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Old 09-08-2008, 05:00 PM   #1
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Default What place does a formal education have in IM?

Do you have a formal education, maybe up to degree level? Has it been useful for your online career?

I ask because there seems to been a marked increase in the number of UK universities offering a degree in Entrepreneurship. It just got me thinking, what use is a piece of paper saying you can be your own boss - when you're going to be your own boss?

No doubt the course content is useful (debatable how relevant maybe) but why a degree?

And then I remembered; a couple of years ago I actually gave a talk to a group of 2nd year Entrepreneurship students. My topic was on being self employed. There was about 120 of them. I asked them a simple question,

"Who knows what business they're going to be running once they graduate?"

No-body put their hand up. So, I asked a question I was confident of getting a more positive response to,

"Who's going to run their own business after graduation?"

Guess how many hands went up this time?

None!

What's the point of that? Why learn Entrepreneurship if you're not going to put it into practice. And you know what, their tutor was surprised too, he'd never asked them that question before!

Certainly makes me wonder the point of some so-called education. I mean, how much of your formal education are you using now and how much have you never used and never likely to use?

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Old 09-08-2008, 05:03 PM   #2
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

School is over rated but education is not

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Old 09-08-2008, 05:06 PM   #3
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

I agree. It's not the paper you're after, but the education that leads up to that point. In that Entrepreneur track, you'll likely learn accounting, business management, sales, and many other points that will help your business succeed right away. You can learn all this on your own, but it will likely cost more and take longer in the end.

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Old 09-08-2008, 05:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Agreed. The paper proves you went after the education, and got it. Much like a first sale proves you took action.

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Old 09-08-2008, 05:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

I've never been a big advocate of formal education past
high school.

I'm bigger on self education. I rather go at my own paste
and learn the things I <<KEYWORD I need to learn in order
to progress in MY LIFE specifically. Obviously you're not going
to get that in a classroom.

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Old 09-08-2008, 05:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Everyone gets self-education to some extent--all you have to do is not die. The formal degree demonstrates that you stayed the course, you persisted. Maybe everyone can learn to fly a plane on their own, too. Most folks still want to see their pilot with a license. Even if half the stuff taught in flight school will never be used (God willing).

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Old 09-08-2008, 05:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

I have a good answer...

For the first 25 of my working years, I held basic level jobs because my education was minimal. In year 26, I took Journalism and my entire life changed for the better. It removed the barriers that had blocked me all those years. By its nature, Journalism forced me to learn new things constantly.

An additional 25+ years later, my brain is loaded with all kinds of information that comes in handy in more ways than I can say, from repairing my house to finding my way around the online business world.

Journalism gave me the tools to conduct effective research and write to sell. However, my determination enabled me to learn all about computers - from installing programs and learning programs to a certain degree of troubleshooting.

Had I taken computer-related courses, I could have gained that knowledge in 1-2 years instead of 10.

Today, I struggle with marketing - painfully. Had I taken some sort of formal marketing, business or entrepreneur course rather than go the self-education route, I would probably be a millionaire by now, rather than...

To answer your question:

A formal education can be extremely beneficial for anyone wanting to have a successful business online. The key is that the education be directly related to the skills needed to reach that required level of expertise.

However...

A formal education certainly is not required. It might shorten the learning curve, but some people learn quite well on their own. Personally, I think it all depends on the individual... whether they are disciplined enough to self-teach, whether they know what they need and where to get it, and how to apply it correctly. It also depends on how they learn. Some people learn better with specific steps to follow while other people are quite adept at grasping only what they need and applying it effectively.

So yes, my formal education as a journalist has helped me considerably with my online business. Had I not achieved my diploma, chances are I'd still be parked behind a typewriter while my brain turned to mush.

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Old 09-08-2008, 05:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

I graduated recently with a B.S. in entrepreneurship. While I did not want to go to college (did it for the parents), but I can say that many aspects apply to internet marketing. Aspects such as management, production, law, accounting, and the concept of building wealth (versus revenue) can all be applied to what we do here.

In fact, whenever I see "text book" concepts mentioned in products or forums, people RAVE about the information even though you could find it in any text book or library on the subject. I rarely see those concepts mentioned though.

As for when you said you spoke to a group of entrepreneurship majors, the answer is pretty simple there. Most business majors are there because they don't want to major in something that involves great skill in math, science, or English. Most don't really have an interest in business. Kind of a harsh generalization, but that's what I've come to notice throughout the years.

I think formal education and self-education both have their place. And both ARE useful to Internet marketing. Whether we apply it or not though, is a whole other question.

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Old 09-08-2008, 05:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Like most things in life the value of a college education has alot to do with what you put into it. If you play your cards right you could come away with alot more ideas/options/pathways to explore that will shape where you progress in life.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel E Taylor View Post
I've never been a big advocate of formal education past
high school.

I'm bigger on self education. I rather go at my own paste
and learn the things I <<KEYWORD I need to learn in order
to progress in MY LIFE specifically. Obviously you're not going
to get that in a classroom.

Daniel
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Old 09-08-2008, 05:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

I am currently getting a degree in marketing. For the past 2 years I was Cell & Molecular Biology/Pre-Dental but once I started making some real money in IM and decided that is what I want to do with my life, I chose to just switch majors instead of quitting school.

I am actually going to get my Masters as well. I have no plans of ever having to get a "job" but if I do, at least it might be a somewhat decent one.

As far as the degree in Entrepreneuship goes, I don't really understand that much. It would make sense to take classes if you already have a business and want to run it better, or you at least know what business you will be running... but with no idea whatsoever of what you are going to do with the degree seems pretty pointless.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Too many factors. What school, classes, degrees, professors, effort put forth by you, etc. Probably not much, except student loan debt.

I'd argue that two weeks (probably a lot less) on this forum would blow away any four year degree, even if the degree was specific to IM. IM is ever evolving. School programs can't change fast enough to keep up with the evolution of IM. Too much red tape for schools to comply with.

I remember starting college for CAD, and changed programs once a professional told me that the info was outdated two years ago. Schools argue "concepts." Whatever. The tution bill doesn't say "concepts."

Then again I am not a big fan of college. I got my degree just so when I talk bad about college, people can't say, "You only say that because you don't have one." It was my main motivator.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:56 PM   #12
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Q.What place does a formal education have in IM?
A. It doesn't have one

I've always thought that the concept of a degree in "entrepreneurship" was an oxymoron

Formal education is designed primarily with churning out graduates for establishment careers.

Qualifications are all very well, but the most important thing an education can or rather should do, is to instil a love of learning into each student. That way, learning doesn't stop when you leave college; but continues throughout your whole life.



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Old 09-08-2008, 07:04 PM   #13
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

My 2 cents: IM is Internet MARKETING.

Any courses you take in the basics of marketing will help you to succeed online - try your local community college.

Around 15 years ago I took two courses in marketing and public relations. I credit any success I've had online to those two courses. I took them over a couple of years, but it was the best time and money I've ever spent.

I can see where courses in entrepreneurship would be useful, in teaching you the basics of business: how to raise money, etc. Most especially: how to THINK.

The problem with a self-education - while it's extremely valuable - is that you don't know what you don't know, so you can have huge gaps in your knowledge which end up biting you in the rear when you least expect it.:-)

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Old 09-08-2008, 07:23 PM   #14
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

There is nothing wrong with formal education that a serious dose of the real world won't cure--quickly.

While many of the technical skills and some of the social skills taught at university level are directly beneficial to entrepreneurs much of the required core isn't.

"Entrepreneurship" is a state of mind. A way of doing. It's part of one's basic make-up.

It can be learned but not taught.

Done right it requires guts, stamina, dedication, perseverance and complete and utter belief in yourself and your abilities.

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PS. Please bear in mind I last attended college a bunch of years ago.
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Old 09-08-2008, 07:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Interesting topic.

Let me just preface my thoughts by sharing that yes I do have formal eductation and went to college.

I believe that learning and having set goals for instance when doing term papers and having to really research and prepare a quality paper does well for presentation.

The social atmosphere of interacting with others along the way can prove to be invaluable as well.

There are many things I took in college years ago that I'm just now beginning to see show up in business.

However, anyone who hasn't had the opprortunity to go to school,
don't be discouraged as you can still achieve anything you set your heart and mind to do with faith and if you want it bad enough.

So, yes, while although thankful for the perks, formal instruction is certainly not a prerequisite for following your life's callings.

Be encouraged,
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Old 09-08-2008, 07:41 PM   #16
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by angela99 View Post
My 2 cents: I can see where courses in entrepreneurship would be useful, in teaching you the basics of business: how to raise money, etc. Most especially: how to THINK.

The problem with a self-education - while it's extremely valuable - is that you don't know what you don't know, so you can have huge gaps in your knowledge which end up biting you in the rear when you least expect it.:-)
another 2 cents: The trick is to get good education. A lot of colleges and universities in the US, at least, are now in the business of making money instead of educating.

And most gear their business classes toward corporate career paths, since the schools get funding from corporations. Entrepreneurs fit into the corporate model as managers of new ventures, which are fully intended to grow big and become -- large corporations!

Still, good education and mentorship can save a lot of time and money spent reinventing wheels when you learn on your own.

Do I have a formal degree? Yes, in psychology. And some of my coursework related closely to marketing, actually. Does it help me in IM? Well.. it hasn't help me keep my wallet in my purse while reading some of those long sales letters, even when I know better.

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Old 09-08-2008, 08:59 PM   #17
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

I did say earlier that I feel a college education is worthwhile, however I never mentioned my status in that area...

I am a programmer with no degree, or even any college programming education. I'm completely self-taught in all aspets of my current career. That said, I do still feel that a college education is important for some people. Only you will know for sure. I am more successful than others who do have a degree, but there is a lot involved there.

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Old 09-08-2008, 09:02 PM   #18
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I just wanted to open this thread to brag about how I'm going to take an actual, real-life IM class at college in the spring quarter I hope, I'm incredibly excited!

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Old 09-08-2008, 09:05 PM   #19
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

I have two degrees, one in business studies and the other in philosophy, both of them help me in my working life every day, simply due to the fact I learnt how to perform research, how to think analytically and how to formulate ideas into concepts.

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Old 09-09-2008, 02:11 AM   #20
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Interesting responses. I don't think anyone is arguing against education per se, but in my experience, once it is formalised by a college or university, they quite often fill the curriculum with irrelevant or erroneous information - stuff, at least, that you'll never use again.

The case for self education is that you can pick and choose. Angela argued:

Quote:
The problem with a self-education - while it's extremely valuable - is that you don't know what you don't know
Well that's easy to solve. If you think that a particular course is going to teach you what you want, then look at its structure, its curriculum. You'll find what they plan to teach you, and then go find the latest thinking on each of the topics.

The Entrepreneur Degree course that I spoke of in my OP was taught by two college professors who'd been in academia their entire lives. I shudder to think who wrote the thing!

Obviously it is horses for courses. Some people like being taught to, while others learn more experientially and can earn while they learn.

Peter
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Old 09-09-2008, 02:17 AM   #21
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

The best thing college teaches you is how to learn.

So many people come out of college and formal education not having learned how to use the tools they've been given to learn everything (and anything) they want to learn.

I think the skill of learning how to learn is really one that can be best gained from a formal education, and it can be applied in Internet Marketing in a HUGE way, but most people don't realize that's what their formal education is really about...

It's not "what" they're learning necessarily, but the skills they're learning for how to learn that are the most universally applicable (and least used/understood) skills that can be gained from a formal education.

It's those skills that will be the most beneficial in an arena which changes as rapidly as Internet Marketing.

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Last edited by strive4impact; 09-09-2008 at 02:20 AM.
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Old 09-09-2008, 02:23 AM   #22
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by strive4impact View Post
It's not "what" they're learning necessarily, but the skills they're learning for how to learn are the most universally applicable (and least used/understood) skills that can be gained from a formal education.
I see your point Jonathan, but you can learn how to learn in a much shorter space of time than three years!

Have you got into Accelerated Learning? Brian Tracy's stuff is awesome?

Peter
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Old 09-09-2008, 02:28 AM   #23
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Agreed... 3-4 years to learn how to learn seems like a long time.

I've seen Brian Tracy in person twice. I love what he teaches.

I don't think I'm applying it as effectively as I should be yet...

Not to derail this discussion, but do you have any tips/tricks/suggestions for application of the tools he presents? (I've also listened to a lot of Dennis Waitley, Napoleon Hill, and Jim Rohn.)

Thanks!

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Old 09-09-2008, 02:41 AM   #24
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by strive4impact View Post
Agreed... 3-4 years to learn how to learn seems like a long time.

I've seen Brian Tracy in person twice. I love what he teaches.

I don't think I'm applying it as effectively as I should be yet...

Not to derail this discussion, but do you have any tips/tricks/suggestions for application of the tools he presents? (I've also listened to a lot of Dennis Waitley, Napoleon Hill, and Jim Rohn.)

Thanks!
Like anything you learn, it's only good if you use it. "Use it or lose it" as the saying goes.

If you've had the pleasure of seeing Brian Tracy then I can assume you have his materials. He pretty much gives you everything you need, but two tips that I can think of just now are:

1. Have something you want to learn. Seems obvious but so many people focus on stuff they think they should learn - that ain't going to work.

2. Get in the right state of mind. I use my wife's relaxation CD (not a plug, plenty of others on the market) this just gets rid of any mental crap that might be going on so I'm more receptive to the learning process. This works for me.

But the key really is to just keep using it. "Repetition is the mother of skill." as Tony Robbins says.

Peter
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:12 AM   #25
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Interesting thread!

I'm currently going to school part-time, majoring in marketing. It's my second degree. I already hold an A.A. which is worthless in the marketplace for reasons I won't go into here. That royally ticked me off, so I went back to school determined to get a degree that the marketplace will recognize. In fact, it's a top priority for me right now.

A friend recently asked me, if I want to be self-employed, why kill myself going to school? (I also currently hold a real-world job and do copywriting and IM part-time.) Good question. I have several reasons, but I really feel a degree is important for me for a few reasons:

1. Much as I love working for myself and the idea of self-employment, I feel it's ALWAYS a good idea to stack the odds in your favor as much as possible. You never know when you'll need a job for whatever reason and why give anyone any reason not to hire you? Life is hard enough. Don't put more obstacles in your way.

Take a quick look through your local paper's classifieds. Oftentimes, you can't even get an interview without a Bachelor's degree.

2. There are some things you'll learn in college you'll never learn any other way. Not to say that those without a college degree can't be educated. But you'll have an advantage in running your own business with the knowledge you gained from going to school that those without a degree just don't have. If nothing else, you'll shave several years off of your learning curve, which means more $$$$ in your pocket.

I'm currently taking an accounting class and am learning stuff I'd never have learned otherwise.

3. I think it's better to be educated than uneducated, self-employed or not.

4. I truly enjoy learning new things. I enjoy being in school, though the pace of my schedule really presses me and stresses me out, sometimes.

5. I think a college education offers a lot of resources to you that you'd never know about or have access to otherwise -- resources as a student while in school and resources through the alumni network later.

As someone else pointed out, a college education teaches you to think, to analyze, research, etc. And a basic knowledge of history, literature, art, etc. is never a bad thing. I appreciate movies (like Elizabeth, a movie about Queen Elizabeth I) and books (like The Intelligencer) I'd never have appreciated otherwise without a basic knowledge of history, literature and art.

Bottom line: I WANT to be a formally educated person, rather than just a self-taught person. I find a lot of value in it, so much so that I'm going to school for a second time while working full-time, when it's a lot more difficult to do. I'm long past 18 or 20.

However... (And this is a big however...)

I no longer believe that a college degree is the holy grail of a good career, that if I don't have a degree I won't have a good, lucrative career. I don't believe that a college degree guarantees me a good job.

I got a degree and was unemployed for over two years after graduation. I was in debt and had no car. I learned a very hard lesson and look at colleges and their degrees with a jaundiced eye.

So I say, get a degree, but know what to expect and what you want out of it. Though I'm older now and can no longer go to school full-time, I'm getting A LOT MORE out of it because now I know exactly what I want out of it and have very realistic expectations. It's kept me focused.

And that has made a world of difference for me.

(In that respect, I would encourage young people to maybe wait a little bit before going to school if they're not clear on what they want out of their education. Stay home, get a job, maybe take a few classes at the local community college until you figure it out. But DON'T go to a large, expensive university and incur all kinds of student loan debt just because that's what everyone else does.)

So I keep hacking away at it. I'm majoring in Marketing and when I'm done with that, I intend to get a Master's degree in Economics. It's hard work, especially in conjunction with a full-time job, but I love it!

I agree with what someone else said though: a degree in Entrepreneurship is an oxymoron -- and a completely worthless degree. (Who thinks this stuff up???)

Michelle
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Old 09-09-2008, 03:23 AM   #26
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

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Originally Posted by Peter Bestel View Post
It just got me thinking, what use is a piece of paper saying you can be your own boss - when you're going to be your own boss?

No doubt the course content is useful (debatable how relevant maybe) but why a degree?

Peter
Peter, I see the tongue in your cheek with this post.

A degree is not a piece of paper its knowledge. Whatever you do you have a much broader outlook on all aspects of life for having done it. You also learn how to write well enough to pass a professors' stern eye. How to associate your ideas with those of others. You make friends on a higher level than otherwise. You socialise without requiring alcohol or drugs to open doors for you. You gain the respect of others. And so I could go on.

Whatever one does after it the experience and knowledge will always stand out and you'll succeed because anyone who gains a degree is already a winner.

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Old 09-09-2008, 03:46 AM   #27
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

At the risk of being the odd man out, I would say that I am using every little scrap of my formal education to be where I am today. I have degrees in Engineering, Computer Science and Education, not to mention a myriad of advanced courses, seminars and other training applicable to my former career. Every moment of that education was well spent for me.

I want to add that after the first year, what I was learning allowed me to launch and run my own offline business while carrying a full course load. I eventually sold the business at an enormous profit as I set out on my real career. And since that time have launched or purchased numerous businesses profitably.

That said, thereís an element or two I donít think has really been mentioned here. A formal education, especially at a young age, coupled with real world work experience gives an enormous leg up to someone jumping into any business, online or off. And unlike the past, you hardly, if ever, see someone without a formal education rising very far in a corporate structure.

True, Iíve seen many mom and pop businesses over the years run by people even without a complete high school education Ė they earn a comfortable living, but you rarely see them fully leverage the potential of their small business. This is often because they donít know how or donít fully understand the benefits of doing so. I realize I might be over-generalizing a bit, but I see the same thing in many Internet Marketers.

A formal education is the starting point, not the ending one. Someone mentioned 3 or 4 years as a long time for an education, but Iíd hazard a guess that many of the members here have been in IM for that amount of time or longer and still not seeing the financial success theyíre after. During that time theyíve continued to educate themselves or rather, allowed other IMíers to define the curriculum and educate them and at a price, sometimes a high one. Yet they are still not all making the progress they expected years ago.

So the question begs, if youíre really better off just learning on your own, how effective will the curriculum you establish really be? Are those $7 dollar reports and $10K seminars really making a difference for you?

I donít want to suggest that someone without a formal education canít succeed or learn on their own. Certainly as you gain experience, pursuing your education specifically around what you think you want or need to learn is normal. I do that now Ė I could not have done that 25 years or so ago. But as I mentioned in the previous paragraph, it seems to me that there really isnít a shortcut involved in the education process. Whether you do it all at once formally or more slowly being self-taught, the educational process literally takes a lifetime.

I do feel confident in stating that for myself, I would be nowhere nearly as successful today, without that education and experience, especially in management, especially at the executive level. Itís what allows me to develop and manage multiple businesses both online and off and to do so profitably at just about every turn. And I think that after 25 years of doing so, I would say that the education and experience has paid for itself hundreds of times over.
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:01 AM   #28
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

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At the risk of being the odd man out, I would say that I am using every little scrap of my formal education to be where I am today. I have degrees in Engineering, Computer Science and Education, not to mention a myriad of advanced courses, seminars and other training applicable to my former career. Every moment of that education was well spent for me.
You obviously made some good choices early on Mike. It's great to see someone using what they've learned during college and making money with it. That's the key though, isn't it: actually using the knowledge that you've acquired.

As Norma said, the degree is not the piece of paper you receive, but rather the knowledge that you've gained. My point is that knowledge (or experience) does not HAVE to be gained from formal education and further, it is pointless unless you put it into practice.

I think you're right Mike when you say
Quote:
you hardly, if ever, see someone without a formal education rising very far in a corporate structure.
but this discussion is about whether a formal education has a place in IM.

I was simply querying whether people who have degrees etc actually apply the specific skills they learned, into their online business. Also, by way of illustration, I was pointing out the irony of some students that I'd met, studying for a degree that you'd think would directly apply to self employment, having no intention of running a business.

It may appear that I've got a downer on degrees. Couldn't be further from the truth. I admire anyone that has applied themselves, made the commitment to learn and has stuck at it. Yes Norma, they are winners! But it doesn't end there. You've then got to go out into the world (if you're not already doing so like Mike had) and apply the things. Knowledge, by itself is not power - power comes when you apply knowledge.

Peter
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Old 09-09-2008, 05:24 AM   #29
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Many people are so heavily programmed through their life experience to believe that getting some kind of degree is the way to get enough skill to get paid more that they naturally look for degrees they can work toward in any field.

Unfortunately at present most university degrees in marketing are not very helpful and could actually harm your progress in learning how to market effectively (real world experience in selling is far more useful).

Business degrees do have useful elements but ultimately if you want to run a successful online business at present nothing will replace getting in an doing it.

The closest you'll get is being mentored by someone who is genuinely successful.

Kindest regards,
Andrew Cavanagh

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Old 09-09-2008, 06:33 AM   #30
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

I remember one of the speakers during the Freshman Orientation, he quoted "do not let your studies interfere with your education." A college degree is needed if you want to be competitive in the "real world." Another analogy is the oft quoted, "army fighting yesterday's war." A college degree is really a preparation for how to survive in the existing "real world." But IM is so new, the rules are still evolving.

For all it's worth, too much dependence on a college degree puts you into a mindset or a box. If the rules keep on changing, that's not much of an advantage.
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:40 AM   #31
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

more than 50% of the rich 200 in Australia have no formal qualifications.

The rich 40 (Under 40) believe university delays welath building.

Education is vital, degrees are optional.

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Old 09-09-2008, 09:31 AM   #32
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

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more than 50% of the rich 200 in Australia have no formal qualifications.

The rich 40 (Under 40) believe university delays welath building.

Education is vital, degrees are optional.
Good point James.

Now, I'm not saying that these guys (all male incidentally!) never used what they learned at school or college, but they became quite successful without completing it:

Simon Cowell - left school at 16
Richard Branson - left school at 16
Paul Allen - dropped out of college
Michael Dell - dropped out of college
Bill Gates - dropped out of college
Steve Jobs - dropped out of college
Steven Spielberg - dropped out of college
Steve Wozniak - dropped out of college

Just a selection from The College Drop-Outs Hall of Fame: Famous college dropouts and rich college dropouts

Interesting eh?

Peter

EDIT: I'd like to see a list of guru IMers and see where their formal schooling finished
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:16 AM   #33
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Hi Peter,

I'm with Doug on this one ...

I have 2 degrees a BLS and a master's, and find myself using what I learned in every aspect of my business. And to tell you the truth, they aren't business degrees!

Formal education helped me get disciplined in areas I never was before. Goal setting was on of them ... making good decisions was another ... writing and speaking are 2 more.

Did I have to go to college to be educated? No, but it was the right thing for me.

Now to give this entire thread a different twist (if you don't mind Pater?), I'd like to take your question and add to it. It pertains to Internet Businesses or Entrepreneurship in general that may come into play some place down the road.

Does anyone see needing an authentic degree necessary to run a business successfully online at some later date like some of the brick and mortor businesses?

I'm asking because I'm seeing a trend on the Internet here in the past 2 yrs I've never noticed before due to the fakes, scams, etc ...

Take that incident with Alison G for instance just here in this forum. She claimed to be an online lawyer, but yet she had no degree, and tons of people felt ripped off, and were actually taken.

Now this type of thing happens on the Iternet quite a bit doesn't it?

Well, it happened offline many years ago too!

BUT, people started demanding to see credentials to make sure business owners, Doctors, lawyers, etc .. were the experts they claimed to be.

It wouldn't take much for something like this to happen online either given what's been going on on the Internet these days.


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Old 09-09-2008, 10:22 AM   #34
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

I honestly don't know how to answer this.

Before getting into IM, I probably had more degrees and certifications than
your average person.

As a matter of fact, here they are:

Finance degree
Marketing degree
Music minor
Novell certification
MCSE certification
Web Design State certification
Web Programming State certification
Web Administration State certification

My wall looks very impressive.

It didn't do squat for me when I started IM.

However, I don't know how much I learned helped me in learning IM.

I think the ability to show that you can learn things gives you a better
shot at having success in IM, though there is no way I can prove this
for certain.'

Like I said, I honestly don't know how to answer this question.

And that's another very long non answer for whoever mentioned it at
another thread I replied to.

Guess I'm getting good at non answers.

Maybe I should have gone into politics.

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Old 09-09-2008, 10:32 AM   #35
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

I've got the formal education (Wolverine, Rah) and I find it useful in one way or other every day of my life. I didn't get the education because of work life demands. I got it to know what I wanted and thought I needed to know.

My linguistics education was to further my abilities to write. I hear so many people saying they can write - but when looking at their work through a teacher's eye, it wouldn't pass a first year writing class. There are just a few things that people miss without the formalized education. I've edited writing that is just flawed and I can't even make the person understand what "missing referent" or "juxtaposed logic" means. Some things just take some formalized discipline.

The worst thing I ever learned in school was Economics - no real interest, just recognized a need to know how the economy works at both the macro and micro levels. Man that was dry stuff to get through except the fact that Macro scared me crapless. They probably aren't even ALLOWED to teach what we learned any more. LOL.

Benjamin Franklin said something - I don't remember the word for word quote but the general idea went like "Pour your wallet into your head and you have made an investment that no one will ever be able to take from you.

I am no longer in school - but continue to learn every day and feel I acquired the tools necessary to do some of the learning I do in formal ed. If you can go to school do so - but if you can't, don't let that stop you from learning everything you can about everything you encounter.

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Old 09-09-2008, 10:48 AM   #36
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

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For every one successful person that you can name that didn't go to college, I could probably name about 1000. So I wouldn't necessarily say that not going to college=multi-billionaire.
Quite obviously, the list I put up is of 'exceptional' people. They are not your average joe. They have other qualities that have set them apart from the crowd. I put the list up to highlight what is possible - not what is the norm.

You referred to the Entrepreneurship degree;
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Originally Posted by davebo View Post
It's not perfect, but it's education for people who envision themselves going into business for themselves.
Well, as I explained, of the 120 students of this course that I met, none of them wanted to be in business for themselves.

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All in all, does college have it's place? I'd say so. For one, it opens up more doors. For two, you absorb way more than you think in a college atmosphere that you use in your everyday life. For three, I have friends from college (8 years ago) that I will be friends with for life.
Grossly subjective. There is no reason why somebody who doesn't attend college can't have these experiences.

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But really think about it though. How many people struggled for awhile before making it online. A good job enables you to invest money into your online business prior to going full steam ahead. Because I had a job (that required a college-education) I could afford to invest in my online business. Can you imagine what a clusterf*ck your life would be if you came out of HS and went straight into IM? Sure you might look back on your life and say you really didn't need college, but it's the progression that likely led you to IM. College>job>making good money>discomfort in 9-5>started online>quit job.
Maybe you should read 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad'

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Originally Posted by davebo View Post
For most people, without the discomfort of 'working for the man', they wouldn't have the desire to start a business.
Now that, I agree with!

At the risk of repeating myself, I think college, university, formal education is great! But it's not the only option and it's not necessarily the best option.

Peter
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:00 AM   #37
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

I'm sure the right degree can be very helpful in IM.

If you have a degree in creative writing, I suspect that would be a huge help in writing smooth sales copy.

If you have a degree in marketing, I suspect that would be a huge help in planning your marketing strategies.

I think there's alot of degrees that could be very useful in IM. But, I don't think my degrees in political science and sociology are really much help at all, although I'm a proficient writer thanks to the college education.


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Old 09-09-2008, 11:06 AM   #38
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

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It probably sounds that way, but that's just because you don't know what typical coursework is like. It's not perfect, but it's education for people who envision themselves going into business for themselves. So instead of learning how to work in the HR department of a large company, they learn what to look for when hiring for a small business. Plus, they meet other entrepenuers who have successfully started and developed a business.
I think that's the important part. My concern about degrees in entrepreneurship relates to who is actually doing the tutoring. If it's mainly "career" tutors I would question their qualification to oversee such a course.

It's similar to how (at least in the UK) the major banks now all have a "small business" advisor which is just a ludicrous concept - the advisor, having made a career decision to spend his or her working life in a bank, has no empathy or proper understanding of the mindset necessary to become an entrepreneur and is consequently unqualified to offer anything but the most basic financial advice (and from my experience, even that is suspect).

I just wonder if a formal training in "entrepreneurship" might be just as worthless, unless there was a large input by experienced, successful entrepreneurs themselves.

As has been stated in other posts, you cannot always identify precisely the elements of your education that are being put to good use in your everyday business (or life!). It's fair to say that every experience impacts in some way on the person you are today, so in that respect, some disciplines drummed into you at school/college may well prove beneficial in an IM business.


Frank

My editor calls me a compulsive plagiarist (his words, not mine).
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:09 AM   #39
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

"Formal education will make you a living. Personal education will make you a FORTUNE."
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Old 09-09-2008, 11:39 AM   #40
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

I just deleted several paragraphs of biography in the original draft for this post. You can thank me later...

The quick version is - I have a bachelors degree in engineering, but I managed to pick up a pretty decent liberal education along the way. I worked my way through school selling light fixtures and accessories to builders and home buyers/remodelers on commission.

My formal education provided methods of thinking, concepts like feedback loops and processes, some context from the liberal arts portion, and some much-needed discipline.

The work experience has been invaluable in running my own business - things like sales, customer service (and setting limits), margins and profits, dealing with suppliers, and more.

Either alone would have been incomplete. Together, I think I turned out OK.

One of the most useful things I've ever learned came from my father. He wanted to go to college, but my appearance kind of put that kibosh on that idea. Even without the sheepskin, my father is one of the best-educated people I've ever met. In his 70s now, he's still learning new things.

My school days are far behind me, but my education will never be complete.

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Old 09-09-2008, 12:46 PM   #41
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

I dropped out of high school when I was in 9th grade.

When I was 16 I begged the principle to give me a release letter so I could attend college. I tested into the local community college at that time and attended four semesters.

I was homeless during much of that time but college only cost me $4 a credit through a high school completion program that allowed me to take college classes and apply them as dual credit toward my high school and college education.

After a year of severe homelessness I was able to start up a business making jewelry at age 19 and transfer to another community college for another 4 semesters and then transferred into an extension wilderness study program through San Fran State.

I earned barely a few hundred dollars a month from my business back then when I was just starting out but during that time I learned the basics of retail, wholesale, and consignment.

During the extension program I took through San Fran State I lived out of a tent for two months producing a documentary for tv on wilderness and cultural issues in Montana which I was an editor, producer, and narrator for.

This was my first exposure to video production.

After that I did not return to school for 7 years but instead went on to develop my art business and my skills in both buying and selling. It was hard work and seasonal and pretty much a feast or famine lifestyle but I learned many skills and principles that I applied to building my online business.

in 1998 I completely changed my lifestyle and served as a missionary in Las Vegas from 1999 to 2001.

That time gave me a new perspective on life and a lot of experience in leadership and management in the mission.

I decided to return to School in 2001 and spent the next 4 years attending a University year around (including summer semesters).

Being interested in business I enrolled in the business school. Almost on accident I ran into a small business owner running a local discount advertising and direct sales company and got involved. Within a couple months I became a manager in the company and within a year I became the regional marketing director over all operations in the state.

At that same time I began researching online business and in 2002 started Internet Business Ideas LLC (now inc.)

I was able to make a full time income running the offline business and sales forces working only 2 hours a day and I spent another 6 online and the rest attending classes at the University, studying, and in 2002 starting a family ;-)

At the university I was confined to taking classes that only applied to my major... but I had a problem...

I was more interested in my businesses than my University education so every time I came across a skill that I wanted that could be applied to my business that I could study at the university I changed my major so that I could take the classes I wanted.

This benefitted me greatly because any class I took I took specifically so that I could apply it to what I was currently doing in my business.

This is where I learned the basics that formed the foundations of my knowledge of graphic design, software design, web design, business law, economics, business communication and writing, statistics, accounting etc.

All of which are an important part of the knowledge I use every day in my business...

However, the most important knowledge I use is my experience... there is no university that teaches anything that can replace the value of real world experience. The smarts I developed on the streets, in door to door sales, in joint venture relationship building and advertising strategy development with local businesses and national franchises and brands.

I graduated after the equivalent of 6 years of college with a general 2 year degree. I never went beyond my first 6 months of high school and I never received a GED or high school equivelancy.

I chose to leave the university because I had half of several 4 year degrees and there was nothing left there that interested me and I had already created my own career ;-)

However, I will say that the last university I attended had one of the best entreprenurial programs in the nation. Not so much for the book curriculum but for the guest lecture series where they had CEOs and Entrepreneurs come and lecture on real world experience... the notes I took in those lectures were worth more than anything ever taught by any of the teachers at the university.

The entrepreneurial program there attempted to simulate real world experience by actually having the students create and run live busineses from concept to product creation to marketing and sales.

I have a collegue who was just hired to assist a university in development of new media deployment strategies and curriculum because of some of the experience and knowledge that he and I have collaborated on reasearched and learned over the last year.... of course he has some pretty impressive production skills and creative talents that initially attracted them to him and put him over the top and made them persue him as well :-)

But it was not his education credentials that attracted the university to hire him it was his experience... it was his knowledge and display of true talent, experience, and real world skills and uniqueness.

He is also a fellow warrior.

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Old 09-09-2008, 01:06 PM   #42
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Great post Josh. I truly am grateful to you for sharing your story.

It's a great example of how life experiences and education weave together, not always harmoniously, to allow us to grow and become the people we are.

Thanks

Peter
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Old 09-09-2008, 01:39 PM   #43
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Im actually a Meteorologist. I have a science degree. Yes i have an obsession with the weather.

Was planning on going to America to chase tornadoes. Iv put that on hold for a while while my IM is going well.

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Old 09-09-2008, 02:29 PM   #44
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Josh, today I really learned something about you.

Thank you so much for sharing that.

Shows you how you never really know people.

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Old 09-09-2008, 02:56 PM   #45
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Aside from general education, it doesn't have a place at all. In my opinion, school is another form of control, that helps weed out the weak(or what's considered to be weak).

I've always found it to be interesting that such a heavy emphasis is placed on our performance in high school and college as it relates to our success in life. When in fact, we are the most immature that we will ever be, during those years.

That piece of paper doesn't mean anything if you are self-employed.

I think that being an avid reader can entirely replace most of what's learned in college, with the exception of math which I believe helps with reasoning skills(I had to say that. My wife has a B.S. in math and will eventually get her masters).

Overall, there's nothing wrong with getting educated. And even though I didn't attend, I spent a whole bunch of time with the girls at UCLA, UCSB, UC Riverside,Berkley, Stanford, and many other California colleges. So, I'm sure the the college experience is worth going.
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Old 09-09-2008, 04:48 PM   #46
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

As I re-read this thread, two things pop into my head...

First, a scene from a movie called "Back to School", where Rodney Dangerfield plays a self-made millionaire who decides to enroll in college with his son. In one business class, the instructor is rumbling on about marketing a product by building the factory, manufacturing the product and then trying to sell it.

YouTube - Back to School Scene - Business Class

Second, a line from one of Robert Kiyosaki's books. Can't recall which one offhand...

"My banker has never asked to see my report card."

What are Verified Buyers saying? (Click to get the scoop)

"MUST HAVE for anyone wanting to learn...how to handle it."
"Overall, this product will teach how to be successful with email marketing..."

Email Marketing: How to Turn Strangers Into Buyers and Buyers Into Raving Fans [Kindle]
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Old 09-10-2008, 02:31 AM   #47
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Excellent John

"Back to School" seems to be referenced a few times on this forum - mind you, one of its stars is a Warrior...



Is that Sally Kellerman or HeySal?


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Old 09-10-2008, 04:16 PM   #48
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

It took me 20 years to figure out why I went to college and got a degree. I thought that it was very important when the insight came, but it must not have been because I can no longer remember what it was that I figured out.

I do remember that it had little or nothing to do with making money.

God bless all warriors!

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Old 09-10-2008, 04:19 PM   #49
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

I think maybe a degree in general studies or something like that would introduce you to various subjects which I think you can expand and profit from many niche markets.
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:01 PM   #50
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Default Re: What place does a formal education have in IM?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricter View Post
Everyone gets self-education to some extent--all you have to do is not die. The formal degree demonstrates that you stayed the course, you persisted. Maybe everyone can learn to fly a plane on their own, too. Most folks still want to see their pilot with a license. Even if half the stuff taught in flight school will never be used (God willing).
Have you ever gotten on a plane and asked the pilot to show you his certificate?

I'd like to watch that discussion.

I don't see what having a degree has to do with running your own business- are your customers going to ask to see your degree?
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