College Degree, Is It Becoming Worthless?

Unemployment reach 7%, scarcity of jobs in various country, companies are firing their employee to cut down cost, the world looks on fire from the perspective of newspaper these day. But is it true that the world is having a down turn? Of course not at everything, we could even say that the world as we live in now is much better than the world a century ago. First, industrial revolution replace labor worker with machine that brings more efficiency and control, industrial revolution change the way we live too. We could enjoy more product diversity with less cost, customizable goods with high quality material, and mass production of everything. Crops and farming are not the major contributor to a nation Gross Domestic Product anymore, it was replaced by textile, alumunium, steel, and other commodity. We enjoy the output of industrial revolution and pay the price as well, pollution from plants, automobile, airplane, more trees are cutted down for office use. Now we are still paying the price, we are being dependent on oil, coal, and pollute our environment to maintain the lifestyle our parents had in the last century.

Then another breakthrough was invented in the late 1990, the internet. Like industrial revolution, it brings more effciency and value to us. We don’t need to pay enormous price to have a phone call to other country or even continent, books are replaced with pdf files in our tablet, and the most important is the unlimited access to all knowledge in the world. We call it “the knowledge era”. Knowledge are available to anyone who seek it for free or very little price, all university textbooks are available to be downloaded, and there is even an online learning that we don’t have to attend a class to hear a lecture. What is the impact to job scarcity? Well, just like in industrial revolution where labor worker are replaced by machine, now less people are needed to complete a task. Only people with valuable knowledge and problem solver are hired in the company, and more manual worker with less contribution are fired.

College kid like Zuckerberg, facebook inventor becomes a billionaire, surpassing the wealth of many CEO. This rarely happened in the past where people work from the lowest position and climb the rank. Start up companies are generating millions in their first year of operation, and they are the power today, hiring people to solve customer problem. And we won’t go back to the way it were where companies hiring numbers of people in a big scale. This is an evolution we are passing, and like any other evolution we could adapt, or extinct. The question remains, is college degree a necessity?

I would say it is nice to have for 90% of young people who want to work in big companies and climb up the ladder, living a conservative life and be in a crowd filling resume, applying to various company. What about the 10%? They still probably go to college, not for a degree but rather because they want to learn the discipline in the fields and use it to solve customer problem in their start up company. From where I stand, I don’t see a scarcity of job, but I see a scarcity of entrepreneur who make a job vacancy.



About Journeyman

A global macro analyst with over four years experience in the financial market, the author began his career as an equity analyst before transitioning to macro research focusing on Emerging Markets at a well-known independent research firm. He read voraciously, spending most of his free time following The Economist magazine and reading topics on finance and self-improvement. When off duty, he works part-time for Getty Images, taking pictures from all over the globe. To date, he has over 1200 pictures over 35 countries being sold through the company.
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2 Responses to College Degree, Is It Becoming Worthless?

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Eleven Benevolent Elephants | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

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