saltydawg

The future of higher ed

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Pre-pandemic we were already in a place where higher ed costs outpaced their value and people were beginning to realize that many employers were more focused on skills than they were diplomas. The pandemic may be the catalyst that changes higher ed forever. Without government help, hundreds of colleges and universities could fail, as they are not able to offer a quality experience for the prices they are charging.

 

Personally, I am in favor of a major disruption in the model...Hope what comes out the other side is much better. 

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The Instacart girl that dropped off groceries yesterday said she has a Masters degree in Industrial Psychology. That's a lot of education to be working a gig job.

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I am cool with any struggles that befall these money vacuums.

 

They need to get back to being a place that caters to a more narrow range of degrees like law, education, medicine, accting, architecture, etc.

 

Close every journalism, womens studies, gender studies, communication, etc. 

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Anything would be better than what we have now.  A high cost indoctrination that leaves one with high debt and skills and attitude no one wants.

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Eight years ago, law professor Glenn Reynolds, aka InstaPundit, wrote about this when few people were discussing it. I owned the book and he elaborated on what Salty says.
 

Another Glenn, Beck this time, has also been talking about this for years. 
 

The pandemic is going to accelerate many mega-trends which were already underway. Virtual learning with credentials has been one thing that has held back the process of a DIY post-secondary education. The academics have fought off the concept of virtual learning even as online colleges showed some success. Ironically, it is now the former opponents of online instruction who are promoting it over in-class teaching.
 

The pandemic will accelerate this trend which will decrease the value of high-cost tenured professors - who needs an old professor who does not teach lectures when a TA or adjunct can do it as effectively and more cheaply? Research-focused professors whose contribution to 100-300 level courses are their name and $400 textbooks, will no longer be as needed as they were. 
 

But at a higher level, we have already seen Google and others saying they will no longer require a diploma for new hires. Life skills, or what are now called "soft skills" are the desired ingredient, especially in non-coding positions like sales, marketing, etc. You can teach basic analysis and programming at a terminal, but you cannot teach soft skills which must be acquired through life. 
 

On education, why does your average college student need half of the coursework being required to function in the 21st century? I have argued for years that the reason liberal arts programs have proliferated has nothing to do with fostering an appreciation of writing, poetry, classics or rhetoric. Nope, it has been to provide a job market for all those liberal arts majors created over the past 40 years who possess no marketable skills in the real world. Who needs a BA or MA in Medieval English Literature or Pre-colonial African Art other than an academic or museum curator? 
 

Glenn Beck has argued for years for a self-curated DIY approach to secondary education. Pick and choose what online content you want, do the work, take the course and get credit for it. There are thousands of online classes available, even entire courses, but mostly disjointed and fragmented. But if one could accumulate enough credits and receive a credential/diploma, where is the need for bricks and mortar school attendance? Until now, there has been no mechanism to supervise this work, log the hours, catalog the tests and offer the credential when done. That may change soon. 

 

511ZzttuD5L._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

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16 mins ago, Slacker said:

The Instacart girl that dropped off groceries yesterday said she has a Masters degree in Industrial Psychology. That's a lot of education to be working a gig job.

What exactly is Industrial Psychology? 

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Yes, Tom...the credential/microcredential/certification route is quickly gaining momentum as employers can hire specialized workers rather than people with a general diploma. One stumbling block, as usual, will be the federal government’s recognition of the trends and legislation that will promote change. 

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2 mins ago, saltydawg said:

Yes, Tom...the credential/microcredential/certification route is quickly gaining momentum as employers can hire specialized workers rather than people with a general diploma. One stumbling block, as usual, will be the federal government’s recognition of the trends and legislation that will promote change. 

"Certification", thank you, that word eluded me before my first coffee this morning. 
 

My wife and I are binging Ray Donovan right now, into Season 5 half way. Three episodes last night and I turned the TV off at 1am. Killing my early wake up routine and my morning cognitive skills. 
 

The big money education lobby will stand in the way, but only for so long once voters become vocal. The nation-wide interest in home schooling is skyrocketing and that is another trend that will accelerate going forward. And if that is the case, then more and more local taxpayers are going to question why they are paying for public education that they are not utilizing.
 

I have three sons who who have graduated high school with the fourth the functional equivalent of a HS sophomore (he is homeschooled). Of the first three, one went to a public HS for four years, otherwise they were all private schooled. So you have 14 school years between PK4 and HS senior so my four kids have accumulated 52 years between them, with only four being in public school. Yet I paid school taxes for every year as well as private tuition. My choice and we have been blessed with the ability to do so. No refunds, no credits, just a sunk cost. 
 

So what happens if homeschooling explodes? What happens when the number of home school families doubles. We are already a threat to public schools and their unions, what happens when more people ask "Why am I paying for a public service that I do not utilize at all?"


Teachers and their unions have fought for years against at-home learning, virtual learning, digital remote instruction, etc., all key to homeschooling. Now, whether for health or Orange Man Bad reasons, they are pushing to stay remote and use exactly the technology, resources and processes that they previously vilified. The irony is delicious. 

 

It is not just higher ed, it’s the entire education cartel. 

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1 hour ago, flyangler said:

Eight years ago, law professor Glenn Reynolds, aka InstaPundit, wrote about this when few people were discussing it. I owned the book and he elaborated on what Salty says.
 

Another Glenn, Beck this time, has also been talking about this for years. 
 

The pandemic is going to accelerate many mega-trends which were already underway. Virtual learning with credentials has been one thing that has held back the process of a DIY post-secondary education. The academics have fought off the concept of virtual learning even as online colleges showed some success. Ironically, it is now the former opponents of online instruction who are promoting it over in-class teaching.
 

The pandemic will accelerate this trend which will decrease the value of high-cost tenured professors - who needs an old professor who does not teach lectures when a TA or adjunct can do it as effectively and more cheaply? Research-focused professors whose contribution to 100-300 level courses are their name and $400 textbooks, will no longer be as needed as they were. 
 

But at a higher level, we have already seen Google and others saying they will no longer require a diploma for new hires. Life skills, or what are now called "soft skills" are the desired ingredient, especially in non-coding positions like sales, marketing, etc. You can teach basic analysis and programming at a terminal, but you cannot teach soft skills which must be acquired through life. 
 

On education, why does your average college student need half of the coursework being required to function in the 21st century? I have argued for years that the reason liberal arts programs have proliferated has nothing to do with fostering an appreciation of writing, poetry, classics or rhetoric. Nope, it has been to provide a job market for all those liberal arts majors created over the past 40 years who possess no marketable skills in the real world. Who needs a BA or MA in Medieval English Literature or Pre-colonial African Art other than an academic or museum curator? 
 

Glenn Beck has argued for years for a self-curated DIY approach to secondary education. Pick and choose what online content you want, do the work, take the course and get credit for it. There are thousands of online classes available, even entire courses, but mostly disjointed and fragmented. But if one could accumulate enough credits and receive a credential/diploma, where is the need for bricks and mortar school attendance? Until now, there has been no mechanism to supervise this work, log the hours, catalog the tests and offer the credential when done. That may change soon. 

 

511ZzttuD5L._SX337_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg

My daughter is currently approximately 2 1/2 years from earning her PhD in polymer chemistry. I say approximately because covid has delayed her as much as a year's time. Other than teaching under graduate classes, her own academic efforts are all performed in the lab. Which is closed. And still undecided when it will open.

 

To your point regarding tenured professors- there is one in my daughter's dept. that is 84, "teaches" a class 2 evenings a week, is payed $250k/yr, and prior to covid (where his lectures were live), on numerous times he chit his pants while lecturing.

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