Is having a college or university diploma still the avenue to a well-paying job or is the ability to access information technology enabling job seekers to bypass costly higher education that may leave them in debt for years to come?
Anya Kamenetz believes that self-directed learning is enabling learners to satisfy the needs of prospective employers who are looking to hire people with specific knowledge.
Kamenetz has written The Edupunks’ Guide, a 96-page e-book which is free to download at Smashbooks. It is described as:
A first-of-its kind resource for the future of education: a comprehensive guide to learning online and charting a personalized path to an affordable credential using the latest innovative tools and organizations. Real-life stories and hands-on advice for today's students, whether you're going back to school, working, transferring colleges, or pursuing lifelong learning goals.
In an article published in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Kamenetz relates the story of 18-year-old Martha Chumo of Kenya who began to self-educate herself during an internship in 2012. For the first time she had access to a computer and taught herself how to code. As a self-directed learner she used a mixture of online and offline sources, shared information with others interested in programming and took video-based classes.
Within a year Ms. Chumo had landed a job as a Web developer as a result of an education that barely cost more than buying a laptop.
In the article Kamenetz points out that no matter what the circumstances of an individual’s birth, self-directed education, using the easily accessible information technology, allows anyone, anywhere to access multiple paths toward the mastery of a subject that can lead to employment opportunities.
More about Anya Kamenetz: Author of DIY U: Edupunks, Edupreneurs, and the Coming Transformation of Higher Education (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2010) and The Edupunks' Guide to a DIY Credential (a free e-book).