Harry S. Dent | Tuesday, November 12, 2013 >>
Let’s not put lipstick on the gorilla here.
Kids today are over a barrel thanks to the ridiculous education costs – $22,261, on average, for public college is insanity! – overwhelming debt levels and hopeless employment prospects.
Student loan debt is at a staggering $1.1 trillion.
These kids can’t move out of their parents’ homes…
They can’t start a family of their own…
They can barely even afford a car to get to and from work, if they can even find work.
This situation can’t continue for much longer, and I’m glad to report that my research shows it won’t…
The first problem in education is tenure and the consequent high cost of teachers. These guys have basically insured their futures against the interests of parents and students.
So the first change must and will most likely be tenure. It will be revamped to reward higher productivity and later retirement.
As in health care, where nurses provide more services at lower costs, more teachers will enter more areas at lower degrees and salaries. This process has already begun with the advent of adjuncts at many colleges and universities.
The second problem is the huge fixed-cost of real estate and facilities. What an unnecessary waste.
In an Internet world, colleges can reduce campuses by half as students take some classes live and others online. That will result in massive savings in expenses, which would allow these institutions to lower tuition.
Colleges could also sell off or lease facilities to businesses or research groups, further reducing overhead costs, which could trickle down to students.
Even better, through Internet-based learning students can have access to the best professors and experts around the world, not just the professors on a particular campus.
And isn’t it, after all, supposed to be about what’s best for the students?
If a college or a network of universities offered me the opportunity to reach tens of thousands of students, either real-time or via recordings, over the Internet, would I accept an absurdly low per-student fee?
You bet I would!
I’d be helping young people plot their futures and navigate the working world… and the sheer numbers online would make the endeavor lucrative for me.
It’s not economical for me to trudge around from country to country, state to state, campus to campus, and class to class. But it would be via Internet-delivery of seminars with charts, question and answer sessions and everything else.
The third problem with the current system is that students are left mostly to their own devices. They’re not given enough of the guidance they need to make smart course-related decisions. So they’re studying things like arts degrees, which no longer add value in the job hunt.
Students need a course and career concierge who helps them identify their aptitudes and natural talents… someone like Sally Hogshead, who showed us her personality test at our recent conference in La Jolla. Intriguing – useful – stuff. Check it out for yourself at www.howtofascinate.com.
These career concierges could help students determine the best career opportunities within their talents, and then tailor appropriate coursework and extracurricular and internship programs, be it in physical classrooms or on the Internet.
This kind of increased personalization would result in increased quality of education and a further reduction in costs.
All of these solutions are already in their beginning stages. The education system is finally evolving.
And my step-daughter is living proof.
She chose to break free of the current system, a decision her mother and I supported enthusiastically.
She chose to attend Long Island University and enrolled in a program called Friends World. This allowed her to travel around the world and study in different countries where she did real-life projects to help people and communities in those countries.
We all need to become more international like that. We need hands on learning, not just academics. We need work-for-credit programs with businesses and non-profit institutions.
Learning key languages like Spanish and Mandarin and Hindi will also bring major advantages in the future.
The failing economy will only accelerate this natural and inevitable change in education because the return on investment will only continue to decline in a worsening jobs and economic environment.
Suddenly schools and colleges won’t have us or our kids over a barrel any more.
And that means we’ll be able to focus our attentions on creating the next boom.
That’s much better.
|Follow me on Twitter @HarryDentjr|
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