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Qualifications

Frank the tankFrank the tank Posts: 6,806
edited August 2010 in The bottom bracket
Following on from the exam result thread, set me thinking. How important are qualifications?

I needed certain levels to get an entry test at various employers when job hunting.

My son who manages to control his Aspergers attaind high grades at GCSE level but has since gained no further qualifications but, as a computer engineer he can turn most people inside out, and his boss said to me that he would be almost impossible to replace.

My daughter on the other hand is taking a degree in fine art and has a very good talent but quite what she's going to do with that qualification I (as a thick engineer) have no idea. I've always said to her, "art, you can eather do it or you can't".

That looks like I'm bigging up my son whilst being disparaging to my daughter, that's not the case, I love them both dearly. I'm just try to put a point over.
Tail end Charlie

The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.

Posts

  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 54,012 Lives Here
    edited August 2010
    To people who get them they probably are.

    To people who didn't they probably aren't.


    If you take importance to mean how much you're likely to earn with them, then there are some pretty robust figures out there.
  • BunnehBunneh Posts: 1,329
    edited August 2010
    I was trained as an apprentice back in 1993 to be a dental technician. I never went to college, nor did any courses of any sort bar learning whilst working. I was a pretty damn good model and block tech, but can I get a job in that trade now? No... I need to do a course, need to get registered with the sodding dental council. Pisses me off royally that a job I was trained in and could do backwards won't let me do it any more. Oh and the course? I need good GSCEs apparently, which I don't have - quite frankly cannot be arsed 'learning' to do a job I can already do.

    Plan is now to do plenty of voluntary work in an animal shelter, do a few courses, possible degrees in animal care and go work for the RSPCA or similar.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    I went to Uni for the experience of going, I had to be 21 to apply for my dream job so thought it would be a good back up plan. It hasn't helped me per se in my job but it's a time in my life that I thoroughly enjoyed and have very happy memories of. I certainly didn't need a degree to join the police, I'm definitely in a minority in our force.
  • Bunneh wrote:
    I was trained as an apprentice back in 1993 to be a dental technician. I never went to college, nor did any courses of any sort bar learning whilst working. I was a pretty damn good model and block tech, but can I get a job in that trade now? No... I need to do a course, need to get registered with the sodding dental council. Pisses me off royally that a job I was trained in and could do backwards won't let me do it any more. Oh and the course? I need good GSCEs apparently, which I don't have - quite frankly cannot be arsed 'learning' to do a job I can already do.

    Plan is now to do plenty of voluntary work in an animal shelter, do a few courses, possible degrees in animal care and go work for the RSPCA or similar.

    That's the same boat I feel my son would find himself in should he ever lose his job.
    Tail end Charlie

    The above post may contain traces of sarcasm or/and bullsh*t.
  • shouldbeinbedshouldbeinbed Posts: 2,732
    The only time I've had to put my qualifications on an application form was for Polytechnic and later for the Cops. In the photographic industry where I started out you are judged on if you can do it or not, not by the certificates you have - I left my poly degree course early on the recommendation of the workplace who basically told me 2 years of getting contacts and experience would open an awful lot more doors than 2 more years studying and a pretty scroll at the end of it.

    In my current (niche) job I'm well up the ladder and it's the vocational training that has been necessary and getting good at things by having an interest have been far more valuable to me and my bosses than 20-25 year old school/Poly grades.

    (edited)
  • ceecee Posts: 4,553
    It depends very much on the Job being sought...and the experience of the individual.

    in IT world...

    someone with no experience will find it difficult to get interviews without a degree.
    someone without a degree will find it difficult to get interviews without experience.

    So one or the other really......
    Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I believe in the future of the human race.

    H.G. Wells.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    cee wrote:
    It depends very much on the Job being sought...and the experience of the individual.

    in IT world...

    someone with no experience will find it difficult to get interviews without a degree.
    someone without a degree will find it difficult to get interviews without experience.

    So one or the other really......

    You just said the same thing twice!! :o
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 54,012 Lives Here
    It's a tricky question because ultimately, most people will feel they've done OK whether they've had them or not.

    Every one of my colleagues has a degree from a top 15 University in their subject, as do our superiors.

    Suffice to say, they, especially the superiors, get paid an awful lot.


    Then again, I'd suggest a degree in English lit or History is probably more valuable on a cultural, personal enjoyment, even existential level, than say, a Masters in Financial Maths, though it's unlikely to give you a similar financial reward.
  • unixnerdunixnerd Posts: 2,864
    My son who manages to control his Aspergers attaind high grades at GCSE level but has since gained no further qualifications but, as a computer engineer he can turn most people inside out, and his boss said to me that he would be almost impossible to replace.

    I was diagnosed with this a few years ago (quite late in life!). With hindsight I'd say about half the programmers I worked with suffered from it. All managed to get a degree in maths or electronics and were clever guys, but we certainly had a few eccentricities :-)

    It's definately genetic as at least two of them had children with autism.
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  • This is a touchy subject with a lot of people, we often discuss it in the offcie where although we all basically do the same job, some of us have ample quals while sum of us have none. I think work ethic and personallity are alot more important in life, that said having done these qualifications could be an indicator of that.
    Myself GCSE's & Alevels (Physics, Chemistry and Maths) MEng and MSc.......

    But my Mrs still trumps me she's a vet, try getting into vet school thats hard!
    All hail the FSM and his noodly appendage!
  • Bunneh wrote:
    Plan is now to do plenty of voluntary work in an animal shelter, do a few courses, possible degrees in animal care and go work for the RSPCA or similar.

    It's never too late Bunneh. I graduated when I was 40.
  • tebbittebbit Posts: 604
    I did the Diploma QS a few years ago, the people doing the conversion from non-cognate degrees outperformed those of us moving up from HNDs quite considerably, to make matters worse they have now reclassified the course as a Post Graduate Diploma for people converting from the non-cognate degrees. The other thing about the course is that it is or was a long standing distance learning qualification, which was on the curriculum for allied prisoners of war to study in their spare time.

    Or people can do what a few ex-colleagues have done and that is lie about their qualifications, they usually get spotted quite soon in the large organisations but seem to last a little longer in the smaller ones.
  • My daughter on the other hand is taking a degree in fine art and has a very good talent but quite what she's going to do with that qualification I (as a thick engineer) have no idea. I've always said to her, "art, you can eather do it or you can't".

    Being someone who has both worked within careers in the arts and careers with more sciency related stuff and engineering also, I get your point of view, the arts always gets looked at in this way , that there is 'no money in it' etc, believe you me there is! the only thing with the arts its all just as pot luck and who you know not what you know as other work sectors are.

    I wish your daughter luck and it might seem to you right now that she hasnt got a clue what she is doing, no money in it etc, but honestly, artistic careers are out there and you can earn a good wage - in fact far exceed that also.
    'since the flaming telly's been taken away, we don't even know if the Queen of Englands gone off with the dustman'.
    Lizzie Birdsworth, Episode 64, Prisoner Cell Block H.
  • Mister WMister W Posts: 853
    I work in IT and used my degree as a way to get into the industry. I sit next to someone who does the same job as me (yes, it's so difficult it takes two of us :D ) who has no qualifications beyond O levels. Different routes into the same profession, both of which are valid.
  • GazzaputtGazzaputt Posts: 3,227
    3 years City and Guilds Horticulture and I work in IT. Go figure.
  • DCowlingDCowling Posts: 769
    What would be interesting is to find out who is still doing the job what they are qualified for

    Me, Dairy Herd Manager and have not been on a farm ( working) in 12 years
  • anto164anto164 Posts: 3,500
    Qualifications are useless without relevent work experience.

    As i should know.. Struggling to find anything with minimal work experience even though i've got an electrical eng degree.. :/
  • ste_ste_ Posts: 124
    My daughter on the other hand is taking a degree in fine art and has a very good talent but quite what she's going to do with that qualification I (as a thick engineer) have no idea. I've always said to her, "art, you can eather do it or you can't"..

    You'd be surprised. I have a degree in Fine Art and I now manage a large programme for a FTSE100 company in The City. Of the people on my course, very few have continued to do anything do do with the degree directly. A fine Art course teaches you how to think and solve problems in a certain way and also how to blag lots - i.e. sell, mainly your ideas / concepts.

    Very few degree courses that may seem more academic or vocational necessarily offer any more direction as to what career path you'll take... Unless of course you're doing medicine, law etc..

    Bst of luck to her!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 79,692
    I did a city and guilds in Plant Machinery, basically became a fitter/engineer, whilst in the Army. I now make margarine in a big factory, work it out, I can't. :)
  • schweizschweiz Posts: 1,644
    edited August 2010
    anto164 wrote:
    Qualifications are useless without relevent work experience.

    As i should know.. Struggling to find anything with minimal work experience even though i've got an electrical eng degree.. :/

    Just out of interest, what kind of jobs have you been applying for? Most big engineering companies have graduate development programmes where they don't expect you to have experience, just a 2:2 or a 2:1. I went through the BAE Systems scheme between 2000-2002 and picked up loads of experience that has served me well. On the other hand, my sister with an BSc in Microbilogy and a MSc in Oncology struggled for ages to get a job because it seemed the scientific research companies just weren't set up like that (or maybe she was simply applying for the wrong positions and should have been looking to work for companies that take on graduates direct)

    To add my two penneth to the original discussion, I'd pretty much had enough of school at 16, despite being a good student with good grades, I'd just had enough of it. Parents and teachers pushed me down the A-Level route and then through Uni. Hated most of the time in education between 17-23 years old. However, what those years did give me was some fantastic opportunities that I would never had gained elsewhere. I was lucky enough to get a 6th form scholarship off the RAF and learnt to fly before my 18th birthday, and through university I was on the University Air Squadron which allowed me to fly, go on adventurous training expeditions al round the world and provided much of my social life at uni. So whilst the academic side was a bind, the life experience side was well worth it. The other plus side is the degree I got has given me some more opportunities since leaving Uni than I ever dreamed of.

    My dad, born in 1944, was advised to leave school at 15 with no qualifications so that he wasn't competing for apprenticeships with all the babies born after WW2. He eventually got an ONC and HNC at night school and had numerous training certificates from the company he worked for but when the company went bankrupt he got 1 hours notice after 34 years and 1 months service with only statutory redundency! With no real qualifications relevant to his position/salary that he held, he had to go back to the drawing board, literally, and start his way back up with a 40% pay cut as a draughtsman and that was after 12 months unemployment. That was the reason he pushed me to get qualifications because just as if there's two people with similar qualifications, then experience will count, if there's two people with similar experience then the qualifications count.
  • SplottboySplottboy Posts: 4,208
    I recall having a girl trying to "Fast Track" with a Degree into a Police Force in London.

    Her Degree was in Zoo-ology !!!

    I know there are some "animals" in London, but come on...

    ( Maybe zOO OlOgy is the only award that comes with 4 free O-Levels?
    Or is an advert for "Shudda gone to Spec-savers?" )
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