Elance Blog

Elance Hosts Highly-Educational Discussion On The Future of Universities.


If you’ve done your homework regarding today’s evolving state of educational, you know that the world of academia is in a serious flux as of late.

Today people far-and-wide are questioning the structure and value of traditional 4-year universities, and instead closely following the emergence of online learning and Massive Online Open Courses (MOOCs). This issue is naturally top-of-mind for our freelancers, particularly Millennial Elancers, as they look for viable ways to learn the top-demanded skills needed to be successful in the years to come.

To chat about the evolving state of education Elance recently hosted an insightful panel discussion at our Mountain View, California headquarters. Titled Higher Education 2020: What Will Universities Become?, the event was organized by Georgetown Technology Alliance and moderated by Betsy Corcoran of EdSurge. On the panel was a cross-section of academia new and old, from a distinguished Georgetown University faculty member to leaders of emerging online learning organizations including The Minerva Project, 2U and Udacity. Also on hand to absorb and offer their point of view were several Elancers, many Georgetown grads and a handful of folks from the local community interested in the future of education.

Highlights of the discussion included a nod to the fact that university costs are rising 7% annually, far outpacing general inflation (2%). Also noted repeatedly was the fact that online classes seek to level the playing field and bring opportunity to those who traditionally lack physical or economic access to universities.

However, not to be ignored, was the topic of the “pizza pub culture” – specifically the learning and mentorship that can only happen on a physical college campus. So don’t count out the brick and mortar university just yet, as they’ve played a major role in our intellectual landscape for 500 years and aren’t going anyplace soon.

While school’s still out on where “universities” will evolve to in the next few years, everyone on the panel agreed that within a few years the educational system will have a much different look and feel than today. It is also universally agreed upon that colleges will work more closely with companies to focus on ways to more-efficiently supply businesses with the leaders of tomorrow.

Be sure to visit the Georgetown Technology Alliance website in the upcoming days, as they promise to post video of the evening’s activities.

Class dismissed. Now let’s all grab a beer and a slice, and continue the discussion on ways to improve education.




Great post and topic really important.

Great post and topic really important.