I am about to complete my Masters in English at the age of 21 only. Isn’t it cool?
That might sound impressive initially, but it has its own repercussions. If you ask me what I want to do after my Masters, I am clueless. Yes, I don’t have any idea what to do next. In this fast-paced world, we have to pre-plan our next academic degree while pursuing one. If you want to go for a PhD, you are supposed to plan it as soon as you get admission to Masters.
A person is barely aware of the world outside until they step outside. As a 12th standard student, I had no idea what the future prospects of graduating in English Literature would be. My graduation instantly pushed me to post-graduation without a break.
Since the start, we are told that educational breaks are not good for a career. Therefore, it was never an option to pause and think. Now that I look back, I realise that a break was really necessary to look over every possible option. As it happens, you can’t push a button and start everything all over again without thinking twice, especially in a country like ours.
It is easier to choose a path when you have a range of alternatives. Before making a clear-cut career choice, we must see it in a broad spectrum. One must consider the long term effect of a decision; as important as a career. The motive is not to deviate those who are assured of their goals but to inform those who are unsure about it.
The general perception regarding a specialisation is that it offers a higher standard of education in comparison to a “pass course” or “program”. This isn’t true. A pass course is as good as a specialised course.
The same phenomenon applies to a child forced to go for a particular discipline, be it Science, Mathematics or Geography. Nowadays, parents are greatly influenced by talent shows displaying how a kid of just 5 years of age is thorough with all chemical formulas. As a result, they start pushing their kids in a stipulated direction. It hinders the natural growth of a child, making them weak in other disciplines.
On the contrary, we should focus on the overall growth of a person. The propulsion to choose specific options and not going by one’s interest is killing creative minds. There are not many people left who are writing comics or scripts for cartoons. We can barely find someone interested in culture and heritage.
If we don’t rush to choose one thing over the other and consider opening ourselves to different possibilities, the risk of being stuck will reduce. A specialisation has its own benefits but only if given proper thought, keeping a long-term goal.
According to a report, the labour market outcomes for PhDs vary significantly by gender and discipline, and the economic return of a PhD is lower for younger graduates compared to PhDs in general. PhD graduates may not be aware of the skills and abilities they could bring to a future employer, or there may be a mismatch between the capabilities desired by employers and those gained by PhD graduates during their studies.
PhDs and specialisations do not always promise the best possible outcome. One needs to think it through as it is both time and money consuming. It also depends on the end goal, which differs from person to person. If you are looking for a high-yielding job, carefully evaluate every aspect of that particular degree you are planning to pursue.
Being versatile is the need of the hour to adapt to the changing environment when required. The significance of being a generalist is not limited to education and job but also a general understanding of living.