Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Gary Shilling on American College crisis

Solutions to the crisis in higher education may also promote productivity. The poor job market for debt-laden college graduates is forcing Americans to realize that smart people go to college, yet college doesn’t make them smart. They now know that just any college degree won't guarantee a well-paid job.

In this environment, top institutions will continue to attract the best and brightest. Many of their students will go on to graduate and professional schools, often in other fields. These schools will continue to be well-financed.

Middle-tier schools, however, will need to be more focused on providing students with careers. They must emphasize science, technology, engineering and math -- the most in-demand majors. And they’ll need to convince applicants that their education is a profitable investment.

Community colleges with ties to apprenticeship programs that prepare students to be skilled mechanics or operators of sophisticated equipment will also be in demand. Middle-tier colleges and community colleges that understand their markets may prove to be significant in advancing productivity.