TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

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?

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • specs 2

    • +1
    Feb 4 2013: Q
    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)
    A
    It depends very much on the job I'm hiring for and the expectations from that employee. There is no single right or wrong answer. Some jobs simply require a degree to ensure regulatory compliance or suitable credentials. Some don't. Of those that don't require a degree, experience would outweigh academic achievement but unless you're a stellar performer you will often find the lack of a degree to be a hindrance in the long term. (Not always but it will come up on occasion unfortunately and may cause you to miss out on some opportunities)


    Q
    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?
    A
    If you have an impressive self made portfolio then why ask the question? The answer in this particular case yes. If you didn't have an impressive portfolio then you wasted your time.

    Summary
    The value of a degree must be viewed in the context of what you want for yourself and that always changes as you grow older. I would advise that if you do get a degree you probably won't regret it no matter what life brings. If you don't get one you may regret it.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.