At least once in your life, you’ll have to ask yourself: What is college for? Do I have to go to college or not? In fact, each university plays two main roles: a training institution and a research institution.
If you consider university as a research facility, studying at university will help you become a scientist to create new knowledge. But if you consider the university as a training facility, the final college education is to graduate to work, become a skilled worker to meet the needs of society.
Among the social organizations that need high quality human resources, businesses make up the majority. And if your purpose of college is to graduate to work for businesses, some companies are now starting to think they don’t need a college degree anymore.
The reason is that the university program is outdated compared to the speed of market development and requires capacity from businesses. Many companies continue to retrain university graduates to meet their jobs.
Going to college then seemed both a waste of money and a waste of time. There are many businesses that have opened their own short-term training courses, cheap prices or hired third parties to train human resources without going through the university.
Typically the technology giant Google, they recently announced that they started accepting Google Learning Certifications (Google Learning Certificates) can replace a university degree. These certificates are a 6-month course in a number of areas where Google directly program and train such as: data analysis, project management, UX design, IT support.
“These new career programs are designed and taught by Google employees working in these fields. They will equip learners with the skills they need to get a job“, Said Kent Walker, Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Google.
You can take courses and get a Google Certificate of Learning without even needing a degree. That means that even without high school, you can still do it.
Google said the course will be offered on the Coursera platform, with a fee of only $ 49 / month, equivalent to 1.1 million VND. The whole 6-month course at that time only cost about 300 USD, equivalent to 6.9 million VND, a little bit higher than the tuition of a semester in Vietnam, much cheaper than the tuition fees in the US. many Americans are also unable to pay.
Even so, job opportunities with this certificate are rated by Goolge as comparable to a university degree. “During Google’s recruiting process, we now consider these new career certificates equivalent to a 4-year degree [đại học] for the relevant positions“, Kent Walker announced via Twitter.
Google promises the salary that you can receive after completing the course and being recruited in the range of 54,000 – 93,000 USD / year. The highest salary in a project manager position is up to 2.1 billion VND / year, without a university degree.
The Google Career Certificate does not require an undergraduate degree.
The university training model is outdated in comparison to the speed of technology development
According to a survey by credit rating firm Fitch Ratings Group, the admissions rate of US universities this term could drop by as much as 20%, and that’s not just the impact of COVID-19. Bloomberg says Harvard University is facing a $ 415 million revenue drop in 2020, and predicts even higher numbers for 2021, $ 715 million.
At the end of last year, just under 18 million Americans enrolled in college, down more than 2 million from its peak in 2011, according to the Clearinghouse National Center for Student Research. Over the past eight years, enrollment rates across the United States have also fallen by about 11 percent in all sectors, from public schools, community colleges to private schools.
An April survey by senior research firm Simpson Scarborough found that 10% of senior high school students in the US will not attend a four-year institution.
These figures are accompanied by the fact that the traditional university curriculum is having a time warping relative to the development of the market. If you spend all four years in college, by the time a student gets a diploma, the market may have changed a lot, especially the technology market.
The teaching programs in the university are not up to date with the trend of development that can lead to a batch of students who do not meet the requirements of employers.
On the contrary, from a student’s perspective, spending four years in lecture hall just getting a degree, graduating unemployed and realizing that technology and markets have changed is a waste of time. time and money.
Dawn Lerman, former vice-dean of Fordham University, New York, said the academic environment is notoriously slow to change. In contrast, in the digital age, the market grows very fast. Some people – both employers and students, have begun to question: Will they need to spend four years in college?
In the tech industry, there are some good examples of leaders who dropped out of school and still enjoyed notable success like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Michael Dell, and Mark Zuckerberg.
Outside of technology, there are Oprah, CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, Ralph Lauren and Wolfgang Puck. For example, Wolfgang Puck even dropped out of school at the age of fourteen and started his career in the kitchen of a hotel.
You might think that these are just the singular stars of their career. But there is a growing trend now that a university degree is really not as important as it used to be.
What will replace a college degree?
In its new announcement, Google says it has built its own career certification programs to train its own responsive human resources. Students only take about 6 months to get a certificate that for Google, it is equivalent to a 4-year college degree.
In the Google report on their Information Technology certification course, 61% of the participants did not have a university degree. But they still completed the program in less than 6 months and earned an average annual salary of 54,760 USD, equivalent to 1.2 billion VND.
Lack of a university degree does not seem like a constraint in information technology fields. To be blunt, to Google, a university degree is only worth the same as a 6-month certificate that they train themselves with tuition fees of nearly 7 million VND.
Before Google, Microsoft also launched a global initiative to enhance the professional skills of 25 million workers. The company will combine resources from LinkedIn, GitHub, and Microsoft to provide a Microsoft Certifications.
Microsoft’s initiative goes far beyond academic curriculum. Their project includes real-time labor market data to see which industries are in need of manpower to train.
Therefore, it is expected that the courses for Microsoft Certification in the coming time will focus on the following industries: Software Development, Information Technology Management, Data Analysis, Financial Analysis, Graphic Design, Project management…
In addition to tech giants like Google and Microsoft, non-technical industries are also seeing the message. The National Retail Federation of America (NRF) has launched an online education program with American Eagle Outfitters, Gap and Levi Strauss companies to attract young people who are ambitious to contribute and advance in the retail industry. .
An eight-week program called RISE allows attendees to learn first-hand knowledge from the retail giants. The lessons are committed to “opportunities for professional development” in this field.
And when it comes to short online courses, platforms like Coursera offer large volume open online courses (MOOCs). Currently, Coursera is offering more than 4,500 MOOC courses with 160 university partners.
Surprisingly, 25% of their revenue comes from businesses with continuing education courses for 2,500 companies, and their business is still growing 70% year over year. This shows that businesses are looking for a more powerful and effective human resource training source than universities.
They really can’t wait for their future human resources to finish 4 years. According to Microsoft calculations, the global unemployment rate in 2020 could reach a quarter of a billion people due to the automation and disruption related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, they estimate that over the next five years there will still be 149 million new jobs related to technology, concentrated in areas such as software development, data analysis, cybersecurity and rights protection. private.
Now, as all industries are experiencing pandemic disruption and rapid digital transformation, universities need to see that they have to change or be replaced by training programs. external, built by businesses themselves or online learning platforms.
Change is certainly necessary for universities to meet both the needs of the labor market and the students who will become high-quality human resources serving society in the future.
Refer Google, Medium David Leibowitz