The Connotation behind being “well-educated” is about to be turned on its head
Over the last few years, a plethora of learning resources, many of them free, have been made available to the public at large. Only a decade ago, getting a good education required a passionate learner to go to a university and learn all of this material through their professors. Now, there are a multitude of online resources that are available to students. In order to be an A-student before, one needed to study hard and do well on exams. The student of the 21st century only needs to have a passionate desire to learn.
As an example, I graduated with a degree in Environmental Engineering. I loved the material covered in my major, but found my web design skills lacking when I wanted to pursue entrepreneurship. So I learned on my own, using one of 50+ resources available out there. Now I have built a few nifty web apps, ranging from interactive periodic tables to quiz creators, and am working on making more.
Gone are the days for students to research at the library. Now, the internet is the 21st century student’s library.
As a result of the internet having advanced so much, students today are much more productive. Compared to students in the 20th century, students today save time from not having to go to the library or waiting on their dial-up internet connection (remember those horrible noises your modem used to make?). This allows them to pursue other activities such as volunteering, or work on their hobbies. Less studying, yay!
It is the self-motivated and the curious learners who will succeed in today’s world of informal access to almost infinite information. Additionally, It is a common rule of human nature that the less time you invest in something, the less you perceive its value to be. Even as I write this article, I wonder if my perception on traditional education has been jaded because of how little I studied compared to some of my peers.