Last Updated: December 21, 2017, 3:59 pm

Do college degrees matter?


By Zachary Johnston

Having a degree or choosing an emphasis in a particular field is recommended, but it may not be essential for landing your dream job.

The importance of knowledge, experience or background needed really depends on the field.

Veteran news personality Tess Rafols of “Good Morning Arizona” said most companies do want or require a college degree. As a graduate of the renowned University of Southern California, Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, she used her degree to work through the television ranks to become well respected in the industry.

Rafols also said making connections was vital to her success and stressed how important it is to network.

“Meet as many people as you can and connect with them on social media,” Rafols said.

She recommended keeping one’s name “out there” and being willing to learn all aspects of the industry.  These tips will promote visibility and a potential marketable asset to future employers.

Andrew Skaggs, a career coach at Career Services, said: “Students’ majors should match up with the career they desire, but the requirement of that degree depends on employment. Students should have a preferred major, but some employers prefer having a certain skillset in the workforce in addition to their major.”

Skaggs specializes in providing educational advice to students and is a promoter of education.

“Experience is very important; that’s why interning is stressed as well as creating resumes prior to interviewing at major companies,” he said. “Students can prepare by interning, career planning and being proactive.”

Skaggs strongly believes in internships and becoming involved by gaining hands-on experience to further students’ understanding of any field they desire to get into.

Greg Esplin, a human resources coordinator, said an emphasis can better prepare students for the career they want. Esplin emphasized how important education is, but he is also a firm believer that experience is extremely important.

“If students have good experiences, they are able to use those experiences to apply to whatever situation they are in currently,” he said.

Internships are good way to prepare, Esplin said. Students can find internships on or off campus through Career Services.

“Finding a good mentor helps you out as well,” Esplin said.  

Bonding with professors who have connections in a certain field can also help students get jobs.

“Getting a degree helps open doors for students regardless of what type of degree is obtained,” Esplin said. “Students are not trapped in a particular field based off their degree. Some degrees are able to be used in multiple areas or different types of careers. The most important thing to study is something that you enjoy.”