Could You Replicate Your Education For Free – PhD or Podcast?

It’s been well over a year since Taylor Pearson’s book, The End of Jobs, was published. I thought of it this morning as I was replying to an email from a student seeking career advice.

The End of Jobs is not a guidebook, it’s more ‘a brief history of contemporary careers.’

Although Taylor doesn’t come right out and “say” what any given person should do, in the current tumultuous job market, the book “whispers” some options.

One is this: take your education into your own hands.

In the chapter “Ph.D. or podcast” he uses this blog as an example of a Ph.D./MBA substitute. I certainly didn’t think of it that way when it started, and I’m not suggesting it is that. But what would be the downside for young students to start a blog and treat it as if it were their Ph.D. or an MBA?

What if, in place of spending six years at a local university, you instead invested a few hundred dollars on Amazon and did your learning and publishing in public. And, importantly, what if you took it just as seriously?

Here’s the excerpt from Taylor’s book on my own decision regarding further education:

Dan Andrews had a passion for reading books and exploring interesting ideas. Leaving school, he faced the choice between going into business and entrepreneurship and going into academia as a PhD. Given those interests, most people would have advised him to get a PhD. Let’s look at the realities of those two paths.

A good scenario for a Philosophy PhD is investing seven to ten years in getting the degree. Because academia has become so competitive, Dan would have considered himself lucky to end up on a tenure track at a middle-of-the-road university.

If he did manage to land a tenure position, he would spend twenty hours per week teaching classes, twenty hours per week grading papers, and twenty hours per week managing administration. He wouldn’t get to start reading the books and exploring the ideas he got into academia for in the first place until sixty hours into his week.

Instead, Dan chose to go into business.

He now hosts a weekly podcast where he explores the ideas in books he’s read and uses them to help other entrepreneurs grow their businesses. Unlike a professor, he’s not playing politics to decide what he can or can’t publish. He has the freedom to explore the ideas he wants to in the way that he wants to, unburdened by internal politics.”

My experience may not be exactly the same as yours but, if you’re thinking about starting a career (or a career change), I recommend checking out The End of Jobs.

Can you think of blogs that could have been a Ph.D. project (or very similar)?

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