Just how important is that degree?

I had wanted to post this on my other blog relating to general life issues but WordPress has made it so conducive for me to just keep writing here. I love this template! It’s like a newsletter of my life and I don’t feel pressured to have to fill the space because the columns are relatively narrow so even a small paragraph seems adequate.

I have no idea who my readers will be but for the sake of keeping my job, I am going to be rather discrete in this particular post. Recently it has dawned on me just how important it is to have a degree qualification. And it isn’t just about the knowledge and skills you picked up while on campus but rather the kind of branding a graduate receives. 

I have always thought, perhaps pretty naive of me, that if one is able to perform his/her job duties well, it does not matter whether you have the relevant qualifications. Isn’t that what meritocracy is all about? But surprisingly within our public sector, there is actually a segregation between employees who are university graduates and those who aren’t, regardless of competency.

It doesn’t matter if one has served an organisation well all their lives, as long as they do not have a degree, the highest position attainable is an executive officer. However a fresh graduate who joins the organisation is immediately given the position of senior executive and has the opportunity to be promoted to a manager within a few years. Just tell me how is that fair?

And to add insult to the injury, even if a degree is attained, the executive does not immediately become a manager synonymous with number of years in office but has to begin his career progression as a senior executive, which by the way is entry level for university graduates.

I was astonished to hear that such a system was still in place in cosmopolitan Singapore. Isn’t this a legacy of our colonial days perhaps? Suggesting that only graduates have the competency to lead and those without can only execute orders. 

It is time to abolish or amend these gradings to reflect more accurately one’s contribution to the organisation rather than their paper qualifications. This will only perpetuate the divisions between the educated and the less educated but not necessarily less capable employees within the organisation.

By the way, I graduated from a local university so I am not writing this out of anger but a sense of injustice for my fellow colleagues.

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