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title: The Most Valuable Education
author: James R. Bracy
layout: post
Every student in every field of study works on a project, whether that is an
engineering challenge, a painting, or a paper. These types of endeavors bring
out the best in a student. During my time in college my engineering projects
paid the biggest dividends. But college is not where I learned the most. I
grew the most during my time at [Y Combinator](
Y Combinator grows and develops some of the most skilled people in the
industry. If you were to choose between someone who recently graduated from
college or someone who finished Y Combinator, you should choose the person who
was a part of Y Combinator even if the startup he or she was a part of failed.
Y Combinator can produce in 10 weeks a better, more well rounded person than a
few years of education. How is this possible? It is because the people who are
accepted to Y Combinator aspire to build successful companies. What they are
working on is the core of what they are. They are working on their own
interest. But because they are running a company they must become generalist,
develop communication skills with the team, leadership skills as the company
grows, resilience in trying times, and many other skills. The people coming out
of Y Combinator are better because they have more at stake.
So why don't universities take this model in the development of education. It
only takes 10 weeks to significantly develop a person. And the person is
already paying for living expenses! Drop a semester requirement, encourage
students to start a company and make an investment in the company itself. The
worst thing that could happen is the company fails and the student goes right
back to finishing the degree, and the best is that a successful company is
born! Schools would be judged based on the quality of companies produced, not
the number of students graded.
Maybe the idea would work, maybe it wouldn't. I don't see it working on a Ph.
D. level. I'm sure there are more holes in the theory. But to me it seems like
something worth trying.
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