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What's a degree worth?

Education is approaching a change where it will never turn back, but what will we find around that corner?

In America, college degrees mean less and less, and it seems like what's often more important is real-world experience and a competitive portfolio/skill sets. So the question is to put yourself in the following situations to answer the following:

As an employer: Would you rather hire someone with your required skill sets/a competitive portfolio and no college degree, or someone with a degree and good grades but little experience? (everything else held equal)

As a high school graduate: Would you be willing to self-teach yourself to the point where you had marketable skills and an impressive self-made portfolio while risking not having a degree?

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    Feb 3 2013: I think we need to Look at how both work and education are changing,

    In the past you got a degree which was collection of classes that is aggreated to a score (GPA) and an employer can take that score into account along with the university attended that indicates both the network of that candiate and the quality of the GPA, (some universities give A's easier than others.) Then you starting working and recording success/failure was not as easy from that point on. I believe the CV of the future is going to look more like web-analytics tracking skills, education, online courses, offline courses, networks and lots more. I think work will equally track using web-analytics and be very similar.

    Professions over the last 150 years have been organised by a triangle of hierarchy, the CEO at the top, the other directors who manage and the people down below who do the day-to-day tasks. Airbnb.com is a great example at looking at a different organisational system, airbnb is a circle that allows someone to build their reputation in that circle. If we look at the same system applied to lawyers, rocketlawyer.com allows people find a lawyer using reputation. These networks let you find individuals not organisations and the extra reports, management, marketing and everything else the organisation gave to the individual hard-working lawyer, the platform can not only provide, it can be better. The obvious step is see management consulting go this way where you no longer work for McKinsey or Bain, but have an account on consultant.com with a high reputation.

    For a young high school student, I would probably recommend to go to college as the system today and system above will take time to switch. Nevertheless for myself, I have a degree, but have done the latter thereafter instead of a postgrad. I have taken classes and skills that accumulate into what I want to be, not taking them to get a piece a paper.

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