Experience should matter more

Decades ago, employment was almost guaranteed if a person had a bachelor’s degree.

Four years at an institution would put a person at the top of the list of job applicants.

Nowadays, it seems as if a four-year degree may be equivalent to a high school diploma.

With so many people seeking higher education, competition is getting stiff and employers want to see more.  They’re dissecting resumes and want to see what you’ve done outside the classroom, organizations, affiliations and etc. – in other words, your experience. 

One may have a 4.0 grade point average, but employers want to see what experience the applicant has to attribute the skills and knowledge learned in the classroom.  There’s nothing difficult about studying hours and hours for a test to receive an “A.” 

That’s what’s supposed to happen when one internalizes information learned. However on the job, there are no tests.           

There is no preparation for what will happen the next day when one goes into work. decisions are made on the spot.

But the importance of education exceeded years of experience at Florida A&M University.

Last Friday news swirled as the Southern Association of Colleges Schools suggested that professors should have a master’s degree.

This enforcement placed a lot of professors in jeopardy and it hit home to the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication. Ten professors were told they could not continue teaching without meeting requirements.

Many of the unqualified professors have more than twenty years of experience and have helped bring many awards to SJGC. Students protested against the dismissal of the professors. It’s understandable where SACS is coming from and professors should be properly educated and qualified.    

However, in the media, your experience speaks louder than a degree.  A classroom setting will never compare to the skills you learn in the field. So would you rather have an instructor with a master’s degree over a professor with a bachelor’s degree and decades of experience? Education compliments experience, not substitute it. 

Professors should be well educated, but does a piece of paper and a tassel mean someone is educated enough to teach at an accredited university.  But to every rule in life, there are exceptions. And 20 years or more of experience is definitely an exception.