When should experience trump a degree?

Having read about attempts to rejuvenate vocational training, Raymond, a counselor who helps disabled vets get education and training, wrote me about how too many higher-ed folks don’t give due credit to a person’s experience:

“As someone who has successful experience in business, industry, and  instruction in both community colleges and technical colleges, I can confidently say that real world experience is not valued by many in higher education.

I returned to college after years of witnessing the results of pushing the majority of students into 4-6 year degrees. I felt that my experience in the aforementioned areas would be valuable to 2-year institutions. I earned a master’s in college student development/counseling and hit the streets, confident that I would be employed soon and would be of value to students and institutions.

In every instance where I applied for a position, the position was filled by someone who had nothing in their background except a master’s in counseling. Career counseling in our state’s system seems to be a place for future administrators to gain a better understanding of playing the game.

I hope someone with authority sees the damage that is being done and has the courage to change the system.