Upskilling versus college education in 2040


Twenty years from now, more companies will prefer the upskill experience of workers compared to their college degrees and university names.

Upskilled workers

Techtonic Group, a Boulder-based software developing company, founded by Heather Terenzio, is the first government-approved apprenticeship program for program coding.
The founder was inspired by a young man who approached her after giving a talk at a vocational school. The young man claimed he was self-learning coding for ten years and would like to be part of Techtonic, to learn more. Terenzio was amazed by how the kid learned everything they throw at him, then something brilliant came out of her mind.
Since the company is having difficulty hiring qualified developers for their team, then why not train people the skills they need in their company. Techtonic gives out opportunities to applicants even without a computer science-related degree.
In the apprenticeship program, qualified participants are paid during training. After their training, they are being paired with senior staff employees to handle client projects. When everything goes well during the span of the project, the applicant is then considered an upskilled worker and will be hired by Techtonic or the client they did a project with.

Education and upskilling in 2040

Colleges and Universities will adapt to the needs of the industry. Traditional Universities are now being threatened with the decrease of enrollment and the ballooning of student debts. According to Ryan Craig, co-founder and managing partner of University Ventures. Before 2040, there will be a huge shift in how universities will function.

They will try to eliminate redundant departments and programs and will try to merge it with one another, to focus on employability based degrees.

Employment and return of investments will be the main priority of universities by that time.
Alternative colleges will start to emerge. If the long and winding road to a four-year degree in college is too much to handle for families barely earning for a living, then alternative colleges will soon pop out like mushrooms.
Craig sees these alternative colleges as suitable partners for big companies interested in skilled talents compared to degree holders. Just like Techtonic, once students comply with the basics from alternative colleges, they can then apply for apprenticeship programs at partner companies for upskilling.

At the end of the day, none of us really know what the future holds. It is just an educated guess based on the demand of the industry of today.

Featured image by PBCToday


Ken Vincent Rosales

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