The January 14-20, 2017 issue of The Economist includes a special report on the topic of lifelong learning. The writers note that lifelong learning today mainly benefits high achievers and likely leads to increased inequality. The classic model of education that provides many years of learning during youth, supplemented by training at work, is breaking down. In fact, on-the-job training in the U.S. is shrinking, and more and more people doubt that a four-year degree is worth the cost. During the 19th and 20th centuries, countries worldwide saw major improvements in education. The Economist argues that we should seek similar breakthroughs today.
In 1982, my parents and I visited Marietta College, where I hoped to enroll later that fall as a freshman. Seated across the desk from then Director of Admissions, Mr. Dan Jones, my father candidly expressed his immigrant sensibilities about my employability upon graduation.