The new education
Today the industry needs are changing faster than the ability of the education system to change. Therefore, it is more beneficial that students learn the needed skills on their own from other sources than the traditional education system. Having access to the Internet, students can learn a lot more on particular skills that are currently needed and be able to get a job than just waiting for the education system to change.
The best thing is most of the needed training are available online and it does not cost anything. Currently, universities around the world, including top schools like Harvard University, Oxford University, Princeton University, Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have launched hundreds of online courses over several platforms (i.e., Coursera, edX, etc.) called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). The vision is to provide the best education for people around the world at no cost to anyone who wants to learn can learn whatever they want. Currently, there are over 800 universities with over 10,000 online courses available and the list continues to grow every year. Most of the courses are self-paced and can take from three weeks to several months to complete.
Although most of the courses do not charge anything, if students want to receive a certificate after complete the course, they may have to pay about $50 to $100 dollars for grading their work and verify that they did pass the course. In my opinion, it is much cheaper than attending the class at the traditional university. For example, a year at Harvard University could cost over $60,000 dollars.
According to several colleagues who are teaching these courses, only 8% to 12% of students completed the course as most dropped out within a few weeks. A majority of students attended the course, listened to the lectures a few times, did not do the homework or submit any work then quit. My friends concluded that probably these people were curious than seriously wanted to learn. However, there are a few courses that have higher completion rate, especially courses that are in high demand by the industry, such as Computer programming, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence. Many students who completed these courses were able to get a good job at Technology companies such as Apple, Google, and IBM, etc.
Today, the advance of technologies is creating many new jobs at a pace too fast for universities to come up with degrees to match them. Many of these jobs require certain skills, many are NOT even taught in universities. For example, Cryptocurrencies course. This new technology did not even exist three years ago but this field suddenly emerged on the internet, and people with cryptocurrencies skills are in high demand today. My friend who teaches cryptocurrencies course explains that to understand this new field, students must have a strong foundation in three areas: economics, cryptography, and Computer science. He said: “New fields are continuing to be created and they often are a combination of several areas. Today computer science is the glue that combines many subjects together and creates unique fields that are not even being considered by most universities. The future will be a cross-discipline of several fields to create an innovative new field, and these new fields will disrupt many things, including traditional education.” He suggests that students must keep their options open, and learn as much as they can on these new online courses to pursue the new opportunity. Today and in the near future, students all over the world will have almost limitless options and more opportunities when they acquire their Education online.
- Blogs of Prof. John Vu, Carnegie Mellon University