The College degree refugee crisis

The other day, I had this great conversation with a brilliant 17 year old. With multiple projects, hackathon wins and start-up experience under his belt, I’m continually amazed to see the zeal and passion in this generation. Amongst other things, we discussed the ubiquitous question – “Why attend university?”
 
In my days, beyond providing research and academic experience, colleges provided a social experience. These days, it looks like people learn a lot more from backpacking across South America or volunteering in Africa. When education is not confined to the university temples and options galore to get a job or make money, the million dollar question is- why university?
 
Having attempted to answer this question in the past with several high school students and debated it, in retrospect, with my own college mates- I flipped the question. Let’s try to answer Why “not” to attend university.
 
In the IT industry, the wrong reason to attend University is to “take refuge” in that seal of professional competency. At the pace of technological advancement, the shelf life of the hard skills you’d have acquired at college would expire before you can put it to good use. Do not rely on the false sense of security from a degree. The future of work is skills but the knowledge you’d require at work doesn’t ‘end’ with university education. When we onboard new university graduates, we discuss the one skill they’d need above all – Learnability.
 
To all my young friends – Hone your craft. Hustle. Stay Hungry.
 
What do you cherish most of your university experience? In your opinion, Why attend or not attend university?

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