Why do employers want degrees.

diablo911diablo911 nonePosts: 36Member ■■■□□□□□□□
So im just wondering if anyone has any input on this and or agrees. I have one more year left until im done with the University and it has been by far the dumbest experience of my life thus far. For example, iv taken a geology course and paid 1200 bucks to scratch a rock and determine the streak color ex ex. Today if you were to pick up a rock and ask what type it is, i couldn't tell you to save my life. The Army never made us train like the way that a university does, they train you with things you will need to know. For example, my current employer does not give a dam about my math skills, and the new hires we have that have degrees just seem so stupid with common sense, no ability to improvise. None of the liberal arts courses iv taken stick in my head so it seems pointless to learn it in the first place. I knew college wasn't for me the first day i was in it and thought about going back in the army, but i decided to stick it out cause employers want these lame peaces of paper for some reason beyond my understanding. Even elders in my family with engineering degrees say its a retarded process, its useless but they did it. I just cant get over why people  want degrees.
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Comments

  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Posts: 3,277Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited June 4
    I would say a lot of college courses don't really help people in the real world, but as long as you take courses in areas you plan going into once you complete college they should be useful.  But you actually have to be interested in that area and spend the time and learn the material instead of just going through the motions of passing the class too.   Sounds like you are just going through the motions of passing classes... Of course none of that will stick in your head than.    

    But overall, imo I'd agree that colleges/degrees do not prepare an individual for the real world job.   The only thing that will do that is experience of actually doing it.  

    But who would you hire if I have 2 people going for a job....  One who has no experience and wants to do the job.  Or one who has no experience, wants to do the job, but also has a college degree in that subject area. 

    (There are of course other things like English/Grammar skills and other skills that greatly help though too)
  • diablo911diablo911 none Posts: 36Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    well ya, someone with a degree, but many people i know wouldn't apply for a computing job without experience or a certification. I have a friend that works in IT and has no college or certs and does ok for himself. I would honestly ask for certs. Im majoring in computer networking and there are so many people that cant pass the CCNA having gone through years of cisco courses because they just get through as i did, now i half to re study with the little amount of time i have because im busy with math and comparing religion courses. The things i need to study i never have time for because im to busy studying things i dont need in life, iv been around the world and back again, combat environments, you name it, ya im sorry but i honestly hold a bias against people with degrees, dumbest thing iv come across yet in this life is college.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Posts: 3,277Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    edited June 4
    Yea, people can do just fine without a degree or certifications.   But another reason I think is because getting through high school proves very little on someone's education level.   I don't know about other people but I felt high school was a complete joke in terms of how challenging it was to graduate.  No, I didn't get straight As.  I barely tried and got mostly Bs.   

    HR needs a way to weed through a pile of resumes and starting off by only looking at resumes that have a degree is probably the safest and easiest way to start in a lot of cases.    HR does't have the time read through every resume and validate the experience a person puts.  They probably wouldn't understand what the experience meant in most cases anyways.   They have an idea what a degree means though.
  • MeggoMeggo Administrator Posts: 190Admin Admin
    As someone who also almost didn't go to college, I can tell you that I'm really glad I have my Bachelor's today. 

    I took a year off from school after high school and decided to go back. I earned my AA, worked for a few years, then went back to finish my B.S. online while working full time. Have you considered taking that approach instead? Working on your irl experience while finishing your degree? It might seem less laborious/frustrating for you. I also completed my AA at a tech school and transferred my credits over, which saved me a considerable amount of money -- especially with those "rock-scratching" gen ed courses. ;) 

    Earning your Bachelor's will make your job application process so much smoother. It will also make sure you won't lose out on any potential promotions. For me personally, knowing that my applications would be seen and considered by real humans made it worth it. I got real tired of those automatic rejection notifications from screener bots. 
    Director of Product Marketing at Infosec
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  • promethuschowpromethuschow Member Northern VA, NYCPosts: 191Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited June 4
    I would say a lot of college courses don't really help people in the real world, but as long as you take courses in areas you plan going into once you complete college they should be useful.  But you actually have to be interested in that area and spend the time and learn the material instead of just going through the motions of passing the class too.   Sounds like you are just going through the motions of passing classes... Of course none of that will stick in your head than.    

    But overall, imo I'd agree that colleges/degrees do not prepare an individual for the real world job.   The only thing that will do that is experience of actually doing it.  

    But who would you hire if I have 2 people going for a job....  One who has no experience and wants to do the job.  Or one who has no experience, wants to do the job, but also has a college degree in that subject area. 

    (There are of course other things like English/Grammar skills and other skills that greatly help though too)

    @diablo911
    I can feel your pain. After having two Masters, one in Business and other in Cybersecurity on top of having been in the industry since 2001 to some employer I do not have enough experience to apply, and to some I'm overqualified. See the dilemma here.  Just like what NetworkNewb said, when it comes to two candidates, the weight goes to the one with the degree and a bit of experience with it. One of my grad school professors used to say " you are going to use only 5% of what I'm teaching here, and rest you will learn on the job" after all those years, that phrase holds its breadth and depth and besides that having a degree helps you to clear the initial HR screening.
  • Pmorgan2Pmorgan2 CISSP, A+/Net+/Sec+/Project+, ITIL v3, CIW SDA & WSP Posts: 98Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    There's a little bit of weight to finishing a degree like being well rounded, knowing how to write & do math above high school level, and learning some soft skills.  Some believe that it shows you can stick to a long term project.  I think those are all assumptions, but I guess it's true some of the time.

    You could also make a case against experience and certifications.  It's silly to place all your faith in just one aspect of a potential employee.  It's good for a potential employee to be well rounded by having the full package (education, certifications, and experience).
    diablo911 said:
    The Army never made us train like the way that a university does, they train you with things you will need to know.
    Haha, the Army is the queen of "just in case" training.  There's only been one combat jump outside of Ranger battalions in like 20 years, but we sure send a lot of soldiers to airborne school.  I never ended up needing my combat lifesaver, detainee operations, prison electronic security systems, kyk-13, or convoy commander training.  I can think of a million applications for installing a printer in a HWMMV and sending print jobs to it using radiowaves.  Maybe one day you'll need to know the general composition of the granite in your backyard.

    2019 Goals: ITIL Foundation, Project+CIW Site Development Associate, CIW Web Security Professional, CCSP, ECIH, ECES, WGU BSCSIA
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Posts: 1,400Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Sometimes, I feel like college is a way to show employers that you can make commitment to a goal, and achieve that goal.  

     
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • DFTK13DFTK13 Posts: 72Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    @Meggo

    I agree, this is exactly what I’m doing right now. I graduated with my A.S with a focus in Cisco networking from my local tech college back in 2015, and thought I could get a job easy after that. Was I wrong...job applications are still tough today and I feel that it’s partially because I don’t have my 4 year degree. I have a job now but it’s not where I want to be career and pay wise. So I’m now one year into doing my B.S. in IT with a focus in mobile and web development online, the university let me transfer my tech classes over without any trouble so that was good. It’s really tough doing school, studying for certs, working and having a family at the same time. I feel like it’s going to work out in the long term. 
    Current Certs: LPI Linux Essentials
    Expired: CompTIA A+, Net+, CCENT
    Goals: CCNA, RHCSA, VCP6-DCV
  • Infosec_SamInfosec_Sam Security+, CCENT, ITIL Foundation, A+ Madison, WIPosts: 389Admin Admin
    Sometimes, I feel like college is a way to show employers that you can make commitment to a goal, and achieve that goal. 
    That's a really positive way to view it - I never thought of it that way but it does make a lot of sense! I'm currently in the middle of getting my BS online, and some days it does feel like I'm only doing this because I said I would do it. Consider it a test of stubbornness!
    Community Manager at Infosec!
    Who we are | What we do
  • paul78paul78 Posts: 3,016Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Let's be clear - many employers are not looking for degrees. They are looking for employees that can add value to the business. The employer will select the candidate that can demonstrate value through past history. If a candidate doesn't have any past history, then a college degree can be a fair substitute.

    Are you studying to be a geologist? If not - they heck did you take a geology class? I'm sure that there were other options that you could have taken which is more valuable and interesting to you. But you picked it - so own the decision. I never had the pleasure of finishing my degree but I enjoyed every class that I had the opportunity to take and I found value in all of them even to this day. College is what you make of it.

    As for your sweeping statement about employers looking for degrees - many of the major tech companies do not require a 4 year degree. This includes Google, Apple, IBM, Facebook, etc. Most if not all of my tech clients do not have college degree requirements as well. And my business certainly does not have a college degree requirement.

    If you don't want to finish your college degree - what's your backup plan? 

  • Basic85Basic85 Senior Member Posts: 176Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    It's mainly as a checklist off list for HR.  College was good for me as there many girls on campus =).  
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,773Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I think everyone has felt this frustration at some point in life. Having a college degree does not make you capable of doing your next job.

    There are a lot of factors going on here. One is that high schools are not doing a good job at preparing children to become workers. Another is that more of the population is going to college. In the 1970s only around 30% of the population went to college so you stood out as being on a professional path. Today its closer to 60%. With so many more going to college it's just assumed if you want to be a professional you will too.

    Having worked with both educated and uneducated coworkers most of my life I can say that there is a difference in how they approach work. The people I have known with high school diplomas or even dropouts have often been very hard workers that are good at what they are doing. The problem is they remain stagnate in there careers. Blame it on HR or blame it on the lack of schooling. In the end the statistics speak for themselves. If you choose not to pursue a degree you will have to work harder to prove yourself and get that next promotion. You might just find yourself working for a young college graduate with a fancy degree and no common sense one day.




  • DFTK13DFTK13 Posts: 72Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited June 6
    @Jon_Cisco

    I could not agree enough with your statement about high schools not doing a good job of preparing children to be workers. Its pathetic really, I’m having to deal with students fresh out of high school into college with zero work ethic and I’m not even 30 yet. I had to deal with a classmate in my web development class who kept messaging me trying to figure out how to log on the Apache web server and work the FTP program despite the teacher laying out extensive instructions on the syllabus literally step by step almost spoon feeding it to us. She was so lazy and did not want to bother downloading the syllabus herself. She saw that I knew what I was doing when I tried to help other students out on our messaging app and tried to take advantage of that. I did help her and gave her links to the syllabus but I wasn’t going to do her work for her and stopped messaging her after. Schools need serious educational restructuring in my opinion. 
    Current Certs: LPI Linux Essentials
    Expired: CompTIA A+, Net+, CCENT
    Goals: CCNA, RHCSA, VCP6-DCV
  • 10Linefigure10Linefigure CCNP R&S, Security+ USAPosts: 368Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Getting a degree isn't always about hard skills. A lot of it is about learning to navigate a bureaucracy, a skill you may find useful climbing the corporate ladder. There is also a myriad of other skills you should have picked up, such as being a more proficient writer and researcher. Critical thinking does not need to apply to only one subject, the critical thinking and asymmetric problem solving you learn in university can be applied to almost any difficult situation. Learning to learn, and doing it quickly, may be one of the most important things you pick up during your time there.  
    CCNP R&S, Security+
    B.S. Geography - Business Minor
    MicroMasters - CyberSecurity
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray Certification Invigilator Surf City, USAPosts: 11,480Admin Admin
    paul78 said:
    Let's be clear - many employers are not looking for degrees. They are looking for employees that can add value to the business. The employer will select the candidate that can demonstrate value through past history. If a candidate doesn't have any past history, then a college degree can be a fair substitute. 

    This is true for my employer. For most technical positions, we do not have a requirement for any degrees or certifications. We only want the best and most qualified people that we can find at a salary that we find acceptible to pay. The degrees and certs are certainly great keywords to help our recruiters find candidates and determine what knowledge and experience they may have that fit the positions we have open, and they can be a substitute for experience.

    I also agree with @Meggo that a 2-year associates degree is a great way to save money on a college education. In California, state-funded community colleges are still a bargain when comparing their cost per unit to the education they provide. In two years, you can have a college degree and a bunch of transfer units acceptable at all state-funded 4-year universities. Due to the tech workforce shortage, many businesses that require a college degree have been accepting associates degree for several years now.
  • DZA_DZA_ Untitled. Posts: 394Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    JDMurray said:. 
    I also agree with @Meggo that a 2-year associates degree is a great way to save money on a college education. In California, state-funded community colleges are still a bargain when comparing their cost per unit to the education they provide. In two years, you can have a college degree and a bunch of transfer units acceptable at all state-funded 4-year universities. Due to the tech workforce shortage, many businesses that require a college degree have been accepting associates degree for several years now.
    I did this route and man did it ever pay off. Debt free after school and working for a good company that has solid benefits, I can't say much more. This is so underrated for folks who are looking to get into the IT field. 
  • diablo911diablo911 none Posts: 36Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    @JDMurray , i understand, ya im currently taking some math that i cant make sense of but is required and knowing me ill forget all of it within the next couple of months after completing it, wish i could of spent that time towards studying for the CCNA, but odds are sense this is my last semester as this school ill just look for a manual labor job. Sucks i spent 5 years for the Bachelors degree and most likely wont go into the field of networking, is what it is.
  • NetworkNewbNetworkNewb Posts: 3,277Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    diablo911 said:
     wish i could of spent that time towards studying for the CCNA, but odds are sense this is my last semester as this school ill just look for a manual labor job. Sucks i spent 5 years for the Bachelors degree and most likely wont go into the field of networking, is what it is. 
    Work with your college to find an internship or some type of work in IT...

    I have a full time job, a 6 month old and a 4 year old at home, and taking college courses too. Pretty sure I'm gonna throw CISSP studies in the mix too here soon.  (I know there are a bunch of others like this on this forum as well.)  Don't be one of those people who find excuses on why the world is against them and thats why they can't get ahead.    Your making the excuse that some college are pointless so your not gonna get the job you want in life.  If you really want to get in to networking you would suck it up and do the $hitty work to get to your end goal.    Btw, your first IT job most likely won't be an amazing networking job just cause you got a degree and a CCNA either.   But most people know it is worth it to get to where they want to go though. 

    "is what it is"... no it isn't... It would only be that way if you accept it.   
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,773Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I say go for the manual labor job. In a few years you will understand why it's worth it to stick out the schooling. Then you can finish up your degree and start your career.
  • AvgITGeekAvgITGeek 70-410, 70-411 Posts: 338Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited June 8
    The problem with these folks are that they see manual  labor paying a bunch more than the entry IT and go that route because it is quicker. These folks also believe those commercials about "A network Admin In Dallas Makes $78,000 a year. Sign up here" adverts.

    My MOS wasn't anything close to what I'm doing now. In fact, I started college as a biology major and didn't last one year. I was put on Academic probation and I never went back.
    I put my time in and made connections so I could beef up my resume. Civilian life is a lot like the military life. Who you know and what looks promising. Don't burn bridges and be prepared to do some work.
  • chriscurtis83chriscurtis83 Sec+, CCNA, ITIL, MCSE, MA, BS, TS/SCI, PMP Posts: 27Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    edited June 8
    I think my degree's have rounded me out as a person. I can always hold a convo with a educated person and share different ways to approach things. But I find uneducated folks know their jobs super well and are often times SME's. But that's all they know. That's just my opinion but I've been in the work force for 18 years and its more true than not. I guess that's the difference between a Votech education and a traditional education. All that aside my degree's have helped me get high level certs like the PMP. It reduced the requirements for it and since I went to business school for my Masters some of the same concepts taught in PMP weren't foreign to me. So it was pretty easy for me to pass. I'm working on my CISSP and the same thing applies. It reduces the requirements and because my BS has some overlap with the CISSP its not that difficult.


  • AvgITGeekAvgITGeek 70-410, 70-411 Posts: 338Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited June 8
    I think my degree's have rounded me out as a person. I can always hold a convo with a educated person and share different ways to approach things. But I find uneducated folks know their jobs super well and are often times SME's. But that's all they know. That's just my opinion but I've been in the work force for 18 years and its more true than not. I guess that's the difference between a
    Votech education and a traditional education.
    I like how you distinguish Educated from Uneducated, and how there is some difference between the two.

    As one of your "Uneducated" folks, I've actually had the opposite experience at my last job. The most educated caused everything to go pear shaped because they didn't want to listen to those "workers on the line" who bought up great ideas that were better. When those "Well Educated Folks" were replaced, things improved.
  • chriscurtis83chriscurtis83 Sec+, CCNA, ITIL, MCSE, MA, BS, TS/SCI, PMP Posts: 27Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    That's your experience and I have mine. I don't see how doing less in someone's education is a plus. Ideally education, certs and exp can all be fleshed out by someone over their career.
  • diablo911diablo911 none Posts: 36Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    @chriscurtis83 ; all of the liberal arts courses that i have taken i have forgotten, in short, its because i don't use it in the world i work in. Reading poetry, music appreciation, Jesus i can go on with the BS this university experience has been. Im taking a comparative religion class right now cause i have no choice, and my opinion is life's a **** and then you die. I will admit i am very closed minded which i think is  a negative, but i know for a fact that a university is the worst place for me to receive training. I like @Jon_Cisco comment, i have friends that made the smart move and decided to not go to school and make near 90,000 per year dealing with hazmat and they offered me a position to start training. I need to know what 2 + 2 math wise and the best thing is during the training they don't make me study psychology or do research papers on random crap ex ex like the university does, so ill have time to learn what i actually need to learn.  
  • chriscurtis83chriscurtis83 Sec+, CCNA, ITIL, MCSE, MA, BS, TS/SCI, PMP Posts: 27Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    To each there own but I never viewed University as a place to get trained. 90k is great for a ton of people but right now I make over 200k but that's because I'm overseas. But I know when I get back my friends will line me up with something in the 150 to 160k range. That's because of my exp, certs and Masters, also my TS/SCI helps too. So degrees matter to me and have been a incredible help in boosting my income. Everyone's mileage may vary but I don't see how doing more education can be a bad thing.
  • DFTK13DFTK13 Posts: 72Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I will say this, I’ve learned most of my knowledge on Udemy, online video courses and self-study with books. College taught me practically nothing, but is it pointless to even go? In this job environment today, Definitely not. Sure, college is a colossal time and money waster in of itself, but the reality is that most jobs I’ve come across have mandated that 4 year degree. It is just a means to an end. Even my BS in IT degree I’m pursuing now at a pretty well known University is teaching me nothing that I haven’t already studied but the content is also pretty shallow. $10 udemy courses are miles longer and deeper. I’m just putting up with it now, because I know that once I have that piece of paper, I should see my opportunities widen just based on that criteria alone. Even now, I have access to internships and entry level jobs through my school just because I’m getting a degree that without I would’ve never been considered. Anything that helps, but of course, to each to their own as said above. 
    Current Certs: LPI Linux Essentials
    Expired: CompTIA A+, Net+, CCENT
    Goals: CCNA, RHCSA, VCP6-DCV
  • kaijukaiju Posts: 402Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    edited June 10
    TS/SCI 
    Why do you have your clearance listed as a certification?

    I know more than a few people who make $150k ~ $300k without a degree. 
    Work smarter NOT harder! Semper Gumby!
  • diablo911diablo911 none Posts: 36Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    @chriscurtis83 for me its because i cant remember anything i learn there, i completed trig last semester and someone asked me what the area of a circle was, didnt remeber, so i googled it, even then i found myself still lost, so that was 5 months and 1200 bucks out of my pocket, for what ?. Im no better for having completed it by the end of the day if i cant remember it, needed constant help most of my time throughout the days to get through it. Ya thats just one example of one class out of all the ones i have completed. Dont remember any of cause no one in the real world asks me or to work with anything iv learned at that campus.
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Posts: 1,919Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    edited June 12
    diablo911 said:
     I knew college wasn't for me the first day i was in it and thought about going back in the army, but i decided to stick it out cause employers want these lame peaces of paper for some reason beyond my understanding.
    I posted about this before, my opinion a degree proves you can be taught.  Employers really don't care if you can identify one rock from another or you can solve a calculus math problem. Other than English courses that help you understand reports and to write a comprehensive report, not a lot of what you learn in college is useful in the work place. A degree shows you passed a number of courses, that involved different areas of study, and understood them enough to pass several exams on the subject. Look at it from the employers stand point, am I going to hire someone for a job without a degree that may or may not be able to learn the job, or am I going to hire someone with a degree, with proof they can learn. Hiring and training are expensive. In the IT field it takes a good three to six months before an employees is at peak productivity.  Do i take a chance on someone without a degree that may interview well but in reality is a complete moron, or do i hire someone with a degree? Generally complete morons don't have college degrees.       
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • chriscurtis83chriscurtis83 Sec+, CCNA, ITIL, MCSE, MA, BS, TS/SCI, PMP Posts: 27Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    diablo911 said:
    @chriscurtis83 for me its because i cant remember anything i learn there, i completed trig last semester and someone asked me what the area of a circle was, didnt remeber, so i googled it, even then i found myself still lost, so that was 5 months and 1200 bucks out of my pocket, for what ?. Im no better for having completed it by the end of the day if i cant remember it, needed constant help most of my time throughout the days to get through it. Ya thats just one example of one class out of all the ones i have completed. Dont remember any of cause no one in the real world asks me or to work with anything iv learned at that campus.


    I don't remember everything either but I have general knowledge at the university level for everything I took. Which I think applies to most people. 
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