You do not need a college degree to be successful. Really?

By Randell Tiongson on August 7th, 2023

I always hear speakers and influencers claim that a college degree is not needed to be successful. Really?

The belief that a college degree is unnecessary for success has gained attention, particularly in the context of the Philippines. While stories of self-made individuals without formal education inspire, it’s essential to critically assess the role of a college degree in achieving success within the Philippine context. Debunking this argument requires a comprehensive understanding of the unique advantages that higher education offers and the socio-economic landscape of the Philippines.

Access to Diverse Opportunities

While it’s true that certain professions don’t explicitly require a degree, many others do. A college degree significantly widens the array of opportunities available to Filipinos. Fields such as medicine, law, engineering, finance and other specialized careers necessitate in-depth knowledge and training that can only be acquired through formal education.

Skill Development

College education equips individuals with a range of skills that are valuable across industries. Critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and research skills are honed through coursework and interactions with peers and professors. These skills are crucial for success in the modern job market.

Networking and Connections

Universities provide a unique environment for building networks and forming connections. Students interact with diverse peers and engage with faculty members who are experts in their fields. These relationships can lead to mentorship, collaborative opportunities, and a supportive professional network.

Cultural and Personal Enrichment

College is a transformative period that exposes individuals to new ideas, cultures, and perspectives. It fosters personal growth, cultural awareness, and the development of soft skills that are indispensable in today’s globalized world.

Credibility and Trust

In the Philippines, where trust and credibility are vital, a college degree can serve as a mark of expertise. Clients, employers, and colleagues often view a degree as a sign of dedication and a certain level of competence, particularly in fields that require specialized knowledge.

Global Competitiveness

In an interconnected world, a college degree enhances global competitiveness. It equips Filipinos to navigate diverse cultural settings and positions them to excel in an international job market. Just ask our Overseas Filipino Workers!

Economic Security and Earnings Potential

While success encompasses more than financial gains, it is common knowledge that individuals with college degrees tend to have higher earning potential over their lifetimes. Higher income can lead to improved quality of life and financial stability.

The argument that a college degree is unnecessary for success in the Philippines overlooks the multifaceted advantages that higher education provides. While alternative paths to success exist, a college degree offers a comprehensive package of skills, knowledge, networking opportunities, and personal growth that significantly enhance an individual’s chances of achieving success within the Philippine socio-economic context. Rather than negating the value of other routes, recognizing the benefits of a college education empowers Filipinos to make informed decisions that align with their aspirations and contribute to the country’s overall progress.

Getting a college degree is still a great idea.


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You do not need a college degree to be successful. Really?