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Education? Hmmm.

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Posted by Robert Garfinkle on March 25, 2003 07:19:33 UTC


I wish to comment on educational achievement.

My friend, who lives in Washington D.C., was never able to acquire a G.P.A. over 2.3. But I would put up his wits against any 4.0 student/scholar. He has only achieved a bachelors degree yet, on the job, seems to be promoted about every six months to a year. I am not talking about cost of living increases plus bonuses, I am talking about actual position. He now heads up a division at Nextel Communications in Reston Virginia.

Seeking to put himself through school (way back when...) he was hired by Nextel to do light C++ programming. within 2 months he was put out in the field with his own truck and $100,000 plus in equipment. This position was in the Midwest, and within a year and a half, he was relocated to Nextel's Headquarters. Besides mastering RF engineering, he is an accompished musician, has mastered programming, and has acquired a black belt in martial arts (do not know which one).

Now, you might call him an exception, and that may be very true, but my point is that whether a person has a high school diploma or a masters/doctorate it is really difficult to tell who is qualified because a set of credentials. Now, I grant you this, that a person who has a PhD stands a better than average chance (in the majority of cases) against a high school student or someone who 'just' has a Bachelors, but it is not always the case.

Now, as for myself, and please do not apply EGO here (or bragging - it is not my intention), it is not needed, I have a Bachelors degree in CIS. Most CIS graduates will be programmers or senior S.A.s but they will not excel in one or more of the following:

1. Building computers from the ground up and understanding/trouble shooting hardware.

2. Installation and configuration of the operating systems that reside on those hardware systems.

3. Configuration of a broad range of network services/protocols including:

4. Operating system coverage/implimentation of:
a. Microsoft win3.x/9.x/Nt/XP/.Net
b. Novell systems
c. Linux/Unix architecture/configuration

5. Network topologies/applications:
a. Token Ring
b. Star

6. Win16/32 Application development and deployment

7. Web design of pages/sites and applications

8. Databasing technologies:
a. Access
b. SQL Server
c. Oracle

9. Integration of Number 7 & Number 8

10. Domain Name Systems:
a. Configuration
b. Maintenance
c. Understanding and practical application

11. Mail server installation / configuration
b. POP3
12. Configuration of modems/routers/csu-dsu and their respective levels of pots lines/fractional t1/d/t3 fiber optic leased lines

13. Firewalling.

All of this accomplished within 5.5 years over a 2.4 GPA and a bachelors. And I have a social life.

I also cook...

I am not knocking the person who holds a Masters/PhD. I am keeping an open mind that I should never take it for granted that someone who never educationally reached these heights whould be any less of a person who I could hold a conversation with or trust with information.


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