The Miner’s Dilemma

Miner, Mining

Mining is deeply rooted in generations of American families. Our ancestors knew that although it was hard and dangerous work, it would provide well for the family – and so it has – generation after generation. Mining can be considered one of the foundations of the United States, right up there with the American Flag and Apple Pie.

There’s one trend that I am noticing pop up more frequently as I recruit in the industry. There is a growing momentum within companies to require higher education for their new hires – especially in management. This requirement significantly diminishes the pool of qualified mining candidates and creates a large demand for those just graduating or 5 to 10 years out of college.

To Degree Or Not To Degree?

So to degree or not to degree? Why would companies who have flourished for decades with the raw talent, hard work, intelligence and fortitude of their degree-less employees, now change their stance and remove them from consideration because they didn’t have a degree? To have the perfect candidate who meets all the criteria except one – the degree – and to disqualify them for it, is a subject for debate.

For this industry I believe being focused on a degree, instead of experience and merits, could be a mistake.  Most of these degree-less managers and supervisors have worked their way up in the mining industry and have more experience and knowledge than any degree could buy.  It has been their blood, sweat, tears – their lives.

Higher education is important and has a place, but education can be obtained from many sources, i.e., real life experiences, self-education, literacy and lest we forget – eight of our U.S. Presidents never attended college and four dropped out before graduating.

I always vote the underdog.