The College Degree Scott Walker Doesn't Have Is A Sticking Point For Critics, But It Shouldn't Be

Does the president of the United States need a college degree? As Wisconsin governor Scott Walker weighs a run for the White House, some people seem to think so. Walker left Marquette University during his senior year with only one semester remaining. He took a job with the American Red Cross, slowing paving his way toward a run for public office. But not everyone is confident with his experience. This week, Howard Dean, the former Chair of the Democratic National Committee accused the governor of being "unknowledgeable."

During an interview with MSNBC's Morning Joe, Dean said:

I think most Americans want a president who knows what is happening in the world. But a college degree isn't necessarily indicative of that. And life experience can be just as valuable. After all, Walker is a governor. He's already made it high in the ranks, and did, after all, attend college for three and a half semesters. A diploma would be nothing more than an unnecessary formality to legitimize a possible campaign to critics.

It's not as though the governor doesn't value a formal college education, regarding his interest in going back to school, Walker said to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

He's even considered finishing his degree through online courses.

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America has had 44 presidents and 11 did not obtain a college degree. The ranks include: George Washington, Andrew Jackson, Abraham Lincoln, and Harry Truman. H.W. Brands, a presidential historian at the University of Texas, said to The Washington Post:

But should this really be the convention? Should a Walker presidential campaign be discredited by his choice to leave school? No. He has a wealth of professional and life experience. Steve Jobs didn't need a college degree to found Apple, nor did Bill Gates for Microsoft. But neither of those men ran for president, or had their fate decided by the American electorate (40 percent have a college diploma). University degrees have created a sort of class system in America — the divide between the formally educated and the not.

An education is not just a piece of paper, but it is learned through leadership, strife, and personal experience, which certainly is the education of Scott Walker.

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