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Managers and high position staff with no higher education? Watch

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    Recently, I've noticed that a lot of people in senior and management positions have not done higher education or started it later in life. Some even started working at 17 but managed to work their way up.

    Often times, particularly with banking, students are convinced go through the process of higher education in the hopes of gaining a more senior position in the sector they wish to work in. Does this mean they are wasting their time?
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    (Original post by CookieSusee)
    Recently, I've noticed that a lot of people in senior and management positions have not done higher education or started it later in life. Some even started working at 17 but managed to work their way up.

    Often times, particularly with banking, students are convinced go through the process of higher education in the hopes of gaining a more senior position in the sector they wish to work in. Does this mean they are wasting their time?
    It's just that back in the day you could do an entry level job in banking after leaving school. Now today, for that same job, they require you to have a degree. That's why older people who have worked their way up since leaving school tend to not have got a degree when they were younger.
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    (Original post by CookieSusee)
    Recently, I've noticed that a lot of people in senior and management positions have not done higher education or started it later in life. Some even started working at 17 but managed to work their way up.

    Often times, particularly with banking, students are convinced go through the process of higher education in the hopes of gaining a more senior position in the sector they wish to work in. Does this mean they are wasting their time?
    No, look at the history of how many people went into higher education in past years. Senior managers who are 50 or so now, when they were university age, only about 5-8% of school leavers went to University. Nowadays 50% do.

    It's perfectly possible to get to the top without HE, but you need the talent and work ethic, and you need to stick at a career in a pretty single-minded way. But comparing the current education system with the education of senior managers, who left school 20, 30, 40 years ago is not a relevant comparison.
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    (Original post by threeportdrift)
    No, look at the history of how many people went into higher education in past years. Senior managers who are 50 or so now, when they were university age, only about 5-8% of school leavers went to University. Nowadays 50% do.

    It's perfectly possible to get to the top without HE, but you need the talent and work ethic, and you need to stick at a career in a pretty single-minded way. But comparing the current education system with the education of senior managers, who left school 20, 30, 40 years ago is not a relevant comparison.
    (Original post by Cubone-r)
    It's just that back in the day you could do an entry level job in banking after leaving school. Now today, for that same job, they require you to have a degree. That's why older people who have worked their way up since leaving school tend to not have got a degree when they were younger.
    I understand this was the situation for older senior managers in their 40's and 50's but some managers I've encountered are as young as entering their 30's. This is not very old for someone in a senior position, and one of them did tell me he was never very bright at school which is why he started working at a younger age. Is working earlier better than finishing HE and then pursuing a career?
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    (Original post by CookieSusee)
    I understand this was the situation for older senior managers in their 40's and 50's but some managers I've encountered are as young as entering their 30's. This is not very old for someone in a senior position, and one of them did tell me he was never very bright at school which is why he started working at a younger age. Is working earlier better than finishing HE and then pursuing a career?
    It's entirely dependent on the career you wish to pursue. Obviously, if you want to go into academia you will have to go through HE, but other careers there are a variety of routes into it.
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    A degree is more important to enter a job than it used to be but once you are in, it counts for nothing still. If you have what it takes to reach the top, not having a degree is not going to stop you progressing. Given the numbers of people going to university now, the senior people of the future will have gone to uni.
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    (Original post by CookieSusee)
    I understand this was the situation for older senior managers in their 40's and 50's but some managers I've encountered are as young as entering their 30's. This is not very old for someone in a senior position, and one of them did tell me he was never very bright at school which is why he started working at a younger age. Is working earlier better than finishing HE and then pursuing a career?
    you are cherry picking perceptions. Exceptional people are exceptional, and by definition, most of us aren't. Seniority comes with experience, talent and knowledge. Experience comes with time, so you may gain additional experience if you start a job straight from school and don't go to University, but only 3 years more, which isn't much after about 10 years. Talent is talent (or is just hard, focussed work, depending on your view) and you've either got it or you haven't. Knowledge you pick up during a degree, which is what gives graduates the edge in graduate entry roles. It all comes down to the individual and what you make of yourself, but by and large, not having a degree makes you an outlier nowadays and increasingly senior managers have higher degrees.
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    Depends on the job.

    Higher education is really only one indicator of a persons potential. Their are so many other qualities required for a person to exceed expectations and work up the promotions ladder.

    Personality, leadership, gravitas, charisma are all skills many people find very hard (most find them impossible) to master. Softer skills like verbal communication, persuasion, business acumen, pragmatism, closing deals etc. can be developed to an extent. Not wishing to stereotype, academic people often concentrate on the technical aspects of their role in preference and lose out because they don't get noticed.

    Career advancement is not dependent on qualifications alone. Graduates are so often consumed by 'prestige' that they entirely miss the point - performance ability on-the-job, is not determined by education alone.

    Senior managers and executives got to the top because they perform and excel at leadership, strategy, planning and motivating other staff by removing obstacles to allow those (who excel at the coal face) to do their jobs.

    Put it this way, the captain of the ship does not need to know how to repair the signal conditioning electronics of the RADAR phased array antenna. He needs confidence in the chief-engineer to have things completely under control and can give an accurate estimate of when it will be back in operation so that the mission can be completed. The graduate fixing the radar needs to know how to fix it.
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    Yes its pretty interesting, seems like in the modern era you need higher education study and experience. So much tougher.

    2/3rds of jobs will be soft skill intensive by 2030, so something else that you will need to be aware of are your skill sets with evidenced outcomes.
 
 
 
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