We’re pleased to see more employers, such as Penguin and Ernst & Young, dropping the requirement to have a degree from their job adverts. For years, many top employers refused to accept applications from people who had not been to university. However, with the implementation of tuition fees and improvements in vocational training such as apprenticeships, it seems like now is time for a change, and part of that comes down to employers recognising that you can have career success without a university degree.
This move by employers certainly helps offer a boost to vocational training and a renewed culture of on-the-job training and career growth. With graduates struggling to find appropriate work, many are forced to take entry-level jobs and work their way up – wasting not just three years of potential work-place experience, but also thousands of pounds in tuition fees. Added to this are new ways of getting into careers that previously required a degree – such as with apprenticeships for the legal profession.
That said, working your way up in your career, whether with a degree or not, requires effort on your part. You need to make sure you stand out, which means bringing your ‘A-game’ to the job every day. Accepting responsibility, helping others, networking across departments, and seeing the bigger (company) picture beyond your own job are all good pieces of advice. So is smiling – being friendly and personable will get you further than moaning your way through the working day.
These are all things that you can do to impress regardless of how many qualifications you have managed to achieve. Plus, there is nothing to stop you learning more about your job, dream career, or employment sector – especially if you are already working there!
As time goes on, and your skills and experience increase, whether you hold a degree often becomes less important.
As you continue through your career your education may take a back-seat to your experience, but that shouldn’t mean you should stop learning. This might be training at work, or even just doing some reading in your spare time to improve your vocabulary, knowledge, and even creativity. Try to mix your reading between fiction and non-fiction where you can too.
Some people find a mentor (or more than one) who can help guide them through their career. This needn’t be someone at your work, as some people find inspiration from reading books or following the career of a celebrity they admire.
While surrounding yourself with positive influences is good, you should also be wary of negative people. Avoid hanging around people who just complain about their workload, they won’t do anything to boost your motivation and improve you in your work. Instead of complaining and shirking your duties you want to jump at new opportunities and chances.
A degree is not needed for any of these ways to get ahead at work and impress. Of course, there are some professions and companies that still require you to have a degree, but it is always worth looking at your options, such as taking a sponsored degree, or distance learning. There is also nothing to say that you can’t go and study later if you feel the urge.
Overall, it is good to see that a degree is becoming less of a must-have qualification for many employers and that there is more of a choice when it comes to accessing different careers– especially considering the cost of university tuition fees!