This past weekend was the 50th Anniversary of my business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi. In celebration we had a gala with all of our current brothers and alumni. The event was pretty standard except for one line that stood out to me. One of the founding brothers said in his speech.

“All your degree means is that you can be trained”

Let’s think about that.

It doesn’t matter if your degree is in liberal arts, business, or engineering, it simply means you were trained for 4 years (or however many it took you). For 4 years you did what you were required to do. You took the classes you had to take, got the grades you had to make, and paid the money that you owed. After all of that you receive a degree.

This was big in the industrial age when all factories needed were workers that did what they were told and could be trained. In many cases, corporations still value this training, they know you will jump to their company and do as you were told for a pay check. But as a society we need less workers who are simply willing to do as they are told for their whole college life and career. We need more free thinkers who change things. How can we create a system that helps us solve interesting problems?

I brought this up to Andrew Berkowitz (Host of Global Startup Movement) when he came down to speak on campus Thursday night. He had an interesting take where he believes the future of education relies on certifications. This is an opinion I hadn’t previously been exposed to but it immediately stuck with me. Imagine as a marketer if you guys SEO, Analytics, AdWords, and content certified instead of spending 4 years taking classes that are behind the times.

The future of college education is a fascinating debate, it seems that the model is outdated and a bubble is waiting to be burst. It will be an interesting industry to follow and I simply wanted to bring the topic up. If you’re still in college think about how you can get more out of your education and set yourself up for success. If you’re out of college reflect on what you got out of your degree and how you could have done better, then spread the word.