Thursday, December 13, 2012

Is College Really Worth It?

Long time readers of this blog know that I’ve been wrestling with the idea that college is the sacrosanct ticket to middle-class success that it has been in the past.

This stems from my beliefs around the fundamentally changing nature of work, the skills required for economic success in a flat/globalized/connected world, and the rising costs/debt challenge associated with technology.

Along these lines are two fascinating articles, one by one of my favorite thinkers about the Internet, Clay Shirky, where he uses the Recording industry as the example of how Education could be overhauled. The real kicker isn’t even about that, it’s about how most of us don’t see the big changes that are coming until it’s too late.

I think this may be one of them.

Then, is a 2nd article from the New York Times about, at least on the cutting-edge, in some circles, not going to college is viewed as a positive thing.

As a note, I enrolled in Sebastian Thrun’s class (described in Shirky’s article) and though I didn’t complete it, I saw the power and potential in it.

I also have a recording of Thiel’s 20 under 20 on my DVR which I haven’t watched yet, but will soon.

It’s going to be tough for many of us (myself included) to arrive at the conclusion that the model of college (not higher education, mind you) might be outdated, but if the changes wrought by the Internet are as big as I think they will be (and I think we are only at the beginning), we may have to do just that.

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