"The problem with the current education system is that it is preparing students for an outdated market, or a fictional one. According to the Strada-Gallup 2017 College Student Survey about one third of students think they will graduate with the skills to be successful in the job marketplace and in the workplace, while 42.5% of employers felt their recently hired graduates met criteria for proficient professionalism and work ethic. We want to completely change the way we think about higher education and the labor market, by approaching this problem from a holistic point, that doesn’t leave anyone in the trenches, and allowing everyone to draw the most from it. As psychology students, we noticed that, although we have the tools to measure and assess a person on almost anything, it too often doesn’t go beyond the measuring itself - the measures are their own purpose. Not only that, but creating an integral profile of just one person takes weeks, massive amounts of resources and money and last, but not least, manpower. We see a lot of lost potential and opportunities here and would like to propose a system that will assess the students talents, personality traits, interests and abilities to suggest the most appropriate and beneficial paths for each of them. The algorithm would need to be taught how to grade and interpret all of these tests and questionnaires and how to provide a complete and detailed profile of a person, using appropriate terminology. "
In terms of education, we find that having a degree in a certain field doesn’t mean you have acquired a relevant skill set. Also, two people that hold the same degree, even with the same GPA, are likely completely different individuals. The way we see things, we need to start thinking about education and the labor market in terms of skills and not degrees. Once an AI system makes an assessment of a student, it suggests a personalized combination of so-called ‘’modules’’. Instead of all students attending the same lectures for 5 years, they would complete a compulsory module for a field of their interest and then they would take up a specific combination of modules, which is chosen with the help of the algorithm that conducted the profiling. The modules would be almost endless and based on certain skills such as Communication skills, Web design, Management and Leadership, Data analysis, Diagnostics, Programming etc. The system would then continue to feed on information about the person’s progress and adapt it’s suggestions accordingly and indefinitely. Within this system, students get personalized education and are putting the time spent at University to a much better use.
"From the employers perspective, instead of them seeking a person with a degree in a certain field, they would be looking for someone with a specific skill set for a specific position. The modern age requires interdisciplinarity and the ability to adapt to changes rapidly and successfully so acquiring one degree in a narrow field is likely to soon not be enough to get you that edge that the current and future times call for. This system could also be applied to people who are currently working and are looking for a way to upgrade their skills and knowledge, so they can stay relevant to potential employers (or current employer). In this system, everyone is relevant, everyone can master skills that are suited for them as a person and everyone wins. Starting small, for example within our own field, psychology, and in our own country. Psychology studies in Croatia last for 5 years, without any specialization, so we all come out practically the same. Therefore, we believe this project could drastically improve the position of future psychologists on the working market. Psychology as a field is very versatile but psychology students leave universities unskilled, with a fancy degree. This new system would provide them with personalized module combinations which extract the best from each of them and help shape them into self-actualized individuals who are ready to take initiative and make an actual difference in the workspace and the world."
Completely changing higher education system, in the long run, would greatly and positively affect our economy. Many people are too afraid to make a change, because it usually requires a lot of time and money. With our concept, people would be able to feed the AI system with information about their experience, knowledge, talents, interests, skills and personality traits so it can guide them to the best module for them to attend. This way they don’t start from scratch, instead they are growing and becoming a more productive part of society, which will positively impact both their wellbeing and the economy itself. Our concept here is to guide people from a young age to fulfil their potential. Therefore, to try and do this without the AI technology would be impossible; it would take an huge amount of human resources, time and money to implement and interpret all these tests and questionnaires. Bringing AI into this makes for a very elegant solution.
"For the first time employers could help create meaningful, useful and efficient modules by listing their needs and the needs of the market. These assessments, within our system, would not be numerical. Instead, a module attendee would either fail, reach a basic and/or sufficient level of mastery or would be proficient in a certain skill. Different module combinations, where each module has their own certificate, create different profiles of future employees, but also ones that can apply for vastly more positions than they would have if they solely acquired a degree in a specific field. Our inspiration for this project was drawn exclusively from observing the current state of things and wanting to live in a world where everyone has an important role and is aware of it. This concept would allow us to push the current boundaries of both education and work roles, making us ready for the new, interdisciplinary, rapidly changing economic and social environment."