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Education and business success have had a very close link for many years. Even ten years ago it would have been unthinkable for most people to gain a successful career in technology without a degree, never mind the prospect of making it to the C-Suite. However, education, like anything in the world, is subject to change and evolution as we move forward in the modern information era. We chatted with Justin Cobb and asked whether traditional colleges have seen their day, and what comes next.
Education has always been one of the gatekeepers of success, with university graduates typically earning more, and gaining more upward mobility in the workplace. But we’re starting to see a trend away from this approach in the last while. Why is that?
For a start, the price of college is currently estimated to be increasing eight times faster than wages are increasing. With the average cost of attaining a degree in the US reaching over $100,000 and the average graduate salary only about half of that, student loan debt is now the largest non-housing debt sector in the country.
Couple the rising cost, and decreasing ROI, with the fact that more and more companies, including Google and Apple, are beginning to higher more employees without a degree, and colleges no longer seem like such an attractive option.
On top of this, the range of education and information out there on the internet is quickly surpassing what is available in a modern education institution. With a rise in websites offering free certifications and access to materials that would previously only be found in college lectures, is it time to start asking what benefit a college provides?
Twenty years ago, you would have had to be very lucky, or very well-connected, to get in a room with one of the world’s leading business minds and get access to their thoughts and ideas. Now you can listen to thousands of hours of interviews and podcasts with leading entrepreneurs and CEOs on the internet.
As we move into the age of information and communication, it becomes more important to evaluate the ways in which we live, work and grow as a society. It’s highly possible that in ten years we will look back at traditional universities the way we currently look back at filing cabinets or pagers. A remnant of the past; useful at the time but now superseded.