Sunday, October 14, 2012

Thanksgiving Challenge #13: All in a day's work.

I recently read an article from Time Magazine's Newsfeed that intrigued me.  You can read it here: And the world's most educated country is...(thanks to Kathleen for sharing.)

It congratulates Canada for being the most educated country in the world. Amazingly enough, in ten short years, our post-secondary education has gone from 40% (of what I assume is the "adult" population) to 51%.  These numbers are remarkable, and place us a full 5% above our nearest competition. 

I loved being a student. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
However, as happy as I am to think of all the Canadians taking advantage of our phenomenal higher learning opportunities, a part of me reads this article with a critical, skeptical eye. 

For almost every pro, there is an equal and distinct con. 

Every year, I am growing more concerned by what appears to be a gap between university graduate job seekers and careers requiring this type of education.  I am witnessing many of my peers take on pseudo-"professional student" career paths, many extending their student years well beyond a decade. Eventually, most come out as highly qualified and successful doctors, lawyers and PHDs. However, a significant minority comes out with a lot of paper and no clear career direction in the slightest.  

I personally know at least a dozen university grads who are struggling to find gainful employment in *any* field, let alone one related to their education.  Others keep themselves stuck in dead end jobs because they don’t want to take a pay cut or a job that is beneath them.

The reality is that a bachelor's degree is no longer an "asset". It is par for the course, and doesn't carry the same weight as it used to. So don't expect an $80k starting salary just because you did well in school- those days are gone. You are now competing with the remaining 50% of the population that is just as- if not more- educated than you are. 

So my thanksgiving post today goes to my parents, who taught me the very important lesson of hard work. I was raised knowing that, if I wanted to succeed in my career, I would have to claw my way there. It would not be enough to simply have an education. I would need to prove that I had grown as an employee and had skills beyond acing exams. 

I have never struggled to find a good job, and have found excellent career mobility everywhere I went.  But my "path" hasn't always been a straight line, and I've had to work in jobs that seemed "beneath my education" as I built up my experience.  

And this is exactly what I needed to do to succeed in the long run. 

I can't take credit for my work philosophy. It’s the result of being raised with strong values of work ethic, reliability, seizing every opportunity, and having patience.  Without these,  I’d be lost, degree or no degree.

Word Count: 498

This is post is part of the October Thanksgiving Challenge. I will post a new Thank You blog post every day during the month of October. I encourage you to follow Kevin, the mastermind of this challenge at and fellow blogger Natasha at And, if you're up to it, consider doing your own challenge, big or small, to remind yourself to focus on the many blessings in your life.  I've also added a slight 'writing' component to this month's challenge: No posts are to exceed 500 words.  

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