education | March 14, 2013

Closing The Skills Gap: Education Speaker Salman Khan on Charlie Rose [VIDEO]

As education speaker Salman Khan tells Charlie Rose, we don't only have a skills gap in the workforce, but a "signaling gap" as well. On the one hand, there are people who do not have the credentials needed to be employable (the skills gap). On the other hand, there are people who do have the skills that employers are looking for, but have no way to show it due to a lack of official accreditation or work experience. Take the users of the Khan Academy website, for example. There is enough raw information available online, he says, for someone to teach themselves a number of viable skills—but there isn't a way to verify for employers to verify it.

Even expensive credentials attained from a reputable school don't say all that much to an employer either, he explains. You could have a well-rounded education from the best computer science program out there—but you will still be required to prove that in your interview. Khan hopes that some his Academy will help usher in a new era of skills recognition. If we had a new way to verify a worker's skills and competencies, people could learn skills independently and avoid costly higher education programs, which could democratize the labor market.

He also says it's important to allow people to apply their knowledge in a meaningful way. "To really educate someone doesn't mean to try to pour information into their brain and hope that they can regurgitate it out," he says. "It's to give them the tools to take agency over their own learning." That's what he has tapped into with The Khan Academy. He provides students with videos that are accessible, conversational, and allow students to go at their own pace. They have the time to understand the thought process behind what they are learning (rather than just the formula or fact they need to memorize) which allows them to apply this knowledge in the real world in relevant and useful ways. In his book, The One World School House, as well as his media appearances and speeches, Khan explores his vision of the future of education. He tackles the problems with our traditional education system head-on—and proposes a revolutionary new way of learning that can benefit us all.

Up Next

leadership | March 13, 2013