Hunting for degrees

Lately I was decluttering one of my drawers when I faced some older certificate of a course I attended. I can see that nowadays you get those everywhere. You get them already for attending presentation sessions where you don't have to accomplish a single exam.

But sometimes when I look into the newspaper on the job advertisements I can see that some new kind of degree is often requested. Even here in Austria they have some good sounding new titles - "new", because they haven't been there when I was passing by (from about 1992 to 1996). They sound good but I do not have an idea for what they stand for.

From time to time in our company we are searching for some new IT professional. And it happened already sometimes that we hired some Microsoft Certified Professional. But often it turns out that these people do have their knowledge only from those courses made especially for getting through the certification exams and this often has only a few in common with the knowledge you need for real world projects.

And the mania does not stop there. There are people "collecting" degrees and certifications and they decorate their rooms with those! For some of them getting a specialist in something and get up working moved completely out of view.

I do think that their are some kind of degrees which do mean that you are facing a person that is well prepared for specific real world scenarios. But the way how is dealt sometimes with those degrees and certificates is often exaggerated.

While hunting for degrees people often forget that the two important factors are:
  1. Knowledge and
  2. Experience

A lot of courses are a time waste and you should carefully choose which degrees you want to achieve. If they don't present content that matters, than don't waste your time there!

Have the focus on gaining knowledge that improves speed or quality of what is your job or what you want to do. Improve those parts where you can gain money from.

Even if everything is labeled with very cool names, basically the same jobs have to be done as earlier. But unfortunately the main goal to transfer as much knowledge as possible is often not the first priority. There are either certificates you can buy (maybe sometimes the answers to the test questions and sometimes maybe the complete certificate.

So watch out to accumulate knowledge that is relevant for your job or daily life and gain experience working with it. In reality there is no substitute for this process.

Related posts: Who cares?, 101 posts or how to improve step by step, Knowledge is freedom.

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