Have you ever sat down to look at what return you can expect from your college educational investment? Seperating the value of a life long education, from the institutional woes, has often troubled me.
Well if you’re currently an undergrad student, you may not have thought to deeply on the topic, but you most likely will. Personally, I never had high hopes that a bachelors degree in communications would yield some miracle job. Even during college, I realized that I had to begin thinking creatively, and entrepreneurially in the face of rising tuition, and the looming clouds of an unpromising job market.
So now…after a few years experiencing the reality of the job market, contemplating the advantages of grad school, and still wet with the soap suds of a bursting housing bubble, I see the importance of carefully considering the pros and cons of a higher education.
Here is an interesting article from The Economist that begins to explore whether or not the next bubble to burst is in the arena of higher education. But I’m curious as to your experiences and thoughts on the matter.
According to the article, the basic idea of a college degree bubble, is that people are spending too much on higher education, taking on too much debt, and failing to get the reward they expect. Here’s an excerpt, with link to article…
Education is a bubble in a classic sense. To call something a bubble, it must be overpriced and there must be an intense belief in it. Housing was a classic bubble, as were tech stocks in the ’90s, because they were both very overvalued, but there was an incredibly widespread belief that almost could not be questioned — you had to own a house in 2005, and you had to be in an equity-market index fund in 1999.
Probably the only candidate left for a bubble — at least in the developed world (maybe emerging markets are a bubble) — is education. It’s basically extremely overpriced. People are not getting their money’s worth, objectively, when you do the math. And at the same time it is something that is incredibly intensively believed; there’s this sort of psycho-social component to people taking on these enormous debts when they go to…
They go on to crunch a few numbers, and challenge this assersion. They hint at tuition inflation, which I think is something most graduates have a gut level idea is happening, but I’m very interested in looking at some hard numbers on this topic.
I see that it is indeed an instituion that is key for advancement in society today, but as usual when confronting anything so deeply entrenched in our societal consciousness, its not everyday I come across a thorough investigation on the topic of higher education.
After reading the article, what are your thoughts? What do you think needs to be concidered? Are there any other sources that you are aware of, where people can take a good objective look at this subject? I’m interested.
Other related articles on College Education:
Study looks at whether college is really worth the price