3 years ago, I was freshly graduated from my poly, happy and free.

At that time, my mum casually sat me down over a meal and told me that she had seen the uncle whom I disliked. He had asked about me, surprisingly.

That wasn’t the main point. The main point was, he said: “I wouldn’t be surprised if she cannot get into University to get a degree. She’s stupid.”

I turned red. Of course I did. Who else wouldn’t? Even my mum who is usually too busy to take care of herself, sat me down to tell me about the encounter herself and to assure me that a degree cert doesn’t really matter.

Fuming mad, I sworn to never speak to him again. Yes I did, for all the New Year gatherings I would pretend to be blind and walk past him like he was invisible. I’m sure he was wondering why the drastic treatment, or probably wondering if I knew what he had said to my mum.

That very sentence stayed with me throughout all these years to serve as a ultimatum for myself whenever I feel like giving up when the going gets tough.

After 3 years of working, I possess all the needs and wants in my life. I’m very happy right now, with a good-paying job with two nice bosses. Albeit the job is stressful, the tiny accomplishments compensates aftermath. The most important thing I’ve realized while I’m out working in the society is that my mum is right. A cert really doesn’t matter. 

If I may, can I ask: How many of your friends who have acquired a degree cert but is not holding a relevant job to that degree? 

Every one of us have friends like that.

When asked, they always told me a degree is just a piece of paper which does not indicate anything at all. It just means you have gone through Education. Period.

The first time I heard this, I was stumped. The second and the third, this answer became a norm.

Yes some jobs do require relevant knowledge prior to hiring (example: Human Resource). However, possessing these knowledge unfortunately does not necessarily guarantee that this person will excel in the job.

Like what someone always told me, knowledge is one thing. The ability to apply the knowledge and manipulate during the practicum is another.  Everyone and anyone who spends the effort to memorize texts off textbook will definitely score in theory exams but you cannot say the same for practical.

No matter how impressive a resume can be or how reputable the University which you have graduated from is, a cert does not and will never suffice enough to determine your worth, especially so for your job appraisal at the year end. If you have performed badly at work, do you think your impressive GPA and reputable cert can actually help to increase your bonus? Doubt so.

Looking back, I realized I was out of my mind to be fuming mad at such a sentence. I cannot stop wondering how someone can actually determine my worth through a piece of paper? That was actually kind of shallow and dense.

Young adults nowadays have this perception that possessing a degree is the highest form of honor they can ever achieve for their life and having that cert meant that they do not have to worry about finding a job.


I’d like to advise all to re-think about that statement and alter that warp point of view.