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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 4 2013: I think the poor to non-existent coordination between undergraduate programs in colleges / universities and employers is notoriously useless. Even worthless (?) Kids really need to get smart about researching job prospects in their chosen field, themselves. It's shocking that after upwards of $50,000 in debt, there are no real guarantees of employment.

    At least when you buy a car for $10,000, you can expect it to take you from point A to point B!!

    DIY, free webcasts, online 101 courses, technical colleges, cheaper 101courses in local colleges, local night schools with population re-training mandates etc. that are affiliated with co-op programs or apprenticeships--that's where to go. Stop paying top dollar for a commodity. Beware of unis with large marketing budgets, toad-like drafty buildings that are costly to maintain, sprawling campuses, expensive new constructions and too many tenured profs--it all goes into the tuition.

    And there should be some payment scheme like, tuition is paid 50% and unless the university helps find the students a job in their field within 100km of the town, the other 50% is not paid. OR employers across the board need to all agree to stop putting a premium on parchment.

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