Here’s a little experiment for you.
You are hiring for a position at your company. You have 50 candidates apply. So which one do you hire?
Wait, wait wait you say, I need to reduce the field first. See here is the problem. How do you do that? If all you go by is what school they went to, then we are treating people as a homogonous commodity. It really doesn’t tell you how good these people are or if they are a good fit in your business.
Do you give preference to people who came from Harvard? How about University of Central Florida? How about University of Northern Iowa?
My answer to this would be to find a better form of assessment. I would look at their work before I looked at their school.
As I see it, Education also has this problem. We are using standardized tests for overall assessments. Then businesses use the overall degree and where you got it from as another assessment. These are both very blunt tools. They really don’t do a very good job of figuring out what the person really can do and would they fit into a company well. In fact, think about the yearly evaluation your employer does for you. Does that really capture what you have done in the previous year? We have a failure of assessment in our society. This is also I think why so many people are unhappy in their jobs. They are not a good fit.
I think ePortfolios are going to be the future of assessment. Each of us will have our work online from a very early age. (and yes, fingerpainting can tell people about our natural talents and aptitudes). We will then be able to share our some or all of our work with potential employers.
With this in mind, check out the ePortfolio of this 6 year old I just came across. Especially watch the little video she made with Xtranormal. Awesome!
What sparked this train of thought is this article talking about the Higher Education bubble. The author is making the case that students are going to certain schools with a name and reputation, because that is all businesses care about. I think this is true to a certain extent.
I also know college can’t keep getting more expensive at the rate it is going. At some point thing will pop.