by famous corporations and local start-ups alike. Further, the idea has paved its way into the higher education system. Here, it pledges to resolve the skill gap and de-risk unemployment starting at the root level.
When you're entering college, you are often undecided about the interests that you'd like to pursue. Even then, you are encouraged to explore and pursue certain advice to plan out a long-term career.
So, if you come from a certain background, where your parents are high-achieving, ambitious humans, doing the right thing for your career can seem like the most important task. Right from choosing the college that you'd go to, the majors that clubs that you'll be a part of, or joining summer programs to gain work experience. Everything you do, basically from the moment you decide which subjects to study during high school is, directed at decoding the right career option.
What works: Skills with or without a degree?
Learning a skill without any certification is equivalent to pursuing a degree without learning the skill. With the rise of the new economy, new markets have been forged into the corporate world. What worked for employers five years ago might not work five years from now. With evident shifts in tech, healthcare, creative, logistics, and all other industry verticals, employment has also changed.
In fact, many companies, including Google, have waived the requirement of a degree. So, attaining a university degree without the relevant skill sets to complement theoretical learning is not-so-promising. Thus, making many job applicants - not-the-right-fit for the job today.
What employers now need?
Evidently, if a business is booming today, it is because of investing in people with true potential. This might not be true for those who are still on the fence about making the right decision. Although it is nice to have a diploma from a reputable college, it shouldn't be the only thing that defines you.
So, the employers have already started looking for something more in the applicants than a degree from a well-known college. They want skills. Here’s why skills matter both to employers and (to potential interns as well as employees)? A few reasons.
The pandemic led to thousands of lay-offs. If anything, it taught the leaders how to run a business with a small number of employees. Ones who can manage to wear different hats in the tenure of their work. The real happiness lies in learning what you are good at and working towards refining those strengths to accomplish great things in life.
Today, employers not only skim through your resume for a Bachelor's degree but also read carefully the skills that you've acquired over the years along with it. Much of the needed skill sets can be attained through gaining actual work experience. If you have only the analytic and abstract skills learned in college to showcase on your CV, then it is least likely for a firm to hire you. For they would appreciate these along with the job skills, not without.
Today, there are plenty of jobs across the globe, but not enough people with relevant skills to fill those positions. For ages, these universities seem to have hardwired the students in deciding when, where, how to fulfil their career goals by adhering strictly to the curriculum. This further leads them to neglect attaining skills beyond these activities.
Follow the 3 step rule:
Remember what Mark Zuckerberg once said, "Explore what you want to do before committing. And keep yourself flexible."
This is a debate that still continues to flourish. It’s not about re-evaluating your dream of pursuing a degree or neglecting it altogether. But it serves more as a reminder to young people, especially to the high school as well as college students to not put all their efforts in one place. Balancing their energy in attaining good grades along with devoting enough time to honing relevant skills is what really matters.
At times, students are not aware of the essential technical and soft skills to land their very first job. A lot of advice has already been drilled into the evolving minds during high school. The real question is – how much of a value does a degree or a 4-year program hold to help you stand out in the real world.
Future of work
Just as invested money can be re-earned. Priorities can be re-arranged. Even majors can change over the course of time. But time once lost is lost forever.
In the future of work, credentials from reputed universities might hold their importance but not to the extent that we know of today. For the shift has begun. And there does not seem to be a prerequisite of degrees to land a job in the future. However, the skills for creating incredible work are a ‘MUST’.