Why don’t people value my education?

Having a higher education is not what it used to be. How can one differentiate with so many skilled people?

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The stories

I’ve come across people from different academic backgrounds, typically ending studies, or in an early phase of their career, who complain about two things:

“How can a company not value my education enough to offer a paid internship? Why do I need to work for free?”

This came from a post of a final year economy student. She even continued saying: “I thought the name of my university would help me find a good job”.

“Some people without any design education are practicing ridiculously low prices. This is harming designers who have studied years for this!”

This one happened in a freelancer event I attended. She also went forward saying that she couldn’t charge the same amount of money to a small business (such as a hairdresser) as she charged to a big bank.

What do these two stories have in common?

Both of these stories come from people who feel that their work is not valued enough. The first one thought that the fact that she went to a certain university would automatically put every company out there looking for her, even without any experience. The second one felt that people should pay her more than a kid in his free time because she spent years studying the subject.

Let me tell you the tale of the family clock…

When the grandfather of a kid (let’s call him Brian) passed away, his father offered a small clock, which was a family heirloom.

“Go to the restaurant and ask how much do they offer for it.”

Brian went, and the owner of the restaurant offered 10€.

“They just offered 10€. This has no value”

His father then asked him.

“Go to the pawnshop. See if they offer anything more”

Off he went. Sure that he was wasting his time and not understanding what was happening. When arrived, the owner of the pawnshop offered 20€. He went back and told the result to his father. It was better, but still not a value worth the trouble. Finally, his father asked him:

“Go to the museum and see what they say”

The museum? Why would they want this piece of garbage? Brian was certain that he was wasting his time and that he would be thrown out of the door.

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“This clock is a limited version Rolex from the time of the Second World War. It could be worth more than 60 000€!”

Final thoughts

Know your own value. Look for people who need those skills. If there is no match, walk away and find someone who needs you. Learn to look where you can find people who value your skills.

Software Engineer, fascinated by the impact of technology in our everyday life. Writing about Tech and Personal Development.

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