Tag Archives: degrees

Is this why we’re spending money on higher education for our children?

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: Employed!

How are you going to explain that this isn’t your grandfather’s economy?

If deciding what university or community college or trade school your child is going to attend is starting to keep you up nights, you’ve probably visited more than a few of their websites. You’ve looked at the pictures of smiling faces, viewed the videos and read the inspirational language intended to convince you to spend your money, and, possibly, your child’s future, with the people on whose behalf those websites were created.

By now you’ve noticed that (a) you’ll have to do some digging to find any mention of tuition, fees and expenses because it would be in poor taste to publicize them on the home page; and (b) every one of those institutions is looking for a donation.

There are some who consider it gauche to have the words “money” and “university” in the same sentence. They would argue that higher education isn’t about money: it’s about introducing young minds to new ideas and new ways of looking at the world and themselves. It builds networks that include students who sit next to one another in lecture halls but live half a world away. Then there’s the benefit that comes from learning to fend for oneself away from home. This is the point where laundry and groceries enter into the discussion.

Those people would be right—to a point. But when the last glittering speck of that pixie dust that university websites magically create settles gently to the floor and the cool breeze of reality wafts through the room, the fact of the matter will be that nothing about attending an institution of higher learning is free. Once a child reaches the end of the taxpayer-funded, kindergarten/primary school/high school conveyor belt, decisions have to be made about the need for post-secondary education altogether. (P.S.: Taxpayer dollars pay for that, too.)

Even if his or her degree were paid for in full before the first day of lectures, the newly minted undergraduate or postgraduate is going to have to earn a living, especially if he or she is among the 40 million students south of the border who have US$1.2 trillion in student loans to repay, or the Canadians who owe between C$25 billion and C$50 billion. That money is going to have to come from somewhere. What about the cost of living? Will there be a new home or car to finance? Will there be enough money to pay the rent or buy food?

Finding work to pay for those things is the elephant in the room. Regardless of how many organizations the new graduate may have joined or voyages of self-discovery he or she may have gone on, if the résumé intended to support his or her application for that first full-time job is rejected by applicant tracking software for lack of key words and phrases, we have a problem. If the problem can be traced to a poorly executed résumé, the oversights can be corrected. But if the academic qualifications are wrong and creativity falls short of compensating for it, the only cure may be to spend 4 more years earning an education that will sell, but only after an in-depth reassessment of personal goals and what the economy needs.

As a country, we can’t afford scenarios like that because a mind is a terrible thing to waste (©UNCF). If you read or listen to nothing else today, please click on and ponder Robots Vs. The Middle Class (Bloomberg Businessweek, May 25 – May 31, 2015) and listen to Terry O’Reilly’s The Internet of (Marketing) Things (Under the Influence, CBC Radio One, Saturday, May 30, 2015). You’ll want to pay particular attention to O’Reilly’s thoughts about the Apple Watch.

How different is today’s economy from your grandfather’s economy? Well, did you ever doubt for a moment that your first job would be full-time with benefits? Are you doing now what you were planning to do then? Are you employed full-time? Have you been unemployed as a result of downsizing or outsourcing? Knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?

Would your grandfather recognize a world in which China is the world’s manufacturer, where 50% of working Canadians of all ages are not employed full-time, and where the price of post-secondary education is higher now than at any other time in history? What about a Canada where manufacturing has been decimated while employers continue to complain that they’re hard-pressed to find certain kinds of workers yet most of them refuse to train? What would he say about a Canada where $500 billion is sitting idle while vote getting corporate tax breaks underwritten by your tax dollars and mine go unused?

The North American work force is resolving itself into two camps: the one that recognizes that this isn’t your grandfather’s economy and is adjusting its expectations accordingly, and the one that doesn’t. One refuses to take career and labour market information at face value until they’ve confirmed it independently with multiple sources with their own eyes, not once but several times. The other doesn’t. One studies industries, market trends, the impact of technology and the performance of employers because they recognize that large numbers of dollars are at stake, not only the ones they’ll spend acquiring the necessary education, but the also the ones they risk not earning by failing to do their personal due diligence. The other doesn’t.

The economy is the financial air we breathe. We ignore it at our peril. Since 2001, I’ve met face-to-face with 2130 working people who, five minutes before I walked into the room, lost a job they thought wasn’t at risk. Most of them believed that where the world is going didn’t apply to them. They were mistaken.

F. Neil Morris
President & Founder
Personal Due Diligence
+1 (905) 273 9880

The University Transition

Most people, reading a headline like “The University Transition” would pass it by thinking it’s yet another article about how the baby-sitting service known as high school ends, and that you’ve got to take responsibility for yourself once you go on to tertiary education.

But this one isn’t about that. Instead, it’s about the transition the universities themselves are going through — and what it means to you as a potential user of the university system.

Make no mistake, universities are troubled placed these days — and their time of woe is just beginning.

As usual, what underlies the pain is money. In particular, it’s where their money comes from, and how much of it has strings attached.

Few universities these days, for instance, get a major gift — the ten million and up range — that doesn’t come with serious expectations attached to it. The conversion of the old Medical Arts building into the Jackman Humanities Institute, without strings saying how the Philosophy, Religious Studies, English Literature, etc. departments benefitting from it would evolve is a rare case. Far more common is “here’s the money for the new institute or building, but I want it to focus on this”.

Even when the benefactor is more hands off than you’d think (for example, Munk doesn’t really interfere in the evolution of the Munk School of Global Affairs) the worry is always there within the university’s management. They start editing themselves to “conform”.

Management, itself, is part of the problem in the modern university. It’s within one lifetime that universities have gone from essentially being managed by their faculty as a “corner of the desk” responsibility to having a management cadre that grows deeper annually. (In Ontario, where anyone in the broader public sector who makes more than $100,000 per annum goes on a publicly-disclosed “sunshine list”, it’s amazing how many middle managers — much less senior ones — come from the province’s university and college system.)

Put all these non-teaching, non-researching resources on the payroll, and something has to give. Is it any wonder two thirds of your instructors are on year-at-a-time contracts?

Undergraduate studies, of course, have been littered with teaching assistants (also known as graduate students) taking the classes while the nominal professor never appears for years. Given that research grants are another major revenue source, it should be no wonder that professors are expected to research (and publish!) first, and teach third (doing all the paperwork to get, administer, and report on progress for grants comes second). Some unemployed Ph.D. can be paid like a graduate student teaching assistant to actually teach the students…

But think about this: an institution like the University of Toronto has over eighty Master’s degree programs. Most of these are “professional” two-year efforts aimed at the job market — Master of Public Policy (MPP) for people wanting into the civil service, Master of Museum Studies (MMSt) for future curators and museum directors, MBAs for future “masters of the universe”, and so on. That two thirds temporary help profile increasingly reflects these graduate school degrees as well.

Given that dissertations need to be supervised by someone who will be there on a continuing basis, there will still be permanent, tenured (or tenure track) faculty involved. The division of the university into narrow Schools, Institutes, Centres, etc. means that many of these now have quasi-managerial roles as well, as school directors. What that means is that the whole baroque structure of little independent agencies, each out trying to raise money to keep itself going (from benefactors and grants) is now invested in keeping these units going whether there’s demand for them or not.

What that means is that undergraduates will be “slotted” into programs they may not want simply because when they go to choose classes these are the ones that still have seats open in their courses. Even if the Geology Department had 1,000 new students wanting to take its courses, its seats are limited. Some of those budding geologists will have to find a home in the open chairs offered in, say, the Department of Gender Studies, or the Journalism program (even though everyone knows the media is cutting back, not adding on new help).

Admission, in other words, is to the institution of the university. Getting your tuition dollars applied to something you want is one of those caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) moments. (My daughter chose between offers from Cambridge, University College London, and Durham for her Master’s in Archaeology, and selected Cambridge because of their specialty program in mediaeval archaeology. After accepting, and rejecting the others, and paying Cambridge, she was told that the mediaeval program wouldn’t be offered this year. While she’s happy enough in the Egyptology option, her professional career as an archaeologist has just been wrenched away from England and off to the sands of the desert — and should she choose to do the Ph.D. it will have to be in Egyptology (since she now won’t have the master’s level courses in mediaeval England on her transcript) or spend an extra year “catching up”.)

Meanwhile, governments are cutting back on the number of student positions they fund (increasing the competition between units), and on the funding for research, and support for publication venues. So all the pressures on the university are boiling over.

Now add the question of “do you need a university” raised by online courses, and the “what are you doing with your degree” caused by a job market in deep and fundamental transition and turmoil.

By all means go to university if it is the right thing for you to do (as a person, not because “of the job”). But understand you’re entering an institution undergoing a period of great stress and you will be buffeted by it, with little recourse. Much like an airline — which does not guarantee that you will fly anywhere with your purchased ticket, or fly at any particular time — a university does not guarantee that your admission and tuition will lead you to any particular program, any required course, any reasonable conditions for learning — or any destination.

The disconnect between what you experience and receive, and the reputation of the institution and quality of its faculty, has never been more profound. Choose carefully!

Academia is responsible for the devalued degree

You’ve probably heard the phrase “bad money drives out good”. That’s Gresham’s Law expressed in its colloquial form.

If you want to know one of the big reasons six, seven or more years in higher education (with the resulting costs or debts) doesn’t guarantee you a job; why the few position advertisements you see all demand other credentials on top of degrees; and why, if your résumé doesn’t show that you’re constantly taking new programs and acquiring new credentials, it gets binned on arrival, just think about Gresham’s Law for a moment. If the “money” is good (your degree is worth something) it doesn’t need endless add-ons and you don’t need endless new degrees on top of your old one. If it’s debased in some way, on the other hand, “more” will be better (think of it as just another form of inflation at work).

Now take a look at what Karl Denniger posted this morning, in “That College Degree? It’s Worthless.

Before all those of you who have your credentials from a Canadian, British, Australian, French, etc. university start snickering at the “perfidious effects of making the football and basketball coach the highest-paid person on campus” that’s so prevalent in the United States, and patting yourselves on the back for having gone to a place that “put the academics first”, hold on. Debasement and the graduation of students who should never have been allowed to pass isn’t just found around the athletic scholarship community.

Any school that debases grades — or simplifies course materials to ensure a higher pass rate — or reduces the amount and types of work required — or poses multiple-choice tests as “examination” without other means of testing what’s been learnt — is engaged in the same game as passing through the point guard or linebacker who can’t read, can’t write, can’t do much of anything, really, other than play the game.

That kind of “bad” degree has been driving out the quality ones for a long time now.

First of all, the dumbing-down of the public school system has meant that much of the first two years of a bachelor’s degree now is taken up with teaching things that used to be part of the high school curriculum, back when many people went to work on the strength of less than a high school graduation. Staying in the university-bound stream say, sixty years ago, meant you were doing what is now second-year calculus and algebra in your Grade 12 math class — the same for the hard sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities — because by the start of Grade 11 everyone else had peeled off, into a different work-bound program, or left school and taken employment.

(My father built his entire career on a Grade 10, Business and Commerce stream education, rising to high management in a major corporation. On the way through his employed life, he also invented a solution to an on-going problem that gained a patent — and not one of the phony, lawyer-driven ones like “one-click ordering” that pervade the patent system today.)

As an undergraduate in the 1980s, my papers came back to me dripping with red ink. Every misuse of the English language was picked up and criticized. Class averages ran in the C to C+ range — Bs really were “exceeds expectations”, and the As you received reflected “outstanding” work.

I’ve been a university professor in three different faculties at two different universities in the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s, all teaching Master’s level courses. Had I marked as I had been marked (and since, in my elementary school years, I was marked on a scale where 70% was the pass-fail point, and therefore was used to a demanding system) there would have been a riot in the streets. Every time I’ve taught, there’s been a line of whinging students at the Dean’s door complaining about having to be evaluated by oral examination, by written examination, and by presentation in a class setting with no multiple-choice in sight. Every time there’s been complaints about the red ink correcting their language (even though they, unlike me, didn’t lose marks for it). Anyone getting less than an A- moaned because I “wasn’t being fair”.

Every time, as well, the Dean would force me to “redo” my marks, to keep the institution’s “A-level reputation” intact.

You pass out students who don’t deserve bare Cs with As and you devalue your degree. It’s as simple as that.

Gone are the days when simply seeing Cambridge, Oxford, Toronto, McGill, Harvard, Yale, etc. on someone’s résumé meant you didn’t have to think about whether or not they were competent. The Ivy League and the Canadian schools have long ago gone down the same “can’t fail anyone, everyone’s ego is too fragile not to be classed as really exceeding expectations or being outstanding in some way” trap the public schools went into.

Take a look at business communication today. Riddled with errors. Unable to express coherent thoughts. Or business numeracy: missing in action (people who can’t figure change without a computer to tell them precisely what to pull out build spreadsheets which we all just use and treat as gospel). Or logic in decision making. I see a fair number of strategic plans that have contradictions on the same page — often in the same table or paragraph — and no one bats an eye.

No wonder employers now demand very specific additions to your degrees. After all, credentials like the Securities course (CSC), HR Professional program (CHRP), or Project Management credential (PMP) don’t come with the residual “odour of success” that a name-brand university offers. They have to be effective at transferring skills, or they go nowhere in the market (like the ISP that the Canadian Information Processing Society tries, year after year, to foist as the “mark” of an IT professional).

The on-going addition of more and more letters after your name, in turn, is driven because all that “effective skilling” comes at a price: it’s not education (giving you abilities for a lifetime) but training (giving you specifics that expire as the world changes). That the typical method of job evaluation to set pay grades used in most organizations is driven by educational qualifications — and because managers’ pay bands go up if the staff under them are raised — the quest for pay increases has led to the specification of increased qualifications, one piled on another.

Your responsibility is to ensure that you get value for money in your education. That means, first and foremost, that you get one. A paper dripping with red ink and an honest “C” will teach you far more about communicating effectively than any degree program in “communications” will. Find the toughest old-school types, and learn from them.

Then recognize that in today’s world your institution of higher learning is probably debasing your degree anyway. But if you’ve really learned (as opposed to just passing through) you’ll be prepared for what life throws at you.

With 3 out of 4 white Americans (just about 4 out of 4 blacks and Hispanics) now expected to experience at least one period of significant unemployment and poverty in their lifetime, you had better have gotten something permanent out of it, eh?

Getting started on a non-career career

Careers are everything. Jobs are somewhat looked down upon. At least, that’s the way it’s been through most of my adult life (yes, I’m a dreaded baby boomer).

Career-primacy is what’s led to the notion that everyone ought to have letters after their name — and lots of them. When I entered full-time employment in 1974, Grade 12/13 (depending on which province you graduated in) was more than good enough. By the early 1980s, you needed to have a Bachelor’s degree — any “B” was fine, and many had three-year BA or BSc degrees. Later in the 1980s it became the four year degree only, and specifically one in the field that mattered. (This is when the disdain for the Humanities really started to seep in, along with the “job readiness” movement in academia.)

Today? A Bachelor’s degree, a Master’s degree, some industry certifications — these are the price of admission. Keep adding to the pile throughout your lifetime, as the requirements will keep going up (and with computers scanning résumés, there’s no one to argue that your thirty years’ experience more than makes up for not having more letters after your name).

But have you noticed, as well, that the word “job” — which for about 40 to 50 years indicated a “second-class citizen” of sorts (plumbers had jobs, “real people” had careers, with steady advancement in title to show for it) — has made a comeback?

That’s because more and more of us don’t work in organizations. We either start one (the entrepreneurial or small business route, and, yes, they’re not the same thing) or we become a freelancer — a contractor, independent consultant, or the like.

One in two people in Toronto (Canada’s largest city, and North America’s fourth-largest) doesn’t work in an organization. They have a “job”. Think about that. Careers are slip-sliding into history to return to their former percentage of the whole world of work.

Now, on top of being Ms. or Mr. BA, MPP, MBA, CMC, CHRP, CGA (or some such chain of alphabet soup) and seriously considering a PhD to “stay competitive” (while finding that the number of slots for ‘part-time’ or ‘executive program’ PhDs can be counted on the fingers of one hand), getting your résumé read and past the robots in charge (unfortunately, human recruiters increasingly deal with the sheer volume of enquiries by acting like their computerised scanning program counterparts) also requires that you have an unbroken track record of advancement in name-brand organizations. The real world, where your career has been fractured by acquisitions (and layoffs occurred to meet financial requirements, without reference to your contribution), bankruptcies (the average length of time a company stays in the S&P 500 is now around 15 years, and falling), outsourcing, offshoring, etc. cannot be allowed to intrude.

No wonder so many end up as consultants! There, what matters isn’t your unbroken career, but the projects you’ve done and the references you can provide from satisfied clients. (This, too, is far more like a plumber than the pathway to mahogany row.)

So, newly-minted graduate or seasoned pro trying to remake themselves, how do you start on a non-career career?

Well, first, you decide whether you’re setting up shop as an entrepreneur or as a small businessperson. (Even in “Me, Company of One”, this difference persists.)

Entrepreneurs are out to change the world. The firm may be small and never get large, but its eyes are always on the global market. A friend of mine went to Thailand, acquired some technology from its creators, partnered with an immigrant to California, and has started building a business with an eye to becoming the equivalent of a German Mittelständ company, outrageous market share globally in a mid-sized company. He runs this from Vancouver, is financed from New York, and life is spent on airplanes and in hotel rooms. The thought of putting the whole thing together in one location has never entered his mind, since his plans involve a global footprint anyway.

Instagram was at 20 people when Facebook paid a billion or so for it? That’s the entrepreneurial raison d’être: global reach, and the payday at the end (either from growing to go public, or from vending the firm to deep pockets).

The small business, on the other hand, seeks to provide its owner with a job, but without grandiosity. It’s the consultant who prefers to sleep in her or his own bed much more than gaining hotel points. It’s the creator of a neighbourhood fish & chips or coffee shop that doesn’t have dreams of franchisees lining up to “replicate the success story”, but is happy with making this location a place you come to, thanks very much.

There is no shame and great reward in either track, but first, know which one you’re on (because in the early going they look an awful lot alike). Obviously, your small business outlook won’t keep you, when you’re establishing yourself, from living in a hotel room and doing a gig out of town (you need early positive client references and you need to have an income!) but unlike the entrepreneur, a global “thought leader” brand isn’t why you took this project on. The entrepreneur consultant might still take that same project, but they’re gathering material for the keynote speech, the book, the articles in the trade journals, and the other tools of acquiring a global name for themselves.

As your references grow, your non-traditional résumé becomes less and less of a factor. So, too, do the letters after your name — some certifications or professional association programs can be helpful, but few are asking after the multiple graduate degrees (unless you’re the entrepreneurial consultant, who will need them for various visas). That “keep reality at bay” motif of modern corporate hiring means that your life of demonstrated independence makes you unemployable in BigCo on the corporate track anyway (at least, until you can be parachuted in near the top as a saviour, as often happens to senior consulting types or academics in business schools). But that — like being the “fix it executive”, going from one broken situation to another — is consulting with benefits, golden handshakes, stock options and other perks of top end corporate life, and nothing more.

So here’s my bottom line on this: always be thinking about whether you’re an entrepreneur or a small business type (know yourself) even if you’re on the corporate career ladder right now. Keep mulling over ideas for ventures so that you don’t fall into contracting or consulting out of despair.

For if there’s one truth, it’s that BigCo isn’t secure. Not anymore.

Entrepreneurs, optimism, prudence and saving a generation

Every time a Canadian moves south of the border to realize a dream because he or she couldn’t find someone here who believed in him or her, we’re diminished. A little bit of our potential, a little bit of our pride, a little bit of our future and a little bit of us slips out of our grasp. That’s not what the immigrants who came here expected when they sacrificed so that they and their children could build a life as Canadians that they couldn’t build in the old country. Those immigrants were our grandfathers and grandmothers, fathers and mothers.

These are tough times. Great downsizings were topical a dozen years ago. They’ve given way to lesser downsizings and restructuring. Both are still very much with us. Rows of vacant desks are still a feature of buildings with exteriors that show no sign of what happened inside. Learning why those downsizings took place will help you avoid them in the future.

I’ve seen 2000 desks and workstations that used to be occupied by 2000 people, each of whom I met personally minutes after they discovered that they no longer figured in their employers’ plans. This chapter of Canadian history is recent enough that most working people and those aspiring to be working people must be aware of it. Our post-secondary-education-bound young people and those holding undergraduate and postgraduate degrees and little else know almost nothing about it. They still believe that they’re entitled to find work in their chosen field. There are no entitlements.

If we’ve learned anything from this period, it’s that the good life is not a right guaranteed under the British North America Act and the Constitution. An ounce of prevention will always be worth a pound of cure. That’s another way of describing personal due diligence

Technologically, intellectually, creatively and socially, Canadians don’t have to take a back seat to anyone. You have options but you have to know where to find them. There are entrepreneurs and visionaries who are looking to you to help bring their dreams to fruition so that we all benefit. You will have to become aware of them.

The only way we can take from Canada is to give something to Canada because no one else is going to give it to us. If you can’t find work in your chosen field, you may have to choose another field. That’s one of the reasons Personal Due Diligence is here.

In his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy said: “… Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” High levels of youth unemployment suggest Canada is at risk of losing one generation if not more. We’re dependent on one another, and not only in times of high water or fire or blizzards. But we have to become aware of each other. It’s what a country is. If we’re going to be one, we have to act like one.

Robert Kennedy said: “There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why… I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?” He also said: “All of us might wish at times that we lived in a more tranquil world, but we don’t. And if our times are difficult and perplexing, so are they challenging and filled with opportunity.”


The notion of learn once, milk for years is over

A good friend of mine was quite critical of my daughter’s approach to her education.

She did not jump from high school to university. She spent time working, piling money in her bank account.

Then she went to do her Bachelor’s degree, and worked throughout. She graduated without a penny in debt (flat broke, but debt free).

Instead of heading off to graduate school right away, she again went to work. She’s restocking her funds for her assault on her Master’s degree (this time she hopes she can avoid working while studying, but it’s a coin toss whether that’ll work out for her).

My friend thinks she’s a fool. “Interest rates have never been lower: borrow, go straight through school, get into your profession — it’ll be easy to pay off and you’ll not be too old to enter against the others”.

He’s right that interest rates are low. He’s wrong about the strategy, though.

Here’s why: except for a very few people, education never ends any more.

One of the little known secrets of the robotics revolution in manufacturing, offshoring of all sorts of work, and the like is that the rate of job creation slowed. As a result, the number of applications for each open position jumped.

Differentiation of those candidates became necessary. Requiring ever more education became the answer — it made it easy for a computer program to scan and reject résumés. (That upping the educational requirements for a job may have gotten it classified up into the next pay band, possibly bumping the manager’s band as well, was just a lovely optional extra that made rewriting the position requirements all worthwhile.)

That’s how the same job went from Grade 12 to Grade 13 to any Bachelor’s degree, to a specific one, to any Master’s degree to a specific one, to add two or three industry credentials and certificates on top. (In Europe, where job stagnation has been a fact of life for two generations, an increasing number of roles now require Doctorates. Same job. Same responsibilities.)

Well, it’s all good if you’re in academic administration, which may explain why those jobs are paid like bank presidents these days. After all, there’s not many industries that can command price increases at four times the rate of inflation year after year due to demand.

(At the same time, most universities now have upward of 40-45 per cent of their teaching staff on sessional contracts rather than as tenure-track or tenured professors. This includes most Masters programs. Wow — higher tuition than as an undergraduate, and taught by people paid $7,000/term who won’t be there in the future. That’s what you get when there’s too many academics turned out of the Ph.D. mill for the available funded positions.)

What this means is that, only a few years after graduating — you, your six figure debt, and all — your credentials may be insufficient to get your résumé read. This is all before taking into account having to shift careers because the work you prepared for is now down at one tenth the cost in some other part of the planet that now has a fibre-optic cable connecting it to cost-sensitive buyers.

Oh, and if you’re in the United States, your student debt is non-dischargable in bankruptcy. You can walk from your mortgage and tell your credit card and line of credit bankers to take a hike; you can even tell the tax man he’s not getting as much as he thinks. But your student debt is a millstone for life.

You have to be debt-free in order to afford to pay cash for the next certificate, the next diploma, the next add-on degree. (You also need to be debt-free to afford to deal with the inevitable downtime that comes as your career is shattered by yet another job being pulled out of the market, a rung on the ladder that breaks while you’re the one on it.)

That’s why I back what my daughter’s done against my friend. When you’re in your mid-50s, it’s hard to see that the world is very much different than it was when you were in your mid-20s. Thirty years ago, borrowing to get yourself educated made perfect sense — and it did so with interest rates in the 17-22 per cent range. Today, at 3 per cent, it’s a trap.

Nimbleness is essential, here in the 2010s. It’s why you see so many younger people today not buying a car (not even a beater), renting rather than owning, paying cash for everything. They’re mobile, and ready to seize any opportunity, because they’re not tied down by past decisions.

Once you realize that being nimble outweighs “job readiness”, the world changes. Have you?