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  1. An academic future

    Last week I attended my daughter’s graduation ceremony in England. An important milestone has been reached: My daughter has become an academic.

    I felt proud and relieved.

    I think back on my own education. Many went straight from high school to good jobs in banking, finance, insurance and computing. I’ve always thought that was a shortcut to an academic future. Today, almost 40 years later, the academic level is significantly higher. No one can jump straight from high school to an academic position. In fact, the only jobs high school graduates can get today, are within grocery shops and telemarketing.

    Today, academic workers without higher education are facing the wall, or have dropped out from the job market or made necessary career changes to sales or something else. There is no doubt that you need higher education to make an academic career. There are no shortcuts.

    That’s why I am relieved.

    Nevertheless, I am worried about the future. My nephew is doing his second bachelor. He says it will be necessary to do a master degree too – in order to get a job, a bank loan, a house, family and a future. I hear about others who believe they need two master degrees to get a trainee position.

    Why do employers prefer candidates having master degrees in stead of bachelors with a little job experience?

    It’s a hype.

    A college graduate is far from being an expert. His or her bachelor’s / master’s thesis is rarely directly transferable to future job situations. But an academic has a basic understanding of concepts, structures and principles, which make it possible to get a broader perspective of things. While the practitioner fixes a problem, the academic creates a solution. Basically, a master’s degree shows that a person has got the abilities and self-discipline to study another year or so, and that he, or she, has got the financial capabilities to do so.

    It was memorable to witness my daughter’s graduation ceremony. The formal costumes and procedures made me think of “Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry” from the books of Harry Potter. A typical British gray sky contributed to this mood. During the speeches I had the opportunity to review the program for the ceremony. Our ceremony day was devoted to students of mathematics and economics. I noticed that the university also offers master studies in what appears to be easy and general studies – studies I would not give any attention to, neither as a student nor an employer.

    Since I have «children» in the education system, I see a tendency I think is unfortunate for the country. Almost no one we know seems to be attracted by practical professions. I think many young people fear competition from guest workers, especially those from the former Eastern States. Their influence on the job marked has contributed to keep the salaries and the status low. I’m worried that there in the future may be difficult to meet demand after labor within practical professions, like mechanics, masonry, and carpentry and so on.
    I also fear for all the young people who feel obliged to search academic careers without being sufficiently motivated, not being able to complete adequate studies – only to end up in the unemployment queue or the medical health care queue. It concerns me because it not only applies to the children of others, but also my own.

    🙂 That’s why I am relieved that my daughter is going to do her masters next year.

    «I hereby annonce that the graduation ceremony is to take place in the great university hall….»

    A group of dignitaries attended the ceremony.

    Proud parents on their way to mingle with the students.

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