When Experience More Valuable than College Degree

In today’s labor market, which is marked by shortages in experienced professionals, an increasing number of organizations are waiving the college degree requirement in lieu of equivalent work experience.


Because for many jobs, even important well-paid jobs, you do NOT need a college degree to succeed in serving your organization while also earning a good living.

Now I am not say ing that you should not go to college.

I am only saying that a growing number of people are succeeding financially “without” earning a college degree the “traditional” way.

There is online education and so many practical management training programs out there.

In this CitySpeak video, I make a joke about Albert Einstein not having a degree because “no college was qualified to give him one”.

Einstein did receive many “honorary” degrees, yet he still had to sit his physics butt down on a chair, doing all the work to earn degrees from the Swiss Federal Polytechnical School in 1900.

People have their own personal opinions on the value of a traditional college education.

Some people insist that a job candidate must have an earned university degree.

Your opinion on whether a college degree is required is obviously BIASED, based on whether YOU yourself have a college degree.

After 32 years working as a CFO / Finance Director, I have worked with many professionals (i.e., City Managers, CAO’s, etc.) who DID NOT HAVE a college degree.

Yet they have carried out their duties as executive managers “just as” successfully as their colleagues who did have a college degree.

Please go to my YouTube channel under “CitySpeak Podcast” to watch the full story of one who earned his college degree “non-traditionally” and succeeded in his career.

When it comes to licensed professionals, like doctors, lawyers, engineers, and CPAs, you can see why you need a college degree.

This does not apply to many other positions, even management positions, when you have lots of practical work experience and the “scrappiness” that beats out inexperienced college grads any day.

As I talk about in the longer CitySpeak video, David R. Oltman proved me wrong back in 1990 when I used to believe that you could only succeed in City management with a degree.

I prefer traditional college education, but even my own children have challenged me.  And you know what?  They’re succeeding financially, going the “non-traditional” route.

Lastly, I realize that robots and artificial intelligence will change 70% of our jobs and the way we think about a college education.

Bottom line, we are going to have to “think outside the box” to meet our needs for college training and education as we move forward in our careers in this fast-changing world!

All for now,

John Herrera, CPA

MuniTemps and the CitySpeak Blog and Podcast

p.a. Go to my YouTube channel under “CitySpeak Podcast” and watch the full video on this topic  

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