My local community college has actually taken the forward looking position that technology is the key to all future employment opportunities for their students and has embraced that to a degree nearly unsurpassed in the United States. Most top-tier universities would be well served to follow their lead, as they’d produce more qualified graduates able to thrive and lead the country to a more prosperous tomorrow.
The first step they’ve taken is to mandate classes on Microsoft Excel. As an accountant, I deal with computers nearly every second of every work day, and the vast majority of my time is spent in Excel. This program is boundless, and as we say around the office, “if you can think of it, Excel can do it; you just have to find out how.” If our firm was able to hire experts in Excel, we could work around their skills to make a much more productive workforce. So a community college literally mandating multiple Excel courses is a brilliant way to help their students get jobs down the line.
Another impressive move they’ve made is to mandate courses in internet technology, website coding and building e-commerce stores. In this day and age the next great business can start for zero dollars and an idea. Or you can fashion an empire of internet retail stores for just a few hundred dollars per store and some specialized knowledge in how to get visitors to your website.
I started my website the Firewood Rack Outlet as a hobby, but I’ve quickly seen how easy it is to start a business online. This site has given me the tools to go out and build something bigger and better, and it was essentially a free master’s program in internet e-commerce.
If we can teach the next generation of students how to start from the ground up, then they won’t need a $200,000 Ivy League degree when they could take a fraction of that money and start 50 internet stores that sell real products in the real world with no business risk whatsoever. That’s why I’m so impressed with this new curriculum and I hope other community colleges will start with a similar plan across the country.