The Merits of a Good Education…

9 06 2008

Summer is traditionally exam time for many thousands of students across the country. For many years they have had it drilled into them that exams are important markers in your life. Without good exam results you cannot get anywhere, and only the best results get somewhere. It is with this ethos in mind that I will watch the final of the BBC’s series The Apprentice on Wednesday.

In case you do not watch it, there are four candidates left to fill one role, namely that of the title (although I remain unclear as to exactly what the role is or indeed entails). All four candidates have, over the course of ten or so weeks proved themselves to be very able at different aspects of business, and all would be a significant gain for most multi-national corporations, in my opinion at least. Of these four candidates, two went to university (one did ‘Managerial Administrative Studies’ and the other did ‘Equine Studies’), the other two dropped out of education after their GCSE’s. As far as education goes, these appear to be (with the one exception) reasonably distant from the creme-de-la-creme of the British educational system. It is these four people who are vying for a position working with Sir Alan Sugar. It is not the guy who was the most qualified (he was fired in week one).

Obviously in the world of business, experience will get you far. Other attributes count for something rather than the letters on a page handed out in August. A rounded individual counts for something more than a person who has 5 A Levels but no other interests.

That is not to say education does not count, far from it. However, as students up and down the land are in the middle of stressing about their exams, it perhaps should be reminded to them that, despite their thoughts, exams are not the be-all and end-all that many adults like to pretend they are.

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