My college bill came to well over $120k for my four years of education. I personally think it was well worth every penny because:
- I learned how to work in an environment with a lot of very intelligent individuals from across the world.
- I was able to work with cutting edge technology.
- I got a degree from a top 50 school in the US that was top 20 for my major.
- I made invaluable personal and business connections that will last forever.
- I was challenged above and beyond what I ever was prior to that, and it forced me to learn work ethic and focus and balance.
- I probably made close to $120k back in work study jobs, research projects, internships, co-op’s, and my full time job (13 months) – all of which I got interviews through our career center…and most of which were only open to RPI students.
That said, there are a lot of people throughout the world who could cut it intellectually at some of the top colleges in the world but don’t have the resources to enroll and receive the education. MIT is now offering 1,800 classes from all disciplines online for free, many with audio/video or foreign language translations. These are valuable tools to those who don’t have access to a premium MIT education, and are even more valuable to professors in developing countries that cannot afford the teaching materials to put together proper lesson plans.
I took a look at the courses available for the Engineering Systems degree (the closest equivalent to my Industrial Engineering degree) and it looks like you could essentially piece together the entire curriculum – from entry level Calculus right through advanced logistics classes. Pretty freaking cool huh?
This could be the start of the way we look at education in the years to come (and consequently could be the beginning of the end of super high priced universities). Is anyone going to hire you if you take a full course load with these free courses? Probably not…yet.