Dean Graziosi

4 Ways Traditional Education Has Massively Failed Us

By Dean's Team
Girl with graduation cap and gown on

Is the traditional education system broken? Dean Graziosi and Jason Stapleton, marketing and personal branding expert and internationally recognized podcast personality, think so. In a recent episode of The Dean Graziosi Show podcast, Graziosi and Stapleton sat down together to discuss how technology in the 21st century is outpacing traditional classroom education and ushering in an era of specialized learning through paid and free online courses and mentorships.


Their conclusion? Traditional education is coming up short in teaching us how to build wealth and how to succeed. In fact, it’s massively failing us. 

Dean Graziosi teaching


Traditional Education Vs. Technology Growth

Students file in, place their books on a desk, and settle in as an educator stands at the front of the room and delivers a lecture. Sounds familiar, right? Ask anyone who has attended classes in a traditional education setting in the last 75 years and they’ll agree that little has changed in the way traditional education works. Things look largely the same. The blackboard has been replaced with a whiteboard, perhaps, but the same books are being used and the same theories are being taught.


On the other hand, technology and information access have changed drastically. Compared to even just 20 years ago, the amount of information we have access to has grown exponentially, to the point that we have access to it all from the small devices that practically live in the palm of our hands – our smartphones. 


Think about it – nearly any piece of information you need is on Google. According to Dr. Peter Diamandis, someone on Google today has access to more information than President Bill Clinton had running the world just 25 years ago! (Diamandis et al., Abundance – the future is better than you think 2018).


And traditional education just can’t keep up.

Outdated Learning Vs. Cutting Edge Innovation

The speed technology and innovation develop today raises an interesting question among college-aged students – should I really go to college? Many of them are looking at how quickly technology is developing and wondering if their college diploma will actually do them any good.


By the time the ink dries on their diplomas, what students have learned is already outdated. It’s frustrating to graduate and still have to go back to school or learn from somebody to fill in the gaps between their traditional education and the speed of technology. 


The world is shifting. There is so much knowledge available online that can provide our kids and grandkids with the specific skills and tools they need to succeed – at a fraction of the cost.

laptop with pen and notepad beside

Traditional Education Costs Vs. Specialized Knowledge Costs

College tuition costs have risen an astronomical 1,375% since 1978 (, 2021). The US student loan debt was more than $1.6 trillion in 2020 (Forbes, 2020), and people are spending decades paying them off (Federal Student Aid). It’s no wonder enrollment is down! 


It’s like we’re telling our youth, “Welcome to adulthood. Here’s a bunch of debt.”


The shine is wearing off. The popularity of traditional education is falling, and fewer Americans believe a college education is important today compared to 10 years ago (Gallup, 2019). Not to mention the employment statistics for recent grads aren’t that great either. Less than 50% of college grads find meaningful work, and 33.8% are underemployed (New York Fed, 2019).


So what are people doing – or what SHOULD they do – instead?


Well, you could go figure it out on your own or go back to traditional education at a snail’s pace where when you’re done, you’ll still have to learn more just to keep up with technology. Or you could take advantage of the accessibility of information and dive into specialized knowledge. 


Specialized knowledge is the fastest, most cost-effective way to an end result. No fluff. No extras. No room and board. Just find somebody who’s already doing it and is willing to share that with you for money. Instead of graduating with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, you can invest in specialized learning online for much less and chase economic opportunities sooner.

student learning on computer

Time and Income Slavery Vs. Flexibility and Freedom

We’ve been programmed to think we need to go through the traditional education process and follow all the widely accepted channels. We graduate high school and go off to college to get a degree. We’re conditioned to think this is THE way.


It’s not. It’s not the only way. The truth is, not every profession requires a college degree, and people are realizing that in greater numbers than ever before. The statistics are grim. Only about 17% of people who get a college degree end up using it in the future (New York Federal Reserve, 2014). That’s a huge disconnect!


The pandemic became a huge turning point for many. The lockdown caused many people to take stock of their lives and decide to do things differently. We want more time and income freedom. We don’t want to go back to the lives we used to have. We deserve more.


There’s never been a better time to pivot and grow or start a business. Instead of returning to the nine to five where your hours and income are dictated by someone else, the knowledge industry makes it possible to learn the exact skills needed to go after new opportunities.


Specialized knowledge is a two-way street. Some people have knowledge to gain and will invest in learning specialized knowledge, but this is also a great opportunity for others to share the knowledge they have and serve others while getting paid. Those who branch out into the knowledge industry can experience the time freedom of being their own boss and setting their own schedules.


Let’s not forget the added benefit of having unlimited earning potential and being in control of how much income is generated. Graziosi explains it by saying that the more money a person has, the more opportunity they create. Traditional education teaches us that money is evil, but Graziosi sees it another way.


“We tell ourselves all kinds of lies about money, when in reality, we’re really shackling ourselves to what I call wage slavery and time prostitution,” said Graziosi. “What we should be doing is embracing the idea that we need more increase and that greater wealth leads to glorious, greater opportunity.”


Specialized Knowledge is the No-Brainer Investment 


Both Graziosi and Stapleton have invested decades helping other people go faster and getting paid to do it, but first, they had to experience the benefits of specialized knowledge first-hand. 


When Stapleton wanted to start his first online business, a friend recommended an online course by Ryan Deiss. At the time, he was blown away by the $1,000 price tag, but he went for it. Today, he and Deiss are members of War Room, a high-level mastermind program, together, and Stapleton attributes that one course as the reason he made his first million. 


“I got my first million dollars in my business based off that information,” he said. “What is specialized knowledge worth to you? It’s actionable, and you can use it right now.” 

A 21st Century Solution

Today, the knowledge industry generates $330 million dollars a day, and studies predict it will reach one billion dollars a day by 2025 (Forbes, 2021). That’s a far cry from the $1.6 trillion in student loan debt! 


So what is the solution for a 21st-century education system with all the technology that we have today? Invest in specialized knowledge. Let go of the idea that education has to pass through the old-school channels. There are countless professions that can be learned faster and at less cost through specialized knowledge found in online courses or mentors.

More with Dean Graziosi

Listen to the entire episode on “The Problem With Traditional Education” now on The Dean Graziosi Show in the iTunes store, or on PodBean, Spotify, or Stitcher. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Dean’s website at or watch his videos on YouTube at

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