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Are there auctioneers with college degrees? Not a degree in auctioneering, but some other discipline? We previously wrote about “auctioneering” being one of the strangest college degrees: https://mikebrandlyauctioneer.wordpress.com/2015/08/07/1-of-the-20-strangest-college-degrees-is-auctioneering/.

Current information suggests about one-half of all practicing auctioneers have some sort of college degree — associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and/or doctorate. The reason for that is likely most auctioneers weren’t set on being auctioneers until after college.

Further, some people work as an auctioneer part-time and work otherwise in some occupation and/or don’t plan on working as an auctioneer forever and look forward to some other employment. Or, in some cases, people simply have an interest in some other discipline and pursue it.

Personally, as I travel the United States meeting many auctioneers, I find college-educated auctioneers possibly more well-rounded — educated — because they are. I however do not find any correlation between success in the auction business and college education.

The college-experience is for many the best time of anyone’s life. Besides for most the first time away from home, college can expose one to new cultures, languages, customs, ethnicities … as well as educate in some sort of focus like business, engineering, accounting or a myriad of other choices.

For that matter, auctioneering is becoming more complex for the auctioneer — with data concerns, software challenges, contracts, terms and conditions, marketing, payment methods, globalization — the list goes on. With training secured in a college environment, these issues become more easily analyzed.

We have found in many so-called “college towns” that there is a loyalty to graduates of the local college within the area business environment. An attorney once remarked to me, “I feel good hiring a fellow Buckeye.” We still work together today. College can provide a good basis for networking with other professionals.

There are frequent arguments about “trade schools” being better education than college. While trade schools are really good at teaching a specific trade, they are not known for widening the understanding of their students, nor exposing them to a more diverse education.

For auctioneers who work in real property, many states require some sort of college education to secure a broker’s and/or appraiser’s license. It’s not inconceivable that someday, in some states, a college degree will be necessary to be a licensed auctioneer. It would seem a college degree of any sort wouldn’t be detrimental.

As Albert Einstein said, “Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of minds to think.” Anytime an auctioneer can be trained to [better] think, he or she’s going to be a much better auctioneer.

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, CAS, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, RES Auction Services, and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School, and an Instructor at the National Auctioneers Association’s Designation Academy and Western College of Auctioneering. He is faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University and is approved by The Supreme Court of Ohio for attorney education.