Have you ever wondered where your university degree will land you once you are done with school?
If you have had fears that it may lead to disappointment or make you work in a field that was not your speciality, then it is good to heed to the signs of the times and act accordingly.
While many people are toiling for years to just come out of school with a degree certification, it is possible that many of those will not have a job or they will be forced to doing something totally unrelated to what they studied.
In the current work world, many people are using their skills and not what they trained for.
With technological advancement and the reliance on Artificial Intelligence (AI), many children joining school now will work in jobs that do not yet exist.
While being in college is seen as an avenue to getting better in terms of social standing, financial independence and the assurance of a generally better life thereafter, the truth is that most students will just be piling on debt in terms of Educational loans for courses they may never reap from.
To show how important for consideration this is, Upwork CEO, Stephane Kasriel, says that “the future of work won’t be about college degrees, it will be about job skills.”
This underscores the need to revisit and evaluate degree choices and align them for the job market of the future.
In a survey commissioned by Upwork and Freelancers Union, skill training is most useful to the college-educated freelancers in what they are doing now than their college training.
Released on Wednesday, the survey Freelancing in America 2018, shows that 93 per cent of those polled uses their skills more than what college trained them for.
Of the 6,001 US workers polled, only 79 per cent said their college education was useful to the work they do now.
Also, in the past six months, 70 per cent of the full-time freelancers participated in skills training.
The new report shows that expensive education and the rapidly changing technological landscape are making traditional higher education system redundant.
In a CNBC interview, Kasriel said, “Too often, degrees are still thought of as lifelong stamps of professional competency. They tend to create a false sense of security, perpetuating the illusion that work — and the knowledge it requires — is static. It’s not.”
Interestingly, the most in-demand occupations or specialities did not exist 10 or even five years ago. Quoting a 2016 World Economic Forum report, CNBC quotes that this pace of change is set to accelerate.
In July, the Upwork Quarterly Skills Index showed that 70 per cent of the fastest-growing skills are new.
This confirms that mainstream degrees and the traditional higher education will lose out to the acceleration in alternative skill sets.
Kasriel adds that we should expect the change to keep coming and encourage more options to thrive without overreliance on college degrees as proof of ability.
“We need new routes to success and hope,” he says.
In what is becoming clearer daily, skills will be more important than any number of degrees one could have for them to be eligible for a job.
Technology is disrupting the job market world as we know it today and the unpredictability is forcing an evolution. To be equipped for the many changes, more and more people are opting for training that sets them apart from the rest of the crowd.
This enables them to easily adjust and adapt to the new demands that keep coming every so often.
To show how important skills are to the current job market, already PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has begun a pilot programme where high school graduates can work as accountants and risk-management consultants.
You do not need a degree to work with for Apple, IBM and Google meaning that the new way of hiring is catching on even among giant companies.
This does not, however, mean that education is not important but while choosing a degree course to pursue, it would be a wise decision investing in one that will payback for all the effort by being a degree of the future.