The Linchpin Masters Degree

I awoke to find that Seth Godin has blogged about the coming decline in higher education, when only the other day, I had suggested to a friend (based on my integration of lessons I’d learned reading Seth Godin’s book Linchpin) that she consider not getting a master degree in favor of getting more education. Funny the timing.

Here were my arguments to my friend:

  • Do you want the achievement of a degree or the knowledge you think you’ll get from taking the advanced classes?  Her answer: the knowledge.
  • Do you want a job in the future where they hire you based on your classroom achievements (i.e., Godin would call this commodity-type work) or your personal talents, your art of bringing yourself to work every day to make the world a better place (i.e., they are hiring for a Linchpin)?  Her answer: Want to be hired for my art not for my degrees.
  • Would an established degree program waste your time with filler classes either meant to meet some pointless decades old requirement or keep the school profitable by driving up your class hour requirements (i.e., more tuition to them) and would you consider all those non-value-added courses a waste of your time that you can’t get back?  Her answer: Yes.
  • Can you gain access to the best professors in the best topics that fit your current and future curiosities best by entering an established program or by creating opportunities to study with the best professors per topic (or barring access to the professors, maybe networking with their best grad students)?  Her answer: Yes, I think I can gain access.

Our conclusion: It doesn’t make sense for her to search around for an established, accredited program when she’s someone pushing the envelop of what’s possible and acting because she chooses to share the best of herself, not because she wants to gain prestige or acclaim.  The knowledge she needs hasn’t been integrated together into any program yet because she’s out ahead of the mass market need for the knowledge all bundled and pushed on students.

She’s a linchpin and so far, no one’s marketing degree programs for linchpins; they’re just writing blogs for them. 🙂

Thanks for the post Mr. Godin.  Funny the timing.

2 thoughts on “The Linchpin Masters Degree”

  1. I think you and your friend made a wise decision. It used to be that people attended colleges and universities to expand their minds, but now they are just places to punch your ticket.

    One point that Seth made is that access to knowledge is cheap. I love this point. This is the knowledge era and so much information is available to us now, that we never had access to 20 years ago, unless you attended college. We don’t have to pay anyone to expand our minds…

  2. I’ve found if you have a passion for something you’ll read every thing you get your hands on about it. I love the saying that says do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

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