In the near decades, humankind will radically rethink its concept of education, mainly university education. Admittedly, the separation of education into high school, college, and the university will probably sink into history as well. That is the opinion given by Stanislav “Stan” Yurchenko, an expert in information technology and Vice President of the Russian Academy of Business and Entrepreneurship. According to Stan Yurchenko, many prerequisites for that can already be traced, but it is only the beginning of a long way.
The basis for any learning model, whether a classical one or a European-American Liberal Arts one, is the concept of a ‘subject’, in other words, a set of facts and laws that connect a certain area of knowledge into a single system, explains Stan Yurchenko. It is the study of subjects that was always considered the key part of education. Much less time was devoted to nurturing skills and abilities to learn. “Or rather, it mostly just happened, in the course of mastering those same old subjects,” clarifies the expert.
However, in a fast-growing world, the penalties of such an approach are becoming apparent, all the more so as we move forward. “Even in the last century, a university degree could not provide someone with enough knowledge to last through their entire career,” says Stan Yurchenko. “Facts became obsolete, laws changed, technologies grew. A decade would go by and an expert would become a quack. Unless, of course, they did something about it.” In ‘doing something’, Stan Yurchenko includes various adult education institutions, as well as self-education and ‘staying abreast.
With the digital technologies appearing, the problem has moved on to a new plane: the aging of the university bundle may now take years instead of decades. In certain areas, only those experts who always ‘keep in shape,’ that is, continue to study throughout their entire career, have a chance to survive, explains Stan Yurchenko. “And that goes not only for developers and other IT specialists but also for chemists, biologists, and economists,” clarifies the expert.
Modernization of education, however, remains a matter of personal choice. “If you want to stay on course, you must read, attend conferences and training. If you don’t want to, no one is going to take your degree away. But in ten years, you’ll have a hard time finding a job,” warns Stan Yurchenko. However, the personal problems of outdated experts are not the most important thing. It is the economy that suffers from the headlong obsolescence of personnel, first and foremost. Businesses must constantly pull away from their employees for retraining or have a regular turn-over, hiring ‘fresh’ but inexperienced people.
The way out of the situation, to which the entire developed world will come unavoidably, is in re-thinking the entire concept of education. “The center of gravity will move from acquiring knowledge to acquiring the skill of learning, to pumping up the ability to acquire knowledge all the time and, most importantly, to working out such a necessity,” predicts Stan Yurchenko. “Moreover, this way of re-thinking will certainly impact not just university education, but high school as well. Then again, by that time, the boundary between the two institutions will wash out to non-existence.”
The rudiments of this new understanding already exist in present-day models of education, asserts the expert. “Originally, I received a fundamentally scientific education by graduating from the MIPT. What we were taught there, to three hundred percent, was to study,” remembers Stan Yurchenko. “That is why as I realized I needed it I took a second degree as an economist. In another ten years, I realized that I needed to systematize the accumulated business practices and went for an MBA.” In the expert’s opinion, this approach will soon be not a feat of willpower of the talented and successful, but a standard and common practice.
About Stan Yurchenko
Stanislav Vladimirovich Yurchenko (Stan Yurchenko) graduated from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT), Department of Control and Applied Mathematics, where he studied mathematical algorithms of speech recognition and their software implementation. In 2000 Stan Yurchenko graduated from the Moscow School of Management and Business Administration. In 2011 Stan Yurchenko was awarded an EMBA degree in France. In various years, he headed the development of large information systems for private businesses and government agencies