The Future of Education

Education


the-future-paul-valery-quote

Education is important.  Education is expensive.  While the importance of education remains steady, the cost of education continues to rise.

Cost of education can be broken down to two factors, time and money.  A typical college education requires four years of schooling to complete.  It is safe to assume that the average salary of an American worker is approximately $40,000 per year.  This means that in order for the average American to attain a four year degree, they must give up approximately $160,000 in possible wages.  Furthermore, they would be liable to pay for tuition, books, and other educational expenses. 

 Now let’s imagine education that is free and is accessible virtually anytime, anywhere.  Organizations have noted that some people may be eager to learn but classes don’t seem to fit with their work schedules.  They fixed this dilemma by creating convenient courses designed to cater to individual student needs.  For example, Khan Academy employs an adaptive math course.  The difficulty rises based upon progress within problem sets.  The user can work at their own pace and get to where they want to be in their own terms.  Khan Academy provides a neat map of skills and challenges that the user can work towards.  The concept is innovative as the goal of the program is to cater the education to the user, versus having the user catering to the education.  Time usually spent in class can be delegated to maintaining a full time job.  Theoretically, the student won’t miss out on the $160,000 of wages.  The best part, however, is the fact that Khan Academy is nonprofit and is 100% free. 

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                “Once someone earns a degree, education is no longer important.” 

That statement is wrong on a few different levels.  Most degrees require certain courses in various fields of study.  As an Economics major, I have yet to use any of the knowledge from my courses.  To land a nice position within a Fortune 500 company, having a degree does not automatically satisfy the company’s needs.  After conducting employment searches on different job boards, I have concluded that learning how to use software that companies utilize will enhance your chance of attaining a position.  The ability to manipulate SQL server appeared to be an attractive skill.  Unfortunately, throughout my four years of college, I did not learn how to use SQL server.  Good thing is that online academies such as Udemy may have a solution.  Udemy offers courses that range in a huge array of topics.  With my job search requiring knowledge of SQL server, I can learn the software as well as any other topics necessary to get the position I want.

                “Once someone gets their dream job, life is set.”

That statement is not quite true either.  With technology getting more advanced, it is important to be able to adapt.  We can all agree that the IPhone 4 is outdated.  The release of the IPhone 5 resulted in a mass switch from the previous generation.  The previous version becomes obsolete and ends up as someone’s paperweight.  Inside the ever changing workplace, the same concept applies to a certain extent.  The requirements within companies change according to their respective needs.  In order to stay relevant, the employee must continually learn new concepts.  Udemy can be the source of knowledge for working professionals to ensure that they don’t get a rude awakening from their “dream job”.

 The best education comes from world class Universities with industry leading professors.  It may be difficult for someone attending Harvard to get education from a leading professor at Stanford.  It is even more difficult to even get accepted to Harvard or Stanford.  The best kept secret in education may be Academic Earth.  Academic Earth enables a student to learn from the cream of the crop in Universities.  Skeptics may devalue online education by considering the courses inferior to live in class lectures.  With the top scholars from top universities teaching, it is hard to not consider the education world class.  It also doesn’t limit a student’s education to only one university.  Quite an impressive feat if you can tell someone that you studied law at Harvard.

Take a course on evolution from Udemy and you will learn how humans evolved and adapted to survive.   Learn to adapt by getting proper education and make no excuses.  Whether your excuse involves time, money, or quality, organizations such as Khan Academy or Academic Earth may have just the right education for you.

 

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