You Don't Need a University Degree to Become Successful! - Here's Why

A degree, is that really essential in ensuring success in life? How do you define success then? In a world where everything has a different meaning and is subjective, how then can we measure how a degree would give you success?

You Don't Need a University Degree to Become Successful!

What do you think? Let us take a look at both side of the coin, and perhaps you could come to the conclusion yourselves.

Does a Degree equal to Success?

The usual stereotype, “get a degree, you can guarantee yourself a job, and a bright future” I am sure many of us heard this in some way at least once during the schooling years. It is hard wired in the local society that having an education (and in this case, a degree), is paramount to achieving success in life.

Do you need a degree to be successful?

Here are some of the reasons why it is perceived to be this way.

[if !supportLists]1) [endif]A degree in a certain subject/major, would provide you with the depth of knowledge & technicalities to do a job well.

[if !supportLists]2) [endif]Employers prefer ”Degree Holders” as they fee; that the candidate would educationally be more capable for the job.

[if !supportLists]3) [endif]With a degree, a person’s learning capacity may be assessed at how one is ready and able to comprehend most possibly be able to carry out the job to the required standards, since they have already been put through a rigorous learning journey.

[if !supportLists]4) [endif]Perhaps the most common stereotype is from our elders, where they perceive this to be true, as they did not have access to education when they were younger, perhaps due to poverty, or because of traditional mindsets that a certain gender should be more “educated”. Hence those that were denied further education, would have to spring to work, slogging most of their lives away, as compared to those that had the access to education, and how their lives panned out so differently in comparison. This is perhaps the main reason why we are strongly encouraged to get a degree, in order to be successful.

So many successful leaders don't have college degrees...

Cue, Steve Jobs, Sim Wong Hoo, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg. The famous few that are the world’s most successful people without having a degree, so why can’t we do the same? Is that degree really so crucial to our success?

Now while we were busy trying to complete that 100-page thesis or Final Year project, our peers not in any degree programme, is already hustling their butts off accumulating work experience, and adding it to their repertoire of skills that we so eagerly want to acquire as well.

Do employers even look at Résumés anymore?

Times have changed, and so have employer’s mindsets. They not only want educated candidates, they know that they can have educated candidates with relevant work experience as well.


But how is this possible, when a fresh graduate possibly has a grand total of 2 months of combined work experience that may have been from 2-3 different part time jobs, and not relevant to their field of study.

But behold, there are still these star-studded students that seem to possess both education and experience, how did they do it? With a time-turner like how Hermione Granger managed to get to all her classes? Nope, the answer is simple, while most of us were relaxing and enjoying our school break holidays, these people found something more worthwhile to do during their precious breaks! They would probably make sure that what they sign up for measures up to these pointers.

[if !supportLists]1) [endif]Useful to their future work

[if !supportLists]2) [endif]Learn something out of scope from their current education syllabus

[if !supportLists]3) [endif]Will add value to their career options in future

[if !supportLists]4) [endif]Possible future transition into full time position at company.

[if !supportLists]5) [endif]Remuneration

Imagine upping the levels of experience in these areas, how impressive would their resumes be. The employer would definitely choose this candidate over one that had less “work experience”.

You’ll Learn More in the Real World Than You Will in the Classroom

You may argue YOLO, or all work and no play makes jack a dull boy. Perhaps so! This is why it is so crucial in finding a programme that provides a good balance of work and play. A good summer programme should have a well-balanced mix of both. I am definitely not referring to the internships that get you to “go grab coffees” or photocopy a dictionary, provide little or no experience and pay you peanuts.


The type of programme I am referring to are the ones that can provide you with ADDITIONAL knowledge, soft skills, certifications, MENTORSHIP, networking opportunities, office etiquette, a real taste of what’s out there in the working world. Since we all have a learning curve, why not get it started earlier, so that when the time comes for us to showcase what we’ve got, we can handle presentations, conduct ourselves professionally and impress our bosses.

So, for everyone who has made it this far in the article, CONGRATULATIONS! I commend your eagerness in the search for self-improvement. A degree is not a sure win way at success, but it is what and how you position yourself with (or without) a degree, that will make the employers want you.

As Basil S. Walsch said, “If you don’t know where you are going, how can you expect to get there?” Having a vision is essential to your success, seize the day, grab opportunities like that Prestigious Summer Internship, make your holidays work for you, don’t work for them!

Good Luck! :)

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