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Do you need a degree to succeed?

Moved Blog
  • Here’s a subject that’s close to my heart. I saw a thread on Twitter recently that essentially dismissed those who attended public school as not being worthy of entry into Oxbridge and were effectively “tarnishing the brand” - I kid you not. Here’s the screenshot which piqued my interest, quickly followed by disbelief.

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    And here’s my response to this

    Snobbery at its best (or worst, if you prefer). I attended a comprehensive school, didn’t go to college or university, don’t have a degree - but here I am - Director of Information Technology and CISO for a financial organisation. Oh, and I’m also free of the debt mantle…

    My point? I attended a comprehensive, didn’t go to college (straight into employment) and didn’t have the funds or other financial means to attend university and get a degree. However, as a shining example of what effort and experience can achieve, I’m a Director of Information Technology, and Chief Information Security Officer for a financial firm in London.

    Does that mean I, along with others who attended state school rather than private, and didn’t go to university aren’t fit for purpose? Do you really need a degree to succeed in life?

    I have my thoughts on this but would love to hear others. I know @marusaky will have a view on this 🤔

  • @phenomlab not going to take her stupid comment seriously 🙂
    that would make her idea worth the time.

    some people are living on another planet but writing in our world. 🤣

  • @sinanisler so very well put. I’m not taking any notice of this because I’m living proof that it’s bullsh*t !

  • FWIW, I agree. I have children and I don’t think universities have a strong value prop, I don’t think I’ll advise them to go to one when the time comes. We need to get this point across: the promise that universities make (come here, invest 5 years of your time, get a job for life) is long gone. That’s unsutstainable. It’s an implicit promise. And people get itchy if they cannot put a degree on their linkedin. But the success of coding bootcamps show that there’s a shorter path.

  • @qwinter very well put. Great points and I can certainly align with these. I personally don’t see no university as a barrier to progression. My old boss said that he’d take preference with anyone who had a degree because of their “ability to think logically” (I kid you not). I said “well, you hired me and I don’t have a degree…”.

    He paused for a moment realising that he’d literally dug himself a hole and fell in it. He then said “ah yes, but you’re an exception”.

    “Exception” or not - it’s still a bigoted reasoning mechanism, and elitist to put it mildly. Class distinction springs to mind here.


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    @crazycells Neither do I. Personally, I think he would have been mortified at the very concept, and probably would never have approved it’s release.

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    @crazycells if it does indeed materialise, then this could well be a landmark case that sets a precedent. But, I don’t hold much hope to be honest. I’d like to be wrong.

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    I’ve been using this service for a couple of days now, and it’s made my internet access so much faster. That alone is a plus, and I never thought there would be a contender for Cloudflare in this area.

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    https://news.sky.com/story/scarlett-johannsson-shocked-and-angered-after-openai-allegedly-recreated-her-voice-without-consent-13140514

    SCARLETT JOHANSSON’S STATEMENT IN FULL

    Last September, I received an offer from Sam Altman, who wanted to hire me to voice the current ChatGPT 4.0 system.

    He told me that he felt that by my voicing the system, I could bridge the gap between tech companies and creatives and help consumers to feel comfortable with the seismic shift concerning humans and AI.

    He said he felt that my voice would be comforting to people.

    After much consideration and for personal reasons, I declined the offer.

    Nine months later, my friends, family and the general public all noted how much the newest system named “Sky” sounded like me.

    When I heard the released demo, I was shocked, angered and in disbelief that Mr Altman would pursue a voice that sounded so eerily similar to mine that my closest friends and news outlets could not tell the difference.

    Mr Altman even insinuated that the similarity was intentional, tweeting a single word “her” - a reference to the film in which I voiced a chat system, Samantha, who forms an intimate relationship with a human.

    Two days before the ChatGPT 4.0 demo was released, Mr Altman contacted my agent, asking me to reconsider. Before we could connect, the system was out there.

    As a result of their actions, I was forced to hire legal counsel, who wrote two letters to Mr Altman and OpenAI, setting out what they had done and asking them to detail the exact process by which they created the “Sky” voice. Consequently, OpenAI reluctantly agreed to take down the “Sky” voice.

    In a time when we are all grappling with deepfakes and the protection of our own likeness, our own work, our own identities, I believe these are questions that deserve absolute clarity.

    I look forward to resolution in the form of transparency and the passage of appropriate legislation to help ensure that individual rights are protected.

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    @phenomlab thanks