It is an old adage that I swear by.
There is so much noise in the world. In this Age of Information, we get continually bombarded with endless options. So it is important for us to be selective and choose the ones that will add value and quality to our lives.
For now I will focus on the “Time” aspect in terms of career and education.
In order to be successful in the corporate world, there’s a constant pressure to update (that too continually) our skills. I have been told and advised many times to do a master’s degree, especially during the early years of my career in IT. This advice usually came from my techie friends and the family. Surprisingly, it never came from my seniors or mentors. 🙂
I personally didn’t feel the need of earning a Master’s degree, especially an MS (Master of Science) in some technology field. Several reasons for the same: First of all, my BTech (Bachelor of Technology) degree from Australia was good enough to land me the jobs that I wanted during early years of my career. As I gained more experience, the formal education (BS, MS, PhD or whatever) became irrelevant or I should say the least important. Only plus point of doing college in Australia remained that it would lead to pleasant conversations (not relevant to the job or position) during job interviews.
Other reason was that the area of my specialization was less technical but more business oriented. Even for the technical part, a master’s degree was of no help. The real world experience/projects were of the main benefit.
Instead of doing a master’s degree, I channeled the time and energy into becoming the SME in my area of expertise. I read extensively, networked with the vendors and pursued only those opportunities that added value to my career. I truly believed (still do) in Building a Brand.
Now this is not only true in my case but has been for many. At least in the corporate world if I were to look at the most successful (or most sought after) people that I know, few things stand out:
They know the Business in and out or they are the SME (Subject Matter Expert) in a particular field/skill
They treat Job as their first priority i.e. married to their jobs
Fit in the company culture really well
And of course other soft skills like problem solving, interpersonal, presentation, negotiation etc also make a difference.
This doesn’t mean that a Master’s degree is of no value. Nowadays, it is a basic requirement for several professions and it will continue to remain a good option for many. Especially for those who are thinking of changing their profession/profile or like learning something new.
The point is that one should consider other options like certifications, trainings or short courses that are catered to a specific field/skill but require less time and energy than a Fulltime degree.
Don’t just follow the crowd. It is a big commitment, so make sure you will be rewarded for the Time and Money that you put in it.