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Is formal education fading?





Da Rossa
I see an unprecedented wave of e-learning culture, online courses, do-it-on-your-time, "online universities" and even well-crafted online courses offered by traditional universities like MIT at Harvard. Paper books are being less read, and the audiobooks listen to while driving are gaining popularity.

When are people beginning to take in job applicants with no formal education, but a broad and practical knowledge?
restonpiston
Well, in IT it is already happening, people without any college degree or official studies but with a lot of practical mileage can get better jobs than someone with a degree. Maybe it is because the tradicional way of teaching is not keeping up with progress.
Da Rossa
restonpiston wrote:
Well, in IT it is already happening, people without any college degree or official studies but with a lot of practical mileage can get better jobs than someone with a degree. Maybe it is because the tradicional way of teaching is not keeping up with progress.


But how do a young person with a lot of practical mileage demonstrates this in a job application? Not everyone has developed an application of its own to put on their resumé, and many are very talented. How can they make the claim?

I ask because I know it's pointless, as of today, to insert in your resumé "I'm proficient on PHP, expert on C/C++." The employer wants to see a prototype or a finished product.
Ankhanu
Depending on the field, a hands-on skill or experience base has often been more valuable than a degree in the work place... In IT I think it's largely been the case - demonstrated skills are more important than theoretical knowledge, and have been an aspect of how interviews are conducted for years.
Generally, any e-course worth a damn will issue a certificate upon course completion, which can be used on a resume/CV... but for anyone who's not JUST entering the work force, your resume will likely include concrete examples of your work experience to bolster your skill claims.

Where I work, it's possible to get a job without a degree, though it may be difficult to make it through the initial screening process. Of course, once through screening and reaching the interview stage the applicant has to demonstrate both knowledge and practical capability to be successful... a degree may help here, but, not always. When hiring a technician, for example, someone with a community college certificate relevant to the work will often outshine a BSc for the same work. Often our postings require a degree or "acceptable" equivalent experience.

There's a disconnect between job skills, and academics. Most people think you need to get a degree to build skills to get a job... but that's not what an academic degree does; that's what community college is for. Academics learn how to learn and think, not work skills (yes, some jobs those are the skills needed, but they're not hands-on type skills relevant to most).
Da Rossa
Ankhanu wrote:
Depending on the field, a hands-on skill or experience base has often been more valuable than a degree in the work place... In IT I think it's largely been the case - demonstrated skills are more important than theoretical knowledge, and have been an aspect of how interviews are conducted for years.


Enlighten me, kill my curiosity: how is an IT job position interview carried out these days? Note that I'm a lawyer, so I'm out of the picture.

Quote:
Of course, once through screening and reaching the interview stage the applicant has to demonstrate both knowledge and practical capability to be successful...


See, that's my doubt: pratically-skilled applicants can't show their abilities unless given the opportunity to do so. It's like a good fat young man that has a difficulty finding women because they don't get to know him better.

Quote:
There's a disconnect between job skills, and academics. Most people think you need to get a degree to build skills to get a job... but that's not what an academic degree does; that's what community college is for. Academics learn how to learn and think, not work skills (yes, some jobs those are the skills needed, but they're not hands-on type skills relevant to most).


I'm unfamiliar with the term "community college". Is it like a technically, practically-oriented course?
Ankhanu
I'm also not in IT, but there is a technical aspect to my field (I'm an ecologist), and I've spoken with friends in IT concerning interview processes - in both of our fields there is often (not always) a technical demonstration component to the interview. In my field, we will often give applicants something they need to measure and report on, and a skill component for data management, manipulation and presentation - my IT friends give me similar reports from their interviews where they're given a problem to code a solution for. The technical component let you see how the applicant approaches a problem, how they think and the types of solutions they come up with.


Yeah, a community college is an institution that teaches skill-based courses, producing various diplomas and certificates. This contrasts an university, which teaches more conceptual, or academic courses and degrees. Terminology for these different institutions differ country to country Smile
deanhills
For me a degree is more of a level of education than training - except when one is a medical doctor or professional who is put through a program of training and required experience. In the latter situation one would need to have all of the formal papers in place to be able to be licensed to perform one's job. But there are also professions where the training is not as structured and where one can prove the experience through one's record in projects and testimonials.

I'd say it's rare that someone would get employed without some experience record and no degree. Like there's a greater chance to be employed with a degree and no experience than it would be with some experience that hasn't been formally attested.

In the electronics world it's definitely great for entrepreneurs with plenty of drive who can do online businesses on their own initiative - symbolically speaking they should be good at their job if they have their own initiative. Like I know of two people who started in free hosting as a hobby and the one got a very senior SEO job paying lots of money, with no formal degree. He's just got a serious record of achievement SEO wise and he's now very much established in what he is doing. The other guy is brilliant at administering linux servers and tuning up the technical parts of websites. He's one of the fastest workers I've seen yet. It took him much longer to get employment, but eventually someone noticed him and he's now managing a large collection of Websites on a server. No relevant formal education or degree.
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