Should I Finish My Degree or Should I Dropout?
“Dropout of college. You don’t need a degree. It’s the logical thing to do. Continuing further will be sunken cost”
These are the kinds of messages published and marketed by EdTech companies in India that have their own non-degree programs for sale. One of these companies that encourages dropping out incidentally has their own alternative MBA program. You may have also witnessed this message from education influencers prominent among young adults looking for an advantage.
Ironically, all of these influencers have degrees of their own too.
For any young folks in college who may come across this message, please do not dropout unless you have extenuating circumstances.
- Finish your undergrad degree.
- Take on side-gigs if you wish.
- And then do whatever the heck you want after you graduate.
P.S. This message is targeted primarily at young adults in India. If you are reading from the US or anywhere else where the cost of education can put you in debt for several years, this advice is NOT for you.
But Skills > Degrees Right?
Yes, the startup world and a few new-age companies are slowly moving towards skills > degrees, but these companies aren’t the whole world. They are a tiny microcosm of the vast employer opportunities that are waiting out there for you.
As of today, a degree is still mandatory in many companies. Not having one can mean you are at a disadvantage when compared to an equally good candidate who HAS a degree AND great skills.
Limited Business Travel Without a Degree
Even for foreign travel or migration in future, degrees give you plus points for visas.
- New Zealand.
- You name it.
I have literally submitted immigration appeals abroad because I was hiring expatriates when the government insisted I should be hiring locally. Their position was that the foreign candidates were comparable to their citizens, and degrees were the differentiator in the appeal.
Degrees may not be relevant or prove your capabilities, but degrees are still a serious part of the ecosystem.
Finally, don’t be surprised if your future in-laws ask why a 12th pass wants to marry their child.
Within the context of jobs, your skills do matter. But degrees have real world impact because of the status driven world we live in. Don’t ignore that nuance.