The need for university degree: USA and Indonesia compared

Is a university degree really necessary?

Yes and no.

Yes, because they provide the necessary theories for one in a particular knowledge discipline.

No, because it doesn't guarantee that you could find a job in real-life... and apply them for real.

Today's society -both Western and Eastern alike- have put too much value on university degrees that they consider them tantamount to apply for a decent white-collar job.

Now the lingering question remains:

Does graduating from a so-called top university guarantee someone to have a steady job with good salary?

Not always.

Perhaps a lot of Indonesians are already aware that a couple of weeks back, we had a news showing a large number of UI (University of Indonesia) graduates coming to a recent job fair in Jakarta... and it was a quite dismal news indeed.

What does it mean to enrol in a top university if you're not guaranteed a job after you've graduated?

Apparently, this is not a uniquely Indonesian case.

Although it was dubbed one of the best MBA institutions in the world, Harvard Business School does not guarantee you a job either. Take a look at this:

After many job applications, dozens of interviews and a series of rejections (McKinsey & Co.) from employers he didn't reject first (Google), Delves Broughton comes up empty-handed. (``You went to Harvard Business School and couldn't find a job?'' he imagines people thinking when they meet him.)

As is obvious to all of us, we were born to be humans, not robots. We were born to do things instead of receiving all those theory inputs.

Indonesian schools, in my opinion, only consist of 90% theory and 10% practice. To my observation, most Indonesian public schools only conduct their science laboratorium experiments (at most) once a month.

What a disheartening figure.

Does this mean that educational system in western countries are any better than their Indonesian counterparts?

Well, a bit.

One Western feature notedly absent in Indonesian academic institutions is the fact that the Indonesian students rarely (or in some cases, never) get their hands on the ability to think critically.

Nevertheless, it does not mean that American school values is flawless.

American institutions, IMHO, consist of 50% theory and 50% practice; and this figure is not so much different from the Indonesian ones.

The fact remains that to gain the real-life skills, we should constantly expose ourselves to education that consist of 10% theory and 90% practice.

If you want to see the major flaw of American education, you should read the book by Robert Kiyosaki titled Rich Dad, Poor Dad. Kiyosaki asserted there that real-life education is more about earning your money and manage it wisely by investment and savings, instead of studying in the classrooms.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not speaking against academic education here.I just don't think that university degree should be truly irreplaceable to land oneself a good job.

In complete deference to the societal needs notwithstanding, I would still pursue my own bachelor's degree. It's not me who requires that degree though, but my future employers. Because I know they just won't budge into hiring anyone without a degree.

In the end, it's just a matter of no choice here, gee-hee.

As a closing note, John Mayer has got it attuned to today's blog entry of mine with his song "No Such Thing":

So the good boys and girls take the so called right track
Faded white hats
Grabbing credits and
Maybe transfers
They read all the books but they can't find the answers
And all of our parents
They're getting older
I wonder if they've wished for anything better
While in their memories
Tiny tragedies

They love to tell you
Stay inside the lines
But something's better
On the other side....

Bijuk  – (11 August 2008 at 11:04)  

very well written, and I completely agree. Somehow in Indonesia, university degree is not enough, a big luck and occasional "kkn" shall play some parts

toshi  – (15 August 2008 at 11:27)  

@bijuk: hey thanx! :)

yep, apart from the degree, we also need good "networks" to land ourselves a good job.

ironically, in some cases there are those who have the "connection" but no college degrees. We can see bunch of them taking a nap in Gedung DPR these days....

Such a sad irony, hmm?

Post a Comment

  © Blogger template Shush by 2009

Back to TOP