Friday, September 5, 2014
Private Uni Degree: Postponing Disappointment
The university degree is a sticky idea even when its value has become unstuck unless you graduate from a top college.
People will pay up for status. These days more and more families can afford to send their kids everywhere to get their degrees if they fail to get into our highly ranked local universities. For too many, they are just postponing disappointment. They will face the hard truth once they start looking for a job.
This is a long brutal and costly road to disappointment. The status of the university graduate will fall when many graduates cannot get good high paying jobs. I think everyone knows this by now but the social status of a being a graduate is just too irresistible. At that time passing yourself off as a grad wouldn't be good enough. You must also let on that you went to a good college especially an US Ivy. But at home a good degree from NUS, NTU and SMU is good enough. I hope by then we would have a huge cadre of non grads who are equal to many grads pulling down a good salary. For those who are caught between now and then they have to make the hard choices and I am afraid many will continue to waste time and money on poor quality or quickie degrees. Perhaps we can't avoid becoming laden with a lost generation but at least we are doing much better than most other societies with plentiful unemployed or under employed grads.
The faster we lower the status of graduates and up the status of performers the better. Since we run a good-enough meritocracy, you know like bidding for COEs (unless you need say a top lawyer, doctor or accountant, most times someone good enough will do) we already have many non grads who can perform like grads. I imagine during this transition between two equally good candidates but one is a non grad, this person would be chosen over the grad (this would be done stealthily of course). Just like in some MNCs now eager to accelerate the promotion of women to the upper rungs are doing the same when choosing between an equally competent woman and man.
It takes courage not to pursue a university degree for status sake. I only wish there are more such types. Better to try to beat the local grad at the workplace. I think many of them can be beaten.
Posted by PengYou at 6:56 AM