Dislocating at a two-year college

Bill Green, CEO of Accenture, a $21 billion management consulting company, “champions community colleges, analytical skill training and young people with a fierce work ethic,” reports the Globe and Daily Mail. That’s because the plumber’s son started his education at a two-year college.

My Dad said, “You can always be a plumber – why don’t you try that college thing?” I was fortunate to have a year before college in which I could, as they say, find myself. I then had the great fortune of going to a two-year college. In U.S. two-year colleges, they not only educate, but also energize and inspire. I needed the education but I mostly needed the inspiration – that I could learn, I could grow – and I needed the confidence.

I’m a huge advocate of two-year colleges, not only as a place to get started, but also for an environment of dislocation. You will never have the same job for 30 years; you will not only need to get one skill but to re-skill. The two-year system is not only a good launch pad, it can also allow you to retool for another career.

. . . In U.S. business, we’re focusing now on how to repurpose the education system to get the talent you need. How do you add legitimacy to the community colleges, two-year programs and technical schools? How do you let credentials earned in those schools be transportable? Because the world is changing dramatically, we have to get more analytical thinking into the system.

At Dean College in Massachusetts, Green’s professors’ “took me by the hand and showed me the way.”


POSTED BY Joanne Jacobs ON September 15, 2010

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