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Questionable qualifications ........

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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby ecureilx » Thu, 23 Apr 2015 1:18 pm

Wd40 wrote:
She got that MBA degree mid career, no idea why and no idea how, but just look at her career. She is a techie and application consultant and she was doing well before that degree and the degree doesn't seems to have added anything to her career.


Because MBA is a must-have back home?

Everybody wants an MBA :oops:

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Re: RE: Re: RE: Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby Wd40 » Thu, 23 Apr 2015 1:37 pm

ecureilx wrote:
Wd40 wrote:
She got that MBA degree mid career, no idea why and no idea how, but just look at her career. She is a techie and application consultant and she was doing well before that degree and the degree doesn't seems to have added anything to her career.


Because MBA is a must-have back home?

Everybody wants an MBA :oops:


Not true for techies with Engg Degree. In fact Engg Degree is valued more then Bachelors in basic sciences+ MBA. After an Engr if you really want to do an MBA then it should be from a premier institute or else the value of the Engr Degree gets diluted, like Lynx has mentioned before.

In this case, the IDA employee in question is a nutcase to go an get an MBA from a dubious institute after getting and Engr degree from Univ of Mumbai, which is pretty good in India.

I did a search on linked in about the Southern Pacific University and there are lots of people with degree from there but almost all are from Malaysia.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby maneo » Thu, 23 Apr 2015 3:02 pm

x9200 wrote:
JR8 wrote:For many people tertiary education is worthless, and in fact a delay on them productively entering the workforce and building their lives. Presumably Bill Gates concluded similarly when he dropped out of Harvard.

So how many people who dropped their tertiary education became Gates', Jobs' and few others? Is it a significant fraction?

Hundreds have been very successful; not just a few.
Of course, that still is not a significant fraction.

x9200 wrote:It does not prove the education is something useless for the majority. The obvious truth is, this majority will not become the Gates' and the Jobs' regardless what they are going to do with their education. For that unfortunately rather large fraction, the eduction can still provide some basics necessary for their professional area. The education is all about the masses, daily crowds of average Joes. It is never about exceptional individuals who are talented and intelligent and persistent enough to find their own ways.

Yes, the “average Joe” better go get a degree.
The 2013 report from the US Bureau of Labor & Statistics (BLS) indicates that the college degree group has average earnings that are 63% higher than the group with no college, and has unemployment that is almost 4 percentage points less.
Furthermore, the BLS also expects that by 2018 nearly 2/3rds of all job openings (in the US) will require at least a bachelor’s degree, where it was only 1/3rd in 2008.
The numbers here might be different, bt the pattern should be similar.

However, whether or not a young person should get a college degree is not really the issue here.
The issues are:
(1) whether someone from a higher ranked university deserves a job more than someone from a lower ranked university, and
(2) whether an irrelevant “fluff” MBA degree obtained 6 years before should disqualify a candidate.
The answer to both is simply NO.

Education should be shown at the back end of a CV.
Educational institution is rarely a deciding factor between candidates.
It would only be of interest if the position is merely entry-level and if there is no significant experience expected at the top of the CV.
That does not seem to be the case for IDA here.
It is unreasonably presumptuous for all the complainers to think they know better than the hiring managers what was needed for the position.

As for the MBA degree, it is not relevant for technical positions (period).
It's probably good that it was not from a prestigious institution.
MBAs from prestigious institutions think so highly of themselves that they are not likely to stay in such a position long. :P

x9200 wrote:
maneo wrote:In an NPR article a software company that works with hospitals found "zero statistically significant correlation between a college degree or a master's degree and success as a software developer."
Over 80% of those hired will have a degree, but those hired without a degree will be just as successful, if not more so.

This is because an average software developer's job is like the job of a car mechanic - there is a little freedom to apply any profound, academic knowledge to what they do. They are limited by tools and platforms.
But is it really the same for majority of the post-tertiary education jobs?

For such specialties within IT, yes, it would be the same - no correlation.
Experience is what matters.
The person in question has lots of relevant experience.

If you have an expensive Lamborghini, better to have someone with Lamborghini experience working on it than your normal, "everyday Joe" Ah Beng mechanic.
:roll:

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby JR8 » Thu, 23 Apr 2015 3:07 pm

x9200 wrote:
JR8 wrote:For many people tertiary education is worthless, and in fact a delay on them productively entering the workforce and building their lives. Presumably Bill Gates concluded similarly when he dropped out of Harvard.

So how many people who dropped their tertiary education became Gates', Jobs' and few others? Is it a significant fraction? Such examples only prove that without tertiary education people can succeed in whatever they want to succeed. It does not prove the education is something useless for the majority. The obvious truth is, this majority will not become the Gates' and the Jobs' regardless what they are going to do with their education. For that unfortunately rather large fraction, the eduction can still provide some basics necessary for their professional area. The education is all about the masses, daily crowds of average Joes. It is never about exceptional individuals who are talented and intelligent and persistent enough to find their own ways.


That's not what I said, izzzzit? ;)

How many people go to university, complete a course, and then use any of the knowledge gained in their future life? Perhaps some will work in their field of study, but back home the majority will not. So therefore what value was gained from those three years? They could have instead not gone to university, but started their careers three years earlier, now that head-start is highly valuable. Not least because by the time the 'graduate of nothing useful' is looking for work, the non-grad has already gained 3+ years direct experience. The fresh grad is 3-4/(5?) years older and might have no knowledge useful to the job at hand at all. The latter are the kind I described... they were sold a degree as a guaranteed path to career success, and yet now are apoplectic that mere non-grads have leapt far ahead of them.

I've described how the issue can manifest in for example the MBA interns we used to have in our department each year. A resume as long as your arm, yet many couldn't work a photocopier. Some point blank refused to, since they thought it beneath them, and their stellar qualifications. I recall one time having 'my intern' refuse to do some photocopying for me. So I went and did it, and then handed to him... stuff he needed to do his job [sigh]. That only happened once, when we had a chat and I explained that everyone below director level had to do their own admin., and he shouldn't take it as some personal slight.

Maybe the situation in the UK is so different from your experience that the point I'm making doesn't convey. Amongst my colleagues, apart from a good few who'd studied something relevant, ACCA/CIMA etc., I had studied something medically-orientated (intentionally vague), colleagues had studied geography, English Literature, and so on. Uni proved you could study and pass exams; period. It did not provide most people with skills and knowledge they would ever use in their careers.

Also UK-centric. The UK has witnessed massive grade inflation. When I was at school, say with Biology A-level, 15% of pupils achieved an A grade, it was rare. Somehow I managed to, perhaps because I really enjoyed it. But I do not recall there being any concept of getting an A*/A+, which these days everyone seems to. But in my day anyone who got an a few A*s would be in the national papers, you know...

-----
'Sunny Gupta 16, has just achieved his 5th A* at A-level. He is home-schooled by his mother Sophia. She explained, education is very important to us you know, not like these lazy feckless white children... Er... we just want Sunny to get a good career and settle down, he is naturally so so gifted you see, this is why he started studying for his A-levels when he turned 11'....
-----

Tony Blair rigged the system. He introduced performance metrics in many avenues of life, upon which to claim his own success. So soon 'everyone' was getting fistfuls of A grade A-levels.... well done Tony, great success! It caused some problems for Oxford/Cambridge Uni etc., they had to introduce their own entrance exams ('Tripos'?). When every applicant has 3, 4, 5 A-levels, at A-grade, what can you do? This also extended to reducing NHS waiting times etc...

Now something surprising like 60/70%? of children go to university and graduate. Back in my day it was under 10%. You went to study a field you hoped to forge a career in, not just to delay adulthood by several years because a degree is now almost compulsory, and the student doesn't perhaps know what they want to do for a living. And what virtue all these qualifications if those that hold them lack basic common sense, and worse have a layer of inflated entitlement on top of it? Add politics/envy and ooooh, perhaps FT vs locals 1st into it, and it gets rather unattractive...
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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby Barnsley » Thu, 23 Apr 2015 3:49 pm

JR8 wrote:
That's not what I said, izzzzit? ;)

How many people go to university, complete a course, and then use any of the knowledge gained in their future life? Perhaps some will work in their field of study, but back home the majority will not. So therefore what value was gained from those three years? They could have instead not gone to university, but started their careers three years earlier, now that head-start is highly valuable. Not least because by the time the 'graduate of nothing useful' is looking for work, the non-grad has already gained 3+ years direct experience. The fresh grad is 3-4/(5?) years older and might have no knowledge useful to the job at hand at all. The latter are the kind I described... they were sold a degree as a guaranteed path to career success, and yet now are apoplectic that mere non-grads have leapt far ahead of them.

I've described how the issue can manifest in for example the MBA interns we used to have in our department each year. A resume as long as your arm, yet many couldn't work a photocopier. Some point blank refused to, since they thought it beneath them, and their stellar qualifications. I recall one time having 'my intern' refuse to do some photocopying for me. So I went and did it, and then handed to him... stuff he needed to do his job [sigh]. That only happened once, when we had a chat and I explained that everyone below director level had to do their own admin., and he shouldn't take it as some personal slight.

Maybe the situation in the UK is so different from your experience that the point I'm making doesn't convey. Amongst my colleagues, apart from a good few who'd studied something relevant, ACCA/CIMA etc., I had studied something medically-orientated (intentionally vague), colleagues had studied geography, English Literature, and so on. Uni proved you could study and pass exams; period. It did not provide most people with skills and knowledge they would ever use in their careers.

Also UK-centric. The UK has witnessed massive grade inflation. When I was at school, say with Biology A-level, 15% of pupils achieved an A grade, it was rare. Somehow I managed to, perhaps because I really enjoyed it. But I do not recall there being any concept of getting an A*/A+, which these days everyone seems to. But in my day anyone who got an a few A*s would be in the national papers, you know...

-----
'Sunny Gupta 16, has just achieved his 5th A* at A-level. He is home-schooled by his mother Sophia. She explained, education is very important to us you know, not like these lazy feckless white children... Er... we just want Sunny to get a good career and settle down, he is naturally so so gifted you see, this is why he started studying for his A-levels when he turned 11'....
-----

Tony Blair rigged the system. He introduced performance metrics in many avenues of life, upon which to claim his own success. So soon 'everyone' was getting fistfuls of A grade A-levels.... well done Tony, great success! It caused some problems for Oxford/Cambridge Uni etc., they had to introduce their own entrance exams ('Tripos'?). When every applicant has 3, 4, 5 A-levels, at A-grade, what can you do? This also extended to reducing NHS waiting times etc...

Now something surprising like 60/70%? of children go to university and graduate. Back in my day it was under 10%. You went to study a field you hoped to forge a career in, not just to delay adulthood by several years because a degree is now almost compulsory, and the student doesn't perhaps know what they want to do for a living. And what virtue all these qualifications if those that hold them lack basic common sense, and worse have a layer of inflated entitlement on top of it? Add politics/envy and ooooh, perhaps FT vs locals 1st into it, and it gets rather unattractive...


I agree , maybe we are looking at it from the UK perspective whereby a low percentage of folk are actually using the degree they attained in their field of work directly.
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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby x9200 » Thu, 23 Apr 2015 3:54 pm

maneo wrote:The issues are:
(1) whether someone from a higher ranked university deserves a job more than someone from a lower ranked university, and

Of course not, but he/she deserves higher initial credit. It has a better chance to be good so the risk of hiring her/him is lower. This risk level translates to money. It is only about the initial period. Later, all should be based on their performance.

maneo wrote:(2) whether an irrelevant “fluff” MBA degree obtained 6 years before should disqualify a candidate.

Employed and performing good already or not yet? If the 2nd it could be held against the candidate.
maneo wrote:It would only be of interest if the position is merely entry-level and if there is no significant experience expected at the top of the CV.

Agree.

maneo wrote:That does not seem to be the case for IDA here.
It is unreasonably presumptuous for all the complainers to think they know better than the hiring managers what was needed for the position.

I was thinking JR8 already de-focused from the OP case to more general consideration so I did not mean specifically the IDA case.

maneo wrote:
x9200 wrote:
maneo wrote:In an NPR article a software company that works with hospitals found "zero statistically significant correlation between a college degree or a master's degree and success as a software developer."
Over 80% of those hired will have a degree, but those hired without a degree will be just as successful, if not more so.

This is because an average software developer's job is like the job of a car mechanic - there is a little freedom to apply any profound, academic knowledge to what they do. They are limited by tools and platforms.
But is it really the same for majority of the post-tertiary education jobs?

For such specialties within IT, yes, it would be the same - no correlation.
Experience is what matters.
The person in question has lots of relevant experience.

If you have an expensive Lamborghini, better to have someone with Lamborghini experience working on it than your normal, "everyday Joe" Ah Beng mechanic.
:roll:

Yes, but we are not talking about Lamborghinis, are we?

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby x9200 » Thu, 23 Apr 2015 6:27 pm

JR8 wrote:
x9200 wrote:
JR8 wrote:For many people tertiary education is worthless, and in fact a delay on them productively entering the workforce and building their lives. Presumably Bill Gates concluded similarly when he dropped out of Harvard.

So how many people who dropped their tertiary education became Gates', Jobs' and few others? Is it a significant fraction? Such examples only prove that without tertiary education people can succeed in whatever they want to succeed. It does not prove the education is something useless for the majority. The obvious truth is, this majority will not become the Gates' and the Jobs' regardless what they are going to do with their education. For that unfortunately rather large fraction, the eduction can still provide some basics necessary for their professional area. The education is all about the masses, daily crowds of average Joes. It is never about exceptional individuals who are talented and intelligent and persistent enough to find their own ways.


That's not what I said, izzzzit? ;)

Not sure. You mentioned BG in that context and he is probably anything but "many people". He could be also just lucky, or not? Somehow I don't see him as a talented visionaire rather a person who made one single decision at the right time (sorry for deviating).

JR8 wrote:How many people go to university, complete a course, and then use any of the knowledge gained in their future life? Perhaps some will work in their field of study, but back home the majority will not. So therefore what value was gained from those three years? They could have instead not gone to university, but started their careers three years earlier, now that head-start is highly valuable. Not least because by the time the 'graduate of nothing useful' is looking for work, the non-grad has already gained 3+ years direct experience. The fresh grad is 3-4/(5?) years older and might have no knowledge useful to the job at hand at all. The latter are the kind I described... they were sold a degree as a guaranteed path to career success, and yet now are apoplectic that mere non-grads have leapt far ahead of them.

The above implies (seems) the following:
1. People go to an uni mostly to earn better money after
2. People are really bad in judging the job market in the area they would like to study
3. People who will not go to an uni will get the job at least as easily as people who go and study.

Are these correct assumptions? I think maybe not. I am curious because I believe many if not majority goes to the unis because they are interested in some subjects and see this time benefiting them personally. Perhaps you are right and it is different in the UK but back to my country most people going to technical unis for any technical subjects are likely to find related jobs. There is also the whole bunch of people who are studying all these literature, art, history etc related subjects and they know well and right from the start where they are going to end up with probably first job at McDonalds and such. Still they do it. And there are people who study things like economy, management, marketing, business, political sciences and everybody knows it is only for a degree and generally thinks rather bad of such studies.

What you said is probably valid for this last group but I don't really know how big this group is.

JR8 wrote:I've described how the issue can manifest in for example the MBA interns we used to have in our department each year. A resume as long as your arm, yet many couldn't work a photocopier. Some point blank refused to, since they thought it beneath them, and their stellar qualifications. I recall one time having 'my intern' refuse to do some photocopying for me. So I went and did it, and then handed to him... stuff he needed to do his job [sigh]. That only happened once, when we had a chat and I explained that everyone below director level had to do their own admin., and he shouldn't take it as some personal slight.

Yes, they are AHs like this but I know such cases only from from a 2nd or further hands.

JR8 wrote:Maybe the situation in the UK is so different from your experience that the point I'm making doesn't convey. Amongst my colleagues, apart from a good few who'd studied something relevant, ACCA/CIMA etc., I had studied something medically-orientated (intentionally vague), colleagues had studied geography, English Literature, and so on. Uni proved you could study and pass exams; period. It did not provide most people with skills and knowledge they would ever use in their careers.

But you know, it could be still the best way for many of them. There is no way to be sure that such people would be more successful starting earlier. For many of them proving they can finish with degree, for themselves, for their families is something very important. I am not a career and money oriented guy myself. It's a human factor.

JR8 wrote:Also UK-centric. The UK has witnessed massive grade inflation. When I was at school, say with Biology A-level, 15% of pupils achieved an A grade, it was rare. Somehow I managed to, perhaps because I really enjoyed it. But I do not recall there being any concept of getting an A*/A+, which these days everyone seems to. But in my day anyone who got an a few A*s would be in the national papers, you know...

Same here. I was always a C/B-grader (assuming A highest and D lowest).

JR8 wrote:-----
'Sunny Gupta 16, has just achieved his 5th A* at A-level. He is home-schooled by his mother Sophia. She explained, education is very important to us you know, not like these lazy feckless white children... Er... we just want Sunny to get a good career and settle down, he is naturally so so gifted you see, this is why he started studying for his A-levels when he turned 11'....
-----

Is this from the UK? True there is the grade inflation but I think Europe is still doing better than for example Singapore.

JR8 wrote:Tony Blair rigged the system. He introduced performance metrics in many avenues of life, upon which to claim his own success. So soon 'everyone' was getting fistfuls of A grade A-levels.... well done Tony, great success!

Sounds very much like Singapore to me.

JR8 wrote:Now something surprising like 60/70%? of children go to university and graduate. Back in my day it was under 10%. You went to study a field you hoped to forge a career in, not just to delay adulthood by several years because a degree is now almost compulsory, and the student doesn't perhaps know what they want to do for a living. And what virtue all these qualifications if those that hold them lack basic common sense, and worse have a layer of inflated entitlement on top of it? Add politics/envy and ooooh, perhaps FT vs locals 1st into it, and it gets rather unattractive...

I agree to the extent that there are too many people going to the unis, but disagree that this is always about career planning and that not going to the unis is better and that it is useless for a majority to go there. I believe it only concerns some directions and many others can provide useful knowledge and skills.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby maneo » Thu, 23 Apr 2015 10:20 pm

x9200 wrote:
maneo wrote:The issues are:
(1) whether someone from a higher ranked university deserves a job more than someone from a lower ranked university, and

Of course not, but he/she deserves higher initial credit. It has a better chance to be good so the risk of hiring her/him is lower. This risk level translates to money. It is only about the initial period. Later, all should be based on their performance.

No, risk is not proportional to the ranking of the school, even for purely entry level jobs.
What matters is how well the candidate made use of the opportunity provided by the school they attended. The hiring manager better be assessing this through smart interview questioning and not merely checking the ranking of the school.

I knew a successful manager that preferred to hire those from Universiti Sains Malaysia than those from NUS.
He found that innate character was a better predictor of success and this is not something you get from a university. Those that came from kampungs and made it through the university had the grit needed to succeed.

Again, for candidates with significant relevant experience (as in this IDA case) consideration of university ranking is irrelevant!

x9200 wrote:
maneo wrote:(2) whether an irrelevant “fluff” MBA degree obtained 6 years before should disqualify a candidate.

Employed and performing good already or not yet? If the 2nd it could be held against the candidate.

No, it is still irrelevant for a technical position.

x9200 wrote:
maneo wrote:If you have an expensive Lamborghini, better to have someone with Lamborghini experience working on it than your normal, "everyday Joe" Ah Beng mechanic.
:roll:

Yes, but we are not talking about Lamborghinis, are we?

So, in this case perhaps a Mercedes or even a Volvo would be more appropriate.
The hiring managers needed relevant experience.
That's what they looked for.
That's what they got.
The rest of the nonsense about what happened in the distant past remains totally irrelevant.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby x9200 » Fri, 24 Apr 2015 8:42 am

maneo wrote:
x9200 wrote:[..]No, risk is not proportional to the ranking of the school, even for purely entry level jobs.
What matters is how well the candidate made use of the opportunity provided by the school they attended. The hiring manager better be assessing this through smart interview questioning and not merely checking the ranking of the school.


There are at least two buts: (1) typically, higher ranked provide better opportunities and, (2) more importantly, such assessment is very difficult, requires skilled staff and is impractical to be done concerning entry level jobs.

maneo wrote:I knew a successful manager that preferred to hire those from Universiti Sains Malaysia than those from NUS.

He found that innate character was a better predictor of success and this is not something you get from a university. Those that came from kampungs and made it through the university had the grit needed to succeed.

I believe you, I know such cases first hand (I am probably such a case too) but It's impractical and if you deviate from anecdotal type of evidence and try to see more general picture, still among 1000 candidates from Harvard you will find more better skilled people than within a group of 1000 candidates from BYDHU (Buy Your Degree Here University). Or not?

maneo wrote:
x9200 wrote:
maneo wrote:(2) whether an irrelevant “fluff” MBA degree obtained 6 years before should disqualify a candidate.

Employed and performing good already or not yet? If the 2nd it could be held against the candidate.

No, it is still irrelevant for a technical position.

You hire people, not robots to do the job. They will not only code, or design, or do whatever they suppose to do but also interact with other people. And you. They have to have a good level of commitment, be honest and posses some other old fashioned merits. If I see somebody flashing a shady degree to my eyes it is for me a warning sign despite of all his technical skills. Of course I will not disqualify anybody based on this but I will ask questions. If I have a chance.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby maneo » Fri, 24 Apr 2015 3:41 pm

Well, to continue the dialogue . . .
x9200 wrote:
maneo wrote:No, risk is not proportional to the ranking of the school, even for purely entry level jobs.
What matters is how well the candidate made use of the opportunity provided by the school they attended. The hiring manager better be assessing this through smart interview questioning and not merely checking the ranking of the school.

There are at least two buts: (1) typically, higher ranked provide better opportunities

Higher ranked schools should be providing better opportunities - better professors (if they're not too busy publishing or succumbing to other bureaucratic BS), better facilities, better cohorts, higher expectations, etc.
However, when entitlement babies go to such schools those opportunities are often squandered.
Hence the counter-intuitive reactions of hiring managers like the one I mentioned.
Again, what matters is how well the candidate made use of the opportunities provided.
Note that this would be a basis for very smart questioning.

x9200 wrote:
maneo wrote:The hiring manager better be assessing this through smart interview questioning and not merely checking the ranking of the school.

... and, (2) more importantly, such assessment is very difficult, requires skilled staff and is impractical to be done concerning entry level jobs.

If you want to have good people, such assessment is absolutely necessary.
Yes, it requires skilled staff - and that is the first place to start hiring smart.
It is not impractical for entry level jobs, unless you are giving up and resigning yourself to mediocrity and high turnover in those positions.

I remember an article on this in HBR many years ago by TJ Rogers, in which he had an interesting view on and process for hiring (which he also presented in his book, No Excuses Management): pre-screen, reference check, phone interview, face-to-face interview.

The supervisors for the positions being filled should be directly involved in the hiring.
You must not delegate hiring to HR, especially not if HR personnel are simply bureaucratic.
That will lead to mediocrity (and then you will deserve what you get).

x9200 wrote:
maneo wrote:I knew a successful manager that preferred to hire those from Universiti Sains Malaysia than those from NUS.

He found that innate character was a better predictor of success and this is not something you get from a university. Those that came from kampungs and made it through the university had the grit needed to succeed.

I believe you, I know such cases first hand (I am probably such a case too) but It's impractical and if you deviate from anecdotal type of evidence and try to see more general picture, still among 1000 candidates from Harvard you will find more better skilled people than within a group of 1000 candidates from BYDHU (Buy Your Degree Here University). Or not?

Again, the questionable MBA degree was irrelevant to the position, so the comparison is also irrelevant.

However, when the degree is relevant and someone has a questionable degree, whether due to institution or relevance, then it is time for smart questioning just in case they might be surprisingly good (and just made a bad choice early on, and hopefully got that out of their system).

While the probabilities of finding better people from Harvard would be ever in your favour, I would worry that a Murphy's corollary would hold, that you've got the one bad one in front of you.
(There is a rather infamous former US president that graduated from Yale and got an MBA from Harvard, yet didn't have the sense nor the ability to see past his own biases and subject questionable assertions to reasonable scrutiny for what was a very critical decision).
By the way, if you had someone from Harvard in front of you, shouldn't you be asking why they are in front of you here in SG rather than in some high flying position elsewhere with much greater opportunities?
:P
x9200 wrote:
maneo wrote:[an irrelevant “fluff” MBA degree obtained 6 years before] is still irrelevant for a technical position.

You hire people, not robots to do the job. They will not only code, or design, or do whatever they suppose to do but also interact with other people. And you. They have to have a good level of commitment, be honest and posses some other old fashioned merits. If I see somebody flashing a shady degree to my eyes it is for me a warning sign despite of all his technical skills. Of course I will not disqualify anybody based on this but I will ask questions. If I have a chance.

It's good that you have an open enough mind to ask questions.
If you ask (in a non-judgemental and curious way) why the person chose that particular university, it should give a good window into how they think.

There are many possibilities, and you may find out that it was a practical choice, or you may find that the candidate may have regretted it after starting, but followed through anyway because he/she always follows through what is started. To be arbitrarily negative is to be very presumptuous about motive.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby TMD » Sat, 25 Apr 2015 11:10 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:Again, your observations from the ground are just what ground? From my work with the ground I don't quite agree with your prognosis. However, you are entitled to your opinion. My opinion comes from over 6 years working directly with the ground in Aljunied where I live, via the RC/CC/PA. The largely non-Englishs speaking population from a generation ago were capable of doing so much because they were being led and trained by foreign talent, This is why Singapore has the problems today. Instead of slogging it out the hard way over 200 years or so, the talent was brought in to get it done, using the local population as labour on the behest of the Government of the day. Now that it has been laid in you laps without really struggling for it, it looked easy to you, so now you all don't understand just what has happened, except that the world is now your oyster, without having to work for it. Even LKY understood that he could build a 1st world infrastructure in a hurry, but it would take a longish period of time to elevate the population to that same social level. Sadly it's taking a lot longer that he envisioned.


Don't mind me saying that, but I notice that you have a chip on your shoulder with "local population" who do not support the PAP. Perhaps this may explain why Aljunied was lost, which happens to be where you live and work with the RC/CC/PA for 6 years.

Sorry, I thought this discuss is about education and the integrity rather then diving into 200 years old history and politics.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby TMD » Sat, 25 Apr 2015 11:26 pm

nakatago wrote:
TMD wrote:And that same story applies to non-locals making a living here, mostly whom I gathered fail to even bothered to learn any of the 3 other official languages.


I'd understand why an expat would learn Mandarin--and in fact, many of them have and from what I gather, are better than the locals--but why would expats learn Tamil or Bahasa Melayu? By extension, I have also met locals--as in born and bred who can't speak squat of the language whatever race their IC indicates. By further extension, there are also locals who can't speak their mother tongue, can't speak English but can only speak Singlish.


Which is why I see the benefit of bilingual education, never mind the fact not every one can master more than one language concurrently, and not counting the fact Singapore's education isn't one of the easiest curriculum when compared with that of the western system in general.

Your observation about more expat preferring to learn Mandarin and excelling in the language better than the locals shows how one's attitude counts alot in the result. But I do disagree about bring "Singlish" into the argument since it has not prevent locals from interacting effectively with foreigners both at professional and personal levels - and this is what I have observed on everyday basis.

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Re: Questionable qualifications ........

Postby TMD » Sat, 25 Apr 2015 11:41 pm

maneo wrote:
TMD wrote:I am curious what is the probability of an ivy league dropout blossoming into another Mr Gate or Mr Job in the US in the last 20 years ?


Other successful entrepreneurs without degrees include Michael Dell, Larry Ellison, Steve Wozniak, David Ogilvy and Ralph Lauren. Outside the US, Sir Richard Branson achieved quite a lot without a degree.

Maybe less well known are Dustin Moskovitz (FB), Sean Parker (Napster), Shawn Fanning (also Napster), Kevin Rose (Digg), Theodore Waitt (Gateway Computers), Craig McCaw (McCaw Cellular), David Neeleman (Jet Blue), John Mackey (Whole Foods), Wayne Huizenga (Waste Management/Blockbuster/AutoNation), Marc Ecko.

More recently are Evan Williams (Twitter), Jan Koum (WhatsApp), David Karp (Tumblr), Bram Cohen (BitTorrent), Ben Kaufman (Quirky/Kluster), Pete Cashmore (Mashable), Ashley Qualls (Whateverlife.com) and Barbara Lynch (restaurateur).

Those that can be greatly successful probably won't need a degree.
They already have the intelligence, drive, hard work and skills they need.
This seems to be the basis for Peter Thiel’s fellowship.

It’s not a question of probability; rather it is a question of innate qualities, qualities that are difficult to acquire if you do not have them.
For those that will be mediocre, those whose best fit will be as a cog in a machine, a degree will likely be necessary.

However, though the college experience should have helped build analytical skills and provide intellectual capital to help them perform better (assuming that they were fully engaged as students), having that degree is no guarantee of success. Some people can get a degree (even a difficult engineering degree) through hard work, yet lack the intelligence or drive needed to succeed.

If the hiring managers are good they will be able to see past the paper. They will see in a candidate’s CV and interview whether or not the candidate will help make the company successful. If candidates don’t have the intelligence, drive, hard work and skills they need, and if they don't stand out from the rest, then they don’t deserve the job.

If someone without a degree does have the intelligence, drive, hard work and skills needed, then they do deserve the job. Companies need to hire those that will help the business thrive.


End of the day, aptitude and attitude counts - MBA or not.
This what JR was had put across which I agree with while at the same time I cannot ignore the reality of how a education and certification do give any young adult a promising head start in the harsh working world.

Education was and is still valued highly, and by having a Dell or Richard Branson as examples will not deter any responsible parents nor students from focusing on their education when given the opportunity.

In the nutshell, fact is not every one can be a "Steve Job" or a "Bill Gate" and nor can we ignore that there is an element of luck involve in any of those "drop out" success stories.


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