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Glass Ceilings and College Degrees

Adam's post on the glass ceiling of a college degree prompted me to think of why I finished my degree1. College served a few purposes for me that I couldn't have gotten any other way:

  • Helped me mature as a person. Never again in your life are you forced to deal with situations that arise in college, but they help you prepare for similar situations - and people - later in life.
  • Helped me mature as a thinker. I'm intelligent, and I'm sure I could figure things out eventually, but being forced to wade through so much helps you learn new learning techniques.
  • Helped me learn to budget. My time, my money, and other things.
  • Provided a way to "ease into" the real world: more responsibility without too much financial pain if I goofed up.
  • Got me that slip of paper.

That "slip of paper" is important. Regardless of how little it means to you, it tends to mean a lot to a potential employer. Given that, it's odd how many of them never bother to check its validity…

1 Major in medicinal chemistry, minors in computer science and French (not kissing - got an honorary doctorate in that one, baby!).

3 Responses to "Glass Ceilings and College Degrees"

  1. I almost want to disagree with how much it means to an employer. It didn't mean much to my current one, and I've progressed past where I was hired and into the area I wanted to be in in under a year. I've been offered even more, stuff that needs a degree, normally. The thing is, and this will become more popular as technology jobs start coming back, every time you see "2 or 4 yr. degree" you will also see "or equivelent experience" beside it.

    That's how I got *this* job over some folks with degrees. You can't complete with test scores of 100% and a guy typing 60 WPM. Paper means nothing to raw ability in this field. The problem, and the point of the article, is proving raw ability in order to make the paper meaningless.

    As for maturing as a person, what took you four years in college I did in two by getting married. 😉

  2. codepoet is right. Once you get your first job out of college, no one cares about your grades in college. They just want to know what you did for the companies you have worked for, andd what experience and fresh ideas you can bring.

  3. And yet that first job is important. Is it going to be writing code, or is it going to be answering tech support questions. Or selling furniture at Rooms To Go?

    Yes, experience is king, but that piece of paper helps get you jobs where you can get that experience. I say it "helps" i don't say it's a 100% must.