I often see a FB share that says ‘ college doesn’t make you smarter’ and then mentions something about ‘common sense’.

I disagree . . . going to college or getting more education doesn’t make you better than anyone else – it can make you smarter if you put it into practice.

Common sense – that knowledge that you can figure out intuitively – is important.  But it isn’t very competitive.

As the new jobs all require a set of technology skills that require more education and capabilities, holding an attitude that more education isn’t valuable is dangerous. Other countries started offering free college when they realized the next set of good paying middle class jobs will require more education than 12 years of schooling (grade school plus high school).

Anything that is done based on predictable patterns of decisions and rules can be automated – and is being automated.  The more physically challenging the job is, the faster it will be automated for machines don’t get tired.  The next set of automation will aim and the jobs that pay well because that provides the best ROI.

The bots aren’t coming – they are already here.

And the one thing that the US can do to reduce its capacity to compete in this global, knowledge-based economy that competes on the effective, competitive, strategic use of computers is to not educate its citizens.

And phrases that imprint people about not valuing higher education or continuing to pursue knowledge miss this point.

Most CEOs now expect their valued employees to spend at least 5 hours per week (on their own time) learning new things.

So formal education doesn’t make you a better person.  But being educated in certain skills may well mean the difference between being able to earn a living and not being able to earn a living.

And public education is the way for the US to make sure we have the talent that businesses want and need – so that they headquarter or locate in the US.  Because the countries we compete with for that talent are offering their citizens free college.

And we are spreading FB slogans that give people permission to not keep learning or to think 12 years of school is more than enough.


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