Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban already made clear higher education is facing an impending meltdown. To him, “Who gets elected won’t make a dang bit of difference,” because student loan debt has exceeded one trillion dollars and the economy’s only going downhill from here.
He’s now offering a solution, however, and it all relies on the cloud.
In a post called, “Which USA do you work in?” Cuban makes a distinction between the digital world and the brick and mortar world, writing, “What has happened is that the brick and mortar world has had every bit of intelligence that can be sucked out of it completely removed.” The only way for a smart company to become smarter is by automating its processes, meaning today’s students should have the foresight to learn the skills that can them land a gig in the digital world.
Cuban claims all the intelligence being sucked out of the brick and mortar world is being injected into the cloud, and that “digital entrepreneurship is experiencing a renaissance.” His reasoning?
Because with a Laptop, a SmartPhone, a broadband connection and an account on Amazon Web Services or one of their competitors, if you understand technology and are willing to work your ass off, you have everything you need to start a cloud based company. Everything.
And it’s those cloud-based companies who are “hiring, hiring, hiring,” spending less time looking at degrees and more time on hiring the people with smarts — experience not necessarily required.
What should be required, according to Cuban, is that every student utilize free online educational resources, like Coursera and Udacity. To him, “anyone with the focus and inclination and access to a PC on the net” has a chance to learn the skills digital companies are looking for.
Now, Cuban also makes a dig at professors and administrators, calling them out for being upset. Yet, why are they upset?
Because some of the classes they have taught for years would be replaced by newbie classes. I personally think a little change in the culture at schools is a good thing. Stop building and taking on debt and invest in new and relevant courseware. But that is me.
It isn’t just him, though. After all, research has found that several professors fear online education. And those professors who spend more time worrying than adapting their curriculum will be the ones outpaced first. Those who are outpaced will then be upset, but we can’t say they haven’t been warned.