Friday, June 10, 2011

Stopping Out or Opting Out of College May Be the Key to A Successful Future

Peter Thiel's 20 under 20 program has ruffled a lot of feathers with the 21st century "College for All" mantra.  Thiel is paying 20 entrepreneurs who are under 20 100k to pursue their passions.  From the reaction of some, you woulda thought he told a world, that believes there's no life without college, that there is no Santa Claus.  The reality is that if someone is paying you 100k to invest in yourself, rather than charging you to do so, it's a no brainer.

Part of Thiel's case is that colleges aren't keeping pace with the demands of society.  I have first hand experience in that area.  Back when I was working as a library media specialist I was advised to go to library school.  I looked at the outdated curriculum and knew there was nothing such a program had to offer me.  I had far surpassed the clunky and outdated masters degree.  That was more than a decade ago and my colleague Deven Black who blogs at Education on a Plate has faced the same destiny.  He is putting in his time, taking classes required to keep his job, but is still waiting to learn something he didn't already know.


I am friendly these days with a College senior marketing major who said that after four years at Baruch, not only was he not taught to market himself, there was absolutely no focus on social media marketing.  The sad reality is that in this 21st century, fast-paced world where knowledge is there for the taking, like the Emperor, for many, college today has no clothes when it comes to those who know the learning they want to pursue. 

This CNN video featuring Peter Thiel shares some reasons why high school grads may want to think twice before working toward joining the ranks of Generation Debt.
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