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Old 25.05.2023, 13:46
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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Time to show our cards. I do have a degree that's why I say it helps to live a more comfortable life. What's your situation? Living a comfortable life without a degree and learned a Swiss national language at Migros? Just tell it. It would be quite interesting if you or your spouse do have a degree, nice incomes, while telling us it's not necessary just to play the contrarian.
Sounds like the bloke our family lived opposite to when I was growing up. He'd somehow worked his way up through the ranks and found a way into a reasonable middle management position at the Post Office where he found himself among graduates in their first or second jobs. Yes, they were probably a bit green and young (he was late 40s) but he had the BIGGEST chip on his shoulder about them. If he were to be believed, they could barely find their own ass with both hands but I think it was his own deflated ego which was spurring on his disdain for them. You couldn't bump into him in the street for fear he'd go off on a rant.

The sad thing was that he was probably good at his job, otherwise he wouldn't have made it that far. Just his insecurities kept spoiling it for him.

When us kids went off to study, he was definitely one to avoid...
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Old 26.05.2023, 09:03
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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So, every professional you've met in CH that speaks 2-3 languages learned in Klubschule Migros?

I have that profile and a bit different story. I mastered my mother language (Spanish) at school with teachers with degrees. Then, learned English from people with degrees. Came to Switzerland and learned French from people with degrees. Simply because broke student and the courses at the university institute for languages were included in the 60 CHF semester fee. My puny attempts at learning German were at ECAP here in Aargau with a retired elementary school teacher that still works part-time. Not a degree in "languages" but someone who thought children to master German around here.

Time to show our cards. I do have a degree that's why I say it helps to live a more comfortable life. What's your situation? Living a comfortable life without a degree and learned a Swiss national language at Migros? Just tell it. It would be quite interesting if you or your spouse do have a degree, nice incomes, while telling us it's not necessary just to play the contrarian.
Most professionals I've met in Europe can speak 2-3 languages that they've learned already at school age. So learning from people with degrees, but a minority will have learned from people with degrees in languages.

This is fundamentally the issue with languages degrees, most linguistics positions don't require a degree. My kids can speak 3 languages fluently simply by virtue of their upbringing.

I myself have an advanced degree in a STEM subject from a prestigious institution, as well as an executive MBA from another prestigious institution. On the one hand, these have opened many doors for me in my life so far, on the other hand, I can count on hand the number of days I've ever actually had to use anything that I learned in further education. Which is why I personally don't hold much value in them, while realising the reality that they are highly regarded by many.

The world is also changing at the moment, and the decision to take on further education isn't as simple as it once was. I was on a tour of UK Universities with my eldest recently and aside from the small matter most have been visibly captured by woke dogma, I had to advise that the cost/debt/reward of studying a degree in the UK isn't worth it anymore for the vast majority of courses. Most would be better off getting apprenticeships with companies that will pay for your education to degree level.

Fortunately the cost of universities in Germany and Switzerland still make the risk/reward decision for further education a no brainer, however this isn't the same elsewhere.
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Old 26.05.2023, 10:06
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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Most professionals I've met in Europe can speak 2-3 languages that they've learned already at school age. So learning from people with degrees, but a minority will have learned from people with degrees in languages.
Who do you think teaches languages at these schools??? Do you think these people are all native speakers without a degree in languages?
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Old 26.05.2023, 10:10
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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Who do you think teaches languages at these schools??? Do you think these people are all native speakers without a degree in languages?
In Switzerland, outside of a Gymnasium, children will typically be taught languages by teachers with no languages degree and with further education from a Pädagogisch Hochschule.
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Old 26.05.2023, 10:55
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I myself have an advanced degree in a STEM subject from a prestigious institution, as well as an executive MBA from another prestigious institution. On the one hand, these have opened many doors for me in my life so far, on the other hand, I can count on hand the number of days I've ever actually had to use anything that I learned in further education. Which is why I personally don't hold much value in them, while realising the reality that they are highly regarded by many.
"I myself"

Seriously, you are suggesting that, although you have been through the uni system, sorry *cough* "prestigious" uni system, but haven't managed to use your learning in your career, this is a case to show others that they shouldn't bother with a further education? I use my learning, albeit in a vaguely unrelated field, probably every day.

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The world is also changing at the moment, and the decision to take on further education isn't as simple as it once was. I was on a tour of UK Universities with my eldest recently and aside from the small matter most have been visibly captured by woke dogma, I had to advise that the cost/debt/reward of studying a degree in the UK isn't worth it anymore for the vast majority of courses. Most would be better off getting apprenticeships with companies that will pay for your education to degree level.
The UK doesn't really "do" apprenticeships any more (unless you sign up for Alan Sugar's car crash series)

Why did you "tour UK universities" if you don't want your kid to go there and it's all too "woke"?
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  #86  
Old 26.05.2023, 11:55
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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Who do you think teaches languages at these schools??? Do you think these people are all native speakers without a degree in languages?
There's a difference between a language degree and a degree in education. That's what he is trying to say, at least to my understanding.

Not ALL teachers have a language degree, some have a degree in education.

In the country where I come from, during the primary school (6-12), language is only taught by teachers with a degree in education.
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Old 26.05.2023, 12:02
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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I myself have an advanced degree in a STEM subject from a prestigious institution, as well as an executive MBA from another prestigious institution. On the one hand, these have opened many doors for me in my life so far, on the other hand, I can count on hand the number of days I've ever actually had to use anything that I learned in further education. Which is why I personally don't hold much value in them, while realising the reality that they are highly regarded by many.
So, you acquired and learned to use a tool. You have lived well and scarcely used the tool. Thus, is the conclusion that the tool is not that useful? Of course it's possible to live without using our skills and knowledge, nothing special about it. However, don't make conclusions out of it.

Back to Switzerland, it's an export oriented economy, usually with a trade surplus. The key to this is the highly educated workforce. Of course, a car mechanic or a Migros cashier live a good life here. But, who brought those sweet EUR to USD to Switzerland by selling the design of a power or a chemical plant, aerospace technology, pharma, and other service to customers around the world? Who is the people behind the trade surplus?
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Old 26.05.2023, 12:03
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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I myself have an advanced degree in a STEM subject from a prestigious institution, as well as an executive MBA from another prestigious institution. On the one hand, these have opened many doors for me in my life so far, on the other hand, I can count on hand the number of days I've ever actually had to use anything that I learned in further education.

And there you have it. The dirty little secret we're all tiptoeing around and not vocalizing. An advanced degree is a signalling mechanism. It signals to your employer that you are part of select group of intellectually strong, curious people that are willing to go through the pain, cost and time to get such a degree. It's almost never about the "knowledge", but about the intrinsic ability that is being proven by passing such degrees.
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Old 26.05.2023, 18:55
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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It would be quite interesting if you or your spouse do have a degree, nice incomes, while telling us it's not necessary just to play the contrarian.
This discussion reminds of the endless discussions about Gymnasium and whether this is a good path or not; I see a parallel between these two topics. Sure, you can have a good life without each of them, however, if you have the interest, the mental prowess/the chance and the support to pursue any of them, why not? If you don't have a degree it doesn't mean nobody should pursue one; if your child couldn't make it to "gymi" it doesn't mean no child could or should or is not good for them.
Rant over.
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Old 27.05.2023, 13:17
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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And there you have it. The dirty little secret we're all tiptoeing around and not vocalizing. An advanced degree is a signalling mechanism. It signals to your employer that you are part of select group of intellectually strong, curious people that are willing to go through the pain, cost and time to get such a degree. It's almost never about the "knowledge", but about the intrinsic ability that is being proven by passing such degrees.
I was sorely tempted to call “rubbish/self-important twaddle” on your post. However, in a fit of unprecedented equanimity, I chose to consult with a learned friend who in fact does belong to your puffed-up select group of ...…

His reply is certainly more circumspect than mine would have been. And also a bit less overbearing than your assertion:


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About the witty comments that you attached, there may be some truth in it. But frankly in the last few years I met so many students that were rewarded with a PhD just because they somehow managed to hang on long enough to the job, evading being kicked out before graduating. It may be true for many though that having a academic degree means that they are tough and don't fold up under pressure. Me, I am of course gifted with a superior intellect, though my contribution to that was zero apart from managing to stay alive long enough (my parents dealt with the genetics I presume).

To sum it up: there may be some truth in that an academic degree is a sign of intellectual stamina but there's always deceit and the buddy effects and other human interactions that should be considered before being overly impressed by academic titles.

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Old 27.05.2023, 14:22
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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the "useless degrees" (in social sciences) as people call them here can lead one to entry-level jobs in HR, customer care, finance, administrative/secretarial jobs etc. So they're not as useless as some here have deemed them to be.
All useless occupations.

Tom
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Old 27.05.2023, 14:36
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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All useless occupations.

Tom
What a ridiculous thing to say.
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Old 27.05.2023, 14:58
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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Unfortunately they love their pieces of paper in the DACH countries. The reverence one is supposed to hold for those who hold a PhD "Herr/Frau Doktor" regardless of subject studied and ability is a peculiarity I've never managed to grasp.

Most high paying white collar jobs still require a degree in Switzerland. Meanwhile other countries have started to see the fallacy that degree=ability and are starting to move away from it. I still think it will be a long time before Switzerland catches up.
My experience is the opposite of what you say, or at least at different times and by whom.

When I arrived almost 25 years ago, in my department in the financial services industry, hardly anyone had a degree. Most did some sort of apparenticeship (I was shocked they started working in banks already at around 16), but yes the bosses did have some night school business degree which they did when they were already 30 and pushing for a position in senior management. But they also started with some sort of bank apprenticeship.

The only people with university degrees were the quants and the economic research guys, i.e., the people who anyway did a lot of research. In my department, people with university degrees were not self-starters - having only come out of university after 25, they just took much longer to really get into practical working mode. There was definitely no preference to hire them.

But when we started having more and more foreigners coming in, especially with the EU bilateral thing, we started having more and more people with university degrees.

10 years later, these degree holders become bosses, and they started hiring... only people with university degrees, because that's what they know, and they don't understand the Swiss Apprenticeship system.

So now that is what we have - only degree holders in my department, which is made up of 90% foreigners. However, there are still some departments which remain very swiss, and they mostly stick to the Swiss apprenticeship and don't really value degrees that much.
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Old 27.05.2023, 17:23
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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My experience is the opposite of what you say, or at least at different times and by whom.

When I arrived almost 25 years ago, in my department in the financial services industry, hardly anyone had a degree. Most did some sort of apparenticeship (I was shocked they started working in banks already at around 16), but yes the bosses did have some night school business degree which they did when they were already 30 and pushing for a position in senior management. But they also started with some sort of bank apprenticeship.

The only people with university degrees were the quants and the economic research guys, i.e., the people who anyway did a lot of research. In my department, people with university degrees were not self-starters - having only come out of university after 25, they just took much longer to really get into practical working mode. There was definitely no preference to hire them.

But when we started having more and more foreigners coming in, especially with the EU bilateral thing, we started having more and more people with university degrees.

10 years later, these degree holders become bosses, and they started hiring... only people with university degrees, because that's what they know, and they don't understand the Swiss Apprenticeship system.

So now that is what we have - only degree holders in my department, which is made up of 90% foreigners. However, there are still some departments which remain very swiss, and they mostly stick to the Swiss apprenticeship and don't really value degrees that much.
Yes, people tend to prefer that which they know.
My experience was that the algorithms that HR use to exclude candidates are the big problem. They mean many excellent candidates are lost (i.e. me). I don't know what the solution is when companies are inundated with applicants. Happy to be retired now.
Just watched "Intouchables" great movie with an unorthodox hiring as its theme.
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Old 27.05.2023, 17:41
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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All useless occupations.

Tom
Where would you rank these “useless” occupations versus for example a sound engineer? Please provide workings.
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Old 27.05.2023, 17:52
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

I haven't really read this thread though but apropos of something or nothing I do think it's worth highlighting how grade inflation has affected things.

When I earned my degree in the UK in the late 90's only 3% of graduates were awarded a first class degree (rough equiv. Summa cum laude). In my class, that held up as only 2 out of 100 starting my class received a first. Happily and with some pride, I was one of them.

Now, my understanding is that around 30% of graduates are awarded a first. No doubt this is, arguably legitimately, largely influenced by a certain amount of expectation in return for the high fees compared to my era, whereas in contrast I received a government grant just to attend.


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And there you have it. The dirty little secret we're all tiptoeing around and not vocalizing. An advanced degree is a signalling mechanism. It signals to your employer that you are part of select group of intellectually strong, curious people that are willing to go through the pain, cost and time to get such a degree. It's almost never about the "knowledge", but about the intrinsic ability that is being proven by passing such degrees.
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Old 27.05.2023, 18:05
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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I haven't really read this thread though but apropos of something or nothing I do think it's worth highlighting how grade inflation has affected things.

When I earned my degree in the UK in the late 90's only 3% of graduates were awarded a first class degree (rough equiv. Summa cum laude). In my class, that held up as only 2 out of 100 starting my class received a first. Happily and with some pride, I was one of them.

Now, my understanding is that around 30% of graduates are awarded a first. No doubt this is, arguably legitimately, largely influenced by a certain amount of expectation in return for the high fees compared to my era, whereas in contrast I received a government grant just to attend.
I can’t really reflect that in Switzerland in my (daughters) experience, where the University education is more or less ‘free’ (but you need to be able to fund your living costs, learning materials when not available on-line etc.). Also for the masters.

It’s only for the PhD when you need to look for a sponsor / funding.

Daughter also got Summa cum laude in her masters, but that wouldn’t have made any difference as she was already offered a brilliant position before completing her masters within a company she’d done an internship one summer before her results were announced. Her employing company contacted her, and offered her a position.
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Old 27.05.2023, 18:11
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

That is a very good point ZuriRollt - except for certain courses which still charge way above the standard Swiss rates such as MBAs and, in my case, a Masters in Law I took some years back in Fribourg.
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Old 27.05.2023, 18:25
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Re: Is it a degree mandatory, in order to find a job in switzerland, and live a good

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That is a very good point ZuriRollt - except for certain courses which still charge way above the standard Swiss rates such as MBAs and, in my case, a Masters in Law I took some years back in Fribourg.
Yes, law in Switzerland is a ‘particular’ area. A Uni education, and passing the Swiss Bar is not enough. And the employing firms do indeed take into account grades etc., and whether you hold a Doctor title if your grades were not what you had wished for. To get past that can be really expensive / hard to catch-up on
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Old 27.05.2023, 18:52
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What a ridiculous thing to say.
I have always found the term "HR" to be offensive, demeaning, and racist.

Tom
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