Re: Obsession with University Degrees?

Subject: Re: Obsession with University Degrees?
From: Garret Romaine <GRomaine -at- MSMAIL -dot- RADISYS -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 1996 08:50:00 PDT

I'm following this thread with interest. Our chapter meeting last night was
entitled "Back to School Night," featuring representatives from six
different schools in the area and giving them a chance to talk about what
they offer. It was our highest attendance in years.

In a profession where undergraduate degrees are almost a dime a dozen, this
'obsession' isn't going away. Besides, degrees do pay off. I've always heard
that earning a bachelor's in just about anything would pay for itself in
higher starting salaries, and that the closer you were to your career path,
the better. As someone who has never been able to take advantage of a
bachelor's in geology or a master's in geography in the technical writing
field, I was pretty frustrated until I went back to night school and earned
an MBA. That seemed to do the trick. Nobody complains that I don't have a
degree in English, anyway.

From my discussions with our human resources folks, especially the
recruiters, they understand that they're being arbitrary by preferring
degreed candidates. But in this environment, it is such a low bar to jump
over, they're willing to take the risk. They don't like going to a hiring
manager and starting an introduction with "This one doesn't have a degree,
but..." Especially, as has been noted, even bozos can seem to get through
their undergraduate curriculum in one piece.

I certainly wouldn't advise my children to try to get through their working
life without any academic credentials on their resume. My advice for any
working professional who thinks they are done with school would be to stop
fighting the current and find a program that will let you complete your
first degree. Heck, you might even think about going back for more after you
finish that one.

Garret Romaine
gromaine -at- radisys -dot- com
"It's late September, and I really should be back in school."
- Rod Stewart, Maggie May

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