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What Really Matters

On 17, Jul 2012 | One Comment | In Education, Life | By Daniel Kao

Humans like to focus on externals.

We love investing in external indicators for something internal. External indicators present a quick, scalable way of judging a person’s characteristics.

Practically every job in today’s world requires some sort of college education, sending people all across the world to get a spot in some type of college institution. That way, people can obtain a degree that serves as an entry on their resume to satisfy the education requirement for a specific job.

Hiring managers use degrees in order to differentiate between job applicants and filter out people who may not be capable of a position. To them, having degrees/internships gives them a sense of security regarding what you are capable of doing. Especially for young people who have had very little work experience, the degree is perhaps the only thing a hiring manager sees.

But as you gain more experience working, and establishing a reputation for actually being a valuable individual to have around, education becomes less relevant.

A popular saying that I have heard circulating around states that people with a college degree earn a million dollars more in their lifetime than people who don’t. To me, that is a completely ignorant statement that relates two mostly irrelevant variables. Correlation does not always indicate causation.

As a general statement, individuals who attend institutions of higher education have a better understanding of the job market, investing in their future, and taking advantage of what institutions may have to offer them. Not to mention that in order to receive admittance into such institutions, they already have to indicate their abilities by performing in high school or some other way.

Thus, I believe that the difference of making an extra million dollars over your lifetime is the same difference that attracts people to your character, not having a piece of paper to vouch for your character.

Place value on how you can actually learn and grow; not on the degree.

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