I've talked about education and how important I've thought it is. I loved every minute I spend in university and I learnt way more that the stuff I read in books. This post is something different, it's for those struggling with changing careers or with building a new one. This post is about deciding how you are going to get to where you want to be, and how to train yourself for the career you WANT, not the one you have. This is about deciding on education for your career and if you want to further your education to get the career you want.
This post is fairly personal, since right now, as I write this I am deciding on what I really and truly want to do with my life. It has been something I've struggled with and continue to struggle with everyday.
The Job Market is Changing: For the Better
We are taught from a young age to get good grades, get a college education and then you will get a good job with a retirement package and health benefits. But, we now live in a world where there are so many more opportunities and ways to make a living. We live in a world where people make their own paths to success and also push boundaries on "typical". I know, I know, there are a lot of older generations that think that millennials or the younger generation are lazy, and don't know how to put in a full day of work. People can't figure out why young people think they are "entitled" to a different way of life. Well the world has changed, and with it careers. Gone are the days of factory, print jobs and careers that require day to day personal interaction. Point blank: my 9-5 can be done just as well remotely as it can sitting at my desk in the office. I also could have learned the majority of the skills I use on a daily basis from Youtube.
Learn From Me: Do I Regret My Degrees?
As much as I think that I could have learned a lot of my skills online, I don't necessarily regret doing my degrees. I think that formal education teaches you way more than watching a Youtube tutorial. Instead, you learn to be professional, to communicate well, you learn from your instructors experience, you get a chance to be graded and learn where you can do better, and the list goes on and on.
But that's not to say that sometimes I don't think that my degrees, particularly my Masters, might have been a waste of money. I think that I spent a small fortune on getting a degree that won't pay off for another ten or so years. This is because landing a job is more than just the piece of paper a prestigious university hands you. It is a combination of your education and your experience, and we are living in a world where experience, skills and knowledge trump that piece of paper you worked so hard to achieve.
The First Few Years of a New Career Are Hard!
In the first couple of years after you graduate, life is hard. You get stuck and pushed down paths you never thought you'd be on, and sometimes you end your work day exhausted, and absolutely hating your life. You will see people all over social media and your LinkedIn profile that will be living the life you want, and that you strive for.
Whether you decide to go back and do another certificate, degree or diploma, or you decide to study on your own through online short courses and tutorials, you are going to have to work your butt off to get the career you want.
How Do You Decide What You Really Want To Do!
It feels like it has been decades since I finished my education, and when you do you feel as though you can take on the world. But then you realize the entire world is there to take you down a peg and push you harder than you ever thought possible.
Sometimes, you have to take a look at what you actually want to do. You might have skills that you have learnt in your formal education that you can really take and adapt to the career that you really want. Education is only the beginning, and even if you decide to do more, you are always going to have learnt something from your first round.
What Does an Education Really Mean?
But, is getting an education the end all be all? Is going to school going to get you to where you want to be? No… Your education needs to be supplemented by real world experience, and often I've been told by working your way through and learning on the job.