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Cut Your Learning Curve

Jan 18, 2021

Today more and more people are asking “what does it mean to be an expert?”  

The disruptive technologies and the new careers to support them are being created far faster than regulations, education programs and any state or federal certifications. Today there are more state testing requirements to be a hairdresser than for an engineer building software for a large phone provider or major bank. Another common yardstick for expertise, “years of experience” simply is a poor fit in a digital landscape where the products themselves are only five years old or less. 

At the same time, easy access to video recording and website hosting platforms enables each of us to be an expert. We can stand in our corner and proclaim loudly that “we know best” in an increasingly fractured media landscape. So then how is expertise determined? What does being an expert mean at a time when the traditional barriers to access and the role of institutions to validate expertise are all radically changing? 

The scientific method still holds true. Subject specific knowledge and the maturity to work effectively in teams in an era of turbulence is more important than ever. Real expertise matters. 

A new government administration is taking over in the US this week; the problems they face are many.  Defining and cultivating expertise in our current era will be essential for us, as a society, in order to take on the great challenges of our time.