The college degree has become an unusual form of employment currency in the modern business landscape, but there are traits more important than a prestigious college degree.
There are many who question the merits of certain degrees and warn us of the dangers of taking out student loans that aren’t worth the investment. But there are also plenty of employers who won’t even consider looking into an applicant who can’t prove they’ve got at least a bachelor’s under their belt.
While there are plenty of things that a prestigious college degree can offer someone looking to further their education and improve their hireability, the truth is that certain characteristics are even more important.
Honing in on and strengthening these traits can be the thing that gets your foot in the door of your dream job regardless of whether you’ve got a framed diploma on your office wall.
In a recent interview with IdeaMensch, entrepreneur Kris Duggan expressed his belief that certain qualities can be more important than a college degree. One of them is creativity — this may be a rather vague quality, but that’s because it covers every aspect of a person’s approach to life and their pursuit of success.
Creativity can be a great indicator of someone’s ability to contribute positively to a company.
Duggan also cited determination as another of the qualities that can be more important than a college degree. He said determination is “hard to teach in school, but [enables] people to perform at a very high level.”
While a degree might tell an employer that a candidate has acquired a certain amount of knowledge in their field, it doesn’t tell them how the candidate will handle all the workplace obstacles that don’t pertain to their field.
Skills like communication, dealing with stress, and overcoming setbacks aren’t necessarily taught in college courses, but they’re crucial in the workplace. Determination is a great indicator that someone will be able to tackle challenges and problems.
The majority of all human knowledge is available online for free today. Of course, many topics are much more easily understood with the help of an in-person professor, but a person can learn an amazing amount on their own if they’re curious enough to pursue it.
A desire to continue learning is something that many employers look for in their potential hires. This quality tells them that even if you don’t have all the knowledge necessary, you’ve got it in you to acquire that knowledge and continue learning every day.
Thinking critically applies to the workplace in ways you may not have considered previously. While earning a college degree shows some level of critical thinking ability, many graduates are more adept at getting a good grade than at actually processing the material and applying it to scenarios outside of a multiple-choice test.
The workplace will require you to solve problems on the fly, strategize and execute, and make decisions big and small every day. If there were just one determining factor in whether you’ll be able to do these things successfully, it’s your critical thinking skills, not your college degree.
It’s Not All About a Diploma
You can get many benefits from earning a degree, but there’s more to getting hired and finding success than the piece of paper a college hands you. Whether you’re pursuing higher learning or not, it’s important to continually hone the traits that make you a desirable employee.