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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 13 2013: I think the problem here may come from laziness. Let me explain:

    The employer essentially wants to hire someone with the right skills/traits to do the job. Instead of devising a way to seek out and/or test for those particular skills/traits, they rely on a degree to tell them his person "knows" their stuff (a very sloppy/lazy method for obtaining this objective).

    The job seeker knows the employer is lazy and looks only at degree status so the job seeker goes into massive debt obtaining a degree in order to be considered for the high-paying position they desire. Had the employer been seeking out specific experience/skills/traits, the job seeker could start with an unpaid internship to get in and prove themselves and then work their way up. While many job-seekers might be willing to do this, it doesn't always work because the "lazy" employer sets standards for certain levels within the organization, requiring a bachelor's degree to reach any level of management for instance...even though the degree actually does very little in determining someones qualifications for doing the job.

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