We live in an era of qualifications, grades and certificates but is this the best way to advance the human race? Are we slowing down human advancement and numbing inspiration and invention?
Many years ago we lived in a simpler time, a time where a man could invent, create and inspire without ever attending a place of higher education. A man could build a home without a certificate and repair a car because he loved to take things apart and learn how they go back together. But now it seems that life is all about education but what is education really?
Education today seems to be quite uninspiring for one simple reason, it is all about regurgitating the past. We have decided upon the “right way” to do “it” and we now teach that to those that wish to do anything from building a car to brain surgery. Don’t get me wrong, there are obvious places where learning is vital for achieving important jobs such as brain surgery, after all that is no time to experiment. But there is a time where a certificate can also be a hindrance over passion. For example if someone has a certificate to take care of the elderly but are easily irritated by the elderly and someone else doesn’t have the qualifications but has a compassionate attitude towards them then the “wrong” person gets the job.
I have found in life that this is the case all too often for too many jobs in society. This has lead to jobs being done with little or no desire or passion leading to poorly done jobs. I myself included, I was in the computer industry for many years, just doing my job each day yet having no interest or like of computers, this lead to no innovative updating of any of the computer systems. Perhaps I was taking up a great job opportunity from someone else that was stuck stacking shelves, yet knew a computer inside out because they return home each evening from their shelf stacking to spend all evening playing around with computers.
I have met car mechanics only being so because they knew of nothing else to do at college I have met those passionate about music stuck in finance, I have met talented footballers playing in a park, unemployed because someone else’s dad wants their son to play for a semi professional team although that son lacked the interest in the sport themselves. I have known builders that have no qualification that learned the trade working with Dad on site, I have seen qualified builders then ask for help and advice from this same builder’s innovative ideas they never learned when receiving their qualifications.
So what of this trend and it’s impact on society at large? Besides the obvious malaise towards a job it also means there are tons of people out there having amazing ideas that could be giant leaps for mankind whose ideas remain on paper, in garages and just ideas inside heads purely because they don’t know where to go or who to approach with it. If they do approach anyone they are afraid of the Corporate giants “money grabbing” mentality steeling their ideas so they never get to enjoy the financial benefits of their innovations, thus locking away this stepping stone to human progress away until someone else discovers the same idea many years later.
I believe humanity could be far further ahead, with better services and a better structure if we do two simple things in our society:
1. Encourage individuals to work in the field they are most suited to, not because of their personality traits as we currently do but simply because of their passions. This will increase work productivity 10 fold. Part of this is to ensure passion is the qualification to entry into higher education.
2. Give innovation an easier and fairer chance for the innovators. Dragon’s Den is a great example of the problems in our society holding back human advancement. The innovators are encouraged to virtually beg for support and many of them not receiving financial support due to a small returns on investment.
There is a possible third option which may have some impact on society but not to the extent on the previous two, that being: to encourage more apprenticeships from an earlier age driven by passion, especially within family businesses encouraging extremely skilled specialist services such as plumbers, builders, carpenters, electricians etc. helping to do away with the old Cowboys out there.
Now, as an employer I personally am ‘not’ looking for qualifications, I’m looking for passion, simply because “I can offer a passionate man training but I cant offer a trained man passion.” – Me