There are a lot of recent statistics which point to the decline in value of a University degree, with over 50% of graduates in the United States being unemployed and the cost of higher education rising by 40% in the last decade. New York University’s sociology department found that 36% of students haven’t improved their critical thinking over a four year degree. So what does this mean for us?
There are schools of thought that formal education can be a waste of both time and money, and isn’t a requisite for success. Instead some believe that getting up early every day and taking opportunities for self-development, internships, reading, studying and learning are much more effective.
Higher Education will never cease to be important, but today there should be an acknowledgement of those who can educate themselves. New candidates should be examined on their experience and ability to learn, their drive and their problem solving skills; not just their formal education background.
Many jobs require learning once you’re in the business, a lot of their high-flyers don’t have degrees (Bill Gates for one.) But Higher Education will continue to play a big roles, it offers perspective and many skills; including the start of a profession. The focus of four years study also teaches discipline and hard work and graduates have half the unemployment rate of those without.
But with the rising cost of education, employers will have to expand their horizons on what makes a great candidate. An open mind is necessary to spot the right interviewee, because not having the money for Higher Education doesn’t make them any less of an asset to your business.
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