The End of the University as We Know It

Graduate education is the Detroit of higher learning. Most graduate programs in American universities produce a product for which there is no market (candidates for teaching positions that do not exist) and develop skills for which there is diminishing demand (research in subfields within subfields and publication in journals read by no one other than a few like-minded colleagues), all at a rapidly rising cost (sometimes well over $100,000 in student loans).
I agree wholeheartedly. Traditional academia is a dinosaur on its way towards extinction. If you were to look around various institutions, you would find that most faculty are incapable of functioning outside of the bubble of the ivory tower as they often lack "real-world skills" that the marketplace requires.

What's this gotta do with Information Security you may ask? In areas such as Computer Science and Information Technology, faculty often teach classes without spending much time (if any) discussing the implications of writing insecure code. How could they since they themselves lack the interest and/or motivation to embrace information security.
Once tenure has been granted, there is no leverage to encourage a professor to continue to develop professionally or to require him or her to assume responsibilities like administration and student advising...
Colleges and universities should be able to reward researchers, scholars and teachers who continue to evolve and remain productive while also making room for young people with new ideas and skills.
My own career path has been markedly different from that of the traditional faculty. I consider myself a hybrid, one equally at ease talking with ivory-tower colleagues, but also very much at ease interacting with fellow information security practitioners or business executives. I do not view my Ph.D. as a "terminal degree." Instead, I view it as a lifelong commitment to learning, as evidenced by my later accomplishments including several leading certifications and engagements within the field of InfoSec.

Src: Op-Ed Contributor - End the University as We Know It | NYTimes.com [tx to the other Dr. Veltsos for this link]

2 comments:

Catman (aka RonW) said...

No sure if I agree.
I "only" have a Master's degree in MIS gained 15+ years ago. From it, I learned some things in technology that have helped me,such as TCP/IP and Database Management. It was also my first introduction to Computer Security.

What I really learned was how to write and how to quickly learn on the fly.
That's invaluable.

DrInfoSec said...

Sounds to me like you received a solid foundation. Yes, that's a good thing. I would encourage you to ping your Alma Mater this year to find out how the topics have evolved; better yet, ping some recent grads to find out if their level is where it should be.