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Thread: The Devaluation Of Higher Education

  1. #1

    The Devaluation Of Higher Education

    Government programs (such as subsidies and student loans) designed to inflate both the supply and demand for higher education have driven a wedge between universities, students, and employers. Like any other economic good, the value of a higher education degree is determined on the market, at the intersection of the subjective valuations and appraisements of those constituting the supply and demand of that particular good. The parties interested in these transactions are not just education providers and students, but also—or even primarily—employers looking to hire graduates into their companies. At least, that’s how things should be, with entrepreneurs at the forefront, driving and shaping up the content and quality of the education and training of their future employees.

    But with the government interfering now for decades with this precarious balance, it is not unexpected to find that the essential link which allowed the market to work efficiently has been fractured. The result is that higher education degrees no longer hold any value for employers.

    Recent evidence suggests that in the UK, for example, a record number of university graduates—one in four—face only a choice between unemployment and taking a job that does not require a degree. This shows that their degrees are not demanded on the market or, alternatively, that young people are malinvesting high student loans into degrees which, once obtained, will not offer them better employment alternatives than before—thus having a rate of return too low to justify the initial investment. Similarly, an investigation by The Economist has revealed that worldwide, BAs, BSCs, but also master programs such as MBAs are no longer considered to offer a candidate a competitive edge in the marketplace.

    Another facet of the devaluation of higher education is the record high number of specialised degrees, a trend which began with masters and MBAs, but has now peaked into PhDs.The mismatch between supply and demand (academic positions) is even wider in this case. A 2013 paper published in Nature Biotechnology has found that “Each year, there are seven times more PhDs awarded in science and engineering than there are newly available faculty positions.” In fact, the authors show that:

    Since 1982, almost 800,000 PhDs were awarded in science and engineering (S&E) fields, whereas only about 100,000 academic faculty positions were created in those fields within the same time frame. The number of S&E PhDs awarded annually has also increased over this time frame, from ~19,000 in 1982 to ~36,000 in 2011. The number of faculty positions created each year, however, has not changed, with roughly 3,000 new positions created annually.

    A part of these graduates, especially in economics, end up working for the government when they eventually fail the market test. But the trend is also extending further to postdoctoral fellowships, which are sought after by the 70% of PhDs unable to find alternative employment.

    Full article and better formatting on link.
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  3. #2
    The result is that higher education degrees no longer hold any value for employers.
    Speaking purely for myself, I don't put value on it when I hire. It can go either way, and I have no way of knowing which way, so I'm not going to guess. It can be a sign someone has carefully studied and learned a subject, and stuck with a commitment (college) and seen it through to its conclusion, or it can be a sign that they're going to whine that they deserve double the pay for doing half of the work because they're "educated" and require a higher salary to pay off foolish levels of student loan debt.

    I'm much more interested in their ability to communicate, take notes, learn, and actually show up for their job as promised. I find that not knowing a whit about their level of education is refreshingly freeing. It does enter into their salary negotiations, which are held later with HR, but it doesn't matter to me when I'm hiring.

    I have seen "equivalent experience" becoming more and more important as that college degree is less and less a guarantee of a hardworking, intelligent, eager employee.
    Genuine, willful, aggressive ignorance is the one sure way to tick me off. I wish I could say you were trolling. I know better, and it's just sad.

  4. #3
    Never meant squat to me and is no sign of a good worker .
    Do something Danke

  5. #4
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