A person studied hard to get a first-class degree in Singapore. He sacrificed everything—he didn’t make new friends in school and didn’t join a CCA that can improve his social skill.
Every day, he had focused on getting the A’s. He got it, found a job and realized, five years later, that a diploma holder who is as old as him promotes faster and eventually has a higher salary.
Moral of the story? Don’t go for a degree? Of course not. My premise is simple: You don’t just study the academics in school.
Let’s say you’ve got a degree in human resource; that degree is merely used as a stepping stone into a company. Your training will be shorter as you’ve already learnt all payroll programs, how to interview people and the Singapore labour law. What next would be important—how you work, not what you work.
Once you step into the corporate world, you’ll most likely have a pile of things to do within an unreasonable timeframe. So, how’s that degree going to help you with time management? You’ll most likely need to handle your colleagues, your boss and your clients.
How’s that degree going to help you with social skills?
You’ll fight a urban war in the office. How’s that degree going to prepare you for office politics?
Moral of the story now? It’s the soft skills that you learn during the journey to your degree that is more important.
In schools, it is compulsory to have at least one CCA. That is when you pick up social skills. You would have to go through group projects. That is when you learn how to deal with freeloaders. You would have only weeks to prepare for that dreadful exam, yet still having to go out with friends. That is when you pick up time management skills.
Therefore, if you’re too obsessed with your A’s, you’ll still get them—but you’ll learn merely what is in the textbook. You’ll still get your dream job, but to go to the next level, you’ll find it hard—because that piece of paper can only take you so far.