The value of a degree now

There are so many information, university courses, podcasts, videos, articles available on internet (often for free)  that you can learn any topic online.

Bill Gates was even saying lately that he would send his children to school only until they are 14-15 years old, then they can learn from the web.

I was thinking if there is still value in having earned a degree from a university? If I need to hire a developer, should I consider the fact that he/she is graduated or not?

A hint is coming from an article by the economist Tim Harford: a key concept in modern economics is the “signal”, an idea developed by the Nobel laureate Michael Spence.
A signal is an action that distinguishes one type of person from a would-be mimic because it would be too costly for the mimic to carry out.

Spence suggested that the decision to acquire a degree might be a signal. The degree may be of no practical value but employers may still value it because a degree will distinguish good applicants from bad:  bright, energetic candidates are willing to go to the trouble of acquiring one while dim, lazy candidates are not.

Until here, the theory. On the other side, it could be a negative signal: candidates without a degree could be the ones better able to evaluate the balance between time + money and benefits.

Any thoughts?


Keys to life are reading and running

[via Ben Casnocha] This is great, exactly my same thoughts.

Will Smith tells the audience at the 2005 Kid’s Choice Awards that the keys to life are running and reading.

Running because when you run you get tired and want to quit and have to train yourself to fight through the pain and be resilient.

Reading because through books you can learn from the people who have lived before you.

Goals 2010

Again, after the 2009 experiment, I wrote down my goals, this time for 2010.

They are not all new, some are not-achieved goals from the last year but I think it’s okay. they are more like a backlog of goals, let’s see how many I can complete. In 2009 they were 12 goals (one for every month) plus 4 bonuses and my velocity was 9 goals (well, almost ten) so this year they will be just 10 goals (plus 4 bonuses).

Continue reading “Goals 2010”

Live the moment instead of planning?

An interesting but strange post from the normally always insightful Leo Babauta, titled How to Give Yourself to Whatever the Moment Brings, and Forget Stress.

It starts very intriguing:

The prevailing way of living in our Western societies is to plan out our lives, both for the long term and on a day-to-day basis.
We have planners and digital calendars that map out our lives, sometimes to the minute. We feel we’re in control, with plans like this.
But it’s an illusion, as I’ve said before.
We cannot control our lives to this degree, no matter how we try.

Almost an Agile point of view!

Then goes a bit odd:

And what happens when the plans go wrong? We are stressed out, because things get out of our control and don’t live up to our expectations.

Continue reading “Live the moment instead of planning?”

Test: career anchors

Career anchors is a self-assessment developed by Edgar H. Schein, to help you to identify your anchors, i.e. the fixed points, values in your career.

What I am competent at

Technical/Functional competence (30) vs. General management competence (12)

Which is my dominant motive or need

  • Service / dedication to a cause (19)
  • Autonomy / independence (13)
  • Security / stability (13)
  • Entrepreneurial Creativity (12)

Integration of career and family issues, personality characteristics

  • Lifestyle (22)
  • Pure challenge (10)