February 11, 2016 - Comments Off on Qualifications vs Quality

The other week I attended a RedSofa event with Jeremy Bullmore and his former colleagues Billy Mawhinney and Nick Welch (incidentally the famous Florence’s father) where they could reminisce and share some of their wisdom.

During the Q&A there was a question thrown at him by a recruiter, it was something along the lines of “agencies are increasingly asking for degrees as part of the recruitment policy. Do you think this will have an impact on the type of people who will enter the industry?”

As always, Jeremy had some sound advice. He's from the era when you didn't need a qualification to get a job in advertising. He learnt on the job. And the people he would go on to hire were brought in because they were talented, not because they'd been to university.

redsofa1He was worried the new trend was a way to supposedly weed out the less able. But it would eventually have an adverse effect on the agency. "Why would want everyone to be the same? It breeds the same ideas, the same point of view and the same mentality."

In other sectors, like consulting, Deloitte have just stopped asking where candidates have studied on application forms so they can find more rounded individuals that bring broader mix of skills and attributes.

I have a similar view. We (YCC) are currently supporting an initiative to help females enter the creative department, and forcing people to have a degree would only cause another barrier to entry. And secondly, the two of best as courses in the UK don't require a degree to get on them.

Tony Cullingham’s Watford course asks them to fill out a bunch of questions that have nothing to do with academic ability. And SCA2.0 only require a portfolio of ideas. Where they previously studied, or what they used to work as, is irrelevant.

So why are these courses after talented individuals, but agencies chasing qualifications? Why can't they come up with their own system that provides an ability level, without the need to have all the motor board hoohah?

Jeremy suggested they bring back the own copy test. But why stop there? There could an art direction test. Or campaign brief test. Especially for grads or apprentices.

That would be their standardised testing method, rather than the varied ones courses offer. You only have to go to D&AD’s Newblood to see the varying standards across the board.

So why doesn't the industry, or at least some agencies have a benchmarked one? One that anyone can have a go at. Whether you've been to uni or not?

After all. Do you really need to spend £30k to prove you can be creative?

Published by: admin in Opinion Pieces

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