Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
Whilst this is true, education doesn't always have to mean a degree. It could be education through experience.

I never take ownership of a degree as competence in anything. It just means someone has attended university and managed to find the correct answers in the exams.

In the last few years we have employed a couple of people with degrees in electronics. One of them didn't know which way to wire up an LED (something I learned when I was about ten) and the other had a similar in depth knowledge of the subject.

I would hope these are exceptions to the rule but I hear similar stories from others.

It's not all that different in any field. When I was the production manager of a printing company, I interviewed numerous applicants with a degree that had no concept of the most basic, fundamental skills, yet somehow managed to earn a graphic arts degree. My son is nearly finished with his EE and can't perform the most basic steps of diagnosis outside of his specialty, even though the same concepts apply regardless of whether it's a data comm system or an automobile engine that refuses to start. The basic skills, that many of us were taught in middle and high school, seem to have vanished from the earth I fear.

I have been a working graphic artist and designer since my mid 20's, when I left electronics and manufacturing at the beginnings of the "down sizing" trend. With two plus decades of demonstrated competence and skill level, I haven't been able to find a job paying anything close to a living wage, as nearly every employer wants applicants with a bachelor's degree. In the current job market, where there are hundreds of applicants for each job, it's easy for the employer to segregate based on their stated requirements, irrespective of demonstrated skills, abilities or references.

This situation precipitated my return to school, after 29 years, and my ultimate decision to just keep going and get an MFA. At the very least, I can teach.