Does Your Degree Affect Your Future Job?


Everyone sets goals for themselves in order to attain the most important goal of all: to get somewhere in society. Many people believe the only way to get anywhere is to have a good job and to earn a lot of money from it. Nowadays, higher education is becoming a desirable quality employers like to see on their future employees’ applications. How much value does your degree hold in the eyes of your future boss? Opinions of the value of higher education vary from person to person. Personally, I believe a college degree means more to businesses than just having made it through general education.

Mike Rose tells us that “…for [Uncle] Joe the shop floor provided what school did not; it was like schooling, he said, a place where you’re constantly learning,”(Rose 248). Rose goes on to say that there are many things his uncle and mother learned from their jobs that they didn’t need school for. His uncle, after years on the line, was promoted to a managerial position without any education other than high school. Joe learned how to be a good manager through his own experience as a line worker, knowing what employees wanted and needed to do the best job possible.

Joe did not need any more education than what he already had so why is a high school diploma becoming a less important qualification in today’s society? “A good way to make sure you always can find work is to be among the best at what you do,” (Murray 222). Having a certification or degree in some form of higher education is often a deciding factor when determining who is most eligible for a position throughout businesses. Our generation is all about getting as far as you can in your education and now that most jobs require some college schooling it is nearly impossible to “skip out” on continuing into college.

Jobs seem to be more demanding than they used to be because every company want the best people to make them look as good to the public as they can. Employers seek people who have some sort of degree because it means more in terms of what you can provide for the company. Professor Hegeman states “I do believe that earning a college degree in a major that requires significant effort does improve a new graduates’ chances of being hired, regardless of the job,”(Hegeman) Mr. Purtle agrees by saying “[A higher education] shows employers motivation to do the job, and it shows you really want to get somewhere in the world.

It means that you wanted a higher education enough to earn it, so you will earn your place in the job as well,”(Purtle). Most managers want someone for most positions who have some sort of degree because it doesn’t just mean that you know your basic skills. Employees want to know you have a broader range of skills that you could use in the work place. While Hegeman thinks that “…the quality of education (in terms of rigor) at 4-year institutions is significantly better than that provided by community colleges,”(Hegeman).

She also believes that some college is better than no college. Sometimes a degree means a broader range of knowledge and sometimes it shows that you are truly qualified for the position being offered to you. Sometimes if your degree is not for the field you are applying for, a person still has a better chance at getting that second interview than that person carrying around only their high school diploma. For example a student may have a degree in biology and are competing for a job against a person who has been out of high school for nearly a year.

Who is going to be more appealing education wise to a chain restaurant CEO who just opened a new restaurant in town and is looking for a new assistant manager? Whereas the high school graduate has general social skills and the state required general education, graduating with a 3. 5 GPA, the college graduate tends to have better social skills, has taken general education for college as well as high school which broadens the range of knowledge, and has gone the extra mile to get a 3. 5 GPA in college to prove he has learned more than the average citizen.

Liz Addison believes that the community college system is one of the best things America has to offer in terms of higher education (Addison 214). With our whole country trying to get everyone to pursue some sort of college, community college is the way to go for a lot of people. It’s cheaper than most state named colleges and gets you the same general education required for an associate’s degree. Purtle thinks that “…it really depends on the teachers’ abilities to teach at each school. I learned more from my calculus class at maple woods than I did in my calculus class here because my teacher wasn’t a very good teacher here.

I don’t think it matters what you pay so much as it matters what kind teacher you are given,” when it comes to what you actually get in college in terms of knowledge gained. And if given the chance, explaining it to your possible boss tell them about an experience like Mr. Purtle’s. It makes you stand out as an individual, definitely more than just a high school diploma or a GED. As a student myself I also find that having higher education certification as a Certified Nurse’s Assistant (CNA) has helped me with my previous jobs. During high school I also attended a technical school to get my CAN for a better job.

After I applied for a job at a home health care clinic I ended up getting the job instead of the person who just got out of high school but was on her way to college. Technically we could both do the work, but my CNA showed my employer that I could do the job better because I had experience and was approved by the state. That is just one of many examples that made me feel that higher education is important in the work force. Writers Dreifus and Hacker believe “…that college should be a cultural journey, an intellectual expedition, a voyage confronting new ideas and information,” (Dreifus and Hacker 188).

Most good employers realize that your degree does not specifically say what you learned in college along with everything to earn your degree. What employer is really going to tell you that because you have a certain degree, that’s all you learned? Many company owners and business managers recognize that you aren’t bound to only the requirements specified in your degree. This is exactly the reason potential employers are more likely to select their new employee from the pool of people with proof of higher education instead of those who don’t.

You are the absolute center of your own experiences, which is why you should make them good experiences that you learn from and that help you get ahead. I believe a college degree means more to businesses than just having made it through general education. Everyone has their own opinion about what will get them further in the world, but for most of us our employer’s opinions on how much your degree really means is what most determines your money making future.