Chasing Grades and Titles

I belong to the old school having been through an education system where student names and their respective GCE “O” Level results were published in the Straits Times for all to see (Year 1973).

Having fantastic grades in national examinations was to be celebrated and broadcasted. Chasing grades as a student meant everything to us. In recent years, the situation turned. Now it is not encouraged to make public how you perform in examinations. It is as if a crime to do so. If we say it, it may be construed as a show-off if we do well. Now the catch-phrase is “better to have deep skills than to have great academic results”. (Having said this, great academic results are not incongruous to having deep skill sets. The other way round is more likely, ie good skills need not be a result of good academic results.)

In the past, it was essential for career progression to have a string of titles after your name. I was a member of several professional bodies (four in total). This added credentials to my standing in the job. The assumption is that we are recognised in our fields by being accepted in the professional bodies.

Next I want to say that performance on a job is critical for progression and not a string of academic qualifications and professional titles. At different levels of the hierarchy, relevant skills for specific job scope become important. Past grades are not. Working requires a repertoire of intelligence, from right attitude to rolling up your sleeves and get on with the tasks on hand. The organisation needs all employees to come together for a common purpose of delivering results from the lowest levels to the CEO. Each person has a role to play and it is not about how many scholars an organisation has on its payroll!

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One Response to Chasing Grades and Titles

  1. Thanks for the post. The post is thought-provoking as usual. and it got me thinking about broader aspects of working life which are not just narrowly focused on having a string of titles after one’s name.

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