Academic Degree vs. Real World Experience

How important is having a graduate university or professional degree? Is having real-life experience just as or more valuable?

I have a friend who is a great consultant. He has worked for multinational clients and has literally saved them millions of dollars. He uses a proven methodology that he learned at a previous employer.

However, he does not have a graduate university degree or a professional degree. He is not an MBA, C.A., or a P.Eng.

How much does this matter to his ability to obtain desirable engagements? Could he earn more and get better work if he had a  business or engineering degree?

Is this perception becoming an out-dated belief?

Experience counts the most

I also believe the world has evolved where a lot of the formal education obtained at the graduate university level is now available online. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) has over 2100 of their courses online and available for free. YouTube has tons of video-based education.

There is also a concern that some of the university level programs do not possess the ability to freshen the curriculum to keep up with changes in the real world.

My friend and I came up with a new degree for him – the “ S.O.H.K.”

It stands for the “school of hard knocks”!

Maybe the best solution is a formal education that includes some real-life experiences, a few hard knocks, and a robust but ever-evolving curriculum.

We need to encourage more communication and interaction between the business community and the academic community. A little exploration in this area will uncover that these opportunities are ready and waiting for your support.

In the meantime, I think those who earned their education in the trenches of the real world should start adding “S.O.H.K.” to their business cards!

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