Does a college diploma still matter nowadays? An interesting question, especially to someone that currently has three. In a simple word, the answer is yes. The question could possibly be changed to “How does a college diploma matter nowadays” or “Does a college diploma give one an edge in business nowadays.” There is the ultimate question of “should one get a diploma?” These are much tougher questions.
Some would define what matters as can one survive, raise a family or run a business without a diploma, and the answer to that is people do every day. There are lots of little businesses and places that are run by people that never went past 9th grade, and many do very well. You can build cabinets, make dolls or own a shop with no diploma. A cook doesn’t require a degree or diploma, but it will help a chef get a job at a major restaurant!
The diploma does matter to most businesses and employers. It shows that one has a dedication to learning and trying to achieve as much as possible, that one wants to get ahead. This means that your knowledge base is broader and that you have “drive”, both of which are desired by major businesses. These factors are indicators of success in business.
Of course practical experience is also very important, and in some fields may be more beneficial than the diploma. Working the counter at a store does not require a diploma. It requires efficiency, polite manners and knowledge of the cash register and product, these are best learned not in the classroom. If you have a diploma you become over qualified. If you are handling the accounts or office for a large corporation, you will not advance quickly without that sheet of paper.
And that is how the diploma matters, it gives one an edge by indicating a willingness as well as ability to learn. The higher the diploma, the more you have tried to learn and achieve. Does that matter? It should matter to your chances of advancement, but not to your ability to just survive. A beggar living in a cardboard box is surviving, but most would be much happier in a house with regular income and meals. and happiness should matter.
The diploma can matter depending on what your goals in life are!