For the last 20 years, in most of our western world, why must parents invest in higher education? and what will be the outcome?
Today in our western world, we have so many talented people without work, that it seems the only thing we can do for our children is to continue to strengthen their skills, and invest in their future.
More and more we wonder, should we consider post graduate students as customers?
If we are honest with ourselves, and have enough money, we know our children will most certainly be able to get a post graduate degree. They will have to work very hard, but with a smart child, money and time, it will be almost impossible to fail. As Confucius said, “it does not matter how slowly you go, (if you have enough money), as long as you do not stop.” Like it or not Education has become a big business in America, and in many other countries.
In fact today, in our very competitive world, parents of post graduates (customers) are investing time and money with a purpose in mind, buying alumni Networks, buying/acquiring a diploma, or “passport” which should open the doors of the most recognized corporations.
This is the main reason post graduate students are looking for a high quality education, given by distinguished and accomplished professors on the faculty. Distinguished professors are supposed to produce distinguished students!
The problem is, some of these students won’t be open minded, modest and humble enough, and will be very disappointed when, and they get a “No” from a recruiter!
Remember that students who are most satisfied with their education showed the most involvement whereas those students who viewed themselves as customers were less involved in their education. Students who perceive themselves as customers of the University are more likely to complain and to feel entitled to receiving positive outcomes from the University. This is why Universities may find it useful to inform their student ‘customers’ that they must co-produce their desired educational outcomes. Universities should emphasize students’ accountability for helping create knowledge and meeting learning expectations.
While most of the students focus on getting their graduation in four-year, if we have a look at recent years, from 34% of the 1996 starting cohort, to 39% of the 2005 got in four years. Schools acknowledge that there’s more they could do, and they are thinking to switch from 4 to 5 years, it means an increase of costs of 25%!
Last but not least, before you invest in post graduate education, you have carefully consider the different options, just as your broker reads and researches his markets, you must do the same. If you don’t, the market (employment) you are looking for, may be over supplied with post graduate students! Most certainly, investing in higher education, pays the best interest…
Don’t forget that College prices in the U.S. increase faster than the rate of inflation, as most families continue to struggle to afford college, it would be nice to introduce a rating system that shows which colleges provide the most value, with measures such as graduation rates and average student debt!
And never forget Albert Einstein quote: The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge, but imagination!
Conclusion: Education may be a business, but teaching definitely is not!
Bernard JOMARD Consultant Conférencier firstname.lastname@example.org