In a country like Singapore where education is compulsory, leading to stiff competition amongst the students, it is no wonder that a qualification doesn’t really account for much these days. Everyone is constantly harping on about how important a good qualification is, and how it will guarantee success in life. Unfortunately, this has since changed and people are now starting to incline towards a life that is well-balanced. For one, “success” is a rather relative term for people and could mean many different things. For the sake of this article, let’s simplify it and say success is having a satisfactory job that brings you fulfilment, enough money and you being in an overall state of happiness.
In the past, there may have been a time when a good qualification guaranteed a great job in turn leading to good money and a life that is more or less secured. Today, many youths are holding on to this idea and thinking that it will get them far. Job seekers graduating from university expect at high starting pay, great work-life balance, health benefits and even a guaranteed career growth. These job seekers expect that they would be wanted in the market because of a piece of paper that shows just how “accomplished” they are.
On the other hand, there exist people who choose a degree to specialise in because the market looks lucrative or has been identified as prestigious in society. Such jobs include courses such as law, medicine and even accountancy, jobs that have long ago established a sense of job security amongst individuals. Now even worse than this is people who sell themselves out by working in a job that they are not passionate about. It may have started out as something they were keen at, but before long, they realise just how incompatible they are with their career, yet factors such as money or incentives keep them glued in their position.
Before you can understand how a good qualification will not lead to success, you have to understand one thing: Happiness, fulfilment and a whole lot of other factors determine your success. It’s not your job, or how much pay you are getting that will make you successful, but rather the terms you set for yourself. Take some time to think about what you truly value in life. Once you have a vague idea, only then can you go about making the right choices. Qualifications are good for one thing - that is to propel you towards the direction you want to go. Having a good qualification in something you are not interested in will do absolutely nothing for you.
This is why planning is so important. You must have a plan and be realistic about it. Coming out fresh from grad school will not get you into a top tier company, drawing a high pay. You’d have to continue working hard and working according to your plan that you have set out for yourself. In this way, you wouldn’t waste your time chasing a wrong specialisation, much less choose a career that you are not passionate about.