You Went To College, Now What?

By Surein Wei (BAC Apprentice)

 

You went to college, you studied hard for your degree, you have graduated and now you’re looking for a job. But things aren’t as clear anymore. Job applications gone unnoticed, interviews leading nowhere, mismatched expectations and stiff competition. You look and all around you are your fellow graduates clawing for the same job opportunity. What happened to the plan? It seemed so simple – complete a degree, get a decent job. The problem is, everyone else had the same plan as you, and thanks to academic inflation, your degree is now the minimum job requirement.  

Now it is not all bad news, you are still better off with a degree than without. It has been said a thousand times, you must set yourself apart from the rest. For most of your academic life, you could go by doing just the bare minimum, taking only core subjects and tests, participating only in mandatory programmes and a little bit more. Now that you have graduated and there are no more mandatory subjects, you don’t know what to do. 

The unfortunate, yet truly exciting thing about your life, is that there is no core curriculum. The entire place is an elective.” – Jon Stewart 

You must choose to be better than the rest. Complacency only leads to mediocrity, and you must want to do more than just your degree. You must choose to upgrade yourself to the latest industry standards. Despite being a generation that grew up in a digital age, recent graduates aren’t prepared to enter and thrive in a digital economy. Most of us would claim to be familiar with working on a computer and digitally, but beyond surface knowledge of Microsoft Word and Excel, editing posters on Canva and posting memes on Facebook, we know very little of anything else.  

This was exactly what propelled BAC Education to launch Project Deep. It recognised this deficiency in the future workforce, and through Project Deep, it  aims to curb the growing unemployment rate in Malaysia by bridging local enterprises and employees into the digital era. You just need to choose to upskill yourself for a small price, and courses are offered FREE for Malaysians – fresh graduates, jobseekers and the retrenched. Opportunities like this don’t come often and the courses offered in Project Deep are especially relevant where everything is online. 

However, all this talk on the digital economy does not mean you can ignore traditional workplace skills and ethics. The real world is still very much out there and how you interact with everyone else does affect your personal image and your employability. Soft skills are still a necessity; and knowing how to navigate in a work environment is important for the benefit of yourself and others.  

More is demanded out of us today to succeed than from previous generations, and the standards by which we are measured are higher now than before. This may seem overwhelming but the tools for us to use to succeed are at our disposal. All we have to do is try. 

Remember, ‘whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.’ – Henry Ford