Saturday, April 16, 2011

My opinion piece on study

How many of us are actually using our knowledge studied to good use in work force? Even technical based education have their limitations. It has not much changed. Only if you are specialized in some sort of professionally recognized jobs (the standards of doctors, lawyers ... yada yada yada), then only one is subjected to the comfortably income earning and perhaps less volatile and risky job competition.

I remember when I chose my degree, it was purely out of passion and encouragement. TV and art direction seems like a great field for me to excel then, with Lord of the Rings breaking boundaries for synergy between art direction and animation effect. Simple mind set was a set back when in reality, production field in media industry locally is top notch challenging, not to mention pay peanuts and after bitten by the corporate bug during my internship ... I had never looked back. Changed my major into media studies, gotten my first job in account management for sales, then marketing and now business development.

Sucked into the realm of cut throat negotiations and competitive advantages in both human sourcing and talent retention, I took up my MBA studies in 2009 and now, I look forward in graduating by September this year. Excited it may seems, DWKY posed a very interesting question into my mind. What would I be doing? Or in more professional business terminology, How would I be capitalizing on my MBA degree to spearhead my future in achieving personal goals?

I have absolutely no idea. Clueless as it can be, DWKY suggested many potential opportunities. I hear, digest and listen. Then I thought, how come the work force has changed so much. It seems like a battlefield these days. With the increase of employment opportunities, there are such huge influx of similar trained field graduates. Through my observation and conversations among friends, if one would like a decent job ... my definition of decent by interpreting with range of the average age of 25 with the following criteria

  1. Comfortable annual earnings of RM50,000
  2. Should include remuneration for health coverage, insurance
  3. Bonus perks in meal allowances, travel cap
  4. If possible, automobile benefits
  5. Not to mention the yearly performance bonus and retirement offering

Without the above, it is so hard to keep up with the youngsters these days. To worsen, even more difficult to keep up in economic terms. Gone are the days of getting paid freshly at rm1.8k ... cos you would not be able to sustain yourself working in the city environment. Gone are the days where comfortable houses and properties cost around RM300,000 cos any lower, you are getting a place you hardly can call home.

Seriously, at my age I am constantly thinking about a comfortable future, fighting inflation, overcoming present stress and trying to save enough for diversification investment ... and it seems so impossible. I am thankful enough to have great friends by my side who constantly remind me of the time value of money and how I can use it to balance both my demanded lifestyle yet still getting a decent going from working. Blessing in disguise.

So to speak, I want to share that getting yourself equipped with skills and knowledge does help - ALOT. If you need to keep in demand, you gotta sharpen certain skills. Just like entrepreneurs who have to constantly innovate to stay in business, 9-5 workers have to too.

To be honest, I find that you do not really need a certificate in what so ever universities nowadays. Yes, your first job interview may depend on that ... but without industry training or even part time job experience, you might as well use the cert as just appendix sheets to decorate your resume. My first job was easily secured mainly because of my internship in Maxis. So, to the fresh grads out there ... get good industrial placement and tell yourself, money is secondary.

For me now, my next objective is to try and master another language and hopefully get a new job to commit my portfolio and achievement for the next few coming years. A bit to early to write new year resolutions, but I have some targets set in my mind. Wish me luck and to those who are deciding whether they want to progress in their education... here is my concluded advise

1. Decide what specification of field you want to be in. Skip the general studies
2. Then equipped yourself with skills or tacit knowledge that others does not have
3. Sharpen your communication and language skills
4. Spend quality time to network around and keep them fresh, sincere and objective driven
5. Start young; savings, diversify investment, fight inflation ... yada yada yada

Then you are saved from the middle income trap and may stand a chance to really live the kinda lifestyle you envy. In conclusion, your education paper can be diluted by the many people who kinda "pay" for their degree and companies may no longer value your education. To save yourself from all the waste of time scoring, it is better to get some tacit knowledge, additional skills and work experience that will help.

So good luck.

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