We all keep hearing about the accelerating rate of technological change. The rate of change itself is accelerating. It’s an exponential phenomenon. Gordon Moore, the cofounder of Intel, codified it in a research paper published in 1965. He outlined that the amount of transistors on a silicon chip was doubling about every 18 months and that trend was going to continue. It has continued for 50 years.
It is sobering to think that this is the slowest rate of change we are going to experience.
And as we ramp up these exponential trend lines of compound doubling, tripling, and more in more and more compressed timeframes, properties emerge that could not be predicted or anticipated.
How do we best prepare and train for this rapidly advancing terra incognita? How do we provide education for broad swaths of humanity that remains relevant for fitting in and taking advantage of the emerging world?
Even as barriers to entry and gatekeepers are being marginalized and made irrelevant, the ability to maneuver and exploit new tools and concepts create new hierarchies and class systems based on access and knowledge.
The digital divide between those facile with computers, coding and programming, and those who are not is only one coarse cleaving that separates opportunity and relevancy.
Education is a mirror of the world. As education falls behind the curve, what we teach loses relevancy. This is important in pragmatic education, stuff that deals with the world as it is and our place in it as functioning value adders. This kind of education was prized in classical times and the purveyors were called Sophists.
Sophistry fell on hard times, as educational purity was perceived to be idealized knowledge not intended to influence the political and commercial worlds.
This kind of educational experience has now fallen on hard times. Getting an art history, or literature or philosophy degree is seen as not practical because it won’t lead to a job that will support the student loan payback. Better to get an engineering, law or business degree.
Education has bifurcated. Sophistry is now considered the practical path and educationally pure subjects of knowledge, for its own and aesthetic sakes, is patronized as not worthwhile. There is little time for contemplation of beauty and truth; we have to make stuff.
What is worthwhile to make? What the market demands? What is worthwhile to study? Where the jobs are, or are going to be? How do we know where the jobs are going to be? Follow current trends and extrapolate?
The impact of Negative Interest Rates
A particular anecdotal example of how pragmatic education and the real world have diverged is Corporate Finance and its companion overlapping subjects Economics and Accounting. Finance is predicated on the Time Value of Money: that a dollar today is worth more than a dollar in the future. The relationship between the present and future value is interest rates. Finance textbooks run into the 800s and more of pages and courses are taught at hundreds of institutions. Nowhere have I run into any meaningful discussion of a phenomena of recent years that turns it all on its head: negative interest rates. There are bonds that have carried negative interest rates for most of a decade now and yet this phenomenon has not made it into the discussion. It doesn’t fit the existing models and knowledge and all the printed materials and the training of the professors and instructors.
Technological change requires tight coupling and strong connections between education and employment. This is what I am trying to do with MBA ASAP. My platform is for business education, professional development, and skills enhancing to help stay relevant and to actualize dreams.
Through MBA ASAP I am presenting only the most important concepts of business acumen across all the main subjects of an MBA curriculum. It is continually enhanced and updated as things evolve in the world. I take the best thinking on the subjects as I become aware of them and try to distill it into succinct and graspable and actionable knowledge.