The value of Degrees

Harvard Business review just published a post called “Stop Requiring College Degrees” and I couldn’t agree more with what they are saying.  Just because you have an MBA or a degree from a college or university, doesn’t mean you are the best person for a job.

In my opinion, experience trumps education every time. If you have a masters degree in project management but have never managed a project with a team larger than 5 people, you will fail compared to a person that has no formal degree but has experience working on 10 projects of various size and complexity and leading a group of people through any endeavor. Age doesn’t matter either but of course, experience does come with age.

“One of the most productive things an employer could do, both for themselves and for society at large, is to stop placing so much emphasis on standard undergraduate and graduate degrees.”  Andrew McAfee

To me, having academic credential can sometimes provide a false sense of security both to the employer and the person with the credentials. If you’ve only ever studied project management and never really got your hands very dirty, chances are your project will fail.

Obviously it’s not just me that thinks this. HBR is talking about and so are many others. The author of the PersonalMBA  asks the question; “Is it worth it to get and pay for an MBA?”  The answer author Josh Kaufman concludes is that you don’t.  He says and I agree that you can learn everything you need without spending $100K+ on school. In today’s world of online education and the proliferation of readily available knowledge. There are better options out there.

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