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Degree vs Experience

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Forum' started by TheDude, Nov 17, 2018.

  1. TheDude

    TheDude DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster

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    True, many of my friends who have attended are from Iran. Maybe there is an option to opt out of certain classes.

    As for the rest, I don't buy all that. Not thinking about making money as a top priority for the first steps out of adult-hood is only for the well-off. Given that we are in a developing economy, making money is a critical item on the to do list for many here.

    The best way to build competency in skills to contribute to society is a mentorship. Become an apprentice in a trade. Find someone who is kicking bottom in the world and join his / her team (find a good boss.) This is the model which has got us this far.

    College isn't for everyone today and it has historically been for even fewer people. Only recently has college taken on the burden of vocational training. That model is going to die in the US and that death will eventually circle around to the Philippines.

    The "better citizen" and "contribute to society" is for liberal arts students. This is great when you have a family with money who will always support you. It's great for students who have already won the "who you know" game and have a job waiting for them no matter what they study and for how long.

    Everyone else has to hustle.
     
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  2. Cerne

    Cerne THIS IS SPARTA!!!!

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    Just a few generalisations there Dude! A vocational degree is often for working class people looking for security, salary, career, contribution etc. Sometimes they are the first from their families to attend higher education. At least that was the case for me. My parents were too busy either dying from pneumoconiosis or slaving away at 3 part time jobs to support me or introduce me to the gentry.

    Often here in the Phils folk have mortgaged the cow and house so the eldest can get h/her Nursing license - that’s hustling and trying to make money too. Life sucks educated or not, most of us will never get to encrust our CRs with diamonds or have the Butler polish our ringpieces after. There are many routes to security, education being just one.
     
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  3. furriner

    furriner DI Forum Adept

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    True. Pure knowledge has nothing to do with money; unfortunately people try to associate a college education with becoming wealthy. Perhaps they have a chip on their solder, failed to pass the courses and have a distaste for other peoples decisions to succeed in college. Non-college people often fail to realize that the biggest barrier to receiving the degree is failure to pass the courses, not failure to pay the tuition. Anyway, though you seem to double down on the belief reflected by Deng Xian’s Peng, “To get rich is glorious”, which was appropriate for a highly uneducated and illiterate Chinese population in the aftermath of the Cultural Revolution, and maybe what you say is true, we should all be like the Chinese, I do not understand why you continue to associate a University
    education with the need to get rich. We all know it isn’t true. Personally I am happy for the education that I have; anybody can take away your money but they cannot take away your knowledge and your joy of learning and knowing. I made sure to pay for my kids to go through the University if North Carolina system free of student loans before moving here. To do otherwise would have been negligent as a parent. If they wish to pursue riches in the future they may. If they wish to have rewarding careers (I’m seriously not sure that some people understand that “rewarding” can mean other things than money), they have that option too. A teacher may love to teach, a mathematician may love to work for an insurance company, a physicist or engineer for IBM, a doctor self-employed. None will be super rich and some will be working poor but all will be doing what they chose to do and are in fields that they love. And there are the small number of non-college degrees entrepreneurs that some of us want emulate, or want their children to emulate, who were focused on money and, partially because luck prevailed but also due to drive/ambition and the willingness to take big risks, became very rich, in some cases DESPITE going to college, where they actually wasted their time. That is like telling your kid to make life plans to be better than Michael Jordan and make his living that way. The university can open doors to a career that you love, but nothing can give you the gifts of drive and ambition, the courage to take risks and certainly the 3rd NECESSARY ingredient, which is LUCK. If you are living here and retired from IBM as an engineer happy like I am, that is a success IMHO. But Bill Gates, Michael Dell etc., no college degree but rich as God, they ain’t living HERE.


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  4. OP
    OP
    TheDude

    TheDude DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster

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    First off, let's change "pure knowledge" to "university education" because the term "pure knowledge" is tricky to work with. A university education is knowledge. Skills learned outside of a university is knowledge. The term isn't useful for differentiating our argumments.

    You seemed to agree with me that a university education has nothing to do with money. I agree with that as well. But you then ask why I associate a university education with getting rich. I'm confused because these two items conflict.

    The only association I made between money and a university education is that the people best served in college are those who are from well-off families because they don't have to hustle like those from more difficult backgrounds. This is not associating a college education with BECOMING wealthy.

    Keep in mind that at one point I mentioned that a better route to nursing might be to start as a lowly CNA (nursing assistant.) There's no better place to start on the road of becoming a chef than in the kitchen doing dishes for minimum wage. Hustling is starting at the bottom and iterating into an unknown future. Hustling is short feedback loops. You'll learn more about the kitchen in one week of doing dishes than you will in one semester in the classroom. If doing dishes isn't rewarding in week one, then you may not find the environment to be any more rewarding after years in a classroom.

    Another point of disagreement is that I feel you may place too much emphasis on the rewards of going to a university. My mindset is that if you are referring to something in past tense... then it's in the past. The rewards which propel me forward (my incentives) are the things which I'm going to accomplish TODAY. Things I did a decade ago don't even enter my head as I'm propelling myself out of bed in the morning to face the day.

    I understand this statement isn't meant to be taken literally. There's a lot left unsaid here (liberal arts education helps you become a better thinker) but this also makes it a poor point of argument in this context. Everyone learns and seeks to know more about their world. Anyone participating in the 2018 global economy is screwed if they don't continue learning and growing.

    For better or for worse, we live in a global capitalist system. Apparently the Chinese decided playing by the rules of this system was the way forward after witnessing the fall of the USSR. They decided to play, they plugged in and now the Chinese are well on their way to becoming a global superpower.

    Money is just one of the constituent elements required for participation in this system. As with any system, the bottleneck of your own participation should be the point of focus. For millions of individual participants, money IS the bottleneck. Once you have dealt with the bottleneck, then you don't have to think about it (until it becomes the bottleneck again.) It just becomes a background process. Big corporations in the US do stock buybacks and dividends when money is no longer a bottleneck. AppAmaGooBookSoft are at the point where their problems can no longer be solved by money. Their problems are talent, time, competition, innovation, etc. More money in this case is just more problems. Make your money first, then switch your focus to other things.

    Dont't worry, I'm almost finished. :wink:

    If I were to distill my argument into three words, it would be "fast feedback loops." Why draw out a plan in which "day 1" is 4+ years out when you can instead you can jump into the trenches today? Why beat around the bush? Be bold! Just walk right up to that thing you want to do and grab it by the balls!

    If you look at any graph of human activity over time, you will see that we are in a point of massive change (including massively available information outside of the university environment.) We get through that change the same way any other organism survives, through adaptation. Fast adaptation requires tight feedback loops. You build your processes from day to day, testing them in the real world and then tweaking them as needed. You use your creative energy to apply novel solutions to real world problems. That's where your rewards come from. You won't learn this in university.
     
  5. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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  6. Jack Peterson

    Jack Peterson DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Air Force

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    Ok, So here we are in the Philippines, we are talking about Silliman University, Yes? Reading the posts and seeing both sides of the to and Fro ( to a degree) we should/maybe could, look at it this way, to me anyway, One Job on offer and 1 of the the Requirements is this, a Degree in something. So 2 lads go forward, 1 with a degree and 1 without. Who gets an interview? We could go around in circles But......... we know where we are. :sorry:
     
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  7. furriner

    furriner DI Forum Adept

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    Why bring up earning power to someone who just wants to attend a University? You have no idea what the person wants to have as a career, if he wants to be a teacher or social worker with low pay or a doctor who earns 7 figures and not for the money but for other reasons not necessarily involving greed. You were the one who brought up money when a person asked a simple question about going to a certain university. I mean, if somebody were to ask me for advice as to how my brother became a journeyman electrician, I wouldn’t be telling him to go to college to become an electrical engineer instead (a highly prized occupation in the China IT industry by the way). I am convinced we can turn the most simple question in this forum into a major controversy lol.


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  8. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    I think The Dude here is making an argument that going out and getting real world experience can be, depending on the company/position, more desired than a degree without real world experience.

    I think a better comparison for the argument would be:
    So what if 2 lads goes forward, 1 with a BS and the other with 5 years of real world experience. Who gets an interview?

    I think the correct answer given by HR would be, "both get an interview". They are both equally valid forms of "education". Though I would argue you will get a better and more knowledgeable employee out of the person with real world experience and a solid employment history. There is less initial risk.

    Here is a typical job description on a corporate website for an engineering position (one that I'm applying for):
    "Bachelor’s Degree preferred. High school diploma plus seven years work experience in a military environment is required.

    Must possess at least five years of technical experience in technical support of modern ******; knowledge of ***** ******** theory, and the effects of **** systems operating in an ******* *********** environment"

    They prefer to have their cake and eat it too. What they prefer is a pretty rare thing to find.

    I wouldn't call it a "controversy". A bit melodramatic. :wink:

    The thread will likely be split so the topic can continue to be discussed.

    Edit: *was split
     
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    Last edited: Nov 17, 2018
  9. Jack Peterson

    Jack Peterson DI Forum Luminary Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Air Force

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    Point taken BUT show me when you can find one here in Dumaguete where Silliman is and an employer here in the Philippines that would actually say this on an invite for a Job application because we know it just don't happen, The Ideal world as we know it just does not exist here. Does it? Please gentlemen, let us not forget where we are :wink:
     
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  10. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    I am thinking about where you are...and I'm not so sure that experience would be so quickly overlooked for many jobs. Yeah, there are jobs out there that may require it but I don't think the majority of local employers are completely off their rockers.
     
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