What’s your proof of knowledge? For decades a diploma/degree has been seen as a proof of knowledge and professionalism. But does this still ring true? With the rise of the internet there is virtually no limit to the knowledge one can gain. The amount of people that have self-taught skills has increased astronomically.
This has put the question to the forefront. The question of how much value does a diploma/degree truly have.
There are enough case studies showing the monetary gain from having a degree. A degree is seen as proof that you posses a certain skill set. With this proof comes a price tag which is currently a point of discussion. Where various institutions were once the place to gain knowledge and depending on the status the institution has the ‘worth’ of the knowledge assigned. One can now find this knowledge at the click of a button. The amount of YouTube tutorials, blogs, courses, podcasts etc that can be found on any given topic is astronomical.
The saying “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” has never rung more true.
Not only is it easily accessible, the information is constantly updated at light speed. Arguably the only difference is that one does not receive a proof completion from a well-recognised institution.
Would a fresh college graduate out perform a self-taught individual?
This depends on the individual and how they went about their learning process. The self-taught individual has no set learning curriculum. They could have focused purely on the practical and gained knowledge on a need to know basis, or they could have gone down the knowledge wormhole and learned all the theories that the practicalities are based on and maybe even more.
The college graduate could have gone for mastery of the curriculum or for the bare minimum in order to get a passing grade. The amount of extra-curricular activities the graduate did also plays a factor. These factors make it that one cannot give a definitive answer on above question. The difference is the perception that the degree brings with it. With a degree one assumes a certain basis of knowledge where as there is no way to assume the knowledge a self-thought individual possesses.
What is the financial benefit?
From a hiring standpoint it is easier to hire the college graduate as one can easily assume a basis of knowledge. Possibly making the hiring process shorter and saving in cost on that end. But the cost I am thinking on is actually on a bigger scope. What is the financial impact on society as a whole? Where a self-taught individual would not have a debt associated with a degree obtained at an institution, the degree holder has been shown to earn more.
But then there is the question, which individuals ensures a company earns more and what makes for an even more interesting look is what the financial gain self-taught individuals have provided for the various outlets they used to gain their knowledge. These and other variables make for an interesting web of dependencies and impactors on the financial front.
What is a definitive is that the increased learning possibilities has created a Walhalla for creatives & maverick thinkers.