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David Hamilton

TEDCRED 50+

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Should degrees have "patches"?

Simple enough starting point. In the modern world our knowledge base is expanding so quickly that 5 years after you get a degree, quite a bit of what you learned is obselete, and quite a few important discoveries have been made. If you go into business, or government research, you may actually surpass the knowledge on any degree program, in your specific discipline... But, you'll still miss out on advances in your field of study, that do not apply to your business, or research.

Should modern universities offer degree patches, the way software companies offer patches. Every 5 years or so, each school is meant to design a one or two week online course, specifically designed to keep people who have already been granted degrees, in touch with the most up to date information in the field.

Having these patches on your degree, would then be quite valuable in the eyes of an employer I imagine. Some companies may even offer to pay for you to go get your patch...

Kinda seems like a no brainer to me.

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Closing Statement from David Hamilton

Very fun and engaging discussion. Personally, I think MIT should get busy on this. Unlike many people here, however, I believe that proving knowledge and skills is the purpose of education. I believe every child is naturally curious, we don't teach them to be creative, we do the opposite. Teaching facts we know about the universe, or even ones we believe to be true because of a preponderance of evidence, has a place, and it's an incredibly important institution, one in desperate need of modern reform. As a bonus, first institution to do it well, gets an incredible revenue stream. Peace and love.

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    Aug 7 2012: This is a good idea! This would be especially prevalent in the technology industry. Since technology is always becoming newer and better it makes complete since to update the people behind the machine. My only issue would be cost. What do you think a "patch" would cost?
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      Aug 8 2012: It depends if someone corners the market, the people in the best position right now would be MIT. If you could buy an MIT patch, for any degree... They'd sell so many, they would find the cheapest way possible to test people, and it could be really... really... dirt cheap, and still fund MIT.

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