Is a degree becoming a drawback?

March 14, 2014 |

Is a degree becoming a drawback?

My husband and I recently undertook the unenviable task of decluttering our storage room, an area of the house I normally treat as a no-man’s land since it’s cold, has spiders and is littered with junk. After throwing out the antique golf clubs, broken baby furniture and aging university textbooks, the act of discarding useless materials started to feel addictive and liberating. Then we stumbled upon several large, framed diplomas. My husband flippantly suggested that we should roll one up and smoke it.

Our ambivalence toward our degrees is far from unique. In January, Michael Staton, a partner at Learn Capital, a California-based venture capital firm focused on education, argued in a Harvard Business Review article entitled The Degree is Doomed that the credential is “rapidly losing relevance.”

In some cases, he wrote, a degree can even be a liability, recounting an exchange with one software CEO who avoids hiring candidates with advanced software engineering degrees since they are likely to expect higher wages. Mr. Staton said several of the startups he advises consider traditional credentials to be a relic of the last century and he asserts that the value of degrees will continue to decline as employers learn to embrace more efficient ways to gauge aptitude and skills. Read more

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