Archive for August 26th, 2020

Inc.: Google’s Plan to Disrupt the College Degree is Absolute Genius

Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

This is a comment on the article “Google’s Plan to Disrupt the College Degree Is Absolute Genius” by Justin Bariso (founder of EQ Applied).

The worldview that this article describes is over-stated and did not apply emotional intelligence despite that being the author’s area of expertise.

  1. Social awareness tells us that there already are community colleges and vocational schools which offer certificate programs. Many of these programs require hands-on experience and serve that need. There are programs which could be completed remotely – even asynchronously – but these students are not competitive in terms of readiness and experience. With a certificate, one may be able to find a job in the certificated field, but the impression from the certificate alone will be less competitive. There may be exceptions for those who, along the way, gained invaluable personal experience and insight.
  2. Self-awareness tells us that there is a reason why some students do not go to college and why some do not thrive in college.
  3. ┬áThe Self-management lesson is to supplement your career plan with such a certificate program, but not rely on it. In this way, a certificate program (and MOOCs too for that matter) are not substitutes for a college degree (actually, I’m now referring to graduate degrees because undergraduate degrees are not as practical as they used to be). Would you be able to get into a good graduate school and excel with a certificate? Since times may change, the most appropriate answer would be “Maybe, but unlikely.”
  4. The Social management side of this is how you figure out the value of college vs certificate when you are at the branch in the road. If you are in the top 10% of your graduating high school class, would you have good reason to believe that a certificate program will get you to where you want to go? The smart thing to do may be to try a certificate program as a gap year program then choose where and what to study in college if you are not presented with better options. It’s an investment choice.

There certainly isn’t any disruption with the certificate. The real disruption was the promise made to people to get them into a college although they didn’t need it. This move to pack in more students lowered the base standard of college education and has made it more challenging to prepare students well. This drove up operational costs and created a job applicant pool that was as generic as ever.

And “genius”? About as genius as the term is used at Apple Stores.