Re: Continuing education
Great article, that means different things to different people. With respect to computer technicians, not programmers, it's only partially relevant.
If you look for a computer tech job on craigslist, you'll see a number of employers who are offering $10-$12/hour for a temp hire tech support job. Why would the best and the brightest want to work in a field that pays that kind of money?
My first computer job was in 1983, and in all of the computer tech jobs I've had since then, not one single employer ever offered to send me to any kind of tech school. There were a couple of opportunities for minimal education reimbursement, if you took the courses outside of work, on your own time.
Compare that with a non-IT tech support job I once had, where the employer paid my salary, for six weeks of full time out-of-state training, on the products that they sold and supported. The IT industry reaps what it sows.
I don't agree with the assumption that troubleshooting skills can be taught in college. I've had literally tens of thousands of tech support interactions; most people simply aren't wired for troubleshooting. Surely you've heard of right-brain left-brain? If I wanted to hire a programmer, I'd be looking at their math skills first, not for a degree in philosophy. It's rather absurd to think that pontification from a podium is going to teach you how to troubleshoot. You either have the innate ability and interest, or you don't. Creative types usually do not.
Lastly, the IT industry isn't entirely ignoring ongoing education. CompTIA gave me an A+ for life, but then turned around and created another level of A+, that involves ongoing education. Government contractors won't take my A+ any longer, I have to re-take the entire A+ test again. CompTIA no longer offers any lifetime certs.
Tech support certs don't teach you troubleshooting per se, but since you must know the basics before you can even attempt to troubleshoot, they serve a valuable purpose.