Re: What Degree Would You Get?

Subject: Re: What Degree Would You Get?
From: gina jerome <gina -at- ROARK -dot- ITG -dot- TI -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 7 Apr 1995 08:57:29 -0500

> Gina says:

> > Good question, Kelly, and Sue gave a great answer. However, with our
> > industry changing so rapidly, I'm not sure it's wise to invest the time
> > necessary to get another degree as I'm not confident that academia can
> > keep up with current technology.
> >
> > Noted economist Paul Zane Pilzer points out that technical revolutions
> > currently occur once every six years and in the future, they'll happen
> > even faster. This is the result of rapidly increasing communication,
> > both in breadth and in speed. That being the case, by the time one
> > got a degree, their knowledge would be outdated.

> This assumes that university degrees should be skills based and
> application specific. And we all know that's shortsighted. A better
> service, I think, is to provide people with broad frameworks from
> within which to base technology and communication related
> decisions. The particulars constantly evolve, no doubt, which is why
> it's fruitless to place too much energy there. Most tech writers I've
> met are real smart--they can learn programs and applications just
> fine, even on their own (we are an inquisitive bunch). I would even
> argue that students do get chances to develop timely skills within the
> context of more broadly conceived courses and curricula (our students
> are developing Web pages, navigation systems, and testing these pages
> and systems using empirical methods). But the course is grounded in
> rhetoric, which means that they not only learn a lot about the Web,
> but that they can apply what they learn to other technologies and
> contexts (we hope).

> Stuart

The optative word in that last sentence being the word "hope."
(Sorry -- couldn't resist the pun.) On a more serious note, if
colleges and degrees were as powerful and important as we
have been lead to believe, than why is experience a more heavily
weighed factor when one is seeking employment? Yes, I'm all for
education, and my sheep skin is hanging on the wall. However, I
sweat buckets before the big doors starting opening up to
me. I've also seen people with master's degrees who are frustrated
as hell because they've slaved so hard to achieve something that
is outdated in the blink of an eye. Case in point -- I graduated
from one of the top ten journalism colleges in the nation and
that was less than nine years ago. Back then we banged away on
an archaic Wang system. Remember Wang?

And what of the loss of revenue (that is rarely re-cooped) when
one interrupts an income stream to hit the university trail? Not
to say that money is the only motivator, but it is a strong factor.
But that, of course, needs to be weighed by each individual.

I do, however, question that with so much knowledge at our fingertips,
if universities are the best sources to dispense information and
how the rapid emmission of information will impact the way learn
in the future.


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