Are university degrees still necessary?

With this internet age has emerged the millennial generation, also referred to as ‘Generation Y’.

Here is a generation of young people who many consider entitled, but most of all connected to technology, as if birthed from it.

These are the young and vibrant who will often opt to quit their job in favour of greener pastures which includes starting a business online.

These are the young who will drop out of school because of the information the internet provides as they believe that degrees are unnecessary.

Dr. Leahcim Semaj, psychologist, agrees that the internet provides a lot of information, but believes that if you don’t have the skills associated with research and critical thinking you can pick up a lot of garbage.

Psychologist Leachim Semaj (Photo: Facebook @LeachimSemaj)

“The real benefits of a degree are the notion of how to think, how to problem solve and how to track information down. The internet provides you with an infinite supply of garbage. In-between the garbage are some brilliant pieces of information, you have to be able to sift through it. People who know how to think can go online and find incredible information,” he said.

Semaj added that the process of a degree teaches you to meet deadlines and work to specification.

“You’re given an assignment, you’re given time and you need to deliver on time. All of these are the things that prepare you for life. During the process of a degree you get introduced to a body of work that you might not have come across on your own,” he said.

When posited with the case that in support of their drive to leave the degree behind, many young people give the example that Bill Gates dropped out of school.

Semaj responded, “You cannot use the outliers to define reality. Any scientific study will tell you that the outliers at the top are rare.”

“Most people who drop out of school never get back in because they end up doing menial work and later on when they try to get back into school, they have trouble,” he said.

Photo: Facebook, @LeachimSemaj

“How does the employer short list the person who has dropped out of school and has no degree or MBA?” Semaj asked, adding, “With a degree the chances of being successful in a career are much higher.”

He further asserted that we get bogged down with the terms ‘Generation Z’, ‘Baby Boomers’ and ‘Millennials’ when the real answer is that for you to be viable, you have to have the best traits of every generation.

“The language of all generations is important and there is still a significant need for people who can think, solve problems and create new solutions. For most people it is the process of earning a degree that disciplines and helps them to acquire a trained mind,” he said.