mr alex says...
Learn Whilst You Earn
University for Some
If you think that getting that University degree is the only road to success - think again! A Mentor will talk you through the many other options that young people have on their road to success.
Between 30% and 40% (depending on which country you are in) of university students never complete their degrees. The growth in the student population over the past 30 years has seen University education become a symbol of future success. Governments have supported this with easy loans and media extolling the virtues of gaining a degree. However, many young people are looking for alternative routes to success. They are re-thinking learning strategies to align with their future career prospects. Rather than borrowing $100,000 (over 20% of loans never get repaid) to get them into a well-paid job, many are turning to private enterprise to fund their need for qualifications.
To support this growing trend, private enterprises increasingly invest in education for their industry or individual businesses. The ever increasing need to better prepare young people for future changes in the world of work demands a different approach to what the current formal education systems can offer. Companies will no longer be queuing & waiting for the traditional education establishment to produce people with qualifications that are irrelevant to their needs. Today, businesses face new technology, changing markets, and a demand for a different type of worker who can help them be more innovative and faster than just a few years ago. New technology waits for nobody, extending by 5 or 10 years when they might become available. Getting involved in a race with competitors to select the best students is not good enough and often a waste of time and resources.
Instead, companies will partner with each other to invest in privately-funded education centres designed to offer students a faster, more appropriate education suited to the 21st Century with its robotics, local manufacturing, and quicker, better and more personalised services. On-the-job learning will become a vital part of a more business-orientated route to preparing young people for their lifetime of work. After all, we all spend more of our lives working than we do in education.
Universities will become less dominant as the chosen gateway to a successful career, and learning for a fixed-term period will become aligned with the needs of our future economies. Many young people are in their late 20s before they are 'qualified' to enter full-time work when they are at their healthiest and fittest. This also curtails the time individuals will pay tax during their lives when the percentage of those paying any income tax is falling, and Governments are creating more giant safety nets through their burgeoning welfare systems. If the next generation is to avoid old-age poverty, we must extend the number of years we pay tax and reduce the annual business and personal levels of taxation. More people paying tax for longer means the rest of us can pay less each year.
The other main issue is that having spent most of their lives in education, young people present themselves to their future employers knowing little or nothing about the business world they are about to enter. Having interviewed hundreds of academically well-qualified people in their late 20s for excellent and well-paid positions, I have been appalled by their lack of knowledge beyond waiting tables or using their smartphones with one hand.
One only has to look at Universities and Schools, the vast majority of which have under-utilised assets, for most available hours and abandoned at weekends - educators are among those working the shortest annual hours. There is no excuse for public or state-owned assets not to be used to their full extent, shareholders would soon revolt, whilst taxpayers seem unconcerned.
On the other hand, private enterprises regard their fixed assets as something they naturally want to get more from. Factories often work 24/7; Supermarkets are open more than they are closed. As private enterprise increasingly moves into the education space, we will see Universities and Schools become an asset to be fully utilised, rather than just another subsidised/underutilised asset.
Private enterprise can provide future employees with increased awareness of future work and opportunities whilst they learn. Encouraging young people to learn how to discover what they are good at and develop their skills to suit their career ambitions will help them succeed.
Leaders in private enterprises understand that learning is continuous and must be targeted rather than prescribed. The ability to succeed is not based solely on the number of years you give to studying; it is also about aptitude and learning for life's entire journey rather than just the bit that entails traditional education.
Established Universities will always be able to offer dedicated studies to those who need to pursue occupations that require them to achieve specialised qualifications based on an academic curriculum. Private enterprises, meantime, can get on with helping people grow their futures whilst they prepare people for the future and fast-changing world of work.