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ed·u·cat·ed [ejoo-key-tid]

adjective

1. having undergone education

2. characterized by or displaying qualities of culture and learning.

3. based on some information or experience

 Now, I consider myself to be an educated person yet I do not hold a degree in any major or concentration.  Trust me when I tell you that I understand the importance of “higher education”.  I just think people are confused and think that no degree=uneducated. Better yet, some people believe that no degree means you are unable to advance to a certain level, lead a certain group, or organize a particular function.  

Some of the most brilliant and creative minds of both past and present are without a formal college education.  To those that believe higher education is the end all be all to securing a future, tell that to Mary Kay Ash; the founder of Mary Kay cosmetics, Michael Dell ;the founder of Dell, Bill Gates, Russell Simmons, J.K Rowlings, and Daymond John; founder of FUBU all of whom obtained success without a college degree.

Most people whom I come in contact with are usually surprised to learn that I do not hold a degree as if that means I shouldn’t make the money I make, speak eloquently, or have accomplished the things I have.

Let’s not get it twisted, I would prefer to say that I hold a degree in Business Admin with a concentration in marketing however my tale of woe goes a little something like this….only child in a single parent home, started working and helping mom pay household bills at 16, two summer jobs at 17. Girl has aspirations of going off to college and is accepted into multiple institutions of higher education. Mother sits girl down with worry in her eyes and explains that she cannot afford to send her to college. Girl decides to go off to the marines to help pay for education only to receive a medical discharge during basic due to a back injury.  Girl goes to community college, maintains 3.3 or better g.p.a but gets to a point where she is just disinterested in school which leads to multiple lengthy breaks in pursuit to obtain said degree.  Hence, how I am 31 and still without a degree.

 I’ve simply come to the realization that while I know furthering my education is very important; school just isn’t for me right now.  I spend my days focusing on my creative ability by way of putting pen to pad birthing metaphors and telling untold stories.  

I am sure that I will come across a many a people who will look at this future bestselling author and my pursuits as unattainable because they don’t feel I am educated enough. To those people, I say this…education starts from the time you are in your mother’s womb and doesn’t end with the pomp and circumstance of graduation day.  Everyday there is lesson to be learned and they don’t all come by way of an Institution for higher learning.  Common sense, street savvy, and knowing the right people have been known to elevate and propel a huge group of people to success.

Please don’t misunderstand…I am not saying that a college education is not important. I’m saying don’t underestimate the knowledge and the ability of those without one.  You never know who you’re talking to or looking down on and it’s quite possible that person could be signing your checks one day.

Food For Thought!

Have you ever looked down on someone because they do not have a degree?

Does no degree=uneducated to you?

Ever felt less than in a room of college graduates?

How many of you work in entry level positions without a degree along side those with a degree?

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16 thoughts on “No Degree=Uneducated

  1. Mahogany Princess,

    You made excellent points. Some of the most educated people that I know didn’t attend college. Some of the “not so smart” people that I know, have multiple degrees. Education, just as you alluded to, is a continuum of life lessons, starting from the womb. Seek knowledge to attain wisdom. ~AA

  2. Oh so true. Sometimes I feel that college degrees are just another “gold star” in our society. We put too much power in the piece of paper rather than the experience that leads us to completing the degree. Moreover, I’ve spoken to some really dumb college grads and some really smart high school dropouts. It’s simply not fair to label people in such a way. http://www.daretheschool.org

    • It’s another notch on the belt but oftentimes without the right connections, those who are paying thousands in student loans are making less than those who decided to forgo college. Like that old saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover” Thanks for visiting the site!

  3. Well spoken. Well unfortunately corporate America has brain washed most to believe that without a degree people are not worthy of a job. This is still a bunch of BS. I have two degrees. I am the only one in my group with a Master’s degree but I am still the least paid employee in my group. The furthering education is BS on a Corporate level to get a promotion. Who you know goes further than what you know. So why is that in corporate America. Just think about it. Most minorities can not afford to go to school so this is another way to keep them from working. I say this because what companys do you know that has more minorities than what there affirmative action quota states. Not many.

  4. There is a huge difference between being book smart and having common sense. Some people have both, some people have none. I personally do not feel that because you went to school you are any more educated/book smart. Our society/system uses various methods of assessment that are invalid. Think about end of grade testing. It is no more a true measure or testament to someone’s intelligence or how educated they are than is having a degree. At the end of the day I am all for going to a institution of higher learning. The best way to beat the “system” is to know the “system”, so I am not knocking getting a degree in the least. Overall, not having a degree does not make you more educated. Getting “ahead”, is a matter of having people skills and great connections. They don’t teach you how to network in school, you only learn that through life experience.

    • There has to be a balance in all three: Common sense, education, and street savvy. They work well together but if you are lacking significantly in one area it can affect your opportunities tremendously. I just wish that people would consider the full picture before assuming when it comes to education.

  5. Education is all in what you make. Having a degree may make you more knowledgeable in the book aspect of the subject,however, the person that gets the hands on experience may have more to offer because they have lived it. Does this matter in Corporate America…not at all. I hold three degrees and I have had to teach someone that holds more formal education than I have. I’ve also had people with no degrees and probably a lesser paying job teach me something valuable about life that a book will never show me. I’ve never looked down on anyone without a degree because no college degree does not equal uneducated. It simple means I paid someone a lot of money to show me how to read the books in class and the one without the degree decided to read it on their own. I give kudos to those who don’t let a degree keep them from achieving what they want out of life. Personally, I am all for higher education, but what is learned through ones life experience is priceless.

    • Vanilla~ I’ve meet people on both sides of the spectrum as well. I think the key in anyone’s success with or without a degree is perseverance despite the odds. That’s something they don’t teach in school. That’s in a person’s d.n.a. As always, thanks for visiting the site. Love to hear from you.

  6. Very well said. Before completing my degree it use to irk me the jobs I would apply for, was well qualified for and was looked over because I didn’t have a degree. I often wondered how others without one would obtain such and could move on without any hassle. Its obvious that people can and do operate with their assumptions. School as in sitting in a higher education institution may not be for everyone, but I hope that those that choose to stay away still have a thirst for knowledge that motivates them to discover something on their own… especially reading and keeping up in whatever topic that gets them going.

    The waste or uneducated without a degree part comes in once a person gives up and stops learning altogether and just accepts things at face value. Takes no time to investigate or discover things on their own. Has no real interest, goals.. and just floating through life.. without purpose. That’s just sad.

  7. Wow to become degreed or not. I have a bachelors and a masters degree and I’m still broke. I work along side others that have degrees and some that don’t. I won’t say that having a degree is worthless, but even with a masters degree in human resource management I have only worked in the field for a couple of years and I have yet to break back into the field.

    Either they want you to have the degree or if you have the degree they want you to have more experience. This is why I would never pressure my child to obtain his degree. College is not for everyone. But I do believe that some type of training is necessary to find a good paying job.

    Also education does not only occur in the classroom. Education is knowledge and true knowledge is something you can’t soley, if at all learn in a classroom setting.

    That’s just my take.

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