Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Your degree doesn't matter (mostly)


Whenever you talk about education with people (especially educators) there is a mentality that a person will only be able to learn something in a classroom. It has to be officially taught by a mastered and 100% fully accredited. Well, if you want to be a doctor or a lawyer, then yes, school should be this way.

However, this not only sucks the fun out of learning, it tells people that the only place you can learn is in a classroom. Surprisingly having a degree in one field and pursuing another is not exactly uncommon. After all philosophy and english majors have to do something after they graduate.

University is really supposed to teach you about how to think and not what to think. Most people make this mistake when they enter. It is really about improving your cognitive problem solving abilities. If you went to school to learn the bigger picture on how the universe operates then chances are you will be successful in life. If you went to school to get an A on that multiple choice test then chance are you might find a well paying job.

When you get out into the real world you start to find that people have very different degrees than what their job title is. You find a disproportionally large amount of philosophy majors, english majors and music majors who program. This is not only because programming is in demand. It is because you learn quite a bit of knowledge in those mentioned above degrees. In some ways a standard CS degree doesn't teach you some of the more important parts you would learn in a philosophy degree.

Most tech degrees just teach you the A-B route. This is all well and good but you first of all need to know why you are going to A-B and you also need to know how you can improve A-B. As cliche as it sounds most tech degrees are very short sighted. The biggest issue is when technology changes and what you have learned is no longer useful.

Lastly, if you are smart enough to pass your degree without cheating you have all of the tools to make in the real world. The only problem is you have to shed what assumptions you have by going through the system. Once you can rid yourself of "education goggles" you can make it if you want to but only IF you want to.

Don't use your degree as an excuse for lack of success. Even civil engineers have a hard time finding work. That same person can go start a company, learn to code, or just simply get a job doing something else.

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