“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next”.
Carl Rogers said, “the only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change”.
I often wonder what will be the assessment from men of this caliber if they were to assess education today. What will Mr. Rogers think of bootcamps? You know, the five day certification approach. What will the good old Abe say about multiple choice testing? I can envision Pavlov admiring the classroom of today as a testimony to his studies of temperament, classical conditioning and involuntary reflex actions. Maybe Jung would give Freud a “nah, nah,nah, nah,nah”. All in all, these men would be amazed at what the learning environment has morphed into.
Way back in the 60’s foundational education was taught. Reading, writing, comprehension, Math was the start of your journey. Our world has evolved to computerized learning where these instruments are quickly removing or, should I say, devaluing the need to think. Smart devices! Smart phones, smart TVs, Apps, Spellcheckers, you name it, a PC will do it. Oh how computers have made life wonderful. This sentiment, unfortunately, has carved the approach to learning from top to bottom. Twitterize it! Who suffers? Mankind as a whole. I had written a few years ago that the concept of selling is cannibalistic. I will sell it to you regardless of your need, your readiness, you suitability or your Return On Investment. So goes IT training.
Illusions are peddled with unforgiving fervor. Get certified in five days and get a $100K job. Who suffers? Career changers being fed snake oil without conscience. The truth of the matter is, getting into IT is not easy as the sales person states. It entails a commitment to read, research, practice, question, and #stickwithitness. The blinding pace at which computers are advancing warrants a professional with a strong understanding of the basic theory of how computer technology works. Employers are thirsty for qualified people to fill tech jobs. Emphasis should be placed on the word qualified. Why not regulate programs? Why not demonstrate a commitment to quality? Why not work on Smart employees first, then you will have smart employees troubleshooting, configuring and baby sitting smart devices. I remember on more than one occasion having students who were told that if they do not get the certification, this is after five hectic days, with a six hundred page text, they will not have their position. Pressurized learning, is it?
This brings me to the training institution. For example,a Net+ class, though not advanced, requires at least a modicum of PC literacy. Prerequisites should be upheld. IT training is needed, its rewards are immense, its professionals are passionate so maybe it should be reinvented with more emphasis on the learner. I know of a few CEOs who are not merely businessmen/number crunchers but are passionate about learning. Maybe they can come together and set standards. Instructors on the other hand, I know thousands. So where is the fix? The fix is with the instructors. If we demand and stand by the principle that we would not bastardize our profession, things will change. The best advertisement is a satisfied ex-client. Paid for testimonials are as transparent as a Wonder bread bag. Having met thousands of students I know the motivation is there. We in America can do much better with our education systems, with our unemployed. How you may ask? By getting truth, commitment, quality, accountability and passion embedded in our IT training environments.
Emerging trends reveal the need for strong analytical thinkers. Mobility creates a cat and mouse maze, thus forcing the IT professional to wear many hats. The strength of our profession is displayed by the fervent communities sharing knowledge worldwide. Yes we have benefited immensely from the advances in technology. Access to YouTube videos, Twitter, LinkedIn, and all the collaborative tools are irreplaceable in the classroom. However, we cannot or should not subjugate ourselves and our natural abilities and humanism to computers.