What has characterized the 21st century is the exponential number of changes brought forth by technology. It has disrupted the way of life uthor
nd improved how we acquire new skills. It has also reshaped how institutions provide their services, unlike any other time.
The presence of augmented reality, social media networking, wearable technology, virtual reality (VR) mobile and others have redefined how everything used to be done. Nowadays, most of us have to be in the never-ending school of learning new competencies.
An Overview of Higher Education
There are examples of higher education institutions already putting in place academic programs tailored towards what employers typically seek. In other words, there is a shift towards skill-based learning, which will prepare aspiring students to find a much more relevant career path. As 2016 comes to a close, three forces have revamped how we learn and teach. We will witness different pathways to higher education, experimentation with new teaching models and a student-driven curriculum.
A TechRepublic analysis confirms colleges have already started implementing various pathways to higher education beyond the traditional model. The following are examples of skill-based learning:
- Competency-based education (CBE)
- Massive Open Online Course
- Education business collaboration
- A headstart with earning college credits in high school
To get the most relevant education and experience from the marketplace approximately 600 schools have designed a skill-based learning program. This means future professionals will benefit from having the skills they really need versus having an academic curriculum that is not quite adapted to what employers are looking for.
The other teaching experiment that has yielded positive results is the use of massive open online courses (MOOCs). There are details still to be worked out with trying to find the right business model that can finance this educational framework. Elsewhere, academic entities and businesses have started working together more closely. One of the many benefits of teaming up is giving students the experience needed to land a job with a successful company. At the same time, the curriculum gets more personalized and readies students to prospect effectively employers that are a right fit.
Finally, one way to get a quick start is taking college level courses in high school. The benefit is reduced tuition and you end up earning college credits before embarking on your college career.
The Evolution of Entrepreneurship and Redefining It
An entrepreneur is someone who exercises initiative by organizing a venture to take benefit of an opportunity. It is also can be someone who has an idea and applies it to improve processes for whatever undertaking. Entrepreneurs over the course of human history have come from all walks of life.
The following infographic illustrates where entrepreneurs got started and where they are at the present time:
As the above visual graphic illustrates entrepreneurs have evolved since the renaissance. We first had renaissance tradesmen and then came the colonial expansion. After that, the industrial revolution produced a handful of novelties, inventions, and innovations. All of this catapults the 20th century followed by the information age with the internet reaching global reach on a massive scale. Then comes the internet, e-commerce along with innovative companies like Google, Amazon, Etsy, eBay, etc.
And this leads to the next phase of what entrepreneurs will be doing in the future.The era where holding a job for an indefinite amount of time or a number of years does no longer apply to entrepreneurial people. Individuals in this group see what new models can be tested and exploited. Sometimes having that bachelor’s degree does not land you the ideal position or career you want. As this post from Concordia University points out, a master’s of business administration (MBA) can especially produce successful outcomes on the road to success.
Going back to the University or college lets you network with professionals established in their field. You also get to know people outside of your industry letting you learn all of the ins and outs. And being surrounded by talent just allows you to get immersed in different environments that will nurture your own professional development.
As a Harvard Business Review paper thoroughly suggests there needs to be a revision into expanding the definition of entrepreneurship. Furthermore, large size businesses, enterprises, corporation and more must evolve their management practices. This means moving rapidly from employee management practices to fostering entrepreneurial management practices.
These rapid and disruptive changes have altered the traditional dynamics within the realms of education and entrepreneurship. Not only has education had to evolve but really reorganize the teaching material to meet the demands of the skills needed in the 21st century.
Institutions have begun rolling out new models of learning, new strategies of acquiring knowledge for professionals and entrepreneurs. Today unlike any other time, a startup culture has been born.
Companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and a host of others were started by a few regular people passionate about an idea. None of these companies were built overnight, but those who pursued the project to the very end saw a great reward that follows from hard work and sacrifice.
Featured photo credit: UNCG Research via Flickr via flickr.com