Here’s a thought out of nowhere, just because you went to culinary school doesn’t mean that you are a chef. Just because you pass the bar exam does not make you a lawyer. Just because you became a parent doesn’t make your mom or a dad. All of these thoughts came into my mind today as I looked back at my history and forward to my future.
Just because you’ve done something doesn’t mean that you’re an expert at it or even for some folks good at it. I think that experience has to be part of the formula that goes with any education or action to make you that chef, that lawyer or that parent. The tough part with this is that in some areas it is almost impossible to get experience before you are there. For example, when you become a parent you probably have no prior experience in raising children. Maybe the oldest child of a family had some experience in raising their brothers or sisters. But most of us absolutely had no experience and probably use their own parents or television to guide them on how to be a good mom or dad. Sometimes for me this is most irritating. For many couples there is a lot of difficulty in producing a child. While there are others who seem to go on their first date and end up creating a child. Just because you’re a parent of a child doesn’t mean that that child is going to get the best of attention or the best life. On this point I don’t know how you prepare to become a parent.
Just because you went to college and you have a degree doesn’t mean that you know how to succeed out in the real world. I think this is most evident when you look at all the college graduates who upon graduation march out into the real world only to find that they are working jobs like the ones they had while going to school. You know the ones that are waiters and waitresses or bartenders. In this case there is something that you can do and that is find an apprenticeship with a group or business that is in the field that you desire. Even if it means volunteering your time and your efforts just to get the experience. The interesting thing about trade schools versus colleges is that in a trade school you’re actually doing the work that you would do at a company or agency in real life. It is probably unlikely that you will get a real life experience at a college or university. That is unless you take an apprenticeship while going to school.
Many students that go to law school find a way to being an apprentice before passing the bar exam. Unless you are planning on becoming a teacher or professor after graduation colleges and universities provide little help for any kind of apprenticeship or real world experience. I would venture to guess that the first job you get after graduation is not in the field that you got your degree in.
So what is my thought for the day? There should be more importance placed on the experience you have well earning a degree or certification from the school. Professions like electricians, plumbers or welders require some kind of an apprenticeship before receiving the certification. I noticed that recently there was a program at Fort Hood Texas that allowed men and women of the Armed Forces to go to an auto mechanic school and receive some hands-on training on everything related to the auto industry. Training on how to be a mechanic or maybe a paint and body person will allow the service man or woman the experience that will help them get a job upon their leaving the Armed Forces. I am in hopes that thoughts like I’m expressing would hit the ears of the Board of Trustees and school administrators so that they can incorporate a way for their students to get some kind of hands-on experience or an apprenticeship to help them when they graduate. I realize that utilizing an apprenticeship doesn’t guarantee that the results will be perfect. But I’m sure that the results will be better when apprenticeship or hands-on experience is a part of the education process.
For those of us who have already completed our education and gone on to work in the real world, one would think that having experience would carry more influence in getting a job. The bad news is that your age will also be a factor. Sometimes it seems like by the time you got the experience you need you are somehow judged to be too old for the job. What is even worse is when somebody tells you that you are over experienced for the job. I think that the universities and colleges would find that those people of age and experience are an untapped resource to help their current and younger students get the experience they need.
There are many people who have been very successful without the use of formal education or degrees. But it’s the same people who should be utilized by formal education to help those students get some sort of real world experience and teaching. Many universities and colleges demand that the professor have some sort of advanced degree like a Master’s degree or PhD to teach at their institution. I think that the Board of Trustees and administration should look beyond the borders of the degrees. I do not think this means that they should not believe in the worth of a formal education. But I think there would be so much more worth if there were some real life experiences added into the formula.
If there ever was an example of how experience plus education has such great value, all you have to do is look at the companies like IBM, Apple or Microsoft. Many of the technicians that are part of these companies were self-taught. Many more combined their formal education with some sort of experience that made him such a great asset for their company. Whether it was an Internet experience or just the thrill of a computer game that started their interest, many of our early pioneers in the industry found no real formal education to help them with their profession.
As a political note, just because someone got elected to a position doesn’t mean that they will be a good leader or politician. I am as frustrated with many of the members of Congress whether they are a Republican or Democrat. It seems like the latest bunch of congressmen and women have not used any other formal education or the real world experiences to keep our nation running smooth. For that matter it seems like it is barely running at all.
Back to my thought for the day, just because you went to a school and received a certificate of graduation or completion doesn’t mean you know how to do the job. I believe that experience must be a part of the education process. Whether it is an apprenticeship or a job while being educated at school, experience must be a part of the learning process to produce quality and successful students.