If you were given a test from your college Marketing 300 class right now, would you pass? Would the information in that class even be relevant to what you’re doing today? This is a story about how education hasn’t adapted to the 21st century.
I’m a junior in college and over the past year I have launched one successful company and been a part of several more. As a college entrepreneur, I am always strapped for time. When class starts, I’m not always there. College classes teach me about things, not how to do them.
In my Marketing class we learn the difference between market segmentation and market penetration. In Management 300 we understand characteristics of a great manager, and in my Decision Science class we create decision trees. Learning about marketing, management, and decision science does not teach me how to market, manage, and make effective decisions.
The best way to learn is through experience; you won’t remember what was on your test a year later, but you will remember a situation where you had to market a product, manage a team, or make a meaningful decision. If universities want their students to learn, they should ensure professors focus on facilitating experiences rather than presenting information.
I know I can manage a team because when I was first starting my company Yes Man, I was balancing the time zones of four different cities. I was based in Washington D.C. leading everything, had a friend in San Diego helping design our logos, had an engineer in Budapest creating our computer aided designs, and have our manufacturer based in China. Getting an A on a management test does not mean I have the ability to effectively manage a team. The only way you know if you can do something is by actually doing it.
As my startup Yes Man grows, I debate whether or not I should continue my college education. I see the value of graduation on my resume but in terms of knowledge attained, I am already learning more outside the classroom than in.
One of my roommates graduated last year, his diploma hasn’t left his backpack and he’s been sleeping on our couch for the past three months chasing his entrepreneurial dream. He got a job but didn’t take it because he wanted to start his own company. His college education hasn’t helped progress his startup.
Another classmate of mine is a day trader — he tracks the stock market nonstop on his phone in class. I’ve seen him up $10k in a day and down $7k the next. I know when his investments are doing well because it reflects his attitude. This student/ day trader pays someone to attend some of his classes for him. Time he can spend trading is more valuable to him than attending class.
Are students getting college degrees just to put the title on their resume? If universities want a degree to be more, they need to start focusing on experiential learning. The age of sitting infront of a professor lecturing should be over.
Every industry besides education has seen major innovations. Look at Times Square for example, verses a classroom.
In over 80 years, somehow classrooms and the way students are taught has barely adapted. If universities and the educational system as a whole want to continue to bring value to students, the system must update it’s form of teaching.
As I go into my senior year of college I hope companies like Course Key continue to push the education system to change its ways of teaching.
When you were in college, did you go to every class? If the answer was no, please share this article to help improve education for the next generation.