While a university degree is something to be proud of and definitely holds value, it’s all about what you do in the real world once the graduation caps come off.
Seriously, nobody cares about your undergrad successes, scholarships, or where you went to school.
Yes, even if you went to Harvard.
Here are 9 reasons why:
1. University Isn’t Real Life
It’s true that for some, university is a financial struggle and balancing part-time jobs with school isn’t easy. But it’s nothing like the dose of real life that happens upon graduation. University is a safe holding tank from the real world – one where sleeping until 10am on a Wednesday is just as acceptable as back-to-back (to back) nights out Thursday-Saturday. Just because you can handle university life like a champ doesn’t mean you’ll do so well in real life. Profs don’t care if you’re hungover – bosses definitely do.
2. You’re Still Mentally a Kid in University
Let’s be honest; you can’t take most of what you did before the age of 23 seriously (or, maybe even 25, for that matter). You did things then you wouldn’t imagine ever doing now, complete with a lifestyle full of Kraft Dinner, a little trouble-making, frequent calls to the parents, and a trunk of barely-there costumes for every occasion possible.
3. Your Real Life Reputation Matters More than Your University Reputation
If you’re more than a few years out of university, you know that a “party girl” or “player” university rep can be easily salvaged with inevitable real world maturity and an accumulation of life experiences. Your adult reputation isn’t so forgivable or easy to fix. At the same token, we’ve seen some of the squeaky clean, over-achieving university types take a quick downward spiral within years of graduation.
4. Some People Who Went to the Best Schools Are the Biggest Failures
Just because you went to a good school and were a good student back in the day it doesn’t mean you’re succeeding in life. The university bragging rights disappear the first year into your entry-level position – if you can even find one. We know more than a few people who went to some of Canada’s best universities and are not exactly “winning” in life and the career front. And so do you.
5. Some of the Most Successful People Don’t Have Degrees
On the other hand, some of the world’ s most successful people don’t have a university degree. Among those who never completed university are Matt Mullenweg (who started DropBox), Mark Zuckerberg (who dropped out of Harvard to work at Facebook full-time), Pete Cashmore (who started Mashable at 19), and Oprah, who was a dropout of Tennessee State University. And yeah, they all seem to be doing ok…
6. Practical Workplace Skills Are Not Always Learned in University
Anyone who is over 30-years-old with an arts undergraduate degree can tell you that very little of the theories, stats, and case studies learned within the confines of a textbook were actually applicable once you entered the workplace. Especially in our culture of entrepreneurs and startups, many classic institutions simply didn’t teach us the skills we need for the workplace in undergrad.
7. Your Major Doesn’t Matter
Along the same line of the lack of practical work experience, for most of us, our major doesn’t matter aside from something to talk about on a first date. How many people you know (aside from the doctors and the dentists) are actually working in a career that reflects their university major? Especially if you’re over 30 (accounting for job and career changes), odds are, not many.
8. The Workplace is Constantly Evolving
Even if you consider yourself to have had more of a hands-on university experience, the workplace is evolving so quickly – from brand-new professions to tools and technology – that a university degree alone holds little significance as a proxy for employers to assess your abilities. Your award-winning campaign or major client deal at your last job impresses much more than the fact that you went to McGill or Queen’s back in the day.
9. University Takes Up Little Resume Real Estate
Even on your resume, your university degree takes a backseat to your practical experience, usually confined to one or two bullet points. The bulk of your resume, rather, is spent on your work experience and achievements since graduating. Few employers care about your university or your GPA – they care about your practical work experience and how you can add value to their company. Period.
Lastly, let’s put it this way: do you even remember the names of half the people who lived on your residence floor?