Skill-based learning versus degrees – The Hindu

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There is more to learning than earning degrees. | Photo Credit: Pixabay
The hype surrounding degrees among recruiters often makes one wonder whether they are more valuable than skills. Our society has always given more importance to degrees rather than to craft. Often candidates who don’t have a degree may not be selected in interviews even if they have the practical skills required to thrive in the corporate world.
Of course, there are benefits to getting a degree. It helps develop a deeper knowledge of the subject and creates and enhances job opportunities. Degrees are like medals; the more you have, the more you are valued. One cannot, however, say that all degree holders are intelligent. Doing well in exams is of no use if one does not know how to apply one’s knowledge to real-world situations. A degree is valuable when it emphasises both theoretical and practical skills. Given the increasing number of people opting to do a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, educational qualification is no longer considered an effective employment filter. One needs to stand out in a crowd of graduates or post-graduates.
On the other hand, craft is something one excels at and is skilled in. While a degree emphasises theoretical skills, a craft emphasises practical skills. For instance, if you say a jeweller is good at his craft, you mean that he excels in making jewellery. His knowledge of intricate designs makes a piece of jewellery stand out. It is practical skills that get one through the most challenging work situations In the real world, creation takes precedence over recall. For example, not all successful entrepreneurs have degrees. Their success came from mastering what they are good at and developing specific skills.
Gone are the days when candidates were considered valuable workers based on their degrees. Recent years have seen craft-based hiring gain tremendous traction. Additionally, forward-thinking recruiters are seeking candidates who possess desired skills matching the job role so that they can be productive from the beginning. A company can also save time and money that will be spent training the new recruit.
Thus, colleges and universities must now focus on encouraging students to develop their skills while also learning. This also gives students an insight into the field and an idea of what to expect when they enter the professional realm. Knowing the nuances of the job helps them make an informed decision.
Students can pass exams by studying theory but only by applying that to real life can they succeed. Introducing craft-based learning will not only make students job ready but also help them develop into independent and self-confident individuals.
The writer is Founder and CEO, Invact Metaversity
The Hindu Education Plus / students / university / universities and colleges / higher education / careers
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