A Modest Proposal

Saying that one “must have a B.A. or its equivalent to apply” is akin to signage in the early 1900s stating that “Irish need not apply”. It’s merely discrimination on the basis of social constructs, one on the basis of ethnicity and the other a basis of credibility. A further parallel can be drawn between such mandates: both are decrees issued to maintain the status quo.

I propose the following: a movement to extend affirmative action protection to those without college degrees. We live in a country that prides itself on its (alleged) meritocracy. Let’s let those with merit compete.

… I’m just sayin’.

P.S.: Bring it on.

Author: Jason D. Rowley

As I mentioned elsewhere, I wear a lot of hats. Currently, I'm interested in VC data, early stage startups, and journalism. Previously I've been a blogger, designer, researcher, startup founder, (temporary) college dropout, connector, occasional branding designer and amateur chef.

6 thoughts on “A Modest Proposal”

    1. That would be very entrepreneurial of you. Let me put it this way, if you were able to demonstrate your competence as a surgeon, and said, demonstrable competence (which, w/r/t surgery necessarily entails experience as a surgeon [yeah, I know that’s a Catch-22-type circularity problem]) met or exceeded that of the surgeons from which I could choose, I would have no problem letting you operate on me. A medical degree and residency confers such credibility.
      To continue on the medical vein, what I’m proposing is that if a person scored highly on medical school entrance exams, and sufficiently well to enter med school, I believe they should be admitted to med school irrespective of their possession of a B.A. or B.S.. If they did well on the MCAT as a fluke, believe me, med school would weed them out pretty quickly.
      In sum: I trust, though, that I’d be able to find a more competent surgeon than you, Nick, but never a more competent video search engine optimizer.

  1. I get the status quo argument and don’t dispute your intelligence, etc., but I’m curious: If you don’t need an undergraduate degree, then why do you need a graduate degree? I’ll take my answer off the air. 🙂

  2. Haha sorry for the double post. Didn’t realize they were moderated so thought it hadn’t gone through at first.

    Anyways, to be a little less cute than my initial post, a few points.

    – We need a way, for sake of efficiency, to weed out candidates. A BA/BS is a good way to do this, as it takes some level of dedication/discipline/intelligence to complete those. There are plenty of people who have succeeded without undergrad degrees, sure, but employers will *always* be looking for ways to pre-qualify candidates, and I don’t think a BA/BA is the worst possible way to do so.

    – It’s different from the “Irish need not apply” example because it’s earned. Whether or not it’s an accurate reflection of your skills is not clear, but gaining a BA/BS is theoretically open to anyone who wants to get one and therefore meritocratic.

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