During the last decade, with the rapid development of technology resulting in the world becoming a smaller place, the effects of the recession and globalisation has resulted in certain jobs and qualifications which were once highly sought after, being outsourced to foreigners/ expatriates, in some cases for cheaper than the local talent pool would charge or have been totally replaced with machines. This reality has resulted in a glut of graduates with expensive degrees who are unable to land a stable job based on their qualifications from college.
This is kinda similar to how a predator is removed from an ecosystem and the prey is allowed to multiply to the point of being a nuisance.
This situation has created a lost generation, with no direction on how to move forward and progress in life, after being told to get a good education and basically everything else will fall into place. However, that formulaic mantra, mostly dictated by parents and general society, is not as clear cut as it was three decades ago leaving this generation to find innovative ways to move forward and find direction and purpose in life. Some are able to overcome the shock and the attendant obstacles by re-inventing themselves and learning new skill sets while others have a harder time trying to find the direction to move in.
This leads to the question, what is the point of an education if you cannot use it to better your life? Can this be called an education? If not, what does it mean to have a good education? Is the man with little to no formal education, who is able to legally amass for himself great wealth and a comfortable lifestyle more educated than a teacher who barely gets by? How does one measure how well educated a person is?
Education in my opinion is the ability to apply the knowledge learnt to make everyday life easier. If one is not able to apply the knowledge learnt, then can that person be considered educated? It could also mean that the knowledge learnt is not applicable to the market that he is trying to look for work in or It could also mean that the knowledge learnt has become obsolete as the function has been replaced by machinery.
So where does this leave persons who have spent all their time and money, most times not their own, in getting an education and then at the end of it all, are unable to see a return on their investment? What does this say for a system that churns out thousands of graduates that have limited chances of applying the knowledge learnt? This gives the impression that the education system no longer caters to equipping people to function successfully in the world but to turn huge profits for the system’s shareholders. It also could be less sinister than that as well, as it could mean that the education system is not keeping up with the pace of technology and the effects of globalisation, to effectively impart knowledge to students to better equip them for the ever changing world.
All things being considered, the best way in my opinion to secure a good education, is to always at every stage try to apply whatever knowledge you have learnt by securing internships at companies that are willing to take you on part time. This will not only allow you to apply the knowledge learnt but it will also put you in contact with people that will be able to help you in your quest for gainful employment. This action alone will expand your network and thus increase your circle of influence and possible opportunities that may arise from cultivating this network. Also, membership in clubs and organisations especially if you are still studying, will also assist in putting you in contact with like minded people that can also create opportunities for wealth creation and overall well being.
Another option is network marketing. Now most people frown or even roll their eyes (I seen you) at the mention of network marketing however, there are certain soft skills that can be learnt that can only auger well for your chances of success in general. Skills such as prospecting, people skills, communication skills and motivation to do better after each failure(yes, because failure is real) help to make an individual a more rounded person. Not only do you learn to build on these traits, but you also have the support of people who have the same goal in mind.
Based on all that has been discussed, one thing is certain. The quality of one’s education can only be judged on a personal level. Also, people play an integral part in the advancement of your career ambitions after school. If you are able to network successfully and demonstrate your ability to apply the knowledge learnt, then your chances of success are that much greater. Education they say, is the key to success but it is actually, how you apply it and how you are able to influence people that is the key to success.