Is it the Recession?....Is it a case of wrong Degree, wrong time?....Has the Value of the Degree Commoditized (as a result of the fact that a great many British young adults are now graduates)?
All three hold water, I suspect!
But wot beats me, is the fact that throughout history, so many-many people have achieved mega-achievements without so much as a University degree, and sometimes without much education at all.
Can you think of any???....There are loads.
- For starters, the obvious protagonists: Richard Branson (who left school with very little credentials, got himself a criminal record for tax evasion at age 17) and now founder/owner of Virgin Group, with a capital worth of $25-Billion. Then there’s Lord Alan Sugar (who left school to sell TV Aerials and Yo-Yos), he’s now 800-million quid better off. And of course Bill Gates (who flunked out of Uni) founded M.S and became one of the wealthiest men on the planet.
- What about the 2 boys who went to a rough secondary comprehensive school in Liverpool, who were often chucked out the Music class for being disruptive, and dismally failed their ‘O’ Level Music exam? Well, Paul McCartney and George Harrison have done fairly well, haven’t they?
- There was a small girl who had very hard time at school. Daughter to a tough market stallholder and laundrywoman, who died quite young. She then spent years in a deprived orphanage. Only, she went on to become a pioneering designer and icon in world fashion. Gabrielle Bonheur ‘Coco’ Chanel, founder of the famous fashion brand Chanel, had extraordinary influence on fashion world.
- Son, of wool merchant, and born into desperate poverty. Soon after his father lost his business. But this did not stop this eventual preeminent man. Sigmund Freud went on to invent and found the bedrock of psychoanalytic and psychiatry.
- He started in a mailroom for a music publishing company. He has since become an Artist and Repertoire (A&R) executive for Sony BMG in the UK, and a television producer and judge for major television talent contests including American Idol. Simon Cowell is close to beoming a Billionaire!
- With $1,000, dedication and desire, he dropped out of college at age 19 to start PC’s Limited, later named Dell, Inc. Dell became the most profitable PC manufacturer in the world. In 1996, The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation offered a $50 million grant to The University of Texas at Austin to be used for children’s health and education in the city.
- Having dropped out of high school at 16, his s career and accomplishments are astounding. The most influential animator, Walt Disney holds the record for the most awards and nominations. Disney’s imagination included cartoons and theme parks. The Walt Disney Company now has annual revenue of $30 billion.
- As a young, 20 year old housewife with no business experience, Debbi Fields started Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chippery. With a recipe for chocolate chip cookies, this young woman became the most successful cookie company owner. She later renamed, franchised, then sold Mrs. Field’s Cookies.
- At 16, he left home to apprentice as a machinist. He later started a Small Motor Company to manufacture cars. HenryFord’s first major success, the Model T, allowed Ford to open a large factory and later start the assembly line production, revolutionalizing the auto-making industry.
- With only a fourth grade education, this man started his own chocolate company. Hershey’s Milk Chocolate, which became the first US nationally marketed chocolate. Hershey also focused on building a wonderful community for his workers, known as Hershey, Pennsylvania.
- After attending one semester of college, he worked for Atari before co-founding Apple Computers. Now without the “Computers” in their name, Apple includes iPod, iTunes, and most recently the iPhone. Steve Jobs was also the CEO and co-founder of Pixar before it merged with Walt Disney.
- Sole owner, CEO, and Chairman of Ty, Inc., Ty Warner is a savvy, yet private business man. Ty, Inc., made $700 million in a single year with the Beanie Babies craze without spending money on advertising! He has since expanded to include Ty Girlz dolls, directly competing with Bratz dolls.
- Having never attended high school, Frank Lloyd Wright surpassed all odds when he became the most influential architect of the twentieth century. Frank Wright designed more than 1,100 projects with about half actually being built. His designs have inspired numerous architects to look at the beauty around them and add to it.
Please understand. It's not that education is unimportant, because it is. If you have the resources and time to get one, get it. But education today - especially today - is not enougth. However, learning on a continuous basis is!
Education these days is expansive (we know that). Fees have gone through the roof. But learning is relatively free.
Education means knowledge that is emparted to you: done to you. Learning, on the other hand - is self-motivated and self-directed. You own it!
So build your Imagination, Creativity and Innovation quotient. Get ambitious. Get Determined. Think ‘Co Co.’ Think ‘Branson.’ And things will change for the positive.
The message: education will only get you so far thesedays. Human Resources will continue to demand credentials and will continue to put huddles in your way.
The answer is 'get real.' Learn, learn, learn. Be Entrepreneurial!