Teach yourself to learn or settle for a low-wage, dead-end job, says economist Tyler Cowen, author of Average is Over. Education Today talked with the professor and Marginal Revolution blogger at a recent OECD Forum in Paris.
To be employable at a decent wage, people need to “learn some skills which complement the computer rather than compete against it,” says Cowen. “Some of these are technical skills, but a lot of them will be soft skills, like marketing, persuasion and management that computers won’t be able to do any time soon.”
. . . people who are very good at teaching themselves, regardless of what their formal background is, will be the big winners. People who do start-ups already face this. They’ve learned some things in school, but most of what they do they’ve had to learn along the way; and that, I think, is the future of education. I’m not convinced that our schools will or can keep pace with that; people will do it on their own.
Taking a class to “learn some topic is absurd,” Cowen believes.
A class is to spur your interest, to expose you to a new role model, a new professor, to a new set of students. We should have way more classes which are way shorter. It should be much more about learning, more about variety, give up the myth that you’re teaching people how to master some topic; you’re not! You want to inspire them; it’s much more about persuasion, soft skills.