Taking Charge: What is your degree worth?

Posted by Sunera on March 12, 2014

On-board to York

I personally don’t think our degrees are worth anything without passion; having a degree entails a lot more, it opens many doors but these entry routes must be utilized because opportunities don’t keep knocking.

Once this time elapses and you are in the job market it is very hard to avail these resources. I have witnessed people have good careers who didn’t have post-secondary degrees but it is rare, and room for mobility also decreases horizontally or vertically. If you are looking for mobility, personal satisfaction, careers that really showcase your personality, then degree is the way to go. Of course, there is a chance that one may end up in careers that were not anticipated , but overall degrees offer a lot more opportunities and this what I realized, and witnessed in the labour market.

Having said that, another thing I realized is that degrees are not our golden tickets to landing jobs. Your portfolio you gather in university is a tremendous boost and adds a lot of weight to your resume as a potential employee. I used to witness people get hired this way, and I always wondered how in the world would I acquire these skills especially working full-time, and studying at the same time, this  left me no spare time to add anything to my portfolio. So once I got to YorkU, I was not about to waste time. Below is a list of things that have contributed to my portfolio.

Portfolio: Written journals, publications, awards, certificates, recommendations, reference letter (school/work), Co-Curricular Record, scholarships, artwork, videography, photography, and any other contributions you have made inside and outside of school.

Fairs and workshops: Career fair is a great place to expand your professional network. Career Centre offers a lot of workshops too. Graduate workshops are great for discovering opportunities, and I attend McLaughlin college lunch talks too. Workshops are a great way to explore current trends in the labour market.

Volunteer: Volunteer fair, volunteering on campus, and in the community. It will add weight to your resume and open doors for professional networking.

Making networks and connections: On-campus jobs, Career centre workshops through which I have attended the pre-requisite for the TASTE program, and volunteering have helped me expand my professional networks.

Leadership skills: Clubs and volunteering are a great way to showcase leadership skills. Vertical mobility in any position showcases ones leadership potential.

Community involvement: This is one area I hope to add to my portfolio. Many York University students have made outstanding contributions to the community and Talisha Ramsaroop is just one of them. You can check out her story by following the link.

Here is a little secret, people always ask me why are so you eager to get involved? The answer is I want to avail these opportunities, as York University is providing me the platform, and I was a tad bit envious of people who were able to take advantage of these opportunities. So yeah, there is a little utilitarian factor here because I realize education is a tool, and our degrees are worth what we make of them!

Safe travel till next time!



Sunera graduated from York University in May, 2016 with an Honours BA in Work and Labour Studies.

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