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06/14/2016

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I would say those fields in some form of academia could benefit from the college years directly. But in general there is not a direct "swap" of work experience for education only.

However, I have encouraged using a formula to develop a standard of "career" experience which includes education and work experience. A bachelor's degree is equivalent to 2 years of career experience. This is general life experience and adds to a person's overall competency. That is paired with direct work experience for a total # of minimum years of experience.

I have managers generally tell me, particularly in IT, that they prefer work experience over education and/or certifications. If we say we want someone with the equivalent of a bachelor's degree and 3 years of work experience, then someone without a degree probably has 5 or more years of work experience already as they have substituted the formal education for practical work experience. Often that is even more valuable.

I believe it is the total package which should be evaluated for compensation too. Since a degree often adds value to a job in the comp systems, I would use that to compare the job to the market. Someone without a degree who is deemed qualified due to greater work experience would be treated equally to the candidate who has a degree and less work experience.

Agree, Karen. Math PhDs, for example, can typically carry that honed credential straight into teaching, since advanced degree programs typically require some teaching roles. But that seems to cycle back to the point that a modicum of practical experience "doing" beyond "being taught" seems to be consistently required in almost all jobs.

Judgment is certainly needed to assess the relative values of degrees over experience. As we all know, some experience is "one year repeated 20 times" while other types can far exceed in breadth and depth what could ever be taught in a classroom setting.

I think education should be the minimum yard stick to gauge employment capabilities.

I believe it is the total package which should be evaluated for compensation too. Thanks for sharing this good article

Thanks, Theophilus and Keziah, for your reminders that standard valuation practices are logical and generally appropriate. Every element considered has a minimum threshold, the nature and weight of each varies, and their totality should be considered. Reminds me of the story of the blind men inspecting the elephant.

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