Monday, November 5, 2012

Higher Education Exacerbating Economic Problems

Clayton Christensen nails it with "A Capitalist's Dilemma, Whoever Wins on Tuesday" - for educators here is the money quote:

"Our approach to higher education is exacerbating our problems. Efficiency innovations often add workers with yesterday’s skills to the ranks of the unemployed. Empowering innovations, in turn, often change the nature of jobs — creating jobs that can’t be filled.
Today, the educational skills necessary to start companies that focus on empowering innovations are scarce. Yet our leaders are wasting education by shoveling out billions in Pell Grants and subsidized loans to students who graduate with skills and majors that employers cannot use."
The solution: "But we can no longer waste education, subsidizing it in fields that offer few jobs. "
So very true - we are focused on the wrong metrics. It is not about getting students into college - it is about college success. But it is not just about earning a degree - it is about earning a degree for tomorrow's jobs. We cannot succeed without the talent to continue the innovations that expand the economy.