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University Degree or Skill & Expertise: What Is The Secret To Success?

Success is an elixir that we desperately need to keep ourselves alive and kicking in the professional world, to remain ahead of the competition and to carve newer niches one after the other.

But, what is needed to reach that success?

Is it your University Degree, or your skills and expertise that take you to the heights you dreamt of?

A recent study conducted in the area showed the results that indicate, that the hiring managers are focusing more on skills and experiences of the appearing candidates to gauge their proficiencies, rather than their college degrees. They believe that a degree doesn’t showcase the talent and grit of the person offering his candidature for the job.

What are the industry leaders saying about it?

The upshot is that even Google backed this.  “When you look at people who don’t go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings. And we should do everything we can to find those people,” said Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google, Inc.

While many organizations mandatorily ask for a university degree, Google doesn’t even recognize the terms “university” or “college” in their official guide to hiring. They firmly believe that given the resources, self-learning while at work and vocational courses are plenty enough tools for self-driven people who wish to make a mark for themselves.

With what Google puts forward, it becomes evident that in new age competitive professional the world,  demonstrating a skill is far more important than demonstrating a degree or a certificate.

What sets the inherent or diligently acquired skills apart from University Degrees?

A university degree, almost every time, is a readable certificate of the courses that the candidate went through, while in college. A document that presents the expertise that he attempted to gain in all those years he spent in the premises. For example, a degree in architecture is a proof that the person holding the degree knows a little bit or maybe a lot more about buildings, infrastructure and the trade of construction.

But, would the same person be able to sell the idea of an off-beat structure to a company looking for innovations? Can the same person successfully lead a team to construct remarkable buildings that can startle the world? Can he resolve organizational issues with ease? Can he present interesting solutions to technical problems?

Well, these can only be determined, if and when the inherent or acquired skills of the person become more evident.

How does one acquire skills?

Some are born with a skill set, those could be counted in exceptions, but largely, skills need to be acquired and worked upon persistently.

To this Laszlo Bock says, “Humans are by nature creative beings, but not by nature logical, structured-thinking beings. Those are skills you have to learn. I took statistics at business school, and it was transformative for my career. Analytical training gives you a skill set that differentiates you from most people in the labor market.”

“It looks like the thing that separates out the capable students from the really successful ones is not so much their knowledge…but their persistence at something,” Google chairman, Eric Schmidt adds to it.

Should a university degree be eliminated altogether?

No, not at all!

A college term is important, as it crafts the base for a career. It is the foundation of the core personality of an individual and helps to determine the future professional path. Yet, it can never establish whether the university pass out is naturally a smart go-getter or he is just a hard-worker.

It is easier and more productive to shape someone with a smart attitude towards success rather than a person who sticks to mental and physical labor to achieve slow success. Therefore, while in university term, one must focus on their core skills too.

Also, it is extremely important to determine the reason for going to the university and what results one is expecting out of it.

The Real Successful People With or Without A Degree: The Core Objective

Who doesn’t know Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, and Sean Parker?

One thing common among them is that all are billionaire entrepreneurs, and another common thing is, all are college dropouts!

Well, at the same time there are people who went to universities and became super rich. But, was it solely their education that holds the credit to their financial success? To answer that, the only argument that can be put forward is that most successful people do not count the time, effort or knowledge that goes into a task, what they focus on is, result. If the university education ended up giving super results, it’s all worth it.

Yet, many who run into massive debts paying for their university education, are unable to land a decent job later. It wouldn’t be an exemption to say that if the objective of a university term is to make one financially independent and secure, then it fails miserably.


To conclude, education at university is important, but, the approach towards it makes the whole world of difference. While approaching a certain set of education tools, it is important to focus on developing the skills to, within the parameters of those education tools ( and sometimes out of them), rather than just gathering the basic information and knowledge.

The only things that you can use to add more value to your candidature are your skills and expertise.

In an age where basic university education, knowledge and information is readily available, exceptional skills and unbeatable expertise are going to set the winners apart from the regular workers.

To give rise to a globally booming economy, we are in grave need of self-motivated professionals, and supreme motivation comes from one’s own superlative skill-set.

All the successfully superlative entrepreneurs, industry moguls and business leaders are not born superlatives. They educate themselves, motivate themselves and get equipped with the required skills and expertise, to reach where they want to reach.

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