Below are two names, please tell me which one have you heard. One of them is a university drop out:
- Prof. V.N. Parthiban
- Steve Jobs
Do I really need to ask the name you are familiar with, or who was a college dropout?
Well then who is Prof. Parthiban? He is a teacher in Chennai, and has obtained 145 degrees over the last 30 years, and still continuing. Parthiban’s list of degrees include, but are not limited to, 3 Master of Science degrees, 8 Master of Law degrees, 8 Master of Commerce degrees, 9 Master of Business Administration degrees, 10 Master of Arts degrees, and 12 various research degrees.
Sounds amazing, or stupid? Though it’s totally the choice of an individual. But given a choice, which life would you choose? Do I need to answer that?
But the question is why? Because there is a difference in being really knowledgeable and educated and in collecting degrees. Something I have been telling my students for long.
One of the problems I have seen with people in India is that, they love to collect degrees and certificates. We all have that file of certificates since school time, which we nicely store to show to our future generations and feel the sense of pride. Thicker the file, bigger the chest swells while showing it. So what if 90% of the certificates are either ‘certificates of participation’ or ‘certificate of attendance’.
Education matters, not the number of degrees or certifications. Otherwise Prof. Parthiban would have been the richest person in the world, and Steve Jobs would have died poor and homeless.
Degrees may help you get a good job, but that’s a it. Factors defining success are absolutely different. It doesn’t depend on the degrees you possess. That’s why Robert Kiyosaki’s book is aptly titled: “Why ‘A’ Students work for ‘C’ students”. That’s the naked truth or the bitter reality of the world.
However, saying that education or college degree is worthless is also very wrong. As these ‘A’ students can be from any background, because the skills & mindset needed to reach that category is a tad different.
But my aim to discuss this topic with you today is to make you understand this from terms of fitness education. And I will give you my personal example to tell you how I made the same mistake and then corrected it.
Despite of having a deep and varied experience in the field of sports in form of competitive athletics, hardcore military training, competitive bodybuilding etc. I really craved for the research based theoretical knowledge to know the reasoning and the concepts behind it all.
I eventually started studying for my fitness certifications, and one by one did a number of major and minor courses and certifications to an extent that I was probably the most certified professional at one time in India. But, this really meant nothing much, which I realized later.
Of course credentials and courses are important as it gives weightage to your profile and of course a lot of knowledge (if you want to really learn), but no one tells us that this is just the start and somewhere we need to put a full stop on doing more and more courses and certifications and start putting all of it to practice to make it big in our chosen career.
When I came out of the defence forces, I focussed my attention in all the practical aspects which I didn’t do earlier i.e. understanding the business and marketing aspects of it, which no one really teaches you. And, this is what I always educate my students, clients and viewers about. The bitter or hidden truth.
Remember, no fitness course or certification will ever offer you more than a job assistance, i.e. even a for a basic job, you will have to search and get into one. But no one tells you, what after that. No one tells you how to progress in your fitness career. How to grow in various fields related to fitness. What about business and marketing aspect? No one teaches that.
And, this is what I have been continuously doing in my videos on fitness careers. Educating you about the various fields related to fitness, both online & offline, which many are not aware about and have much more earning potential than the traditional career paths we choose.
That’s why I always tell everyone to first build a strong education and practical base. Have great certifications under your belt, with practical training experience. These credentials will be needed, but the amount of work you put in learning these aspects, much more would be needed in future to learn the marketing, business and branding aspects, and in lifelong learning and research.
Don’t collect certificates and degrees, learn. And then learn to apply it…