A Higher-Education Bubble? Tell it to the Zombies

Whoever laid out page one of today’s Washington Post has a well-developed sense of humor by juxtaposition.

Is college worth the cost? Sure. Just look at the splendid offerings at the University of Baltimore, which include a course on zombies. Not only edifying, but something to highlight on your resume.

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!

Join the discussion 6 Comments

  • Keydren says:

    I literally jumped out of my chair and danecd after reading this!

  • Binah says:

    Oui, c’est très drôle – in the old days, you only needed a good high school education to read French :)

    I got my higher ed before the 90s, and I think I’m free of any blood-drinking, brain-eating rituals. But I should check with my doctor. Maybe there’s an expensive, Medicare-subsidized drug for me — no, wait, I’m not old enough … cradle to grave, but nothing in between for us working stiffs …. darn.

  • McGeorge Hoist-Petard says:

    “Drole” is droll. Ther is know weigh coledges is waisting are munny. I rekumende there buk, thow.

  • Huston says:

    Yikes! Please tell me a published prfessor didn’t just misspell “droll.”

  • Al Fin says:

    We know that higher education is producing hordes of zombies faster than society can assimilate them…but what kind of jobs can zombies do?

    Government bureaucrats, college administration and staff, union officials, journalists, and trial lawyers — but beyond that, how many blood-drinking brain-eating university graduates do we need.

  • This is so drole! We invite readers (and Zombies) to check out the website connected to our book. http://www.highereducationquestionmark.com. Best, Claudia Dreifus

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