Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A Diploma for a Pinto

I am sitting here studying for my last final of the semester, the day when I will finally have a diploma in hand seems so far away, when this thought slowly crept into my head which I simply had to ponder, "What, exactly, does having a diploma really mean?" As I had mentioned in an earlier post, is it really just a piece of paper or does it says something about your image, a staus symbol,--much like a car does?

To have a diploma from any of the ivy league schools is like saying, I drive a Mercedes or BMW--in fact, I may drive several. Like a luxury car, I think a diploma represents how much was paid for it (or how broke a person can get to afford it...LOL!!).

On the other hand, to have a diploma from...I'll pick on UNLV, is like saying, I drive a Honda Civic--in fact, if my modest but reliable car broke down, I may need to resort to public transportation, my trusty bicycle or better yet--hitchhiking (yeah...I might be mistaken for an independent contractor a/k/a a prostitute especially here in Vegas). But then again, I would've saved so much money by attending UNLV rather than an ivy-league that I could afford to buy a new Civic--CASH!!

After all, a diploma doesn't make the person, right? It takes a dedicated, intelligent person to earn the diploma. So as I am months away from when I will finally achieve a degree in Finance, I think, it would be nice to have that piece of paper--even if it says I drive a Pinto.


Dano said...

You can view that piece of paper as a great enabler. Not that you can't do things without one, but so many more doors are opened by having it. However, the doors don't open by themselves, and you must do the research, etc to find the jobs. I know that won't be a problem for you though!!

The funny thing too that you realize after a few years in the workforce is that what you learned is not important, it is the ability to learn information which gives you an advantage. Each job has its own skillsets, and the ability to learn those skillsets is why they hire you. They figure that since you went to college, that you have a better chance of learning those skills, since you must have learned a thing or two to get through 4 years. Again, obviously there are a lot of smart and successful people who didn't go to college. It just helps you get your foot in the door a little easier.

I know plenty of people who have the nifty piece of paper and haven't done squat for themselves. and that is too bad for them. One of my great friends is a math genius, graduated with actuarial science emphasis, but didn't really care to do that. He works at a loading dock of a trucking company now, but he enjoys doing that. His parents probably thinks he blew his opportunity, but he is doing what he likes, so can you blame him?

Many employers don't care where you went, especially if you are living in a state other than California, New York, or Massachusetts. I imagine that there is a degree of snottiness in California, with institutions like Cal-Berkely, USC, Stanford, CalTech, UCLA, etc. I doubt that is much of an issue in Vegas.

Anyways, take time to enjoy your last semester. You will miss it later.

Hello Daly said...

Thanks for your input and encouragement, dano. Sometimes it's hard for me to keep in mind the value of getting a diploma. I think I do pretty well with picking up new skill sets--maybe I don't need to get my degree afterall ;)