As we stated in Pt. I, formal education should never be discounted. As but one reflection, consider these statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Unemployment Rate by Educational Attainment
Bachelor’s Degree (and higher) 4.4%
High School Graduates (no college) 10 %
Less Than a High School Diploma 14.3%
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
In addition to this, educated people tend to have higher salaries. Beyond formal long-term schooling involving the award of degrees, there is conditional training and courses, such as network engineering certificates, programming diplomas, writing courses, management seminars, and even customized training by various educational associations. Many organizations have their own internal, proprietary, education and advancement systems of training, completely tailored to their specific needs.
Add to all of this a general all-around benefit – knowledge is power – as imparted by skilled and knowledgeable colleagues, teachers and professors in formal and informal settings.
It should go without saying: Education, and related credentials, never hurts a candidate or jobholder. When I was making hires in Fortune100 environments, I was very keen on people who were educated. That’s not to say there were never specific “self-educated,” seat-of-the-pants, types who outshone other specific, formally educated, folks – by virtue of specific accomplishments, knowledge, and experience. You must evaluate everyone as an individual. Ferret out their specific skills, bona-fides, experiences, and ability to contribute to the specifics of your environment and planned progressions.
But on balance, education is a tremendous plus, if for this reason alone:
Education not only provides an indication of what a person knows and can do – it shows ability to adhere to a schedule, to stay the course in achieving a major goal, and to harbor the allied patience in arriving at the successful destination of a project’s completion.
Staying the course (no pun intended… well… maybe…) and achieving a goal is an important indicator: It’s a window into a person’s character. In the mutually dependent weave of business and technology, it’s very, very important to employ people who persevere through every problem; who overcome challenges; who deliver the goods, no matter the odds – no matter the difficulties.
Last thoughts regarding education: It’s ultimately rewarding and – fun. You meet great people. There’s nothing better than that.
NP: Bessie’s Blues, John Coltrane, jazz24.org