Should a young person who’s offered his dream job wait till he gets a college degree? At Harvard Business Online, Tammy Erickson wonders if skills, smarts and motivation will become more valuable than a degree.
. . . as competition for college-educated employees increases, companies will become more and more motivated to use those without college degrees effectively in the workforce, in jobs that today would routinely require a diploma-in-hand as the price of admission. . .
. . . in their desperate search for college talent, companies will join professional sports franchises in recruiting individuals earlier and earlier in the pipeline. It will become a sign of your exceptional talent to proclaim that you were hired in your junior or even sophomore year in college. Only those in the lower ranks of the class will make it through as seniors.
And finally, although I hate to say it: a perception that at least parts of todayâ€™s college education are actually not particularly relevant may pervade more and more young peopleâ€™s (and older employersâ€™) consciousness.
Unlike her son, most young people can’t qualify for a dream job — or prove they qualify — without a college degree. Programming is the exception: My stepson started working for start-ups when he was in high school but went on to earn a bachelor’s and master’s in computer engineering. I spent the weekend with a couple whose son who started working for a start-up as a college freshman; by the time he finishes his computer science degree his stock could be worth a lot of money. Or not.
I see little evidence that employers are getting good at spotting self-educated winners without using formal education as a screening device for intelligence and motivation.
However, college degrees will decline in market value as they become more common and easier to acquire. A degree from Flagship U or Ivy College will open doors; a degree from Mediocre State U will not.
Via Phi Beta Cons.