Non-Conformity In College Education


I went through a traditional college education earning a B.A. at San Jose State University followed by a M.B.A. at Santa Clara University. Today, students and parents alike are questioning the value and cost of a traditional education, particularly given the lackluster job market new college graduates face.

This weekend, Dell invited me to an event where I learned about two different post-high school educational programs, Uncollege and the Minerva Project. These programs attract very bright young adults from all over the globe. These institutions are innovating how education can be delivered and how students can be prepared to deal with the realities of the 21st century. They seem to be more focused on entrepreneurship, something we didn’t discuss when I was in college.

It’s easy to duplicate what others have done in the education space. Challenges to the sacred cow beliefs about how an education needs to be delivered are long overdue. Let’s not miss the broader lessons:

  • What sacred cows can your company or industry challenge to create new value in the marketplace?
  • What paradigms are up for disruption?
  • Is there a growth opportunity by moving in a different direction from the pack?
  • Is there a way to serve an unserved or underserved market?

These are questions I’m sure these students are asking. Shouldn’t you be asking and addressing them as well? After all, aren’t these young people your future competition?

Photo Courtesy of  Sean MacEntee on Flickr

Thought for the week:

 “Knowledge may give weight, but accomplishments give luster, and many more people see than weigh.” – Herodotus
What do you think? I welcome your comments!

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

© 2014 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

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