Elon Musk on Education: “I Don’t Give a Damn About Your Degree”

Elon Musk On Education Harvard Degree

Serial entrepreneur Elon Musk on education has some uncommon opinions. He is the founder of Tesla and SpaceX. Musk holds American, Canadian, and South African citizenship. He lives in Los Angeles, and he doesn’t give a damn about your degree.

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Q: Elon, do I need a degree?

A: There’s no need even to have a college degree at all or even a high school diploma. If somebody graduated from a great university then maybe that’s an indication that they will be capable of great things but it’s not necessarily the case.

Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, and Steve Jobs didn’t graduate from college but if you had a chance to hire them that would be a great idea.

The key is to look for evidence of exceptional ability. If there’s a track record of achievement then it’s likely that that will continue into the future.

Q: Elon, how would you describe yourself?

A: I have a high innate drive and that’s been true even since I was a little kid. Back then, I did all sorts of risky things that I now realize were actually crazy. I care a lot about the truth of things and trying to understand why those things are true. If you’re going to come up with some solution, then it’s really really important that you know the truth and can anticipate that.

Sometimes I see things that seem quite clear and obvious to me, and I don’t understand why they aren’t so obvious to everyone.

Q: Elon, how do you educate your five boys?

A: I created Ad Astra which means “to the stars.” It’s different from most schools since there aren’t any grades at all. I’m making all the children go in the same subjects at the same time like an assembly line. This is because some people love English or languages, some people love math, and some people love music. It’s important to develop different abilities at different times and cater the education to match individual aptitudes and abilities within each subject.

I think it’s also important to teach problem solving or teach to the problem and not to the tools. So let’s say you are trying to teach people how engines work. You could start by the more traditional approach to teach all about screwdrivers and wrenches and even have a course on screwdrivers and wrenches.

But this is a very difficult way to do it. A much better way would be to show the engine and say “Let’s take it apart. How are we going to take it apart? Oh, you need a screwdriver. That’s what the screwdriver is for.” Then a very important thing happens. The relevance of the tools becomes apparent.

The regular schools just don’t do the things that I think should be done like the principles of focusing on one subject at a time and teaching directly to the problem. I actually hired a teacher from the school they were at who also agreed with me that there was a better way to do it.

The kids really love going to school, and I think that’s a good sign. I hated going to school when I was a kid. It was torture! So the fact that they actually think vacations are too long and they want to go back to school is a great sign.

Q: Elon, what do you have in common with Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Larry Ellison?

A: Those are pretty different personalities between Gates and Jobs and Ellison! All three of those were technologists but with different types of skills. Jobs was obviously very focused on aesthetics to integrate with the technology. He really answered the question of what people wanted even when they didn’t know themselves. Jobs was obviously not afraid to break boundaries.

Gates would probably be better at raw engineering and technology than Jobs, but not as good on aesthetics.

All of these guys were obviously very driven and they’re very talented and they’re able to attract great people to build a company.

The ability to attract and motivate great people is critical to the success of a company because the company is just that. It’s a group of people that are assembled to create a product or service. We all so often forget this elementary truth. So if you’re able to get great people to join the company and work together towards a common goal and you have a relentless sense of perfection about that goal, then you will end up with a great product.

If you have a great product, people will buy it and then you know you’ll be successful. It’s pretty straightforward.

Q: Elon, are you fearless?

A: I wouldn’t say I’m fearless. I feel fear quite strongly. If what we’re doing is something I think is important enough, then I just override the fear. But it’s not as if I don’t feel fear. I feel it stronger than I would like.

If the stakes are high and it’s really important, then I should overcome the fear and just do it anyway. It’s kind of annoying, I wish I felt it less.

Q: Elon, which venture that you founded would you say was the most risky at the start?

A: SpaceX. I thought it had the lowest chance of success. I thought both Tesla and SpaceX would fail at the beginning. What I thought was, “well, I’ll take half the money from PayPal and if I lose half of it that’s okay.” But then of course the companies encounter difficulties and then you have a choice.

1. Let the company die

2. Put all the money into the company

 

I really didn’t want the companies to die, so I put all the money into the company. Then I had to borrow money from friends to pay living expenses.

Q: Elon, what was your best idea ever?

A: Coming to North America was my best idea. I think these things would not have been accomplished anyway you know anywhere else. It’s really hard to start a company, but California and Silicon Valley is very conducive to startup companies. Whenever I read books in South Africa, it would seem like the cutting edge of technology was in Silicon Valley. So that’s where I wanted to come to move to this mythical place.

Q: Elon, are there things you regret having done or not having done so far?

A: There’s lots of things, but life is short. There’s lots of things that could be done that one can’t necessarily do. Overall, I think I’m pretty happy with where things are, it’s hard not to be. Things are in a good place right now.

I’d like to see humanity go beyond Earth and have people on Mars. That would be really great. I’d like to see widespread adoption of electric vehicles and renewable energy. These are great things and I think they would be really cool.


Watch the original interview here. Getting a job is hard. Here are some ways to decide if you should get a normal job or start the next SpaceX

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Representation In Film: Three Asian-American Filmmakers You Need To Know

by Katie Chang

 

When I was a five years old Asian-American filmmaker, I made my father follow me around our house with his camcorder.

I still watch the video sometimes. It cracks me up, seeing this tiny Asian-American filmmaker girl command the screen with such confidence. In the video, my dad records me as I tell a silly, rambling, completely incoherent story involving my Barbies. I believe it was some controversy between them and my Cabbage Patch Dolls.

A couple years later, my parents got me my own camcorder. They sensed my love for the camera and storytelling. These tools were used every single day in elementary school. With friends, I filmed music videos or mini soap operas with my friends. I gave them directions as I shot some shaky, handheld “cinematography”. Nowadays, it might be considered an artistic choice. I especially loved reenacting my favorite movies and TV shows, like Spy Kids, The Parent Trap, or Phil of the Future.

Something always bothered me growing up though. Too often in those movies, TV shows or music videos I loved, there was no one in the original cast who looked like me. Sure, Spy Kids featured a predominately Latinx cast (pretty revolutionary for the time). But it truly wasn’t until 2005, when The Suite Life of Zack & Cody debuted, that I saw a person of Asian descent in the popular media marketed to me as a typical, Midwestern girl. That actress was Brenda Song, but she played a ditzy, spoiled character that often lacked depth or empathy.

Brenda Song as London Tipton on Disney Channel’s The Suite Life of Zack and Cody

It was palpable to me as a young girl how little the entertainment industry valued people who looked like me, people with Asian heritage.

This fueled my fire. I was determined to become an actress. I would transcend the constant dismissal Asian actors face in Hollywood.

Here, I want to introduce three of my biggest female filmmaking inspirations. The three women that are all of Asian descent. Not only is their art inspiring, but their success in this industry continues to fuel that fire I felt as a young girl.

Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Born in South Korea but raised in California, Asian-American filmmaker Nelson comes from a family of illustrators and animators. She served as one of the key story artists for the first Madagascar film. She stayed on with Dreamworks when they began developing the Kung Fu Panda series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She was the head of story, action sequences supervisor and dream sequence director for the first Kung Fu Panda (2008). Nelson’s producer Melissa Cobb suggested that she take on the daunting role of director for Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) instead of overseeing only certain sequences. Thus, she became the first woman in history to solo-direct an animated feature film.

Kung Fu Panda 2 grossed $665 million worldwide.

After years of hard work, Nelson became a Hollywood icon. She directed the highest-grossing film by a female director ever (until Jennifer Lee debuted with Frozen). She was also the second woman ever to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. The first was Marjane Satrapi, who wrote and co-directed 2007’s Persepolis. I HIGHLY recommend watching this film. Due to the success of Kung Fu Panda 2, Nelson was asked to return for Kung Fu Panda 3 and co-direct alongside Alessandro Carloni. The film was released in 2016 and made more than $500 million worldwide.

Nelson is now venturing into live action films. Her first is titled The Darkest Minds and stars with Mandy Moore, Gwendoline Christie, Bradley Whitford and Amandla Stenberg. She is also developing a remake of the 2005 South Korean film A Bittersweet Life with Michael B. Jordan rumored to star.

Mindset behind Nelson’s Success

Speaking to Time in 2017 for their “Firsts” series, Nelson said:

Jennifer Yuh Nelson

 

 

 

 

 

“Everything about me is a little bit unexpected. I’m quiet, a female, and I’m Asian. But it’s actually been an asset for me because people allow me to sort of carve out my own space.”

Nelson’s honesty really stuck with me. The interview largely discusses her surprise at being asked to direct Kung Fu Panda 2. It signals to me that Nelson had been underestimated her entire career because of her Asian heritage and her quietness. But in that lack of attention, she developed her skills. She proved her worth as an artist. She broke through the glass ceiling that held her down.

Nelson certainly is settling into her space nicely and inspiring many young Asian-American girls who want to venture into the world of animation. It is especially inspiring to me. I am currently writing two full length scripts myself, one that is half-animated and one that is fully animated. Nelson’s career and story make me feel like I can achieve anything I want in this industry.

The One Thing I’m Passionate About

I decided to quit all my extra-curriculars and focus solely on acting classes. Though a lot of hard work went into the next four years, arguably I got lucky when I was cast in my first film at the age of sixteen. Granted, the character was based on a real person who was Korean. I had the advantage in terms of auditioning. I’ve reflected on this a lot, and I acknowledge that the character I played in that film was based on a person who is fully Korean. I am only a quarter Korean. This in and of itself is problematic and a form of whitewashing that I benefitted from.

After the film came out, I started to enjoy a burgeoning career. Still, I decided that I wanted to complete my education. I went to college where I studied film and learned more about being behind the camera. I obtained new insights about the history and theory of film as well as screenwriting. My studies encouraged my belief that there should be more people of Asian descent on our screens.

They also revealed to me how rare it is to find an Asian person BEHIND the camera. I realized how even rarer it is to find a FEMALE filmmaker of Asian descent. I have adjusted to being a full-time actress and writer over the course of my college career, especially in the last year. I’ve grown passionate about making connections with and discovering Asian/Asian-American/Hapa female filmmakers (“hapa” is a Hawaiian term for anyone who is of part Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry).

Mira Nair

Nair, another Asian-American filmmaker, was born in India and moved to the United States at age nineteen to attend Harvard. She began her filmmaking career there as a documentarian. In 1988, Mira made the transition to narrative features. She co-wrote and directed the critically acclaimed Salaam Bombay! The film follows the lives of street children in Bombay, India. Most of the child actors in the film were regular children Nair and her team found on the street. After the film debuted, she even created an organization called the Salaam Baalak Trust to help the street children-turned-actors.

Professional success

Salaam Bombay! was an international success, winning both the Audience and Golden Camera awards at the 1988 Cannes Film Festival, two National Film Awards, Top Foreign Film at the National Board of Review Awards and the Jury Prize at the Montréal World Film Festival. The film was also nominated for the Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Award and César Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Nair’s second feature, Mississippi Masala, was released in 1991 and starred Denzel Washington and Sarita Choudhury (Homeland, The Hunger Games) as lovers fighting for their relationship against immense racism and prejudice. Mira also directed Monsoon Wedding (2001), which won the Golden Lion at the 2001 Venice Film Festival. More recently, she completed Queen of Katwe (2016) starring David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o.

In 2016, journalist Kanika Katyal, writing for Youth Ki Awaaz, asked Nair: “When does filmmaking become a political act?” She responded:

Mira Nair on a press tour for 2016’s Queen of Katwe

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think filmmaking is a political act, it doesn’t become it. It begins from the inception – What do you have to say about the world in your film? What is your point of view?”

What I learned from Nair

Certainly, there are many filmmakers who did not set out to make overtly political films. Their art has value, and I do not think there is a right or wrong when it comes to the kind of societal message or impact a film should deliver. All I know is that I want to be like Mira Nair. I believe that my films will be at least subtly political because I want to examine, criticize and put the world I’ve grown up in on trial. Nair has done this throughout her entire career.

What do I have to say about the world of my films?

What is my point of view?

These are questions that will stay with me as I take my first few steps towards writing and directing my own work. Today, I feel bolstered and lifted up by Nair’s efforts to make a space for me as an artist.

Kary Kusama

As I am hapa, I felt compelled to lastly feature a mixed director in this post. There’s truly no hapa female filmmaker better than Karyn Kusama.

Asian-American filmmaker Kusama grew up with a Japanese father and a white mother in St. Louis. She studied at NYU, nannying to make money on the side. While nannying, she met filmmaker John Sayles and worked as his assistant for three years while he made the Academy Award-nominated Lone Star. Kusama released her first directorial/writing effort in 2000: Girlfight starring Michelle Rodriguez. The film was Rodriguez’s on-screen debut and follows her as a Brooklyn teen who turns to boxing to work through her troubles. Girlfight won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2000 Sundance Film Festival and garnered further critical acclaim for both Karyn and Michelle. It received accolades from the Cannes Film Festival, Gotham Awards, Independent Spirit Awards, National Board of Review Awards and the Deauville American Film Festival.

Kusama’s next two films after Girlfight were Æon Flux (2005) and Jennifer’s Body (2009). Critics considered both films as financial and creative failures, which landed Kusama in “movie jail.” During this time, Kusama vowed to never make another film again without having control over the final cut. By 2015, Kusama had returned to Hollywood in full force. She debuted The Invitation at the South by Southwest Film Festival to great acclaim and praise. She also began directing television, and since 2015 has worked on Chicago Fire, Casual, Masters of Sex, The Man in the High Castle, Billions and Halt and Catch Fire. Later this year, she will return to the big screen with Destroyer, a film about a detective reconciling with her past starring Nicole Kidman, Sebastian Stan and Tatiana Maslany.

Mindset behind Kusama’s Success

Speaking to RogerEbert.com’s Nick Allen in 2016, Kusama explained her personal influences in her work post-Jennifer’s Body:

Karyn Kusama

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I think for me, over the years I have really had to investigate my personal sorrows and the tragedies that have visited me over my lifetime. I had to really grapple with the fact that while I wish things could be different at times, I ultimately needed to experience the transformation that comes with pain and loss and sorrow.” 

Kusama’s work stands out not just because she is hapa, but because she wants to face true, naked pain head-on. Many current-day directors bolt in the opposite direction when confronted by the theme. Furthermore, she dealt with the hell that can be “movie jail.” Female Asian-American filmmakers too often find this as their exclusive domain, especially filmmakers of color. She came out on the other side, full of resiliency and even more-so determined to make art.

I hope you found this post interesting. I highly encourage you to check out works by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, Mira Nair and Karyn Kusama, as well as many other female Asian-American filmmakers I didn’t have time nor space to include here (i.e. Marilyn Fu, Meera Menon, Jennifer Phang, Grace Lee, Yulin Kuang and the up-and-coming Lulu Wang). These women inspire me every single day and I hope you find some inspiration from them too!

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s The Point Of Going To College: A Look At What We Believe Education Should Do For Us

What's The Point Of College?

What is the point of going to college? Is it only supposed to prepare you for the workforce? Or should it broaden the mind and expand one’s ability for developing and understanding new ideas? This question has plagued the minds, the lives, and the relationships between students and parents all over the country for decades.

It’s deeply troubling. But it doesn’t need to be.

 

 

A Matter Of Finances

As it turns out, the perceived purpose of college has been in debate for quite some time. On February 28th, 1967, the national conversation took a turn into territory that informs the way many people, students and parents alike, think about college in the present day.

On the day in question, Ronald Reagan held a press conference on the topic of the 1968 presidential election. He was the newly elected governor of the state of California at the time. The reporter’s line of questioning turned to the state budget. That’s when Reagan shifted his focus to education. When asked whether cuts in education were necessary, Reagan’s initial response was:

“…there’s no one in this administration that intends to do anything that will be harmful to education. But we do believe that there are certain intellectual luxuries that perhaps we co do without a year or two without hurting the cause of education. And we’ve asked for their cooperation both at the college and university level, in finding those things that can be done without getting into the real meat.”

 

 

Useful vs. Useless Majors

These “intellectual luxuries” Reagan referred to are liberal arts courses. The then-governor cites courses where students learn to organize political demonstrations and repair band instruments as examples, but we can safely extend his point to include many of the more arts-centered subjects as well as the humanities.

This idea—that some courses are less valuable than others and are therefore not considered part of a good education—is one that is alive and well today. If you ask a college student who is still undecided why they have not yet chosen an area of study, most students will say they do not know what kind of career they want to pursue. That seems to be the prime reason why undecided college students cannot choose an option. It is not because they are dazzled by the number of courses available for study. It is because they are preoccupied with finding the right subject that ultimately yields the greatest career and financial opportunities.

Parents all over the country urge their children to earn a degree they’ll be able to “use” in the future. That does nothing but confuse them. Every student thinks: “I want to major in _____, but if I do, will I be able to find a job? Are there even jobs available for this subject area? Will I make enough money to support myself?” It’s a harrowing, ultimately unnecessary thought that only holds the student back and dampens their ambition. The student places all their focus on one aspect of their future—earning a living. It neglects all other aspects that can potentially boost their ability to do so. Here’s what I mean:

 

 

Yes, College Should Absolutely Prepare A Student For The Workforce…

There is no denying that a college education is an invaluable resource for everyone. Nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals need to have a thorough understanding of medicine before they can even think about practicing in the real world. Business professionals need to learn about economics, finance, management, and a host of other concepts before they enter the working world. These things are non-negotiable. College can give a student the knowledge necessary to direct their natural gifts and earn a living to support themselves. However, it’s not exactly that simple.

 

 

…But It Should Also Refine Critical Thinking Skills And Fuel A Sense Of Curiosity…

Think back to any graduation ceremony you’ve ever attended. Celebrating a group of students who have the intellect and curiosity to someday change the world is the thesis of just about every speech you’ve ever heard. Why? Because good educators strongly believe in equipping students with the tools necessary to create, innovate, and solve major problems in our world. Yes, they want to you make a living, but education is ultimately about progress. Progress for you and your family. Also, progress for the children in our schools. Advancement matters for our society at large and for our world.

Progress takes a great deal of effort and thought. A college education should provide the tools to bring change.

 

 

…While Also Transmitting Culture Throughout Generations…

These days, students receive their civic and historical education largely though college. Think about it. In college, students (should) learn the importance of voting, the political process and the lasting impact our lawmakers’ decisions can have on us and our families, the history of many foreign countries and peoples, and so much more. Sure, much of this stuff is touched on in high school, but college is supposed to truly expand a student’s worldview. It is here that we learn about our role in society. These things are a crucial part of education because they ultimately decide our trajectory as a nation. Yesterday’s problems give rise to tomorrow’s solutions, which bring about more problems that need solving. College integrates students into a learning tradition in which old ideas are improved, built upon, or dispelled as per the current social dynamic.

 

 

…And Molding Students Into Functioning Adults.

There’s a reason why students leave home when they begin college. Being responsible for a certain number of classes per day, a certain amount of homework per week, and a bunch of extracurricular activities prepares students for the responsibilities of the real world. If you don’t show up to class, you could fail your course in the same way that you’ll be eating dinner in the dark if you don’t pay your electricity bill. Where do we learn to manage our time and commitments? Where do we truly feel the impact of our financial decisions and develop our social skills as adults? College.

 

 

Okay? So What?

Governor Reagan’s comments and the short-sighted attitudes that have survived over the years through our limited perception of college should not dictate how our students approach college and their future careers. Yes, of course college should prepare students for the workforce. That’s obvious, especially in our age of hyper-competitive job markets.

But we’re kidding ourselves if we want to pretend that’s all college is for.

Learning is a lifelong process. A professional in any field needs to know how to take a problem and come up with an effective solution, wonder how to change things for the better, and ultimately work well with others to create wonderful things.

While Reagan was absolutely right to emphasize job preparation, we must now include a proviso. Instead of encouraging students to pursue degrees that are directly applicable to certain industries, such as medicine and law, we must motivate them to cultivate their strengths so they will choose a major where they feel can achieve the most success.  Students will find more success in this, because it allows them to rely on their own ambition and work ethic rather than the agonizing luck-of-the-draw approach we currently rely on.

College is so much more than a place to find the best way to squeeze a good living out of our education.  It’s where we grow, mature, and where many of us discover what we think is important in life. Treating it as such will remove much of the stress and uncertainty from the college experience. It will enable our students, now and in the future, to decide on and commit to a path worth taking.

And that is a much better use of all of our time and effort.

 

 

For more thoughts on the state of education, homework help, and study tips, visit StudyGate.com.

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Valuable Life Skills That Extracurricular Activities Can Teach You

Back when I was in college, my classes took up ALL my time. During one quarter, I was attending five classes in one day, from 8 AM to 10 PM. It was brutal! As you can imagine, I got burned out pretty easily and wanted to do something fun in between all the work. That’s where extra-curricular activities come in!

There are sports teams, community service clubs, and other interesting things to do in your spare time! I joined my campus Circle K International and since that day, I had tons more fun and learned a lot of useful life skills that I just couldn’t learn in the classroom. Check out a few of them:

 

Leadership!

Nothing will make you prouder than overseeing something important and dedicating your efforts to make sure it succeeds.

I had the pleasure of becoming club treasurer while I was in Circle K, and that responsibility really helped me mature.

  • I was in charge of all the club funds and decided how to spend them,
  • I worked with our fundraising chair to come up with ways to bring in more money,
  • I wrote checks to all the charities we donated to.

It was great! Everyone needs to develop their leadership abilities in some way. You’ve got to learn how to take ownership of something you care about because that’s what sets you apart! It’s how you find success later on as you build your career!

 

Social Intelligence

Spending your time only at home and at school isn’t very good for you. Why? Because you’ve got to learn how to talk to people! This means learning how to listen, to have a good conversation and to use your natural charm to persuade. This is how you relate to others and make friends! You can’t get a lot of that in class, as you’re supposed to be paying attention, and you definitely can’t do that at home. Get out and meet people! It sounds intimidating (it was to me at first)! The goal is to become comfortable in your own skin. You’ll be more proactive, attract success, and be the best person you can be.

 

Valuable Skills Extracurricular Activities Can Teach You

Service And Empathy

During my time in Circle K, I was involved in a lot of community service projects. I worked at food banks, volunteered at sporting events and charity walks, and even cooked dinner at a homeless shelter. Helping others feels great, plain and simple. You should get into the habit of serving others once in a while because it teaches you one very important lesson:

It’s not always all about you.

I spent so much time worrying about my grades and finding a job that I would often forget that there are many in our world that don’t have even have a roof over their heads, much less the opportunity to go to school. Empathy is a very important trait. It’s related to social intelligence, too! It pays to be able to sense what people are feeling in order to be a better human being overall.

 

Marketing,Management, Strategy

Running an on-campus club is a lot like running a business. You’ve got a boss, a second-in-command, a bunch of other officers that oversee specific aspects, and a large group of people that benefit from what your club offers. As you get more involved, you start to wonder how you can make your club more popular and successful. That’s where marketing, management and strategy come into play. Delegate tasks to different people, advertise your club based on what you think people want, and plan events and activities that your members will want to come to. It’s not so different from the real world!

 

Creativity And Resourcefulness

Sometimes (Often), things just don’t work like they should.

Once, my club was scheduled to volunteer at a dog show one Saturday at noon. At the last minute, many of our freshman members called me to ask for rides to the event. Suddenly, with only an hour left to get there, my team and I scrambled to find a way to pick up twelve additional members and still arrive on time! So what did we do? We pooled our resources. Our club secretary had an old van that would accommodate half the members, and the rest of us split the other six among our own cars.

Was it a comfortable ride? No.

Did it work out in the end? Yes!

And that’s what matters. When things go wrong, you’ve got to know how to use your head, think on the fly, and come up with a solution.

 

 

They may say that extracurricular activities are all about having fun, but they do so much more than that. They teach you real-world skills and allow you to apply them in a whole bunch of situations. That’s valuable! Think about that the next time a friend invites you to their business club meeting! For more interesting perspectives and homework help, stop by StudyGate.com!

 

 

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How Corporate Education Creates Better Employees Instead of Better Humans

corporate university

Corporate university education giants like Wal-Mart, Apple, and Disney have long dominated retail and hospitality markets through the sheer size of their franchise and employee base. In recent years, however, all of these businesses made the decision to hone their employee’s life skills through training programs called Wal-Mart Academy, Apple University and Disney University. These programs claim to “build transferable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, guest service and effective communication”, but their true nature does not appear to be as promised.

walmart academy_corporate university

The core objective of Wal-Mart Academy, Apple University, and Disney University is to instruct employees about the history of the corporation they’re working for, the image each one strives to project, and how each employee can contribute positively to the corporation’s culture. Employees are offered incentives to complete company courses, and even just to be invited to attend, which can leave employees hanging onto promises of a better life for years on end. Wal-Mart often promises employees pay raises if they complete coursework at their academy, as well as the opportunity to rise through the ranks and become a salaried store manager. Apple University’s courses are not even advertised on the company’s website and are only offered as a reward to high-level employees like corporate managers. This attitude towards company education strings employees along as they hope to gain skills that will help them build a better future for themselves when they are simply just building a better future for their company.

corporate university_apple university

Disney University requires mandatory attendance from all of its cast members and is also offered to college students willing to work at one of the corporation’s locations. If college students choose to participate in the program, they are required to pay for housing in the chosen resort, which can cost hundreds out of pocket. Again, these employees are supposedly trained to better themselves for future career opportunities, but their course material is so limited that it is only relevant within the specific corporate culture.

The next time you think further education at any level is beneficial, do your research. Corporations are indeed educating their employees, but only to survive in a singular setting.

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Amazing Strategies to Market Yourself as an Online Tutor

online tutors_online tutoring service

Personally and professionally we all want to shine in this world. Success is often measured in terms of recognition and exposure. We cannot all be famous, but some acknowledgment for the skills we possess and for what we have achieved go a long way toward filling the need we seem to have to feel accomplished, or even admired. In the digital marketplace, financial rewards also come from greater online attention.

The internet presents many opportunities to get your name out there. Yet without a clear strategy, it is just as easy to become obscured by the veritable flood of information and personalities online all clamoring for attention. Probably no magic formula exists beyond having endless financial resources, great agents, and publishers, or hiring an ingenious search engine optimist who can move your website to the top of Google’s queue.

However, having an agile method to improve your online presence can help you improve business as you gain financial independence as an online tutor. Here are some simply amazing strategies that may give you an edge in the world of online tutoring.

Recognize your value and potential

Confidence matters whether in person or online. Find an area to specialize in and build experience, credentials, and a personal appreciation for your own value. People gravitate toward those with competence, and from a charisma that comes from knowing what you are good at. This reveals itself in how you correspond and communicate online or in real life.

Exploit a niche market

The web can be mesmerizing and bewildering, but it is not complete. Look beyond the volume of information and find angles that differentiate you from the competition. This is where opportunities lie. People find success every day recognizing what is not available there, as opposed to what already exists. Do some research on your competition, and recognize how they market themselves. Seek areas to concentrate on that others have overlooked.

Network through various channels and social media sites

online tutors_social mediaMany social media sites exist beyond Facebook and Twitter, believe it or not. Wikipedia lists 213. Others might include Minds, which is free and secure, and Ning, which a paid platform, for general social networking. But also Upwork and even Craigslist posts can draw new clients in. The Italki platform connects language learners with native speakers. Individual countries and regions use specific sites if you want to venture into foreign markets. Renren, of China, Mixi, of Japan, and Twoo, in the Spanish-speaking world are popular. Using existing connections help, but also leveraging your current students to spread the word can move your name across different networks. Obviously, LinkedIn is a go-to site for business-related networking, but others are available. But beyond this, it may matter more what you post as far as content than directly soliciting clients on social media sites, which can be perceived as a put-off.

Create a website or blog site and promote it

If you have the computer skills to build your own site from WordPress or other sites, this is great. If you don’t, many online custom portfolio sites exist that will build one for you that is user-friendly. Portfolios are becoming valuable because employers ask for them. But also they can be a resource to show clients that you know your business. Publish articles and insights of interest in your field to let them know you are serious and engaged. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) writing is an art and science that can be acquired. Keep up on the latest development and strategies to improve your chances of staying up at the top of search engine. People normally do not scroll through multiple pages.

Publish in your fieldonline tutors_publish

Publishing opportunities are more available now than ever before. It may take some time to develop relationships with any of the top journals or magazines in your field. But other venues are easier to get your foot in the door. Publishing articles allows you the credibility clients and parents look for. Once you have a few articles under your belt, with by-lines, you can add them to your portfolio or send them along to potential clients to assure them of your expertise.

Create a series of tutorial videos on the subject

Youtube has a shortage of good tutorials in the academic fields. The ones online are often amateur in quality and not terrific, with a few good ones interspersed. Khan Academy YouTube videos have become a model for the potential of this type of work. Personality and quality presentations are a great way to grow your reputation.

Work for an established tutoring agencyonline tutors_online tutoring website

Registering for an online tutoring agency or academic services company will instantly give you credibility and allow you to hone your skills through the experience. Depending on your persistence, skill, and ambitions, it can become a solid revenue source. The advantage of working for an agency is that they take care of much of the marketing for you. You will be able to focus on building up your reputation and network within an established system. You will also feel like you are part of a community, while at the same still maintaining your status as a freelance or independent tutor.

Obviously, all of these strategies involve constant work and development. Yet money is out there to be made simply when students need extra science homework help. Reaching them, letting them know that you are qualified and available involves a bit more effort. But whether you tutor full time or as a side venture while you write your next great novel, or finish that Master’s Degree, opportunities are there for the taking in the digital tutoring world.

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The Future of Jobs: How Technological Innovation will Affect the Future of Work

the future of jobs

The robots are not coming; they’re already here. And they are changing the future of jobs market for your kids in ways you may not necessarily expect. Some analysts envision apocalypse where others see salvation, but artificial intelligence and technological innovation will likely affect the future of work somewhere in between. While not all the experts agree, there are some common themes that suggest that the best jobs and ways to make money in the future are counter-intuitive.

Nothing is more widely agreed upon than the accelerated pace of technological change that shows no signs of slowing down. Billionaire investor Mark Cuban observed that, “what took 20 years before, and then became 10, could be 5 or 3” in the near future.[1] Young people entering the workforce today will likely have multiple careers, engage in more freelance work, and will not have the job security their grandparents or even you have experienced.[2]future of jobs-effect of automationAutomation is also routinely recognized as a major catalyst of job market change. While the loss of manufacturing jobs is currently the most observable effect, today’s top jobs may be equally under threat in the future. Industries such as programming, finance, and engineering look like attractive career directions for your child now, but in 5-15 years, these fields will also experience major job losses due to automation.[3]

The accelerated pace of innovation and automation do not need to foreshadow future unemployment for your children, however. Their thinking about what job skills are valuable may just need to change. Harvard education expert Dr. Tony Wagner outlines seven “survival skills of the future”: critical thinking & problem solving, collaboration & influencing, agility & adaptability, initiative & entrepreneurship, oral & written communication, assessing & analyzing information, and curiosity & imagination.[4] Rather than competing with technology, students should be seeking jobs in areas where humans have a genuine competitive advantage with these types of skills.

future of jobs_critical thinking

With terms like data analytics, the Internet of Things, and blockchain technology regularly surfacing in the media, it can be tempting to drive students toward only technical or “practical” fields where parents imagine more promising job offers pouring in. But the jobs of the future will favor people with soft skills, critical thinking ability, creativity, and adaptability over those with narrow, technical expertise. In 2017, a philosophy major may be a more prescient, “robot-proof” choice than a finance major. Only time will tell.

[1]https://youtu.be/CxD4F3MQRDI?t=13m

[2]https://psmag.com/economics/the-future-of-work-we-have-been-here-before

[3]https://youtu.be/CxD4F3MQRDI?t=13m

[4]https://singularityhub.com/2017/07/04/7-critical-skills-for-the-jobs-of-the-future/

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