We’ve all heard the countless stories of billionaires dropping out of college and becoming the world’s most successful people, so I’m definitely not going to bore you with those same, old, tired anecdotes — in short, college can’t measure a person’s aptitude or attitude; so some believe college is “useless”. But, and here’s the big but; some employers “prefer” candidates who hold a diploma because it does prove the following things to the decision-makers in human resources:
Navigating today’s college environment is a minefield. Sure, counselors do exist, but jumping through all of those academic hoops (for the sake of “rigor”) is incredibly frustrating. If you have the fortitude to make it through all of the heartache, then it definitely proves that you are (at the very least) trainable.
You Can Commit to Something
For most, it takes four years to finish a BA or BS degree, so recruiters and HR managers take that into consideration when selecting candidates. Completing college does prove you have enough capability to make it through the rat maze. After all, you have to dot every “i” and cross every “t” or you can’t graduate. You need to have, for example, thick skin to put up with uncooperative members of your group projects, just as you would in a real-world work environment.
You Can Be Organized
Going to college has never been a walk in the park, but in today’s age – because of all the cutbacks – it’s more difficult than ever. Fewer classes are available, for example, so students must be hyper-organized and manage their courses carefully. Your graduating depends on it. In today’s “multi-tasking” environments, being organized is an important aspect of meeting your obligations to employers.
You Can Use Technology
It’s impossible to pass college if you’re not familiar with technology; students today are immersed in it. For example, when investigating journals for essays, students need to use a number of not-so-easy database systems to find their research, and then cite that work in their papers and present it all in a multimedia PowerPoint presentation to their class. And, when doing “group work,” it will often require use of virtual platforms for collaboration – just as teams would do in corporate America.
You Can Write (Hopefully)
Even if you’re a student that does the bare minimum just to get by, going to college will absolutely improve writing skills – but especially if you actually take your studies seriously and go for honor roll. Reading all of the “academic” writing in the text books, as well as engrossing yourself in peer-reviewed journals written by “prestigious” doctoral candidates, is going to make your writing skills better. Even the most relaxed professors aren’t going to let you get away with sub-standard essays when you report your findings. So employers, simply put, want employees who can write; and candidates who hold a college degree, on average, write better than those who don’t.
You Can Meet Deadlines & Work Under Pressure
College is all about deadlines and working under pressure, especially during finals week. Missing your deadline could mean not passing a class or graduating, so the stakes are high. Today’s work environments, in many industries, have strict deadlines as well. College trains candidates, to some extent, to be ready for real-world scenarios.
You’ve Got Patience
I, for one, found college to be very frustrating because of all the bureaucracy. Of course there were days that I wanted to scream and just say “eff” this and quit – but I didn’t; I stuck with it. If college is, in fact, truly “worthless,” it does actually prove one thing: patience. If someone has the diligence, composure and endurance to finish college, then it does prove something to hiring managers about the character of the person applying for the job. All jobs require patience because demands from employers are more rigorous than ever.
I already know what you’re going to say; I’m going to get bombarded with emails that say there are people with master’s degrees that can’t even mow their own lawns because they don’t know how to turn on the mower. And, I know, you’re right. But the stark reality is that the job market is so over-saturated with candidates that even entry-level jobs can require a BA degree just to get the interview; and since the software sorts out resumes that don’t have a degree, great candidates do get passed-over.
Believe me when I tell you that recruiters and HR teams wish they had the manpower to review each and every resume and interview every candidate we think would have a shot, but the fact is that limited time and tight budgets prevent us from doing that. Further, employers put policies in place that sometimes prevent us from making the kind of decisions we’d like to make when hiring. It’s not HR’s fault; it’s the world we live in.