1. Teach enterprise technology skills to college students and recent graduates
There is a shortage of skills in enterprise technology. There is a reason why most of the the work in the United States is done by h1b workers.
Schools don’t teach their students enterprise technology made by companies like Oracle or SAP. Yet, there is a lot of demand for these jobs but not enough of local supply.
A business can be built outsourcing the teaching to individuals in developing countries who have the skills and marketing the courses to American college students.
2. Create a website where community college students can trade/sell used books.
I noticed that students in community colleges in Southern California still rely on paper ads posted on walls to market their used books. Facebook is also used via a Facebook page.
A website that can streamline the process would be a lot more efficient way to do this. It would allow students to search for a book based on their college, course code, author, subject etc.
3. Highly customizable career counseling that is relevant to the needs of the knowledge based economy.
When I was in school I felt the career counsellors were out of touch with the market place. I never found their advice particularly valuable or helpful. I doubt things have changed all that much in the last 7 years.
4. An agency that connects college students with companies for short term employment opportunities. The agency is responsible for screening, training and placing the students on the job and providing ongoing support and feedback to the students.
In my experience there are virtually no well paying (or even not so well paying) professional jobs for students fresh out of college. Even entry level jobs require a few years of experience.
My university did have a respected co-op program but I didn’t feel like it was good enough.
Instead an agency that would build partner with universities and companies for in demand jobs where companies have a skill shortage might be the answer.
The agency would provide training and support to the students. This would give the companies that hire them confidence and provide students with the experience they need once they graduate.
5. Start an organization that provides workshops on in demand technology skills to kids in lower-income marginalized communities.
I am a firm believer that there is a shortage of skills in the United States when it comes to tech. For instance, many kids know how to use smartphones but they don’t understand or appreciate the engineering behind it.
In a world where every part of our lives is getting a technological makeover, those that don’t have easy access to the knowledge get left behind. Children in marginalized communities often don’t have adequate exposure to this knowledge that separates them from being mere consumers to producers.
6. A Social Platform for students to connect with mentors.
Think of something like Linkedin where the people on there are divided into 2 groups.
Group 1 are mentors who are on there to share their experiences. This is something that I can relate to now. I enjoy sharing my experiences and advice with young people who are interested in a career in my industry.
Group 2 are students that want to know exactly what the profession they are in is like. They want that personal connection with someone whose shoes they plan on filling in the future.
7. A platform where students can provide ideas and detailed solutions to problems that specific businesses face. The students own their ideas and solutions. The businesses can then hire the students for a paid internship to help in the execution of the idea.
This is pretty self explanatory. I’ve always felt that the best way to learn is to solve important problems that reward you once they’re solved. That is how it works in the real world. The current education system takes the opposite – Solve problems that are hypothetical and irrelevant to the student.
8. A platform that pulls in all the free content (video lectures etc) and organizes it to mimic actual university programs.
This might already be done but I haven’t seen anything that is highly polished and organized across various disciplines.
9. Have a platform where all printable content created by students is uploaded into a uniform cloud service shared across schools.
There is so much content created by students. So much of it is lost and forgotten. This is a shame because the content created by students can be personally empowering.
Students would be able to see how their writing for instance progressed throughout their years in school. The content could be analyzed to help improve the curriculum or the education system as whole.
Perhaps the next great thinker can be discovered while she is still in school.
10. An incubator for high school students with ideas instead of college.
In a knowledge based economy where information is democratized the currency is creativity and execution. There needs to be a formal alternative to the traditional university for ambitious kids with great ideas.
Students should be able to acquire student loans and put it towards an incubator that will teach them the skills needed to execute their ideas.
Worst case -They will gain valuable practical experience on what it takes to be a a resourceful entrepreneur.
Best case – They will start a successful business that’ll pay off their loans and then some.