Thursday, May 26, 2011

Where will "credential inflation" take us?

...large numbers of college students are studying little and learning almost nothing of lasting benefit...
Although large numbers of college graduates are perilously weak in basic skills, there continues to be a significant earnings disparity between graduates and non-graduates.  George Leef  points out that job opportunities for non-credentialed employees have been dramatically diminishing over the years.
Many firms now require that applicants have college degrees, even for work that calls for nothing more than basic trainability.
But how's that working out for employers?  "Credential inflation" means the human resources receptionist must have a college degree, whether it's in communications, marketing or any other number of majors that typically maintain painfully low standards for graduation.  Companies are paying a premium for a credential that in many cases is providing relatively little value.

With the much ballyhooed "education bubble" upon us, causing the cost of a college education to reach stratospheric heights, will employers began a shift to bypass the standard credentials that have been devalued by higher education's focus on social rather than academic learning?  Will they attempt to find new ways to judge potential workers?  While I'm not predicting this will happen soon, I can envision a future where motivated, intelligent young people will be able to take advantage of online learning and other affordable options to gain credentials that will attract attention from innovative companies.  Companies may find that bypassing the inflated credentialing system can be a good way to shake things up as they attempt to survive and even thrive in our changing economy.

Salman Khan's words come to mind.
To the point about replacing universities, I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon.  But I think it’s an interesting idea and to think about that you have to realize that a university is about two things - it’s a credential and it’s learning.  I think Khan Academy is going to be able to really change how the learning part is done in a pretty significant way.  The credentialing part, getting your degree from Stanford or Harvard, that’ll probably be there for a little while.  I think if you fast forward ten years from now I mean it’s not going g to happen overnight   I mean this is social change happening. 10 years, 20 years, I think an employer would rather see your log from a site like Khan Academy where it doesn’t just get a 3.2 GPA in psychology it gets what you did , when you did it, how well you did it, how well were you able to help your peers, how consistently did you work,  wow, this guy worked 3 hours every day for 20 years on this stuff, this is a persistent kind of guy that I want working for me and we’ll be able to give people that type of analytics.  I think that can be a more powerful transcript than just a high level degree right now.
Found at Instapundit

No comments:

Post a Comment