Re: Experience conundrum
If you're an external candidate, sure, these classes might not bolster your credentials-- though I doubt they'd hurt in most cases. But if you're an internal candidate or someone else already known to people relevant to hiring for the position, I think these classes could be helpful. I've heard of people who, as Laurie alluded, wound up on big data teams simply by having a unique combination of traits. I know a few people at big companies in very technical roles who majored in English and History, and who didn't have much tech experience before they stepped into these roles. But with some self-teaching and the right kind of personality, they were able to succeed. So while I get your point on the whole, I think the classes are still a worthwhile resource. Different tools for different needs.