Ever wondered why #IBM, Bank of America, #Netflix, Apple, #Google et cetera, scrapped off the requirement of a college degree to qualify for employment?
25 years ago, in 1995, if you were to assemble equipment that would give basic functionality of an outdated iPhone. You would need:
- All Weather Personal Stereo- $11.88
- AM/FM Clock Radio- $13.88
- In Ear Stereo Earphones- $9.88
- Tardy 1000 TL/3- $1,599
- VHS Camcorder- $799
- Mobile Cellular Phones- $199
- Mobile CB- $19.95
- Zomboplay Special Dial Phone- $29.95
- Deluxe Portable CD Player- $159.99
- IO Channel Desktop Scanner- $99.95
- Phone Answerer- $49.95
- Handheld Cassette Tape Recorder- $129.99
Total= $3,056.82 (In Today’s terms this would be approximately $5,200)
iPhone X, the latest series of Apple phones, costs about $1,050 and it offers multiple additional features besides the listed products with incomparable quality difference.
Here are my thoughts on how these companies that shape our present and build for the future scrapped off the requirement of a college degree to qualify for employment:
- Speed – This is every single college or university’s worse nightmare. Things are changing so fast and people are worried. Between Universities and Companies, who do you think finds out first, that things have changed? Is it the Universities or the companies?
Your guess is as good as mine. It is the companies that detect the change in trends, tasked to keep up to date with the changes and innovate in real time. So these companies are asking, ‘Why should we wait for them (Universities and colleges), to pivot to us yet we are the ones with borderline knowledge of change? In fact, schools often delay real time innovation. They can only accept as much as their systems and syllabus can accommodate, rather than what is actually needed. Anyone who went to school a decade ago wouldn’t find any much difference in the education system today. They only need a few days’ refresher courses and they will ace everything. Compare this with the level of technological advances over the past decade. See the difference? Schools cannot catch up with the speed that the current market place is going with. Hence Companies are increasingly finding them irrelevant.
- Memory is No longer needed – There used to be a time when everybody had a smart uncle, aunt, parent or relative who was perceived to have the knowledge about everything. Now we have Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant. These replaced all the people with great memory. They instantaneously give you all the knowledge you want; ranging from complicated multiple digit calculations to accurate historical events.
One doesn’t really need to spend endless hours in school to memorize such information since these tools make it available to us straightaway. All information is available at your disposal. Initially, you had to pay dearly to get just enough to make you go to the next level. Memorization is no longer that important.
- Computer Science Degree becomes Obsolete in 3 Years – Tech Gets Old Fast! No, I don’t mean like you’ll get sick of it fast! I mean, what you learn in first year of computer science degree will be, at least, partially outdated by year two, and might be completely obsolete by the time you graduate! That means that even with a CS degree, you can’t just say, “Well, got my degree, I guess I’m done.”
Staying up to date on new web standards, modern best practices, the latest frameworks and user experience improvements, and other changes in tech means you’re constantly learning. You don’t need a 4-year education to get started! Instead, you can learn the basics in just a few months, and start working in tech right away. You’ll learn the practical skills you actually need as you go (there’s no shame in Googling how to do the things you don’t know how to, (trust me, everyone from amateurs to seasoned pros do this sometimes), rather than learning a bunch of theoretical stuff you may not remember by the time you graduate.
Related to that, is the fact that things like coding, and to some extent even design, are becoming more automated all the time. Learning to use modern web development tools doesn’t require a computer science degree any more, because it’s not that complicated. Sure, knowing how to dive into code and figure out how to do things from scratch is valuable, and will make your life a whole lot easier in the long run. But you can also build a successful career in tech using frameworks, platforms, libraries, and other tools that do much of the heavy lifting for you.
- Lecturers need to go to school, not high school graduates – Most Lecturers who make decisions and ‘run things’ in the universities are outdated. We have professors who got their degree in 1988. Some of them even use the notes they took 31 years ago to teach their classes. The same curriculum is just passed over from one generation to the next, with minor adjustments. Most of them use exact test questions they asked in a test 20 years ago.
Let me simplify it for you. Someone in industry tells someone else to go and tell the government that time has changed, new curriculum is needed if they want to produce relevant graduates in their schools. The government makes proposals which take months to be approved. Then they start sourcing out funds to aid a group of people (‘Usually Same Outdated Lecturers’ that know ‘the right people’ in government), to sit for months and come up with a new curriculum. This curriculum is taken to Parliament and debated back and forth with non-experts in academics, who have a partisan approach towards matters presented to them. In their wisdom, or lack thereof, they alter it depending on selfish interest. Eventually, they approve it.
The government then starts convincing unions to approve of the curriculum. This may (in some circumstances), involve bribing a few people and making a few compromises before an agreement is reached. This whole process may take years. Lecturers are trained on the ‘new curriculum’ for months. Finally, this is rolled out in schools for teaching. By this time it may be at least 4 years later, by which time, it is already outdated. Despite their ‘new status’ the lecturers will still be outdated.
In the era of peak technological advancements, we are taught about digital media by lecturers who cannot even use a smartphone. T=Indeed, they cannot even be bothered to do any online courses on the subject. They dismiss this ‘millennial bubble’ craze. Yet we are spend millions, listening to them teach us about what they have not even come to terms with.
- Companies Train you on specialized skills in 3-6 Months Vs 4-5 Years at Universities – A friend of mine has an MFA. ‘MFA is like a PhD in Fine Arts,’ he told me. So I asked, ‘For the 7 years you spent to get this MFA, what did you remember learning that you use today?’ After humming and thinking for about 40 seconds he said, ‘Honestly I don’t know. But it was a good experience.’
These Companies don’t have time for such bland lessons. Things are moving quickly. They’ve discovered it is worthless for you to go and waste your initially highly receptive brain on years of ecstasy, drugs, partying, swiping left to aid your licentious living and a bit of reading. They would rather hire you, teach you specialized skills in 3-6 months and make you relevant to the times we are in. It saves you time, resources, makes you readily prepared for the constant changes in the world amongst other endless items on the list of benefits.
- Companies are starting their own Universities – There are multiple Online Universities that one can get as much as they want in two clicks. McDonalds has McDonald University. Guess who their professors are? Their employees. People who are at the forefront in the marketplace driving the changes we see daily, unlike most traditional universities that have professors who have decades of experience teaching something they cannot do. Going to a University at Apple, IBM, Google or IBM and being taught by people leading change, gives you an edge over all other Universities.
- Control the narrative – These companies are controlling the kind of ‘Brainwashing’ they want to see in their employees. Most schools first tell you that brainwashing is bad. Then they proceed to instil some values and traditions of the school in you. They tell you about Alumnis who went on to became the great and the good, in society and how you need to think, in order to emulate them. Students get brainwashed about how amazing the university is, they start walking around throwing the school’s name in every second sentence and proudly basking in the ‘rich history’ of success by their predecessors’. Mavi ya Kale, Hayanuki. (Overstayed Shit, doesn’t smell. – Swahili proverb)
Anyway, these companies are thinking, ‘ Wait a minute, if we are letting these kids be brainwashed by schools, why don’t we brainwash them with something that will make them relevant for our time? Tell them about how great a company we are. We are actually making an impact and we can make them part of it. We have shifted paradigms. We have made new products. We have created jobs even for the most unlikely candidates by allowing people to use their natural talents and abilities to thrive by simply being true to their core. We are changing the world.’
They brainwash them into seeing how great the company is and how relevant they fit in to the force driving the change. They are doing the exact things most Universities are doing worldwide. The only difference is that the Universities are using History to condition students to think in a certain way in order to change things they are not equipped for, while Companies are using real time impact to empower individuals and make them bring their uniqueness into the teams and lead change in a way that makes them serve the core of their humanity. I prefer being brainwashed as in the second instance. If I have no way but to go to hell, at least make me feel I truly belong there and that my gifts play a role in the atmosphere.
‘Youths are passed through schools that don’t teach anything real about life. They are forced to search for jobs that don’t exist. And left stranded in the streets to stare at the glamorous lives advertised around them that they cannot afford.’ From THE QUAGMIRE OF YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT. It is for these reasons that I believe, your degree is degraded, and your university is outdated. To read more posts by Danstan, click HERE