The P.A.

A weekly address from Patrick Adams,
President of St. Louis Community Credit Union

It’s About More Than a Degree

On August 18th, 2014, posted in: Uncategorized by

diploma and want adYou have to use what you have.  If you have a degree in medicine and haven’t practiced your chosen craft for, let’s say, the past 10 years, then you are not going to work on me. There is no way that a doctor without an active practice or continuing education updates and certifications is going to get near me or my family. Quite frankly, based on all of the knowledge one can gain through the Internet, I probably know as much as the doc at this point in time as it relates to the latest and greatest. 

Very few, if any, would disagree with the above statement(s). The medical community has advanced exponentially in their skills and technologies since the turn of the century. More of this type of “mach six with your hair on fire” advancement will continue (and I, for one, am appreciative).

With that said, why would anyone not active in the profession in which they invested their college education think that after a long time away from what they once did (or wanted to do), they could step back in and be effective? Wrong.

Advancements in technology, the changing fabric of society, the global economy, enhanced tools, academic advances, the changing culture of the workplace, and myriad new ideas all say the same thing to those who have been dormant in their pursuit of their chosen field: “You’re behind.”

This has been one of the problems with reacclimating the long-term unemployed. When one stays outside of the workforce for even a short period of time, the belief is that their respective skill sets become antiquated. New college grads who don’t land on their feet quickly fall into the same trap — you’re behind in a nanosecond.

I say all of this to say that not long ago, someone approached me and shared how a person in their HR department applied for a marketing position. Why? Because 15 years ago, she graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. Fifteen years away from actively practicing the profession of marketing is a long way from where one needs to be. When she was told that she didn’t qualify, she was put off, stomped her feet and shook her fist. Settle down. On her way out, according to my friend, she flashed some steely eyes filled with venom.  If looks could kill, well, you know.

The HR professional needed to be rational. Think in these terms: If a generation is considered 17 to 20 years, then out of touch for 15 years is almost a full generation behind. WOW! In 15 years of marketing, the change has been exponential. The marketing professionals of today’s generation are trained on today’s ways, technologies, mindsets, etc.

Look, I’m not against people getting a job or bettering themselves. But a degree from a generation ago with no experience does not kick open the door. It’s just a fact of life.

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