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One of the world’s most sought after employers doesn’t care much about Ivy League credentials or a sterling college transcript. “It’s one of the flaws in how we assess people,” explained Laszlo Bock, Vice President of People Operations at Google Inc. He continues: 

We assume that if you went to Harvard, Stanford or MIT that you are smart. We assume that if you got good grades you will do well at work… there is no relationship between where you went to school and how you did five, 10, 15 years into your career. So, we stopped looking at it.

Bock, who sat down with Medium’s Steven Levy at the Next Economy conference earlier this month, released new research from Google on why college degrees matter so little to the search giant. 

In a blog post, Google claims that ‘psychological safety’ is one of the foundation factors in the company’s best teams. “The safer team members feel with one another, the more likely they are to admit mistakes, to partner, and to take on new roles,” Bock explained

For Google, college degrees and grades, evidently, don’t indicate whether employees can perform well in the real world. This isn’t to say that Google has given up on higher education. Just last month, the company announced a partnership with an online course provider, Udacity, to offer a low-cost business school alternative to teach startup entrepreneurship.

Google is skirting around traditional universities in the process of pursuing an expanding educational business agenda. If others follow Google’s lead, it could portend big changes for the future of higher education.

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Gregory ferenstein

Former Staff Writer for ReadWrite. I started my career as a freelance writer in 2009 covering business innovation, did peer-reviewed research on Silicon Valley,(2016), architected bills in Congress (2017), and ran economic field experiments (2019).