Article: The Counsellor: Post graduate qualifications - are they critical?

Life @ Work

The Counsellor: Post graduate qualifications - are they critical?

Does education count more than experience?
The Counsellor: Post graduate qualifications - are they critical?

I work in the sales department of an FMCG company. I joined the company as a graduate and have had two promotions in the last 3 years, thanks to my hard work and revenue numbers. However, I feel that I have now hit a glass ceiling. Employees who joined after me and did fairly average, have been promoted over me this year, since they are post graduates and deserve the raise. My manager very candidly told me that since I am not a post graduate, the chances of further promotion for me are slim. While I understand that a post-graduate degree helps you hone your skills, I would have liked to be aware of this policy at the workplace earlier. I would have then focussed my energies on getting into a suitable program in a good college. Now, I feel disheartened that an entire year’s hard work and successful sales have been ignored simply because I have not completed my post-graduation. Should I start looking out for better jobs or apply for college, since I understand most companies will have this glass ceiling for graduates.

In normal course, performance in the current role, coupled with demonstrated competencies and capabilities to perform on the higher roles, is absolutely necessary for qualifying to get promoted. Educational qualifications per say are not important, however, the process of going through the right education hopefully gives you skills, knowledge and capabilities, that will enable you perform and become capable to grow.

I will suggest that don’t get disheartened; try to understand the promotion policies of the company from the HR department, understand what competencies and capabilities are necessary for growth, and focus on acquiring the same. Looking out for better jobs is the easiest thing to do, however, that should be the last resort. Going for higher education is certainly a possibility; however, it is very important for you to determine what your career aspirations are, the quality of education that is being imparted by the institution that you choose, etc. I suggest you spend time with your HR head, your boss and get a right counsel and perspective from them before taking any decision.

Vivek is a Senior HR professional with over 35 years of experience, ranging several leadership positions, in India and abroad. He leads his consulting practice since 2003 and presently works as a Strategic HR Advisor to Reliance Industries, and is also an independent Director on the Board of Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd. Prior to this, he was based in Singapore for several years where he was Director HR - Operations at Hewlett Packard for the Asia Pacific Region.
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