Marian Pierre Louis over at Marian's Roots and Rambles brought up a topic that has been on my mind for a very long time in her post "And So She Risks Everything By Being Completely Honest."
Marian was schmoozing with people in the audience before she gave a presentation on Deeds and Probates recently. As she is working her way around the room greeting the people who had come to the presentation, she came upon a couple of recent graduates of the Boston University Genealogical Certificate Program who questioned her qualifications to give the presentation.
Questioned her ability and knowledge BEFORE she even had a chance to give the presentation!
Well I have a couple of thoughts about this. But first I want to make very clear that I think the B.U. program is a top notch course that was developed and is taught by some of the very best in the field of genealogical and historical research. Earning the certificate takes work and dedication.
However, that certificate doesn't give them the authority to become the Qualification Police. Kudos to those who take the course and earn the certificate. But that is only one course.
I wonder how many times those recent grads have been to IGHR, SLIG or NIGR? Have they completed the NGS Home Study Course? Have they earned a BA from BYU or post-nomials from the completion of courses at the National Institute for Genealogical Studies? And while we are on the subject of post-nomials have they become a certified genealogist by BCG or an accredited genealogist from ICAPGEN?
On the other hand, there are a few genealogists out there who are just as (if not more than) qualified but their knowledge comes from many years of "on the job" experience. The kind you don't get from books or classrooms or doing research on the internet.
Marian is a much sought after speaker because she knows her stuff. Those recent grads with the bad manners have a bad case of foot-in-mouth disease I mean they obviously did not stop to think about who was sitting in the audience and who had been contracted to give the presentation before they opened their mouths.
Degrees and credentials don't mean a thing if you
don't have the experience to back it up.