Education Posts – A Summary

Poor economic times push people to look at their knowledge and skill base. Inevitably, college applications raise. But there are many alternatives to the classic university four year degree. Below is an index of Education based entries of mine. This is more of a reference post:

Why No Changes (7/2/07) – Reading this entry now is like looking in a fun house mirror. Here is what I write “There are also several recent articles describing the amount of the
compensation package to hedge fund managers. If you hold one of these
lucrative positions then there is a good chance that you are now one of
the richest people in the world. You accepted a large amount of risk
and the market has rewarded you for it. When the market is up, that
tends to be the result. When it is down, I doubt we will see any
articles, but that is not where I’m driving this. The growth of the
number of hedge funds is accredited to the ease of amassing credit.
This allows the manager to take volume gains on investments that are
traditionally risky or long term. Since the taxes don’t disincent this
investment activity then it is worth the risk. But what bothers me is
that there isn’t anything innovative about this. We are in a positive
market, so the results bear out.

This mentality of avoiding risk and going with what works is what is
bothersome. The public education system is largely the same as it was
for the past 60 years. Over that time, especially in the recent past,
the margin between the rich and the middle class has widened. Normally,
that is a ho hum story, but if the reports are true, that this is the
first generation that won’t have an improved standard of living, then
we have hit a new threshold. So in a positive market the ultrawealthy
will get richer and the educational system won’t advance. What happens
in a negative market?”

Finding Perception (9/11/07) – This is a simple instructional post asking the reader to look at three objects – a needle, a nickle, and post it notes – and change their viewpoint so the reader looks from different angles. I like the post because it emphasizes challenges to ones own views.

MBA Alternatives (9/18/07) – I mention two avenues for people to look at besides MBAs – Masters in Financial Engineering and Masters in Fine Arts. At the time of the writing, I thought both had immense upsides. 20/20 would say the Masters in Financial Engineering was timely.

The Next Management Stars: Divergence Generation (9/20/07) – Companies that create an environment of learning are setting themselves up for flexibility when times are tough. I go into the idea of “academy companies.”

Does College Have a Future (10/23/07) – Here is what I write: Everyone knows that the cost of attending college is going up every
year. Recently, Keisha Lamothe supplied the statistics as to how much
the cost is increasing in an article titled College Costs Keep Rising.
I’m a college graduate from 7 years ago. I had college loans
(refinanced them) that seriously ate into my income. I have a good job
because of college, but I didn’t get paid very well at first – I didn’t
have experience and really lacked the true skills required. Yesterday I
posted an entry about the amount Alex Rodriguez adds value to the team
that employs him. He didn’t go to college. I believe the worth of
college is overrated in the US. Being a society of supply and demand, I
feel the supply of college educated workers is starting to exceed
demand. I think those that have a unique skill are going to really
flourish before 10 years is out; maybe even 5.

I see two
primary forces making this a reality. The first is the gain in
education of the areas that weren’t part of the US/Western
European/USSR faction. Countries or areas like India, China, the Middle
East, and Eastern Europe are developing programs and churning out
workers of quality. The second is the entrepreneurial nature of the US.
As the baby boomers move out of the workforce and Generation Y becomes
more prominent I see a move to situational or something similar to
contract work for a great number of workers than use this method today.
Generation Y has a different mentality. I’m generalizing, but
Generation Y wants to enjoy what they do and doesn’t really accept not
being able to it. They see traditional work and their idea of a job as
an intertwined evolution of the workplace. That is great for
situational work, but not necessarily for corporate life.

Now
the hard part is figuring out what is a unique skill that will have
value in the future marketplace. I expect it to be related to the arts
or maybe a combination of art and technology.

Teaching Teachers and Kids (11/8/07) – This entry focuses on teachers, their personality type, and the US culture. I theorize that the US teaching system hasn’t changed enough to keep pace with the US culture. How kids learn is different now than it was 50 years ago, but many teaching practices don’t reflect that. Then we wonder why the US is falling behind in education scores.

Who Pays Skyrocketing College Costs? (1/2/08) – This entry is focused on Generation Y and their entry into the workforce. Gen Y believes they should be paid more than other groups entering the workforce because they are experienced (internships) and skilled in Web 2.0, which without Gen Y would be a corporate vacuum (tongue in cheek).

College Tuition Changes (3/10/08) – I posted a chart of numbers I collected. The numbers show the percentage increase 5 year period to period of private college costs and public school costs. Needless to say, both outpace inflation, by a lot. Perhaps the increases were supply and demand driven? But I doubt it. I think it’s the foolish idea of if something costs more then it must be better.

Philosophy Education Beneficial in Today’s Fast Pace World (4/5/08) – Philosophy engages students in a way that they aren’t used to in the test based path they’ve been on. The reason is because there are no right answers. It is reflective of the individual. I’m encouraged by this idea because it increases true understanding.

Types of Intelligence and Challenge Approaches (5/5/08) – I mainly just wanted to call out the four methods humans use to solve problems: analytically, procedurally, relationally (collaboratively), and innovatively. I was intrigued by the observation that most people choose two of these types after early childhood and culture often shapes which are chosen.

Thinking about Design (5/25/08) – I like the idea that good designers think along these five lines: Empathy, Integratively, Optimism, Expermentalism, and Collaboratively.

The Unlocking of New Education (6/25/08) – This entry is two great videos on Youtube.com that visually illustrate my viewpoint of a changing culture not being reflected in our educational system. Check them out.

Educating – A Down Economy Opportunity (11/24/08) – I think entrepreneurs that focus on education and training in innovative ways will see big business over the next 18 months. Everyone wants a cheap way to improve their knowledge and skill base. This entry focuses on a company called startup weekend that teaches people to start their own online business in a weekend.

About benleeson
My name is Ben Leeson. I currently work for a large financial company in IT. I went to school at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY. I graduated with a B.S. in Business Administration concentrating in HR. Professor William Brown taught me and I enjoyed his classes; even acquiring an appreciation for just about all things HR. I didn’t pursue a job in that field after college but I’ve kept up with it. This blog will further my fascination with all things HR. I hope to grow my knowledge of the area through thoughtful writings and spirited feedback. I will attempt to have a fairly routine style so anyone reading can come to expect certain segments. Please excuse my incorrect grammar and occasional misspelling.

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