When my brother got out of prison the second time, he’d recently finished up his BS in Biochemistry, something that being in prison offered him the opportunity to do, because he was a ward of the state, the state paid for his education, something our parents couldn’t do.
Being locked up helped quite a lot, too, in terms of studying. Not locked up all day, no, the bus would come to the prison and pick him and his fellow prisoner students up and shuttle them to USF in the morning, pick them back up in the afternoon.
Quite a lot of freedom, actually, for the folks with some brains. For those not “qualified” to go to school, not so much. At any rate, he earned his degree, he knew his stuff, he was credentialed.
Of course he was also a convicted felon, drugs, that was the keen interest in biochemistry, and of course, no one who had jobs out there in the world of biochemistry wanted to give one to an ex-con, one who had already been using his knowledge of that field to make smack. So, he went to work as a laborer for a plumber, our friend Gaffney got him the job, and he started laboring.
Quite quickly, his boss saw his brains and asked if he could possibly go take and pass the exam to get his journeyman’s license. The boss needed journeymen, whether they knew what they were doing or not, those were the rules, and construction was hopping.
So the bro said, oh yeah, I can pass any test, show me what to study, and he did, and he passed, despite being pretty significantly unqualified, the boss was willing to lie about how long he’d been plumbing, there was that little rule, too, just passing the test didn’t cut it, a body was also expected to have actual experience, which he did not, he’d been sitting in jail studying biochemistry, but they needed journeymen where he worked, so he became a journeyman, with only a few little lies told to get there.
It worked out well for him, other than that he had to be a plumber, which he kind of hated. There was child support to pay, a new family started that needed support.
So, he’d have been a really good and passionate biochemist (got to be one later, lied about those felony convictions, forgot about them, go figure), instead, he was a rather bad and not very happy with it plumber, for like, a decade or more.
Me, I had a job in healthcare, learned it, got promoted to a middle management position, but didn’t have the credentials I needed to really justify that promotion within the hierarchical structure of the workplace, that interaction of education and experience, my education was a lowly AS, very specific training in the world of medical technology, and to manage, one was expected to have made the grand leap from AS to BS, the assumption that learning economics and business management (or Biochemistry or even Philosophy, as I recall, the only requirement was the BS, in what didn’t really matter, not as long as the underlying AS and experience were solid enough) and so I did the distance education BS in Health Care Administration.
It changed my knowledge of what I was doing and my ability to handle that asshat of a physician or that over the top traumatized body of a person still alive not one tiny little bit. Not. At. All.
Of course, it did show me what a gross and heartless world that of Health Care Administration is, way beyond what I already knew about Health Care, and convinced me, beyond any doubt, to get the hell out of there.
It was not a career I was interested in.
So I guess that credential had value. For the bro, it was the experience.