Performance Perspectives Blog

Training vs. Degrees: training’s winning!

by | Jul 7, 2014


As reported by Inc. magazine, Glassdoor and market research firm Harris Interactive conducted a survey of 1,000 U.S. employees about degrees and training: “A large majority of respondents–82 percent–said that their undergraduate degree has, indeed, helped to boost their career. However, when it comes to further acquiring the skills they need for their job, 72 percent of employees said they value specialized training over earning a degree.”

I found this quite interesting. Napoleon Hill, in his classic, Think &  Grow Rich, emphasized the greater value of “specialized knowledge,” which is typically received from focused training programs, over college degrees.

With four degrees (BA, MS, MBA, DBS), I’m obviously one who values higher education and the pursuit of these goals. However, I also recognize that specialized training is key to job success.

Think about it: how much of what you learned in college do you actually put to use? In my case, very little.

Specialized knowledge can be gained in several ways, of course. Reading journals in your chosen field is one way to keep up with your profession; and for performance measurement,  we clearly believe The Journal of Performance Measurement(r) is the best way for performance and risk measurement professionals to know what’s going on in the industry. Books are another way, and we offer several.

But this article addresses the desire for specialized training. This is something we excel at, since we offer quite a bit of training programs, including

We know that even the best degree programs have little, if anything, that covers investment performance and risk measurement, and so to gain the knowledge one needs to succeed, specialized training is the best way.

The survey reported that “63 percent of respondents said they believed that non-traditional ways of learning new skills–such as certificate programs, bootcamps, webinars and massive open online courses–could help them to also earn a bigger paycheck.”  No wonder there’s a demand for these programs. To learn more about ours, please contact Chris Spaulding.


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