Riya Tandon, The Economic Times

Myth Debunking 101: A higher education degree = A hefty paycheck

A recent article By Riya Tandon, posted at The Economics Times talks about the modern job market, the belief that higher education guarantees higher earnings is being challenged. While degrees can open doors initially, they don't guarantee long-term salary growth. Continuous learning and adaptability are crucial in rapidly evolving industries. Industries like technology and digital marketing prioritize skills and practical experience over formal education.

Since childhood, one common belief many have is that the more degrees you acquire, the more will be your earning capacity. While the power of higher learning is indisputable, there is no guarantee that it has a correlation with high salary packages.

So does having a higher education degree still hold relevance in the current employment landscape that continues to evolve and where the skill requirement changes every other day? Maybe we should be speaking about skills instead of degrees alone in today's circumstances. This is why it is important to debunk some myths around this topic and get some clarity.

Is a higher education degree necessary to experience salary growth?

While a higher education degree can open doors to initial opportunities and potentially higher starting salaries, it is not the sole determinant of long-term salary growth, says Krishna Kumar, CEO, Learnbay, an upskilling platform.

The rapid pace at which industries are evolving clearly indicates that the skills requirements of today might change tomorrow. Therefore, he says continuous learning and adaptability are equally, if not more, meaningful.

The key here is to focus on acquiring degrees and investing in lifelong learning to remain relevant and achieve sustained salary growth.

Industries and roles in which an individual's skills hold a greater value

In Kumar's opinion, skills and practical experience often precede formal education in technology, digital marketing and creative fields. Talking about roles, he lists software development, digital marketing specialists and graphic designers as some of the professions that value the ability to perform tasks effectively, innovative thinking and staying abreast of the latest trends and technologies. These sectors are more inclined to evaluate an individual's portfolio, work experience and skill set during the hiring process rather than just their educational background, according to him.

Can certifications or upskilling programmes be dependable alternatives for higher education degrees for salary growth?

Certifications and upskilling programmes are undoubtedly getting recognised as valuable alternatives to traditional higher education degrees, says Kumar. This is even more so in fast-evolving fields like information technology, digital marketing and project management.

Courses that are strategically curated to provide practical, up-to-date skills that are directly applicable to current job markets are highly favored, sometimes even over higher education degrees. Such courses can be especially useful for professionals looking to pivot their careers or gain expertise in specific areas, thereby enhancing their growth opportunities and potential for salary increases, he explains.

Strategies that can help individuals maximize their earning capacity

Individuals should focus on continuously upskilling to stay relevant in their industry. Kumar suggests professionals network extensively to uncover opportunities; seek mentorship for guidance and insights; aim for roles in high-growth sectors; and, most importantly, negotiate effectively for salary increases. Additionally, developing soft skills such as leadership, communication and problem-solving can significantly enhance one's value to employers, further boosting the earning potential.

It wouldn't be wrong to say that a higher education degree can widen your spectrum of knowledge and increase your chances for a better pay structure. But in the end, it's your ability to stay relevant through constant learning and upskilling that can ensure professional growth.

Read more at https://economictimes.indiatimes.com//jobs/fresher/myth-debunking-101-a-higher-education-degree-a-hefty-paycheck/articleshow/108451210.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst