Dr. Catherine Lombardozzi is an expert in the adult education field (http://www.l4lp.com) and also happens to be a follower of this blog (which I greatly appreciate). She sent me some very insightful comments about my post last week which I thought were well done. I discussed these with her and she has graciously given me permission to post them here in their entirety.
I thought that it would be better to showcase them as a separate blog post than have them placed in the comments section. This is because I wanted to make them stand out more. So here they are. I hope you find them as interesting as I did.
You seem to be talking about what I referred to as “check the box” thinking. In some sections, you are assuming the best reason for people to pursue education is to make themselves more marketable. I’m afraid that would lead to only cursory learning – enough to pass the test, but not intended to make a difference in one’s actions. That can be a mistake from a marketability perspective – I have seen too many candidates with the credentials but not the experience or results to give me confidence they have the skills.
At times you seem to minimize the value of learning. While you say “all knowledge is useful” you also seem to give lesser value to the pursuit of knowledge to improve competence and skill. In my experience, proven competence and skill, whatever its foundation (education or experience), is more highly valued than any certifications or degrees.
I know there are some people who hold degree as a qualifying or distinguishing factor, but I think many more will look at experience and results first. Perhaps that isn’t true in the PM business. I’m also aware that when there are many candidates with solid experience and results, holding a degree may become a distinguishing factor.
If you pursue learning for the sake of improving your skill, (not “for knowledge sake”), you should be putting yourself in a more marketable position because your results will be better (assuming the learning activities are of high quality). Myself, I think that a person’s effort toward demonstrating exceptional results will pay off in the long run – and I believe that a good education can be decisive in helping provide the foundation for exceptional performance.
It seems to me that a decision regarding certification or degree should be based on which provides you with the better skill set for exceptional performance.
Best to you – Catherine