When I was going to high school – and especially as I went to college – much of our education system just didn’t make sense to me. Even more baffling are some of the strict legal requirements we place on certain professions to obtain degrees or licensure. These requirements sometimes act as deterrents, cause horrible amounts of student debt, and really do more to stifle entrepreneurship than to spark it.
I’m sure we all know people who attended a college or university, only to come out steeped in debt and often working in a field that is not related at all to what they studied– if they even have a job at all. And what about those classes a person takes that really have no practical value to their field of study, but certainly take up a lot of time and tack on additional student debt? I know that I sure had some of those. In fact, I had a lot of them.
A few days ago, I caught an interview posted on Facebook that Fox News’ Tucker Carlson did with Praxis Founder and CEO, Isaac Morehouse. Morehouse is young and brilliant. Recognizing a need for a better way to train people without incurring massive amounts of student debt, and the need of many business owners to recruit "top notch" talent, Morehouse decided to address the problem. And that’s how Praxis was born.
Praxis utilizes apprenticeships to train "top notch" talent to enter the workforce. No high school diplomas or college degree is required. They offer a three month "pre-apprenticeship boot camp" and a six month "paid startup apprenticeship" for a total of a nine month program. Tuition is $12,000, but earnings from the apprenticeship are $14,400. So, individuals actually come out $2,400 ahead upon graduation. Their average graduate salary is $50,000 with a 98% graduation rate.
If North Dakota wants to encourage economic growth, entrepreneurial spirit, innovation, and a brighter future for our young people, then we need to follow Isaac Morehouse’s lead. I believe deregulation and changing or even eliminating degree/licensure requirements would go a long ways in accomplishing this.
Admittedly this would require an entirely new way of thinking at the state level. Our legislators would have to shun lobbyists, reject cronyism, end protectionism, and embrace a true free market system. They’d have to support a system that reduced student debt or, in some cases, even eliminated it. And given the current make-up of the State Capitol, it seems the likelihood of that is about zero.
You can watch the interview below.
2. Watch the interview: