One Thing: That College Degree

January 8, 2018 Lynn Abaté-Johnson No comments exist
resume, social media

One Thing: That College Degree

I debated writing this.

Because it's a charged subject, and I have nieces and nephews on their way to their diplomas and degrees. So, I am in a position of influence in (ways large and small) guiding them.

And then, I realized that you are a very smart, savvy audience, and you will "get it".

I was inspired and moved to go for it because today, I came upon a video clip of Tesla Founder, Elon Musk, on LinkedIn, posted by Miguel Forbes, discussing his point of view on hiring people.

The clip was a bit out of context; very very short, however, there was Elon Musk saying that a college degree (or even a high school degree, for that matter!) is not necessarily a requirement for getting hired at Tesla.

This struck close-to-home for me. And, if you watch the clip, you'll recognize that there's more context to that discussion.

degree, college, education, diploma
PC: Ben White/Unsplash

Where it hit home

My husband, Corey, recently went through a job search, after more than 23 years as a rock star in the software industry. The previous year, he went out on his own, first-time-ever entrepreneur, and learned a lot about himself in the role of "intra-preneur", landing a top notch global client.

After his engagement there expired, he went back to all the usual places, starting with LinkedIn, and recruiter job sites, to find his next client.

He was stopped at nearly every turn.

"Bachelor's Degree required"

Back when I was job-hunting, I found the same, however, there was also a consideration of "equivalent experience".

Corey found this was not the case for the area of his expertise. It was quite a surprise, actually. He ended up landing another gig, eventually, and in the meantime, he went back to school.

He is now taking college courses online while working 70-80 hour weeks, seven days a week. No let up.

Talk about a learning curve.

My last post was about getting jobs without a resume [link].

So, I thought this was an appropriate follow up, since it's in the same vein.

The debate continues

It's always a debate, and there are some good arguments (well, names to be dropped, like Steve Jobs and other "eccentrics") for being wealthy (financially) and not having a diploma.

There are also people, who, like my brilliant husband Corey, went back to school to finish their degrees after some modicum of success. Oprah and Steven Spielberg are two of them, as you'll see in this article.

My issue with this version of the debate is that those people are not the ones you are competing with. You are competing with scores of college graduates flooding the work force, at any given time. So, there's that.

At the risk of over-simplifying, I'd venture to say that it's probably a great idea to go ahead and get that degree, if you can, with consideration for the field of endeavor you choose.

At the very least, unless you have been working a family business since you were nine (like I did), you will gain some level of experience in exploring the options presented through a college or university setting and curriculum, along with mentors and counselors you will find in your professors and administrators.

degree, college, diploma, career, work
PC: JodyHongFilms/Unsplash

Fortuitous Intersections, Other Options

I recently met a retired Navy officer who made a great case for joining that branch of service, depending on the person. So, education and bachelor's degrees can come in various ways. If you are having these conversations, as a student, a parent, or another family, like me (an Aunt to high school and college-aged kids), perhaps there are avenues that might be a great start, especially if you can think and discuss creatively about it.

This is the time of year when many are seeking and exploring options, to discover what the future holds.

Please take a moment to lend your point of view here. It's a place where we all learn to consider various ways to make life better, for ourselves and others. Thanks for reading this far!



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