Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Education is a Mind-Set: Is College Over?

From a NYTimes piece, Saying No to College:
So in the spring of 2010, Mr. Goering took the same leap as Mr. Zuckerberg: he dropped out of college and moved to San Francisco to make his mark. He got a job as a software engineer at a social-software company, Livefyre, run by a college dropout, where the chief technology officer at the time and a lead engineer were also dropouts. None were sheepish about their lack of a diploma. Rather, they were proud of their real-life lessons on the job.

“Education isn’t a four-year program,” Mr. Goering said. “It’s a mind-set.”

The idea that a college diploma is an all-but-mandatory ticket to a successful career is showing fissures. Feeling squeezed by a sagging job market and mounting student debt, a groundswell of university-age heretics are pledging allegiance to new groups like UnCollege, dedicated to “hacking” higher education. Inspired by billionaire role models, and empowered by online college courses, they consider themselves a D.I.Y. vanguard, committed to changing the perception of dropping out from a personal failure to a sensible option, at least for a certain breed of risk-embracing maverick.
How long can college last if the best and the brightest walk away from it?


  1. The billionaire tech drop out is a rare reality. It would be like planning ones life around being a major league sports player.

    Secondary education just has too long a history of raising living standards for me to abandon the idea to the first generation college students I teach.

    1. Fair enough. When thinking about education I get stuck between what I'd like to see, which is quite different from what we've got, and what are feasible next steps from where we are now.