Came across this article. Peter Thiel, who founded PayPal, an early invesor in Facebook and manages Hedge Fund and Venture Capital Fund, feels that college degrees result in unnecessary financial burden on students in the form of loans which they have to pay back by getting a good job. Instead he feels that companies should do away with ‘useless’ college degrees for the purpose of recruiting talented people.
Here is a transcript from his comments:
“When you hire people, stop requiring college degrees. If you need skills, knowledge, or talents, ask for them specifically, since a BA doesn’t guarantee these things. Review your hiring practices over the next six months, and let’s move toward reducing the demand for student debt and useless credentials by letting extraordinary young adults skip college. If we replace this requirement with more relevant measures, then colleges can focus their efforts on providing skills and knowledge for actual careers.”
Even I am perplexed at the audacity of this idea. However, to think of it, it is a challenge to the so called education system and the status-quo that exists therein.
How successful Thiel’s group of 20 selected fellows become in a year’s time can be debated and experts will have differing opinions on this. But what is truly appealing is the thought process of this VC/Entrepreneur.
India, for example, definitely needs an overhaul of the education system. Atleast the American education system encourages independent thinking. In India, education is abysmal and is limited to a set of exams and syllabus that students need to pass to qualify as a graduate.
I am sure none of the Indian VCs or angels can go this far to banish education as a whole and create a parallel fellowship that aims to create entrepreneurs.
Whatever the outcome, whether Thiel succeeds or this system fails, have to laud the thinking behind such a project.
I am sure the India education system can take a cue from this and develop something more inclusive and challenging for the students.
Just a bunch of exams and 8 semesters of Engineering produces GARBAGE! And India produces thousands of GARBAGE every year, WHICH ARE RECYCLED BY THE IT COMPANIES!
To read the critics of Peter Thiel’s fellowship program, please click on the links below: