Fix education!

Looking at what is happening in the US, I think it’s fair to say that their education system is completely and utterly broken.

Forget about universities or colleges being about preparing you for a corporate career. The first order of business should be to have the fundamental ability and urge to teach kids and young adults about critical thinking, civic behavior and the likes.

To enable them to actually like in a democracy and not being taken on crazy rides by whatever authoritarian person offers to do so.

Failure to ensure that people can think the themselves and not be drawn to conspiracies and flat out lies will ensure failure in everything else – none mentioned, none forgotten.

Fixing education and the equal access to quality education is the biggest problem and – by association – the biggest opportunity for entrepreneurial spirits who thoroughly understand what’s truly at stake if this doesn’t get fixed.

We can only move too slow on this.


Become (sort of) a journalist

A day doesn’t go by without someone deeply questioning the value of higher education. It’s the cost, it’s the hazzle, it’s the time wasted on subjects you never get to use etc.

And a day doesn’t go by without young people feeling anxious about making the right choices for their education and subsequent careers. Because how do you make sure, you have got it right? That you can make your interest and passion pay your bills?

I have one cowboy trick for you:

Study to become a journalist (if you can get it, of course).

Don’t listen to all the people saying that there are no jobs to be had in the media industry.

First of all, there are, they are just more fragmented than ever and not in the usual places.

But second – and most importantly of all – an education in journalism can lead to whatever you want it to lead to.

I am the perfect example of that; I have been a journalist by education since 1999, yet has still to work as a traditional one in a newsroom.

But what I have done instead is to use some of the skills that I have in my genes and I learned to control more during my education;

My curiosity for asking questions. And ask again and again.

My determination to get to the bottom of something and not take ‘No’ for an answer.

My thirst for knowledge.

My passion for trying to connect all the dots.

My instinct to cut to the chase and settle on an angle.

My talent for communication and presenting the story.

When you have those things and you study to get better and better at them, you can apply these skills anywhere. Especially in todays world, where noise is amplified, and signal often gets lost in translation.

Studying to become a journalist is not a one-way street; it’s more of a giant roundabout with plenty of exit options in different directions utilizing the skills, you learned.

So if you want to take a safe punt, go and study to become a journalist.

It just might help make big things happen for you later on.


The WFH degree

Today Danish applicants for higher education get a letter saying whether they got into the education and institution of their dreams. Or not.

I don’t envy them.

Back when I studied at the Danish School of Journalism it was good times. No need for a grade point average; a grueling Saturday test decided who got in, and who did not. On average 15 percent got the nod. The rest didn’t. Once in it was good fun and super interesting – and an enormous opportunity to meet and engage will all kinds of fellow students from all walks of life.

Today, what is there to look forward to?

Endless Zoom classes? Lack of a social life with fellow students? Inability to feel the environment and get the most out of the network, the other students and the opportunities that present themselves once you get engulfed by it?

It sucks, right?

And it sounds an awful lot like the ‘Working From Home’ (WHF) concept, doesn’t it?

It does.

And it is so ironic, it’s beyond words.

What the students are already complaining about now – having to be all remote, suspect quality of the classes being taught via video, a lack of the university experience and fellow students – are essentially the same things we’re so busy hyping as the next big thing about WFH.

Studying is work.

Work is also studying.

If we say that we understand and are sympathetic to the complaints of the students about the quality of the education they are about to embark on due to these new circumstances, we should also – as a MINIMUM – put serious question marks on the impacts on quality, innovation and such on a WFH future, before we just jump right in as headless chicken.

I have little doubt, we will fail to make that calculation. And that companies and the ability to innovate will suffer because of it.