It is no exaggeration to say that underemployment is a blight on our society – its consequence is an inefficient workforce. For any young person, jobs are scarce and competition is fierce. You need to understand that collecting qualifications will not change this!
A degree will not excuse stuttering through an interview, it will not correct spelling mistakes on a CV and other instantaneous mistakes that you commit. A degree is rather a proof that you wanted to learn, can learn and will keep learning.
Learning is a process that accelerates your mind and sharpens it up to deal with the challenges of your career. Learning should be such that, it shows that your mind has been stretched and twisted, contradicted and challenged, molded and remolded. But you also need to multiply the knowledge you acquired and apply it in the practical world. And for this, you need to preserve your thirst for learning, it should not end after you have earned your degree.
Though, having a degree isn’t enough. Kind-minded but wrong advice says ‘any degree will do’ but choice of subject is an extremely crucial matter. It’s not uncommon to hear people laugh at at subjects like classics and philosophy, questioning their value in the so-called ‘real world.’ These subjects and their kind are taken for learning, intellect, knowledge and understanding. Only those incapable of doing so would resent those who are motivated this way. We seem to have a real problem with people judging a degree for its monetary value and earning power alone.
One should be passionate to learn something new everyday, and he/she should go to college to fulfill this thirst, not just for mere attendance in the class. A college degree will only be fruitful if it is in the area of your interest, and genuine quest for knowledge about that subject. While a classics degree may not have a direct career attached to it in the way medicine does, those who want to learn should be encouraged, not disparaged. After all, as Oscar Wilde said, ‘You can never be overdressed or over-educated.’