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Working with people who have college degrees vs those who never went to college?


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Old 23rd February 2019, 1:16 AM   #1
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Working with people who have college degrees vs those who never went to college?

Have you ever been at a job where you had to work with people who weren’t college educated vs those who have experienced college life? Does it even matter when it comes to their personal demeanor and topic of conversations?
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Old 23rd February 2019, 3:25 AM   #2
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Yes- I'm a pharmacist in a hospital. The pharmacy team consists of around 100 members of staff- say 30 pharmacists like myself- for whom it took 5 years to qualify and an MPharm degree. Then we have technicians- who have different skills based on the courses they have completed- overall it can take 4 years to be the highest level through a distance learning package that the my work on a few hours a week whilst working and on the job training. And then assistants- who basically just need to have finished school and then they get on the job training.

We also have a stores dept within ours who visit wards and check their stock cupboards to see what they are low on based on a stock list- then they go and get it. They don't even need to finish school with any grades for that.

The dept can be very split because of this when it comes to who you sit with at lunch and chat to. Even among pharmacists. Band 6 pharmacists stick to each other like glue- Band 7 pharmacists have recently broken the barrier with 6's mainly because most of us were 6's not that long ago. But senior 7's (the ones that never aspire any further progression) keep to themselves. And Band 8 pharmacists can often act like they are "god" and talk down to those lower.

The thing is we all need to work together and while I could theoretically do everyone lower than me's job, I have to focus on my part and I need their help.

I have a really good working relationship with people in the dept because I learn names, ask after people and I will often get more help if needed than others who are not as friendly! I'm probably the only pharmacist who has ever had lunch with people from stores!

But I hate the hierarchy attitude. One band 8 with an attitude problem got called out for it recently which I was pleased about. Someone finally reported him for how he spoke to other staff members, not knowing anyone's name (that he worked on a ward with for 3 months) and not appreciating skills.

Everyone has their part to play. It is just a balance. It can be tricky though when you work with experienced technicians- in the job 20 years- and you have to direct them when you are only qualified a short period of time. That's when you have to learn balance it all!
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Old 23rd February 2019, 8:45 AM   #3
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I suppose it can change the topics of conversation. I don't have policy discussions with the people in the mailroom but I still engage with them -- how's the family? did you see the sporting event? What do you think of the [current event]?

I also tended bar while I was in grad school. The ranges of the employees was vast.

When we married my husband was still a returning adult student in college having served in the Marine corps during his 20s. I had a graduate degree & a professional license that required that degree. It never affected our conversation other then in my 40s I never expected to be asking my spouse about his test scores & the papers he was writing.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 11:24 AM   #4
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Does it even matter when it comes to their personal demeanor and topic of conversations?
Nope, there's people across many spectrums in both groups. And with the cost of college nowadays, access is often a result of privilege.

As far as topics go, almost everyone regardless of educational background has kids and/or outside interests ...

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Old 23rd February 2019, 11:34 AM   #5
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people who are college educated tend to be more confident and think in a different manner. I can usually tell who went to college and who didn't.
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Old 23rd February 2019, 2:07 PM   #6
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Yes I have for most of my working life. I am always the one to reach out and make conversation because they are more comfortable talking and socializing with their own group, partly because they are female and I am male. I tried discussing professional issues with them but either they were not interested or had nothing to say. Once in a while, a really bright H.S. graduate knew what I meant and had insight. (More likely, there was apathy.)

Workplace acquaintances divide by gender, race, age and education. It is not just about who went to college, Some noncollege workers may be smarter than college educated ones, especially if they have experience. Some of the h.s. grads may be resentful of the "professional" who comes in and becomes bossy.

My advice is on a social level, treat everyone equally. Don't hold the lack of education against them
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Old 23rd February 2019, 2:41 PM   #7
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My advice is on a social level, treat everyone equally. Don't hold the lack of education against them
Indeed...everyone brings something to the table
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Old 24th February 2019, 6:39 AM   #8
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I finally decided to look outside the divorce section, and helping others may keep my head on straight.




Anyway...... People are people, and education shouldn't matter. PERIOD !




A while ago... I was working as a R&D/Product Development chemist. I am highly educated, and was really at the top of the education ladder in this company. But, because of personal interests... I was fully capable of working through problems with the production plant, and eventually I was the person who re-spec'ed all of the production specifications. (So I was a double threat) The first year or so, the guys up in the plant saw me as a "Snobby executive" (because I had an office in the clean building) "and was just up in the plant to make problems". But after a while... and really getting my hands dirty when there were problems... they started to respect me. Eventually.... I was able to make friends up in the plant. This was also due to me not talking down to them... being able to talk about fishing, or cars... and most importantly... not talking down to them. If I made a change to the way some bit of equipment was to be run... I would clearly explain why I was doing it.


Basically... I feel the person with the higher education has to accept that the conversation will be about sports/cars/hunting... and not differential calculus.




Now... on the other side of this... several of my close friends are not educated past HS. (or tech school) but 2 of these people are very intelligent, and I even questioned one of them why they didn't want to improve their situation with a little education. His answer is... "I just don't like school".


Anyway... it doesn't have to be strange at all. it just may take some time to break through.
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Old 24th February 2019, 6:50 AM   #9
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I just had a new thought.....


In my current job, I am a consultant, and recently, at one of the properties I visit... there was person who I talk to, who saw himself as a person way below me because they were dirty, and I was wearing a suit. But, over a few years... I have talked with him a bunch of times, and made him feel as I was approachable.


The last time I was on that property... he came up to me, and asked about what I did for their company. He was interested because he was at the point where he wanted to improve his position in life, and I was always nice to him. I started with a basic outline, and the education involved. But then I said to him....


"Sure, the money is good, but the grass is not always greener on the other side. (I personally don't like to be away from home so much) AND.... just because the clothes I'm wearing are clean and pressed... a uniform is a uniform." (I had a nice imported suit on because of the people I deal with. Image is everything. but at home, it's jeans and a T-shirt)


He laughed at my comment, but didn't really believe it. So, I pulled out my phone, and started to show him pictures of motorcycles, and boats that I had ripped apart, so he could understand that I was a hands on kind of guy.




So... what does all of that have to do with it? Basically, people on both sides have to see themselves as no better or worse than anyone else.

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Old 25th February 2019, 3:22 PM   #10
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I've had employees through over the years Book Smart Deans list bla bla bla and dumber than a stick when it came to doing the real deal. I've invested tens of thousands by the end of their 1st year in training/salary/benefits only to have lost that investment when they failed to ever "get it." Education isn't everything I've done better with those with real world practical experience and common sense.
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Old 25th February 2019, 5:31 PM   #11
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I have always worked with people with college degrees despite not having one myself. In fact I will go one better, they worked under me for over 46 years until I retired. I was often the only corporate executive without a degree for most companies I worked for despite a degree being required for the job. Exceptions were made for me.

Without going into details which will sound like bragging, I will just say that since the age of 12 I have been in classes for gifted students and quite college because I found it too easy and slow paced. Then I did things in business that were not expected of someone with little experience and so young.

That is all I will say to keep a modicum of modesty. Almost every job I had after reaching a high salary level, required a college degree, but was able to get the jobs either through references, my resumé or taking an IQ test. Once I even was given a handwriting analysis before being hired as the President of a company. I do test very well. I had people quit and refusing to work for a 26 year old with a fraction of experience that they had. Had to fire a few who insisted on doing things the same way it has always been done in a changing environment, especially when computerization came along.

It never bothered me and I really enjoyed changing jobs, being underestimated and then becoming their boss. It takes more than a degree to succeed. So many lack all the other things needed to be successful in life and business with or without a degree. I know a few people without degrees who became millionaires. Then there is Bill Gates and Steve Jobs along with others like them. It seems that there is a movement towards specialized learning fit for your chosen profession. No need to pay for courses that will never help you in your job. Just concentrated learning in your subject. One other reason I dropped out of college was I was forced to take courses I had no interest in or that would not serve me in my life. Did I really need to know the true meaning of certain books and plays? Never met a single person who started a conversation about Dickens or Shakespeare. I can read them on my own without paying the price of a new car to learn about in school.

There are very brilliant people with degrees and not so smart people with degrees. I have worked with both types. Some people need a structured learning environment. I prefer to learn on my own because I enjoy learning for fun. These days when your resume is reviewed by software and kicked out if there is no college degree, you need a degree. In my day, resumes were read by humans and so they could see what I had already accomplished and given an interview to impress them. So times are different.
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Old 25th February 2019, 6:38 PM   #12
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Education isn't everything I've done better with those with real world practical experience and common sense.
you need all three to be really successful Rockdad
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Old 25th February 2019, 6:44 PM   #13
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Yes as a student working the till at my local supermarket.

Topics of conversation were the same - politics, current events, the gossip of the day. A bit like now, with my University-educated colleagues.

People are the same. The opinions and life experiences differ; that's all.
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Old 26th February 2019, 6:30 AM   #14
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I recently left academia for R&D position in a giant pharmaceutical company. The change wasn’t much of a change education wise. 90% of people still have PhDs. I have never worked closely with someone without college education. All I know is that when I talk to people outside of work, there is a noticeable difference in the quality of conversation. Work has kind of ruined me. I even struggle to talk to my family. So while there are exceptions, for the most part the difference is there.
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Old 26th February 2019, 6:42 AM   #15
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Really?

I had a great conversation re Brexit with my non-college educated plumber last week - we don't agree, but his arguments were well thought out and made sense.

I find that most (not all) people have something interesting to say, regardless of education level (and I have a ton of degrees). Intellectual curiousity is not bound by a formal academic education, imo.

Last edited by littleblackheart; 26th February 2019 at 6:45 AM..
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