Does an Academic Degree Guarantee Professional Success?
Success is a crucial aspect of many people’s lives because it translated to mean that a person has been able to achieve their key goals and objectives. Moreover, success is associated with the creation of a collaborative environment where the individual is in a position to improve their economic as well social status. The modern society’s definition of success has been a force behind the increased pursuit of academic degrees, with the rationale being that the degrees will eventually help the individual to acquire good and well paying jobs. These well-paying jobs are associated with success in professional lives, which then leads to improvement of an individual’s overall socioeconomic position.
However, the big question still lingers in a lot of people’s minds. Does an academic degree really guarantee success in an individual’s professional life? Lots of discussions surrounding the topic have been taken place, with many people claiming that one does not require an academic degree to be professionally successful. An equally large number claim that for an individual to be professionally successful, they need to have pursued an academic degree in one field, or another.
Arguments for Requirement of an Academic Degree fir Professional Success
It has been argued that professional success is possible even without the need for an academic degree. However, it is continually becoming clear that earning an education matters a great deal. As time moves by, an undergraduate degree is increasingly not adequate to land a person the desired, solid, well paying career of the future. Experts say that this needs a graduate degree.
With some individuals being lifelong learners, personal growth is one of the reasons behind the need for an academic degree. The insatiable desire to add onto their reservoir of knowledge and academically challenge themselves offers them an opportunity to develop their minds. Acquiring an academic degree offers greater opportunities for employment. In lots of career sectors including higher education administration, social services and public affairs among others, the minimum requirement of a master’s degree is gradually replacing the bachelor’s degree. While this may not be a guarantee for ultimate success, it surely opens additional opportunities for employment.
Persistence, intellectual prowess, the ability to handle challenging environments and determination are evidenced when an individual earns an academic degree. These qualities are often sought after in instances of filling top executive positions. For this reason, acquiring an academic degree places an individual in a much better position for career development. Financial rewards should not be left out when considering the concept of professional success. Any successful or aspiring academic graduate would be considered unwise if they did not factor in the return on investment for their education. According to the US Census Bureau, workers aged between 21 and 64 years, with a master's degree or higher earn an average annual salary of $55,242. On the other hand, those with a bachelor's degree earn and average annual salary of $42,877. This represents close to a 30percent difference in average annual salary between the two groups. Additional arguments behind supporting the need for an academic degree in order to be professionally successful are the sense of accomplishment and greater recognition and credibility.
Arguments Against the Requirement of an Academic Degree for Professional Success
Despite the factors advocating the need for an academic degree to be professionally successful, it is also true does not guarantee success in professional. For starters, a degree is not a reflection of an individual’s character, skill, ambition or even their competency. Throughout history, lots of individuals have progressed and succeeded professionally through their intelligence and capability. For instance, Walt Disney successfully built an entertainment empire despite the fact that he did not graduate from high school, leave a university degree alone. This acts as proof that an academic degree only provides but a small subset of knowledge.
The definition of professional success goes hand in hand with integrity, choices, vision and self-discipline. In one’s professional life, success means that one can perform extra work that is beyond their routine tasks. An individual that is in a professional environment must be in a position to demonstrate the vast number of skills including teamwork, intelligence, interpersonal skills, professionalism, planning skills, organizational skills and management among others. Apparently, these do not come hand in hand with an academic degree. These are skills vital for succession in one’s professional environment, though the important fact is that they can be learned through practice at the workplace.
Many professions that people have excelled in including military, entrepreneurship, trade school and technical professions among others do not require academic degrees. A person with high skills in vocational and technical training can perform at different levels of their work environment without necessarily having a professional degree. Numerous industries are always in need for highly qualified mechanics, welders, electricians, and plumbers.