How to Rise to the Top in Your Career: Build Your Skills, Not Just Your Degrees

Knowledge is power, paper is paper!

Those university degrees more or less render us incapable of standing up to the challenging trends of modern business. Except we identify the relevant ones.

The world of business and employment is fast changing but the mentality of many simply refuses to change.
From time immemorial, the undue significance that’s attached to accumulating strings of academic qualifications and certificates has often failed to justify its superiority. Don’t get me wrong, education is essential for success in any field but it’s not just all about pilling papers upon papers. It’s about developing relevant skills.

I think the obsessive knack for academic and professional qualifications stems from the misguided policies of many nations which venerate certificates like visas to the Pearly Gate in the heavens. Then, until recently when our eyes are becoming clearer, employers of labor have been blinded with the alluring dazzles of glowing degrees and diplomas.

Like the true businessmen that they are, schools and colleges keep introducing newer and newer academic programs. Because the market is too large! Wouldn’t you cash in on the folly if you were them?
But, there’s a huge shift in the paradigm now. Your success in the corporate world is no more premised on how ‘educated’ you are but on how skilled you are.

We’ve fallen into this trap all along because we misunderstand the meaning of the statement ‘education is power’. Education isn’t just going to universities but the accumulation of knowledge and skills. What sell now are skills, not papers.

Let’s show some reasons why your intimidating degrees may not be too intimidating after all.

The Gulf Between Academia and The Real World. We knew this even before now but the wide variance is just getting more glaring this century. It isn’t an overstatement to say that many of our revered lecturers can never fit into the corporate world. Because they don’t know jack about work.

It’s fun and interesting to stand before a group of naïve fellows and dish out archaic and irrelevant theories and postulates. But it’s not fun at all to catch up with the challenges of the fast changing global labor market where technology is revolutionizing all aspects of business. So, bagging degrees is not the ace to play in this age but a conscious effort at learning through different media and forums.
Degrees Can Be Bought. Degrees can be bought in either of two ways. You can make an outright purchase of certificates. Don’t be surprised that this is a very possible phenomenon. Let’s recollect how many degrees have been invalidated by the supposed awarding institutions. This has sent a sinister signal to employers and they are not often impressed anymore.

The other way is more subtle. You can buy your way through school. You were a legitimate student of the institution but a good number of your ‘passed’ courses were paid for either in cash or in kind or both. This has set the working world wary of what we dangle before them.

Examinations Don’t Really Test Knowledge. The days of groans and sleepless nights on trying to vomit what lecturers had drummed into our skulls always come to memory. But the truth is that what we got from those examinations doesn’t really give an accurate indication of our capability. Too many paper heroes abound.

The Internet is agog with useful information that teaches things that will never be taught in colleges. Trainings and workshops are organized regularly.

What we need now is to develop our capabilities, not just jumping from one postgraduate degree to another.
We need to learn more and develop on our jobs, we need to perfect our skills.
Three skills are at the forefront at the moment. They are people skill, analytic skill and technology skill.

It’s high time we dedicated out effort to these three and stop wasting months and resources on irrelevant theories that add nothing to our capability advantage.

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About Taiwo Adeyemi

Taiwo Adeyemi a passionate and inspirational freelance writer. A motivational speaker and a blogger. He holds a bachelor degree in Business Administration with experiences in finance, teaching, public speaking, writing and music. His passion for inspirational writing and speaking has seen him publish a book Ideas: From Nest to Transformation. He is putting finishing touches to a second one. Contact him. 09097348380

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