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Skill over Degree?

Updated: Dec 6, 2021

Skills over degrees. Certificates over awards. Substance over vanity.

Does India need to imbibe this change? Looks like, if one were to study the graph below. As part of the Omidyar - Redseer EdTech Report 2020, what it indicates is that around 50% students with graduate degrees are un-employable.

Source : AISHE, Nasscom, MOSPI, GOI Unemployment Statistics, Redseer Analysis

While the natural demand should be for overhauling our education system, which #NEP2020 aims to, with #edtech booming and looming large over our heads and arming us with countless opportunities online, one should make an earnest attempt to acquire #skills that will help her/himself grow professionally. In fact, during #pandemic the rush to acquire such skills saw an exponential growth. Be it in terms of training oneself on new age technology or learning soft skills that prepares one for leadership roles in future.

As the adage goes, “you are as good as your last job” which is also indicative of the fact that past laurels become obsolete 6 month / a year down the line once one switches over to a new role. Hopefully that will slow down the mad rush for paid-for #awards that comes as a bundled in package of featured article, Q&A series and, of course, an award. A vanity that isn’t worth wasting time on when one can spend it in a more meaningful manner by acquiring an evaluation-based #certificate of accomplishment.

It is in this context that #internships become ever so critical. For providing the aspirants an opportunity to test their skills and earn their certificates. Something that India is waking up to, slowly, but surely. In the last 2 years of moving into a full time consultancy role, I have been amazed to discover the quality of interns that are now available across roles, young, talented, enterprising kids out to refine their skills through semi or multi employment opportunities.

That doesn't in any way take away the importance of well earned degrees and awards. Only brings one to think, that for everything that we set out to do, there’s a mix of vanity and substance and its very important to sift through the two and make the right choices. What degrees to go after, what awards to aspire for, for instance. Especially, in a world that is fast transforming.

A world where skills matter the most and obsolescence is rapid, it’s best to shrug off the vanity metrics and embrace substance. And how does one achieve that? By embracing the concept of 'Continuous Learning'. Which is what we are trying to do through Digisance.

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