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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 10 2013: The things you learn in college have an implicit value that cannot be overstated. Working my way through college in middle America has been formative, while the balance of work and school has been in constant, sometimes unmanageable flux. I learned a lot working full time in the workplace-about how to handle work environments, how to show up everyday fifteen minutes early, how to be industrious without burning out and how to warm up to supervisors. I learned diligence, how to manage money and taxes and how to form a personal budget. I learned the true cost of things, how to look at unit costs, how to tighten a leaking faucet-how to hang a shelf on my own. But what I have learned in college is how to be a global citizen. I have made friends from every corner of the planet. I have traveled, I have had my eyes opened and I have been given a deep respect for reason and advancement. I have learned not only my civic duties but how to truly respect and admire the cultures of others. I have been humbled in academic debates, I have had my old views turned upside down and I have been given a long list of "suggested reading". College opens the doors of possibility for a person in more ways than networking or a job ticket... it paints a bigger picture that is dynamic, exciting and it invites you to take part. True, I could have read some Victorian literature on my own and stopped there but instead I had the opportunity to discuss it with graduate students from all different backgrounds, to learn from professors that have published multiple books on the subject, etc. Employers know that college offers such opportunities for personal growth and is indicative of at least strength of character upon its completion. This is why employers often want a bachelor's degree-it is indicative of dedication, hard work and personal development. It is a very rare high school graduate who knows what they want to pursue at 18, knows who they are, and knows how to achieve their goals.College helps

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