Education at its best is a ticket to the possibilities, but the problem today is the ticket has become golden and not in a good way. Today it doesn’t do what you think it did a decade or two ago and that golden ticket is actually just a fast way to get shackled with debt.

Ryan Carson, founder of Treehouse, was equipped with some startling facts to show how broken the current state of education is especially in relation to the burgeoning tech scene. In the U.S., nine out of 10 high schools don’t offer computer programming classes and in 41 out of 50 American States programming classes don’t count towards science, technology, education, and mathematics credits.

Carson believes that “the education system is a racket” that doesn’t necessarily work and he said with student debt at $9 trillion it’s hard not to agree. Between 2011 and 2020 there will be a 1 million more jobs in the tech scene than students to fill them and if we can’t get our act together then we’ll lose the lead to other countries and regions, he says.

Everything Carson said about education made me think about the lessening value of a degree because a degree has just become the price of admission. There’s a disconnect between the knowledge gained in school and what jobs in technology actually entail.

Carson said in a workshop later in the day that it all comes down to fit and the Treehouse team is working towards finding that fit for the students taking their courses. Treehouse uses a point-based system as their metric to track student progress.

This point based system will become the foundation of a new department they will be launching in the next few months that will help their students get jobs. What the points do is provide a framework for employers to know that if a student has 1,000 points in Javascript they know it well and will be able to apply those skills in the job.

Soon Treehouse will be rolling out points not just for the courses themselves but also when you are helping other students. Employers want employees that are helpful to the other people around them.

Treehouse’s Carson says that their “goal is to take you from knowing nothing to knowing everything” you need to get a job in tech. Carson and his team believe that they need to break the cabal of education. That the modern education system doesn’t meet the needs of students or employers specifically in technology.

Carson’s goal is to have students in high school taking their courses so when they are done they can get right to work instead of giving the cabal their money for a piece of paper.

Carson says that he wants to remake how education is provided and Treehouse is doing that one person, one course and one job at a time and we should all give a hand to everyone in the space working to make that ideal a reality.

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  • http://teamtreehouse.com/ Ryan Carson

    Thanks Eric! Small error in your text though: It’s “student debt at $1 trillion” not “student debt at $9 trillion”