Today, I finally watched the TED Talk given by Scott Young, who took on the challenge to learn MIT's 4-year computer science curriculum in 12 months ... without actually going to MIT.
He recreated the full course with free videos, plus the course books, and managed to pass all exams and programming challenges. All with an investment of around $2000, a fraction of the cost of the actual MIT program.
I found this extraordinary. And it's proof that you can learn anything you want. I find this very encouraging.
All knowledge is available online, largely for free. It takes away all the barriers. Anybody can access this knowledge and benefit from it.
This also calls in to question the currently established structure of educational institutions and the way employers perceive degrees.
Usually, it goes something like: You must have completed a Bachelor / Master degree in XYZ to be qualified for this position.
What if someone has gained all that knowledge without holding a formal degree? This is absolutely possible. Unfortunately, this person is likely going to get ignored by HR who are just stuck in their current ways of looking at education.
Maybe this will change soon?! As college education is getting more and more expensive, the alternative paths have to be recognized if employers want to continue to hire great talents.