tisdag 9 december 2014

One reason you should think hard before getting an education instead of a skill

1. Education doesn't get you a job

source: zerohedge

I keep saying my generation was the last one where getting an education was obviously the right way to go - and I was cutting it close.

The ramifications of breaking the Berlin wall, and the new wave of globalization and digitalization that followed, mean that skills are much more important than a formal education and the paper that proves it.

At worst, an education cuts you off from the real world for several years, as well as puts you in debt. At best, you get some new friends that may or may not help you earn a wage or pull a business in the future.

What you should do instead is:

1. Take a look at the world and identify something that needs to be done and that you think enough people would pay to get done
2. Match that to your own semi-interests and half-honed skills or aptness and choose a couple of areas where you could: a) get good and b) enjoy yourself at least moderately, and maybe even c) feel proud (my choice would be something in programming or marketing)
3. Develop the skill-set(s) in point 2, using the internet, e.g. this 144-item resource list

2 kommentarer:

  1. What skills would you focus on for today's job market?

    1. I don't have a ready answer for that, but I would approach the issue thjis way.

      1. focus on the big problems that need solving: energy, water, pollution, food, longevity/health, (rare metals/asteroid mining)
      2. focus on what makes people tick: being social, getting laid, feeling important or successful or at least entertained
      3. what might go wrong that will need fixing? debt clean-up, cheap living quarters, refugees
      4. what's already working? List the largest, most valuable, most successful, fastest growing companies and figure out how to be valuable for any of them - as an employee or a subcontractor. But be critical - some of the largest ones might be dinosaurs overdue for extinction
      5. what skills are hard to acquire? what skills are today's youth lacking and not willing to make the effort to get?
      6. remember to scratch anything off the list that is easily digitized. But keep things where the combination of a person and a computer system would have a sustainable edge
      7.The singularity enablers: nanotech, AI, biotech, robotics, additive manufacturing (3D-printing, including living cell-printing)

      Creating a list from the above is material for a loooong article in itself, but certain skills stand out to me:

      programming for entertainment, robotics, space exploration, data mining, healthcare applications

      statistics for intelligent data mining and information organization

      mathematics (foundation for programming, physics and statistics)

      healthcare (formal education mandatory)

      law (formal education mandatory)

      psychology (for humans lost in the brave new world of technological acceleration, for war veterans and refugees, for programming/evaluating robots and AIs, and not least psychology for marketing [combined with statistics and data mining of course])

      Design (might need talent, might be a question of formulas, I don't know)

      Marketing (things always need selling, marketing... - remember to combine marketing skills with psychology and statistics)

      If I were to restart a new career it would be in the field of ROBOTICS, which I think have the potential of becoming for this century what the AUTO industry has been for the last century. At present we have a lot of stupid single-purpose robots everywhere - some are status symbols, some are not anymore. They are called cars, washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners etc. Soon, more general-purpose robots will take over more and more household chores, caretaking of sick and old, companionship, telepresence/socializing. I also think robots can become the new status symbol that has been reserved for cars (but probably 10 years out)

      Forecasting, futurenews: there already are some attempts at this. I'm not sure how or who should get into this field. Perhaps Kurzweil gets it for himself but somehow I think strategic predictions of technology, weather, demographics etc will be in demand IF you can make your models or predictions trustworthy.