Study to Test vs. Study to Apply w/ Eric Kaiser
My buddy Eric Kaiser from the ETS Group comes on to discuss a common problem we see in both students and techs as they study. We talk about issues with how they think about the trade and how to progress in it.
Eric noticed that people who take classes or plan to get certified tend to study just for the end test. The tests may be industry-standard, but the students and technicians don't learn to apply their knowledge; they merely learn with the goal of passing the test.
Many technicians look for courses to complete. Instead of absorbing information from articles and videos, people want their knowledge to be verified. As a society, we put so much value on completing academic programs. The truth is that learning is continuous; you don't suddenly need to stop learning once you complete a course, obtain certification, or pass a test. For schooling and study practices to be truly effective, the student or technician needs to have a mindset focused on applicable skills.
In hiring, we should focus on the applicability of an applicant's skills. Instead of using a written test or relying on a resume, a physical assessment would be a much more useful hiring tool for HVAC/R job interviews. HVAC/R jobs have significantly more difficult physical “tests” than a mere certification exam: work ethic, working under pressure, solving problems, and applying best practices. Studying for an institutional test won't help technicians or students who want to get into the field.
Eric and Bryan also discuss:
- Eating healthy on the job
- Certification tests
- Interest-driven homeschooling vs. test-driven public schooling
- Test-taking talent vs. applicable skills
- Communication and customer service skills
- Purging hoses and other best practices
- Society's overemphasis on degrees and certificates
- Benefits of traditional testing
- Willingness to learn
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