TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Re: "Credentials are so 20th century" - "The degree is doomed" - Harvard Business Review
Subject:Re: "Credentials are so 20th century" - "The degree is doomed" - Harvard Business Review From:Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca> To:Michael Wyland <michael -at- sumptionandwyland -dot- com> Date:Mon, 8 Dec 2014 10:20:24 -0800
This is a fun discussion. I've been fortunate that the places where I've
enjoyed the most satisfaction hired me because they looked beyond my lack
of paper to my ability to translate their technology into use cases, and
information into dollars. Training is essential, but I've always believed
that "interest is the best educator" (slogan from Famous Artists
Forgive me for responding in chunks, as Michael brought up some excellent
points that I wanted to piggyback:
> The combination if the LPC and SPHR is potent for her executive coaching
> practice as well as for her organizational leadership consulting with
> universities, hospitals, and other clients. I'm not sure whether a Ph.D.
> or Ed.D. would have provided similar professional benefit.
Those who know me know I'm against the use of academic credentials as a
filter for granting interviews. I've been shafted several times because my
college music diploma didn't count towards "a university degree or
equivalent". That said, I completely agree that related training and
experience should play a part, and commend your wife for earning her LPC.
Did she also register with the local credentialing body for counselors, or
did she seek training primarily to expand her understanding of the unique
issues of counseling in order to be more effective as an HR professional?
(Disclosure: I have a personal fascination with HR and counseling, even
though I know that I am far too prescriptive to be an empathetic counselor.)
> Where I disagree with the article's author is the apparent universality
> with which the abandonment of certification is treated. In our practice
> with clients, we are finding that a master's degree is becoming the
> expected "ticket to entry" for senior management positions in many
> industries, both for-profit and nonprofit. Anyone under 45 without an
> advanced degree wishing to rise to the executive level should be looking to
> obtain one. There are an ever-growing number of accredited schools
> offering advanced degree (and degree completion) programs to mid-career
> individuals that allow them to study while still working full time.
There are two problems with this:
1) Most employers don't even care where you get your masters. The
University of Phoenix came out of nowhere 10+ years ago, and now their
graduates serve to build credibility for the institution rather than the
other way around.
2) Most Masters degree programs that I find interesting require a 4-year
bachelors degree, regardless of experience and/or age. Contact me off-list
if you know otherwise.
> Employers want people who finish what they start. Entrepreneurs *must* be
> able to see work through to completion (and payment <g>).
Hm.... this is sticky. I may get into trouble generalizing like this, but
most serial entrepreneurs are rarely the employable sort. They are either
unable to be employed (as in, difficult to work with) or they don't want to
be employed (more the case with people who prefer to create their own work).
* Successful entrepreneurs actually believe in fail fast, fail often, and
learn to abandon a sinking ship quickly.
* Successful entrepreneurs know how to fire a client quickly, before that
client begins to cause a drain on their own resources.
You can't teach that in school if the criteria is based all about
completion rather than value.
> More generally, people who can cite accomplishments - to themselves, aside
> from others - are generally happier than those who cannot.
Successful projects are everywhere. You just have to be able to collect
examples, and present why such an example was successful. I recommend that
everyone keep a hit list of their best projects, and identify their
contribution to the project.
Recently I competed to the final three candidates for a new role at a
fairly well-known company. The team decided on one of the other two
candidates who proved to be "a stronger writer", based on one specifc
sample I'd provided. My mistake: I wrote for that sample I defined the
content models and programmed the system to author and display the web
pages (as well as all the multimedia elements), but I didn't write the
content. I know not to make that mistake again!
Read about how Georgia System Operation Corporation improved teamwork, communication, and efficiency using Doc-To-Help | http://bit.ly/1pJ4zPa