Where I come from, going to school and obtaining academic credentials truly matter, and I believe this is also the same in many other places as well. Certainly, you can't claim to be a medical doctor without proof. To be recognized as a professional teacher, undergoing teacher licensing exams for accreditation is essential. This holds true for many other professions as well.
Even with those professions that don't mandate formal schooling, you will still be required some form of training or exams after apprenticeship. I initially disliked the idea of exams when Ghana introduced teacher licensure exams years ago. It seemed absurd to undergo four years of teacher training only to be informed later that you are not considered a professional until you pass the teacher licensure exams.
This exposed inadequacy in the system and highlighted its lack of structure.My main concern lies where preference is given to certification over skill. I firmly believe that a person's skills and what they bring to the table are what truly matter. When I traveled to the UK and sought jobs, I discovered that my skills were the focal point in interviews. Academic qualifications were rarely discussed; instead, the focus was on what I believed made me suitable for the job.
This realization emphasized that working and developing skills holds more value than simply climbing the academic ladder. If advancing in academics involves honing a skill, then it's worthwhile; otherwise, I consider it a waste of time. The simple reason is that much of what we learn in school tends to be forgotten, whereas a skill acquired or developed endures.
Moreover, skill acquisition doesn't necessarily require formal education. Many skills can be learned these days without setting foot in any school. Learning can even be done from various sources where you will virtually pay nothing at all. Though I was taught how to teach while at the university, I learned the skill of presentation from different settings like in my church.
If you observe people who do presentations closely and you have a passion for public speaking, you will evantually learn the skill.
Skills are one of the things valued in today's market, and I think it's crucial for everyone to acquire new ones or refine ones they have. The job market is changing, with innovations and new technological tools emerging every day. Businesses sense the need to approach tasks differently, fulfill emerging needs, and stay competitive.
Additionally, they must enhance customer service to maintain their market share. As a result, it has become imperative to seek new skills. Having a highly sought-after skill makes finding a job easier and can lead to a higher income. I think if you possess a highly sought-after skill, setting up a business becomes simpler, because it opens doors to opportunities such as attracting prospective investors and customers.
If you should explore the job market, you will realize that we are in a time where skills are more relevant than ever. While certifications may have their place, I believe that to truly matter and be considered an asset in the eyes of businesses, it takes much more than just certificates. The demands of our rapidly changing world and the diverse issues that need attention all require the right professionals, this is where we see the value of individuals with practical skills.