posted on May, 16 2011 @ 12:36 PM
I am a relatively seasoned employee at a university.
I am also one of those who people routinely ask, "Where did you get your degree?" and are subsequently cold and distant when they discover that I
did not get a degree. As a result I have no career potential here. Although my expertise and judgement gotten me invited to travel in the circles of
CEO's and VP's, my organizational chain views me as some kind of 'upstart' who thinks he 'knows everything.'
I have had so many job offers in this place which ended in "Oh, we can't give you the job because you don't have a degree." Then I ask them
casually what their degree is in, and it's most frequently something completely unrelated to what they do. Like a Federal Grants Manager (which is a
financial auditing-type position) who's degree is in "Fine Art" or a Facilities Plant Director with a degree in "Medieval Dance." (OK... that
last one was an exaggeration....)
I asked around once, "Why is a degree important?" and was told - in general terms - that ultimately it was about "Proving you could complete tasks
and be responsible."
Then, I looked around at the students.... and I thought "Really? Is that what they are learning here?" which was followed up with, "Then why
can't I find any degreed executives, administrators, or managers that ever seem to complete tasks or take responsibility for their decisions?"
When I got my Paralegal Certificate, (which is not a degree I am frequently reminded.) I recall spending a lot of time with young lawyers and such...
all of who told me that you don't learn how to practice law in school; you learn that when you get into a firm. And then they would lament at the
disillusionment of finding themselves doing boilerplate and cookie cutter tasks for the senior lawyers for years (until they could garner enough
personal attention to get a chance to actually practice - usually requiring selfless devotion to the firm.... i.e "no life of your own.")
I found myself wondering how becoming a 'wage slave' has been sold to everyone as a 'goal.' Most of us acquiesce to the idea that we need to
trade our time for money. (Yet the trade is always expressed as "you should be grateful for the job."; as if it were charity or something.) That
aside from executive function, everything else is a matter of "doing as your told" and being available to "take the blame" for direction you were
given and tried to execute in good faith.
Universities, I believe, may be at the heart of a social engineering conspiracy that creates inequity, engenders classism, reinforces the 'fiefdom'
culture in corporate affairs, and feeds revenue streams to banks.... the leadership of Universities seems frequently to be about 'political
relevance' and not 'talent' or 'devotion to education.'
Oddly, many of the most prominent and significant contributers to human thought, science, engineering, art, and even medicine came from people who
today - could not get a job unless it was relatively menial.
Our leaders insist that High School diplomas mean nothing, that our country need to significantly increase it push to get everyone into college. To
me it sounds like "We need more people to take vast loans, early in life."
Meanwhile smart, talented and otherwise capable people are marginalized in their potential, because they don't have the money, credit, or desire to
jump through what many times are superfluous 'hoops' to get a piece of paper so they can earn more access to credit than others.
Education; especially public education, should be improved and expanded. But that doesn't seem like it's even in the plan, does it?