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Thread: The future of degree/diploma programs

  1. #1

    Default The future of degree/diploma programs

    This is a US article, but interesting nonetheless...


    The Coming Twilight Of The Four-Year College
    by Martin Hutchinson December 10, 2012
    http://www.prudentbear.com/index.php...w?art_id=10736

    Excerpt:

    "Symonds pointed out that, although 60% of young people now attend college, less than half of those attempt a four-year degree. Meanwhile, the economy increasingly contains jobs that require a considerable amount of specialized training, but not a college degree. Such jobs abound in health care, but also include specialized welding in the manufacturing sector, where employees need mathematics beyond high school and a considerable amount of computer savvy, as well as an advanced training in welding itself."

  2. #2
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    It's no suprise that many people get expensive degrees they may not use directly in their work (I'm one). But that doesn't mean that people will stop wanting to see their kids educated, for reasons that have nothing to do with the job market (prestige, sense of accomplishement, personal insterests and tastes). Government might be able to shift some resources from graduate studies to welding schools. But really post-secondary education is a free market, the money will follow the choices of individuals.

    In Alberta, we certainly don't have any bais against the trades and technical education, that's for sure.
    Change the incentives and our car-dependant city can change too.

  3. #3

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    My biggest issue is the large disconnect between a lot of education programs and real world jobs.
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    My biggest issue is the large disconnect between a lot of education programs and real world jobs.
    More?
    Change the incentives and our car-dependant city can change too.

  5. #5

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    More????

    I'll put it this way.. my dad is a CA. His firm would rather hire CGA's from NAIT than accountants that come out of the university stream. The practical focused education of NAIT prepares people for the work they will do. I think a lot of the critical thinking skills that are taught in university could be moved to High School or even something like a CEGEP program.

    I think there is more room for focused intensive education with university careers being undertaken later in life.
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    More????
    I needed something to sink my teeth into. Thanks for obliging.

    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    I'll put it this way.. my dad is a CA. His firm would rather hire CGA's from NAIT than accountants that come out of the university stream. The practical focused education of NAIT prepares people for the work they will do.
    And if enough people like your dad hire NAIT grads instead of Uni grads, the average salary of NAIT grads will go up and Uni grads will do down, and more people will be attratched to NAIT. No need for society at large to do anything in particular.

    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    I think a lot of the critical thinking skills that are taught in university could be moved to High School or even something like a CEGEP program.

    I think there is more room for focused intensive education with university careers being undertaken later in life.
    Now we have some concrete suggestions that we can debate.

    I think critical thinking should absolutely be taught in high school but then we have to admit that we can't teach everything in high school, so we'll have to relax about the fact that we don't have the time and resouces to do all pre-trades stuff in high shool that the oilpatch keeps telling us we "need too".

    As for CEGEP (that's a junior college type program that people take in Quebec after highschool but before university, if people don't know). Do you picture it as a pre-req to uni, or as a replacement?
    Change the incentives and our car-dependant city can change too.

  7. #7

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    ^ I think right now University requiring young first time student to take a year of "open studies" is equal to CEGEP... but the same thing could be done through the public system for way less. I personally am glad I did them for less at the college level where I was taught by professorial in smaller classes and not in lecture halls run by teacher aids and PHD students.

    I think NAIT grads are ahead of the curve even if they start out at a few less thousand a year, they werer likely working in about 2 years and with much less debt.
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    ^ I think right now University requiring young first time student to take a year of "open studies" is equal to CEGEP... but the same thing could be done through the public system for way less. I personally am glad I did them for less at the college level where I was taught by professorial in smaller classes and not in lecture halls run by teacher aids and PHD students.
    Just go to MacEwan. In my (more than) 4 year degree I never had a class of more than 40 people. And virtually all my profs were PhDs (no grad students).

    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    I think NAIT grads are ahead of the curve even if they start out at a few less thousand a year, they werer likely working in about 2 years and with much less debt.
    But that doesn't need any policy change. Why do we need CEGEPS if NAIT is already a good choice?
    Change the incentives and our car-dependant city can change too.

  9. #9

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    Historically, universities were for rich kids to go and philosophize, come up with new theories, and research. We've warped universities into these mythical places where you go, get higher learning, and come out prepared to tackle the real world when, outside of professional programs, you get little of that.

    All post-secondary schools need to be merged together with the waste removed, or at least compartmentalized with an honest disclosure as to what the result of the study will be.

    Skilled programs would teach you what you need to know for a specific job, whether it's a 2 year technical program or a 10 year brain surgeon program. Higher learning academics that don't train you for many jobs but lead to researcher positions would be your math, physics, humanities.

    As it stands now, all these kids are going and getting arts degrees and crap that doesn't teach you to do anything, and they aren't getting jobs while loading up debt.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    As it stands now, all these kids are going and getting arts degrees and crap that doesn't teach you to do anything, and they aren't getting jobs while loading up debt.
    I love it when people rip on the arts degree like this, it's always so insightful.

    The value of an arts degree is really up to the individual. You're right that it's not going to give you a specific, pre-packaged set of technical skills like other degrees, but that's not the point. Writing, critical thinking, presentation skills and other things that it's geared towards are skills that stick with you for life. Do you ever wonder arts grads are admitted more frequently admitted into law and MBA programs than any other degree? It's something you do to set yourself up for the longterm even if getting the first job is a hassle.
    Last edited by mnugent; 10-12-2012 at 04:10 PM.
    Go down a few dark alleys.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnugent View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    As it stands now, all these kids are going and getting arts degrees and crap that doesn't teach you to do anything, and they aren't getting jobs while loading up debt.
    I love it when people rip on the arts degree like this, it's always so insightful.

    The value of an arts degree is really up to the individual. You're right that it's not going to give you a specific, pre-packaged set of technical skills like other degrees, but that's not the point. Writing, critical thinking, presentation skills and other things that it's geared towards are skills that stick with you for life. Do you ever wonder arts grads are admitted more frequently admitted into law and MBA programs than any other degree? It's something you do to set yourself up for the longterm even if getting the first job is a hassle.
    No I don't wonder why Arts students are admitted to those programs more. It's because an Arts degree is exactly just a prerequisite for those programs. Selling that same program to kids as if it stands on it's own is the crime.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevlar View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    ^ I think right now University requiring young first time student to take a year of "open studies" is equal to CEGEP... but the same thing could be done through the public system for way less. I personally am glad I did them for less at the college level where I was taught by professorial in smaller classes and not in lecture halls run by teacher aids and PHD students.
    Just go to MacEwan. In my (more than) 4 year degree I never had a class of more than 40 people. And virtually all my profs were PhDs (no grad students).

    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    I think NAIT grads are ahead of the curve even if they start out at a few less thousand a year, they werer likely working in about 2 years and with much less debt.
    But that doesn't need any policy change. Why do we need CEGEPS if NAIT is already a good choice?
    I think that we could make it a public option for next to no cost. If we look at the net benefit to all of society and productivity in general I am sure there would be a case for this and by undertaking 100 level cores under a public system we could also reduce the time spent having to attend universities. the post secondary education likely wouldn't like this as the 100 level courses are cash cows for them.
    "Do you give people who already use transit a better service, or do you build it where they don't use it in the hopes they might start to use it?" Nenshi

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    My biggest issue is the large disconnect between a lot of "UNIVERSTIY" education programs and real world jobs.
    Fixed that for ya
    Excellence is a continual Journey up a staircase where there is NO top step...

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    No I don't wonder why Arts students are admitted to those programs more. It's because an Arts degree is exactly just a prerequisite for those programs. Selling that same program to kids as if it stands on it's own is the crime.
    Quote Originally Posted by KenL2 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by edmonton daily photo View Post
    My biggest issue is the large disconnect between a lot of "UNIVERSTIY" education programs and real world jobs.
    Fixed that for ya
    At the end of the day, the people that go the furthest are the ones that ask "why". A technical degree might make you a solid, obidient worker, but just that. It's going to get you that fancy entry-level position that you so value but you're going to have a harder time climbing the latter in the long run than someone with a broader university education.
    Go down a few dark alleys.

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    Nobody is forcing anyone to take any courses and/or degrees. Adults should have the choice and freedom to pursue whatever career they choose. Career tends can be hard to predict - who could imagine App developers and online commerce in the early 80s?

    Given that the cost of rent/food/transit is often greater than tuition, universities may consider condensing 4-yr undergrad programs into 3 years. A 3-yr BA/BSc is pretty common in many Commonwealth countries (UK, India, Australia etc) so no reason why it won't work here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cal76 View Post

    Given that the cost of rent/food/transit is often greater than tuition, universities may consider condensing 4-yr undergrad programs into 3 years. A 3-yr BA/BSc is pretty common in many Commonwealth countries (UK, India, Australia etc) so no reason why it won't work here.
    Also some scope for cutbacks in bloated faculty/admin if this was implemented. Is there any special reason why Canadian kids need 4 years to do what is easily achievable in 3?
    "The only really positive thing one could say about Vancouver is, it’s not the rest of Canada." Oink (britishexpats.com)

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnugent View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    As it stands now, all these kids are going and getting arts degrees and crap that doesn't teach you to do anything, and they aren't getting jobs while loading up debt.
    [...]
    The value of an arts degree is really up to the individual. You're right that it's not going to give you a specific, pre-packaged set of technical skills like other degrees, but that's not the point. Writing, critical thinking, presentation skills and other things that it's geared towards are skills that stick with you for life.
    [...]
    I think the arts for critical thinking, presentation skills (!) etc. is a canard. Folks, an arts degree is for culture, tradition, and civilization. Please tell me you know what that is. No responsible student should forego a career to wallow in four years of University humanities programmes such as at the U of A. But to have a university education and not understand the first thing about the course of history, or western thought, or art and music - that's not a university education. It should combine civilization and career in a fruitful way, so that the student can go on to a full life in a complete sense. Man doesn't live by bread alone - a statement that unites in opposition our populist 'conservatives' and your garden variety marxist/cultural theorist university professor.
    Last edited by Sophia Karel; 12-12-2012 at 04:19 PM.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by mnugent View Post
    At the end of the day, the people that go the furthest are the ones that ask "why". A technical degree might make you a solid, obidient worker, but just that. It's going to get you that fancy entry-level position that you so value but you're going to have a harder time climbing the latter in the long run than someone with a broader university education.
    I have a marketing diploma from NAIT. Yet I have critical thinking skills and have not only surpassed my University-educated peers, but am destroying them. Education is only part of the equation. Some people are simply smarter, or better at certain types of thinking. You could be the smartest person on the planet but if you have no creativity you may never be more than a small town bar doorman (google it), but you could be decidedly average IQ with your brain wired the right way, be creative, know how to empathize, and go really far.

    An Arts degree can help you a bit more than a technical program, but it can't change your genes.

    I'd argue that most of the students taking an Arts program with no goal beyond that fall into the category of people who simply don't have critical thinking skills and wind up wondering why they took such a useless program in the first place.
    Last edited by Chmilz; 12-12-2012 at 12:33 PM.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  19. #19

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    ^Yah, really the different programs are suited for different things, college and university alike. Universities just tend to have higher entrance requirements and hence have "better" students because of that, but not because they necessarily teach any better, just differently. Just like within university, some programs have higher entrance requirements and hence they are populated with even "better" students on average.

    I have a university degree in an honors program and I don't think they really taught people how to think critically. It's just the sort of people I was in class with were already critical thinkers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    I have a marketing diploma from NAIT. Yet I have critical thinking skills and have not only surpassed my University-educated peers, but am destroying them. Education is only part of the equation. Some people are simply smarter, or better at certain types of thinking. You could be the smartest person on the planet but if you have no creativity you may never be more than a small town bar doorman (google it), but you could be decidedly average IQ with your brain wired the right way, be creative, know how to empathize, and go really far.

    An Arts degree can help you a bit more than a technical program, but it can't change your genes.

    I'd argue that most of the students taking an Arts program with no goal beyond that fall into the category of people who simply don't have critical thinking skills and wind up wondering why they took such a useless program in the first place.
    I'm sure it's not your intention, but that does read awfully like someone who's carrying a bit of a chip on his shoulder about the level of his education.
    Last edited by expat; 13-12-2012 at 04:30 AM.
    "The only really positive thing one could say about Vancouver is, it’s not the rest of Canada." Oink (britishexpats.com)

  21. #21

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    The man who wants to make university degrees obsolete - BBC Worklife
    Latin America faces huge skills gaps in the workforce, and college is expensive. One man is looking to shift the education model on its head.
    By José Luis Peñarredonda
    16th August 2019

    But Vega does not believe that universities can expand to cover the demand. Even if they did, he thinks the problem is the pipeline itself – he believes the university model is outdated. “Is it normal to have a social contract where people spend four years in college, get a huge debt, then get a job and spend their first year there learning everything they need to do? It makes no sense.”

    ...

    “One thing the online platform can offer over the formal education sector is the idea that people should “never stop learning”, as Platzi’s motto states. It creates loyal subscribers but more than that, it’s increasingly obvious that as technology develops how workers update their skills will be a factor in how well they thrive. It’s also how Vega built his business.”...


    https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article...grees-obsolete
    Last edited by KC; 18-08-2019 at 06:32 AM.

  22. #22

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    A new era of microcredentials and experiential learning

    “Thinking about microcredential offerings only as shorter online educational programmes would miss the broader, more significant trends that they exemplify.

    First, the growth of microcredentials is evidence of the emergence of more continuous and less episodic post-secondary learning. Second, microcredentials highlight an educational curriculum that is much more industry-aligned and competency-focused. Finally, they demonstrate that we are entering an era with much greater overlap and integration between education and experience.

    https://www.universityworldnews.com/...90213103113978


    ...

    Finland’s Education System Leads Globally
    By Lakshi De Vass Gunawardena




    ““In education, Finland has the lead according to many international comparisons,”...”


    “...
    “The Finnish education system is one of the top performing education systems in the world,” she declared

    Finland has been ranked as one of the happiest and most successful countries in the world, and most recently was ranked as the number one country for higher education by The Economist.

    In terms of what other countries, such as the United States should learn from Finland, Dr. Samuel E. Abrams, director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University had this to say: “We should follow Finland in testing only small samples of students rather than testing all students”.

    “Our approach forces teachers to teach to the test. As we test all students in reading and math in grades 3-8, we generate undue stress for students, teachers, and parents alike”.

    Moreover, he pointed out, “in focusing on reading and math, we crowd out time for history, science, music, art, crafts, and physical education. And students need those subjects as well as plenty of play for a well-rounded education.”

    “Second, we should follow Finland in preparing teachers with high-quality master’s programs in pedagogical theory and practice.

    “Third, we should follow Finland in paying teachers well and giving them significant autonomy,” he added.

    “Finally, we should follow Finland in funding our schools fairly. That means more money per student at schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods, not less. We base funding on property taxes, which means wealthy districts have significantly more money to spend per pupil than poor districts”.

    “None of this is rocket science,” he said. “But that does not make it easy.”

    Dr. Abrams concluded: “We must...”



    http://www.ipsnews.net/2019/07/finla...eads-globally/
    Bolding is mine
    Last edited by KC; 18-08-2019 at 06:46 AM.

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