Why is graduation so friggin important? Is it not merely a rite of passage? Is your grad certificate really relevant if you can prove your talent?
These are some of the questions that the millennial youth ask – and they are justified in doing so. After all, we live in a fast paced digital world where everything happens at the click of a button. But these questions did not materialize out of thin air. In earlier times, children religiously attended school, moved on to junior college and then Degree College. At the very minimum, every student obtained a graduate degree in his chosen stream.
So what happened to change this?
Living in a fast paced world is not the only reason that drives the GenZ to shirk graduation. In India, accessibility and affordability that have been frequently cited as reasons for drop-out as has lack of interest. School environment is a close runner up in developing countries like India where children are reprimanded and punished for minor offences.
Another big reason why children completing SSC or HSC shy away from studying further is performance pressure – both from their parents as well as teachers. Some students struggle through their school years failing – or barely passing – repeatedly because are simply unable to grasp what is taught. This small but significant percentage of students, develop a fear of academics. By the time they attain adulthood, the fear has taken firm hold and impacted their confidence so much that they refuse to study further.
Another major cause of dropouts in the millennium is the sheer number of distractions available to the youth who are lured away from their school / college desks by the likes of high income, politics, and the dazzle of the corporate world – or simply the false promise of quick bucks through marketing, advertisement, and scammers. Moreover, unlike the western world, in developing countries like India, the education system is rigid and functions on social maxims like – once a dropout always a dropout. It is only very recently that the Indian populous has woken up to the fact that it is never too late to study and there’s still a long way to go on that path.
Moreover, fortunately or unfortunately, it is easy learn new skills online and any youth with a decent comprehension level can learn almost anything online. This is a double edged sword. On the one hand such courses are necessary to bridge the campus to corporate gap while on the other they serve to distract the youth. This brings us back to the big question –
As we said, it is easy to learn almost anything online and a child with decent capabilities can learn quickly on the job. Why then are graduation, masters, or Post Graduation so hyped? Well, there are a few things that graduation gives a student that no amount of experience can.
First and foremost, a graduate or Post Graduate degree adds weight to your resume. A development company for instance may receive a truck load of applications for the post of a Python or Java developer. Some may be graduates and some may not. Now consider two candidates who have equivalent skills but one holds a Bachelor’s degree and the other is a college dropout – whom do you think the company would hire? Right! There are no two opinions that they would hire the graduate. Some may argue that hiring the undergrad may be cost effective – and it is not unheard of – but any company worth its salt would consider employee retention preferring a more stable candidate who is likely to grow with the organization.
Graduates have put in the time and effort to better understand the concepts and intricacies of their trade. Many would have completed internship programs that give them better exposure. This gives them an edge over the competition at the time of recruitment. Once hired, a graduate would for the most part turn out to be the better performer because his knowledge is based on sound understanding of concepts and theories. The under graduate or dropout has likely honed his skills on previous jobs and is likely to slip up.
Agreed not everyone wants to climb the corporate ladder. However, everyone does want to grow – at least financially – and expand his knowledge, skills, and scope. A degree holder is far more likely to find opportunities to do all this as compared to an under grad or school dropout. The reason behind this is that a graduate – because of his degree – is naturally considered a more mature and stable candidate. His degree is proof of his having learnt the various concepts, principles, and so forth within his field or industry. Moreover, a graduate who has grasped the finesse required for his trade is likely to set higher goals and try contentiously to achieve them.
Because of the credibility, validity, and stability a degree affords, a graduate attracts considerably higher salary than an under graduate. From an employer’s perspective, a graduate is far more likely to continue working for the organization in the long term provided he is given sufficient opportunity and space to grow and enhance his skill, knowledge, and of course income. Moreover, organizational growth is faster for graduates than for dropouts or under graduates.
HR Managers of corporate, SMB, and SME, all look for employees who will work sincerely and stay with them over the long term serving their organization and strengthening the relationship. While skill set is important, employee retention matters equally if not more. When selecting candidates, recruiters look for more than skill. They look for maturity and understanding. They look for stability and dependability. Degree holders are better able to fulfill these requirements as compared to undergrads or dropouts.