CNN chief business correspondent Ali Velshi and forum panelists.

nent. The great advantage of online learning, he said, is that it will shift educational outcomes toward measures of competency, not just seat time or grade point averages. Furthermore, competency-based skills could be either academic or social, based on the kind of online learning undertaken. Even students who specialized in other areas and then discovered a love of engineering could learn skills online “and then prove that they are just as good as the MIT grad or the Stanford grad,” which in addition would help address projected shortages of engineers.

“I don’t think it’s a matter of seat time. It’s a matter of competency and having a portfolio of works.”

Salman Khan, Khan Academy

Continuing education will be critical in a world where knowledge is growing so quickly. Stephens said that the Boeing Company spends $100 million on sending 22,000 of its employees to school, and overall it spends three-quarters of a billion dollars on training and education. “We believe in it that much.”

Agarwal, drawing on an idea from a recent conversation with an MIT alumnus, described a model of education that relies heavily on continuing education. Instead of having engineers complete a four-, five-,

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