Credentials are an absolute necessity in many industries, I mean, you wouldn’t dream of having major surgery by an unqualified or unlicensed doctor but in a world of change, many are rolling with the times and gaining much needed experience in the field they wish to work in.
Let’s have a quick look at some statistics to see how UK college graduates are faring in the job market for a real glimpse into what their future may hold:
For example, during the 2010/2011 academic year
All enrolled students: 2.501.295 Qualifiers: 762.540
According to statistics, a great number of UK college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed after spending years and a small fortune on higher education, only to be told they lack the necessary experience or skills to land a job. With that, there is obviously the additional problem of being unable to pay mounting student debt with such low-paid jobs.
How about those on the look-out for potential clients? I mentioned earlier that many seek further education because they have decided to go self-employed. By all means further yourself on a professional and/or personal level and do something to enrich your viability to future clients. At the same time though, help potential clients see what YOU can bring to the table, YOUR wealth of knowledge and expertise as well as YOUR unique take on their business. Alternatively, you can do volunteer work in your preferred sector for that hands on experience that you can then make your own for the benefit of your clients.
So where am I going with this? Well, I specialize in the Spanish real estate market, providing administrative services to agencies as well as their clients and most of my know-how stems from ten years of active experience working within the sector, not just from book learning (not that I haven’t done that as well) but who can argue that even though being certified can certainly boost opportunities for you, it is not the be all and end all. What if I had all the theory in the world but was unable to apply it in everyday scenarios? What good would my diploma do in its expensive frame on my wall? Not much.
Everyone and his dog is on the look-out for true business savvy. Not everyone is born with it but a few have done it right:
Richard Branson dropped out of school aged 16 and began Student Magazine. Fast forward a few years and he became the owner of multi-billion Virgin brand encompassing 360 companies including the airline.
Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel trained as a seamstress who soon became famed for her bold patterns and her new twist on what women could wear as well as firm favourite fragrance, Chanel No 5. Chanel is the only fashion designer to figure on Time magazine’s “Most Important People of the Century” list, published in 1999.
Without a doubt, Walt Disney has had an impact on all of our lives. He penned cartoons for his high school newspaper, was rejected from the army at the age of 16 for being too young but he went on to use his art to create real magic.
Love him or hate him, who doesn’t know sharp tongued Simon Cowell? He got his break in the music world when his music executive father got him a job in the mail room of the music publishing company where he worked. Cowell of X Factor fame is also the owner of labels EMI, Sony Music Entertainment and Syco.
These are just examples of successful people who did not graduate college. Now I’m not endorsing dropping out of school (kids, stay in school) but as I said before, it doesn’t have to be the answer to everything. We all have something unique to offer if we put our minds to it. Do credentials always trump experience? No way!