Since the author does such a great job of laying out the facts I’ll just give some relevant quotes from the article (note emphasis is mine):
With university administrators at a loss over how to navigate a Covid-plagued fall semester, I’m not surprised that students are now protesting tuition, considering gap years and asking themselves: Is college worth it?
I am surprised that it took a pandemic to get to this point. The truth is, Covid-19 didn’t break higher education. The model has been broken for a long, long time….
*When I graduated in 2013, I was six figures poorer, and felt confused by the lackluster education I received and the “bro” culture I encountered. A few years later, when I considered an MBA, it felt like déjà vu: an exhorbitant price tag, outdated pedagogy…
That parallel led me to found brunchwork, a modern education company. In working with thousands of ambitious professionals on their business careers, I found that I’m not alone in my disdain of higher education: Too many of us are not getting enough out of college.
So what’s broken with higher education?
First, we all recognize the $1.6 trillion student debt problem. That’s a lot of money for an education that’s not particularly relevant or effective.
I studied economics and mathematical finance, coursework that sounds practical but was in fact largely useless to both my startup and my Wall Street career . Like many finance firms, my first employer had no expectation that recent grads (all from top universities) had adequate preparation for the job —all new hires go through intensive training programs.
Even if students were exposed to relevant material in college, they likely experienced lecture-based teaching, which remains the dominant form of instruction. A whopping 80% of undergrad STEM classes are based on lectures. But listening passively doesn’t lead to knowledge retention, and the research clearly shows that this method doesn’t work. I graduated with the highest honors, and very little of what I “learned” stuck past final exams.
Going digital caused this struggling model to break completely. Over half of college students said their professors weren’t able to effectively transition from in-person to online instruction. Technology isn’t the cause here. Poor online classes are a symptom of a failing passive education model.