The paper chase

The paper chase

Recruitment agencies say higher qualifications do help to some extent. For example, candidates with a master's degree can differentiate themselves from job seekers with only an undergraduate degree, as it shows a high level of competency. For candidates who want to upgrade from a diploma to degree, it is certainly a plus point for higher-level jobs where the entry qualification is a bachelor's degree.

But recruitment experts also agree that hiring managers may not view paper qualifications as the most important prerequisite, especially when the pursuit of a higher degree is gaining in popularity.

Soft skills such as leadership abilities, emotional intelligence and work experience may be even more important. Candidates with transferable skills such as writing, arithmetic and presentation skills are valued by employers.

Facing up to reality

Even with higher qualifications, employees will not see immediate returns - salary increases and promotions will only follow after they are able to demonstrate better performance from their newly acquired knowledge.

According to Mr Josh Goh, assistant director for corporate services at The GMP Group, it is vital to think about your career goals and aspirations before embarking on the paper chase. He says: "It's pointless to accumulate paper qualifications if you are unsure about your career goals."

Mr Goh warns that it is a misconception that higher paper qualifications are a "guaranteed ticket" to a more senior position or higher paying job.

"Employers consider the repute of the qualifications of job seekers, and also their work experiences and past achievements.

This will directly affect the marketability of the candidates," he says.

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