The Higher Education Authority (HEA) has recently warned of growing costs for third level funding. Currently, capitation fees which are universal for all third level students are around €2,500 annually however, the HEA has indicated that this could rise to almost €6,000 as the costs of education increase.
Calculating these figures along with accommodation and day to day expenses, the cost of attending college can increase significantly to around €14,000 per year. Considering that the other option may be to join the workforce straight out of school, Tom Dunne asks Peter Cosgrove, Director of Cpl, whether getting a college degree is actually worth it.
Peter suggests that it is still a valuable resource but maybe not for the reasons that we immediately think of…
Many companies are now insisting on candidates having a degree despite the fact that their management may not actually have one themselves – Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook for example. A degree or lack thereof, may be used as a means of screening their prospective employees so having a degree may be what you need to get your foot in the door.
There is also a presumption made by the employers that a graduate will be somewhat intelligent and will also be highly motivated which are obviously seen as positives in the workplace, another reason for going to college.
College isn’t all about the academics though. Some companies are now looking at candidate’s emotional intelligence instead of their IQ. The relationships you make in college are sometimes just as important as the results you get and the ability to network may give you the connections you need to land that job; another reason to get a degree!
Although it may be a little harder, you can still get a job without having a degree. When job hunting without any formal qualifications, Peter indicates that the focus shifts from what you know, to who you know and your ability to network effectively becomes essential. If you’re able to use your contacts to impress those with influence within a company, you’ll improve your prospects immeasurably so get out and meet people!
Given the amazing weather that Ireland has experienced over the last week, the discussion quite appropriately moved to the topic of ‘sickies’ which is where an employee makes up an excuse to get out of work. Unfortunately, it seems that the most common lie used in those situations relates to the passing of an elderly relative but Peter suggests that employees should refrain from using this on such a regular basis as managers start to pick up on it! He also recommends picking the time to ring into work appropriately as one employee found out when his call regarding an illness was rudely interrupted by the tannoy in the departures lounge of the airport!