I had a conversation a few days ago with someone retired from a government job. The suggestion he me gave was to get my master’s degree to compete with others and make myself stand out. When I was graduating from high school, I was told the same thing about college–college degrees help people stand out.
There are only two main things that I have concluded help you get a job. Are you ready for this…?
Skills and connections
a little luck and motivation
College degrees help in that they may help you acquire skills but not necessarily. Some employers require a college degree just to join the cogwheel. In Taiwan, for example, you couldn’t get a working visa to teach English without a college degree. So college only helps getting a job in that it adds to skills and connections.
So when the man was telling me to get my master’s degree, what he means is that I should add to my skills and connections. He admitted his daughter graduated from college and the school “didn’t do a damn thing for her” economically.
So when he said to go get a master’s degree, I am at least hesitant. In Circumventing a Recession, I mentioned that I thought this notion of going to school just for the prestige collapsed in 2008, when bank bailouts happened. I met people with advanced degrees and Ivy League degrees while I was teaching in the Republic of Georgia. These people were doing the same job as me and I don’t have their same credentials, although I do have a college degree.
I think that there are a lot of falsehoods of prestige that are in line with an out of date educational system that still believes the West is number one at everything. I don’t really think anyone cares where you went to school, for the most part, they care what your skills are. The schools themselves may help you get connections to get a job.
“I went to blah blah school. I’ll introduce you to blah blah” We’ve all heard this before.
I think that if I do pursue any higher form of education, it would have to be for a very specific job. A job that isn’t going to get outsourced and downsized. Exactly what that job could possibly be, I can’t say as there have never been any guarantees. I will say that I will use every connection and I will go wherever the work is.
You could always try to get a Federal government job, like I am trying to do and like the man I talked to had. Among the only places left that has some sort of pension are in the government sector. Will our Western societies even make it see see these pensions? I can’t say.
Graffiti. Batumi, Georgia 2012
Village I Lived in Outside Batumi with Black Sea. 2012