Pew Research Center has just published a compelling report, “The Rising Cost of Not Going to College.” Based on a nationwide study of 2,000+ adults supplemented by recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Pew found that on almost every measure of economic and career attainment, Millenials (adults between the ages of 25 to 32) with a college degree outperform their counterparts with less education.
Last week, the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education and the Milken Family Foundation hosted the fourth annual Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition. The competition website explains that “there is an urgent need to find ways to reach and educate every person” while also noting that “The United States is the largest exporter of education in the world, and education is our country’s fifth largest export.”
I have read three articles in the last three days about alternatives to earning a college degree, primarily through certification of one kind or another.
The first article, from The Chronicle of Higher Education, discusses the concept of “badges” that are awarded by various websites, training companies, individuals, etc. The concept is that the badge is relatively easy to earn (to keep the learner motivated and engaged) and indicates that they have achieved a certain skill level or learning competency.
This week represents National Teacher Appreciation Week and if there was ever an appropriate time to applaud the efforts of our nation’s teachers, it is now. Considering the well-publicized and overwhelming reality of our nation’s fiscal concerns, there can be little doubt that the nation’s leadership faces an arduous task. The nation’s teachers, however, have arguably an even greater and more daunting task: preparing our youngest minds for the uncertain future that lies ahead of them.