We read, listen to, see and observe and through these means acquire knowledge, then use that knowledge to decipher , to grasp and to understand individuals, issues, ideas etc.
Then we apply that understanding based on circumstances, contexts and resources to make choices and decisions. This may lead to some experience, sometimes enable us to achieve something and at times may lead to success as well.
Whether we get it through academic credentials or qualifications or other means of human intelligence is debatable.
Real learning may happen sometime in the whole process.
Academic credentials or qualifications are an attempt to provide some basic framework. We can neither dismiss them as totally useless nor glorify them as the best thing a person can have.
Talent, achievements and success are sometimes because of them and at times in spite of them. So, this gives us room for interpreting them according to our bias.