I will start by asking, can experience (with no educational background) make up for a lack of degree, or does a degree provide something that experience cannot? Is one more valuable than the other? Here lies the argument.
I will say the two argument depends on the spectrum you are viewing ir or rather the side of the fence you are sitting, this issue can be personal and most times emotional.
I have seen people with many years of applicable work experience but no degree, and i have also seen multiple candidate's with degree but with no single work experience. Which of the two is now moew valuable to a coy?
To buttress my point, in a certain year there was an heavy shake up in a certain financial institution in lagos affecting a lot of experienced employer. What led to the shake up? Many of their senior staffs were moving closer to their retirement stage, and the bank knew the situation of the economy then was not conducive for a payoff, they strategized and came up with the idea of hiring a consultant to carry out a thorough investigation on all their experienced staffs. The investigation carried out reveals that many of their experienced staffs had no degree but a forged certificate. However, many of this staffs are the core strength of that financial institution with position ranging from risk, strategics and planning, procurement etc. Now the question? If those staffs with no traceable degree could hold sensitive position for that duration, of what benefit is a degree or paper qualification to performance?
Do you know that the founder of leadway insurance started with no degree (i stand corrected)? Do you know that FCMB started in same manner? The founder of a famous indiginous construction company in Lagos started with no degree (name withheld) and the coy is still waxing strong after over 20years. If that founder (with no degree but experience) applied for a job position in either Julius Berger, G-Kappa, D'Alberto etc will he qualify or be employeable? However, the question is followed by endless responses debating the issue. Obviously, there are specific cases where the question is mute.
Regardless of personal preference, what quality does a degree holder possess that an experience person(with no degree) does not have. Our employers will say -
1. A proven ability to analyze problem, conduct research and produce solutions
2. A proven ability to learn complex, difficult subject matter
3. Proof of intelligence
4. Better interpersonal skills
5. More credible qualifications
BUT I DISAGREE
Can we conclude that a person with experience does not possess all that? Are those with degree consistent with all those requirements? This is my root frustration with employers with a defined job requirements and how they will continue to miss out on a large pool of experience candidate's with no degree.
If you think a degree holder is better than a person with experience but no degree, then i say, bring a PhD holder in mechanical engineer (if any) and a road side mechanics for a presentation. The PhD holder may prevail with 'Smart terms and Linguistics' but the road side mechanic will thrill the audience with 'practical methodologies'.