The Value of a University Degree

Growing up, most of us remember our parents chasing and constantly reminding us that we need to study if we are to amount to anything in life. The formula was explained quite simply, you will need to study hard, get a good job and you will live comfortably. Whilst we do not discard the veracity of this approach, one question which pops to mind quite frequently is whether a university degree has actual on the job value as most portray it to have. In short, do you really need a university degree to be capable of doing a certain job or become successful?

A lot would depend on the type of career you would want to pursue. If you would like to be an accountant or a teacher, you will need to be warranted, and the only way you can get that, and practice professionally is by earning a university degree in those particular fields. Other jobs which do not necessarily need a warrant also ask for a certain level of education, normally reaching up to a Bachelor’s or Master’s level. Such jobs would normally come with a certain income which allows people to have a better standard of living. A university degree in this regard serves as an additional layer of security indicating that the candidate has the specific set of skills to perform at the expected standard. It also provides the candidate himself with the confidence that he has the necessary academic background to find a job in that particular field and employment security.

Those who do not gain a university education are more likely to struggle if they want to achieve a certain role within an organisation for example. Such organisations would be looking for young university students to fill in their junior positions. One also needs to consider that studying at university requires a certain degree of commitment to passing all the exams and assignments. The unfortunate reality is that for certain job seekers, candidates without a university education have a minus when compared to those who do.

By the same token, certain universities lure students into enrolling for expensive degrees, with promises of a better career and lifestyle. In certain occasions, there are those who commit themselves to high debt and never achieve the career aspirations they were hoping for. This is a rare occurrence in Malta as the country’s University allows students to get a Bachelor’s Degree for free whilst earning a stipend.

Although getting a University degree has its benefits, it does not provide certain soft skills, such as leadership, teamwork and conflict management, which are essential qualities for the workplace. In this regard, various organisations have highlighted these deficiencies.

In certain parts of the globe, due to the lack of opportunities, many would still end up in low paying jobs and never practice their skills due to limited job openings.

With that said, the world is known to have many visionaries and leaders who never gained a university degree. Take Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg as examples.

Although the importance and contribution of a university degree should not be understated, there are other key qualities which are necessary for success, such as willingness to learn and motivation.

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