One Way to Increase University Education Access

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In a recent post, I wrote about how numbers rule our lives and why that should stop. In this post, I’m taking the topic deeper, as numbers can really define not just the schools we get into, but the jobs we get selected for. While it’s just one of those universally-agreed criteria that school and job gatekeepers have decided to stick to, the world is changing at such a rapid pace, people in our part of the world need to catch up.

Portfolio vs. Resume

Positive work traits are assumed from information on a resume. A 4.0 on a resume gives people the impression that this person is a hard-working type-A personality who could manage their time well in a structured environment. But instead of making that assumption, how about taking a moment to see actual proof of what a person can produce.

The portfolio is becoming increasingly important in the tech, design, and communications industry. HR managers are saying, “Don’t tell me what you can do. Show me. On a website. On Github. Wherever.”

That means that we need to increasingly stop talking about all the things we could do and actually do them.

One area where the portfolio is still not helping people gain access though is education[at least not that I’ve heard of]. University admission departments love numbers. Your SAT need to not be less than 1470. Your high school CGPA should have a minimum of 3.6 or 3.8. I know someone who was refused admission to her university of choice because of point something on her high school’s final report. Zero point something.

Imagine your worth being reduced to a mere number on a mere certificate. No wonder thought leaders like James Altucher are telling kids not to go to college. But coming from a third-world country, I still believe university education is an important key to break the poverty cycle rampant in our countries.

So here’s an idea if you’re one of the gatekeepers at a university, waive the SAT score/GPA minimum for people who show hard-core skills through their online and offline portfolios. Give these kids a chance to show you what they can do instead of assuming what they can do from a score on some standard test.

And if you’re a kid who can’t seem to get the numbers in school’s standardized tests, spend some time building your online and offline portfolios. You never know who might hire you for your skills.

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