Education has always been a ridiculously important aspect when it comes to looking for a job, hence many say that the higher your education goes, the better the job you get.
But is that really true?
An International Islamic University Malaysia PhD holder took to the institution’s confessions website to elaborate on what he calls his Post-PhD Depression, to which he credits his unemployment despite holding the higher form of a university degree.
“I completed my PhD back in 2017, and my research niche is Bioprocess. Truthfully, I’ve been looking for a diploma to PhD level job for 2 years now, but still, I failed at getting any. The reason as to why these companies rejected me, is that I’m too overqualified for the job,” he confessed.
He had even tried removing his PhD and Masters Degree from his resume, but that didn’t work either.
“They would ask me why there was an 8-year void with no working experience on my resume. At that point I’d tell them about my Masters and PhD, to which they’d reject me for the same reason. I’m a man, almost 32-years-old, with no stable job or stable income. I feel bad for my parents.”
Due to his over-qualification in his own field, he was forced to work as a GrabFood delivery rider to make a living for himself. That said, his current job is not the reason he lives his life with deep dissatisfaction. He had wanted to be able to take care of his family.
“As I tread into my 32nd year of age, I should be financially able to help them, especially with their daily expenses so that they wouldn’t have to calculative. I also have 3 siblings who are still studying and have to bear their own finances. Me? I’m only able to handle my own livelihood. I’m sorry mum and dad, and my siblings,” he said.
There are days where he would daydream and recall as he made his deliveries, on how the amount of years he spent chasing after the title of PhD.
“I would start to regret the 8 years on my Masters and PhD. If I were to have built up my career from the bottom, I believe that the lives of my loved ones would be better. I came to the realisation that my peers are reaching success and have stable lives. Yet, here I am, 8 years too late.”
It came to a point where he became cynical when he saw comments such as, ‘continuing my studies because I like studying’ and ‘doing my PhD because I love education’.
“I was like that too, I loved to study. Because of that, I pursued my studies up until my PhD. But look at me now, where did that interest bring me? It’s not worth it to directly pursue post-graduate degrees just because you enjoy studying and love education,” he further explained.
“Try comparing all the debt I have from my education with my current situation now?”
He believes that post-graduate studies should only be pursued by those who have working experience and are experts in a certain field, and encourages lecturers and educators to persuade students to work and gain some real-life experience before considering further studies, especially considering the rising unemployment rate of Masters and PhD holders.
His advice to the younger generation?
“Please, plan your life wisely. Things have changed now. Knowledge is not only exclusively found in Universities. Knowledge can also be found in factories, offices and even on the streets. Remember, when you work, the people around you will benefit from your hard work. Your post-graduate efforts will be kept in a thick leather book in a dusty library. Who knows if anyone will even read it,” he added.
He blames his pessimism and negativity on his Post-PhD depression. His last words?
“Don’t worry for me. I will survive and will keep on hustling for my loved one.”
He signed off with, ‘GrabFood PhD Holder’.
It’s a painful thing to have spent so much time to achieve something, only to watch it fall apart around you. We truly do admire his persistence to ensure he can still one day provide a good life for his family members.
We have all the faith in the world that with an attitude like that, he’ll achieve success in the future.
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