Many of you know that I believe the structure of work as we know it is changing dramatically.
A generation ago, our employers provided a second home. A second family. A second school. We’d get a full time paycheck, with benefits. We’d have a choice of career development, and almost guaranteed employment. Our co-workers were our neighbors, and our friends. They were our extended family.
That’s changed. Many jobs go to freelancers. People who don’t get benefits. People who don’t cost the company much more than the hourly wage they’re being paid, unlike you and I who cost the company approximately twice what they pay us in salary.
While some companies offer career development opportunities, it’s not nearly what it needs to be. We, “the people”, need to be careful. Unlike in the past, career development has become our responsibility. It’s on us to go get training, to get further experience, and to network. And, not only is it our responsibility to make time, more and more often it’s our responsibility to bear the costs of our own career development.
Enter Apple’s new university / education push. They’re targeting traditional schools (K-12 today), but there’s a huge opportunity here. I can go to iTunes and take a class. May not seem like much. In fact, we’ve been able to do it for quite some time now. I believe that Apple will finally start to improve this platform for education. I hope that their passion around this topic infects some creative minds to start bringing some innovation around career development into the iTunes community.
There’s a lot happening here. MIT recently announced a whole lotta free online courses, but there are commercial and “open-source” opportunities too.
Don’t believe that Apple’s announcement yesterday was only relevant to people with children in school. This is another opportunity to get mind-share in the enterprise as even people with paychecks realize that we need to take responsibility for our own career development, and need a community to helps us do just that.
[“editor’s note”: Not my best writing, apologies. I wanted to get this thought out there though, as I think it’s exciting to see we’ll be able to explore our own education with “university quality materials” long after graduating from a formal school.]