To what Degree?


On a daily basis we deal with graduates who are not able to find work despite impressive sounding qualifications. Some qualifications sound very glamorous, but only return value after a person has reached a Master or Doctorate Level.

In addition, some professions seem just as glamorous, but the entry level requirements for those professions are often much higher than what the young graduate thought it to be.

We often hear how young people want to become psychologists, doctors, advocates, international trade experts, international finance experts, economists, judges, auditors, chartered accountants, etc. They are often shocked to hear that a first degree is not necessarily sufficient to practice in some of the professions listed. This does not mean that the youth should be discouraged to qualify in these professions. Instead, the youth must realise that students pursuing these types of careers have to study well into the night; sacrificing a significant portion of social time.


An interesting interview with Peter van Nieuwenhuizen, CFO, Growth Institute, and Dr Ivor Blumenthal, CEO, ArkKonsult, discuss the relevance of having a degree in modern society and what professions offer a career path without a degree requirement.

Peter van Nieuwenhuizen | CFO | Growth Institutemail me | 





Dr Ivor Blumenthal | CEO | ArkKonsult | mail me |

Find a mentor

Anyone who wishes to pursue any ‘glamour’ career should do more than just job shadowing for a few weeks or months. They need to find persons in those professions who can guide and mentor them and show them what is involved in a ‘glamour career’. The fact is that some who eventually qualify in these professions become disillusioned and leave the chosen profession in the first five to ten years.

Any degree

Some say that any education, relevant or not, is useful. They will quickly point to bankers who have a combination of an Engineering Degree and an MBA. Or they could point to a celebrity CEO who has a music degree, an MBA and some Leadership qualification.

Granted, there are cases where ‘irrelevant’ degrees opened doors, but for the majority, that rule does not apply.


World-wide, economies report high unemployment levels under graduates.

Proffered reasons are that certain qualifications are overrated or are not in demand. There are some cases where qualifications are pushed for the sake of filling campuses. There are also cases where peer pressure or parental pressures force a young person into a qualification that they are ill-suited for or in which they have no interest.

Responsible career guidance cannot be disregarded. With career guidance, we mean that educators cannot assume that a person who excels in mathematics would necessarily become an expert actuary. Neither will a person that does very well in the debate team become a good advocate.

Millennial motives

Millennials are driven by their interests and not the pigeon holes in which educators, parents or even psychometrists want them to occupy. Millennials want to turn their interests into income streams.

Monetising interests or hobbies is not something that fits into the traditional frame of the guidance counsellor. It is inconceivable to us that the youth does not want a trade or profession to fall back on. Yet, the tide is turning towards ‘multipreneurship’. Since jobs are scarce, people are forced to create their own work, using their talents and skills in ways that were inconceivable ten or twenty years ago.

This brings us back to the ‘glamorous, but useless qualification’ debate. Would a young graduate be able to use that learning as one of many facets of ‘multipreneurship’?

Not always required

The fact is that not all professions require a degree at

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Read this article by Peter van Nieuwenhuizen, CFO Growth Institute, as well as a host of other topical management articles written by professionals, consultants and academics in the October/November 2018 edition of BusinessBrief.

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