Not only are we developing “the overeducated American,” [Dr. Richard K. Vedder] says, but the cost is borne by the students getting those degrees. He calls the proliferation of master’s degrees evidence of “credentialing gone amok.” He says, “In 20 years, you’ll need a Ph.D. to be a janitor.”
There may be logic in trying to better match higher education to labor needs, but Dr. Vedder is concerned by the shift of graduate work from intellectual pursuit to a skill-based “ticket to a vocation.” What’s happening to academic reflection? Must knowledge be demonstrable to be valuable?
“The historical trend is clear: Whenever novel technologies enter the market, illegitimate uses quickly follow legitimate ones. A black market soon appears. Thus, just as criminals and terrorists have exploited many other forms of technology, they will surely soon turn to synthetic biology, the latest digital frontier.”
“Similarly, I would argue, the contrarians and rebels, the people on the fringes of organizations who question and deviate from the status quo, which so often leads to inertia and inflexibility, are huge assets for any organization. Those who disagree with the present often see the future more clearly.”
Phase 1: When we really have clarity of purpose, it leads to success. Phase 2: When we have success, it leads to more options and opportunities. Phase 3: When we have increased options and opportunities, it leads to diffused efforts. Phase 4: Diffused efforts undermine the very clarity that led to our success in the first place.
Curiously, and overstating the point in order to make it, success is a catalyst for failure.
Have you ever wondered what the world would look like in watercolor? I recently came across this interactive watercolor map from the clever folks at Stamen Design and fell in love. Looking forward to seeing app developers overlay more granular data on top of this.