Educational Entrepreneurship

Has Your Education Paid Off?

Many people who have spent a large amount of time (and money) getting their education are finding that it has not paid off as they would have wished. People with college degrees are, finding with greater frequency that there are not as many companies sitting and waiting for someone with their skills as they hoped or were led to believe.

Often academic achievement – a worthwhile goal in its own right – is found to be of less value when looking for the perfect job than we have been led to believe. In addition, it is at times like this that people with a high level of education canfind themselves wondering why they bothered. For many reasons, this is a great shame. Not least of these reasons is the fact that it can easily trickle down to younger people that education is worthless. It is not.

If you have spent all that time and money getting an education only to find out that it has not gained you the perfect job, there are ways that you can put it to work for you. Maybe a big company does not want to take the chance on you because they simply do not have the vacancies, or it may be that, impressive though your achievement undoubtedly is, it just does not fit into an existing gap in the skills set of the companies in question.

The solution to this problem may lie in taking the bull by the horns and creating your own income stream. The most immediately obvious way to do this is to take a direct approach. The educated can become the educator. Tutoring is something that is used far more than most people realize. Despite what you are finding, the value of education is still held by many to be as high as it ever was. Parents who are despairing over their child’s academic performance are increasingly prepared – even in a shaky economy – to give their children the extra advantage when it comes to schoolwork by employing a personal tutor. And knowledge has a high premium. Many jobs in the private sector simply do not pay as highly as working for yourself, selling something more important than any perishable goods.

Even if your education is not in a field that is so easily transferable – for example, parents will often want to employ a math tutor or a language expert, but are less likely to call for a textile major – you do have a level of knowledge in your chosen field that most people simply cannot call upon. So if a company finds itself in need of someone who can – for example – make a necessary component for an item they are selling, but have no-one in their work force who has that skill, they will often be prepared to pay an outside contractor to show them how. Outsourcing is becoming more and more of a key issue in business. Having an expertise in a certain area can really pay off. It is about seeing how you can make it pay off for you, and if you can do that then you can show the world – and yourself – why you bothered getting that education.

First Published: Feb 28, 2009 on