A recent analysis showed there are 2 million fewer enrollments in college compared to ten years ago.1 This considerable drop has resulted in many small colleges merging together into one institution to remain solvent.2 It also begs the question: What’s the future of higher education?
The Shift in Higher Education
A fascinating shift in higher education is upon us, ushered in by growing concerns of the high price of college and influx of skill-driven professions. Rapidly evolving fields in the IT space and the need for skilled workers has created a wide-open opportunity for students trying to avoid school debt.
Colleges tout the importance of a well-balanced diet of knowledge, but the quickly moving economy demands skills that keep up with the speed of change. Knowledge today is fast and accessible, and students know college isn’t the only – or (sometimes) preferred- place to get it.
Source: U.S. Census Data & NCES Table 345. 4
Is the College Degree Worth the Price Tag?
The college-or-not debate centers on the value of the degree. A college degree means the graduate successfully passed 120 credit hours of rigorous reading, writing, and math courses- along with a smattering of humanities and a few extra classes in their major area. The value of higher education seems implicit: The graduate proves they’ve got what it takes to complete the four-year challenge and emerge with a breadth of knowledge and good deal of soft skills as well.
School debt in the U.S. topped 1.4 trillion dollars at the end of 2018.3 More and more students leave school not knowing what they want to do and without the skills needed to land gainful employment. Many frustrated graduates return to either graduate school or training programs to gain needed employment skills.
Striking the Balance
The rigors of the college experience produce well-trained, well-rounded minds. That’s good. But it’s not good enough. Students today want it all- a great education in a marketable career at an affordable price tag. They want to master the disciplines of higher education- critical analysis, problem-solving, writing, debate, experimentation persuasion- and learn the skills necessary for immediate employment.
STONEPILE marries higher education with pro-technology and pro-jobs skills- all at an affordable price tag. Students achieve the 120 credits hours and robust education along with the skills necessary for leadership in the 1.3 trillion-dollar construction industry. STONEPILE offers the winning formula: Knowledge + Skills – Debt = Success.
Jodi Vermaas, PhD
*All images courtesy of BASE4