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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Job market for college grads better but still weak

Boston.com – Paul Wiseman

“The job market for new college graduates is brightening but remains weaker than before the Great Recession began.”(more)

Monday, April 21, 2014

University Education, a Wise Investment?

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

For the past forty years, college has been a right of passage – a place to have fun, make friends, and grow up. In the 1950s, 60s, and 70s a college degree of any type opened the door to high quality employment and above average compensation.

 

Then technology began to change and K-12 education faltered. High school graduates no longer had the skills employers needed for many jobs. In an effort to fill job openings with skilled personnel, employers began to require college degrees for a wider range of assignments.

 

These new employment requirements caught many families off guard. They had not planned for post secondary education, but wanted to provide their children with reasonable job prospects. To fill the gap many families obtained loans to cover the cost of college education.

 

At first the loans made financial sense, because the cost of college was low compared to income potential. This meant graduates could pay back loans quickly after graduation.

 

However the increase in demand for college education led to tuition increases as colleges and universities rushed to add programs and facilities. As the cost of university education increased, the payback period for loans increased as well – moving from a few years to decades.

 

At about the same time technology was radically changing the workplace. Low cost computer and communication technologies reduced the number of people required for most jobs and made it possible for companies to fill openings with lower cost workers from overseas. Most high quality job openings now require strong math and science skills, weak areas for most U.S. citizens.

 

U.S. colleges and universities have been slow to adjust to the new workplace demands. Many schools are still offering degrees that are useless in the 21st Century. This means students are graduating with poor job prospects and high debt.

 

According to Clayton Christianson, Harvard University Professor and expert on disruptive change, this is an equation for disaster. He predicts that over half of the colleges and universities in the U.S. will fail within the next 15 years because they are not offering a useful product.

 

Parents and students need to take proactive steps to avoid problems. Young people should be completely proficient in international level math and science by the end of grade 12. Parents need to confirm a college is financially stable before their child enrolls. Then young people need to select degrees that include advanced math and science and build strong communication skills.

 

Prof tackles tech distractions one student at a time

USA Today – Marco della Cava

“A college course that starts with 15 minutes of doing absolutely nothing would seem like stiff competition for Basket Weaving 101 as a credit filler.”(more)

Acceptance rates at elite U.S. colleges decline

The L.A. Times – Larry Gordon

“Stanford’s acceptance rate was just 5% this year as other prestigious colleges and universities see rise in number of applicants.”(more)

Friday, April 18, 2014

California High School Students Ill-Prepared For State’s Colleges

Education News – Grace Smith

“Only 4 in 10 California high school students have the qualifications they need to be accepted at an in-state school…Public Policy Institute of California Senior Fellow Hans Johnson is afraid that there will be 1 million fewer college graduates than will be necessary in the work force in 2025.”(more)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

“Death Spiral” – Harvard Professor Predicts Up To Half Of US Universities May Fail In 15 Years

Zero Hedge – Tyler Durden

“Soaring student debt, competition from online programs and poor job prospects for graduates are shrinking the applicant pools for many universities and, as Bloomberg reports, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities warns “there will clearly be some institutions that won’t make it…through these difficult steps.” Rather stunningly, Moody’s found that expenses are outpacing revenue at 60 percent of the schools it tracks even as many try to slash their way to balanced budgets,” and concluded “what we’re concerned about is the death spiral… this continuing downward momentum for some institutions.”"(more)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Global Education and Corporate Leaders Gather to Prepare for College 2025

The Huffington Post – Matthew Lynch, Ed.D.

“Education, corporate and philanthropic leaders from around the world who met in Essex, NY at a two-day Summit believe that many colleges will be unrecognizable in another decade and that unless millions more low-income students attain college degrees we face a global economic crisis.”(more)

Measuring the ‘Value’ of Higher Education

The Huffington Post – Michelle Asha Cooper, Ph.D.

“In nearly all aspects of life, we want our time and money spent well. Same is true for those in pursuit of higher education…Students get the best bang for their dollar when a quality education is offered at an affordable price. In other words, AFFORDABLE education + QUALITY education = REAL VALUE.”(more)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Will the revised SAT be: A. Better; B. Worse; C. Irrelevant

The Atlanta Journal Constitution – Maureen Downey

“Now, the testing giant has reversed course and announced that a new version of the SAT will drop the mandatory essay. (And the arcane vocabulary words like pertinacious, unctuous or timorous.).”(more)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Making a financial stretch is key to saving for college

Reuters – Liz Weston

“Parents who aren’t saving for college could learn a lesson or two from low-income parents who do.”(more)