When we talk about education in relation to career advancement, people tend to have different opinions. Some claim that education, particularly college or post-graduate degrees, is a waste of money. Many famous CEOs didn’t even finish college anyway. But some disagree and say that quality education is a gift. Therefore, we shouldn’t take it for granted and get the most out of it because it’ll benefit us in our professional lives.
Both sides have a point. Some occupations don’t require a college degree but pay well, so if your forte’s in one of those occupations, you shouldn’t feel pressured to go to college. But certain occupations, industries, and fields do require at least a Bachelor’s degree. If you want to be a lawyer, for example, you wouldn’t go anywhere without passing the bar exam, which requires you to complete a law degree.
If not a degree, it’s a SkillsFuture certificate that may be the ticket to your dream job. In Singapore, getting this particular certificate will expand your career opportunities in diverse fields and industries, including business, electronics & information technology, engineering, applied health science, design & media, and culinary & hospitality.
How Education Helps Boost Your Career
1. Successful People Value Education
While there are famous CEOs and public figures who dropped out of college to start their companies, some of them actually went back. Steven Spielberg, the director of E.T., Jaws, and Schneider’s List, re-enrolled at California State University 34 years after dropping out. He completed a degree in film and electronic arts.
Oprah, the queen of daytime television, dropped out from Tennessee State University and came back 13 years later to finish her coursework and turn in her final paper, finally getting her degree as a result. Though graduating wouldn’t have changed Oprah’s fame and prestige, she had proven that education still matters even if you’re already on top.
And if you think the school’s not for you because you keep getting bad grades, you’re probably just in the wrong place. Such was the case of Dick Cheney, former Vice President of the United States. He dropped out of Yale due to his bad grades, tried again, and flunked once more. But when he transferred to the University of Wyoming, he finally completed his political science degree and graduated with flying colors. If not for his perseverance, he wouldn’t have become the U.S.’s Vice President.
2. Proves Your Well-grounded Background
Education helps boost your career because it shows employers that you have a well-grounded background. It demonstrates your reliability in communication and reading comprehension. These are key pieces of every bachelor’s degree or vocational course. They go a long way in proving your viability as an employee.
3. Lets You Earn a Higher Salary
The more you learn, the more you earn, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This also applies to many other countries in the world, including Singapore. Though education in itself doesn’t guarantee financial success, it still gives you higher chances of earning a larger paycheck. Since education increases your skillset, it increases your value as an employee, making you qualified for a higher salary.
4. More Likely to Get You Hired
A Singaporean study has found that those with non-tertiary and diploma and professional qualifications saw above-average unemployment rates as of 2019. That’s because citizens in these education groups have a larger share in the job market. And the Singaporean youth seem to know this all too well. The same study found employment rates among 15- to 24-year-olds dropped in recent years because they were engaged in further studies.
Remember, it’s not just a college degree that employers want to see, but also any diploma or certification proving your qualifications and skills. So even if you can’t finish college, don’t immediately assume that you won’t land a good job. Focus on your field, and the amazing career opportunities in it will find their way to you.
5. Ability to Work Overseas
If you dream of working overseas as an executive officer or any high-level manager, an extensive educational background can allow you that opportunity. According to 82% of executives and 75% of hiring managers in the U.S., it is “very important” or “essential” for individuals to finish college. Sure, experience sometimes counts more than education, but education is the foundation of your knowledge, skills, and viability as a professional.
Simply put, education and success go hand-in-hand. Education gives you access to higher-paying and more prestigious jobs. And with more income and prestige come opportunities to grow your career or business. So people who say that you shouldn’t take education for granted are correct. Even if you don’t do well in school, that’s not necessarily a sign that you should give up. Often, failures serve as stepping stones toward something greater.