I don't think it's so much that one needs college to do these jobs. I think it's that college creep--the absolute expectation that everyone go to collegeómeans that sometimes the people who have only HS degrees are less competent now than HS grads 30 years ago. Then there were plenty of smart, competent people who didn't go on to college; now there are far fewer smart, competent people who give it a miss.
Absolutely. Both my grandmothers only had GEDs or h.s. diplomas but were very smart women. They both were well read, went to concerts, theatre, one liked classical music, took piano and voice lessons, etc. Books that they read for pleasure are what senior English majors in college whine about being too hard.
I also have worked as an assistant in the private sector and basically the assistant is the one holding down the fort. Many of these executives really depend on their assistants to handle EVERYTHING--travel, schedules, expense reports, presentations, etc. The assistant really needs to be on top of it all--one mistake could mess up a deal with a client or a potential client. I had no knowledge of the financial business and couldn't even read my TIAA-CREF before I left academia, but after just 4 months working as an assistant for a high net worth division, I could speak their language. It was an amazing learning experience. Some of the other assistants were college grads (probably 75%) and some of them working on their MBAs. And the company PAID for their education.That may be less of the case nowadays--this was in the 1990s.
I have to make a disclaimer--I did have some good students this past year, but honestly a good number of them I would not want being my assistant if I were hiring--they can't even get their school work in on time. How would they be able to manage all the details for 1 or more executives?