November 18, 2011

The next financial bubble is ready to burst: higher education

With college tuition rising and jobs scarce, students are stuck with 'bogus degrees that lead nowhere.'

By M.D. Harmon

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Or, as education writer Kenneth Anderson said on Nov. 13, "The cost of college has simply gone far above the wages that (liberal arts) skills and the associated jobs can bear."

He added, "STEM departments are not interested in educating generalists, and traditional liberal arts departments assume that the purpose is to go on to graduate or professional school, hence the exclusive focus on GPA and grade inflation to try and maintain enrollments."

Also, "society is trying to put people through the higher-education four-year college system who intellectually have no business being there. Their future lies in blue-collar work, not white-collar work."

They conclude our educational system is far out of alignment with society's needs and the abilities of many graduates and current and prospective students.

Restoring that alignment, however, would harshly impact the income of many schools that are now laying crushing loads of debt on students who either do not belong there or are in courses that will never pay off their investments in their education.

So, the OWS protesters should have occupied faculty lounges and college presidents' offices, not Wall Street. They were sold degrees that benefited educators, not themselves -- and the bubble is finally exploding.

M.D. Harmon is a retired journalist. He can be contacted at:


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