Tom Goldenberg wrote an article about tech boot camp graduates not getting any respect. Boy, did it hit home. Like Tom, I too have been hired as a consultant to companies whose job descriptions precluded me from being an employee.
So this same attitude is evident in many other fields, not just tech. I know too many people with awesome — read: expensive — degrees who cannot actually apply the degree they’ve earned because the knowledge set within it doesn’t — and never will — translate into the real world.
Employers have been conditioned to think they are saving money by pre-qualifying a job to go to the fancy degree believing this person can actually perform the job duties when they hit the door, only to find out he has to learn on the job. Employees have been conditioned to think that the degree will assure a good and steady paycheck.
It’s a downward spiral for both. People are fast catching on to the fact that the education debt they will incur is never going to pay off, but employers are slow to open up their possibilities. Heck, even looking like a mountain-man millennial, Da Vinci couldn’t get accepted into an Ivy League school or get hired these days.
However, with the advent of boot camps Tom Goldenberg talked about in tech and maybe other fields, and I daresay the rise of real apprenticeships — not coffee-fetching interning — to follow, we will see a return to a more efficient and flexible business/product development cycle with small businesses bringing practical (and working) solutions to the masses, thereby leading the way to a stronger economic base.
I’m one of those (currently) small businesses with a practical and working solution to a problem experienced by the masses of songwriters around the world. But I didn’t think of this idea because I went to school. I thought of it because I was a person with a problem and nobody had a solution that served my interests. I realized there were a lot of people with my same problem and interest — how to protect and defend the rights to my songs — and I thought, “Heck, here’s what it should do. Here’s how it should work.”
Just as an aside: When I see “beta” on any tech product, I no longer even give it a try. If a company wants to use me for research, then they better pay me and honey, let me tell you, I’ll tear it up and give a great report on it. I do not trust anyone that comes out with promises of how this new thing will help me do whatever, only to find out that it’s still a gleam in Mommy and Daddy’s eyes and the crib is still in the box in the basement.