Professionals, Experts and College

December 28, 2007
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Experts, teach such categories like 'accounting' and 'nursing' and 'managing' as well as others. Many college students believe that the best education is an education that comes from sitting passively in a desk in an overcrowded room, being talked at by an expert. It is true though however that some career paths require you sit in an overcrowded classroom and that you largely benefit being taught by experts such as when you’re learning about surgery but even with surgery you must have the practical experience necessary to perform your tasks which can only be taught by a professional.

A professional is a person who is or was engaged in a profession while an expert is a person with knowledge in a field.
It is not to be said that there are not benefits to be derived from an expert they know all of the information in the area in which they teach. But when learning from a professional, someone who encounters the work everyday, someone who faces new problems that may not have been taught through the textbook, your education is bound to be far more extensive and if you happen to be instructed by an expert who is also a professional consider yourself lucky.
When it comes to professionals versus experts consider this -- the gothic cathedrals, the pyramids, and the Roman roads and aqueducts were designed and built by men who did not have college educations. Michaelangelo did not have a college degree, nor did Leonardo da Vinci. Thomas Edison didn't. Neither did Mark Twain (though he was granted honorary degrees in later life.) All of these people were professionals. None of them were experts.
An expert is somebody with a degree. The degree doesn't mean he knows how to do what he's an expert at -- he might have absolutely no practical experience. But he has the degree, which confers on him the right to impress other people with his accomplishment (which was the getting of the degree), and to get paid for his expert opinions. An expert gets paid by third parties -- his work is never placed in the open market where it will either sink or swim on its own merit. Many college professors are experts.
A professional is someone who makes a living working in the field in question. A professional architect designs and builds houses for clients. A professional hairdresser cuts and styles hair for clients. All of these people get paid by the people who are direct consumers of their work. If they do bad work, they don't get paid. The open market will weed out the bad professionals, so the ones who have been around for a while and who are still working are probably worth learning from.
In today’s world you now have to have a degree to be an architect, a social worker, a teacher, or an engineer. College can without a doubt be the building block towards opening many doors. But during the time you spend receiving your college education make sure to learn from professionals. Opportunities are available through internships, business co-ops and full-time and part-time jobs. Be an expert and a professional.





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