A Coming Disruption in Education

From “The Futurist” blog comes a provocative essay on the future of education entitled “The Education Disruption: 2015“. (via Xenosystems)

It is worth reading the entire essay, although I have excerpted some of the parts that I feel especially important.

This recent essay is written by the same author as “The Misandry Bubble,” which we at Al Fin consider to be one of the best descriptions of the problem of widespread legalised institutional misandry in existence.

The Education Disruption: 2015 —

Graduates often have as much as $200,000 in debt, yet have difficulty finding jobs that pay more than $50,000 a year. Student loan debt has tripled in a decade, even while many universities now see no problem in departing from their primary mission of education, and have drifted into a priority of ideological brainwashing and factories of propaganda. Combine all these factors, and you have a generation of young people who may have student debt larger than the mortgage on a median American house (meaning they will not be the first-time home purchasers that the housing market depends on to survive), while having their head filled with indoctrination that carries zero or even negative value in the private sector workforce.

Employers want skills, rather than credentials. There may have been a time when a credential had a tight correlation with a skillset that an employer sought in a new hire, but that has weakened over time, given the dynamic nature of most jobs, and the dilution of rigor in attaining the credential that most degrees have become. Furthermore, technology makes many skillsets obsolete, while creating openings for new ones. With the exception of those with highly specialized advanced degrees, very few people over the age of 30 today, can say that the demands of their current job have much relevance to what they learned in college, or even what computing, productivity, and research tools they may have used in college. Furthermore, anyone who has worked at a corporation for a decade or more is almost certainly doing a very different job than the one they were doing when they were first hired.

Hence, the superstar of the modern age is not the person with the best degree, but rather the person who acquires the most new skills with the greatest alacrity, and the person with the most adaptable skillset.

… The profession that is the most widespread, most dynamic, most durable, and has created the greatest wealth, is one that universities almost never do a good job of teaching or even discussing : that of entrepreneurship. I have stated before that the ever-increasing variety of technological disruption means that the foremost career of the modern era is that of the serial entrepreneur. If universities are not the place where the foremost career can be learned, then how important are formal degrees from these universities?

… As The Economist has noted, MOOCs have not yet unleasted a ‘gale of Schumpeterian creative destruction’ onto universities. But this is still a conflation between the degree and the knowledge, particularly when the demands of the economy may shift many times during a person’s career. Udacity, Coursera, MITx, Khan Academy, and Udemy are just a few of the entities enabling low-cost education at all levels. Some are for-profit, some are non-profit. Some address higher education, and some address K-12 education. Some count as credit towards degrees, and some are not intended for degree-granting, but rather for remedial learning. But among all these websites, an innovative pupil can learn a variety of seemingly unrelated subjects and craft an interlocking, holistic education that is specific to his or her goals.

… When a status quo has existed for the entire adult lifetime of almost every American alive today, people fail to contemplate the peculiarity of spending as much as the cost of a house on a product of highly variable quality, very uncertain payoff, and very little independent auditing. The degree of outdatedness in the assumption that paying a huge price for a certain credential will lead to a certain career with a certain level of earnings means the edifice will topple far more quickly than many people are prepared for.

2015 is a year that will see the key components of this transformation fall into place. Some people will be enter the same career while spending $50,000 less on the requisite education, than they may have expected. Many colleges will shrink their enrollments or close their doors altogether. The light of accountability will be shone on the vast corruption and ideological extremism present in some of the most expensive institutions (Moody’s has already downgraded the outlook of the entire US higher education industry). But most importantly, the most valuable knowledge will become increasingly self-taught from content available to all, and the entire economy will begin the process of adjusting to this new reality. ___ http://www.singularity2050.com/2014/07/the-education-disruption-2015.html

Modern higher education is an abject disgrace in many western nations. Often the higher the rating of the university, the more disgraceful examples of fraud, corruption, and abuse there are to be found.

We can only hope that 2015 will be a year when this scandal will fully come to light, and workable alternatives will finally be developed and embraced.

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One Response to A Coming Disruption in Education

  1. Gerald says:

    The problem is that credentialism still seems to reign, and while MOOCs may supply the same or even better educations, they don’t supply the same credentials.

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