Diploma and ‘diskarte’

By Joshua Corcuera

In social media, I have read several posts recently about this argument: daig ng madiskarte ang may diploma. Since this topic was the subject of some posts, it garnered thousands of reactions and comments which resulted in the exchange of various thoughts and opinions.

For me, a college diploma remains very important. Or at the very least, a diploma certifying that one graduated from Senior High School. After all, it is quite obvious that education is very important to reach our dreams; it remains one of the most reliable ways to attain our goals in life.

For instance, if you aspire to be a lawyer, you must first have a law degree to gain the chance to take the Bar Exam in the first place. Likewise, if you want to be a CPA, you must first hold a diploma proving that you have completed the study of accountancy. In these two instances, a diploma is not only important, but necessary to achieve a certain desired outcome—which is to be a lawyer or a CPA.

Furthermore, in a typical job interview, it is normally expected that the applicant with more credentials would be accepted to a certain position. Henceforth, displaying academic success is a useful key for one to be competitive in the job market that we find ourselves in at present.

As a matter of fact, among fresh graduates, there is little doubt that boasting high grades in college is an advantage that can boost one’s chances of getting hired to a highly coveted job.

Dear reader, if you were the human resource (HR) manager and you were asked which applicant to accept for a position that entails heavy responsibilities, who would you choose assuming other factors held constant? Someone with a GWA of nearly flat one and graduated with Latin honors or someone who managed to pass with a ‘tres’? The answer would be pretty obvious.

Although there are other considerations in real life scenarios, such as extra co-curricular activities, internships, and organizations joined in college, those who participate in such tend to be good at academics as well.

Meanwhile, people on the other aisle argue that some of the wealthiest and, arguably, most successful people in the world were college dropouts. They even managed to enumerate specific examples such as Mark Zuckerburg who founded Facebook, Bill Gates who established Microsoft, and the late Steve Jobs who started Apple.

There are two problems with this argument. First, these people voluntarily dropped out; they did not fail school if my mind serves me right. And second, they dropped out from prestigious universities, not just some random school out there.

More importantly, the problem with many people is that they think that the only measure of success is money—nothing more, nothing less. Although living a relatively affluent life is necessary to make ends meet and to obtain our needs, money is not necessarily the sole goal of some people.

For instance, a lawyer or a doctor may not earn as much as a successful entrepreneur, but they are capable of defending oppressed people or curing those who are sick or ill. Further, if everyone’s goal is to be wealthy, then doesn’t that mean that we would face a shortage of professionals such as doctors, engineers, lawyers, CPAs, teachers, and so forth? Ultimately, wouldn’t that mean that society, including the rich, would suffer as a result of this brain drain?

The point is this: a diploma remains very important in the 21st century. Without doubt, academic excellence is crucial for the development of society. Incidentally, the argument that diskarte is all you need to be successful tends to impose a negative view on learning among the youth. Some children who might hear this argument may be discouraged to study and focus solely on diskarte.