Just a short thought for today.

I overheard a conversation this week between two of my coworkers talking about education degrees. The conversation revolved around needing a degree in a certain subject to be successful in a specific field. This seed of an idea got me thinking – is that statement really true? Are there specific things that can only be learned in school?

If you think about the essence of school – it’s really just a place where you get to read books and talk to really smart people. I would argue that I do both of those things every day! On top of that, many resources used in schools have now been made publicly available through the power of digital technology (e.g. Harvard’s Justice course they put on youTube http://www.justiceharvard.org/). You can do so much learning for free, it makes it seem silly to pay increasingly expensive tuition fees to learn.

From a hiring perspective, it certainly is easier to just look at degrees and statistics – and having advanced degrees is probably positively correlated to being a smart capable person. However, many of the most successful people in the world today, lack even college degrees (I suppose Bill Gates would be the cliché example here).

Let me know what you think.

Advanced Degrees?
  • Dadio

    I once heard that the ability to endure and complete the process of earning a degree is an indicator to recruiters of a candidates’ probability of success in an organizational environment.

  • Andrew,

    As always, great post – it truly made me think and reflect. I wrote on a similar topic a little while back comparing a liberal arts education with that of a focused program (i.e. Indiana Business School – Kelley)(Link: http://cnslt.biz/aeiflercomm). I, a fellow Skidmore graduate, expressed a biased towards a smaller, liberal arts institution: “A liberal arts education entails a basic understanding of all subjects resulting in general knowledge applicable to all careers. This structure contrasts that of specialized curriculum seen at larger universities.”

    Furthermore, I have hosted quite a few debates on my eBranding Me blog in regards to the value of education. Yet another Skidmore alum and business partner of mine, Michael Gifis, expressed some strong opinions on the topic: “The conclusion that a college degree does not get you a job begs the question of what, precisely, a college degree does get you. There are rosy platitudes about “learning,” or “experiencing life” (really, just living out from under the ready hand of one’s parents for the first time). There are also depressing prognostications claiming that the purpose of college is to indebt Americans so that they are forced to enter the business world to pay off their debt. Indentured servants.” (- http://cnslt.biz/aecomm2)

    So, in conclusion, I firmly believe a college education is a necessity in our current economy. However, the intelligence of an individual does not directly relate to his or her education, but the social circle in which he or she choses to partake in.