Downfall of Higher Ed

Continuing from my previous post, this second article is from Seth Godin called The Coming Melt-Down in Higher Education (As Seen By A Marketer). Seth believes that the downfall of Higher Ed is coming from:

  1. Average Education for Average Students
  2. Tuition outstripping wages
  3. Ranking of the ‘Best’ (waived fees = more rejections = higher ranking)
  4. Typical Degree ≠ Success
  5. Accreditation increases costs and rewards creation of wanna-be professors instead of leaders and problem solvers

Teachers at all levels are taught to teach at the bell curve. Keep stuff simple and easy enough for the C students, and try to provide enough support for the outliers above and below. You can argue that students should be held accountable for their own education and should push themselves to a higher standard … and I’d agree with that to a point … but at the cost they are paying, the bar should be raised. An average education means average employees that need a lot of on the job training because what they learned in school has no real world value.

While I have learned a lot during my education, the application was always missing. Creating a powerpoint isn’t the same as creating a killer powerpoint. Writing long essays with a lot of references doesn’t help to get to the heart of things in under 500 words. You can have the best business plan around, but unless you know how to pitch it, and why the audience should care, you probably wont get funding.

As far as education and career training goes – the best advice is this: If it seems too complicated, tedious, boring, or doesn’t make sense – then odds are that there is a better way to do it. We are creatures of habit, and will continue doing things the way we were taught them, even if its not the best way to do it. Find that better way, and you’ll be ahead of the game!