Episode 15 Transcript

You're listening to the Business in Morocco Podcast the
podcast that discusses all things
business and all things Morocco. My name
is Ryan Maimone, I'm here with my co-host
Ryan Kirk and our goal is to share our
knowledge and experiences you in order
to help you gain wisdom skills and
habits that can help you succeed in
business and in life you can learn more
about us by going to our website moroccopodcast.com
alright let's get started with today's episode it's going to be a lovely day
welcome to the Business in Morocco
Podcast this is episode 15 where we will
talk about should you go to university?
or should you consider alternatives? is
it important for your career path? but
first let's get an update for the week
Ryan what's going on? hey Ryan
good to see you I just finally booked a
training time with a company that I have
seriously been working on since I met
one of the directors at a Christmas
party so knowing that it's May 24th you
think about the length of the sales
cycle it's been scheduled before so I'm
not even gonna say it's happening until
I'm finished and I've completed the
workshop but I have my fingers crossed I
have a little bit of hope that it will
happen how are you doing? good good I'm
also exercising patience we've done a
lot of traveling and we've been seeing a
lot of friends and I've been working at
the same time
and when you're traveling you're on
other people's turf, you're in Airbnbs,
you're in other people's houses,
you're you're constantly on the move for
a personality like mine it's pretty
tiring, my son is sick so that adds
stress to the situation but overall it's
been a good trip so far we're we're in
Chicago right now yeah the weather is
beautiful, I've never been here
I've never been to Chicago and it's a
great city it's very diverse it's very
clean there are a lot of parks that
there is a gigantic lake right on the
city and there's a large river that runs
through the city and goes all the way
down to Louisiana and New Orleans out
into the Gulf of Mexico so theoretically
you could get in a boat and drive that
boat from Chicago to the Gulf
of Mexico which is pretty impressive
yeah that's actually true and my wife
was just telling me somebody who did it
it's actually true if you Google the
great loop you'll see it can be done you
can sail all the way through the Great
Lakes and down through the states just
as you described it's amazing yeah I
have to think about that one day I mean
I'm not really a much of a boating
person but I could imagine that would be
that would be a fun time, we did go
on a river cruise that was a guided tour
and I believe the guide said it would
take about two weeks to do which it's
not a long time I don't know I'm
surprised it's that short I don't know
if that includes many port stops I'm
sure that we would want to stop along
the way at the various cities that are
along the river and not just keep
sailing the entire time but yeah yeah
something to think about
yeah Chicago is actually a lot like
Toronto we don't have a river that the
city is based around but we are right on
one of the Great Lakes and very similar
weather and you know the cities develop
kind of around the same age and so
they're very very similar sister cities
almost the Raptors have a big game
tomorrow Saturday
do you follow the NBA? are you a
basketball fan? uh not really no I'm
actually a hockey fan so the Leafs are
out the Toronto hockey team is done so
I'm not really into sports at the moment
okay yeah I follow the Golden State
Warriors from time to time so I've been
following who who they will be playing
in the NBA Finals and it will be
interesting to see Toronto seems to have
a very enthusiastic fan base yeah I see
all my friends back back in Canada just
going crazy getting getting on the
bandwagon and catching Raptors fever so
we'll see
all right let's get into the
topic of today which is should you go to
university? this is an ever increasing
subject of debate a lot of people out
there take for granted that university
is the best choice for everyone and it's
my opinion that may not be the case
there are a couple of questions I think
every young person needs to ask
themselves before they decide they want
to go to university and that the first
question is why? why would you want to go
to university? what is the goal? what
value do you think that you're going to
capture from University? there is this
existential idea of a universal
education a well-rounded student that
understands history and math and
language and science and the arts but
the question is can you learn that only
at university today? and is it worth the
cost that you'll have to pay at
university? so that would be the first
question I would ask myself if I was a
student what profession do I want to
pursue in life? what area of work? and is
university the best place to prepare for
that? could you better prepare for that
career with an internship or an
apprenticeship or some kind of
alternative education that is shorter in
length and cheaper in cost? the next
question that I think everyone should
ask is where? where should you go to
school? what types of schools are out
there? should I try to go to university
in the United States or in Europe? or in
stay in Morocco?
coming from the United States if you say
yes I want to go to a college or a
university in the United States well that has a
lot of possibilities there are 50 states
in the United States and each one has
many different universities varying
degrees of quality and cost and so if
you're thinking you want to go to the
United States to study it's important to
understand the nature of the college
where is it located do you want to live
in a big city? do you want to live out in
the country? do you want to be at a
university that has other people that
speak my native language that understand
my culture?
what kind of footprints does that
university have
for people like me? if I'm Moroccan are
there other Moroccans that are already
going to this university? will I have
community there will I be able to
continue speaking Darija? and
celebrates the Muslim holidays or am i
okay being alone at a university? and
being completely immersed in a new
culture and a new situation without much
familiarity from home? I have heard that
this is one of the biggest challenges
for a lot of foreign students as they go
to the United States and they find it
hard to get in community and they they
become homesick and they end up leaving
which is the worst of all situations is
to spend all the time and the effort and
the money to move overseas to go to
university and not finish those are all
some good points I love the question of
why and in my upbringing it was sort of
implied or understood it was an
expectation that upon finishing high
school we were gonna go to university
rather than trying to figure out well
what is it you want to do in your life
and is University gonna be helpful in
accomplishing that? is university going
to equip you and prepare you for your
career? and especially when you're
spending a lot of money you don't want
to be using University as the way to
figure out what you want to do with your
life you don't want to take years of
classes and use up all that time and
effort and money in order to eliminate
options it's much better to figure those
things out apart from school so whenever somebody
says ah well university it's you know
it's part of it is the experience it's
the maturing it's the developing better
to accomplish all those things through
an internship as you mentioned you can
move into a small apartment or some kind
of a dormitory style housing arrangement
live with other young people gain some
independence try stuff out learn new
things meet new people be exposed to new
ideas without having to spend
a lot of money attending classes you
could instead be working in some sort of
office or retail or some type of
workplace throughout the day and still
be gaining all those experiences but
making a profit or gaining experience
rather than spending money and going
into debt yeah those are good points now
there there are some careers where a
degree is necessary there's there's
definitely professional roles that
require a university degree either
because it's it's a door opener for
companies to look for you you look at
you you need that qualification or the
knowledge you gain in class will
actually be applied in your career so if
you're an engineer or you're a lawyer or
you're a nurse or you're a doctor you're
going to be using the content you
learned in class you will be applying
that within your career not all of it of
course but you need to have that basic
foundation and the understanding in
order to practice that career as a
professional but there's a lot of other
careers and there's a lot of other
professionals out there where you look
at what they studied in university and
there's just no connection the the
content that they took in in their
lectures are not actually relevant to
their daily life in their career
absolutely I think you can put all of
the so-called liberal arts in this
category history social studies in fact
any degree program that has the word
studies in it probably you probably are
not going to find much value that will
apply to the job that you will
eventually be doing unless you really
need a degree to go to medical school or
to go to law school or to become an
engineer you really need to think hard
about whether university degree is worth
it and I think that if you talk to
recent graduates from university they're
coming to find and it's not just in Morocco but around the world that most
employers just don't care they just
don't care about your degree they don't
care about your grades they need you to
produce more profits than they have to
pay you and often much more profit than
they have to pay you and if they don't
have a good expectation that you're
going to be able to do that or that
you're going to require a tremendous
amount of training in order to get to
that point then it's just going to be a
much harder hiring decision when you
talk about jobs that that certainly
don't need a university degree or a
university program I immediately think
of tech jobs jobs that require building
software programs a software engineer a
computer programmer you can learn these
skills online right now and you can
learn it for much cheaper than the
average university tuition a couple
examples are Code Academy it's when some
of these examples that I'm going to be
mentioning are are taught in English so
it'd be important to understand that you
need to have a firm grasp of English in
order to do these programs but on the
other hand its online and it's
self-paced so you will have time to read
and learn and digest as opposed to a
classroom where someone is speaking in
the front of the class and you need to
understand everything that's going on
online programs have the advantage of
being able to review the material and
take it slower if English is not your
first language so the first example that
I will give is it's called www.codeacademy.com
and we'll put this in the
show notes there's a lot of free
resources on there and free classes you
can just take online you choose what you
want to learn meaning what programming
language do you want to learn what types
of things do you
want to learn do you want to learn how
to program an Android application or
build a software program for Apple
computer you learn by doing meaning
you're not just sitting and and taking
notes in a classroom but you're actually
doing the work every day so you learn
and then you apply at this particular
Code Academy you put your code that
you're learning you put it into the
system and it tests it right away and
tells you whether or not you've made
mistakes you can get instant feedback
and then you actually work on real-world
projects to hone your skills if you're
anything like me I learn by doing and
not necessarily by reading or listening
but the way that I really learn
something and develop it as a skill is
by doing it and making mistakes and
revising and doing it again and once
you've gone through the Code Academy
some of it is free and then the advanced
courses are you have to pay but there
are a lot of people who have gone
through Code Academy and they've learned
these skills and then they apply for and
they get jobs after that so that's one
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now back to the show
well Ryan you have a an example of an
alternative to a university education?
yeah the things that come to mind for me
are our tech schools as well so there's
a program that was started in Europe a
few years ago it's called www.lewagon.com and
they just ran a course in Casablanca and
I think it's an eight-week intensive you
can search for them on on Facebook but
that was running I think the graduation
was mid December and it's not the first
one they've done in Casablanca another
one is school called you code youcode.ma and this is in a smaller town in
Morocco called
you Sofia I might be mispronouncing that
because I've never heard anybody say it
and I had to Google where it was it's a
very small town but they run this coding
school there and they accept students
and it's an intense program I'm actually
hoping to visit and do an interview with
one of the directors that that runs it
to just share and and widely publicize
the work that they're doing because this
is a wonderful alternative to to
studying at University it's much more
focused its application action-oriented
as you said and it doesn't take a long
time you know rather than studying for
four or five years in 8 months or a year
and a half you can be equipped to make a
difference in a company you've got real
world skills that can help a company do
something help a company make money the other thing is a lot of the information
that used to be only accessible through
attending lectures at a university is
now available online so with all the
universities around the world many of
them have created YouTube channels or
you know web portals where they've just
publicized some of their lectures and so
if there's a
subject that you're really keen on
learning about you can often find a lot
of that information online now of course
you can't write that on your CV hey I've
watched a thousand hours of YouTube's on
this topic so that's pretty much the
same as getting a degree employers may
not buy that but if you're learning
something that allows you to demonstrate
actual skills real-world applicable
skills then you can prove your knowledge
through your portfolio no matter what
path you're choosing another question
you need to ask yourself is how how will
I get there how will I pay for it in
terms of a university application what
sets your application apart from others
what makes you special as I mentioned a
few episodes ago
the competition for foreign students
going to American universities is fairly
high and if you're not thinking about
your application during collége and
lycée and taking the appropriate classes
and doing the extracurricular activities
meaning the things outside of class are
you volunteering? are you working? are you
practicing an instrument? are you playing
a sport? all these things matter when you
apply to university so you need to think
about how you're preparing to go to
university or how are you preparing to
do an alternative to university like an
online program are you practicing your
English are you practicing your French
are you going to try to learn to code in
French or in English these things are
all important when thinking about your
education the other thing I want to
mention is one of the habits one of the
7 Habits of Highly Effective People
that that you've talked about Ryan which
is begin with the end in mind no matter
where you go whether it's a university
or an online program you should be
thinking about what you're going to do
during that education and after that
education you should specifically have a
goal for after your education that your
education will support for example I
want to be a history teacher
okay then I'm going to go to university
and study history and get my master's
degree in history and that will support
my goal of being a history teacher or I
am going to be an engineer that I'm
going to go to university and study
physics and calculus and mathematics and
that will support my engineering degree
what you don't want to do is go into a
university situation and take all of the
interesting easy classes that are
scheduled during hours that you want to
go to class and then just come out of
university with a degree that's not
going to help you reach your long-term
goal yeah I agree
of an expression we use when when
teaching this class is begin with your
CV in mind and so right from first year
you're already thinking what do I want
to write on my CV if you've chosen a
program based on a future career that
you're interested in then you don't want
to graduate and just have one line which
is your education you also need to think
through your experience so how are you
going to be using your weekends how are
you going to be using your four-month
summer breaks you should have multiple
work experiences listed on your CV by
the end of your degree by the time you
graduate but then as you mentioned
there's volunteering
there's attending events there's
extracurricular activities being part of
clubs and associations all of these
things are crucial and some of them
teach you skills that are far more
valuable than what you're learning in
the classes so I love some of the
programs and some of the association's
that exist in Morocco I see
Enactus is very active a lot of students
are involved in that they're learning
about entrepreneurship they're getting
leadership experience they're developing
soft skills they're being exposed to
business leaders and rubbing shoulders
with companies they're building up their
network and all of this is happening
separate from their class time that's a
central idea for an ongoing education or
a post high school education is work you
need to be doing something productive
during your time other than taking
classes because that is what's going to
separate you from the other students who
simply go to class and do nothing else
we all know that it's very competitive
for young people in Morocco trying to
get jobs that when a company posts a job
say on Avito or some other website they
get hundreds if not thousands of
applications and you need to think about
that when you're doing your education
and taking advantage of opportunities
whether it's internships or working
during college another concrete
suggestion I can make for those of you
who are considering computer programming
or Computer Engineering
it's called www.onemonth.com and it is a
specific computer programming language
called Ruby on Rails you spend about
fifteen minutes a day for one month and
you learn the basics of the code but
more importantly you'll learn if it's
something that you enjoy doing or you
want to pursue more and it's a fairly
nominal fee you would have to get
someone who has a credit card that can
be charged in in Dollars or Euros in
order to take the course but you could
do it for one month you could see if you
like it and then you could continue to
pursue your education if it's something
that you enjoy you wouldn't have to commit
to an entire semester or an entire year
or four years of classes to see if it's
something that you enjoyed doing so
again that's called www.onemonth.com
and we'll put this on the resource page
and in the show notes for this episode
yeah that's good
another thing we haven't mentioned that
can be a detriment to time at university
is that especially in tech degrees it
can be very difficult for universities
to keep up with changes in the
marketplace we've mentioned on a
previous episode that when we both did
our MBAs we took some courses in
marketing and in those courses it was
you know I only graduated six years ago
but at that time you know YouTube
LinkedIn Facebook these were very very
small compared to what they are now and
their importance and their their
relevance their position in the role of
marketing has drastically changed and
that happened very quickly just over the
last five years or so so it's very
difficult for universities to keep the
curriculum up-to-date and relevant with
the needs of the marketplace so a lot of
times your program that you're looking
at may not equip you may not equip you
for the real world yes if there's one
thing I'd like to leave with our
listeners as we wrap up this episode
it's this, university is appropriate for
some people but it's not appropriate for
everyone and if you think just because
you go to university and you get a
diploma or you get a degree that that
will help you get a job when you get out
you're just wrong and all you have to do
is talk to recent graduates about how
hard it has been to find a job
you've been listening to the business and
Morocco podcast my name is Ryan Kirk
here with my co-host Ryan Maimone, if you
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