During our readings, one certain sentence hit home. Charles Murray stated, “a bachelor’s degree in a field such as sociology, psychology, economics, history or literature certifies nothing,” and I’m starting to believe he may be right. One year from now, I will possess a diploma certifying my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Lately, I’ve been thinking of what I would do during a potential gap year before continuing my education, and I have come to the realization that my specific degree probably won’t get me too far in the work force. I will be “over-qualified” for a substantial amount of jobs available, including the one I currently hold, which is definitely nice to say and is accompanied with an accomplished feeling. However, I will also be under-qualified to begin a career that will specifically utilize and reflect four years packed with intensive pre-health science courses and various psychology credits.
Many employers who use a college degree simply as a “screening device” should reconsider hiring requirements and the pressure to obtain a college degree in order to be successful should not be imposed on every young adult. Sufficient training and a strong interest in a certain line of work can compensate for a college diploma as a hiring requirement, especially in the technology field. If our society took a different approach on college degrees, it would save many people a lot of time and money and like my case – feeling stuck with a non-applicable degree.
I have always known that college is not for everyone and have seen many individuals build successful lives without obtaining a degree. However, the idea of having a degree “certify nothing” is a newer, more puzzling concept I’m still trying to grasp. Maybe fewer people than we thought actually need to go to college.