Rethinking College as the Pandemic Wanes

Available for Interviews: Mat Jacobson

Mat Jacobson is the Founder & CEO of the Ducere Global Business School, and as a thought leader on innovation within education, is creating some of the industry’s most innovative educational platforms and projects. He is a regular media contributor on topics of business, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and has appeared in articles including Wealth Creator, Marketing Magazine, Business First, Smart Magazine, Start-Up Smart, and Business Builders.

What Mat Jacobson can say in an interview on
Rethinking College:

The pandemic has called into question our traditional ways of obtaining degrees and building careers for the long haul. But as this health crisis begins to wane (and hopefully, for good!), we have to explore our basic values in higher education… Is there a better, smarter way?

Employment realities from the pandemic include:

    • Companies struggle to attract and retain workers—especially low-skilled workers like waiting on tables, stocking shelves, fast food, hospitality industry, etc.
    • For example, nearly 40 percent of former workers in the nation’s hospitality industry say they do not plan to go back to jobs in hotels, restaurants, or bars, according to a survey by Joblist, an employment search engine.
    • Companies are offering more incentives like higher wages, bonuses, healthcare, and tuition plans.
    • Workers are seeking more—a career path, not just dead-end jobs. They are looking to work in places that offer more opportunities and a brighter future. It’s less about the money.
    • Major employers of lower-wage hourly workers including Walmart, Chipotle, and Amazon have announced improvements to their tuition and training programs. Even Amazon, which has a huge turnover among workers in its warehouses, has started to talk more about helping improve its employees’ long-term prospects.
    • The four-year college degree has typically been the screening tool for companies offering many good-paying jobs. Yet about 2/3 of American workers do not have four-year degrees — and nearly 80% of Latino and almost 70% of Black workers do not have such degrees. This has led companies to invest more internally in their greatest and most hopeful talent with training programs
    • However exciting these employee investments may seem, this is not the bandaid answer to our workforce problems says Mat Jacobson, thought leader on higher education:

“The current model is one-sided, and for that reason, risks sustainability. Tuition support benefits the employee in attaining a qualification. However, the learning adds very little value to the employer (eg Walmart staff taking a Drama class, or a Chipoltle staff studying medieval history class). It is true that the employer receives the indirect benefit of a more motivated employee that will likely stay longer. However a truly sustainable model of education is one where an employee gets a degree, and the employer is directly building the skills capacity needed for its future workforce. What we call Tailored Enterprise Degree.” 

    • If corporate America is shifting its focus on hiring based on skills rather than degrees, our students ought to seek out degrees that get them where they want to be without all the fluff.
    • Isn’t it time to reimagine the college system for a brighter future for our workforce?


Interview: Mat Jacobson

Mat Jacobson is the Founder of the Ducere Global Business School, which has been recognized by the State of California, the US Congress as well as numerous global awards for transforming access to higher education. He is a global leader in disrupting the education sector and has founded three education startups (The prior two were ultimately sold to publicly listed companies.).

As the founder of Ducere, Jacobson, together with hundreds of world leaders ranging from Presidents to heads of the UN and CIA and global companies, are transforming education to overcome systemic barriers to be relevant, applied, affordable, and accessible.

Jacobson is also a keynote speaker and has given talks on education innovation from Harvard University to European governments.

Jo Allison
Managing Editor
Director of Public Relations
Success in Media, Inc.

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