By Dr. Randall Hanifen
Contributor, EDM Digest
I had a conversation with someone a few days ago who said, “You are qualified and reputable to complete this project because you have a Ph.D.” I asked, “What was I qualified to do the day before I graduated?” He looked puzzled and answered, “That’s a good point. I do not have a good answer, but you will do well on the project.”
This statement made me wonder: Was it the education or the experience that drove this person to believe I would succeed? I could not teach at the level I do without a doctoral degree. But because the project did not involve writing a dissertation, I could not believe that success would be based solely on a doctoral degree. However, the project did involve learning and education. My experience would be an asset to the project.
As a society, we place great emphasis on education and a societal hierarchy based on degree levels. But how far does that education go?
How Far Does Education Take You?
A great amount of student success relies upon networking and the sharing of thoughts with other classmates, often accomplished on their classroom’s online discussion boards. Students have often told me they gained as much knowledge through the discussion boards as they did from the course’s content.
Many students will tell you they still call upon their classmates to help during tough professional situations. It is clear that those relationships are important in their success.
However, if we do not teach students key concepts and the importance of critical thinking, we will not bring new employees up to speed and solve tomorrow’s problems. We must ensure our students receive the right balance of education and experience.