Our guest today is Danny Iny, author of Leveraged Learning and CEO of the online business education company, Mirasee. With his works followed by over 100,000 experts and professionals, Keith and I were excited to have him on the show.
In the context of education, a core part of Danny’s belief is that the college degree is a “generic magic ticket to the successful life, costs too much and delivers too little.” The college degree as a measurement tool is no longer working, and the disruption resulting from this fact is obvious.
So how do people stuck between these two schools of thought and looking to follow a non-traditional and non-college path obtain the careers that they desire? If you’re looking for the answer, listen in as we dive in to explore this further.
I brought up this statistic to Danny as a segue into what he calls the “signals” of the disruption. “Working minimum wage in the late 1970’s- a typical student with a four-year degree could pay off their entire tuition by working 182 hours. That’s a part time, summer job. Currently, it requires working full time for 990 hours just to pay off a community or state college.”
This is a perfect example of the “signals” that Danny has been looking at as far as the future disruption of education in the workforce. In this case, the signals are clearly showing the deterioration of the college degree’s value, and that a degree is only as good as your abilities. In and of itself, a college degree is merely a piece of paper and no longer holds the value or weight that it used to.
For example, 30 years ago, a college degree was a way to sort through candidates and decide who was qualified or considered valuable enough to spend time interviewing. A degree showed employers that you checked the required boxes for the offered position. It also used to be that only a small minority of the population went to university, and the value of a degree and what it said about a person, was extremely worthwhile.
However, things have changed drastically over the years.
Herein lies the issue. In the education and employment sectors, we’re in this place where the old way is falling apart, but there isn’t anything that’s fully replacing it yet. With online courses, or even Youtube, one has the ability to learn anything. Unfortunately, with the vast differences in the value that courses offer and the incompletion rate statistics on such courses, simply taking an online course doesn’t show that you know enough or have the abilities to be truly considered for a position.
So what can someone do to succeed when they’ve followed the non-traditional path of abstaining from college? Danny’s advice is this, “You have to construct the signal yourself, and you can do this by building a portfolio that demonstrates what you know how to do and how well you know how to do it.”
Regardless of what the old scope or structure of recruiting looks like, there is plenty of opportunity to take advantage of this changing market and use it to propel yourself into the exact career field that you desire.
When talking about the non-traditional education paths available, I asked Danny what he’s seen available and how someone should go about choosing the right course or learning tools to help them achieve their career goals.
His response? “Start by thinking backwards.”
“Start from the end and think, where do I want to be, or where do I want to go in my life and career? In order for the right doors to open, what do I need to know how to do, and how well do I need to be able to do it?”
Once you have the answers to these questions, find people in that field whom you admire or would like to work with and ask them for 10 minutes to explain to you what they’ve done to get where they are. Show them what you think the path is that you need to take, and ask them if you’re on the right track. If you are, ask what online courses or forms of education you should use to get where you want to go and to where they currently are.
People that are already out there practicing the skills they’ve learned and leading successful careers will know exactly what it takes in this non-traditional and non-college age to get there.