Fixing Education

Investment | Collaboration and Safety in AI

Personal AI Tutor in Education and Corporate Training

Do we need colleges and universities?

- "Of course", answered my friend, a university professor. "How else would I teach my students?"
- "I still need to learn so much more", said my daughter.

Well, I agree with my daughter ... but there is a good reason, actually several good reasons, to argue with my friend.
Check for yourself, maybe they are not completely unreasonable. And this is not as much about a problem, as about a suggested solution.

- If these problems are of interest to you, please read on. The author highly appreciates your feedback.

Education inequity and disconnect between Academia and Job Market are the major problems of colleges and universities.
Add the enormously growing cost of high education, and if you think that this is necessity,
if you think that these are just ugly corners of otherwise perfect system, think again.

The offering:
With all excitement related to the recent AI tools, like GPT-4, they are really just the tools.
We offer the platform and services to convert the tools into useful products for education and business.
The platform uses generative AI models such as OpenAI’s GPT-4, Google Gemini AI, Groq by Meta, and xAI Grok by Elon Musk
to accelerate decision making and knowledge sharing in education and business via conversational AI.
How our Patented Technology works: English | Spanish | Russian | French
Patents: US7032006, US7774751, US7966093, US8051026, US8863234, US10956676

Education inequity

Job market in the US is changing much faster than in most countries. Simpler jobs disappear while new and exciting opportunities appear on the horizon. Current school curriculum is far behind the industry demand and the distance is growing. For example, Information Technology is looking for Artificial Intelligence and Semantic Technology skills, but we still teach SQL and C++ programming.

Investments in acceleration of technology are much greater than educational investments. Plus, it takes tremendous efforts to formalize new knowledge into educational materials. It is much easier to lose an existing job than to jump on a new fast-moving wagon. The jumpers, who can catch up with the changes, are our educational elite.

There are many reasons for education inequity. Here is just one story.

When I was training a small team of DoD software architects and developers, one of the men stood out the most to me because he was always able to expand on any subject and had great questions. However, when he told me his story, I was surprised to learn that his elementary, middle and high schools considered him retarded, a lost case. Just before college, he developed his own way of learning and later became a successful student in college and then a team-lead at work.

How many lost cases do we have in schools, colleges or in the workplace? How many students have trouble following along with the mainstream methods of education and vocational training? What is the percentage of students with learning differences or detrimental gaps in their education?

Usually less than half of the group can sync with the basic flow of materials and can understand a bigger picture of the developmental process. The most effective teachers develop ways to approach individual learning differences, fill in the gaps in their knowledge, keep the students engaged, and minimize the lost cases.

We can enormously improve these efforts by utilizing the latest technology. By focusing on ending education inequity we will also solve the related problem of the growing economic inequity in our society. Private companies would see a great business payoff. And from a moral point of view, what could be a better payoff than fixing society problems?

Disconnect between Academia and Job Market

- Colleges and Universities are enormously expensive, although considered to be the main channel for education. This is no longer true. There are many ways to learn, and spending four to six years in school is just one of them.

There are students who prefer a classroom, live instruction and dorm life.  There are many others who are looking for the shortest path to a job. In all cases, learning is a lifelong process, and is not limited to the school years.

- The Academic Curriculum is several years behind industry practice, even in the best of schools.
Academia is slow to change, partially due to the fact that accreditation takes years. Technology is constantly moving ahead increasing the gap between industry practice and academic curriculum.

- After graduation from most schools, students have a significant loan to repay and a hard time obtaining the skills that are required by the fast moving job market.

Even in the days of low unemployment these problems are well visible.

- Automation is taking its tall on simple jobs. Should we be scared of losing jobs to automation? Yes and No. In many work areas the old concept of profession-for-life is no longer valid. The most important profession today is a quick learner. When a new technology is closing one job, it opens several more opportunities. The bottleneck is our ability to quickly learn and change.

Can traditional education do the trick? Apparently not. Colleges and universities are quick in changing the price but the existing red tape is slowing down all other changes.

We can and will change the formula of education
How? Expanding professional education beyond Academia, establishing a direct link between students and job market, between trainee and trainers.

No one knows better what skills are needed today than subject matter experts (SMEs), and some of them (actually many of them) are willing to share.

Just imagine that a consulting company, which is specialized in AI directly shares its knowledge in Java and AI, and, after several months of study, offers students consulting projects. With a well-focused curriculum, it is feasible to prepare students for professional work in several months (see [4]) instead of it taking several years.

This is not about Coding Schools, which miss a business side of the story. Subject Matter Expert is not just a code expert. SME knows business goals, business practices and business processes, all these extremely important components that are often lost in translation.

A problem and a solution:

Creating educational materials is difficult.
I know this from my personal experience. Many times, I have had this funny feeling that concepts which looked absolutely straightforward and clear in my head appeared as spaghetti in class materials.

A lot of work has been done, and inventions produced, while looking for better ways to consistently create and deliver knowledge. I will describe several pieces of this work, including the conversational approach and Semantic Technology that are combined in AI components.

Artificial intelligence can mean many things. I will focus on just one. Computer programs are becoming more helpful. They start working for us not just as stupid machines, but almost as partners. Partners usually talk to each other and good ideas are polished and clarified in brainstorming conversations.

The conversational approach to knowledge acquisition combines the power of Semantic Technologies with human intuition. This combination has proved to be extremely helpful in converting information into well-structured knowledge. The Conversational Semantic Decision Support (CSDS) system, described in the book, IT of the future [1], helps SMEs to overcome this difficulty and produce course content.

How does it work?

The magic is done in several steps:

- First, the system would ask (prompt) a SME about specific educational goals and help in creating a conceptual graph based on the goals.

- Then, CSDS will automatically build a decision tree/script to help prompt the SMEs in providing related information.

- Then the decision tree is used by a system to converse with a SME while retrieving the information and building a proper structure of correctly formatted educational materials based on the conceptual graph.

The system also uses the conceptual graph to generate test questions for each subject to evaluate the student progress as well as the student engagement and perception of the materials from both quality and difficulty perspectives.

Helping SMEs to share knowledge will increase educational channels beyond Academia and significantly improve employment opportunities by teaching high-in-demand skills.

Colleges and universities will survive. There are many students that need classrooms, friendly teamwork, and exciting social life outside of home. But new educational channels will compete with traditional schools and will impact school prices.

There is often asked question that must be addressed here: How many people can really learn these high-in-demand skills?

My personal 30-year experience of teaching in class and online, including challenging and exciting work with inner city students in Detroit, confirms: it is feasible during several months (not several years!) to develop a set of skills that opens the door to a profession. Most of the group of 30 women, who had little or no technical background, became IT consultants and we still keep in-touch, now as professionls.

The most important subjects were not any specific technical areas but Critical Thinking and the Skills to Learn.

And the end of the course was not the end of education; quite the opposite! From this point, a person was getting a real job with real pay and has acquired a taste for continued learning.

Another major problem of current education is the disconnect between the mainstream approach and individual learning differences.

In the future, I envision robots performing as teaching assistants. They will introduce better evaluation instruments, which will look more like games than tests. These games/tests will help to precisely measure a student engagement at each point of study. Robots will be especially successful with children. Not only due to enormous memory and quick thinking, and the ability to replicate custom copies while gaming simultaneously with multiple participants, but also due to lack of emotional reactions. (Hopefully this will not change too soon.) Robots can keep their cool in the situations that would drive a human teacher crazy.(The message from 2040, [5])

Teaching with regard to each student individual ability is the hardest part of being a teacher. One would like to do exactly that, but trying to focus on stragglers can result in the failure to complete the coursework for the majority of students.

Can technology help here?

To optimize the learning process, the system gives hints to the teacher to adjust both the style and type of suggested content based on tests/evaluations of individual differences in student learning style and pace. Some students benefit from Test-Driven Learning, some need more samples and more SME time. The system is not (and should not be) completely automatic, but provides significant help to a SME working with students.

The system is not a dream or just a set of good ideas, but is a work in progress [4]. For example, Internet Technology University,, provides a platform for SMEs to post educational materials and teach students online. It is up to a SME to offer a price tag or free access.

Who will benefit from these changes?

- Those searching for their first job can follow job market trends. Businesses will efficiently train and gain necessary skills.
Here are some statistics on starting salaries:
For humanities and social sciences, the first job average salary is $35k-$40k. Information Technology is more generous. IT is awarding the first job with $60k-$70k salaries.

Let us trust the free market. (This is especially easy for someone who lived at least several years in a government-regulated economy.)

The field of automation will continue growing. More and more people will be involved in the art of teaching robots (read: programming software services with AI components).

Yes, we will delegate our boring routine work, hard and often dangerous labor to robots. And we will learn new professions much quicker than today, directly from professionals!

We will reduce the necessity for brokerage between a student and a profession.
This is done in other industries. Smart applications such as Uber remove the necessity for brokers - receptionists at taxi stations. Smart applications directly connect consumers and producers.

Professional education will become less dependent on brokers, such as Academia and job agencies. Smart applications with CSDS will streamline professional education, directly connecting students and jobs.

These methods might also be used in regular schools!

The difference between high school and college could be less dramatic if middle and high schools included advanced subjects taught directly by SMEs from local companies.

This connection might also bring some social benefits for both parties.

Educational publishers will finally be in a position to offer templates (conversational scripts) helping authors, first of all the SMEs, to share their unique knowledge.

Consulting agencies, which often have the best SMEs in a specific knowledge domain, will become invaluable knowledge resources. The system/platform helps SMEs sharing their unique knowledge in multiple ways, including Teaching-by-samples, Test-driven-study, and more. Some of these ways, such as Test-driven-study can be used for screening potential candidates.

To get a job in a high-demand field, it is more important to have the skills to do the job than it is to have a degree!

Here I am admittedly on thin ice.

We traditionally think that a degree means an education. This is not true!

We never stop learning... after we have a good start, but that starting point should not be as hard and expensive as it is today. 

Questions from reader's comments and email messages:

Even with the help of a program, Conversational Semantic Decision Support (CSDS), sharing expertise is a time consuming effort. What incentives can be provided to motivate this work?

- Knowledge investment can be measured, for example by the usage. As any investment it can be awarded, for example, by a proper share of the marketplace. This might become a very valuable enterprise.

Do you really think that a computer program can replace a good teacher?

- Not at all. The shortage of teachers and instructors in the U.S. is estimated in many thousands. The program will help many more people share their knowledge in sciences and IT.

- Yes, it is difficult to achieve quality and efficiency. These two are conflicting criteria. The program will help a teacher/SME to be more efficient, first of all taking care of multiple supporting activities (besides teaching) required today. Then, the program would improve quality by optimizing learning path based on individual student learning differences.

What is the process to offer and teach a new course?

- Start with this link:

- Anyone can JOIN and use the platform to teach existing curriculum or/and post your own materials and after a quick review offer a price tag or free access.

Even if an instructor chose a price for a class, there is no upfront payments. Students pay only after the class, if satisfied and happy and want to gain access to the next lesson. And another rule for an instructor: find time for individual meetings with every student at least weekly and try to optimize the individual pace of study.

This is "work in progress" and any help and feedback is highly appreciated.

Can this approach be expanded beyond the IT field?

- I would think so. Former students, SMEs, Consultants, Publishers, What do you think?
- Would you join the project if investment is provided?

Misty Davidson

ESL Intructor at Common Ground International


Excellent points. I am totally a non-techie, but if I were young today, it would be different. We desperately need a workforce with specific technological skills. Vocational education is not for dummies who can't do anything else. It is for bright young people who are interested in their own future and wish to make a contribution.

Learning is a lifetime process, and technological advances will require constant continuing education. There are many ways to learn, but, unfortunately, in the USA, only college seems to get any respect. Maybe that why the USA has such a shortage of qualified workers, whereas other countries are embracing multiple ways of learning and education that prepares their young people for the real world. We have a lot to learn from places such as Germany and South Korea.

 Jeff (Yefim) Zhuk

Enterprise Architecture, Integrated Software and Knowledge Engineering

>the USA has such a shortage of qualified workers

>a lot to learn from places such as Germany and South Korea

Misty, you are correct. The USA is very innovative in technology but still conservative in education and training. With the technology described here and very modest investment we can do much better. With the current approach to education, it takes several years to understand and satisfy market demand. And we always end up with oversupply. The new approach is more precise and faster in following the job market changes.

Think of Uber in transportation and Amazon in consumption. Streamlining connections between demand and supply never was easy. But when it is done, it looks very logical. I am sure we will have better connections between education and employment. 

Sunil Cherian Sunil Cherian

Entrepreneur and CEO at Mentor Global

Jeff, this is interesting. We should look at ways to make this accessible. This is a core issue that will democratize learning.

Emily Langley  Emily Langley

Knowledge manager, librarian, tutor and information management

Right on!

Sunil...this is all about wealth/income distribution.Since the 90s we have witnessed,in the US , (arguably) the largest-ever transfer of both wealth an income from the lower and middle-classes to the upper echelon. Yes, Internet is the Great Equalizer, thus opposition from certain quarters to net neutrality, and suggestions of tiered bandwidth..If we restrict poorest people to lowest bandwidth, they can't learn to much, can they? It like in feudal China: the writing system is so complex that only richest people can afford to allow their children the time to learn it.


Sunil, Thank you for thinking of the ways to make it accessible. Let us think together. Soon after posting the article I received a call from a friend of mine, an expert in childhood education. I’ve got invaluable hints on the best collaborative methods with children and what the system must take into account to be successful. For example, the logical thinking is only developing at the age 12-14, not before. I did not know that. How to make the system accessible to people who would like to help and share, to educational experts, to content providers, to content organizers and system behavior coordinators? This is a challenging task. A good example is Wikipedia, which continue growing and mostly with valuable information. Although in our case, the system should transform information into system behavior. I just noticed that as a technical person, I tend to focus on the technical pieces, although the other sides of the story may be also important.

Director Enterprise Architecture

I like the idea of applying the Conversational approach to education. A big challenge I see with the traditional Semantic approach though is the manual effort to model the knowledge domain. That would seem especially daunting in building a system that can converse on a variety of different domains. I'm wondering if some of the approaches taken by IBM Watson (which is now available outside use - at a price of course) could be used to help automate some of that by reading existing materials?

Lawrence Katz

Attorney at Self

Fascinating and well-written piece about a subject we should all be thinking about: Creating models to make knowledge, especially in the area of technology, more accessible. I see a couple of ironies here that, if they can be overcome, might lead to some breakthroughs. First: Tribal knowledge, which might be called wisdom, has a natural life span. Baby boomers like me have acquired a body of experiential knowledge that transcends expertise in a given field. This knowledge takes years to acquire, cannot be quantified, and is applied on a case-by-case basis. Like the generations before us, we will soon die and take this body of knowledge with us to the grave. The next generation traditionally starts from scratch. Second: Until very recently, information was expensive and education was cheap. Now, information is cheap and education is expensive. It seems as if Mr. Zhuk may have found a solution to both problems. .


Lawrence, Thank you for good words. I continue receiving messages, mostly in my email, related to this publication. Some of the messages include very interesting thoughts that I’d like to share with you.

From a reader:

In general, there are tons of people with good educations who have trouble finding work, and I think the reason is there just aren’t enough jobs, not enough demand for what these people could do.


– This is right, and the main reason is that education is far behind the hot jobs. When finally we start teaching these subjects, they are old and cold. This disconnect between Academia and Job Market must be fixed too. I hope that CSDS will help us here and will connect students to job markets.

From a reader:

You certainly captured the key aspects of the problem, and I think you have some compelling ideas. I think that using technology to bridge differential learning gaps is absolutely imperative. My son is now five. He has had access to an iPad since he was two years old. My wife and I have adopted the practice of loading it with a variety of educational tools, games and information resources and then just leaving him alone. It has been amazing to watch how effectively he extracts knowledge organically using these tool.

I think the most challenging part of this lies on the other end of the spectrum from the consumers (students). You have students, you have a delivery mechanism that is responsive and adaptive, but you need to keep the material current and of suitable quality. For some subjects (history, for example) this is less of a problem. But for other topics, such as technology, it becomes more problematic. I think Wikipedia has given us at least one example of how tribal knowledge could be crowd sourced. In fact, the entire Internet is a living, breathing example of raw information. The difficulty is separating the signal from the noise.


- I admire your ability to balance control and freedom with your son, which helps him to find the best ways in the learning process. Our children are amazing, what was difficult for us is so easy for them. - Making the live, not static system and separating the signal from the noise is difficult. The plan is to expand my current ranking system, open it to everyone, still giving more weight to the score from the content editors and content owners. Good content will come up and bad should drown.

From a reader:

 Check the Wolfram Alpha project for a possible correlation… - Have you investigated / and / or approached Kahn Academy with your thoughts? It seems to me that they may have the need for the system you envision.

From a reader:

- Your article was very intriguing--the underlying message I walked away with is that computer semantics can better enable best practices in teaching with regard to meeting individual learning differences (even those caused by social inequities). However, I must reiterate my earlier point which is that some programs which focus on equity, alone-which implies all folks get a basic opportunity does not go as far as social justice, which helps to ensure those opportunities are meaningful and are indeed, equal.

- A similar and a bit different note I found in the recent article Idiot Guide to Inequity by Nicholas Kristof in N.Y. Times: Unfortunately, equal opportunity is now a mirag. As an escalator of mobility, the American education system is broken…


- I believe there are cases, when the right approach can change the game. I’d like to say thanks to people who offered their help. I plan to contact you later. Some time ago I was teaching Java Technology for a group in Detroit. This was a group of 32 women with almost no knowledge of IT.

The amazing fact is that in several months (not years!) most of them became Java programmers/IT consultants. This social project StepITupAmerica by UST-Global (a consulting company) with its educational arm, Mentor-Global and contracting Internet Technology University, brought attention of the US administration.

Teaching these students was a challenging work, but this work proved that this can be done; most of the credit should go to our very focused and motivated students. And we can greatly scale up the educational process by using the methods described in this article.

Data Science Software Engineer

Misc comment, on logical thinking developing at age 12-14, I suspect that varies greatly with the person, some at much younger ages, some perhaps never

Associate Software Developer at UST Global

Jeff was our trainer for the UST Global Step IT up America, he is intelligent and Very patient. We appreciate him for teaching us and guiding us. Anyone that will have him as a trainer will be lucky to have him.

Alisa & Raven

Associate Software Developer at UST Global

·         I think Jeff is great. I appreciate his hands on approach as opposed to heavy lecturing.

·         Excellent teaching format!!! Breaks EVERYTHING down to the best of our understanding.

·         Awesome teacher! Jeff definitely has a gift to make JAVA seem simple. There is a difference between a teacher and an instructor. Jeff has a gift to teach! He definitely imparted knowledge and understandingg…


- Thanks, Jenae. Our intense Java training sure took a lot of hard work, but we didn’t cut any corners. We learned and practiced how to set priorities, to evaluate our current position, and to aim for achievable goals. We built a solid foundation of critical thinking by developing and optimizing the most valuable skill, the skill to learn. Software developers continue learning every day.

Since many of our students did not have this background, gaining this skill was sometimes very difficult and took a lot of determination. We also cultivated teamwork and Agile development (Agile is an iterative development style that adds flexibility to the process.)

It was very rewarding for me to see the students lifting their confidence level from "I will never understand" to "Yes, I can!!!" Many of them started with little or no knowledge of Information Technology. Four months later they successfully passed a pretty complex 6-hour Java/J2EE test.

Founder/Consultant at Open Mind Consulting, LLC

Excellent! This is one the best article about a real solution Education problems not only in professional area, but in the field of a personal development of students.


Many of my former students are IT consultants now. This transformation has changed their lives. They do not have much experience but today they have a foot in the door. Information Technology is still a growing industry (one of a few). IT is trying to catch up with the growing ocean of data and increasing demands on information processing. Four-to-six months of intensive training proved to be a valid alternative to four-to-six years of college education (maybe not for everyone, but for many students.)

Is this process and approach scalable?

I believe it is. The key requirements for scalability are:

- Improve educational content, remove information gaps, and provide multiple content levels to match multiple levels of skills

- Develop a reliable feedback mechanism, which will provide conversational support to verify student knowledge and student understanding at each point of study

- Provide motivational support by taking into account individual preferences.

How much of this process can be delegated to a computer?

Not everything and not all at once, but I am confident that a good teacher would find the assistance of such a computer program extremely beneficial. And then a computer program will learn more from a good teacher and can help even more.e…

Special Education/Drama Teacher. Writer. Singer

It seems like most of the world is on the same page in terms of desiring a high quality education for all students, regardless of the circumstances to which they are born. However, the diversity comes in terms of the approach. I would welcome any kind of technological tools in my classroom with open arms. In fact, many teachers, even in the lowest funded schools around, have Promethean Boards or SmartBoards in their classrooms.

However, sometimes technology, at least in America public schools, is a cover-up, a band-aid to disguise huge generational, socio-economic, and cultural (which may or may not refer to ethnicity) problems that cannot be solved with any kind of teacher intervention.

Using fun, engaging technology in the classroom will not reinforce language at home for children whose parents do not know English. It will not convince them of the value of education or the need to show up to school. Many of my students are really nice kids in the classroom, but they miss school because their parents either physically can't or don't feel like taking them to school.

Also, the corrupt wave of Common Core education, as is the societal pattern, is to go after unions. Teachers are under massive attack and are being tasked with ensuring that students pass standardized tests on grade level.

I often receive middle school students who read and do math at a second grade level. Even if they experience two years worth of growth in one year--a huge success, my job performance is at risk when the kids then do not pass the 7th grade standardized test which they are forced by law to take.


- Rebecca, you are right. Each student needs individual attention. Technology cannot replace a teacher, but can save teacher time and expand teaching power. For example, teachers are pressed to provide more paperwork. (A good idea of measuring the results is poisoned by its implementation.) Here is a great place for computerized conversational tests that would measure individual student level and suggest the next step of study or a proper repetition material. Formatted as a friendly game this program saves teacher time and still works under teacher control.

Special Education/Drama Teacher. Writer. Singer

When teachers fail to make students perform on grade level, even though they received the students when they were far below grade level, the blame is put on teachers for not having enough rigor and technology in their lesson plans. Absolutely no responsibility is put on parents, students, administrators, or the general society to help our children. Doctors, no matter how advanced their technology is, do not get rated ineffective if they are unable to cure a patient in the severe stages of an illness. They are not accused of not using the correct technology and being micromanaged down to every minute of their procedure by people who have never been doctors. Again, I welcome any and every technological source that benefits children. Please, we will take it all. But first, we as teachers, would like less than 35 students in the classroom, supplies like pencils and paper for our students that we do not have to buy, since more often than not kids do not have them, time to teach our children at their level, instead of wasting everyone time to prepare them for a test that is years above their grade level.

Парафесь Сергей  Парафесь Сергей

Sergey Parafes, professor of the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI), Aerospace Engineering Institute

начальник отдела в ЗАО ИнСис-интеграция

Director of the In Sys Integration department, ZAO

Jeff! The subject of the article, in my opinion, is very interesting and timely, especially into our ever-expanding world of knowledge. How to deliver this knowledge to specific student effectively? How to select the material that the students understand it? What feedback should we provide to better engage the students in the learning process? These and other similar questions, perhaps, any teacher asked many times. I agree with your statement that traditionally the most effective method of knowledge transfer from teacher to student is a straight talk one on one. And I agree that this is very expensive. Yes you are right when you say, We do not have enough teachers, especially good teachers to converse one-o-one with the students. I think it a fair statement for any country.


Sergey, thank you for the response! As far as I know MAI in Russia is a similar level school as MIT or CalTech in the U.S. Do you have a course on Knowledge Engineering? Any usage of this subject and semantic technologies in education?

·         Sergey Parafes, professor of the Moscow Aviation Institute (MAI), Aerospace Engineering Institute

·         начальник отдела в ЗАО ИнСис-интеграция

·         Director of the In Sys Integration department, ZAO

Jeff, you invited academic world and corporate training to use is a combination of conversational approach with semantic technologies to solve this problem. I think it is a good idea. I have some experience in using similar technologies; in particular I'm quite familiar with the technologies of the ontological engineering. I would be interested to get acquainted with the proposed technology in teaching and collaborate on knowledge transfer details.

From Neiel Baronberg, M.D.:

Jeff, I love where this articles is going.
Formal - academic - basic education will become obsolete in the future. Much of the basics in medical school can be addressed I the first two years with online interactive material saving enormous expenses.

But this only applies to vocational skills. In medicine human interaction is obviously imperative to asses a problem but I can see where in IT that would be less important. The best process for more second level education after the basic language is learned, I believe does require human interaction and response.

The Torah learning approach with one on one or very small interactive seminars where you learn from peers is most effective. This would be very different from big lecture halls. I have always favored the development of vocational training schools at least he beginning of high school but society and parents have usually demanded the often useless college degree.

Still for complete education some grounding in humanities makes some sense to me and would decry a society of computer experts who have become robotic and artificially intelligent. I congratulate you on clearly seeing a deficiency and proposing a new direction forward. You are on to something very important and some might say revolutionary.

I congratulate you on clearly seeing a deficiency and proposing a new direction forward. You are on to something very important and some might say revolutionary.

Good luck, Neiel


Neiel, thank you so much, your words are very encouraging … and I feel more pressure to live up to expectations.  

> Still for complete education some grounding in humanities makes some sense to me

- Yes, this makes sense to me too, and our all life (not just college years) is dedicated to learning these values.

Leo Gorodinski:

Hi Yefim!

Hope all is well.

Your article looks good, and I'm sympathetic to your vision. Some comments:

- In broad strokes, I rely on the smart, kind and gets things done framework when interviewing. In addition to the gap between industry and academia, I've found it particularly difficult to assess the gets things done component during the interview process. The academic environment does little to prepare the student for work in the real world. Students with advanced degrees from highly acclaimed schools often have a difficult time integrating into a project-centric, highly collaborative work environment. Industry typically calls for greater degree of autonomy, innovation and soft skills than what is being delivered by academia. Involving SMEs in the education process should certainly help this. I also believe my early exposure to real industry projects helped me a great deal, certainly far more than my university degree.


- Regarding education never stops - I believe this cannot be stressed enough. Technology changes rapidly, and even without change, there so much technology out there, one never knows which part will be of use. As you say, these days, increasing volumes of data has created a need for statistical methods of AI (ie data science, machine learning) which are often overshadowed by focus on data structures. In addition, we've to triage among increasing numbers of channels of information - one has to be able to interpret information contained in documents at work, tribal knowledge, in addition to the more traditional text books or academic papers.


- CSDS - I've been a fan of this model since you first told me about the concept. Interestingly, the user-experience research wing of our organization is exploring similar methods. In addition, a former colleague of mine left Jet to form a startup where he wishes to introduce a more conversational user experience to placing orders for food using an app. We're still a few years away from brining this concept into our AI models more broadly. Indeed one challenge we've to overcome is scalability - at this point, having a model personalized for each user is prohibitive. However, we're working on an interesting project that will allow us to run computations much more quickly on clusters of GPUs. I'd like to hear more about what you've done with CSDS.

Evgeniya Polyak
Marketing manager (Megaplan)

I'm a student at ITU, online school. What makes a real difference at this school (besides a very good content online) is individual one-to-one online meetings with the instructor, his support and guidance. It is an excellent way to study. You can choose your pace of study and your best approach to go through the process. And this is a correct point that to get a job in computer science and engineering you can focus just on new skills, your social network is not as important as for some other professions. My plan is to start as a consultant (I already have an offer) and then join also as an instructor, helping more people to learn the skills that almost guarantee a great job.


Thank you, Evgeniya, for the words of support and your intention to join ITU as an instructor. I hope to see you some day as an expert, capable to share with the students and to participate in further development of the ITU platform. By enabling a consultant/expert to share the expertise, we try to break the old misconception those who know, they do, those who don’t they – teach. ITU tries to integrate these activities: teaching, consulting and AI product development.

Thomas K. Keenan

IT System Administrator, freelancing for knowledge

I followed your article over from the Microsoft -LinkedIn announcement of Dec. 8th. With similar backgrounds in our track-records, your idea complements the Berufsausbildung in the F.R.G., albeit on an advanced level. Your idea spells out much more opportunities for young adults. Very good article and in-depth information.


Thomas, thank you for your support and references. My impression is that LinkedIn did a move in this direction and I hope that even more can be done under Microsoft umbrella. No one is providing direct connections between students and job market yet. We just started this work by developing a platform and methods to empower a SME as a teacher. This is work in progress and although it is not a trivial project, this can be done. 

Farzana Kosgi

Agile Developer at Comerica Bank


Great Article!


Thank you, Farzana! I am glad you liked the article. I am always happy to see my former students online. (Say hello to your team!) Someday you will be ready to share your expertise and maybe will use the methods described here in the process. Josh Howard

Pedagogy - Collaboration - Technology

Hi Jeff,

That a compelling article and I think you pin down several common cultural challenges we face in the US with our education system. For the last two years I worked at a school called the Career Education Center Early College of Denver.


This program offers high school students access to over 20 technical training programs with teachers who have industry experience (firefighting, nursing, auto technology, accounting, computer science, architecture, advanced manufacturing, you name it). Students were able to explore a career in depth while also earning college credit (for free to the student) removing a significant financial obstacle.


Overall, the access and choice learners have make this program is a success, but it is also an outlier in our current education system. Another thing that I learned at that school was that my own college experience (Liberal Arts - English and Theatre) was an experience of privilege.


As a teenager in a college town, I wasn't thinking too seriously about how my schooling would lead a job. I took it for granted, I went to school because it was a cultural norm, and I more or less could study whatever I wanted without fearing how I'd make rent. That privilege isn't true for many students, and many of our institutions still need to change.


The good news is that I think we know how to change the education system -- clear more paths from school to the workplace and expand professional learning opportunities at work. But that is hard change to do at scale - so there is probably an opportunity for others to contribute.


From my view, I think the conventional notion of college (liberal arts or technical) will need to continue to transform over the next 10 to 20 years. Those are my brief thoughts. Looking forward to connecting more soon!




Thank you, Josh, for your thoughtful feedback. You brought up very good points! There is no such thing as a job for life anymore. Changes are the most permanent subject of our reality. Adaptation to changes is not necessary a painful process. This process can be improved and accelerated. This is the topic of the article. Deanna Craig

Java Developer w/ .Net experience


 Education of today is definitely in need of an adjustment. The current focus of college/university and the one size fits all way of education is simply not enough. This article makes some very valid points. Education should be in sync with the job market demands.


When I was looking for job opportunities in software development, for junior developers, the requirements were definitely not realistic for even someone fresh out of college. I myself was working on an Accounting degree and decided to change my career and was fortunate enough to join a program that was technology focused, this is where I became one of Jeff students.


His style of teaching gave me a realistic knowledge of working as s software developer. With no degree in Computer Science or Information Technology, I was still capable of finding a job and impressing my team with my knowledge and understanding of Java programming.


This focus on college graduates leaves adults who want to make a change out. More and more adults are looking for ways to transition into new career opportunities. For the working adult going back to college to obtain new degrees isn't always possible.


The job market is begging for more talent but the current system can't meet the demand. Going back to the point of the article, we need change the focus on the fix. In technology it is imperative to not only know how to code but know why we code.


Now that I've worked on big sides I see the disconnect that exists between IT and the business. ITU represents the schools of the future, of course colleges and universities will still play an important part in the total educational system but it won't be students and working adults only option.


One day I hope to teach online to people interested in learning technology.


Great job Jeff!!



Thank you Deanna! It is great to get support from a former student, today an IT professional, tomorrow a subject matter expert capable to share her knowledge with more people.

When I think of Detroit, I see great opportunities there. We need self-driving and flying cars, and new transportation options. Yes, automation grabs simple jobs. But when new technology closes one door, it opens several other opportunities!. We are re-trainable. We proved this many times over.

Current reaction to market changes is painfully slow. With the methods and system described in the article we can and will accelerate professional adaptation, help establishing direct channels connecting students with job market.

Read more and post your comments there or shoot an email
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