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Universities Face Increased Pressure from Job Programs That Generate Results, Not Just Debt | Zak Slayback

By fee.org

If commenters want to compare programs that actually align incentives to create success to programs that have no incentive to create success, they can. The ultimate decider of who is right ends upRead full story

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  • Higher Education is undergoing a business model revolution: Income Sharing Agreements (ISA’s).

    I agree with Clayton Christensen that all disruptive innovations begin with a dramatic change to the business model.

  • This passage stuck out to me as a spot-on description of the problem with the modern culture surrounding colleges:

    "At best, universities work as passport-issuers. Getting through a few years of university gets you a passport that lets you actually go get a real job and then learn the skills you need

    This passage stuck out to me as a spot-on description of the problem with the modern culture surrounding colleges:

    "At best, universities work as passport-issuers. Getting through a few years of university gets you a passport that lets you actually go get a real job and then learn the skills you need to succeed at work."

    By using universities as job-training programs, we're doing a tremendous disservice to both the students and the institutions themselves. Aside from fields like law, business, engineering, or medicine, universities are not and never have been structured to help students find work or even be good at it. They're structured to encourage scholarship and turn out academics and researchers. Which is good! There's nothing wrong with that! But there is something very wrong with our present-day, halfhearted combination of academia and career.

    The roots of the problem are that many jobs require college degrees without justification, and that many parents and educators believe that college is the universal ticket to success.

    The article offers this succinct description of what's wrong with our current "university education as career training" model, which should hit home for many recent grads and current students:

    "The university gets paid regardless of outcome. It’s the third party that actually gets shafted. Taxpayers and the government have to hope that the universities do a good job of increasing student pay, but the universities don’t actually have to show that connection. Then there’s actually a fourth party in the form of the business or organization that hires the graduate, which must now bear the cost of training them since the university did a poor job. There’s no incentive to perform. If anything, there’s an incentive to just get more students in the program, regardless of outcome."

    I agree with the author that when it comes to career and skills training, the "income share agreement" model is wildly more promising. My prediction is that colleges will diminish somewhat in relevance (and drop tuition) over the next few decades, ultimately existing in parallel with ISA-based, skill-oriented vocational schools.

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