ENDING COLLEGE SUPREMACY

Colleges and universities must shift from macro credentials with high social signal strength and low skill signal strength to micro credentials with low social signal strength and high skill signal strength. If they do their part, educated will no longer signify elite. It will mean skilled, and everyone has skills.

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The False Allure of Online Training

Online training initiatives aren’t a panacea and may end up doing more harm than good if they act as a palliative, convincing large, fast-growing employers that their work here is done.

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R.B.G. AND THE FUTURE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Stating that higher education is not principally (or at all) a private good is ludicrous. R.B.G.’s opinion in the VMI case is all about ensuring that the “unique education benefits” of a VMI education are made available not to some amorphous collective, but to specific individuals who – regardless of gender – meet admissions standards.

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What the Work From Home Revolution Means for Higher Education

Technology isn’t changing higher education directly, but rather in a roundabout way: initially by changing the skillsets employers are seeking in new employees, then by digitizing hiring, and now via the work from home revolution.

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When It Comes To Remote Learning, Colleges Should Go Back To School

Due to the failure to improve remote learning, by winter the expensive 2020-21 bundle will come across like the worst Christmas basket ever: no candy canes, hot chocolate, or marshmallows – only stir sticks.

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Conspiracies Killing College!!! (and Country!!!)

Why don’t we have a national student unit record system? Does a shadowy cabal of government officials want to know how many credits you have in order to transfer them to pedophiles? Conspiracy thinking is killing college and our country.

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The Cyndi Lauper Plan For Putting America Back to Work

Employers need to be confident candidates are much more likely to create value quickly than cause problems or churn within a short period of time. But traditional postsecondary education is hardly the most powerful lever to accomplish this.

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The Great Unbundling of Higher Education Starts Now

Covid will reveal the man behind the curtain; the magic of the tuition and fees bundle will be gone, and price elasticity among students and parents will increase dramatically. Magic is nice, if you can afford it. And in a Covid economy, fewer families will be able to.

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Flim-Flam: The Very American Story of College in 2020

Colleges and universities would be wise to end the flim-flam now and keep students away from campus this fall.

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Top 10 Protests Coming to Campus and What It Means for Higher Education

During the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, protests are unlikely to help colleges deliver the improved economic outcomes that students desperately need.

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A More Perfect Union

Union-paid pathways to good first jobs in law enforcement, education, healthcare, and other highly unionized sectors would improve talent, diversity, and opportunity.

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America’s Top Colleges Are Karens

When I wrote A New U: Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College, I thought elite universities would remain largely unchanged. But no one anticipated a faster + cheaper + Covid world.

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Can America Still Do Hard Things?

America remains #1 at finding magic bullets. But even if we find one for Covid-19, there won’t be a magic bullet for putting America back to work.

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End of the Higher Education Buffet

Colleges and universities market themselves as buffets for the mind. But if there’s one thing that will never be the same after quarantine, it’s buffets.

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If You Thought Employers Were Going To Close The Skills Gap, Think Again

For all employers, there are must-haves and nice-to-haves. In the last month, most decision-makers have gone from having a list of nice-to-haves somewhere in their office to losing that list in a fast-growing pile of urgent, must-haves. Innovative hiring and upskilling initiatives seem like a relic of better days.

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Good Luck Getting Into The Class of 2043!

It cannot be the case that the primary or sole message to the economic victims of COVID-19 is re-enroll in a degree program, and borrow tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of sitting in classrooms for years on end at an accredited, Title IV-eligible college or university.

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For College Students, It’s Also An Employment Crisis

How can colleges and universities ensure that the last wave of Millennial college graduates doesn’t follow in the footsteps of the first wave, which graduated into the Great Recession?

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Colleges Mismanage Tuition Like Trump Mismanages Coronavirus

Although they kind of sound the same, there’s a big difference between holding down tuition increases and holding down tuition. Keeping already-unaffordable tuition flat for one year and declaring victory is positively Trumpian.

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Ultimate Blame for the Varsity Blues Scandal Lies with Selfish and Shortsighted Universities

In being far too precious about expansion, America’s top universities are failing at their missions and doing their country a disservice.

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The Many Dangers of Hunting for Purple Squirrels

Hiring in 2020 is analogous to browsing photos of People’s Sexiest Man (or Woman) Alive before going on match.com: nothing’s going to match up.

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A Hail Mary for Community Colleges

It’s high time we sent a clear signal to community colleges: offer programs that lead directly to good jobs in growing sectors of the local economy.

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Higher Education Public Enemy #1: Ken Burns

As a defensive strategy to protect the degree bundle, upside down or certificate-first may only gain as much traction on college and university campuses as revolving restaurants.

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Why Colleges Won’t Turn Their Degree Programs Upside Down

As a defensive strategy to protect the degree bundle, upside down or certificate-first may only gain as much traction on college and university campuses as revolving restaurants.

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When Colleges and Universities Stop Making Sense

Colleges and universities stand little chance of making sense to students when they’re continuing to base their value proposition on sense, but are too blinded by their parochial interests to defend it.

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Good News: Employers Are Paying for Online Degrees
Bad News: Employers Are Paying for Online Degrees

The arrival of the Third Age of online education (i.e., getting employers to pay for online degrees) may be the ultimate proof of declining perceived value. Third Age math only works when the operative outcome is employee retention. The shift in emphasis from self-pay to employer-pay has ushered in an era of fin de siècle online degrees.

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The Mindblowing Hypocrisy of Elite College Admissions

Our most famous schools spout the virtues of meritocracy and diversity while continuing to fill themselves to the brim with sons and daughters of the rich and famous.

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Solving Higher Education’s Crisis of Governance Means Changing How We Choose Governors

Direct election of directors and proxy advisory services have improved corporate governance. College and university boards need a comparable boost.

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The Next Blockbuster Antihero Origin Story: “Skills Gap Denier”

In the education and workforce arena, giving equal airplay to skills gap deniers is tantamount to giving equal airplay to climate change deniers or ICE. Conveniently, turns out it’s actually the same people!

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The Winding Road from Coal to Code

Social entrepreneurs intent on closing the skills gap should focus more resources on business model, value proposition to candidates, and selection technology than on curriculum. It may seem like an unnecessarily long and winding road. But it’s the surest path from coal to code.

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Prelude to a Pricing Paradigm Shift

Imagine if you will a bizarro United States – even more bizarre than the current one – where reduced federal and state funding of higher education has been exactly offset by the lower cost of delivering online or even blended programs.

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College Graduates Are “Between Two Ferns”

Last week I was at a meeting with a well-known professor and expert on the future of work who shared his considered opinion that “most Human Resources managers make Stalinist-era Soviet bureaucrats look thoughtful and progressive.” Is it possible, I wondered, that Human Resources is the potted plant of the employer?

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When It Comes to Learning And Development, Don’t Judge Employers By What They Say, But Rather By What They Measure

Any celebration of the Business Roundtable statement is like spiking the football on the 50 yard line. The fact that the Business Roundtable made this statement simply underscores that they are putting shareholders first, “because it makes shareholders feel better.”

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Hugh Grant U: What Colleges Can Learn from Four Weddings and a Funeral

When it comes to getting a good first job, students aren’t meeting prospective employers at five ceremonies (four weddings and a funeral) across a number of years. For most students, there’s only one ceremony – graduation – and the timeframe for employment serendipity is extremely limited. The result is often less four weddings and a funeral than four years and a funeral of underemployment.

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The Death of the Great American Summer Job

While adults in fast food jobs find themselves blocked from participation in the dynamic economy, they in turn are blocking teens from getting the summer jobs – the work experience and soft skills – that prior generations accessed as the very first rung of a career ladder. And without these summer jobs, teens are growing into underemployed 20-somethings. It’s America’s skills gap begetting a greater skills gap, and the skills gap becoming a vicious circle.

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The Best Bootcamp For Soft Skills May Be The Oldest Camp

I’m often asked why there aren’t bootcamps for non-technical skills. One reason is that there is an original boot camp for soft skills called summer camp.

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Can Apprenticeships Keep Up With The Kardashians?

The challenge with extending employer-run apprenticeships is that not everyone is Kim Kardashian. An apprenticeship requires a willing employer – exactly the sort of thing someone with 143.2M Instagram followers is positioned to arrange.

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Free College Jumps The Shark

The Progressive impulse to incorporate debt forgiveness will prove to be the end of Free College’s happy days: the moment that Free College jumped the shark.

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Con Artist U

The sad bloom of higher education liars and con artists that has attracted the attention of the American public, isn’t anomalous, but rather systemic – what happens when high pressure marketing and “yield management” practices meet deteriorating student outcomes and enrollment.

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Looking For Talent In All The Wrong Places

American employers aren’t innocent bystanders to the dumpster fire that is elite college admissions. Many of the parents caught up in Operation Varsity Blues are employers themselves, and that their lying and cheating may by a byproduct of their own flawed hiring practices.

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All the Right Moves

Our colleges and universities were once an engine of social and economic mobility. Even if the engine is sputtering or stopped, by adopting new push or pull strategies American higher education can still become a much needed engine of geographic mobility.

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Students Lose When Colleges Exploit State Occupational Licensure

Higher education has benefited greatly by maintaining that grubby, professional licensure exams are somehow separate from high-minded degree programs. But for millions of students, it’s been an epic rip-off, and going on for far too long.

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Work-Study Doesn’t Work

FWS provides one more example why all Title IV-eligible colleges and universities should be treated with the same level of skepticism. It’s time to regulate all institutions as though they’re for-profit, because they sure act like they are.

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The Madness of King College

Binary choices tend to be bad for the incumbent, and any referendum on King College is likely to turn out poorly. Monocultures have a tendency to spawn anticultures.

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Will Employers Do It For Themselves?

We need to stop living in a fairy tale where all employers are likely to scale entry-level training, solve underemployment, and facilitate novel and important pathways to great careers, if only they were sufficiently enlightened.

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The Side Doors and Back Doors that Broke College Admissions

Because there are no controls, by definition the back door to elite colleges and universities is out of control.

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College’s Upper Class Twit Problem

If they’re sincere about being part of the solution, America’s colleges and universities must recognize the scale of our inequality crisis and respond with equal vigor.

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College’s Newest Abdication of Responsibility: eSports

America’s colleges and universities have an obligation to resist the siren song of entertainment and videogames; they must be more than a mirror of bad parenting.

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The Great Bundling of Workforce Development

So while college unbundles, watch for workforce development to bundle. They’ll meet somewhere in the middle both in terms of models and popularity.

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Why Employers Should Be Less Like Jeff Bezos

The more desirable the position, the more lucrative the opportunity, the more likely employers are to abandon progressive credos and resort to reactionary hiring practices like degree or experience requirements.

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A New Year, A New Letter

Farewell UV Letter. Welcome to the Gap Letter.

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