Learning in kollel does not generally prepare you for any particular career path, unlike a lawyer, doctor, or engineer. The lack of college degree presents two problems:
- A lack of credentials for prospective employers, and
- A lack of the practical knowledge needed to perform the job at hand.
Most people, when faced with the first problem, give up right away. They say things like, “I will never get a job without a degree so why bother?” But those who instead choose to deal with the second problem first have an entirely different experience.
College degrees are really only certificates attesting to the person’s proficiency in a particular subject. Always, that same information is readily available for anyone who wishes, either in a book, DVDs, or online. For free. In a fraction of the time it takes to get a college degree, one can study a subject and become sufficiently proficient to have the skills needed to perform the duties of any job. Obviously, one cannot become a lawyer, accountant, or a doctor without going to college. But there are many careers and businesses which one may think they need a college degree, when all they really need is someone proficient enough in the skills needed to perform the job. (Computer programming, networking, web design, construction, nutrition, & special ed are all great examples of this.)
Oh, and what about that you don’t know the first thing about programming, construction and anything else? Think back to when you started learning a totally unfamiliar sugya for the first time. Did you know anything about kodshim before you went to Brisk? How about Yoreh De’ah? But after a few weeks, you were sufficiently familiar with the subject you were learning.
Dive right in and you’ll become an expert in no time. That is, if you don’t give up hope before you even start.Tweet
Filed Under: Career Advice