Post-secondary education

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Many people enter post-secondary education with an idea that when they finish, they will be able to get a job that pays a lot and will be able to live a good life. This isn’t always the case, and we need to make sure that the programs we’re taking actually make sense and give us employable skills.

In the real world, most people get jobs and further their careers based on experiences. Except for a few specific professionals (dentist, medical doctor, lawyer, etc.), a college degree is not always required to achieve success. We need to keep this in mind when we’re looking at post-secondary education programs. I’ve seen peers of mine go through college or university and come out the other side with no more employable skills than the average person. This is mainly because of their area of study. Majoring in English language, for example, does not significantly help you when you’re trying to get a job in finance. Having a degree in Computer IT hardware repair isn’t going to give you an edge when you’re looking for that systems admin position.

In reality, it is experience that counts before anything else. What have you done. What have you been paid to do. What have you been employed for in the past. Yes, degrees, diplomas and certifications are nice, but they are absolutely no replacement for experience.

I’m certainly not advocating skipping post-secondary education altogether, absolutely not. I think there are benefits and value to it, but we really need to be careful with what programs we enroll into. The most ridiculous thing I’ve seen is a diploma in “Computer Science IT mainstream help desk repair”. Yeah, good luck getting a job with that thing if you’re ever scrutinized by anyone that knows 2 things about the IT world.

Remember, the only people we can count on to make sure we’re making the right choices are ourselves. Do your due diligence and ensure that your post-secondary education will actually give you tangible skills and help you land a real job, instead of just leaving you with a pile of steaming debt.

Author

Martin Lehner

Martin Lehner is an technology professional working for an IT services firm in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). He has been working in the technology field for over a decade. With a degree in Business Admin and numerous industry certifications, Martin leads a team of IT professionals that provide third party support for clients. Originally starting a company to offer web development services, Martin quickly realized that clients wanted the entire spectrum of technology services. When Martin is not at work (which is not often, since his company offers 24/7 support), he is busy at home spending time with his family.

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