Author Topic: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?  (Read 12304 times)

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Online tggzzz

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2015, 09:35:41 am »
The box tickers in HR usually don't even read a cv/resume but you can be sure they'll have some cheap outsourced psychometric/numeracy/literacy prescreening test,

HR-droids are only interested in any mechanism they can use to deny responsibility if a hiring decision turns out badly.

You missed out graphology - for a software developer. Yes, there was a company near me that looked as if it might have been interesting, but they wanted a handwritten CV. I asked why, and graphology was the answer. In reality that was an excellent filter mechanism: I wouldn't want to work for a s/w company that thought handwriting was a key characteristic!

As for the psychometric 16PF test, I've taken it twice. One, assessed by a chess international master, uncovered remearkable things about myself and other people I got to know (e.g. the spot-on "I hate to sound sexist, but she seems lovable"). The other, assessed by a recruitment agent uncovered things that anyone could have determined during a 5 minute chat (which is what took place). Conclusion: they aren't repeatable; the assessor's intuition is key.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline Howardlong

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #26 on: December 24, 2015, 11:12:59 am »
You missed out graphology - for a software developer. Yes, there was a company near me that looked as if it might have been interesting, but they wanted a handwritten CV. I asked why, and graphology was the answer. In reality that was an excellent filter mechanism: I wouldn't want to work for a s/w company that thought handwriting was a key characteristic!

My first job in the City 25 years ago was with SG Warburg, they did graphology for all their salaried recruits. Anecdotes were rife among employees as to the validity (or non-validity) of it. There was a lot of secrecy about what the handwriting analyst was looking for. Luckily I was contracting so avoided the indignity of being fired before even seeing my desk!

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=dcNMZTnEz6UC&pg=PA215&lpg=PA215&dq=sg+warburg+graphology&source=bl&ots=Z_YXQgXaGU&sig=niMpatR9Fe9bVSpnzSMrn2_Lg-I&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwii9sr5rfTJAhUIcRQKHSHJAxUQ6AEIJjAB#v=onepage&q=sg%20warburg%20graphology&f=false
 

Offline rjeberhardt

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #27 on: December 24, 2015, 02:29:48 pm »
When I was hiring raw recruits a good degree was a plus but a bunch of purchased certificates was a minus.  The biggest plus was a demonstration of a genuine interest in electronics such as well executed private projects or ham radio interest.

Russell.
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Offline jaxbird

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #28 on: December 24, 2015, 02:55:56 pm »
Trust me, papers matter if you are aiming for a career with top companies.. the last 3 companies I've held management positions at are all in the top 50 of the fortune 500 list. You need to have something to show to get there, they seriously don't care about any cool projects you have been playing around with. You have to show papers to get anywhere near a job.

Not saying that papers is everything, I started out having no relevant education, but you can build on that, but it requires exceptional luck/talent and hard work to achieve anything.

Edit: Feel free to ask questions if you want to know more details about the hiring process within very large companies, I've conducted more interviews then I care to remember tbh.

Edit again:
Career highlights have been meeting Bill Gates in person and demonstrating a product to him. Other highlight was getting the opportunity to sit at the original Edison desk at GE, can't deny, that felt pretty special.

« Last Edit: December 24, 2015, 03:54:55 pm by jaxbird »
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Online tggzzz

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #29 on: December 24, 2015, 04:48:18 pm »
When I was hiring raw recruits a good degree was a plus but a bunch of purchased certificates was a minus.  The biggest plus was a demonstration of a genuine interest in electronics such as well executed private projects or ham radio interest.

Seconded. But then I don't think I even interviewed anybody with a bunch of certificates.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
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Offline CatalinaWOW

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #30 on: December 25, 2015, 04:00:16 am »


I have a friend who with his brother ran an electronics company for the taxi industry. They manufactured systems that used RF data transmissions from the taxi company to the taxis. They would only hire EE's with a degree AND a ham radio license because in my friend's own words, "A volunteer is worth ten conscripts." They were very selective and it paid off. The company was very successful, exporting systems around the world.
[/quote]

Another silly rule, like the HR ones requiring a degree.  The thought is right, but in application it will let some duds through and screen out some gems.  Just think if they had ask a question like: Why don't you have a ham radio license?  And found the answer to be "Well I am really fascinated by signal encoding and guided wave transmission.  I do all my work in the lab and am not emitting anything, and just didn't see the need to get on the air with a bunch of people reminiscing about how great it was when everyone had to make their own rig.  If you think having the license will help me on the job I can pass the test at the next available session."  Or ask:  What have you done with your ham radio license?  And found the answer to be:  "Well nothing really.  A bunch of my pals were doing it back in grade school, and I kind of tagged along.  I almost gave up, but passed the test on the third try.  Dad bought me one of those neat Yaesu transceivers.  Haven't operated it since I found out about girls."

When hiring there is no substitute for hard work and thought.  Any time you substitute a rule for thinking, you run the chance of fouling up.   At least this company got enough good ones with their methodology to be successful.  And they don't owe a job to any candidate (supremely qualified or not).
 

Online Simon

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2015, 09:34:54 am »
Sadly in the UK a flare for doing and learning does not help and I go nowhere. We live in a tickbox society where people get exited over nothing. I got into a company labouring and moved my way up to engineering where they are now putting me through a HNC course. the downside is that the pay is probably poor and because I'm in the privilidged position of being the only electrical expert in the company they in turn have no appreciation for how complex things get if only the time it takes to do things. I have an A4 sheet filled with a list of things that in an ideal world should have already been done but alas.

My solution was to start my own business, takes time, things move slowly and I have had a few spots of luck. Qualifications are great but the attitude no course can give you.
 

Offline Ysjoelfir

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2015, 05:17:03 pm »
Just a sidenote: I read through all your comments. Thanks for your answers, very interesting to read! Please keep your thoughts coming, I love debating about that and hear your stories.
Greetings, Kai \ Ysjoelfir
 

Online tggzzz

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2015, 06:50:46 pm »
When hiring there is no substitute for hard work and thought.  Any time you substitute a rule for thinking, you run the chance of fouling up.

"Think" is one of only two mottos that I think are worth the paper they are written on.

With "suboptimal" companies, HR-droids are afraid of making a decision that could lead to their being blamed. The "civil service mentality" isn't confined to the civil service :(

Another place where engineering degrees (preferably higher degrees) are more or less necessary is if you are trying to get a work permit for another country.
There are lies, damned lies, statistics - and ADC/DAC specs.
Glider pilot's aphorism: "there is no substitute for span". Retort: "There is a substitute: skill+imagination. But you can buy span".
Having fun doing more, with less
 

Online Rick Law

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #34 on: December 30, 2015, 08:33:01 pm »
In one of Bill Gates early books, he disclosed some Microsoft hiring practices - that was before Google and when Microsoft was the "want to be at" place for many.

A question they ask was "How many gas stations do you think is in the USA?"  He went on to say they were not so much interested in the answer as to the follow-up questions.  They were interested in how did you handle such unknown?

Some would say "how would I know?"  Some would go ask other who knows; some would estimate..  Of course one follow up was "how did you arrive at your estimate?"

One of my favorite question, and I forgot who (what book) I learned that from, was this: "What was your biggest mistake last year?"  Follow-up: "What did you learned from it?" or "How did it changed you?"  Their reaction would be as revealing as their answers.  That question however doesn't work for accountants.  They never make mistake(s).  The time the number their number didn't add up, they had an error but they did not made a mistake.
 

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2015, 06:29:54 am »
...
Billy Joel dropped out of school but is worth $180 million. He went back and completed his high school diploma not long ago because it was something he had to do. He earned great admiration in doing so. When you earn your degree, you will have something that even Bill Gates cannot buy even with his $79 BILLION dollars. Gates is a drop-out, but he could go back and completes his degree if he wanted to. You never know, Gates might learn something as well be earn his degree.
...

re: "...He earned great admiration in doing so. When you earn your degree, you will have something that even Bill Gates cannot buy even with his $79 BILLION dollars..."

Want to bet?  All he has to do is to donate some money, or a building, or build a "research center" and he will get his honorary Phd in no time.

In the next 10 years, you will see Dr. Bill Gates in his biography.

Honorary degrees are barely worth the paper they are written on. Honorary PhD's do not entitle one to use the word "Doctor" before their name. Universities have received strong criticism and even mass protests handing these out.  George W. Bush received (not earned) an honorary degree in history in 1968. Not bad for someone who seemed to have forgotten the Soviet Union defeat after their invasion of Afghanistan in 1980, and appears to have known nothing of the annihilation of the British in Afghanistan in 1842.

Engineering degrees are earned, based upon years of study and academic results, not based upon how much money donated to a university.
Now why did you have to go and insult George W. (Yale GPA 2.35)? :)
 

Online Rick Law

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2015, 06:46:24 pm »
...
...
Honorary degrees are barely worth the paper they are written on. Honorary PhD's do not entitle one to use the word "Doctor" before their name. Universities have received strong criticism and even mass protests handing these out.  George W. Bush received (not earned) an honorary degree in history in 1968. Not bad for someone who seemed to have forgotten the Soviet Union defeat after their invasion of Afghanistan in 1980, and appears to have known nothing of the annihilation of the British in Afghanistan in 1842.

Engineering degrees are earned, based upon years of study and academic results, not based upon how much money donated to a university.
Now why did you have to go and insult George W. (Yale GPA 2.35)? :)
While the poster threw something one may consider an insult.  Presidents should be big enough a man to receive insults, warranted or not.  We have a real thin skin one right now, but that has not been the quality of our Presidents.

Besides, not all Engineering degrees are earned.  If so, try to explain Frank Sinatra's Doctor of Engineering degree (Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey).  It is a hard stretch from Engineering music to engineering a bridge.

Stevens is not MIT, but they are not bad at all and can be considered rather good.   (Checked about 2 yrs ago) For NJ college/univ, they had the next highest top 1/4 student math SAT of students admitted.  Top one was Princeton with 800 top 1/4 student average, second was Stevens.  Stevens was in the mid 700's, a 100 points above Rutgers which is an NJ state university.
« Last Edit: December 31, 2015, 06:48:06 pm by Rick Law »
 

Online IconicPCB

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #37 on: January 01, 2016, 12:26:03 am »
The  ollowing link should serve to illustrate the value of a degree:

http://www.electronicproducts.com/Education/Career/20_of_the_highest_paying_engineering_jobs.aspx


pox on those who say otherwise

ohh... Happy new year
 

Online Simon

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #38 on: January 01, 2016, 10:18:03 am »
Depends on what you want. Education is obviously a necesity but an attitude to do is also required. A head stuffed with information is pointless if you don't know how to use it. Hopefully society gets out of the tix box culture one day because employing people based purely on a qualification is as bad if not worse than employing people without.

If someone without a qualification is applying for the job they must think they have some ability and should be able to demonstrate quite quickly that they are worth it, but just putting people in place based on a qualification can be very dangerous.

I won't bire people again with the times I have saved my employer from the disaster created by people who were supposed to be qualified, problem solving skills can't be taught, you either have the attitude to solve it or you don't and in the UK most importantly the will, too many people want recognition before work and can't be assed to go the extra mile.
 

Offline poorchava

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #39 on: January 01, 2016, 11:12:28 am »
I see more and more companies in the technical field moving an official degree from 'requirements' to 'optional'. They simply don't care if you have a degree or not as long as the shit gets done.  In the end getting shit done efficiently is what makes a  successful company.

But this requires recruiting people to be technically competent, so that they can choose an appropriate candidate and not fall for some bullshit. So this is hard to execute if a company outsources recruitment to people with question /answer sheets in their hands.

Degrees are devaluating because of the universities producing crowds of worthless people holding a diploma, which means that holding a diploma is no longer a sign that a person knows their stuff.


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Online Simon

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #40 on: January 01, 2016, 11:36:08 am »
quite, where I work I think many don't hold qualifications, although it's one of those companies where the less you do and the more BS you come out with the better you do. We have a chap going off to america soon to work at a subsidry we bought out, he is recognized as the laziest asshole the company has, but in many companies a big mouth gets you far and the MD can't see the wood for the trees. Which is why i set up my own business because being mechanical they have no understanding of what I do for them in the electrical field and don't value it (my boss keeps saying "I hate wiring looms" which is not that inspirational as while I'm not fond of them either it's what my job entails mostly at the moment, but he does not mind redesigning the same mechanical part over and over until it's perfect in his eyes). Recruiting good people without qualifications straight into places where traditionally one has a qualification is hard as the the company needs some really good management. Working people up from the bottom is best which is how i went but then they are not that committed to helping staff get qualifications or learn. I was taught the barebones of the paperwork system we run and have never been given any technical instruction except that, that I gave myself. I think my direct boss see's my predicament (of being under valued due to the company not wanting to understand electrics no matter how much they now play a role) and has gotten me onto a HNC course for electronics, he probably knows i have a far better chance of getting a qulaification and moving out to a better job (or furthering my own business) than I have getting any appreciation where i am now.

We had a fellow start downstairs in the machine shop. He was in the middle of a HNC he was willing to continue to fund himself. The company where not interested and would not even pay him for the required day release despite it making him a better worker. He just left for another job where they are taking over the costs of his course, are giving him the paid time off to do it and will continue to further his education. He's been replaced as a matter of course, no one misses him, the thought of trying to keep him never crossed anyone mind.

My employer does not see hiring people who don't neccessarily have a qualification as getting more grounded and capable people but as a way of saving money, they'd employ monkeys if they could do the job.

So yes there is a tendency to not need qualifications but in the UK I see it happening as a means to pay people less. I get a pay rise for saving the company from it's own screw up, not for doing a good job. As many have said here, qualification = better pay, we all know that employers want to pay less so there is a tendency to get the least qualified person who can just hack it.
 

Online Simon

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2016, 11:50:29 am »
So on the one hand you have people who are not really good at what they purport to do taking qualifications just to get a good pay, and on the other employers pretending to be a bit "new age" and people don't need qualifications in order to do the job as an excuse to pay less.

I was talking to some experienced nurses last night who were complaining about the quality of nursing and bemoaning the fact that now a nurse gets a degree and is a nurse and that working ones way up has gone and this has ruined everything. I never forget having to tell a student nurse myself to retake my blood pressure because the reading he got that turned his face white with worry was because I was not in the correct position, he never spotted my incorrect posture and nearly panicked when he saw the reading, I had to "diagnose" the problem for him based on my limited experience of having my blood pressure taken a few time...... :palm: but yes, a qualification is all you need, I wonder how many smarts it really takes to operate a blood pressure machine that is automated other than a brain that thinks for itself (we are taking about machines that a member of the public can buy off the shelf and operate).
 

Online Simon

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Re: Degrees and Certificates - are those usefull or not?
« Reply #42 on: January 01, 2016, 12:17:06 pm »
attached is the requirements of my assignment i will have to "complete" at the end of my current module, as you can see to gain a pass I have only to mostly complete 3 out of 7 questions in an assignment that I can do at home with no time limits and full access to all the help I can muster, online, from work collegues (well maybe not the chap going to america that just proudly got his IU degree could not help with my maths despite telling me he had done even more complicated stuff) and then submit at my leisure. Should I really be proud of passing ? does it deserve the better pay ?

In my case this is a great help as memorizing things is next to impossible for me and I'm mostly oblivious to how maths works doing this course is actually extremely hard work (I probably have atention deficit but have no idea if I can get help and if it's worth it) so it works well but I am still left wondering.
 


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