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
6. Win16/32 Application development and deployment
7. Web design of pages/sites and applications
8. Databasing technologies:
b. SQL Server
9. Integration of Number 7 & Number 8
10. Domain Name Systems:
c. Understanding and practical application
11. Mail server installation / configuration
12. Configuration of modems/routers/csu-dsu and their respective levels of pots lines/fractional t1/d/t3 fiber optic leased lines
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.