The Future of Higher Education

How can we determine the future of education as present college students ourselves? In trying to figure out what our futures hold we lose sight of the ever constant change around us in higher education. With online courses and community colleges on the rise with low cost options, more and more four-year universities are struggling to keep their student numbers up and their tuition costs down. As a degree progresses to be that of a title and not that of an experience, students are looking to find the cheapest and fastest way to get a degree and move ahead in their lives. If higher education is to continue as fundamental part of society, we, as a nation, need to redefine the standards of higher education moving into the future so as to

Although higher education isn’t disappearing from the face of the earth anytime soon, society’s need to speed up the process of obtaining a degree and finding a good job has definitely increased and it is because of this increase that I foresee the future of higher education as more simplistic and technology driven. However, the future of higher education most likely will need to be broader for those individuals who do not see themselves as typical college students. Jeffery J. Selingo in College (Un)bound explains that there different kinds of students outside of the “traditional” four-year university student like Evan Burfield (Selingo, 2013). According to Selingo, Evan, after choosing not to attend college post-graduation from a high ranked high school in North Virginia, helped get a start-up off the ground. By not choosing to attend college immediately, Burfield claimed that he was getting hands on experience while “college graduates don’t know what it’s like to work is because they study twenty hours a week and they have their life in college managed for them…They are getting a warped perspective of what life it like” (Selingo, 2013, pp. 165-166). Burfield may be correct in making the assumption that college students are less prepared to handle the “real world”, however the same thing could be stated in reverse; those only receiving a high school diploma are not as prepared to enter the competitive nature of the work force.  Yes, there is the occasional success stories of individuals choosing not to attend college or deferring college until a later date like Burfield, but traditional higher education is going to continue to be a functional social norm until its status can be altered. To increase its appeal to all students, higher education simply will have to be open to the possibility of alternative teaching to increase student admission rates as well as a supportive and ready working class after graduation.

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