What role has my education played in what I do?
In 2004 I returned to college to boost my skill set. I had just come out of the 2nd great recession and it was time to improve my skill set. I returned to get a degree from Seattle Central College. My second year in the course, my degree course split into a two different tracks. One track followed web design and the other followed web development. At the end of my third year the track started to branch again...This time it was in to a user centric design role. What I realized rather quickly is that we live in a world where the evolution of technology is moving at such a rate that some technologies may come and go while you are in process of getting your BA/BS. How do we teach students about technology when it is moving so fast that your design course might be cutting edge when you start the program and outdated before you graduate?
This is an extreme case and not all technologies move like this, however, it is still hard to remember a time before facebook had a hold of your soul ...and yet... facebook is barely ten years old. A masters degree is half of that life span.
I only bring this up to say this. I get that the end game may have changed for many people from a degree to more of a certification. Some kids are going to come out of High School with more knowledge about the current technical trends than the average college graduate...HOWEVER...At this speed, learning new technologies and continuing education will always be a requirement. As we move away from Tenure and the standard idea of what education was in the past, I believe we enter a new world where education (at least in the tech sector) is more a job requirement than a prerequisite.
I have three certifications in Usability and have taken at least one class nearly every year since 2004. I count continued education (and online course work) as part of my workload. I work on the technical advisory committee at my local college, in part, to stay on top of the evolution of technology. I also conduct workshops around job placement, Usability, webdesign, and working with real world clients for the students so that I can learn what they have to teach. I realize that the best way to stay on top of trends is to work with those that create them. And I realize that I will always be a student and education is a huge part of my everyday life.