I can vividly remember my principal in college saying, “Study to be knowledgeable and not merely educated.”
Until then, I had never really thought of the purpose of studying. Why do we go to schools or college?
Starting from 3 years old, one starts its formal education. Playgroup, montessori, primary schooling, secondary and higher secondary schooling and then to college and university, more than 15 years of life passes by going to schools, colleges or universities in order to study, develop, grow and groom oneself. In each level, one is certified through marking/grading which is a proof of being educated with the basic motive of being able to live and lead a good life. However, very few educated ones make it to live and lead a good life. And, those who have this, they belong to the group of educated and knowledgeable.
William Deresiewicz has quoted, “The true purpose of education is to make minds and not careers”. In contradiction, we have a pre-conceived notion that good grades and education degrees lead to a successful career. The pre-conceived notion often becomes an expectation which when unfulfilled becomes a primary cause of distress among many graduates as they step into their professional life.
Studies by the Confederation of British Industry in 2011 found out that employers not only look for academic success but employability skills that includes an ability to solve problems and understand the business environment, teamwork, time, people management and so on. Also, top 10 skills in 2020 include complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgment and decision making, service orientation, negotiation and cognitive flexibility (Source: Future of Jobs report, World Economic Forum).
Skills are needed to grow in life. As Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba said in his recent talks in the World Economic Forum, “We need to be teaching our children soft skills- values, independent thinking, teamwork and care for others.” Thus, moving with the demands of future, it is very important to equip ourselves with the skills and not only degree. This is bound to increase the chance of being more productive exponentially.
By: Anusha Kadel