Dropping Out to Disrupt, the 2015 Option

Written by David Michaelis

Dropping out may be your best bet in 2015. It’s a new century, and traditional education just isn’t what it used to be.

aNewDomain — Many of Silicon Valley’s leading innovators dropped out of the formal educational system. To many of them, the investment in the 19th century, pre-fabricated authoritarian system of higher education is now totally misplaced.

As the Guardian showed, earning a college degree no longer assures employment:

Their expensive degrees – since 1978 the price of college has rocketed up 1,120% – unfortunately do not guarantee employment, not even in their chosen fields. The rate for 2013 college graduates was 18.3%, up from 9.9% in 2007.”

student loans

Education vs. Innovation

Education kills creativity in many of the factories of learning we have created. There are exceptions, of course, but these days it seems like it’s finding the needle in a haystack. David Karp, creator and CEO of Tumbler, is a prime example of a rebel against the old way of safe education.

Karp’s mother recognized that, while her son was not particularly engaged with his classes or his fellow students, he seemed to thrive at the internship where he could talk easily with the company’s coders and engineers. It was a passion he had developed early, teaching himself how to code HTML at the age of 11.”

The internship and his passion, in this case coding, helped Karp find his place in the new economy.

The present system of education does not teach you that failing is an opening for new disruption and new ventures. Most schools teach how to make it the 20th century economy, but we are no longer living in that world. Play it safe and you will not be sorry may still be true, but a Bot could replace you soon enough.

dropping out student

We are not all master coders, and learning code is only one of the ways to create logical problem solving. But it does not cost obscene amounts of money to master, unlike the degrees colleges are hell-bent on handing out.

We need to rethink this mismatch and understand the gap between potential talent and creativity and why under employment figures are so stark. Dropping out is not an immediate option, but it’s a legitimate life-choice in 2015. It’s time to think critically about the investment of your energy and savings. What debt will you accumulate in life? Or, maybe Obama’s new offer of free community college is a good enough option.

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First Image: 2011 10 06 – 1237 – Washington DC – Occupy DC” by thisisbossi via Flickr Creative Commons

Second Image: Wikimedia Commons