March 22, 2024

Degrees vs. Skills: The Changing Landscape of Employability

Grace Achi 🇹🇭
Degrees vs. Skills: The Changing Landscape of Employability

“The world of work is in flux…”

In a world where students globally graduate with increasingly similar degrees, some of which are labeled "useless," and where the educational landscape sees individuals invest thousands of dollars each year yet often lack real-world experience, many graduates [esp. Gen Zers] find themselves without essential corporate skills, leading to a struggle to secure job opportunities. The question is:

“Does your degree still hold its value amidst the rapid changes in business and technology?”

Degrees: Still Important, But Not the Only Story

While it is true that degrees remain a strong signal of educational attainment, employers are now focused on ‘skills-based hiring’ rather than on college degrees. 

This trend extends beyond blue-collar jobs - professional services, engineering, and even tech giants like Google are on board. Google, for example, considers its own short courses equivalent to a degree for some positions.

The culprit? Our world's rapid pace of change. Universities struggle to keep their curriculum current with tech advancements, societal shifts, and political landscapes. 

This is where partnerships between universities, industries, and startups like HEX become crucial. We work together to ensure programs meet the ever-evolving needs of employers.

The Cost of Knowledge: Is a Degree Worth It?

The answer depends. 

Certain professions like dentistry still require a degree. Additionally, a degree is a fantastic path for those passionate about a subject and seeking expertise through research.

However, if your sole aim is employment, faster and cheaper skill-building options exist. The challenge lies in official recognition.

HEX is at the forefront of innovation in this space. We offer short-alternative courses that bridge the gap between employer needs, university academic rigor, and Gen Z co-creation, all while being affordable, accessible, and, most importantly, globally recognizable.

Inspo from Our Friends in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

So, how does this evolving education landscape connect to Vietnam's rise as an innovation hub? Here's why Vietnam is perfectly positioned to thrive:

  • A Young and Tech-Savvy Population (aka GROWING MARKET): Vietnam's startup ecosystem is rapidly expanding, boasting over 3,000 startups across diverse sectors like fintech, e-commerce, healthtech, and logistics with notable successes including VNG, Tiki, and Sendo. Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) takes the lead as the primary startup hub in Vietnam.
  • Government Investment: The Vietnamese government actively supports innovation and tech through initiatives like relaxed cryptocurrency regulations and fostering a startup ecosystem.
  • A Shift Towards Skills-Based Learning: Australian universities are playing a key role in this shift by partnering with Vietnamese institutions and even opening branch campuses in Vietnam. These partnerships offer Vietnamese students access to internationally recognized qualifications while infusing Australian expertise in practical skill development.
  • Foreign Investment Incentives: Relaxed regulations on foreign ownership in listed companies (up to 100% in some cases) and unlimited foreign investment in government bonds make Vietnam welcoming to foreign capital.

The Future of Education is Flexible

The future of education is a blend. Degrees will remain valuable, but skills will take center stage. 

Looking for an alternative to traditional education? HEX offers innovative programs that bridge the gap between the classroom and the needs of the modern workforce. We're proud to be a part of Vietnam's exciting journey as a Southeast Asian innovation leader. 

Visit our website to learn more about the HEX International Program in Vietnam! What could be better than pitching your business idea in the heart of this emerging innovation hub?

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