I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting lately and one thing I’ve been thinking about is education. With the current economic crisis and with so many people being out of jobs, its made me think of whether education truly acts as a protective shield against these times. I naively assumed that by picking a profession, specifically one that many consider in a “secure” industry that I would be protected in these times of uncertainty. Although I’m fortunate enough to say I still have a job, I’ve noticed so many people who’ve popped up on my LinkedIn field with degrees in so called “safe industries” from top tier schools that have masters degrees and have been laid off. So is education still a protective net? Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade my college years for anything. The experiences I had, the friendships I made, and knowledge I gained from attending classes is irreplaceable. But what I do draw into question is taking for granted the fact that just because you have a college degree in a so called safe industry, (for example say in tech) it does not make you immune to the uncertainty that surrounds the job market and other changes.
I’ve realized that more and more is necessary in order to create your safety net, such as coming up with a side hustle, starting your own business, investing or learning new skills. What I see more and more as an emerging pattern in this day and age is that depending solely on your 8-5 job for income is risky. Mitigate this risk by having something on the side you can lean on so as they say, ” you don’t have all your eggs in one basket”. Although there’s an element you can’t control (ex: when lay offs are coming), I think the best way to prepare one self is either to develop additional skills that make you irreplaceable or take things into your hands and develop a second source of income.
Education may once have served as a guarantee for holding a stable job and it may still be, but with the changing times it’s best to have additional sources of income as there are many factors that are not within our control.