Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The Kind of Education that will Get a Job in the Information Age

As I have been repeatedly saying, the information change will radically change the way we do things. This will partly include the nature of digital economy businesses which will be reflected on jobs, as well as, many aspects of the employee-employer relationship such as recruitment.

Andrew Coulson of the Cato Institute has this insightful piece of advice for job seekers.

First is to give less importance to college

So many college degrees today are intrinsically worthless that it should really not be possible to find people willing to pay for them

[Edited to add: In the US 1 out of 2 college graduates have been unemployed. In the Philippines 2 out of 5 graduates have been unemployed.]

Next is to build relevant skills through self-learning by using the web. (bold emphasis)

So what’s the alternative if you’re a high school senior seeking higher education? How about this: instead of handing control over that education to someone else, decide what it is you would like to learn over those four years and then… learn it. Thanks to the Web, the material covered in virtually every undergraduate program is readily available at little cost—and the same is true for many advanced programs. And, having learned it, spend a few hundred dollars to create a website or even simply a YouTube channel on which you demonstrate your new skills/understanding. Conduct research. Write it up. Build something. Translate Cyrano into English, maintaining the Alexandrine meter and rhyme. Whatever it is. Then, when you’re ready to apply for work, submit your resume with a link to this portfolio of relevant work.

Employers, ask yourself this question: Would you rather hire someone with a portfolio such as the one described above, visibly demonstrating competency and personal initiative, or someone with a degree that is generally supposed to signal that competency, but that you can’t readily assess for yourself?

My blog is a testament of self-learning acquired through the web. But I am self-employed.

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