Years ago, students used to choose degrees they were most passionate about.Degrees they like and enjoyed learning. And because they had chosen from the bottom of their hearts, they did put all their energy and focus towards achieving their set goals.
Back then, most employers didn’t worry much about the degrees taken. Their assumption was, so long as a matured-minded graduate joins their workforce, they will be molded to do the job.
But then, those were the days were graduates were fewer and jobs readily available. This was a win-win situation, with graduates getting the best of both worlds.
But alas, this seems a distant dream now! With often one job being chased by more than 70 candidates, employers’ expectations have soared.They are now not only looking for a degree relevant to the job advertised but also more skills to match. They are more picky in their choices of candidates. Skills like good communication, attention to detail, reliability and an ability to work in a team are at the forefront.
The world is moving. In order not to fall sideways, we need to move in par with it. Not willing to be left behind, most forward thinking students have now learned to mold their degree choices in a career-focused way while still at secondary schools. They are more realistic – they take time to look around the job market and ensure that they pick a useful degree which is marketable.
There are some students who remain wedded to learning for its own sake. That is, taking degrees they passionately like. With no planned career in mind, they sometimes find themselves with degrees which don’t match with the advertised jobs. This often leads to a period of unemployment and a great frustration to many. With no luxury enjoyed in the past years for free university education, most students find it even harder to afford another degree after the unsuccessful first time round.
Understandably, Academics are worried about this shift towards career-inspired study. They argue that with non-monetary values displaced from universities, most courses will continue to wither and get lost in the abysses of space and time, instead of producing real creativity and encouraging open-ended curiosity.
But with university fees constantly on the rise, no one can blame these enlightened students for making a u-turn. They are becoming wiser by ensuring that they choose degrees which match with the jobs markets.
Universities which are struggling to recruit will have to thoroughly examine their courses and make cuts on those degree courses which don’t offer value in the job market. As students are now most likely to choose degrees which are likely to deliver high salaries, some argue that slowly the universities are being transformed from centres of academic teaching to new kind of employment agencies.
Finally students are coming to their senses as they realise the difference between choosing
‘What they are passionately about and what is needed to secure a better future ’