The University Where You Graduate Doesn’t Dictate Your Future

Deciding where to go for college is never easy. Studying in the university is not just about getting a degree. It is more of an investment. They need to know that they can get their money back the moment they decide to put their money on a specific university. You are bombarded with tons of options. For many Filipinos though, employability is always a factor.

In the Philippines, graduates of the top 4 universities are still preferred by major companies. Graduates of Ateneo de Manila University, University of the Philippines, University of Sto. Tomas and De La Salle University will always be prioritized. A recent survey conducted among executives of various companies revealed that two-thirds of them would still prefer these graduates over those from other universities.

Does this mean that your degree is as good as nothing if you are not from any of these top universities? Is it even worse if you have decided to stay home and study in a local university instead of heading to Manila?

To their credit, these top universities have invested a lot to remain reputable. They have hired quality teaching staff. They have also focused on ensuring the perfect passing rate of their students in licensure examinations. They have some of the best laboratories in the country. If they retain that credibility among employers, they deserve it.

University is something, but not everything

You are lucky if your parents can afford to send you to these top universities and eventually earn quality jobs after you graduate. This doesn’t mean though that being a graduate of other universities will make employers take you out of the list.

This is why they ask you to submit resume and other relevant documents during the application. They want to know more from you other than just the university where you have graduated.

Your job experience matters most. They need to know that you have the necessary experience to qualify for the job. Your suitability on the job description will make you a perfect candidate for the job. It also helps that you have proven your ability to stay long in a job. More than anything else, employers want someone who can take the job seriously.

This is in fact a quality that makes you more palatable than graduates with excellent academic performance. The problem with top students is that they seem to be discontent with a lot of things. They are always in search for something bigger and better. Hence, they easily move from one job to another. Proving that you are capable of staying longer when given the opportunity will make you a stronger candidate. A perfect example of this is the BPO industry. Employers have already started showing preference for candidates outside the major universities for their ability to stay longer.

The second round of the application is the interview. It is important that you showcase yourself in a positive way during this stage. You have to show that you have the personality to match your academic excellence and job experience with. Employers want applicants who look smart, but are also humble and respectful. This is also another problem with some graduates from top universities. According to employers, these graduates are not easily taught or asked to do something. They always take pride in being a graduate of a top university and not have the humility to follow what is asked of them to do.

Essential qualities

Aside from having a good personality, you must also possess two other qualities:  trainability and strong communication skills.

Employers don’t expect a perfect candidate for the job. They know that the competition for the best employees is tough. They want someone that they can train for the job. You need to show your willingness to learn. It is a better attitude than proving to them that you know everything. If anything, being a know-it-all could be detrimental to your job application.

There are certain skills specific to the job that you will only learn when you are already employed by the company. Whatever your previous experiences are, they don’t matter if the job requires something specific to the company. Your willingness to undergo rigorous training will be a huge advantage.

Strong communication skills are also a must. Gone were the days when introverts could take on simple office jobs that don’t require them to speak up. Today, all jobs require some sort of communication skills. Employers want someone who can provide ideas when the need arises. They want someone that they can send to their clients to do presentation. You need to show flexibility. This is true especially if you are working for startups or small businesses. You can’t expect the same job description at all times. You need to have the ability to do whatever is required of you, and your gift of gab will always come in handy.

Strive for holistic development

This only means that as a student, you have to achieve holistic development. If your parents have the capacity to send you to Ateneo or La Salle, you’re lucky. You already have a leg up against other candidates for the job.

You should not lose hope though if you are a graduate of other universities. There are a lot of other qualities that you need to possess if you want to be the top choice for the job. Employers can’t have a big brush that paints all top university graduates as excellent and others as weak. They need to evaluate you individually, and this is where you have to shine.

Besides, if you are applying for a job abroad, most employers don’t even know which universities in the Philippines are on top. They will based their decision on your experience, personal qualities and suitability for the job.

Image attribution: http://frame.inquirer.net/files/2015/06/20150629-20150628rrl4a.jpg

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine (Dine) Racoma is a writer, researcher, and multi-awarded blogger. You can find Bernadine Racoma at Google Plus, Facebook, and Twitter. She is an advocate, and co-founder of Blogwatch.

Profile as of March 9, 2017.

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