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When Will The College Bubble Burst? January 7, 2013

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Lifestyle.
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Higher education’s business model is simply unsustainable.

Colleges have so far gotten away with their price hikes by making it easy for students to borrow money. But now the customers are tapped out. They owe $1 trillion, and they are having a rough time repaying that debt with the kinds of jobs available in today’s economy. Vedder notes that 115,000 janitors have bachelor’s degrees.

The system is ripe for an upheaval. Cheap online courses seem poised to deliver it. Traditional colleges at opposite ends of the glamour spectrum will probably survive. At one end, community colleges could deliver bankable skills in fields like nursing and computer network installation. At the other end, elite institutions like Princeton will carry on for a few more centuries.

In between? “It’s going to wipe out high-cost mediocre private schools without big endowments,” Vedder says.BSchoolBlues

via How Liberal Arts Colleges Could Go Bankrupt – Forbes.

In the Future Everything Will Be A Coffee Shop December 28, 2011

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Lifestyle.
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But what’s the advantage of a good job if the salary difference between that job and a non-college-level job is lost servicing student debt? It’s a reasonable question that has become more pressing as the amount of student debt required to get an education has risen.

At the same time several universities with world renown branding have begun offering online courses for free. MIT has been the pioneering institution in this. They were first to make practically all classes available online. Now they are beginning to offer some level of credential for completion of online courses through a new program they’re calling MITx.

We’re going back to the future: the modern office was birthed in 17th century coffee shops. Steven Johnson has argued that coffee fueled the enlightenment. It was certainly a more enlightening beverage than the previous choice of alcohol.

The need for offices grew as the equipment for mental work was developed starting in the late 19th centuries. That need appears to have peaked about 1980. It was a rare person who could afford the computers, printers, fax machines, and mailing/shipping equipment of that time.

Now a single person with $500 can duplicate most of those functions with a single laptop computer.  So the remaining function of the office is to be that place that clients know to find you… and that kids and the other distractions of home can’t.

via speculist.com » Blog Archive » In the Future Everything Will Be A Coffee Shop.

Is College Tuition the Next Bubble? August 8, 2010

Posted by tkcollier in Economy & Business, Lifestyle.
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Right now, people are still borrowing heavily to pay the steadily increasing tuitions levied by higher education. But that borrowing is based on the expectation that students will earn enough to pay off their loans with a portion of the extra income their educations generate. Once people doubt that, the bubble will burst.

Many people with college educations are already jumping the tracks to become skilled manual laborers:  plumbers, electricians, and the like.  And the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that seven of the ten fastest-growing jobs in the next decade will be based on on-the-job training rather than higher education.  (And they’ll be hands-on jobs hard to outsource to foreigners).  If this is right, a bursting of the bubble is growing likelier.

via Glenn Harlan Reynolds: Further thoughts on the higher education bubble | Washington Examiner.

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