August 26, 2013

Dale J Stephens - Education's Skills Asymmetry, Ctd


Dale J Stephens explained his position on university and the 'Skills Asymmetry' problem:
"That is a notion that is put into our brains from a very young age. The notion that if you want to be a happy, productive person and want to contribute to society, you have to have a college degree. And the fact is college isn't actually training individuals with the skills the job market actually needs.  
In the US for example, there are about the same number of jobs in 2008 before the recession. But they're taking twice as long to fill. Because the graduates don't have the training to meet the needs of the job market."  
Dale was then asked: What skills does the job market want?
"The market wants self-direction, creativity and people who a life-long-learners, able to adapt, able to be flexible. Those aren't things you learn in a traditional college degree or in any school for that matter. What you learn in school is how to memorise facts, follow instructions, meet deadlines. Those skills are very important but they are not unique, everybody has them."
 Dale was then asked: Do 19 year olds know what they want to do?
"No I doubt it. And that's why they go to college (the "holding pen" idea). Going to college and investing lots of time and money when you don't know what to do isn't the best use of your time."
Dale then made another very important contribution to the debate, saying:
"Failure is one of the greatest learning processes we have."



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