An entire new feedback loop of accreditation is needed, and fortunately that feedback is within our control: it's a process I call accredit yourself.
Economist Michael Spence developed the job market signaling model of valuing employees based on their credentials in the 1970s. The basic idea is that signaling overcomes the inherent asymmetry of information between employer and potential employee, i.e. what skills the employer needs and what skills the employee actually has is a mystery to the other party.
While the cost of higher education has skyrocketed (tuition is up 1,100% since 1980), the educational yield of higher education has declined. The national studyAcademically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses, found that over one third of college students "did not demonstrate any significant improvements in learning critical thinking and other skills central to success in the new economy" and concluded that"American higher education is characterized by limited or no learning for a large proportion of students.".
One of the things we've seen from all our data crunching is that G.P.A.s (grade point averages) are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless. Google famously used to ask everyone for a transcript and G.P.A.s and test scores, but we don't anymore. We found that they don't predict anything. What's interesting is the proportion of people without any college education at Google has increased over time as well. So we have teams where you have 14 percent of the team made up of people who've never gone to college.
A resume is equally thin on information that accredits a worker's knowledge, skills and professionalism. A resume is a public-relations summary that everyone knows has been tailored to present the candidate in the best possible light. And precisely how useful and trustworthy is PR in any setting?
Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy(Kindle, $9.95)(print, $20)
Are you like me? Ever since my first summer job decades ago, I've been chasing financial security. Not win-the-lottery, Bill Gates riches (although it would be nice!), but simply a feeling of financial control. I want my financial worries to if not disappear at least be manageable and comprehensible.
And like most of you, the way I've moved toward my goal has always hinged not just on having a job but a career.
You don't have to be a financial blogger to know that "having a job" and "having a career" do not mean the same thing today as they did when I first started swinging a hammer for a paycheck.
Even the basic concept "getting a job" has changed so radically that jobs--getting and keeping them, and the perceived lack of them--is the number one financial topic among friends, family and for that matter, complete strangers.
So I sat down and wrote this book: Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.
It details everything I've verified about employment and the economy, and lays out an action plan to get you employed.
I am proud of this book. It is the culmination of both my practical work experiences and my financial analysis, and it is a useful, practical, and clarifying read.
Test drive the first section and see for yourself. Kindle, $9.95 print, $20
"I want to thank you for creating your book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy. It is rare to find a person with a mind like yours, who can take a holistic systems view of things without being captured by specific perspectives or agendas. Your contribution to humanity is much appreciated."
Gordon Long and I discuss The New Nature of Work: Jobs, Occupations & Careers(25 minutes, YouTube)
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