In the past, workers with average skills, doing an average job, could earn an average lifestyle. But, today, average is officially over. Being average just won’t earn you what it used to. It can’t when so many more employers have so much more access to so much more above average cheap foreign labor, cheap robotics, cheap software, cheap automation and cheap genius. Therefore, everyone needs to find their extra — their unique value contribution that makes them stand out in whatever is their field of employment. Average is over.

Thomas Friedman in the NYTimes on January 25, 2012

This is perhaps the most succinct argument for education reform. Technology and globalization are eliminating the value of the average worker doing average work.


2 thoughts on “Why education reform is so important: the average is over

  1. I agree with the premise that reforms are needed in education, but I disagree with the push for “more.”

    I think what we need is focused education. We need grassroots reforms to our system that would make the university more a la carte. The problem is that right now the average college debt upon graduation is $24,000.

    Considering this has risen every year for the past decade (and more), but wages have not kept pace, we see that every year college graduates are getting less value for each year of college that they pay for. Increasing the amount of college just further increases debt.

    I think a more long term solution would be for people to intern at companies right out of highschool. Then the company provides classes and certification (through the university system or others) as the individual progresses. This way, we focus on the skills the worker needs while not overburdening the system with thousands of students who’s main purpose is four years of socializing and partying.

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