Are paper qualifications over-rated in Singapore?
Whoa, what a questions to ask. There is so much controversy toward this issue and till this day, the Singapore government is still in a pickle on what to do.
To be honest, there is not a right answer to this question. The importance of education and whether it is really over-rated depends on the time and the type of job that we are discussing.
Furthermore, we can also see that the purpose of paper qualifications is for the employees to have an insight into the working style and thought process of the the candidate. For example, it can be said that liberal arts graduates would possess higher level of soft skills such as analysis and arguments. On the other hand, engineering students would be better trained in skills such as mathematical and programming. Therefore, there is a need to differentiate the different candidates by the type of qualifications that they hold.
Lastly, paper qualification can give future employers a glimpse of the candidates mentality and working style. While there is no concrete proof that better paper qualification would mean the person is better at working, better paper qualification would suggest that that particular is more hardworking and dependable to work hard to achieve a certain goal or result. Thus, we can see that paper qualifications are not over-rated.
However, on the other hand, we can also see that paper qualifications are over-rated as too much emphasis is placed on purely grades. While grades are a good representation of the candidates knowledge, it does not give a good representation of how the candidate is as a person. A straight “A” scoring student may have all the knowledge but if he is unable to work in a group, work under pressure or present well, that student still does not make a good worker. And from here we can see that paper qualifications in this sense would be over-rated as too much credit is given to grades and not the candidates character and personality.
Paper qualifications are also over-rated as they are not needed for all jobs. For example, certain jobs like being a chief or any jobs in customer service, there is no really necessity for paper qualifications for such jobs. If a person would like to pursue a job in such lines, they would be better of learning on the job rather than the classroom.
Therefore, it is impossible to conclude on whether paper qualification are over-rated as its importance and significance depend from the various jobs. If a person would like to be a doctor or engineer in the future, he should pursue a paper qualification. On the other hand, if a person wants to pursue becoming a chief or a waiter in a higher end restaurant, he would be better off learning from the job.