Education Systems – Time For Evolution
A few days ago, all the eyebrows in the room arched up when somebody read aloud “Google, Apple ditch college degree requirement”. When asked about this, a few technology students from one of the best institutions in the US answered: “college education is overrated”. Hmm.
This got me thinking about the hiring decisions I have made in the past, and I realized we didn’t always give weight to the level of formal education.
When Google says they will hire people who have attended a coding boot camp, no degree necessary, they are looking for mechanical coders, right? Maybe, in a few years, an AI robot will attend a boot camp and get hired – Coding Robots as a Service.
Then what value does a formally educated human brain add to the organization?
Degrees give you the all-round perspective of the field you study. One specializes in the selected domain and builds a good understanding of the supporting activities, which can be developed further on the job. Traditionally, degrees have helped set up an individual for a successful career, which can mean climbing up the corporate ladder or being a successful entrepreneur, and have always complemented organizational growth.
I like the way Sugata Mitra – professor of education technology at Newcastle University, England and author of ‘Beyond the Hole in the Wall’, puts it – “It’s quite fashionable to say that the education system is broken – it’s not broken, it’s wonderfully constructed. It’s just that we don’t need it anymore. It’s outdated.”
It is time for the education system to evolve, and at a faster pace. The demands of the market are changing with the speed of innovation in the tech industry and the education industry (it is an industry) needs to catch up soon. Maybe adding shorter duration degrees or including social skills in boot camps, which come in handy for understanding the user perspective. Another important factor industry needs to address is the development of social or interpersonal skills, a mandatory fitness training every year which can help the aspirants in maintaining the healthy mind and body that will, in turn, help fight the growing proportion of illnesses – mental and physical, in society.