6 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
- A small piece of a large cake can be very filling.
- Fortune favors the brave.
- Technology has made things easier.
Bob Dylan sang: “For times that are changing.” That’s what I thought when I read that Google announced that they were going to start offering six-month courses to give people the skills to acquire jobs that are in demand. The cost? A staggering $ 300. All I can say is “It was about time.”
Like Alibaba CEO Jack Ma , I started my career as an English teacher. In 2008, I saw the writing on the wall with the change in the market and I reinvented myself. I read, listened, watched, attended, and absorbed every book, CD, and seminar that I could get my hands on to prepare for the second half of my career.
What frustrated me about the educational process was how slow it was to adjust to our rapidly changing world. Outside the walls of school, the Internet, smartphones, and social media have reshaped every aspect of our society. However, in the classroom, it was the same as always.
Then COVID-19 hit us like a ton of bricks and our gloves fell off.
Apple competed by revolutionizing the music industry, the mobile phone industry, the headphone industry and is now looking to take on the eyewear industry in 2021. Not to be left behind, Google has decided to take on a monopoly on higher education.
This is big. It is a 1.9 trillion dollar industry. If Google can cut just 1%, we are talking about $ 10 billion. I have no doubt that if they were successful in doing so, other companies would take notice. In fact, I’m sure that in boardrooms across the United States and abroad at the largest corporations, people are watching and waiting to see if they should develop their own courses.
Photo: Dan Dimmock via Unsplash
Makes sense. Until now, a high school graduate was heading to college, earning a degree, and then applying for a position at various companies. Afterwards, they would get some interviews and eventually they would get a job if they were lucky.
Just one problem: we live in a world of change that moves at breakneck speed. According to Acting NASA Administrator Robert M. Lightfoot Jr., “By the time you’re a junior in college, what you learned as a freshman is already out of date.”
Google aims to kill two birds with one stone. First stone: they develop people they consider necessary for their industry in the coming years. Second stone: open higher education wide. While universities used to be able to differentiate themselves from upstart education companies like Udemy, with classes online through 2021, they have waved the white flag and admitted that many classes can be taught online.
Entrepreneurs should be excited about this. Remember, we are talking about a 1.9 trillion dollar industry that for more than a century was controlled by colleges and universities that required spacious grounds, attractive facilities, dormitories, administration and teachers. That is about to change.
Here are five lessons that entrepreneurs should learn from this:
1. A small piece of a large cake can be very filling
Gary Halbert, the late great copywriter once said that if he could have a competitive advantage over anything else, it would be “a hungry crowd.” Parents and students are hungry in 2020. Due to the closure, students have had more free time and started asking questions. The crowd is there.
Photo: Glenn Carstens-Peters via Unsplash
Niches are where the money is for most entrepreneurs. Education is a huge field consisting of hundreds of subjects, online training, tutoring, and more. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Google will focus on computer ratings. That still leaves a lot of cake left over.
2. Fortune favors the brave
Courage is what it takes to succeed. Entrepreneurship is not for the weak and lukewarm. You have to be willing to take calculated risks without a guaranteed result. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg knew the risk when they dropped out of college and it worked for them.
Universities are not going to give up without a fight, but for those entrepreneurs who are willing to strike while the iron is hot, rewards await.
3. Enter the ground floor
While there is something to be said for being patient and watching things unfold, entering the ground floor allows a select few individuals and organizations to enjoy the advantage of being the first to move.
4. Technology has made things easier
Technology has advanced to the point where an entrepreneur, from the comfort of his own home, can run a million dollar business. Upwork, Fiverr, and the like have made it easy to find and hire virtual assistants. Outsourcing work to people on the other side of the world has never been easier.
5. Companies are hungry for talent
Photo: John Schnobrich via Unsplash
Liberal arts degrees or degrees in history, English literature, or philosophy have long allowed people to get corporate jobs because they were the best candidates available. Google plans to create people who adapt to your needs right away and who benefit from getting paid. It’s a win-win for both sides. Google gets better qualified people and receives tuition, students spend less, spend less time and acquire a better paying job.