Can People Without University Degrees be Trusted for Their Knowledge?


Think about it. If some learn without learning, some don't in spite of it, then how much can we trust people with university degrees and those without?

Why not? A university degree or a post-title is not the ultimate proof of what one has learnt and what one is capable of. At least, not for everyone.

(On the other hand there may be people having bunch of degrees and may still not know what they are talking about.)

Many people are autodidacts. But autodidacts or not, some people, really do have more knowledge in certain areas without acquiring it through traditional classroom learning.

Consider this:

1. The greatest philosophers of all times didn't have a degree in Philosophy. Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Spinoza, Confuscious are good examples.

2. The five major religions of the world were started by people having no degree in religion, philosophy or ethics.

Imagine asking Jesus, 'Hey, why the heck do you think you know so much about the world or people or God?' (Although I am not a religious person, I do believe there's a great deal of wisdom in what Buddha or Jesus said than what our modern-day university tripple grads tell us.)

Some of the greatest kings and statesmen, likewise didn't study political science as a university subject. They had hands-on-learning.

3. Most of world's oldest literature, poetry, prose and ancient epics in many languages and cultures (that still stand the test of time and still treated as pure gems) written on world, humans, knowledge, life and death were also written by people with no grammar degree or writing courses. The same could be said about many music composers, artists, painters, sculptors even scientists!

Neither Da Vinci had received any formal training, nor Mozart.

For Da Vinci it is/was said: 'Largely self-educated, he filled dozens of secret notebooks with inventions, observations and theories about pursuits from aeronautics to anatomy. But the rest of the world was just beginning to share knowledge in books made with moveable type, and the concepts expressed in his notebooks were often difficult to interpret.'

4. It isn't an ancient phenomenon either. There are famous people even in modern times who knew/know way more than their school/ college or university thought they did. Example: Shakespear, Winston Churchil, Abraham Lincoln, Steve Jobs, Rockefeller, Mark Twain, Henry Ford etc. If formal training is a test and proof of one's knowledge, these illustrious people would be fools.

It is not a mystery. Not anymore! People who have a love (or need) of learning will go to any lengths to learn. Some teach themselves whether they have time and money or not. Some have talents and an innate knowledge about things. Largely, there are people who realise their learning needs and desires and then decide if the traditional method of learning can meet their demands.

The truth is: Life is the greatest University while time is the greatest Teacher. And neither of them hand out degrees and certificates. At least not on paper. If we trust paper degrees to believe in a capable person's capability, we're going to be disappointed.

But that's just my thinking. Thank you for reading.