Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I had actually started writing on another topic, but something cropped up, so I decided to shelf that first and start on this.

I'm sure alot of people know how life is pretty much a Paperchase. You go through the different levels of education, with the mentality of getting that degree, or Masters etc.

But what I would like to ask my readers is:

"Does NOT having a degree make you any lesser of a person?"

or simply the fact that :

"Being a polytechnic graduate makes you lesser of a person"

In the recent years, I've come to know of a few who seem to still perceive the thought that polytechnic graduates are not as good as students from junior colleges, which honestly, was indeed true in the past,(i'm talking like 20, 30 yrs back) but that does not stand true now.

I blame that sterotyped thought on the lack of understanding of what a polytechnic student has to undergo during their three years of study. Contrary to what many think, being in a polytechnic isn't all about partying. Much of the time is actually spent not just on tutorials and lectures, but also in preparation for presentations and projects. In each semester, there are times when there are 6-7 presentations/projects (in a week) to be graded.

Think polytechnic education is just training for your own course? Not quite right. The polytechnics actually offer a broad-based education throughout the three years, and these include Sports, taking up a third language and Professional Development. (And yes, we do have CCAs) (Did i mention that these 'electives' are also examinable?)

Many don't know that unlike scoring in the A Levels, the overall GPA (Grade Point Average) is actually the total grades attained over six semesters, divided by the number of credits(also attained over six semesters). In other words, if you don't perform consistently over the three years of education, it will be reflected in the graduating GPA. Think polytechnic is really that easy now?

ANYWAY..back to Paperchasing..

Someone recently implied to me that not having a degree makes me lesser a person.Honestly, I really don't see how that works. The term 'hindered employability' came up. (Which, really, isn't true. Employers that I have worked for and spoken to have said that they rather hire a polytechnic graduate rather than a degree holder, reason being that polytechnic grads have had at least 2 years of hands-on training - not including their internships, yes polytechnic students actually do undergo internships at overseas placements such as the University of Manchester, etc)

Many undergrads I know of, when asked " What would you want to do after you graduate?", always seem to say "I'm not sure, never really thought about it yet." So really, is it the need for a degree that we just simply do some blind paperchasing that we forget to stop and think further ahead - about the jobs we might be open to upon graduation ? or are we just chasing that paper just cause we have to?

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