Sunday, February 24, 2013

Perspective (Written on 11 November 2012)

The section "In My Opinion by Simon Dolan" published in Readers Dig
est, February 2012
is an interesting read. The speaker says, and I quote, "Not one great enterpreneur I can think of completed a degree". He also says, "But it'd be difficult to justify college education for that - so maybe you'd be better off starting at the bottom in a company and working your way up. When your friend, who went to college, joins you at your company three years later, who do you think will be better equipped to do the job?" He also talks about what degrees actually matter and what really don't. It is a good read and taken with a grain of salt, a practical one too. This is not the first article of its kind and is definitely not the last. But most young people finish off their graduate and post graduate courses anyway and recruiting companies stipulate degrees anyway. Why?

Most students in our country go about the motions of university studies obtaining the minimum score stipulated by the recruiters so they can land a job. But in my 8 years experience as a software engineer (let it be noted that my opinion is based on this experience alone), I noticed that majority of the campus recruits are not from the CS or IT background. Why then do these students go to college? Why do recruiters insist on bachelors degree in a discipline which doesn't have any bearing to the work they intend to put the recruits to?

In my opinion, there are two sides to this story. Companies prefer to hire hardworking young men and women who are disciplined enough to stick to rules. What this means, although the recruiting companies don't realise it, is that they bank on the youngsters' inability to believe in their own potential and make radical changes to the established mode of working most companies find profitable. The other side is force these youngsters succumb to and get their degrees. Most students have no proper direction in which to move in order to realise their actual potential added to the fact that 99.9 percent of the population is averse to risk. Most students would rather end their careers as middle managers rather than tread a path of trial and error and realise their interests and inherent skills all the while working for minimum wages climbing the ladder one step at a time.

The problem is obvious, but I really don't know the answer. Radicalise the education system, you say? I would love to hear the "how" from you. I would also like to know if any measures are already in place to achieve mature decision making on part of the next generation undergraduates.