Dear all,
On one of the WA groups of HRs, Administrator of the groups, Mr Rajaram Thorve, has raised the above topic for discussion. I have given replies to the questions. These are as below:
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Dear Mr Rajaram Thorve,
My reply is as below:
1. Let us first understand the meaning of the word certification. Certification is nothing but validation of the level of knowledge that the student has acquired. To acquire a certification, one has to do some education course. Knowledge acquired through the education course give us a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world;
2. In the education course, a theory is taught. These theories are not developed in vacuum. Researchers go to the field, gather data and later do the analysis. This analysis helps them in developing theory. This theory is nothing but a tentative insight into the natural world. The student may not get chance to verify the concept but it helps in understanding an unknown world. Theoretical knowledge helps in avoidance of the repetition of the mistakes committed in the past. Benefit of learning theory is that one does not have to learn through trial and error.
3. Nevertheless, just acquiring certification or learning theory is not sufficient. The knowledge gained has to be applied also.
4. Though the question does not ask directly, indirectly it asks should we hire “experienced” persons or “qualified” ones? But then in a country like India, experience is euphemism for the length of one’s career span. After acquiring knowledge, when one applies it, there are successes and failures. Therefore, ability to distinguish between what could succeed or fail should be called as experience. But then Indians have difference belief altogether!
5. Notwithstanding, what is written above, the education gives edge over non-education. Consider the following examples:
a) A person who has studied Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode of Instrument will certainly handle workplace conflict in better way than the one who does not know this model.
b) A Purchase Manager, who does not have degree in Supply Chain Management (SCM) will never understand the concept of the material movement across the chain. He will never understand various costs associated with the business. Rather he will concentrate on just squeezing his suppliers while buying material from them.
c) Who are better suited to work in R & D department? Do we employ workers because they have worked long time on some machine or Engineers?
d) Humanity has been using horse-cart or bullock-cart since time immemorial. But then why the humanity waited till nineteenth century to invent motor car? Why it was not done earlier notwithstanding having experience of thousands of years of riding on horse-cart or bullock-cart?
e) Humans learnt to do agricultural activities about 10,000 years ago but the tractor was developed in 20th century. Why it took almost 12,000 years to develop the tractor? Where was the experience of thousands of years?
f) In India, a section of society claims that doing a business is in their DNA. In that case, India should have many companies in Fortune-500 list. But then how many companies do you find in this list? Just seven! Why this contradiction though business is in their DNA?
Final comments: - The US economy grew phenomenally because US entrepreneurs attracted educated youths from the world over. These entrepreneurs used outsiders’ education and talent to give something new to the world. They always accrued benefits of investing in talent. In contrast, Indian businesspersons never used domestic talent. India is paying hefty price for this false belief on the concept of “experience”.
Thanks,
Dinesh Divekar
From India, Bangalore

The verification of knowledge and skills acquired through experience is a cumbersome process whereas certain presumptions can be easily drawn based on the educational qualifications. There is always a distinction made between degree holders and diploma holders. With experience the diploma holders may gain sound technical knowledge but the comprehensive systematic knowledge and all round capability which a degree holder acquires is still unmatched. So the preference for the degree holder is explained.
From India, Mumbai
when a person completes a degree or higher thorough study and independent testing of knowledge through exams, he acquires a strong theoretical basis and understanding of the subject.
With theory when he works he gets experience. The degree hopefully will guide the person to get right experience and correct working habits/procedures/steps based on understanding.
Experience on the other hand is gained by practical working on ground with or without a theoretical backing.If you have good supervisor who guides you well, then your experience will be enriched and make one good at this vocation.
But disadvantage is when you practical working is not based on full knowledge and right practises.Then your expereince may go against your development/growth.
Pros about experience
Experiences enable individuals to imply their knowledge rather than just knowing about it.
Experiences develop skills like communication, critical thinking, problem solving and social skills that have a very limited scope within a degree.
Cons:
Experience is acquired over years of working, but sometimes a person without a degree may do the work but not with full knowledge of the entire system and can get stuck if something outside his experience comes up.
Summing it up this debate is endless and depends on the job,the particular candidate.
From India, Pune
Dear colleagues,
This preponderance of experience over certification is a myth created by our present educational system in India.
If the learner gets experiential learning opportunities to gain insights by applying the principles and laws of nature through simulation methods repeatedly, the learning will be rock solid .
Then such a dichotomy whether experience is more important than certification will fade away.
Regards,
Vinayak Nagarkar
HR- Consultant.
From India, Mumbai
Just a Few days ago We had discussion on small topic of ladies learning to drive two wheelers. The topic came up when we read in newspaper about skidding of vehicle driven by a lady on main road reuslting into her death.
What I mean to say here is that simply learn to drive and then landing for driving straight on the road without understanding safety and environment will sometime result into accidents like the above. Here practical knowledge was there but lack of theoritical aspect
In a second incident I found a young college going engineering student repairing her scooter by the side of the road as her scooter broke down in the mid way to her place.I enquired,to help her but she said," thank you uncle, I am doing my engg in automobile,and the problem is solved, just repairing it.I was happy to see that How her indepth knowledge gave confidence and courage to her to diagnose and repair her bike with out much of problem.She is certified engineer today,
The theritical and conceptual learning is important and the hence certification.Learning however is never a waste, and authentic learning is like gem in the crown.
From India, Vadodara
Q*****Why is less importance given for Knowledge And Skills gained through experience than knowledge and skills Acquired through certification?
A******The knowledge and skills acquired through certification is always best than of skill gained through experience.
The knowledge and skill absorbed under course is absolute and the certificate is issued after test given by the learner.
Whereas knowledge and skill is gained from experience is limited to exposure part only not complete.
Out of experience one cannot be an engineer, doctor, lawyer, chartered accountant and professionals of other field.
From India, Mumbai
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