Is it really the college degree you are lacking?

image by Nazarene College

Every once in awhile, I get a call from a prospective client who tells me that after 15, 20, 25, or more years, they lost their job and they think it is because their company wants people with college degrees.

Let me be clear, I think higher education is important and I think that there are some occupations that need a degree because of specific skill sets or knowledge base that you need to perform the job. I often wonder if the lack of degree is the only reason someone lost their job if they have worked there for many years.

Companies let people go for many reasons:

  1. The first of which is simple economics. When someone is in a job for a long time, just by being there, the wages are higher than starting with a new hire. Most companies give cost of living increases even if you stay in the same position. Cost of benefits also go up as the individual is with the company. As we age, the cost of health care generally rises.
  2. Then there is your attitude. If you start letting your attitude go sour such as asserting that you are always right, you may put yourself in a position of being let go.
  3. One important reason some people are terminated is because they fail to take action to improve their skills. This is what I think about when I hear someone say they are looking for someone with a college degree. I have known many top executives who were a stunning success but they never had a degree. What they did have though is the ability to be a life-long learner. As I said above, higher education is important but even more important is the willingness to keep learning.

Critical Lifelong Learning Skills

The world is rapidly passing some people by because they are afraid to touch a computer. No matter whether you have that college degree or not, you need to keep current on cutting edge technology. In 5 Basics to help you make a career move, I gave you 5 things I think are essential for your career search. Four out of the five involved computers.

Let’s say you have a job that you have done well for 20 years but you have done it manually. Now the company has decided to put in technology to make the process work better. You don’t know how computers work and you certainly don’t think you are going to learn this new process.

If you think about it, it wasn’t the lack of the degree, it was the lack of the desire to continue learning and this can happen whether or not you have the degree. My advice? Make computer learning a goal. Buy a laptop or PC or MAC if you prefer and consider it an investment in your continuing learning. Your career success may depend on it.

Stuck in your job search or existing position? Don’t know how to get unstuck? Hire an expert to do it for you. You will hit your target much more quickly and be doing what you do best instead of trying to figure your way through the job search maze. To find out how, Click here!

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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You may be halfway across the country or the world. When you work with me, we share coffee, laughs, and concerns. This turns the scary job search into creative, consultative writing and learning sessions.