The argument for the social graph making college degrees less important


Employers have long used the college educations of job applicants to make hiring decisions. That may be changing. (Craig Warga/Bloomberg)

Here’s a look at five ideas that affect the way we live, work and play.

1. Rethinking the college degree. David G.W. Birch shares the story of a friend’s son who bypassed college to take a programming job in San Francisco. Birch suggests that new, data-driven models of evaluating talent will reduce the need for traditional measures such as a colleges degrees. With a more connected world that better shares information on reputation and talents, the absence of a college degree won’t be a career killer. Via the HBR Blog Network:

The college degree is not about to disappear but about to transform. Maybe two years rather than three or four will be sufficient for a great many people across a great many disciplines. I’ll still want a doctor who went to medical school, but perhaps I’ll want a programmer from the school of LinkedIn. Most of the working world will fall somewhere in between.

2. The uncertain future of plastic credit cards. Everyone from PayPal to Square to Google wants to make a winning digital wallet. Digital payment is a $500 billion industry, so there’s plenty of opportunity for disruption. There’s still a long ways to go. Here’s a good overview of upcoming innovations in credit cards, via DealBook:

While physical cards will remain in use for some time, many in the industry predict plastic as the primary way to pay will give way to digital wallets embedded in smartphones, tablets and other devices.

MasterCard is already testing a way for Australian consumers with Samsung Galaxy S4 phones to pay using their phones.

Smart chips and tokens eventually will be embedded in an array of computers, providing multiple layers of security, [Ed] McLaughlin of MasterCard said. A consumer’s smartphone will not only have a unique ID, it will also generate one-of-a-kind tokens for every transaction — ones that can be easily be disabled if the phone is lost or stolen.

“The mag stripe will become functionally obsolete,” [Ellen] Richey of Visa said. “Mobile will take over.”

3. Mentioning your competition can pay off. Taco Bell’s ad with men named Ronald McDonald offering favorable reviews of its breakfast menu has pulled in over 1.7 million views on YouTube in six days. Why pay for 30-second TV spots when clever ads naturally find a following on social media?

4. Most Domino’s orders are made online. I was surprised to see just how popular online ordering has become for the pizza chain. Via the Financial Times: 

Domino’s Pizza Group now makes nearly 70 percent of its sales over the internet as the pizza group benefits from its early push into online ordering.

A third of the FTSE 250 group’s online orders come via mobile – up from a quarter last year – as the takeaway sector’s shift to digital shows few signs of abating.

5. Wearables are struggling to catch on. Endeavour Partners has found that a third of U.S. consumers who own a wearable stop using it within six months. There’s been so much talk about wearables as the next big thing, yet it appears the offerings still need improved to be a regular part of our lives. If you’ve tried out a wearable, have you stuck with it?

Matt McFarland is the editor of Innovations. He's always looking for the next big thing. You can find him on Twitter and Facebook.
Continue reading
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read National

national/on-innovations

innovations

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters