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TikToker Who Makes More From a Side Hustle Than What She did With Her Degree Triggers Debate

On TikTok, the business grad emphasizes the significant salary difference between her current serving job and the marketing positions she's been applying for.
Image Source: Photo by Gül Işık | Getty Images
Image Source: Photo by Gül Işık | Getty Images

Whether you're starting your adult life with a salary or wanting to leave your current job, we've all experienced the challenge of applying for positions and hoping for a positive response. The process can be emotionally and mentally draining, especially when you're striving for fair compensation without success. Even after landing a job, the situation of this generation is such that everyone is resorting to side hustles, investing their free time in other activities to make ends meet in the face of a rising cost of living.

Many of us know the frustration of being in a job that doesn't align with our planned career path, and this sentiment is echoed in social media ecosystems such as TikTok. One of the influencers who have been able to connect with the present generation is Alison Johnson aka @fitnesswithalison, who is in a serving job where she earns more than those who can match her degree qualifications. Her comments have ignited a debate on the significance of work experience.

Image Source : Photo by Goutinho De Flávio GF | Pexels
University graduate (representational image) Pexels/Goutinho De Flávio GF

Alison expressed frustration with America in a mid-September 2023 TikTok while she is en route to a job at a sushi restaurant that she dislikes. Despite holding a business marketing degree, she highlights the significant salary gap between her current serving job and the marketing positions she's been applying for. Alison discloses that she earns more serving sushi but faces challenges in securing marketing roles due to competition from candidates with more experience. She questions the expectation of having a degree without acknowledging the need for practical experience, stating that the degree itself should serve as sufficient experience.

Alison's assertion that earning a degree alone qualifies her for high-end jobs has triggered diverse reactions from Netizens, as people are discussing job postings that demand experience for entry-level roles. The debate took an intriguing turn when it came to the distinction between education and practical experience.


Supporters in Alison's TikTok comments agreed with her perspective, while others argued that a degree doesn't inherently translate into job experience, and emphasized the importance of starting with an entry-level position. The sentiment that "the degree is a gatekeeper that you have to pass" is shared by many young professionals, indicating that while a degree is significant, it may not replace hands-on experience.

Image Source: Photo by fauxels | Pexels
Young employees working in an office | Pexels/fauxels

Beyond TikTok, a verified marketer on Twitter recounted his humble beginnings, encouraging Alison and acknowledging the rarity of substantial earnings at the first job. Some users suggested internships as valuable experience, challenging the notion that a degree alone suffices, while one of them highlighted the prevalence of this mindset among recent college grads, emphasizing the role that internships played in gaining practical experience. While job postings can make unreasonable demands, there exists a substantial difference between education and real-world application.