Does having a college degree make you smarter or merely more skilled?

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  1. Earl S. Wynn profile image79
    Earl S. Wynnposted 13 years ago

    Does having a college degree make you smarter or merely more skilled?

  2. iantoPF profile image78
    iantoPFposted 13 years ago

    Neither one really. A college degree means you have been able to remember enough of the subject you have been fed to present it in such a way that whoever is grading the paper will approve of it.
    However it is an essential tool in a meritocratic world where you are judged by remembered information more than by acquired wisdom.

  3. nifty@50 profile image69
    nifty@50posted 13 years ago

    The greatest gift of a higher education is not the information learned, but learning how to learn. This is something that will help you your entire life, because you will be constantly learning new things especially with the quick advances in technology! So my answer is you'll be a little smarter, but more important, you'll have the skills to adapt to a rapidly changing future.

  4. profile image0
    Yarightposted 13 years ago

    I would say both. In my opinion you come out of college smarter than you were before you went in it. This could be caused by multiple things. You had to have learned "something" at least one thing while you were in college. So indeed it does make you smarter. But, as for skilled it all depends on what you got out of your education. One should technically be more "skilled" once they graduate.

    It all depends on the individual, the institution, and the instructors and how they teach their class.

  5. Tusitala Tom profile image67
    Tusitala Tomposted 13 years ago

    IantoPF has hit the nail right on the head.   This is how I belief it is.   However, in  this world it is wise to acquire some academic qualifications simply to be able to obtain a job interview for something other than plucking chickens or street sweeping.

    It wasn't always that way.  In the 1950s in Australia I attained to some wonderful careers.   But times have changed.  Knuckle down and get that BA, preferably MA.   It will help.

  6. A la carte profile image60
    A la carteposted 13 years ago

    It shows you have been educated to a certain level and have some knowledge of a specific subject. Intelligence should not be confused with education ...they are unrelated.

  7. onegoodwoman profile image68
    onegoodwomanposted 13 years ago

    I had this very discussion with my own daughter, who majored in creative writing..........

    we agreed........the diploma is not a measure of what you learned or have a gift for.......

    it is a measure of the effort you put into the study.

  8. profile image58
    foreignpressposted 13 years ago

    I agree with another answer that it's both. Being more skilled is synonymous with having acquired knowledge that makes you smarter.
    But the problem is: How to use those skills after college? How many students graduate but can't find jobs? How many have been displaced by immigrants who do the same jobs for less money? So the trick is to not just acquire knowledge, but to market that knowledge in a highly competitive job market. Some argue that acquiring $60,000+ of school debt isn't worth a college degree.

  9. nightwork4 profile image60
    nightwork4posted 13 years ago

    neither. that's part of the problem with people these days. due to propoganda many believe that education is the most important thing to gain knowledge but some of the worst people i've hired have been highly educated and dumb as rocks.

    1. gmwilliams profile image83
      gmwilliamsposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Now, now, a little jealousy I see, oh the rationalization.  No college graduate is as "dumb as rocks."  If h/she was as dumb as rocks, h/she wouldn't be admitted to college.  SMART people attend college, sir!

  10. Briton profile image60
    Britonposted 13 years ago

    It is a question of wether you are obtaining a serious degree or a frivolous one, by serious I would class a professional skill base in that category, and by frivolous then we get into the realms of vague descriptive, (eg) media studies.
    So many youngsters here in the UK have plumped for the easy option, then wonder why no one wants them, and at the same time the more serious degree courses are under subscribed, there is too much emphasis being put on getting your degree rather than what life skills will it give or prepare you for.
    I believe that the careers service in  schools is failing young people very badly through a lack of serious input with regards to what is out there career wise and what is likely to assist you to put food on the table.

  11. BobbiRant profile image59
    BobbiRantposted 13 years ago

    Ha Ha!  I have a masters and I'm the same person, maybe I learned more from books than I might have, but no, dumb clucks go to college in droves!  I got the degrees because it gets your foot in the door, past the HR person who, by the way, is probably less educated anyway.

    1. gmwilliams profile image83
      gmwilliamsposted 8 years agoin reply to this

      Correction: no dumb ducks go to college at all. They COULDN'T handle college level courses!

  12. Flaming Volunteer profile image60
    Flaming Volunteerposted 13 years ago

    Depends on what subject and which college. Either way most people don't get degrees, so to be that skilled, you have to be smarter!

  13. profile image57
    ThePeeDeeWildcatposted 13 years ago

    I have long questioned the value of a college degree insofar as attaining vital knowledge is concerned. Isn't that a major factor in the rise of "for-profit" schools such as Strayer, University of Phoenix, Corinthian Colleges, DeVry, et al? These institutions may have become a threat to traditional colleges and universities in America since several of the "for-profits"  have come under investigation recently. Educators at traditional colleges and universities may be feeling more heat to put out a more viable, marketable product because the "for-profits" have filled a vital niche. The traditional educational institutions have long been pet projects for politicians and, now, their preeminence is being threatened by these upstarts. In these times of national economic duress, the smartest and most skilled people may attain their degrees at a "for-profit".

  14. Dumbledore profile image76
    Dumbledoreposted 13 years ago

    A college degree is not an instrument to measure how intelligent or smart you are.  When employers screen candidates by the college degrees the candidates have obtained they are looking to answer questions regarding interest and persistence.

    For instance, an accounting firm would prefer candidates who have achieved degrees in accounting.  The degree demonstrates to the employer that the candidate had an interest in the accounting profession before applying for the particular position.

    Applicants who have obtained degrees also demonstrate they have the characteristic of persistence.  Obtaining a degree takes both time and effort.  For many, there is an element of frustration as they struggle with certain new concepts.  Candidates who complete a program of study and obtain a degree therefore demonstrate that they do not easily give up the boat.

  15. Karen Wodke profile image67
    Karen Wodkeposted 13 years ago

    In my opinion, it does not make you smarter. It makes you a more attractive candidate for a job. It expands your horizons with regard to the information you are exposed to. And it is a tangible verification that you started an arduous project (your education) and finished it. However, that said, I have known some college graduates who were woefully lacking in basic skills and common sense. And I have known some very intelligent people who never stepped foot on a campus. So, it's a very individual thing.

  16. wingedcentaur profile image65
    wingedcentaurposted 13 years ago

    I would say having a college degree, in and of itself, neither makes one smarter or more skilled. I think it is more accurate to say that having a college degree makes one more, shall we say, ..... formally licensed.

    As you know, Earl S. Wynn, the bachelor's degree has been, for a long time, considered a kind of gateway document into a certain strata of employment -- employment which people without degrees could do just as well, in some cases better than those people with degrees. You know, until a few years ago, Oprah Winfrey had achieved all that she had (the journalism career in Chicago, the talk show which became an intergalactic phenomena, the magazine, the books, movies, adn so forth) without completing her undergraduate degree.

    On the other hand, it also depends on what you want to do. The state authorities are just not going to let you be a second grade teacher without a bachelor's degree and a certification (even though such people with these qualifications are not always the best suited to the profession).

    So having a college degree makes you formally licensed for a certain strata of employment, not "smarter" or "more skilled," to my way of thinking.

  17. profile image51
    pmorrissposted 12 years ago

    Intelligence is in-born, while skill is acquired. I think that should answer your question. But when it comes to the professional world, skill is as important as intelligence. If you don’t have the required skill-set for a certain job, no amount of smarts can help you get it!

    That being said, I also think that college education stimulates intellect. It throws up constant challenges via complex coursework and develops our problem solving, critical thinking and analytical ability. I am a huge proponent of college degree programs ( ) for its power to change our life for the better and always will be!

  18. tlcs profile image64
    tlcsposted 9 years ago

    Life experiences make you smarter not college degrees. I have one and yes it helped me in my career but life experiences have made me smarter and more knowledgeable. tlcs


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