Don’t be too focused on getting a white collar job that you miss out on what would have been an exciting start to your career journey. We need to find ways of starting our own businesses no matter how small and creating opportunities for ourselves and others.
I’d like to think that getting an education should be born out of a need. I am not disregarding education. I am not disregarding its importance. I mean not in Kenya where it’s always been drilled in us from a young age that education is the key to success. In lay man’s language; ‘without education you are nothing’. But over the years, I have come to realize how much that statement isn’t quite true. If you were to go out there and do a survey on the number of job seekers with degrees or masters and have been looking for opportunities for years now, then you’d understand where I am coming from. And yes, we can blame the government for not dealing with the employment menace or hiring companies for having what I’d term as ‘ridiculous’ requirements when they are looking for employees; but how far can we go with the blame? Blame game has never and will never provide any solution to any problem.
Recently, I’ve had friends whom we graduated with go back to school to start their masters. At some point, I found myself becoming envious of them. And I thought to myself, why not join the bandwagon (peer influence still works my friend). It’s now going to two years since I graduated. I felt ripe. My school of thought, however, is simple; I am not going to slave to a course for two years that I’d regret later. Not after the emotional, physical and pocket depletion that comes with schooling. So I opted to take time out. Gain experience. And if at any point I am to go back to school to pursue a master’s degree or a higher diploma, it would be because it would benefit me or allow me rise the ranks of employment. Not because a master’s is what everybody out there is doing. And no, don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against anyone pursuing a master’s or one who already has or is planning to. The question however I would like for anyone thinking to pursue one is ‘how will it benefit you in the end?’
Working in the recruitment space allows you direct contact with employers. And it’s been quite evident that some employers would rather hire a diploma holder with 2 or 3 years of work experience than a masters graduates with no experience. This raises the question on what’s important between experience and education. Education is an investment. A good one at that. If you are a young graduate, volunteer, take up internships, network and get to know people. Attend career fairs. Take up writing online if you are good at it. Take up free courses online and gain a skill. Don’t rush for a masters thinking that’ll boost your chances of getting a job.
We all want white collar jobs. Or rather, most of us do. Don’t be too focused on getting a white collar job that you miss out on what would have been an exciting start to your career journey. We need to find ways of starting our own businesses no matter how small and creating opportunities for ourselves and others. Our universities churn out thousands of graduates each year and relying entirely on the government to create opportunities may not work. On the other hand, when joining higher institutions of learning, people should take courses where supply is low compared to demand. That means we shouldn't only pursue courses depending on our passions but also be informed on how relevant and marketable our hard earned skills would be in the near future. But most importantly, don’t think of any opportunity as too small because you have a degree. Even the best started from somewhere.