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What's a degree worth?

Education is approaching a change where it will never turn back, but what will we find around that corner?

In America, college degrees mean less and less, and it seems like what's often more important is real-world experience and a competitive portfolio/skill sets. So the question is to put yourself in the following situations to answer the following:

As an employer: Would you rather hire someone with your required skill sets/a competitive portfolio and no college degree, or someone with a degree and good grades but little experience? (everything else held equal)

As a high school graduate: Would you be willing to self-teach yourself to the point where you had marketable skills and an impressive self-made portfolio while risking not having a degree?

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  • Feb 4 2013: The process of devaluing a degree has been developing for a long time. I am retired now, but even when I was in university, the students in the standard degree program were preferred over those in the honors degree program.
    Later in business when I had to hire staff I found that those from specific technical colleges were better prepared over university graduates.
    I have a degree in Geology but I have worked all my life in the computer consulting industry and for some of the largest computer companies in the world. They did not consider my lack of appropriate degree to be a hindrance at the time.
    I since have acquired a masters in the field but I did so for the sheer enjoyment of the process (I graduated the same year that I retired).
    We certainly seem to be at a transition point when considering the value of an advanced education and not all disciplines will move away from the desire to see a degree at the same rate.
    For computer tech for example, I would avoid university training, move to specific college programs and naturally be prepared to spend a significant portion of your life keeping up with the changes in technology.

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