Issues in Higher Education
One of the biggest issues in higher education that has impacted my field on a national and global level is money and cost. The root of all evil, as some say. Money is more than the cost of the school, it is about the funding available at the school, the value of your degree, the types of resources available, and the quality of labs at your disposal. Forbes published an article a few years ago discussing issues in higher education and they stated, “Sixth, the value of a college degree as a device to signal knowledge, intelligence, discipline, ambition, and integrity is fraying, jeopardizing the economic advantages of a university education…Too many students of meager academic performance attend college; grade inflation allows nearly everyone to graduate who persists. The prestige elite schools are increasingly viewed as altogether superior institutions to less selective colleges and universities” (Vedder, 2017).
When I was in the industry there was such an emphasis placed upon your degree when we were looking to hire. If there was an option between a candidate with a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, even if the bachelor was a better fit, my boss would pass upon the bachelor’s candidate. It came to a point where it was difficult to hire anyone because the credentials weren’t high enough, despite any experience. It started to get difficult when we were extremely understaffed and being overworked because there were not enough researchers and too many projects. My team and I did not know what to do. One of my colleagues went to one of the higher-ups to talk to them to try and come up with ways that we can better evaluate a candidate experience with their degree. In the end, we did not have the power to make and changes and it still remains the same.
It seems that the trend of requiring a minimum of a bachelor’s degree across all industries has become the current trend. It has come to a point where you cannot get a decent paying job without any type of college education. Even associate degrees are scoffed at. What about those individuals who do not want to go to college, or those who cannot afford to go to college? You do not need a degree to become an Air Traffic Controller (ATC). The hiring process for controllers is very long and back-logged. To become a controller, you need to apply online, take an exam, and if you pass your name goes on the bottom of the list. Now, if you have a bachelor’s degree in ATC your name goes to a smaller list closer to the top and you are chosen before the other candidates. This was the process when I was in school 6 years ago, and within the last 2 years they changed it to remove the “degree jump”. When did the world start punishing people for a lack of a college education?
Vedder, R. (2017, August 29). Seven Challenges Facing Higher Education. Retrieved from Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ccap/2017/08/29/seven-challenges-facing-higher-education/#66ed0cdc3180