Paper qualifications are important in today’s society. Especially in Singapore, there has been an increase in the number of university graduates. In 2010, only 23.7% of the cohort went to university, as compared to 33% in 2020. In an Asian society, paper qualifications remain important, and more people are pursuing college education due to the belief that higher education will lead to a better life.
Let us explore why paper qualifications are important in today’s society.
Firstly, as the workforce becomes more competitive and more people attain degrees, many companies use qualifications to sieve out potential candidates. Therefore, paper qualifications open up more doors of opportunities to people. Especially in the civil service or big companies, a bachelor’s degree is usually required before they would consider the candidate.
Qualifications are also indicative of your work ability. Those who excel in school are likely to make good employees as the skills taught in school are applicable in the workforce. Those who are diligent, hardworking, timely and listen to instructions in school apply the same skills at work. Therefore, employers would be more inclined to hire those with good paper qualifications.
However, paper qualifications are insufficient to guarantee a career. A degree is only the entry to a job. It allows employers to gauge how competent a candidate is, but it does not show a candidate’s true working ability. Soft skills, the ability to navigate a complex working world and to apply knowledge taught in school remain important in helping individuals succeed at their careers.
There are also examples of many college dropouts who went on to become highly successful in life. For example, Bill Gates and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, are both college dropouts. Indeed, a college education may equip an individual with technical skills and knowledge, but not creativity, innovation or business acumen.
Ultimately, paper qualifications are good to have, but they do not determine your future. They may be a springboard to a stable job for most people, and also a certain amount of social status, but you would need to possess other skills, such as the ability to work hard, innovation, high EQ and creativity in order to succeed.