"I'm going back to school." It's a common decision when someone wants a job promotion or a career change. And that's especially the case during an economic downturn. Can't find a job? Go back to school. More education can mean job re-training, or it can simply mean a time-out from the work world altogether -- a time to live on grants, scholarships, and student loans.
But as the cost of college tuition skyrockets and the burden of student loans outpace other forms of consumer debt, going back to school might not be such a great plan. Add to that the wealth of educational resources now available online, the possibility for people to learn new skills and to gain new knowledge outside of the traditional college classroom seems to be a compelling argument not to head right back to school.
And that's the case author Kio Stark is arguing. Stark is in the middle of a Kickstarter campaign, crowd-funding what she hopes will be her next book -- a guide to help independent learners figure things out on their own.
Stark's book will join a number of others, including Uncollege's Dale Stephens' Hacking Your Education (due out from Penguin in 2013) and Anna Kamenetz's Edupunk Guide, which are making a similar argument: college may no longer be necessary.
Stark's own background makes this project particularly compelling. She's a grad school dropout and currently a grad school instructor (she teaches at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program). As such, she's familiar with the inner workings of the university system -- how it serves and fails to serve the needs of students.