The Degree (sigh)

I try really hard to avoid all of the identity crisis shenanigans that librarians love to engage in. Questions like "why don't people think we're important?" or "can you believe nobody knows you have to have a degree to be a librarian?" so just really not interesting to me. I think we all in library land (and, like, in the entire world) have better things to talk about. 

But the topic of The Degree has recently been chapping my hide. Looking through position descriptions that have come across my screen lately, I can't help but notice the number of job searches for unicorns seems to be on the rise (though i could be imagining it). Organizations are looking for people to do things like in depth analytics or assist with research data management and expecting candidates to have extensive experience in the area of focus (analytics or data management), a degree in a relevant field (e.g. statistics, 'science'), and a Library Degree. I mean, do you even want to get applicants? Do you want to fill the position?

How about this - and bear with me hear because a lot of people don't like to hear this stuff - why not just hire someone without The Degree to do work that they are better suited to do? How many Library Land Programs are offering meaningful analytics and data management courses and/or experiences? And by meaningful I don't mean learning how to calculate an H-Index, I mean courses in statistics, embedded experience in the research process (of actual researchers), or experience with analytical tools (and I don't mean Excel)?

Do I mean having The Degree prevents you from being able to do this work? Or that The Degree or Degree Programs are 'bad' in some way? No. I mean that if we want to hire quality people into our organizations to do things that having The Degree doesn't help them to do, maybe we should just, you know, do that. 

I could go on all day about this, but I'll stop now.