It seems that today, hardly any people don't have a degree in something, which causes employers to be increasingly picky about people who don't have degrees, even if the job in question doesn't really require studies of three or four years. I used to work as a secretary when I was fresh out of high school, but now, most secretaries are required to have a degree, even though in my opinion it's completely unnecessary.
My husband is currently hunting for a job, and many places won't even interview him because he hasn't completed his degree yet. Those who do interview him, however, are deeply impressed by his level of both theoretical knowledge and practical skills. It's really frustrating that a piece of paper should stand in the way when everything else fits right in.
Not long ago, I was asked to provide daycare for a one-month-old baby. It didn't work out eventually and I'm glad it didn't, because it would have broken my heart to see this little one left with me every day, instead of being with his mother where he belongs. I refrained from judging, of course, because who knows what desperate circumstances might force a new mother outside the home so soon after her baby was born. I soon found out, however, that she was about to begin studying for a Master's degree - hardly an emergency. I remained speechless for several minutes after I heard this. This young woman, only 22 years old, now leaves both her babies in daycare every day before catching a ride to university. Again, who am I to judge another person's choices? Yet I can't help but wonder whether she will regret it in, say, ten years.
As you know, I have a degree in nutrition. While what I learned was interesting and useful, I don't think the degree would have been worth the sacrifice if I had to accumulate debt or postpone starting a family because of it. Thankfully, I didn't have to do any such thing, as I received a scholarship and continued to live at home. But now, practically, if I chose to work outside the home I wouldn't be able to afford a nanny. My friends from university work at jobs with the most pitiful salaries, which might be alright for them now as they don't have children yet, but I'm sure that as the years go by, choices will become increasingly painful and complicated. Four years of excruciating effort, and there is hardly any way they will earn more than the cleaning lady.
A young woman I know recently started a two-year study program which will give her a professional license. She was almost ashamed to admit that what she is doing isn't a degree. Yet what she is doing is much more sensible, in my eyes, if she plans to settle down anytime soon.
I'm not trying to bring across that degrees are useless. I'm just questioning their need for any and everyone. Now, it seems that even having a bachelor's degree isn't enough - more and more people are doing their masters', which means more years of much effort and little income. I do believe there is a place for a reform, for reasonable evaluation whether the job (or person) in question really requires a degree or not.