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Deb Burdick-Hinton

I posted a more detailed comment in reference to your "Knowledge Worker on the Decline" article. Here are some additional thoughts to ponder. I want to emphasize I am a huge fan of Nine Shift and really enjoy your website and book.

I think it is important that we encourage and empower ALL students to pursue post secondary training in ANY form and fashion that works best for them and, more importantly, results in a JOB. The 4-year traditional university model does not work for so many, while a technical certification, apprenticeship training, and other models do. The most important statistic the University tracks is Degree Completion, while other non-4 year institution are most interested in JOB PLACEMENT in the training area. Isn't that statistic more important? Many Universities are in need of a serious overhaul (or Shift :-)). Industry certifications are more of a guarantee of placement in a high paying job than a 4-year degree and the bottom line is that the attrition rate of students in 4-year programs continues to be very high and so many of the courses you have to take to complete your 4-year degree have little relevance to the profession you are preparing for. I need to emphasize that a 4-year degree did get me to where I want to be in life and I do value it, although it unfortunately included a ton of courses that had little to no value to me, but I jumped through the hoops and luckily got a decent paying job, which I needed to start paying off my $30K in debt. Starting life with a huge debt is a tough way to start out and so many students have a huge debt and no degree and no job. I have a tough time encouraging all students to go that route.

Today's kids have knowledge at their finger tips. They do not need to jump through hoops to access knowledge and many do not have the patience for the traditional university walls and halls. Let's promote continuing education for EVERYONE in whatever form or fashion that gets students into good paying, fulfilling careers. A 4 year degree can start students and families out with huge debts. In order for those debts to get repaid they need to lead to jobs and so many university degrees do not. Many 4-yr degrees require additional advanced degrees so they can teach at the university and continue the cycle. That said, many do an excellent job and suit the needs of students but I do think it is important that a 4-year degree is not the only measure of success for our postsecondary students. Thanks for bringing up this topic.

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