Sunday, 22 October 2017

Beyond Formal Education

I was recently awarded an Advanced Diploma after working on it for two years. I was looking through the past certificates that I have. Guess what! I have also an Advanced Diploma in Mass Media. I did it when I was back in University (more than 10 years ago), thinking of exposure and diversification (just in case). Similarly, I have a Certificate in General Insurance. If it were ten years back, I would be so proud of all these academic achievements.

Not today. In fact, I just wonder why on earth did I spend the money on these stuff.

So what if you have some many designations, so many degrees, so many certificates under your belt? What difference does it make if you don't make use of it, intend to make use of it, or have plans for what to do with it? It will just be a waste of time, effort and money, which could be invested in other areas isn't it? For people who are still young, getting multiple certificates, degrees, designations are good exposure. Also, when you have not much experience in the workforce, such academic achievements might give you some edge. But when you are older, does it make a difference? I wonder if I were to showcase my Mass Media certificate, will anyone bother?

I was talking to one of my friends recently who had a Master Degree, and a whole list of designations to boast of. Of course, he is a well- learned person, but when I asked him what is his purpose of having all these long list, and how has he been rewarded with such a long list of academic accomplishments, the answer I got was he understood even better the theory part in what he was doing in his job. His job does not reward nor recognize these additional designations he have.

I have seen many examples of people who did not further their studies after their formal education, but choose to self- learn or attend occasion seminars/ talks to learn more (or for the purpose of network). In terms of career accomplishments, they may be doing as good or better than those who are on the paper chase.

Since the launch of SkillsFuture, I have seen many around me jumping in to take courses for the sake of self- improvement. This is great, and that's what our government is promoting. While getting another certificate is undeniably an achievement (considering the time, effort and money required), it's just the first step. What you do after that is even more important. If you don't even have a plan what to use it for, why bother to go through the formal route to get accredited?

Perhaps, beyond formal education, or getting a certificate, having an ambition on how to use it is even more important, to ensure that the time and effort spent on this purpose bear fruit.


  1. Hi Ms CEO,

    I'm really amazed and inspired by the live to learn attitude you possess! Also, when I read on your "about" page, I'm truly astonished. You're damn awesome. Hopefully you'll be able to achieve all your goals. Amazing!!

  2. Hi Sleepydevil,

    Thanks for the compliments. Honestly, most of my goals have yet been met. I'm still working on them.

    You are young, and with 1.5 decades more youth than me! Time is on your side. Jia you in your march towards escaping the rat race!