I have worked with a lot of independent contractors and small business owners over the years from many different fields—from HR vendors and alt-currency app developers to Americana songwriters and organic winemakers—and while the respective worlds are often seemingly very different, one objective unites them all: the goal of offsetting debt with revenue.
This is Part 2 of our diversity series, in which we examine global diversity in education. To read Part 1, which introduces the series, click here.
Learning empowers people and helps them achieve better lives. When barriers prevent particular groups from learning, the cost is disempowerment and lower quality of life. This hurts us all.
As an education provider with global reach, we recognize the opportunity to play a role in eliminating education barriers, and we are committed to doing so. We’ve recently spent some time considering this question: What can we do to make education accessible to more diverse audiences in the US and around the globe?
We must first become more aware about what might be preventing diverse audiences from gaining technical skills or working in the technical field. Barriers to educational diversity vary tremendously. They might be gender-based, ethnic, physical, technical, or cultural. Some are obvious, some are very, very subtle. But there is no mistaking the fact that the issues are deeply real. For example, there are currently more than 100 million young women in developing countries who can’t read a single sentence because they don’t have access to education. This is staggering, and it has to change.
People are talking about education. Parents with kindergartners are talking about education. High school seniors are talking about education. Mid-career professionals are talking about education. Military veterans are talking about education. Politicians are talking about education. In fact, as we swing into the election season, presidential candidates from every corner are inevitably turning their heads towards the nine-million-pound elephant-in-the-room that is education. Everyone is talking about education.
Mind you, not just education. Online education.
We know students must come first for true education reform to be meaningful, and a democratized model made possible by technology offers empowerment opportunities unlike any we’ve experienced before. The candidates know this. Recently we’ve seen major education announcements from the Clinton camp that incorporate very favorable views of online education, and we’ve seen the same from the Rubio team and others.