Re: Obsession with University Degrees?

Subject: Re: Obsession with University Degrees?
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 19 Sep 1996 17:14:25 -0700

At 11:24 AM 9/20/96 +1300, Yvonne Harrison wrote:

>This is going to seem like a strange posting but I'm making this comment
>as someone looking in from outside American society.

>Why are recruiters and employers so obsessed with someone possessing a
>degree in English Lit, Journalism or Tech Writing before they consider
>someone for a job? [snip]

>Does that mean some brilliant tech writer or someone who has had novels
>published or whatever is banned from the job simply because of a lack of
>University qualifications?

>I've interviewed a lot of people for technical writing jobs in my time and
>I've never stipulated a degree. I've hired some very talented writers who
>never went to university, or left half way through, and they could all run
>rings around someone with a degree. [snip]

I'm with you, Yvonne!

Actually, the key phrase to look for is "or equivalent experience".

True, corporate US places a high value on sheepskin, and many large
corporations are very strict about the degree requirement -- and yes,
they do miss out on some really good people because of it (me,
f'r'instance). But I'd say *most* companies appreciate the "equivalent
experience" as much, or almost as much anyway.

I don't think I've ever been turned down for a job because of the
degree requirement. Hard to tell, I guess. But at least it's never
happened to my face or when it's really mattered to me. But I've
never applied at Big Blue or Uncle Billy's either. The kind of
lean'n'mean startups that I enjoy working at often have a CTO or
VP of Engineering that never earned a degree either. Really!

Sue Gallagher
Tech Pubs Manager
Expersoft Corp, San Diego
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com


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