What is the value of professional credentialism?
Ben Casnocha has a worthwhile reflection on credentialism. Referencing an older Jim Fallows article, the puzzle is this:
Would the very best people working in the profession today obtain the highest possible scores on the license test? In the case of air traffic controllers and therapists, the answer is no. I bet the answer is no for lawyers, businesspeople, and real estate agents, too.
I think truest argument for lengthy credentialing processes (in an age where the actual information is freely available) is that the process artificially limits entrants into certain professions. I feel like the common wisdom is that this guild-like process is bad, but I’m not so sure. If standards were decreased, fields like law, academia, and others might well collapse under a flood of entrants. Credentialism may not be perfect or justifiable from a skills-building perspective, but the relevant question may be whether we’re better off if a given profession is arbitrarily gated or if it ceased to exist at all.