Predictions of job market
The prediction I keep making that has been wrong. For the decade since the human genome was decoded, it seemed clear that breakthroughs in individualized medicine were imminent: for example, cancer treatment customized to a person's genetic makeup. But nope, no real breakthroughs yet. However, recent exchanges with leading genetics researchers—Stanford University's William Newsome, the Beijing Genomics Institute's Steve Hsu, University of California’s Richard Haier, and Executive Director of the Society for Neuroscience Marty Saggese—force me to continue making my heretofore wrong prediction. One word of career advice to the next generation of science- and math-oriented students: "biotech."
Education reinvented. The spate of reports showing education's failure to close the achievement gap may finally force schools to make needed dramatic changes. Here are examples that will likely accelerate in 2013 and beyond:
Flipped classrooms: Online lessons taught by top instructors and multimedia will replace homework, with regular class time spent providing one-on-one coaching, the human touch. Colleges will be required to post a College Report Card, consumer information on their home page reporting freshman-to-senior growth in reading and thinking skills, four-year graduation rate, employment rate of graduates by major, etc.
Longshot prediction: By 2025, most students will get their college degree at a dramatically lower cost by taking online courses through services such as Coursera, Udacity, and Khan Academy, with the government acting as record keeper, awarding a degree when students have completed sufficient courses.
Innovations in healthcare access will burgeon. Medical errors cause enormous numbers of people to die or suffer excess morbidity: unnecessary pain, longer recovery, etc. ObamaCare will mean that more than 40 million Americans who were previously uncovered are now eligible to receive medical care, plus the 12 million people currently in the U.S. illegally. Few experts predict that there will be an accompanying increase in doctors, nurses, MRI machines, operating rooms, etc. On the contrary, many doctors are quitting and fewer people are becoming MDs because of the low reimbursements and heavy paperwork, which will likely increase further.
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