By E. Gavi and Ibukun Olajide | Sep. 2021
Oooooo...the ‘fall-back’ degree debate! “Your degree must pay dividends!”, I hear someone say! Mhmm…
Most parents are invested in the success of their child and they want them to have a Plan B if their passion does not pan out. I get it! And, that is not unreasonable. But, let’s look at this from an alternate angle: what would you prefer? Your child spend the same amount of time developing their passion into profit, or pursuing a degree because you said so?! A majority of students in university are studying for a degree they don’t enjoy, to land a job they are unsure about, and this is accepted as the norm. Wouldn't they turn out happier, fulfilled and prosperous in exactly what they want to do? Some real-life examples we can glean from are Richard Branson, Tyler Perry, Steve Jobs, Morgan Freeman, Lord Alan Sugar…to name but a few, and they didn’t have a fall-back degree/job.
If we pivot to the business sector, business leaders have come to the realisation, or rather, have been forced to consider competencies and life experience vs. degrees when it comes to recruiting employees, signalling the need to update our understanding of the place of a degree vs. practical experience, and align them with REAL workplace requirements. A recent study by the US Chamber of Commerce explores this very concept. So, if your child is pursuing a more practical path utilising their passion that can be aligned with real workplace needs, surely that’s a win-win for all stakeholders?!?!
Equally, if your child doesn’t land a corporate job, they can create their own path, which can in turn lead to the creation of new job opportunities that don’t necessarily fit into the mould of the existing business and economic models or landscapes.
So, what do you think of the need for a fall-back degree?