Have you ever stopped to ask yourself whether or not the degree you will acquire at the end of your program is needed to obtain the type of job you wish to get?
Better still, are you in school to get a degree so that you can get a job or are you in school just to obtain a degree that you can boast of? Believe it or not, you are on the right track if you can answer either of these two questions; most students can't. When I meet with students, I ask them what they want to be and whether the degree they are pursuing is the key to that goal. Often times, I find that students are not in school because they have a goal and they need a specific degree to reach that goal.
Let's start with me. When I started college, I was there because it was time to be in college and everyone believed that having a college education would give them better lives so I believed it too. So, naturally, college was just the next step after high school for me and there I was.
Goodness! Why did I believe that? Why would I ever believe that a college education would translate to a better life? Well, the answer is complicated and it requires some deep thought simply because college education is not a total waste of time but this assertion really depends on whether or not you have asked yourself the right questions to determine what the college education is meant to do for you. Not asking the right questions put the student at risk of making the time spent in college a waste of time. In my case, I wasted a lot of time in college because I always knew that I wanted to own my own business but instead of spending my time building a business, I spent my time acquiring college degrees.
If I knew that I wanted to own my own business, then why did I spend all those years acquiring all those degrees that were not helping me build businesses? Simple answer this time: I did not ask the right questions on time. Instead, I approached education with the popular notion that education is good for me and that a college degree would give me a better life. By the time I realized what my degrees could do for me, I was already using the degrees for what they could do for me: get a job and go to work. Oh boy! Was I miserable?
I would love to start getting into the details of my attempts to fix this problem that I had created for myself but I would be digressing from the title of this article and that will confuse everyone. As a promise, I will definitely share that experience at a later time. So, back to the importance of your degree after graduation, the truth is that if you truly want that degree to serve its purpose or “importance” after graduation, then you better know that purpose before graduation.
See, humans are guided by purpose. It is the purpose that will determine which degree to pursue, which classes to take and which electives to choose. A student in school without a clear purpose, as I am finding out now, is like a blindfolded pilot. If you find out that you don't have a purpose, there is a strategy to use. I will describe that strategy in a separate article. Admitting your inability to set a career purpose is the first step towards solving the problem. Applying the strategy is the second step.
I would like to point out that most people who feel unaccomplished after using their first degrees for its purpose end up compounding the problem by pursuing post-graduate education only to realize in the end that the problem still remains the same. Many of my colleagues at work have admitted attainment of post-graduate degrees, especially MBA, that have never being used in their careers.
To close, and as I have said before, ask yourself what you would really like to do and be clear on how that degree will help you achieve that goal. In fact, write down the goal and next to it, write how that degree will help realize the vision. This will help you stay focused on where you want to be and keep your mind on the straight and narrow path to your destination.
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