Recent thoughts on this are not about "were they useful" - but more about getting enough results so that later in life, if "opportunity doors" end up being shut on you, you don't regret not achieving what you were capable of...
To me batman hits the nail.... i talk to my kids about education and qualification being a door opener... When doors are open there are more choices... At the end of the day though i do know people without qualifications that have 'made it' in what they wanted to in life....
Freerunner - has not having loads of qualifications held you back at any stage?? What''s your experience??
I have to say one of mine is doing GCSE's and they have come a long way in terms of relevance since we did them.... i loved science but they have made it so much more 'contemporary' these days.... Questions like why is the sky blue? And how much does a cloud weight kept me awake for years.... (answer = roughly 1 tonne for an average cumulus one believe it or not)
Ok so you all did GCSE's that makes you younger than me!!
To answer your question Renaldo - has not having lots of qualifications held me back in any way.... well the true answer is yes. But let me unpack that if i may.
I have 5 CSE's (got the last one when i was 25!) and no O levels. I come from a family where of my 12 cousins 5 went to University. They were the first kin to do so. 1 of them dropped out after year 1, 3 are not working directly within the area of their degree and only 1 is, however he is desperate to leave engineering and go in to forestry work. I left school half way through my A levels (yep i did start A level Art History and A level RE) coz i didn't see the point and was too eager to change the world. My career has been life, my life. I mean living my life to the full and enjoying what i do and who i am, realising that experience enriches me and gives me knowledge and personality (dude i sound like a hippy!) I'm 39 and have, since ending education at 17, spent nearly a quarter of my time working voluntarily to better society in the UK and abroad. The other 3 quarters have been paid roles in the Third Sector ranging from Admin roles, to Director roles, to Project Management. The way i have been held back is not by my own ability or intellect but by others prejudice/bias to education.
I went for a job once as a department manager which my CV showed i was experienced to do, however the CEO didn't even short list me, in fact they didn't shortlist anyone! I called and ended up chatting to the CEO who offered me a short term contract as an officer in the department, very below my ability but i need a job so took it, within 3 months i was appointed the Department DIRECTOR and spend 4 years taking the department and organisation forward at City level. She saw my lack of University "experience" on my CV and put me to one side.
That is the prejudice that follows those of us who donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take lifeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s rich experience road to Uni!!! Interestingly both you and batman talk about results opening doors. Dudes paper doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t open doors you do. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s your character, your abilities, your passion. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s my experience.
My dad is 1 of 7 kids, none of whom went to Uni, 3 of who are self made millionaires, their self belief and passion built it all. Shame he wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t one of them however!!! He opened a grocers shop like his dad!!
I reckon the issue is that the world has changed since we (middle aged men) were at school. Perhaps the bit of paper, or lack of, hasn't held us back but I reckon it will hold our kids back if they don't get qualifications. My Dad left school at 14, got a certificate in dairy farming when he was 19 then started inventing farming equipment before moving into software development in the 1980s. He worked as a high-paid software developer for years but finally went to University a few years ago & now has a doctorate in genetic science or something like that! He is now 60 & back to software development as it pays more.
These days it seems to be the 'norm' to go to University & have a degree before you can even get the first foot on the ladder. I don't think stories like my Dads will come up again. Hence we push our kids to stay at school, do the A-levels & then expect them to go to Uni. Not sure this is always the best option for them - liked Freerunners idea of his career being his 'life' - it fits with something my Dad taught us - 'life is an education'. Perhaps more important than a bit of paper??
Ronaldo wrote: loved science but they have made it so much more 'contemporary' these days.... Questions like why is the sky blue? And how much does a cloud weight kept me awake for years.... (answer = roughly 1 tonne for an average cumulus one believe it or not)
but contemporary is fine for primary and middle school, not secondary... ?: :?: :?:
we desparately need engineers, computer programmers and scientists to compete on the world stage. Our world has never been so advanced and our school science so far behind...
In places like Poland they churn out rocket scientsts, and COMPETE at school - and they end up taking the first 3 places in the european wide maths / computer programming type competions... How is Britian going to have an economy in 20 years time..
Agree with you there, Batman. My eldest son has just had his GCSE results (a full range from A's through to an F, of which he is quite proud!) but the science he has been learning is all terribly wooly. The "radiation" topic seemed to be about what factor of sunscreen you should wear - what happened to v=fl?
Anyway he is just starting A-levels and is about to discover what real science is about (I hope).
I did O- and A-levels and went to Uni. I haven't ever worked in th execat field I studied, but I still think the whole experience is worthwhile for those people with that sort of mind. I know the academic route doesn't suit everybody so it's good that there are more practical apprenticeship-type routes opening up now.