Opinion – Can you afford not to go to university? – Agenda – The World Economic Forum – John Gelmini

Dr Alf is right because most people are not capable of going to top universities and probably need to develop practical skills plus the ability to sell and promote themselves and their wares online, in person and across relevant channels. Those going into corporate life become more marketable beyond the limited confines of the UK if they learn useful languages. According to MI5, these are Mandarin Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese and Arabic. To live and work in America it is a good idea to have Spanish as a second language.

University degrees are now two a penny. It is the quality and type of degree that matters, along with the standing of the institution which awarded it.

You then need interpersonal skills,” resonant leadership” if you aspire to be a manager in anything other than a business which operates in the UK, IT skills, a work ethic and the ability to network plus useful connections. That has to be combined with an ability to look and sound the part, to present ideas clearly, to be socially aware and think through problems. This means diet, exercise and remaining an acceptable size because employers and others are put off by grossly overweight or underweight people and those who look like failures.

On top of that, you need a good Linked In profile and a social media presence without gremlins and indiscreet photographs plus a good KLOUT score if you plan to sell for a living.

Beyond that, you need to keep up to date, keep learning new skills and remain “relevant” to present and future employers and potential clients you have never met.

You need to develop a thick skin, the ability to metamorphose at speed and an understanding that nobody other than yourself owes you a living or even an audience to obtain one.

John Gelmini

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