May 4, 2012

The Knowledge Economy: Rethinking Higher Education

This week, we are discussing the entity of Higher Education. The costs, the curriculum, the desired outcomes, and the alternatives.

The moral of this week's story is that we are getting closer to the point where the self-determined individual can receive a world-class education, for free, online, from the comfort of their home/hut.

So, what does that mean for us as Americans? It means our head-start is over. Because currently, our wealth affords some us us the exclusive luxury of going on to these higher levels of education. And therefore, we're getting the higher-paid strategic jobs and outsourcing the manufacturing/labor overseas.

But, what if our respective levels of education are no longer unique?

What if 1 billion 22+ year olds soon have the equivalent of a highly advanced undergraduate education?

Then, what does your differentiation become? Who gets the great jobs? The Masters degrees? The PhDs?

Or the innately creative?

If I can train a bright 16-year old to take over a large portion of your current 8-hour work day, you're not going to have that job 10 years from now.

Everything's changing for the better. Everyone's getting smarter for free.

And it's going to be awesome.

In the future, the losers will not be the poor, but the apathetic.