Why a degree doesn’t automatically equal intelligence

Earning something is never bad.

However, demanding superiority for it is wrong.

Earning a degree in whatever field is a great thing. It takes hard work, no-one is denying that, but the truth is that it’s not an automatic mark up of superior intelligence from someone who does not have one. I’ve seen many arguments erupt and sometimes it will end up in one or the other parties saying “Well I have a degree”. This is fine to use if the subject you are discussing has relevance to whatever field you earned your degree in, but it seems to be thrown around as if to say “I have one of these and are therefore more intelligent than you no matter what”. That is wrong. Simply having a degree does not mean you are more intelligent than anyone else, becasue intelligence isn’t measured that way.

Then there is the largely subjective manner of what your degree is in. If a conversation is about computers and you have degree in that field then obviously you will SOUND intelligent as you will know what you are talking about. However, switch the subject to marine biology and all of a sudden you don’t have a clue. Add to the fact that I have seen people, far too many people in fact, who have degrees but cannot grasp basic grammar or even simple arithmetic (and I say that as someone with quite bad dyscalculia, but I can still work out what 5 x  5 is).

Also there is the learning angle too. Universities and colleges by and large still use text based methods of learning.  This is great if you are the type who’s brain learns best this way, but what about the people who learn by audio/visual or kinesthetic methods? They will obviously be left behind, but it’s not from lack of intelligence as, if the roles were reversed, a text based person would struggle with a kinesthetic means of learning.

The bottom line is that memorising and regurgitating data isn’t a sign of intelligence, it’s a sign that you can memorise and regurgitate data. This is hard work in itself and so could be (and often is) mistaken for effort due to intelligence, but it’s not. It simply is what it is. On the other hand, I’ve known degree-less people who could quote Shakespeare to a tee, discuss at length philosophy, psychology and all manner of other subjects and literature. Still, they are seen to be the lesser ones in brain power as opposed to the person who has a piece of paper with their name on it yet does not know the correct usage of commas or how to change a plug.

Be proud of your degree by all means, but do not assume that it makes you superior, more intellectual or more hard working than the joiner, the bin man, the janitor or the artist.


Author: Kitsune Mifune


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