I’ve been called names, but until recently “autodidact” wasn’t one of them.
I’ve spent my life learning using a combination of technical and trade schools, combined with self-study. In a culture which places a high value on credentials, I have sometimes felt my self-taught path might have been out-of-place, or that I would be perceived as a sort of nonconformist.
In truth, my personal responsibility to family situations made it impractical to pursue a college degree – but not further education. I make no apologies for having credentials “outside” the mainstream of education.
It is true that this has presented difficulties in the job market at times, and I have even had more than one individual engage in personally berating me for not having a degree. Yet my unique, personal design of who I am has two foundations: those of “persister” and “achiever.” My life has proven out that these qualities have served me well, that I have something singular to offer both friends, colleagues, and employers, and that I have full self-esteem regarding my educational choices.