Rapidly acquiring a skill or knowledge requires a significant amount of autonomy to determine your own learning objectives and choosing paths towards those objectives. Credentialing, with its stringent curriculums and requirements, is easily antithetical to rapid learning. One-size-fits-all learning programs that make meeting requirements the most important goal could force one to spend more time on the wrong things (like areas where one is already significantly proficient) especially passive learning rather than deliberately practicing your skill or using knowledge in a context of use.


Kaufman, J. (2013). The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything…Fast! Portfolio.

Creativity, flexibility, and freedom to experiment—the essential elements of rapid skill acquisition—are antithetical to the credentialing process. If the standards are too flexible, they’re not really standards, are they?

Unfortunately, rigorous education and credentialing can actively prevent skill acquisition. The primary problem is opportunity cost: if the requirements to obtain the credential are so intense that they impair your ability to spend time practicing the skills in question, credentialing programs can do more harm than good.

most of the effort of obtaining a credential is devoted to the process of meeting the requirements. Whether or not those requirements actually help you acquire the skills you need to perform in the real world is a tertiary concern at best.