Everyone loves to talk about today’s most notable success stories – such as Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs – both of whom dropped out of school and built their own empire. The traditional educational system couldn’t keep up with their ambition, talents or goals. The question is, can your local university keep up with yours? And is traditional education really promoting the skills required in the creative or digital economy?
Entrepreneurship, innovative thinking and out-of-the-box goals are all on the rise, and traditional educational systems often cannot keep up and are somewhat becoming redundant. The fast-evolving digital age creates a multitude of job opportunities for ambitious youth who opt for non-traditional learning post-secondary. More and more youth are seeking out companies that redefine education, and it’s these youth who will end up landing their dream job.
It is the out-of-the-box thinkers and passionate dreamers who yearn for more modernized and applicable learning because they won’t get inspired or absorb information in a traditional lecture. Classroom lectures are often more about a professor getting a stage for their rehearsed monologue than students actually being engaged and thinking, doing, or getting inspired.
It is those very confines in that very classroom that will ultimately confine their opportunities.
There are countless other issues with traditional education, a perfect example being the history textbook. History textbooks used in traditional college classrooms are often bias or subject to distortion, censorship and political interference. This article entitled “History Textbooks and the Game of ‘Telephone’” points out that digital age gift of the internet allows us to find information that has not been censored by the government, and go ‘up the telephone line’ so to speak.
So, we know that traditional education has some holes, but is anyone actually redefining education in a way that helps youth to truly explore their opportunities? It’s OK for youth to attend a traditional college or university if they at least opt for some sort of up-to-date higher learning as an add-on to help them reach their money-making potential.
In other words, students must also seek to strengthen their abilities and skills that will be crucial in today’s economy. They’ll need to find a high-tech, creative supplement to their traditional education. Experience America is a no-limitations educational system that would be the perfect add-on. They organize educational ‘camps’ so that students can get the full experience when it comes to learning about their dream career. They specialize in thriving industries such as game development and fashion. If you do attend traditional traditional universities, Experience America will only enhance your education to its fullest.
Jesse Aujla, co-founder of Experience America explains: “Our camps combine Life Cycle Learning with a world-class travel experience that includes dynamic company tours. Life Cycle Learning lets students gain insight on all factors of their dream career, and on a company tour our students can interact with working professionals who are living it.”
This is important since the confines of the traditional classroom will put limitations on any given student’s potential. Instead of concentrating and memorizing, youth should be engaging and reflecting. Instead of listening to the monotone monologue of a traditional professor, they should be conversing with successful executives in their dream field of work. Youth should be encouraged to explore every angle of their curiosity and excitedly turn the corner during their company tour rather than morosely turning the page of their textbook. Learning, in that sense, should be an experience.
The thing with non-traditional learning is that it’s often experience-based and therefore breathes life into students. It allows them to become well-versed and well-rounded while encouraging them to truly discover themselves, their passions and their gifts.
True learning is very hands on and inspired – even better if the educational journey involves getting influenced by real-life events. Although academic learning has its value, non-traditional learning holds even more value.
This approach to education that Experience America has mastered is bang on. Take the tech industry, for example. Millions of the highest-paying and most dynamic dream jobs are in tech. The tech industry is so fast-moving and irresolute, however, that it would be nearly impossible for a slow-moving establishment such as a traditional university to respond quickly enough for effective learning. In fact, in a recent article in Inc, Aaron Skonnard said “in such a quickly evolving industry, information decays at a rate of 30 percent a year, rendering nearly a third of last year’s tech-related knowledge irrelevant.”
Not only that, but you don’t actually need a traditional University degree to land an awesome job in the field of tech. CEOs of some of the largest tech companies won’t actually care about that piece of paper. Your post-secondary degree is nowhere near as important as your capability to do the job and your modern conceptualization and grasp of the industry itself.
The most important part of the educational journey for today’s youth, however, is an acquired certainty of what type of career they really want (and what they’d be good at). Experience America’s camps are designed for just that. Jesse Aujla explains that in their game camp, for example, students can expect to come out of it knowing for sure what type of gaming career they want. “Students will get anecdotes from experienced industry professionals and learn about the trials and tribulations of game development, as well as the creative process. They’ll leave our Game Experience more aware of what area of this industry particularly excites them, knowing how games are made from start to finish, and whether or not a career in game development is right for them.”
With this hands-on approach to learning, students are able to imagine a day in the life of someone who holds their dream career, and learn all things not-so-sugarcoated as well as all of the highlights and everything in between. It’s with this comprehensive knowledge that students will therefore become more committed to their dream than ever before and ready to tackle it.
Erica Gordon is the author of Aren’t You Glad You Read This? The Complete How-To Guide for Singles with a History of Failed Relationships Who Want their Next Relationship to Succeed, available here.