Which Should Employers Prefer? Credentials, or Competence?

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The test is part of a movement to find new ways to assess the skills of graduates. Employers say grades can be misleading and that they have grown skeptical of college credentials.

Joe Philipson for The Wall Street Journal David Pate, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at St. John Fisher College outside Rochester, N.Y. The college will offer the new CLA + test.

“For too long, colleges and universities have said to the American public, to students and their parents, ‘Trust us, we’re professional. If we say that you’re learning and we give you a diploma it means you’re prepared,’ ” said Michael Poliakoff, vice president of policy for the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. “But that’s not true.”

Then why not decouple the competency test and the diploma entirely?

Because then students might come to discover there is no reason to saddle themselves with $100K-plus in lifetime debt in order to get a degree from one of these gold-plated institutuions of ignorance and incompetence.

In fact, if a competency certificate from an independent agency actually did become useful in obtainning a job, a whole new industry devoted to providing that competency would spring up literally overnight – and in a unfettered, free-market internet-based learning environment, it would be one hell of a lot cheaper.

But then, how would the potential members of the Ruling Class get to meet and mingle with each other for four years?

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About Bill Quick

I am a small-l libertarian. My primary concern is to increase individual liberty as much as possible in the face of statist efforts to restrict it from both the right and the left. If I had to sum up my beliefs as concisely as possible, I would say, "Stay out of my wallet and my bedroom," "your liberty stops at my nose," and "don't tread on me." I will believe that things are taking a turn for the better in America when married gays are able to, and do, maintain large arsenals of automatic weapons, and tax collectors are, and do, not.


Which Should Employers Prefer? Credentials, or Competence? — 4 Comments

  1. But then, how would the potential members of the Ruling Class get to meet and mingle with each other for four years?

    By the same means. The competency certification becomes the requirement for employment, while the $100K+ is the dues paid to (hopefully) join the Ruling Class.

  2. This is already happening in some parts of the I/T sphere.

    If you have the appropriate certification from MS, Cisco, etc., you can get a job.

    The college degree is often listed as a requirement, but it also usually says ‘or equivalent experience’. We are now seeing ‘or equivalent experience or certification’.


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