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Blog:Education is Greater than College

Manny Becerra as a child

March 2007

There are many people that have the privilege and opportunity to access higher education; whether or not they wish to pursue higher education is another story. There are also many people that cannot access most any form of higher education beyond a community college even though it's something they absolutely want to continue to pursue; this can usually be due, but not limited, to: gatekeeping by an individual or group of people in society, inaccessible resources (e.g. content, physical buildings, etc.), and laws that have codified discrimination.

As someone who sits on hiring committees, I often wonder how much talent and potential we miss out on because we are required to screen out, for instance, individuals that haven't gone through a formal bachelor's program. This is short-sighted of us as a whole.

As someone who sits on hiring committees at the community college, I often wonder how much talent and potential we, by extension our students, miss out on because we screen out, for instance, individuals that haven't gone through a formal bachelor's program. This is short-sighted of us as a whole. There are some subject-matters that having a bachelor's degree (or higher) doesn't necessarily equate to competency of a subject-matter; on the other hand, having some training and lived experiences can often yield wealth of infomration worth sharing with others.

I also believe (and hope) that as technology advances and access to technology widens, more and more folks, particularly poor and minority communities, will have more accessible ways to learn, share knowledge, and gain skills. And, this doesn't and shouldn't make their skills any less valuable because it was gained outside of an institution that is designed to gatekeep people's full potential in society.

If you're in a position to hire individuals, try not to overlook candidates that don't fall into the "normal" avenue of how they learned a skillset.

Learn on. Always: a life full of continuous learning and growth is priceless compared to one in which active learning stops once a degree is earned/received.

Manny


I am human, a father, and a problem solver: a tech and people leader with a passion and proven track-record in building and leading compassionate, productive teams—remote and on-site—within a continuous learning culture. My teams and I champion usable, inclusive digital products and online experiences. My work, passion and intentions also intersect with advising small businesses and political campaigns, life-long learning, outdoor advocacy, community building, and uplifting others. Learn more about Manny