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A Rant

OK, I've not really ranted in a while and this isn't a violent one but here goes.

Something has bothered me for awhile about many companies including the one I work
for. College degrees are required by several top companies and charitable
organizations as prerequisites for employment yet a college degree isn't
really required to do the work. In many cases, companies only care that you
have a degree. They could care less what it was in. In my case, I've got a
BA in Journalism and an MA in Communication Theory. Yet my job requires a BA
to even get the job. My job entails a lot of things but many are skills I've
either picked up here or at other jobs and have really nothing to do with
anything I experienced in college. I know when I worked for the BSA, they
required a BA or a BS in anything. And for what? Mostly for public relations
so you had the same degree of education as many of the volunteers you worked
with. That may have been true for the business people I worked with but the
people on the grass roots level, the Scoutmasters and Cub Scout Pack leaders
and Den Mothers, who actually did all the work may or may not have had
college educations.

So what am I saying here? I'm saying I'm dismayed by the fact that business
in the US is moving to a point where we value a piece of paper over real
skills. And I know this isn't a new phenomena but it seems we are
purposefully setting ourselves up for a fall. I know on a day to day basis,
I use more of the skills I learned out in the "real world" of experience
than those I learned in college. And many times I have been able to catch
things before they go wrong and save the company some time and money because
of those real world skills. I know I'm a special case. I did a lot of living
prior to finishing my BA and in between that and my MA. So I'm a little
older and a little wiser than the average kid who graduates from college and
goes right into a profession.

It's pretty scary when you think about it that some rather important
decisions are being made on a daily basis by young people who have little or
no experience but got into the position because they met a minimum

In my branch of the company, we have 42 employees. The average tenure of
those people is about 25 years with the company. This afternoon we are
having a retirement luncheon for a woman who has put in 50 years with the
company. She is 65. She started as a high school intern and never went to
college. She knows her job and the jobs of most of us here backwards and
forwards. She is our computer network administrator. If she were to apply to
the company to get a job next week, she couldn't because she doesn't have a
degree. The person they will hire to replace her will likely have a degree
but no experience.

This is the kind of business climate we are heading toward! Pretty scary eh?




Wander aka StoneBear
Bear Dancer Studios

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