Two Much Degrees?

Another debate has been sparked over the Internet world, particularly Twitterjaya, over a statement made by Higher Education Minister, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh. Speaking at the event ‘Soaring Upwards: Let’s Talk Higher Education’ at Management and Science University, Shah Alam, he advised all university students to take up more than one bachelor’s degree through online learning methods in order to make them more employable and improve their prospects in the job market.

This statement alone has angered some netizens, with some saying they are struggling way too much while pursuing one bachelor’s degree, some said it’s too costly to do so. Despite having loads of free online courses available, there are still certain courses where you have to enrol yourself to a higher learning institution and sit for accreditation exams in order to obtain recognition of your skills from industry players, particularly professional courses such as law, accounting, actuarial science, land surveyor etc and thus came in the concern of cost. Today, I will elaborate on this issue further.


As we are moving towards a more competitive knowledge-based economy at this time and age, skills and knowledge are what it takes to land you a career, let alone a job. In order to succeed, we not only have to acquire as much knowledge as possible, but to acquire the knowledge that is able to contribute towards the development of mankind. I have known people who are interested to pursue law after completing her engineering degree, and also a person who is interested to read management upon his completion of his accounting degree, which is something plausible as such skills can go hand in hand with today’s needs. You may ask why would an engineering student want to pursue law after graduation but the truth is, there are not many lawyers out there who are well-verse in the technical and engineering problems of an infrastructure project for instance and thus such skills are much sought-after in the industry.


Of course the issue of sustaining the cost of pursuing a second degree is of concern as well. Some people opine that this will result in an ever-increasing debts due to more people obtaining education loans and some opined that they still need to repay their debts from their first degree, which no one knows when will be debts be paid off considering an ever-increasing cost of living and commitments such as families to take care of and other loans from housing and cars to settle. The truth is, there is always an option to pursue a part-time degree and I believe certain companies will supplement your tuition fees as an incentive to upskill yourself and give back to them upon completing the course, especially with multinational companies or government agencies. Besides, one can also opt for financial assistance in the form of scholarship to pursue their second degree, provided that the applicant fulfils their requirements.


The options are out there for us to choose, it is within our mindset on how we view the importance of knowledge and how to stand out from the crowd that dictates how we will succeed at the workplace. I always believe that whenever there’s a will, there’s always a way and I also believe if you are really passionate in pursuing a second degree, you will find your way to achieve that dream, be it academically or financially. There are always odds going against us, it is how we view the odds and thrive that matters. I will end this article with this quote by Aristotle:


“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet”.


Written by:

Gan Zhi Han

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