STUDENT LIFE / AUG. 11, 2015
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Why are Outdated Degrees Flooding the Job Market?

Being in the 21st century, doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is modernized in this world. There are so many outdated degrees out there that are as stubborn as a mule. But how long is this going to last? It really doesn’t make sense to do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, which is exactly what many higher education institutions are currently doing. It’s not fair to lie to ourselves on the basis of ignorance, and it is rather annoying when nothing is done about it. We have lied to ourselves for quite a while now that the education sector is mature enough to institute necessary reforms on its own. After all, considering the vast number of informed minds in higher institutions, you would expect the pioneers of knowledge and learning to be at the forefront in revolutionizing the career world today.

See Also: 10 College Degrees That Won’t Get You a Job [Infographic]

Although we should give credit where credit is due, since some notable and very exceptional institutions have gone ahead and instituted such reforms on their own. But then again, this is happening at a trickle pace due to vested interests and unnecessary competition. Many of these institutions are very well known by governments. Yet, despite this oversight, they still offer useless degrees despite being fully aware of the disappointments that many graduates are currently facing in the job market, year after year.

Business as Usual Has Been Too Good for Disruption

Education is a tool meant to tackle ignorance, expand an informed citizenry and thus empower nations with skilled manpower. However, many degrees today are lacking in one aspect or the other.  For instance, if the knowledge gained does not tackle ignorance, then it creates an unnecessary burden for the graduate who mistakenly thinks that their outdated credentials will earn them a fulfilling career. It really doesn’t make sense for someone to make the necessary financial investment expecting value for their money, only to later on bear the painful realization that it was all in vain.

Many employment stakeholders have tried to forward these challenges to universities but in most cases, their pleas fall on deaf ears. It then dawns on you that there is in fact a motivating factor that keeps this vice at play. After all, business has been good over the years and thus, disruption through reforms would certainly prove to be costly, particularly for profit driven institutions with a ravenous appetite for money.

The Current Euphoria of Acquiring More Credentials  Doesn’t Bother With Investigating the Quality of Education

Cut-throat competition is quite the norm to the point where it’s almost ‘everyone for himself and God for us all’. This worrying trend has gradually brought about knee jerk competition since in many cases, everyone is surrounded by an equally competent crowd. At the moment, this dilemma is spreading quite fast particularly in economies that are not doing so well in tackling unemployment. Therefore, out of desperation, many opt to study more courses in order to boost their competitive edge. Problem is, almost all of them go for the same outdated degrees that keep flooding the job market. Consequently, many suffer the burden of high expectations coupled with consistent disappointments as they come to terms with the irrelevance of their academic credentials. With time, the career world is burdened with desperate and competitive euphoria that involves making it by any means necessary.

The Education System Has Been Too Rigid for Reforms

The world is changing fast, yet the education system isn’t to catch up to speed. Economies have become more complex over the years and in the process, some careers have become obsolete. But still, you’ll find some institutions offering the very same courses without even cautioning the candidates about how obsolete they are. Advertisements sell the pros of these courses in such prime fashion, you would think that heaven awaits the graduate once they’re done with their course. Also, this rigidness can be attributed to lack of open-mindedness by education stakeholders. After all, the global economy is tough and thus, many are merely concerned with keeping their jobs. Is this really the way to go?

Real Skills, Real Empowerment, Real Opportunities

Is this really too much to ask? It’s a fundamental  question that we should pose to our educational stakeholders. After all, these are the very same professionals with tons of academic credentials as well as years of experience and exposure in the educational sector. They should know what works and what doesn’t because that’s their job. Therefore, I wouldn’t sound so far-fetched to state that they do know all too well what is going on, but many are reluctant to admit it. Maybe challenging the system would jeopardize their work and it’s certainly not my intention to encourage anyone to prove themselves worthy by being reckless with their career reputation.

Still, this reluctance is costing the hopes, dreams and ambitions of so many young people whose only wish in life is to earn a decent living, work hard and build the nation. But how can they achieve this if their skills are outdated and if their knowledge isn’t empowering enough? How can a young person progress in life when there are no real opportunities to incubate them for greater prospects in future? We are talking about year after year of wasted potential and these are apparently supposed to be the leaders of tomorrow. Millions upon millions of graduates are now joining the unemployment band wagon, simply because those in charge are not implementing the necessary changes to save an OBVIOUSLY sinking boat.

A Respected and Effective Global Oversight Authority is Long Overdue

Let’s not lie to ourselves that these institutions will reform themselves because we’ve been having this discussion for years now. I’m even afraid that this dilemma might morph into a philosophy to be discussed for years to come, with no tangible reforms.  And if we are not careful, it will be our younger brothers, sisters, cousins and close friends within our community that will suffer the same fate and sink the boat even further. We therefore need an oversight authority that scrutinizes such institutions and prosecutes them with hefty penalties. In fact, I think they should be shut down completely if they stubbornly continue to scramble young minds with the same irrelevant and outdated courses in the name of profit.

See Also: Top 10 Most Popular Degree Courses (UK)

This oversight authority should also be tasked with informing the public on what they should look out for, before pursuing certain degrees particularly in blacklisted institutions. Until then, many will still fall for the hype that these institutions propagate without any second thought, only to realize later on that the quality of these courses only applies to the institution’s PR.

A major revolution in the career frontier is happening right now. Unfortunately the same can’t be said regarding our fountains of knowledge. Even though this article has shown some of the possible reasons why so many outdated degrees are flooding the job market, the real question is:  when is this going to stop? Well, although it doesn’t stop with you and I, we could make sure that we do not fall for this again and use this article as a wake-up call, and raise awareness.

Do you believe that outdated degrees are flooding the job market? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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