Check Your Credentials: Are You Qualified?


I have spent the past 16 years enrolling and completing degrees at different institutions of higher learning.  The requirements and skill set for each degree program seemed attainable, and you ultimately learn as you go, what is distinguished in presentation and rudimentary.


However along the way you become a subject matter expert to your peers when they ask, “Well, where do you go to school?”, “What classes did you take?”, “What was your major?”, and the ultimate question, “Was/Is school hard?”  You then spend hours discussing your undergraduate experiences, reliving the fun times, the trying times, and the confusing times.  You explain why you got caught up, and how you wish you knew then all of the things you know now.  You carry on with your life until the next set of questions arise.

What is your master’s in?  I reply,  “Oh, it’s in Public Administration because it caught my eye at the time while I was working for a state agency.”  Now you are advising your friends on degree choices because they are stuck between a master’s in social work or education and they are undecided.  The only thing they know is that they don’t want to be stuck behind the computer writing papers, but you feel compelled to tell them that at the graduate level that’s a big part of the degree.  You have now embarked on research expert territory.  “Should I go to a bricks and mortar school or find a degree program online?”  Again, you relay your experiences and why you chose accelerated online programs because it was conducive to your family structure. Your friends then say, “But on my God, I have to hear the professor because I’m not disciplined enough to do the work online by myself.”

You spend more time explaining how online is not that bad, and is actually better because other than scheduled live-streaming lectures, you can complete and participate in class discussion threads, and post your research papers by the suspense date asynchronously.  Before long your friends are asking you questions about different schools, why you chose your school, and once your’re done, what are you going to do next or are you done with school?

University students

You have become a consultant, adviser, and financial aid consultant by default because you are telling them how “it” works.  Then then next wave of requests become, “Can you help me with this discussion?”, “Hey can you find some articles on this?”, “Can I see your phase 1 draft?”, “Will you read this for me and tell me it how it sounds?”  Before long you’re an editor and proofreader but you’re not charging your friends, because they ask for help here and there.

Considering the amount of work that goes into attaining degrees, when you garner a Doctor of Education (Ed.D) or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D), you become qualified to do many things and your skill set is expanded.  You are now a referral service because everyone wants to know who helped you along the journey. So then you begin to examine your skill set a little more closely and realize you have a lot to offer.

I am a

  • researcher
  • consultant
  • adviser
  • writer
  • editor

A lot of times we offer services as help then realize some of the services are provided to others at a price.  You don’t want to take on too much too soon, but when you complete your work without the paid help of others, you either encourage your friends and associates to do the same or set yourself up to be paid.  You are qualified to do whatever you are passionate about without naysayer opinions.  The only way you build your skill set portfolio, is to continue working on those skills and let your work speak for itself.  Validation comes when you become the referred rather than the referrer.  You are qualified to be your own boss in any industry that you can’t see yourself walking away from or not being a part of.  Education and writing are my industries of choice.  So am I qualified?

Check my resume!  You damn right, I’m qualified!

~LaTilya Rashon


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