Is the college degree important in India anymore?Sowmya Sankaran
Gone are the days when education was the prime factor that decided your future professional position. Education is meant to be an eye-opener for people to gain problem-solving skills that will help them tackle real-life scenarios. In this age of technology-addicted youngsters, even a child from the second grade can handle and understand the nuances of the newest technological developments. This statement is proof enough that as these children grow up, they are not necessarily going to need a structured platform like an educational institution to mould their skills.
With time, thus, college degrees are losing its sheen. People now look to hire problem solvers, not professional graduates. The startup space is an excellent example to prove this point. In India, the startup platform paves the way for even school and college students to become entrepreneurs and fulfil their desires. With such opportunities available in abundance to them, we are raising a generation that increasingly believes in passion and self-motivation being drivers of a successful life. Many youngsters now are choosing to follow the entrepreneurial path rather than write competitive exams and attend professional courses.
Job descriptions today highlight requirements like the zeal to work hard, think differently and act rapidly. For instance, for a business analyst role, a majority of the descriptions insist that the eligible candidate must possess relevant professional qualities and aspirations whereas educational qualifications are not given a major preference. Now students use internships to test the waters and find out whether they would enjoy future work experiences or would want to kickstart their own businesses.
Many popular businesses and inspirational personalities are college dropouts. The ideas that rule the world today are of a few who do not even seem to have a certificate to prove their professional qualifications. People like Mark Zuckerberg have remained inspirational because their ideas worked, their execution styles were accurate and their business strategies coincided exactly with what customers have needed and wanted. They have proven that when it comes to leading an interesting and comfortable life, all that is needed is talent and perseverance.
Even in real-life scenarios, recruiters appear to favor those who possess practical skills over people with higher qualifications. Indeed, few companies still look for graduates from reputed institutions like IITs and IIMs to keep up their brand image. It only seems true that today college degrees don’t seem like a necessity to land a good job or start up on your own.
Examining the trend
Let us look at how people’s mindsets have changed about the need for a college degree in India through the years:
1980s – The bachelor degree felt seemed like a God-like paper
1990s – The bachelor degree lost its charm, you needed a master’s degree or be recognised.
Early 2000s – Degrees were important, but experience and the pay scale was equally important.
Early 2010s – People stopped banking on their degrees for jobs and careers. They started to use their talents and were recognized for the same.
2016 – College degrees are barely considered when it comes to job and career opportunities.
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)