I don’t have a college degree”at least not one that I can claim. Apparently a 2-year Associates degree in broadcasting from BCIT doesn’t cut it, since the one time I did seriously look at getting my degree I found out 2 years of college in Canada amounted to exactly two credits from any US college. You get one credit for filling out the form on time. Shame all those university-educated Canucks are so lacking in useful skills”. But I digress.
"To be fond of learning is to be near to knowledge" Tze-sze, The Doctrine of the Mean, 5th Century BCE
My point (and all appearances to the contrary I do have one) is that I’m not without learning, just a formal college education. Not being defensive, but 1.2 million kids graduate each year from college. This is a huge number, but it’s about ¾ the number of articles I’ve read in the last year claiming we don’t have enough workers who know anything and we’ll all be speaking Indonesian by May. What exactly are they learning in there they can’t use, and what AREN’T they learning that they need?
"Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing worth knowing can be taught" Oscar Wilde The Critic As Artist 1890
While I do feel something is lacking, I also am smart enough to know that knowledge can be gained at any time in someone’s life- and from any number of sources. Rosa’s "Talking Story", just for one example, links to dozens of blogs, podcasts, web resources, books and, according to the guy outside my office building who talks to himself, a chip inside his head and he’d like her to knock it off.
"The true university of these days is a collection of books." The Hero as Man of Letters – Thomas Carlyle
The challenge for employers, of course, is that it’s easy to look at a college degree and make some assumptions about what someone knows or doesn’t. I sympathize. It’s a little difficult to prove someone’s learned something after school. I have days at work I wonder if anyone’s learned anything since we masted that walking upright thing, but then I’m a terrible cynic and it’s been a rough week.
"Instead of going to Paris to attend lectures, go to the public library, and you won’t come out for twenty years, if you really wish to learn." Leo Tolstoy
So yeah, workers may be lacking skills. Great, pay for good people to acquire them. You don’t have the skills you need- go get’em. You might not get a degree”.heck I’m not planning to get one, but the skills”” the knowledge”” the experience”. Those things are gettable. And you learn better when motivated.
"Just as eating against one’s will is injurious to health, so study without a liking for it spoils the memory, and it retains nothing it takes in" Leonardo Da Vinci C. 1500
Why all the quotes? Because this notion is nothing new- it’s hardly news. And people way smarter than me say so”.
"” the firmest and most general ideas I have are those which have been born with me. They are naturally and wholly mine”since then I have established and fortified them by the authority of others and the sound arguments of the ancients with whom I found my judgment in agreement. These men have given me a firmer grip on my ideas and a fuller enjoyment and possession of them" -Michel de Montaigne
So my daughter, Her Serene Highness, says at the dinner table "Dad, you don’t have a degree, do you? You write books, you teach, you have that silly podcast of yours”. people pay you pretty well. Why do I have to go to college?"
I had the answer all ready” all those quotes- all that wisdom of the ancients. I was finally ready for this one.
"Because I said so"- Me
You may quote me.
This is Her Serene Highness (the smart one) and her peasant father taken this summer.