Sunday, May 28, 2017

More Nails on the Coffin of the Education Bubble

Universities are SLOWLY starting to offer classes and degrees on "Big Data" or "Data Science."

But then Microsoft came along and offered this.

This speaks to an idea I had wherein there would be a certification system ran by the government that would allow you to test to get degree equivalents, much like a GED, but for specific college degrees.  I even thought about profiting off of it offering classes much like COMPTIA and other companies do.  But the problem is the private sector (surprise surprise) is already actively offering such a product/service, AT LEAST FOR FIELDS THAT MATTER AND HAVE ECONOMIC VALUE.

The real issue is how do we obsolete the need to attend college and university for worthless LIBERAL ART DEGREES and thus (not only save millions of kids every year from financial servitude), but kill off the marxist, anti-freedom academic left once and for all?

And the answer is we can't.

As I've explained before, most students pursue liberal arts and humanities degrees NOT as investments, but as consumer goods.  They are paying for "the college experience" and never had any intention of their degree being useful, employable, or rigorous.  It is just one big entitlement, birthright, and party America's dumber high school students demand to be entitled to, and even if there was an "GED/certificate equivalent" (or heck, the library) they are still going to sign away on the dotted line to pay $200,000 for a worthless degree.

In short, there is no way to leverage technology, the internet, and online classes to provide a superior and cheaper educational alternative for liberal arts and humanities degrees because the people who pursue these degrees are NOT interested in cost, value, or ROI.  They are paying for an incredibly expensive experience, much like a 4 year spa treatment or 4 year vacation.

The sooner you realize the economic nature of liberal arts degrees are CONSUMER GOODS the sooner the insanity of the academic left will make sense.


YIH said...

Bingo. Many, if not most want ''the college experience'' as depicted in countless movies (including Animal House). Also the ''dirty little secret'' of so-called student loans is the fact that nearly every expense during *ahem* school can be (and often is) rolled into that ''student loan''.
Those ''spring break'' trip(s) to Florida or Cancun? Guess what usually financed that? I hope that law allowing bankruptcy of ''student'' loans passes (I'm betting not) and Trump signs it. The college (offering degrees in fashion, puppetry or rap does make ''collage'' not seem so inaccurate) bubble breaks and just like with mortgages 10 years ago lenders will have to start doing things like, you know, ''due diligence'' and stuff? Like they were supposed to?

A Texan said...

It's going to be good news in the future:

Anonymous said...

Just don't forget that the students who honestly, legitimately sign up for college to bust their tails in STEM degrees are the worst off. The "college experience" SWPL's are happier than the mechanical engineers and biologists who look back, run the numbers, and figure out they should have opened a machine shop or farm or some other small business they would have liked. They just go into big corporate America and their souls are annihilated, or they go to hell in the case of whites and Asians.

Think of it this way. The rich party animal kids are doing everything right, having fun and signaling the oversupply of education for everyone else. The students who work the hardest and expect a fair career in exchange for getting good grades are doing everything wrong, even if they're actually the best people. The entire structure is an inversion of social mobility.

High school is still worse.

tpkeefe said...

Let me provide some counterbalance here:

1. Having the government step and in provide the means for certification is a bad idea because it's already doing this with professional licenses, etc., which then leads to private parties stepping in to provide services and then taking advantage of the Fed providing loans and assurances so that the private parties are paid regardless of if the student learns anything or not, and if the student graduates or not. The students are in danger of getting fucked in the end if they're not careful.

2. About the "college experience," this is indeed true, but we're also forgetting that your average 19 or 20 year old has no clue what to do with their lives because they've been trapped for 12 years in useless schooling and not allowed to do anything productive and contributing to employment skills unless they do it on their own and can do it without going through the typical employment channels, which are, referencing what I said above, subject to government licensing, as well as unions keeping the younger workers out, higher minimum wage laws pricing workers out of the market, technological disruption, etc. It's bad enough learning how to weather these storms, and even worse when you, the young person, have to deal with constant propaganda and brainwashing about college, the labor market, etc.

3. The real issue, I'm sure we can agree on, is that employers typically refuse to adequately signal what their labor needs are and won't train. ('Hit the ground running!") I don't see any good way out of this other than resurrecting the apprenticeship model for many fields, because the employer trains the novice in the core skills and the novice learns what's going on in the marketplace. Strip away the Federal-supported cartel of education, etc., and this might work.

4 Also, Aaron, data science and analytics might be hot now, but probably won't ten years from now because the field will have matured and then you'll have to deal with an oversupply of trained data people. Sure, it's great to get into it now, but you'll also have to change course later on to stay relevant.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Captain I just enrolled in this!

Tucanae Services said...

M$ linky no worky.

Anonymous said...

The Microsoft link is dead.

Tucanae Services said...


Your idea is sound just about 5 years too late for some 30 years for others. The idea has been perking since WWII. Classic example is the CPA exam. Any auditor who wants to be taken seriously needs that cert. Now in the IT realm we have CompTIA, Microsoft MCSE, MCSA, et. al, Oracle certs, MongoDB certs, LPI certs, etc. Slightly further afield there is the PMI cert, ITIL, etc. Whole industries are supporting the certification effort.

The problem is two fold.

Student. I have taught off and on for some 20 years of a technical nature. There are three kinds of students: i)Those that just given the book and a outline will get the topic. ii) Those that need a tad more regimen and guidance but will still get the topic. iii) Those that not matter the effort expended face OCB. (other careers beckon)

Institutions. The current problem has little to do with 'the college experience' and everything to do with structure. Take a look at the average diploma and all it says is that the holder fulfilled the requirement to have the sheepskin. That is because as things are aligned today, organizations accredit the INSTITUTION and not the student. ( I suspect that is by design so that the student body does not walk off the 'reservation'.

Finally to your point. I suspect, as you do, that many go to 'university' for a 4 year holiday. Heck I met a 7U (7 year, undecided major) one time that validates your point. The experience is certainly not worth the expense for many majors. Which brings me to this --

Anyone who has the smarts/determination can get a high end six figure salary, at least in IT without going to college. Complete --

* CompTIA A+ cert.
* CompTIA Network+ cert.

Those are sufficient to get your foot in the door for computer repair. It will put rice on the table. Then complete --

* Cisco Wireless cert. (fastest way to get a Cisco cert. 3 exams.)
* Cisco CCNA cert.

Now you are minimally sufficient to pass the headhunter/AI filter. It will put hamburger and and occasional steak on the table.

Then depending on desires complete as a group, either --

* MCSE or
* MCSA or

* LPI I and

* AWS SysOps and
* AWS DevOps

Having any of these skills will put one close or surpassing that six figure number. What you put on the table is now up to you.

Whomever pursue this line of training has a 5 year effort ahead of them. Day in, day out, no slouching or time off. The truly gifted maybe able to trim two years off this schedule. The other factor is that said person will bump against the 4yr degree prejudice. Pass on them, there are more and more opportunities for individuals who have the knowledge and some previous experience in the business.

Yep, from a Boomer.

Unknown said...

SAS, the makers of a commonly used language/program in statistics offer what I hear to be quality training courses both in SAS and in data science.

Unknown said...

There is a way to cripple the higher education racket -- end government underwriting of student loans. If would be students had to borrow at market rates, many fewer would attend college.

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