Archive for the 'Education' Category

The incredible rate of tuition inflation

November 20, 2015

This graph, presented at Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller’s Ted Talk on online education is truly amazing. With all of the attention paid to healthcare costs, the rate of inflation for higher education is substantially higher.

Coursera is addressing this issue by making great content from great universities available globally. Courses are free (certificates may be paid for).
Screen Shot 2015-11-20 at 4.13.40 PM

The impact of this approach is revolutionary.

Aside from using technology to make educational content more widely available, Coursera has the potential to reduce the costs of traditional higher education be offering more efficient (cost effective) ways to deliver basic lecture-hall type courses. In the longer run, it could even create downward pressure on educational costs be creating competition.

Should education be thought of as a fundamental human right? Yes, and approaches like this make it a reality. Our world is getting better.


Why I hope my kids go to the University of Oregon

September 16, 2015

Great article in the New York Times about the value of college.

There is essentially zero difference in work engagement between private and public schools:

The breakdown of this again suggested minimal advantage to a private school or an especially selective one. While 39 percent of public-school graduates were engaged in work, 40 percent of graduates of private nonprofit schools were. For graduates of national universities in the top 50, the figure was 41 percent. It did tick upward — but only to 47 percent — for graduates of top 50 liberal arts colleges.

Other keys to finding job fulfillment: finding a mentor and working on a meaningful project or internship.

What else augurs well for success after college? Graduates fared better if, during college, they did any one of these: developed a relationship with a mentor; took on a project that lasted a semester or more; did a job or internship directly connected to their chosen field; or became deeply involved in a campus organization or activity (as opposed to minimally involved in a range of things).

And debt is bad.

Significant amounts of debt do have a long-term impact on graduates’ well-being, so it may be a mistake to borrow more money to go to one college over another. You think you’re expanding your horizons, but it’s possible that every subsequent step is circumscribed by the need to repay loans rather than any larger professional strategy.

The end of college education as we know it?

May 1, 2015

Exciting times.

Just as information technology has made it exponentially cheaper to create a start-up technology company in Silicon Valley, it will make it exponentially cheaper to create a start-up college, almost anywhere.

Read more:

In addition, the boundaries between what we traditionally describe as “higher education” and adult learning (or training) will begin to fade and ultimately disappear.

The Value of Education, Continued

November 6, 2014

Here’s a great presentation on drivers of economic growth by Amy Liu, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute and co-director of the Brookings’ Metropolitan Policy Program. This slide is particularly interesting – and worth showing your kids…

Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 4.06.24 PM

Return on Investment for Colleges

October 29, 2014

Really interesting data about ROI by college on

A few selections. I’m guessing that the Ivys and the like rank high because they feed finance and professions. State schools with a technical or engineering bent also do well.

Here’s a sample:

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 3.19.56 PM

Training and Labor Markets – Some Interesting Stats

September 17, 2014

Screen Shot 2014-09-17 at 4.59.59 PM

Thanks to EvoLLLution for creating an interesting study. It’s a couple of years old, but I just ran across it.

Many North Americans have trouble keeping pace with the changes occurring in today’s work- place. Despite the existence of 9.3 million unemployed Americans, the country experienced a shortage of 7 million skilled workers in 2010, a shortage that is expected to climb to 21 million by 2020. A lack of educational attainment sits at the root of the issue. So much so, that unless more North Americans strive to achieve a higher level of education, average income per capita is going to decline within the next decade.

If I understand the stats, this means that (in theory) the skills gap is responsible for 75% of the unemployment rate (7 million unfilled positions / 9.3 unemployed).

The skilled worker shortage is expected to grow to 21M by 2020. Crazy.

I’m very interested in seeing the breakout of the skilled worker shortage.

Once employed, the need for education never ends. 70% of employers say that continuing education is a requirement to simply stay current.  Most of the report focuses on this issue.

Definitely worth a read.

Salman Khan: The Messiah of Math (The Napster of K-12 education?)

May 20, 2011

Giving away effective methods for mastering the world’s knowledge presents a Napster-like challenge for companies such as London-based Pearson and McGraw-Hill, which publish two of the most popular grade-school math textbooks and offer extensive online and digital components. For Pearson, the education segment in North America, comprising textbooks, online products, and test administration, represented $4.2 billion worth of business in 2010; for McGraw-Hill in 2009, it was $2.4 billion. Education Market Research estimates that the K-12 textbook market alone will reach $3.5 billion in the 2010-2011 school year.

The Khan Academy gives it away to 2M users (students).  There are amazing things happening in the education business.

The future of the library: librarians not libraries

May 16, 2011

Open Source Learning

November 27, 2010

Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs

November 7, 2010