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What is the Value of an Education?

Posted on Jul 6, 2013 by in Core Values, Leadership, Life Lessons, Mentoring | 0 comments

One of my favorite quotes of all time “an education is what you have left after you get the piece of paper”! The Core Values say to Learn Constantly.  I truly believe in and advocate for continuous learning.  The world changes so fast that the value of a “static formal education” is decreasing.  In many instances by the time you graduate with a 4 year degree the world has changed.  Just think about what the world looked like 4-5 years ago.  The iPhone and i-Thingy revolution started in 2007 in earnest with the release of the first generation Apple smart phone.  In 2008 Facebook had 100 million members (impressive yes) but today they have over 1 billion.  Yes, that’s 900 million people since you started your degree program and graduated.

Should we be rethinking education – today built around static programs – towards a culture of “learning to learn” and “learning constantly”.

Unemployment by Education

Education in its simplest form is how we as a society transfer knowledge, skills, and habits from one generation to the next.  If this is the goal, isn’t it safe to say that how we educate should evolve with the times – from one generation to the next.  Our hyper-connected reality has forever changed how individuals experience the world – and experiences (both good and bad) effect the way someone thinks, feels, or acts.

So let’s explore a little of how education is changing:

– My alma mater – Georgia Institute of Technology – has announced an Online Masters in Computer Science.

Treehouse has launched to fundamentally change how individuals learn computer programming.  They have 38,000 students.

The Raspberry Pi (single mother board) low cost computer – is the beginning of – every student connected.

Students in Manhattan are skyping with nonprofits to learn about Elephants.

This last article that was published on Pando Daily closed by saying, “We’re giving young people an opportunity to do things that I think many academics used to believe was part of the gentlemen’s club,” Plotnik says. “You couldn’t be an author on a paper unless you had a PhD. And that’s changing.”  Yes, the entire educational world in changing.  Atlanta-based ExceleGrade is looking to use technology to enable teachers, parents, and students to learn a different way – everyone should take a look at them.  I was the first person in my family to graduate from college – and I made it all the way to the 18th grade – but – the world is changing and we should all open our eyes to how technology represents the potential to finally allow every person to “learn to learn” and “learn constantly”.

So, what is the value of an education?  Take a look at the unemployment figures related to educational level.  We must work hard to leverage technology and make education more affordable, more accessible, and more relevant – our future depends on it.

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