Over the last month or so, there’s been a big uptick in reporting and commentary on the “higher education bubble,” the contention that universities and higher-ed systems have oversold their benefits even as the educations become unaffordable. It all seems so unsustainable, like the financial system that collapsed within the past few years.
The start of the new school year with student loans and visits to the bursar’s office stimulated some of the reporting, and President Obama has touted new laws that expand the federal government’s subsidies of college educations. And there’s a new book by Professor Andrew Hacker and Claudia Dreifus, “Higher Education: How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids — and What We Can Do About It.”
At the same time, many manufacturers will tell you that there are plenty of good jobs — good careers — available to workers with even a modicum of technical ability and training.*
Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit has done a great job of chronicling the coverage, which you read by searching for “higher education bubble.” And George Leef of the Pope Center diligently follows the overselling of higher ed at the National Review blog, Phi Beta Cons.
* From an earlier Shopfloor post, citing comments from the owner of a Baltimore manufacturing company: “DREW GREENBLATT, PRESIDENT, MARLIN STEEL WIRE: We have a mismatch. We have people out there that are skilled and trained, let’s say, to work in a retail showroom or to work in a MacDonalds or a restaurant. They are not necessarily trained to be able to know what a radius is or to know how to read a tape measure or to know how to read a blueprint or know how to change a bearing, or a die set in a robot.”
But zombies, they know zombies!