The School System Has Failed Us Because It Can't Keep Up With Technology

by Joshua Fechter

In the last 10 years, we have experienced extreme innovations like the iPhone, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, mobile apps and many types of cloud-based software. We have undoubtedly witnessed the fastest growth period in technology, and it has been incredible.

But, as life continues to change, our school systems are failing to keep up. It's so bad you might think they aren't even trying. It's scary to think that our school systems are no longer preparing students for the workforce but are loading students with debt while over-promising on the value of a degree.

Think you're on the cutting edge when it comes to technology because you majored in computer science? Hate to bring your hopes and dreams down to earth, but most computer science degrees focus on information that is outdated and essentially not applicable anymore for good tech jobs.

A computer programmer with whom I work told me that when he interviews students who have computer science degrees from some of the best schools in the country, they fail to stand out. He also pointed out that it's because much of what they know is irrelevant.

So, if you're wondering why you didn't get the job, it's because your school lied to you by telling you your education would prepare you for the real world. In order to better understand this terrible problem, you must ask the right questions:

"What are colleges teaching us that we can't get elsewhere at a cheaper price?"

The truth is the information schools teach has become so accessible that we no longer need most formal education. The information is not just accessible; most of the time, it can be found for free.

"What about the networking opportunities?"

Hate to burst that bubble, but most students don't realize networking is more important later in college, and many don't learn how until years after. Schools don't even teach you how to network — you know why? The more you network, the more you realize you don't need college to get a job.

And, just because you joined a fraternity or a sorority doesn't mean you're in a great networking position. When it comes to expanding your contact base, it's all about the value, not the quantity.

This lesson is easy to learn if you start applying for jobs at an earlier age. The sooner you face the bad taste of rejection, the earlier you'll understand you need someone who can make moves for you. You want to network with people who can get you from A to B, which doesn't mean from your frat house to the liquor store.

Face it: Our school system is slowly dying out. It's grown too big for its own good and focuses on growth rather than quality of material. It's a shame that something we once held to be so valuable — a piece of paper called a degree — is now only worth the material on which it's printed.

Let me ask you this: How many colleges teach you in-depth material about the mobile and online business world? Very few. Close to 60 percent of the US population owns a smartphone. Moreover, according to Search Engine Journal,

The mobile market will generate 35 percent more spending by 2015 compared to 2012: $400 billion versus $139 billion.

In fact, online sales account for 41 percent of total revenue for US companies. This trend is no recent phenomenon; schools have had time to prepare for mobile and desktop becoming huge determinants in how businesses operate.

Worst of all, it doesn't look like the school system is changing its archaic ways anytime soon. Here's my advice: If you want to understand business, you better jump ship if you're in college.

It's simple: By going to college, you're failing to keep up with technology. It's not easy to take the initiative to learn without a formalized institution telling you to do so. We've been brainwashed since we were young into thinking formalized education is the only way, and then when we graduate college, we will supposedly land awesome jobs.

Even the classes that seemed invincible to technology are becoming outdated. Communication classes that have been basic stepping stones for general education are not relevant to how we interact with each other in today's world.

If your communication class is not covering Snapchat, text messaging, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you are missing out on a huge part of how we exchange information with one another. In other words, it's not relevant in a world where technology has become possibly our primary means for communication.

Our education system's collapse has brought in thousands of innovators who are looking to make a difference. As a result, online classes and do-it-yourself tutorials are popping up all over the Internet. With anything that's new, there's pushback. For example, "tutorials are very inferior substitutes for formal education."

But that's far from reality. Just like formal education, there are good and bad educational resources, and there are also great sources for recommendations. One thing is for sure: When it's all measured up, the cost/benefit of choosing to receive education outside of college is much better.

Students are graduating with an average of $33,000 in debt, and they're not learning anything useful for the job world.

If I were a recent high school graduate, I wouldn't go to college. The cost/benefit leaves me with a world of options that are better, and we all know advancement in technology won't soon stop.

It's common sense: If schools continue to pass up on adopting relevant teaching materials, students will pass up on them, too.

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