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Thread: College is becoming Obsolete

  1. #1
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    College is becoming Obsolete

    Colleges have evolved in the wrong way for most(not all) in this modern world where many of the skills taught go obsolete, many even before the completion of a four year degree that in many cases takes much longer and requires many courses that are basically fluff for a system that is obsolete and no longer exists. It's way past time to use our resources efficiently and effectively. For the vast majority, there are better ways. The excess cost and time of college in an ever more rapidly changing world, raises serious questions about the motivations and morals of the current system. Education will go to a subscription basis and already effectively has for many. We need a new system that doesn't burden our future in wasted time and massive compounding debt that benefits a system that represents itself, more than the customer and education public or private is a business. Many parents say "Learn all you can they can't take it away from you". They can't take it away from you, but they can make it obsolete and useless. We should focus on the learning process and use it strategically in this fast moving world. Salesforce recognizes this with the "Trailhead" program.

    Creativity and managing AI/ML are the skill sets of the future for any mechanical or basic skill a human will find their options more limited by the month as AI/ML mature. If you think you can out work a machine, try outrunning you car.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/markhall/2017/10/27/three-silicon-valley-companies-bridging-the-gap-between-education-and-workplace-readiness

    Demanding a Bachelor’s Degree for a Middle-Skill Job Is Just Plain Dumb - Bloomberg

    Also, a lot of colleges will be going broke

    HBS professor: Half of US colleges will be bankrupt in 10 to 15 years

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    Last edited by Arthur Hanson; 3 Days Ago at 06:59 PM.
     

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    This depends what you want from college. Many courses have been becoming more and more about "learning for a specific line of work", which as you point out is self-defeating. It also does not suit the other needs of the individual or of society.
    To be fair, most universities have tried to resist this process, but have been forced into it by short-sighted "end-customer" demand.

    Time for a reversal into developing understanding above technique?

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    Tuitions should start coming down. Especially if many professions are being robotized.

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    Salesforce is a leader with the Trailhead program being a great example of how a company helps people and works around a failing education system that largely represents itself at the expense of the ecosystem around it, from taxpayers to students to companies.

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    If you are talking about a straight 4 year college teaching old standard courses, I might agree, but even then, where will the basics from the first two years of a BS in engineering get taught? I like work-study programs where students take an extra year, but get 18 months of experience in industry. And they earn enough to pay for the last two years of college. The basics may need revision and need to include more coding. I think we need to fix the programs, not try to start over.

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    Our current system is beyond repair and obsolete in too many ways to count and run for the benefit of too many special interests. Whole new structures are already being developed and if the US is to lead, creativity in education and training will be key. Creativity and totally outside the box thinking is a US strong point and we should embrace it while we a still ahead.

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    I agree the current system is broken, but I would hate to see it obsoleted. College provides more than professional training, it provides rounding, networking, principles, a belief that you can do more, ... Not saying that wouldn't be good to add to new models too (in which case I might not be so upset about colleges disappearing).

    What I see broken about US colleges (from a European perspective) is partly that sports have an outsized influence on what is supposed to be an academic institution. Now even top-flight academics are bought like sports stars. All of which has turned colleges into businesses rather than centers of academic excellence. The business imperative has overtaken the original goal. I'm a firm believer in capitalism, but in some contexts it's just the wrong model. European universities aren't as massively broken as US universities, in my view for this reason.

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    The bottom line is technology has changed everything, business, social, economic and political structures and most educational structures live in the past and haven't kept up. They are far to costly, time consuming and as a result, not keeping up. In the near future, much of the knowledge will have to be automated for there is just to much to keep up with and lifetime subscriptions that keep up will have to become the norm. We will have to accept we can't learn it all as in the past and have to accept and trust automation to do a large part or our thinking, with the user managing it. The skill sets of the future will mostly be managing AI/ML in your field that is built by educational institutions and private companies. The amount of even basics to be learned is increasing to the point we have to leave even much of the "Basics" to automation.

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    I agree with George Storm: Whether or not college is obsolete depends on the expectation of what a college education should be. If the goal of a college education is to produce graduates who can immediately use "current tools and current technology", then perhaps traditional colleges are obsolete. This function used to be performed by technical schools or Vo-Tech programs, and here I am not denigrating V-Tech schools as they perform a valuable function. Once, a university education was expected to produce more rounded individuals, with courses from business and humanities included with the technical subjects. The technical subjects covered more theory than current technology. This background allowed me to have a 40+ year career developing analog and digital products. Understand that none of the technologies that formed the basis of the products that I developed existed when I graduated. The education that I received, however allowed me to understand those new technologies as they came on-line.

    The real question, as George posed it is "what do we as a society expect of a college education?"

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    The problem being ignored in replies is that even the amount of knowledge in the basics has increased geometrically and soon to be exponentially. We must learn to trust programs that handle the vastly increasing knowledge and application of even the basics, let alone advanced specialized applications of knowledge and information. The future will be learning to work with and guide an advanced AI/ML program in your field and even this will take time and change continuously. This will require either a corporate or personal subscription to keep up and as things advance, choices will have to be made even here as every field becomes more complex, broad and deeper literally every week. Modern computational power, memory and communications for collaboration have changed the very foundation of working and most colleges/universities are far behind in applying the economically time wise and financially.

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