Society, fixed as it is on “credentials,” is much the poorer for it. We have effectively shut out and precluded many extremely intelligent and creative people from vital roles that they otherwise would play. Most companies (in most industries) will not even grant an interview to a person that doesn’t sport one or more degrees. Even worse, today most resumes are screened by computer programs that automatically reject or throw out any resumes/applications that don’t list a bachelor’s degree and/or other required accreditation. You could be the next Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or Tom Hanks, but you will not even be granted a forum to state your case and exhibit your knowledge, skills and desire.
No paper, no job.
Is this really a good way to fully and properly evaluate the potential talent pool? Or is it an easy way out for the employer and a way for those in unions and those who already hold certain jobs to lock everybody else out?
What if professional sports teams picked their employees the same way? Sure, if they required degrees they would obviously dramatically reduce their talent pool. Insert your own joke here, please. But that’s not what I’m talking about per se’. What if they simply wouldn’t consider any player who couldn’t run a 4.3 in the forty? What if a team automatically refused the resume of anyone under 6’ 3” tall? Or of anyone who couldn’t bench press 300 lbs.? Or had any other type of inflexible, arbitrary, An enormous number of the best players across all sports would never have gotten a chance.
The Great Gretzky? Sorry, never would’ve happened. Michael Jordan? Nope. Babe Ruth? Yeah, right! Walter Payton or Barry Sanders? Not so much.
Poor Scott Walker. He wants to be President, but doesn’t have a degree. And he wasn’t even a community organizer! All he did was run the state of Wisconsin in difficult times. Outrageous!
Let’s look at a few past Presidents that didn’t graduate from college or hold a degree. (Yes, there are a few)! Let’s also look at a few who did. The passing of time should help us more clearly see the results of their actions as Chief Executives.
The first President, the “Founder of Our Country,” didn’t graduate from college. He wasn’t accredited! As the first Head Honcho of the United States, George Washington didn’t have any precedent to go by, he had to make it all up as he went along. How he did this without at least a Bachelor’s degree is impossible to say. Re-elected, he reluctantly agreed to serve a second term before he retired to his beloved Mount Vernon. Most wanted him to serve another term and some wanted him king. He wanted to relinquish his power and return home. (Understandable, as he was previously away from home for the entirety of the Revolutionary War. King George III of England did not understand. He asked his American painter what Washington would do after winning the War for Independence. His painter stated that “he wishes to return to his farm.” The king, his long-time adversary, replied “if he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world!”).
Not bad for an unaccredited man.
Then we have Abraham Lincoln. You might have heard of him. He had one year of formal schooling in total and never attended college. He saved the Union that Washington founded. The under-educated Mr. Lincoln helped a nation conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, endure a bit longer.
Harry S. Truman carried no college degree, either. He finished up World War II for the U.S. He had to make what many feel was one of the most difficult decisions a President has had to make: whether or not to drop the atomic bomb(s) to end the war. He made the correct choice, ultimately saving hundreds of thousands of lives, many of them Japanese.
“The buck stops here,” declared the sign on his desk, even though his formal education stopped before he graduated from college. How is this possible? He didn’t even have a B.S. degree! (Nor did Winston Churchill graduate from college prior to standing up to Hitler- alone for a lengthy stretch- and saving the free world. The greatest orator of all time didn’t have a college degree).
On the other hand, we have many Presidents who did/do hold a college degree or degrees, such revered Presidents as Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, LBJ, and Herbert Hoover among them. Luminaries and history-makers such as James Buchanon, Rutherford B. Hayes, John Tyler and Chester A. Arthur pass the college-graduate test, as well. And, of course, Barack Obama is an approved product of higher education!
Those of you who have graduated from prestigious colleges and universities may be qualified to draw your own conclusions. I have mine. Character? Focus? Drive? Work ethic? Creativity? Independent thought? Mental toughness? Humility? Common sense? Logic and reason?
Obviously not as important as a piece of paper, especially one from a prestigious “indoctrination factory.”
We grow dumber by degrees.
And that is B.S.