Am I undereducated?

I find myself in an odd position. My wife has just started an Access course at a local college with the objective of starting at University on an undergraduate physiotherapy course the following year, at the same time as our older daughter is scheduled to go to University (unless she gets cold feet, or decided to take a year out) and a year ahead of the younger daughter (who has just started her A levels at another local college).

I have no formal education planned for my future. Many of my colleagues (client and company) have MBAs now or are working on them. I do not even have a degree. I went to University (well, Polytechnic actually) but dropped out. I didn’t drop out because I could not do the work but because I found more interesting things to do including writing software for which people paid me money.

My career has been eclectic. I spent a large chunk of my working life in engineering companies. I was the youngest Divisional Director at a company called Mott MacDonald, and the only one without a degree. It was only me that had a chip on my shoulder about this. I was taken on by PricewaterhouseCoopers as a Management Consultant despite not having a degree (extremely unusual) – but then I did have one of the best set of results from interview results they had ever seen.

In IBM world, there are always plenty of things to learn, lots of classes, a huge number of elearning courses, and a number of external certificates to achieve – I need to do one for Project Management now (despite having management many projects over the years).

If I had really wanted to, I could have studied part time for a degree and an MBA at any time in the last 20 years or so. I just didn’t want to. That is not to say I have been idle. I am good at what I do and offer my employer and clients a unique combination of skills. I find there is far more out there to learn that is useful to me than it is possible for anyone person to learn. I am constantly learning. I spend time learning new technologies, how to get the best out of older technologies, and about how businesses work now and will work in the future. Given the choice between formal learning for a degree or an MBA, or following up so new avenue of interest in the IT and business world, I always for the latter.

Recent experience has also pointed me to some new learning around my management behaviours that I think will make a positive difference to my effectiveness.

The one thing I have learnt recently though is that I am not anywhere near selfish enough, and certainly not as much as many of my more successful colleagues.  I am not sure I want to "fix" this deficiency though.

Still, it will be weird in a few years time being the only one at home without the paper to prove how smart I am.

Posted via email from kyber’s posterous

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