One third of Zemanta team are Americans. Consequently we get to see first hand some interesting cultural differences between the American and European culture. One such difference that I've stumbled upon on my recent trip to our New York office is the concept of over-education. I've never heard this word before and there's no equivalent word in Slovenian. For Europeans education is goal in itself and it is just impossible for somebody to be too educated, but as the American English word over-education clearly demonstrates practical Americans consider education a means to an end and not an end in itself. I often hear the argument that Slovenian education should teach more practical skills, so that people are more useful to companies. I very much disagree with this approach. I think the primary goal of education should be to make people more useful to society, and only as a consequence, to the companies. Most of the companies and technologies that are successful today, won't exists twenty years from now. If we, the society, don't want to get stuck with outdated people in the future, we should prepare our children not only for the challenges of today enterprises, but more importantly, to the unknown challenges of the future start-ups. In that regard the concept of over-education seems a very stupid idea.
This is absolutely not meant to be a political statement - I try to stay neutral on my blog, LinkedIn , Twitter , and only let my hair down marginally on Facebook . All that said, something's been bothering me. I'm in recruiting - if anybody's going to feel employment moving as part of their day-to-day, it's us.
- Some more cultural differences. (johntalbottsparis.typepad.com)
- Outsourcing to Central Europe: Are concerns about IP security just a result of cultural differences? (zdnet.com)
- Cultural Differences Kicking My Ass! (insideboxmag.com)