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Degree is no longer needed. Do you feel unsafe or happy?

If I tell you that a degree is no longer needed, do you feel unsafe or happy? Depending on whether you have a degree or you do not have one, currently.

Someone told me that in the future, a degree is definitely not needed. That someone has a degree, does not have a Master degree and was working in the IT world then. So, what are your thoughts about NOT needing a degree in the future? If someone were to tell you that instead of studying for years to get a degree, just study 6 months for a certificate and start to get a job which pays a very good salary? In fact not even a good salary, it’s close to 3 times better than everyone else in that country…

Article in Google has launched new professional certification programs in data analysis, project management, and UX design and these will be hosted on Coursera. The monthly fee is US$49 (RM205) but Google will provide 100,000 needs-based scholarships and over US$10 million grants to certain non-profits that partner with workforce development to women, veterans, and underrepresented Americans.

This was what Google said, ““In our own hiring, we will now treat these new career certificates as the equivalent of a four-year degree for related roles.” As for those who completed a project management program, Google lists the median annual wage of each career track with a high of $93,000 (RM388,507). Please do read the full article here: Article in

Reality, at least for now.

You have a professional certificate and you enter into an organisation full of people with degrees. (which is common since every executive job and above lists a degree as pre-requisite). One day during a company party, you declared to everyone in the room that their degrees are all a waste of time. In future only certificates are necessary and that your certificate is the most important thing of all. Well, I wish you all the best yeah.

My opinion?

By the way, I am one of those who believe that what we study in the university does not represent the business world. However, what has happened during those years of study is also that we get basics and foundations of many skills which are still needed, we built friendships, we are entrenched in people networks, we build leadership skills when we participate in clubs and interests during those years and yes, it built discipline because if you do your assignment well but you fail your tests / exams, you fail your module and vice-versa. This is what a degree is about.

As long as these years of extra could be replaced by a 6-month professional certificate programme, then go ahead and forget the degree and take this professional certificate programme alone and start earning that potential US$93,000 which was claimed earlier.

What will I do?

If my kids could, they will still finish their university. I have no specific wish for engineering or accounting or medicine or law. It’s unnecessary if you ask me. Whatever they have interest in, I would encourage and provide the funds for them to finish that degree. Period. Master degree is up to them. Oh yeah, these professional certificates, yeah, I would also encourage them to take it too. So, I am not saying these professional certifications are not good. It should be an extra and not as a replacement.


One day, if the whole company is full of these professional certificate holders, then a degree holder better not try to tell everyone that a degree is important. I do not think he will get any support. However, if we look at the prestige of many top universities and how most job advertisements are advertising as well as the qualifications needed for promotions in many companies, the days when degrees are abandoned are still far away.

Information for all. The median salary for an American is US$33,706 in 2017. Do not mix this up with household income yeah. That’s two person, usually. Perhaps we look forward to this single income to be closer to the claimed US$93,000 before we decide?

In the mean time, happy studying. Whether it’s for a degree or for a professional certificate.

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Charles Tan The Founder The Writer Kopiandproperty
Charles Tan

Charles is Founder of He writes from his investment experience for the the past 20 years in investments including property, stock, unit trust and more as well as readings and conversations with many property gurus in the industry. is an independent property blog which is not affiliated to any media company, property developer or even real estate agencies.

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