Avalon again 2005

Avalon again 2005

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Education and Work! Do they go together?

In today's post I would like to refer to my understanding of the gap between EDUCATION (ACADEMIA) and the WORKPLACE. I agree with some people that education is not necessarily useful and efficient if it has not been applied (anyhow) to the world of work in practical terms. Yet, I believe that all the skills that you have developed throughout your years of education could be found helpful into the world of work one day.
In this sense, I am referring back to a comment that I made earlier in one of my previous blogs. Not always people study a particular discipline, because they believe that they would find themselves solely performing a job in this particular field. Essentailly, EDUCATION has always been a tool for acquiring KNOWLEDGE and SKILLS, and people tend to speculate today that specific education should facilitate only one kind of job. In other words, if you studied B.Com, it necessarily means that you should ultimately end up into a career of accounting or finance.
No, I do not agree. As Roy Blumenthal mentioned before, as Andrew Hofmeyr indicated earlier this week and as Lisa Garson emphasised today, education is in fact a constant process of training, a process of rediscovering your skills and then applying them to the job market. In similar terms, Lesley Emanuel stated earlier that every day is a job-interview day.
In other words, education is in fact a constant process of traning and re-developing your skills, a process of building up your strenghts and abilities in various sectors. When the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato, wrote his dialogues, he made it clear that primarily the purpose of EDUCATION is to provide you with KNOWLEDGE about yourself and about your relationship to the world. He also mentioned that EDUCATION and WORK are not two separate entities, but they are rather inter-linked and you always employ what you have learned before to various practical tasks. Thus, when you are given a certain type of job, the skills that you have learned before will come across in one way or another.
In this sense, I believe that EDUCATION and the WORKPLACE are not separated form each other, they rather co-exist. And as we have discussed throughout our various sessions so far, one does need to look solely at the jobs available that suit his (her) degree and qualifications, but to look at the jobs that suit your strenghts and qualities. In this sense, Ijeoma picked it up very well throughout her blog, illustrating Andrew Hofmeyr' point:
"Expose your qualities, not your qualifications"!
For that reason, I draw particular attention to these few points. All of us, the participants in this program, should remember that all that we have learned so far will not be wasted and it will be useful for us in one way or another. And we should all try and apply those SKILLS and KNOWLEDGE to the world of work somehow. Ultimately, the job-searching process is a process of testing your strenghts and abilities and not necessarily a process of finding whatever suits your degree qualifications.


Elspeth said...

Good insights into what 'education' means in the 21st century, Valentin.

Your blog postings have a couple of spelling errors, most probably straight typing errors. Remember my suggestion that you write your entries in Word and cut and paste them into the blog? This will help you to remove these small mistakes and make your writing look more professional!


Susan Mwangi said...

After this week's session, it has become quite clear that if we are to continue adding value in the work-place, we must be constantly learning and acquiring new skills.

If I thought that bagging my M.A marked my freedom from books... I am deeply mistaken... This education thing is forever.

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Hi Valentin, I am really interested in reading your post but the orange colour hurts my eyes. Could you please change it to a more friendly colour? Black or dark blue perhaps? Thank you.

Roy Blumenthal said...

Hiya Valentin. Very cool article. Thoughtful. And definitely useful to other people. Very open source.

Blue skies

PS: Your blog is set to prevent anonymous comments. Change that. Very few people in the real world are Blogger users.

Susan Arthur said...

Hi Valentin
Great points raised in this post. My stepdad never went to university, but he used to talk about having a degree in the "university of life". Education is not just about degrees but so much more than that.

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Valentin, thank you for your comments on my blog.

Ijeoma Uche-Okeke said...

Valentin, I completely agree with your assessment of what education transpires to in 'real' terms in the workplace. I will add that perhaps the mistake we make as academics is to embrace the sort of 'tunnel vision' that the current academic structure in universities provide. I am of the school of thought that views the university as a holistic experience. There are so many other activities that happen within the university, outside of our fields of study. It is incumbent on us to open our minds to different kinds of knowledge-experiences. That is what is so beautiful about the Humanities, you are exposed to so many ways of approaching a particular issue. I think this gives us leverage over most other faculties.

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