I was having a discussion these past few days with a colleague regarding education, training, and learning – and it got me to thinking. Yours truly has a confession to make. Back in the days of my misspent youth, I fidgeted and fiddled while in class. I loved working, and being “where the rubber meets the road,” but studying and sitting in class, while inarguably important, made me quite impatient.
I careened between “A”s in courses I liked, and “C”s and even “D”s in courses I didn’t care for. These grades had nothing to do with course difficulty: Some of the most difficult courses boosted my grade point average. And let me say that, today, given the grace of maturity (hmmm… that may be arguable), I do much better in the occasioned classroom experience.
But back in the day, I fared much better in IT/Business training: Courses and certificates. Education in the Information Technology field is an interesting consideration. Regardless of degree completion, be it an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, Master’s degree or beyond – experience ultimately holds sway – but that’s precisely what education delivers to you, in the form of an open door: The initial experience, qualification and opportunity to go out into the world in order to gain ever more experience… and to then keep learning. Recognize that a proper grounding for springing further, and safely, in real-world domains and related endeavors is only granted through a proper education. Education provides the laboratories, the real-world case studies, the disciplines, and associated hands-on practice at those that helps any individual choose a path forward.
Consider: Until you actually drive a car, in traffic, within rules of the road, you really haven’t much grounding for what driving is really all about. (That’s the experiential realm). But – I wouldn’t want to head straight to the road absent Driver’s Education and some closed-course practice, and a license to show some education regarding rules, road signs, etc. I darn sure hope the drivers streaming toward me on a daily basis aren’t absent that education and training either. (Only through education can we contextualize things, and subsequently enable safe entrée; it then grants the ability to digest, evaluate and build upon experience).
In the realm of business and IT, rapid changes and progressions happen, and oftentimes people with little education are capable of outperforming “educated” people by virtue of their talent, intuition, capacity to self-educate, and ability/willingness to learn very quickly. Inside that consideration, recognize that individual capacity and character are never without importance. Further, learning never stops in the ever-evolving business-technology environment. Informal learning is a necessary, self-motivated, endeavor over the course of the long term and any individual’s entire career.
But, formal education can never be discounted –
Next: Education’s monetary reward, and others…
On this day (Aug. 8th): Thomas Edison patents the mimeograph machine in 1876.