Learning and earning: Lifelong learning is becoming an economic imperative | The Economist

April 8, 2017

Lifelong Learning
http://www.Economist.com/news/special-report/21714169-technological-change-demands-stronger-and-more-continuous-connections-between-education Future for colleges? Microcredentails & Nanodegrees inspired by albums unbundled into iTunes songs

interesting view of where short “workshops” fit relative to the traditional course

Scott DeRue, the dean of the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, says the unbundling of educational content into smaller components reminds him of another industry: music. Songs used to be bundled into albums before being disaggregated by iTunes and streaming services such as Spotify. In Mr DeRue’s analogy, the degree is the album, the course content that is freely available on MOOCs is the free streaming radio service, and a “microcredential” like the nanodegree or the specialisation is paid-for iTunes.

How should universities respond to that kind of disruption? For his answer, Mr DeRue again draws on the lessons of the music industry. Faced with the disruption caused by the internet, it turned to live concerts, which provided a premium experience that cannot be replicated online. The on-campus degree also needs to mark itself out as a premium experience, he says.