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Thread: Experience versus Qualifications

  1. #11
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    I really feel that a GOOD degree will give you as near as most people can get these days to an apprenticeship with a master, and the skills that are passed down through universities/apprenticeships are honed and change over time in ways that isolated individuals would take far longer to achieve. A good book to look at on this subject is 'From Hand To Hand' (ISBN 8874394608 sorry can't link to Amazon until I have posted 15 times!). That is not to say that self-taught people aren't at the same level at all, but just that the benefit of a 'masters' experience offers the student the chance to progress quickly to the same level as the master, and then beyond. Obviously this doesn't happen in every university, but when it works well talent and skill combined and magnified through the generations can create the highest standard of work, just as in apprenticeships.
    I guess I'm biased because I'm a trainee jewellery tutor, but I have always felt strongly that my degree at Sheffield Hallam University in the Jewellery department was invaluable. I also think that people need to remember that at degree level you will not necessarily get one-to-one tuition on a daily basis like you do on a short course, but you are expected to spend your time perfecting your skills, and researching skills that you are keen to learn but that might not have been 'taught', but with the benefit of the universities resources and the tutors knowledge.
    Anyone agree?
    *tumbleweed blows through*
    :-)

    Just read that through and thought that maybe I should add that I don't think the 'piece of paper' matters all that much in this field unless you were job hunting (if memory serves I think that most jewellery graduates go on to self employment), but that the experience itself is far more important.
    Last edited by wendy; 13-07-2009 at 10:45 PM.

  2. #12
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    Jul 2009
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    Market Deeping
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    Yep I got a Degree, I did a joint BA Hons in English Literature & Theology.
    I learnt two very useful things to be used in any trade including Designing
    Jewellery....
    1) I can read and assimilate knowledge quickly and
    2) I know that God's last name is not "Dammit."

    Everything else to do with Jewellery I learnt on a lot of short & medium
    intensive courses (with superb expert tutors) AND through books and practice....
    lots and lots of practice!

    Nicola x
    Monthly FREE entry giveaways on Blogs!
    Shop Blog: http://muranosilver.blogspot.com/
    Silver Clay Blog: http://pmctips.blogspot.com/
    View images of my work on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/muranosilver

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1

    Unhappy You can't get experience

    I have battled this myself. I have come to the conclusion that these days you get ignored without that 'degree' word written on your C.V. I have written to many jewellers for many years and you can never get experience! I am going to Franham in sept to finish the rest of my degree as you cant get an apprenticeship or experience I am dying to learn and no one ever has space or offers experience.

    So I have concluded yes experience is best (but you cant get experience unsless you know someone) so uni will have to do to give my link into the trade.


    P.S if anyone knows anybody that will provide a bit of work experience please let me know.

  4. #14
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    Bath
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendy View Post
    I really feel that a GOOD degree will give you as near as most people can get these days to an apprenticeship with a master, and the skills that are passed down through universities/apprenticeships are honed and change over time in ways that isolated individuals would take far longer to achieve. A good book to look at on this subject is 'From Hand To Hand' (ISBN 8874394608 sorry can't link to Amazon until I have posted 15 times!). That is not to say that self-taught people aren't at the same level at all, but just that the benefit of a 'masters' experience offers the student the chance to progress quickly to the same level as the master, and then beyond. Obviously this doesn't happen in every university, but when it works well talent and skill combined and magnified through the generations can create the highest standard of work, just as in apprenticeships.
    I guess I'm biased because I'm a trainee jewellery tutor, but I have always felt strongly that my degree at Sheffield Hallam University in the Jewellery department was invaluable. I also think that people need to remember that at degree level you will not necessarily get one-to-one tuition on a daily basis like you do on a short course, but you are expected to spend your time perfecting your skills, and researching skills that you are keen to learn but that might not have been 'taught', but with the benefit of the universities resources and the tutors knowledge.
    Anyone agree?
    *tumbleweed blows through*
    :-)

    Just read that through and thought that maybe I should add that I don't think the 'piece of paper' matters all that much in this field unless you were job hunting (if memory serves I think that most jewellery graduates go on to self employment), but that the experience itself is far more important.
    I totally agree with this. Formal education is definitely not the only way but it has a lot of benefits. There's no substitute for face to face help and advice. Having said that there are a lot of ways to get that without going to the extent of a degree.

  5. #15
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    Newcastle
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    i have never been on a course and trust my boss to guide me to my best. Maybe this is because i am lucky to have an apprenticeship and have never needed to be on a course because i learn day by day. It does interest me to try a course one day to see what they are like i personally think a wider aspect of all teachings can only be a good thing.

    But i think experience holds more than qualifications as i have never used my gcse's or alevel's to get a job.

  6. #16
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    Rye Foreign, East Sussex
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    School made me physically sick with worry, so higher education was never an option for me. My doctor had to dope me up to get me through my o'levels. Doing a degree would have not suited me at all, i just cant take stuf in like that.

    I would always favour the apprentiship route, the hands on experience is essential, the most i can do is attend my evening classes for basic Jewellery making and design, and from there attend short courses in the fields i wish to explore, and i wanna explore a lot lol.

    I learn far better by seeing stuff done and having someone guide me as i attempt it, i ready my jewellery book but i find it hard to make it sink in without visually seeing it and being able to ask questions as i go. Small groups are a much better environment for me to learn, as i am not good at requesting the attention of the tutor/instructor, and stress all the time that i am not doing it properly.

    If you are of a nervous disposition and have a lot of issues like me about interrupting or conflict, (i most often wont ask for help face to face in case they say no) it most often results in me getting very frustrated and confused.

    So I watch tutorials and learn so much more that i would from a heavy degree course.

    I am no academic lol.
    Su' xx

    My FB fanpage -https://www.facebook.com/CintaHandCraftedJewellery
    My Website www.cintahandcraftedjewellery.co.uk

    I want to learn so much, and i want to know it all NOW!!!:p

    One day i will arrive

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  7. #17
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    Aug 2009
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    Newcastle
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    bustagasket don't be nervous they are there to teach and help you, although there will be other people there they chose to teach. if they say no tell em what you paying the fees for!

  8. #18
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    Jul 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by khendrich View Post
    I have battled this myself. I have come to the conclusion that these days you get ignored without that 'degree' word written on your C.V. I have written to many jewellers for many years and you can never get experience! I am going to Franham in sept to finish the rest of my degree as you cant get an apprenticeship or experience I am dying to learn and no one ever has space or offers experience.

    So I have concluded yes experience is best (but you cant get experience unsless you know someone) so uni will have to do to give my link into the trade.


    P.S if anyone knows anybody that will provide a bit of work experience please let me know.
    Do you get the Benchpeg Newsletter? It does have apprenticeship and intern opportunities (amongst other things) although most of them seem to be in the London area. The newsletter is monthly (I think) and is free to subscribe to..

    http://benchpeg.com/newsletter/
    Last edited by Solunar Silver Studio; 16-08-2009 at 09:22 PM.

  9. #19
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    From my point of view I often think if you do a degree you get a chance to try out different styles and techniques and learn what you like more quickly. It's taken me years to do this on my own and I'm still experimenting. I've done quite a few masterclasses but it's not quite the same.

  10. #20
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    Books,, internet ,, practice,,, books internet practice,, and with the help of lots of people on here and in other forums who needs a piece of paper????

    Most jewellery artisans want to work for themselves anyway,,,,,

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