Today, many people choose to take on a second job or a side-gig. Heating the statistics from Andrew Yang, it’s likely most people will do so in the near future. Some do it because they need to earn extra income while others do it for the thrill of doing something different from their 9-5 job.
Our own experience has been that it takes significant resources, assistance, and guidance to be successful with a side-gig. More importantly, turning a side-gig into a full-time new career, takes skills, knowledge and experience that require teams of people to thrive and compete in today’s economy. We know it isn’t easy, but we also know it is incredibly rewarding.
We formed the Colégas Group to provide a support structure, initially for our own projects, but eventually also for outside projects. Our current projects are PublicAcademic.com and CollegiateSeminars.com. We also have several new projects in the works focusing on unique populations such as college administrative staff, eGamers, and CRM developers.
The Colégas Group is a business incubator for technological solutions that embrace the Gigster economy, progressive and inclusive theories about work, and higher education.
Why A College Degree?
"Without knowledge and understanding, one tends to become a passive spectator rather than an active participant in the great decisions of our time"
Diane Ravitch (2016). “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education”, p.238, Basic Books
While there are entrepreneurs who succeed without a college degree, they are very few. Unfortunately, this idea that a college degree is no longer necessary is as pervasive as a meme. Even Marc Zuckerberg, who dropped out of Harvard to build a hugely succesful company, would likely have fared better growing and defending the company, if he had completed his degree.
Another pervasive idea in popular media that the liberal arts do not train people to be competitive in the modern workforce - they even suggest that this course of study is waste of time. We believe this is an utterly misguided critique. Historians have knowledge about historical trends that company management needs to understand in order to succeed. Artists can be invaluable assets to marketing departments. Sociologists can assist in developing effective social media strategies. Foreign language experts can advise on socio-cultural differences when expanding internationally.
The reality is that employees who have received a college education, especially in the liberal arts, are an asset. Companies struggling to be unique, forward-thinking and looking to target a new generation of consumers need people on their own management teams to provide that competitive edge, if only because their competitors have them as well.
We at the Colégas Group believe in the importance of education, especially a liberal arts education. As a matter of fact, every one of our employees has educational and professional experience that is different from their current function at the company. We believe it is what makes us competitive against our competition.
Why PUBLIC ACADEMIC?
“This generation of academics has a responsibility to share their knowledge, experience and skills beyond the walls of academia so that they may save academia from Obscurity"
Marie Nubia-Feliciano, Educator, Public Speaker, and CEO, May 16, 2019
Whether we are giving an elevator pitch about a new project, presenting the company’s sales outlook for the coming year, or giving a maid-of-honor speech at our best friend’s wedding, speaking in front of an audience is something we all have to do at some time. So why not become good at it? You never know who might be in the audience - it could be someone who will be instrumental in your success.
Gigsters and entrepreneurs also have to be great speakers. Their entire success depends on being able to effectively describe their business and why it is different from the competition. Gigsters and entrepreneurs have to be able to speak to anyone and any size group, often at a moment’s notice. Being part of Public Academic allows them to practice those skills and hone them for success.
Teachers and academics have a huge advantage in this because speaking in front of a class is very much like speaking in front of an audience (some would argue that it’s much harder). The preparation for a class is very similar to the preparation for a speech. The delivery of a lecture is very similar to the development of a good speech. The fact is, faculty can transition to becoming speakers very easily, and while some faculty are paid well, public speaking can be an order of magnitude more.
At the Colégas Group we believe that faculty, especially adjunct faculty, have many of the attributes to become great public speakers, but also have much of the expertise to be considered successful gigsters. That is why Public Academic is focused on them. We created it to meet their needs, and we think it uniquely meets those needs as well.
Why Collegiate Seminars?
"As the college student experience becomes more automated, computerized, and impersonal, the learning that is required for succes in the Gig Economy will need to be hands-on and in-person"
Michael Koetsier, The Pitfalls of a College Education, June, 2018