- It's been predicted that the current graduates will experience seven different careers in their lifetime. Their diploma will credential them for the first career. If they got an education as well as a degree, they might be prepared for a second career, but the proof of graduation will not prove they can handle the vast changes in how we live, work, pay for goods and contribute to our communities.
- College degrees are proof that students have been prepared for known jobs. Current industries and corporate employment are stabilized by the supply of petroleum and the global financial markets. There's nothing on the horizon to presume those will remain in their current condition for much longer. When oil runs into irreversible shortages, and oil exporting nations become failed states, everything changes. Multinational corporations will experience shrinking markets, assets in jeopardy of violent destruction and other instabilities. Exporting manufacturers and agricultural producers will also have a new playing field for their endeavors.
- The industrial era is coming to an end. Our planet cannot long endure the abuses of resource extractions, aquifer depletion, soil erosion, global warming and over-harvesting of useful life forms. Educations to perpetuate the abuses and conspiratorial policies, governments and financial institutions -- will soon be obsolete. Meanwhile we will make significant advances in healing without pharmaceuticals, agriculture without applied pesticides or fertilizers, micro lending to individuals in poverty, and entrepreneurship without the staggering failure rate.
- There have been economies of scale and other justifications for big business while information was scarce and difficult to move around. Big universities, lecture halls and graduating classes made sense too. Big college campuses prepared graduates for big companies, agencies and institutions. With the ubiquitous supply of instant information, it's now possible to transform economies into networked, distributed intelligence, democratized production/distribution and bottom-up initiatives. Peer to peer (P2P) production will mostly replace centralized, privatized, deregulated mechanisms. Small will be beautiful and difficult to comprehend for grads of Big U who worked for the Big Corporation to pay off their Big Debt.
Goodbye college diplomas
Disrupting Class assumes we'll continue to need college degrees to get the best paying jobs and to enter the current professions. the improvements in elementary and school programs from the disruptive innovations mentioned in the book seem valuable if college degrees remain essential. However, I am very suspicious that diplomas will be worth anything in a decade or so. Here's why: