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Ha. - MisterPengo — LiveJournal
August 17th, 2008
06:15 pm
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Date:August 18th, 2008 04:44 am (UTC)
It's not consensus, it's just courtesy. If I wanted to get in the typical snide and insult-laced e-argument, I'd head to SA and let out 'Richard Dawkins is just compensating because a vicar jacked him off when he was a kid'. I'd be racking up the faggots per second at quite a clip.

My take on the university system covers more bases than value per dollar, naturally. But I'll be outright and bracketed and say that I favor developing certification systems such that a man can get a job doing sensitive hi-tech work with no degree to his name. If such a system could provide confidence that a given hire has the expertise needed and he has the initiative to self-study his way to that point, fantastic. That's something to encourage, not discourage. Obviously that goes for less specialized work as well.

I'm in favor of it for more tertiary reasons as well. Just want to learn about history, or biology? If you can teach yourself by reading books and studying on your own, so much the better. But that, I think, leads into the real contentious area.
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Date:August 18th, 2008 05:33 am (UTC)
I apologize for being less than courteous. I should lose major points for heading for semantics. I do get annoyed with the tactic of "misrepresent your opponent, attack the misrepresentation". On another reading, this wasn't your approach. Accordingly, I withdraw my remarks.

To substance:

Certifications for high-tech stuff are a bit hit-and-miss.

If the goal is "to get a job", the degrees or certs are solely to get you into the interview. Whether or not this is right or wrong is a huge question.

If the goal is "prove you learned stuff", then it's very variable. There's many stories of people who have interviewed candidates with degrees or certs that didn't meaningfully know the material. They're both useful to companies as it has a fairly degree of correlation, but no one claims that either is a perfect match.
[The question of correlation when it comes to non-science degrees is a fun debate]

If the goal is "just learn stuff because I want to", then there are many ways to do this, depending on the level of effort. Even today, I don't think there are any inherent barriers to this.

Currently, with high-tech stuff, there are a huge array of certifications. I can go out right now and pay for a 1 week training course on Java, and take the official Java test and get certified. Whether the added certification has any value above "gets you a first round callback for a phone interview" is unclear.

Certifications are in that weird stage where I perceive them as "almost the same but not quite".
More tangibly, there is some difference in terms of "G.E.D" vs. "graduated from high school",
at least in terms of side knowledge or social knowledge. Does that same perception factor in between "degree" and "buncha certs"? Is that why college is worth so much? I dunno.
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Date:August 18th, 2008 07:28 am (UTC)
Re: courtesy, no problem. I've just grown tired of standard internet arguments, and besides, the only people posting here should be people who I can be mutually respectful with. And I'm sure that's the case between us.

I'm sure an interview will always be necessary for any hire, regardless of what they bring to the table as far as certs or track records go. Not just to verify their capabilities, but their personality too. Some people just aren't a fit for a certain company and the like, I'm sure.

As for learning things solo, I think there's a cultural/social barrier. People are stuck in this mode where, if you want to learn some ('Truly' learn it), you pay a university for the privilege. And I'm not sure how much of this is due to a teacher really helping, and how much is due to people associating learning with 'something you need a teacher for'.

And I'm not saying certs are where they need to be, or where I'd like them to be. I offered the concept up as a goal, a direction I hope the world moves in. Yes, this is only a small part of my problem with universities and school systems in general, but it's a pertinent one.

As for side/social knowledge, that's where things get dicey for me. I don't buy people's concerns are always 'Well, your child should know how to interact with peers', because there's other and likely better ways to handle that. That's a whole other topic though, and one where my suspicions start to ramp up.
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