Thursday, May 24, 2012

diploma vs experience

YAY! I'm freeeeeeee!!!!!

Not really. I was free before. Anyways.

It's just that dance recital is now over, and I have free time on my hands. I kinda forgot what that was like! It's amazing! We are working on doing laundry and stuff from all the dance costumes right now.... you think it's a big job making 900+ costumes, try having to get all of them sorted, washed, organized, and put away. Whew! At least we don't have a crazy fast deadline on that. And it's kinda fun. Loud music, cool people, yeah :)

On to my post. (And yes, I'll probably post dance recital photos sometime - unless y'all don't care, or saw them on Facebook already :) )

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately on the importance of a college degree. For me personally, I have had mine for a year, and haven't used it yet.... but I'm up to my eyeballs in jobs and job offers. I didn't even need a college degree to be a substitute teacher - go figure! My resume has quite a bit of stuff on it - a lot more than the one line that says "Thomas Edison State College - B.A. in English 2011" (or whatever it says about my college education).

I'm not saying that I wish I hadn't gotten my degree - I loved earning it! I love school! I love learning! A huge part of me wants to go back to college and get a Masters or another degree or just take classes - something! What I'm saying is, I think our culture puts too much emphasis on college - saying you need a degree to go anywhere or do anything in life.

The more I'm around people I work for, work with, or other people who have "been around the block more" per say, the more I'm finding that good references are worth their weight in gold. If an employer hears from another employer that you were a hard worker, on time, worked well with others, and did a great job, I'm pretty sure that would be worth more than you having a college degree (some exceptions, of course).

Besides, for certain jobs, college is kinda worthless. I could have gone to college to be a dance teacher, sure - a couple of my coworkers did. But what I learned by first being a student, then being an assistant teacher, then by being a substitute teacher (and putting lots of time and effort into learning from other teachers), really, really prepared me for being a teacher... which is why I got hired. My experience spoke volumes, and I was hired before I had even started college so that didn't matter one bit.

A friend of mine was talking about this, about how he felt he had wasted time and money getting a degree, when the job he was applying for wasn't even remotely close to what his degree was in. How sad is that? I know he learned amazing things in college, and probably doesn't regret the learning part of it, but since it wasn't all that necessary.... why did he do it?

I'm not saying that college should be thrown out the window. Obviously you need it for lots of professions out there (and yes, I am thankful I have my degree). I'm just saying that you should think long and hard about investing that much time, money and energy into a degree - and see if the job you want to do for the rest of your life can't be gained by experience instead of college classes.

Thoughts? :) 

No comments:

Post a Comment