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DYOE - Why Design Your Own Education is the future of survival.

“If the primary purpose of school was education, the Internet should obsolete it. But school is mainly about credentialing.” - Naval Ravikant

Learning Institutions are dead. I’m pointing towards new paradigm shift.

Skills vs Degree
Skills vs Degree

Old Model

An old model where to obtain education you need to:

1. Select single field of study. 2. Part with mobility and optionality + thousands of dollars. 3. Commit to 4 years with zero clue how your field will work in real world. 4. Have a central organizer dictate what’s worth learning in your field. 5. Have your teachers assigned to you with little room for choice. 6. Focus on the theory over the practice, memorization over problem-solving. 7. Learn from people without skin in the game. 8. Depend on certificate issued by institution to prove you learned something.

Despite the shortcomings, going to learning institution has been a shrewd choice for each generation before millennials. But over the past 20 years, two new trends have emerged which made this choice a lot more questionable:

Fees increased due to tuition inflation Value decreased due to credential inflation

Let’s begin with the first.

Tuition inflation

In the 1980s study year, the normal annually educational cost in a public institution was 3,190$ (alter to reflect today’s dollars). Refer CNBC

In the late 2020s, the normal was 9,970$ — a whopping 213% increase. If you select a private institution, you’re aiming to pay a lot more — the normal for 2020s stands at 34,740$.

More and more students take on student debt to finance their education — roughly 70% of graduates left with student debt, and the average sum owed is a whopping 39,400$. People often underestimate harm from going into debt early in life. It’s not the money — it’s the financial options. The most valuable thing a young person has options of  

• location • occupation • education 

Having to begin paying down debt right out of learning institution makes young person less likely to utilize their options for things like:

• Taking an unpaid internship beneath under a great mentor. • Traveling for six months. • Starting a business. • Pursuing a recently found passion.

And countless other endeavours one can chase in his early twenties to accumulate life experience and take advantage of opportunities.

Avoid Debt
Avoid Debt

There’s nothing as compelling as debt in making sure an individual remains in his limited lane and never explore his full options. And it’s not just the graduates who have to pay; their parents suffered from rising education costs as well. “It is a huge drag on the middle class, who have been plowing an increased share of their savings into educational institutions, transferring their money to bureaucrats, real estate developers, tenured professors of some discipline that would not otherwise exist (gender studies, comparative literature, or international economics), and other parasites. In the United States, we have a buildup of student loans that automatically transfer to these rent extractors.” - Nicholas Nassim Taleb

Credential Inflation

While higher education cost more than tripled over the past 30 years, the value of a degree continuously fell due to credential inflation feel like red ocean. As more individuals get degrees, what used to be unique accomplishment becomes trivial.

Blue Ocean vs Red Ocean
Blue Ocean vs Red Ocean

Bryan Caplan, in his book “The Case Against Education”, contends that 80% of the value of a degree comes from what the degree signals to employers, and not from the knowledge and experience gained while obtaining it. Caplan stated three identity characteristics that a degree signals which are desired by employers: 

• Intelligence • Persistence • Conformity 

The issue is that signalling is a zero-sum game; gaining a degree doesn’t send a solid signal if lot of other individuals have degrees. In addition to this, should we spend four years in boring classes just to demonstrate we are persistent? Aren’t there other ways to signal intelligence but for memorizing dry facts we’ll disregard in a year? Today more than ever, the means for learning are abundant. Major strides in technology and a new economy enabled by the internet open the door to a new model of education — one where the person takes responsibility for his advancement, and the way that he paves for himself signals not only intelligence and persistence, but also curiosity, inspiration, and accountability.


I stated eight characteristics of the old model. Now here is new model.

New Model - DYOE - Design your Own Education

8 methods of DYOE

1. Combine information from diversified disciplines to make a unique mix.

The internet economy is making new professions at a pace too quick for learning institutions to come up with degrees to match them. Numerous of these professions require two or three distinctive skills, which aren’t instructed within the same degree or even in the same faculty. 1) Take cryptocurrencies, that modern innovation you likely didn’t know existed thirteen years ago. A novel field emerged on the internet, and crypto specialists are in high demand. To profoundly understand cryptocurrencies requires capability in at least three fields: economics, cryptography, and computer science. 2) A diverse set of abilities is required for becoming a successful blogger — another internet-age profession. Writing classes alone won’t do, as you need to understand marketing psychology and have sufficient business aptitudes to monetize your work. It’s quite often now individuals with a unique mix of skills and experience isolated themselves from the pack.

“Everyone has at least a few areas in which they could be in the top 25% with some effort. In my case, I can draw better than most people, but I’m hardly an artist. And I’m not any funnier than the average standup comedian who never makes it big, but I’m funnier than most people. The magic is that few people can draw well and write jokes. It’s the combination of the two that makes what I do so rare. And when you add in my business background, suddenly I had a topic that few cartoonists could hope to understand without living it. Capitalism rewards things that are both rare and valuable. You make yourself rare by combining two or more “pretty goods” until no one else has your mix.” - Scott Adams

2. Keep your alternatives open, remain location independent and debt free.

Like I mentioned, one of the benefits of being young is having no strings attached. You don’t have a family to nourish, and you’re still early enough in the race that you can manage experimenting.

Grounding yourself to a city for four years, whereas committing to a full plan and thousands of dollars in debt — eliminates that advantage almost entirely. You can take a course in nearly anything on the internet for less than 100$, design your learning schedule to fit your life and dodge being location-bound. You’re free to take a day work that gives you valuable experience, move to new city on an impulse to seek an exciting opportunity, test your new business idea, or start a blog whereas traveling; You've got nearly boundless alternatives once you secure your education online.

3. Commit to a skill few months, re-evaluate using hands-on experience

How can you select a field to commit four years of your life to in case you’ve never went through a day working in it? And more importantly — why would you? Imagine you needed to be an game developer. In the old world, you'd enlist in a 4-year computer science program — hopefully one that gives a specialization in games. It would take a long way to come in real contact with the gaming industry, which is basic for figuring out if you’re truly on the correct track. In the new world, you download the Unity game engine for free, watch free tutorials, and you’ll have your first game running. It will suck, of course, but you’ll know that you’re having fun. If you found that you do, you'll spend 6 to 8 months improving your abilities, taking courses on Udemy, joining a community of indie developers, engaging with individuals from the game industry on Twitter, and attempting to secure a few freelance gigs on Upwork. Once you have got a few real grindings with the industry you need to work in, you'll be able choose in case you’re progressing or attempt something else.

4. Build your own learning and update as often as the world change and evolves.

Within each discipline, there’s a tremendous variety of subjects, and advancements are happening each day. When other individuals design your educational programs, they dictate what’s worth learning and what you should focus on. The central planner plan doesn’t have your specific interest in mind, and might not be up-to-date with the most recent improvements in your field. That can result in you spending time in classes that don’t serve your objectives or don’t intrigued you at all. Let’s go back to our game developer example. Do you want to focus on mobile games, or on console games ? Do you need to work for a huge company like Electronic Arts, or do you plan to start your own indie studio? How you reply those questions will decide what programming dialect you should focus on and what extra abilities you should develop outside of coding. Don’t take off these choices to somebody else. Your time is valuable and scarce.

5. Choose the best teacher for each skill.

Who you learn from is just as vital as what you learn.

By enrolling up for learning institution, you constrain yourself to a handful of teachers who work there. When you design your own education, you can choose the best teacher for each skill — one that has the experience you’re searching for and the teaching style that resonates with you. If your objective is to get into Crypto programming, take a live workshop with Crypto Influencer. In case you want to become a best writer, Malcolm Gladwell offers a online course. In case you want to learn investing, reading Buffet and Taleb offers the higher ROI than finance course in Harvard. With time, the finest teachers will float towards teaching on a gigantic scale, not in higher institution, because that’s where impact and monetary benefits could scale to the level of their talent. Whether you adore or despise Jordan Peterson, he makes way more cash and impacts a lot more individuals presently than he could ever dream of as a professor.

6. Focus on practical scenarios by solving real problems (but study valuable theory).

If you need to be a graphic designer, which alternative is more likely to develop your skills? 1. Memorizing facts on the history of art. 2. Figuring out how to get that logo right for the client you enrolled from Upwork. If you go the second route, you’ll be forced to answer fundamental questions: • How do I get a clear understanding of what the client wants? • Should I show the client numerous illustrations, should I hold up until I have a final design? • Am I enjoying this?

Finding the answers to questions like these will take you speedier towards your goals, and if you ever feel like you lack theoretical knowledge — nothing stops you from getting it.

Focusing on practical, hands-on learning doesn’t mean you reject theoretical knowledge — only that you just got to be persuaded of its value before you invest your time.

7. Learn from individuals that have their reputation on the line and a stake in your success.

You should worry about your professor’s tenure. He has small gain from your success, and nearly nothing to lose if you fail. In other words — he has no skin within the game. A teacher offering a 15$ course on Udemy might not have this level of skin in the game, but he still needs to compete with other teacher in his space. In case the course is anything less than excellent, it’s impossible to stand out, which specifically impacts his financials.

Teachers who offer their products and services in an open market must gain people’s trust each day, and they’re always a few bad review aways from losing it. The significance that online buyers put on reviews grants the student extraordinary power. In the event that you purchase a high-rated 15$ course and leave a negative review, the educators suffers more than 15$ worth of damage. That makes his interest more aligned with yours, a direct result of skin in the game.

8. Have your work vouch for your ability, not a piece of paper.

People don’t care about degrees; they care around getting things done. If you persuade that you can deliver, bosses will give you chance. If you exceed their expectations, they’ll do nearly anything to keep you. Today, no one inquired about degree. When companies contact a specialist, the only thing they care almost is that stuff can be delivered. It takes work and a creativity to get your foot in the door, but you can win years of long life in return.


I’m not proposing that no one should go to institution, but we should think about it as one of numerous choices, and not a default path for everyone. In my opinion, you should go to learning institution only if following conditions are met: 1. You’re certain that you need to spend at least a decade of your life in the field that you’re studying. 2. The only way to get into that field is by getting a degree.

If that’s not you, then there’s never been a better time to embrace the new model of education. A model that enables you to: 1. Combine information from diversified disciplines to make a unique mix. 2. Keep your alternatives open, remain location independent and debt free. 3. Commit to a skill few months, re-evaluate using hands-on experience. 4. Build your own learning and update as often as the world change and evolves. 5. Choose the best teacher for each skill. 6. Focus on practical scenarios by solving real problems (but study valuable theory). 7. Learn from individuals that have their reputation on the line and a stake in your success. 8. Have your work vouch for your ability, not a piece of paper.

“I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think” - Socrates.

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