Tag Archives: John Robb

Should I get an education or a degree? From John Robb

John Robb is one of the best thinkers on Resiliency – his blog on resiliency is here.

Here is a post today that sums up the preparation for the world that is emerging – the world of where you make your living yourself in a network – “The Maker Economy”

Should I get an education or a degree?

I’m often asked by young people either on the cusp or already in college:  should I get a degree?   What’s the resilient choice?

That’s a tough question.

In 2008 some economists demonstrated that a college degree was typically worth $300,000 over a lifetime of work.

Unfortunately, 2008 was a lifetime ago.  The big bureaucratic conveyor belt of industrial education that led to a lifetime of white collar employment is done.  Put a fork in it.

From now on, the majority of us will need to manufacture our own work.  Either by starting our own local businesses or showing sooo much excellence in an area of interest online, that other people can’t wait to work with us.

This gets us back to the original question:  should I get a degree?

My answer is that you should be asking yourself:  to really do what I am passionate about, should I get an education or a degree?

  • For the few that want (or can, given the competition for the few slots available) to serve in a bureaucratic capacity at some global company or institution, the answer is still a degree.
  • For those of us that want to start our own business, the answer often is:  I need an education.
  • For those of us that already have a degree, but want to move forward in a new direction:  I need an education.

If education is your answer, your future is looking bright.  Resilient Education is already here and it is getting better, broader, and richer fast.  Best of all, it’s inexpensive (and in most cases, free).

Where can I find it?  There are lots of efforts underway, but the best is Khan Academy.  Take a look at the course catalog.   It’s rich.  Amazing.  Many of the people I know are already using Khan Academy for all of their continuing education.

Thing is, if life without the protection of a degree sounds scary, then you aren’t resilient.

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