Saturday, March 3, 2012

Education and work

Time and time again I ask myself what is the point of obtaining a degree, or two, or three. I am always a proponent for education, and almost fall in love with Malcolm Turnbull when he said that he believes in spending in education. When we are in the classroom, we learn so much more than the mere subject material we are supposed to pass eventually. We learn how to interact with other people. We learn how to organise our lives so that we can study in addition to doing everything else we are supposed to do. Most importantly, we learn how to learn. Learning is a skill that is most useful in life. I cannot imagine going through this life without my ability to learn.

The biggest stigma that is faced by all graduates is that once you have graduated, you need to obtain a job in your field, otherwise your degree is useless. Trust me, I get this all the time. So much so that I am pretty much sick of it. I have not quite felt the need to defend myself yet, so I just say yea yea. I mean, without wanting to brag, how about you try obtaining my job without any qualification. I am pretty sure it is possible. But having a degree can never hurt your chances.

This is the thing that I hate most about society - since when are we supposed to work in our field only? What is wrong with working in a different field, as long as it is legit work and you are earning enough money and most importantly, you are happy? It is like the values that we have around us, that is imposed by this thing called society, are designed so that we are miserable with our choices most of the time.

In Asia, scientists are held in the highest regard. In high school, if you manage to be the top student in the science stream, then you are pretty much set for life. If you are the top student in the arts stream, then chance is that you are going to be poor for the rest of your life (not to mentioned looked down upon). I am a terrible scientist - I never quite understood the subject, but I was damn awesome at memorising, so I got the top marks. My parents, quite fortunately, never paid attention to subjects, so I managed to not pursue the science field with no resistance. One of the many things that they've done right, I reckon.

I admire those people who can thrive and survive in this world with or without education. I can only imagine the things that they have learnt in this life to ensure that they are able to thrive irrespective of their current situations. Sometimes, because I've got it relatively easier, I tend to forget that there are a lot more people in this life whose lives are a lot more challenging than mine. They are the ones who are most intimate with the real meaning of hard work.

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