NSA leaker Edward Snowden’s formal education stopped with a GED, a fact that the New York Times‘ David Brooks and others have spun into a caricature of him as a loner or outsider, Fast Company reports. In fact, Snowden’s lack of formal credentials made him mainstream, and maybe even the wave of the future. The Brookings Institution reported in a paper titled “The Hidden STEM Economy” that half of the nation’s workers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math don’t have or need a bachelor’s degree. They do their work with an associate’s degree or even just on-the-job training. … The proliferation of non-college STEM jobs is a telltale sign of two things: an education and policy system that’s not keeping up with the demands of innovation; and innovative industries that are finding new sources of talent.

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