In this episode, Ziz and Pam discuss the shift that is happening in higher education as our economy changes and technology evolves. As the corporate economy gives way to the gig and sharing economy, we need to better prepare our children for the future of work. The four-year degree is no longer the “golden ticket” when you consider the debt load and job outcomes upon graduation for most students.
Instead, alternative education and training models have emerged, providing students with real-world experience and lifelong learning. Our current education system is not designed to teach collaboration, creativity, agility and the soft skills employers require above all else. The result of our schools’ emphasis on compliance, conformity, and rote memorization, is a generation of students who are discouraged, frustrated, and ill-equipped to handle the demands of the fourth industrial revolution.
Pam: “We’re seeing the diminishing value of the (college) degree, especially with the cost of not only money but time and emotional energy that we’ve taken away from these kids. But we say because it worked for us, it’s going to work for our kids.”
Pam: “The economy has changed. We’ve entered a new era. It operates globally, in smaller bites of change, so agility is required.”
Pam: “In order to have meaning and discover meaning in life, you need to have freedom of choice. You need to have responsibility and agency. You need to be propelled towards something that is bigger than you and know that it’s not just about you.”
Pam: “The entire fundamental structures of our education system is exactly the opposite of collaboration, agility, problem-solving, critical thinking.”
Pam: “We need to help less, empower more. Allow students to go and figure it out. Embrace the uncertainty.”
Ziz: “As a mentor and parent, one thing I started to do better is listen and stay curious. They are discovering themselves and it is important for me to allow that to happen.”
Ziz: “If we talk about the benefits of inclusivity, it means I’m aware of the different skills and talents of individuals inside my network, outside my network, and I can bring them in to benefit my small corporation. So being racists or prejudiced isn’t going to help me. It’s going to hurt me in the long run.”
Pam: “You can’t program soft skill into somebody’s brain. It is who they are and how they connect with the outside world. We are parents, educators, and communities cannot mold, shape, paint the canvas of them. We have to empower them to discover it.”
Pam: “Now we have a multitude of pathways. We want our children to think, to be agile, to have soft skills. College is an ‘if’ and ‘when’ proposition. They have to know who they are and what they’re interested in before we spend that kind of time and money.”