These are some of the most pressing issues affecting graduate students. Think through them before you decide to resign from your job and join a graduate school.
- Employment opportunities upon graduation. Ok, you cannot create jobs, but are there jobs out there?
- Quality and affordable education. Are you sure you are getting value in that school, though you are paying very high?
- Technology disruption and impacts on career. Your career may be eliminated before you even started the program?
Now, let us focus on one and explain what is in place. Today, it is the #2 point above.
Quality and affordable education
Many students are concerned on the quality and affordability of their education. According to many government statistics, many schools have or intend to increase tuitions to offset budget cuts by federal and state governments. As the schools are increasing tuitions, they are also reducing some services. Under this scenario, these students are concerned that they are not getting the best under historical benchmarks. Generally, the students graduate with more debts and are forced to do so despite having fewer available courses to choose as most schools are cutting staff.
From the debt-ridden states to private institutions in the United States, university education has become increasingly expensive. And unfortunately, that higher tuition does not positively correlate with higher earning power after graduation. So, US students spend more to get diplomas that reward lesser because of the devaluation through globalization which tends to favor those in emerging economies. For schools in most developing economies, tuition is also rising and unemployment is also high since the rate of job creation lags the graduation rates.
From Nigeria through Argentina to US, most students have quality and affordability challenge of pursing their bachelors and post-graduate studies.
That challenge is real because technology is changing all aspects of human commerce and culture. There are competitions everywhere and globalization makes it difficult to rely on the old classical economic theories where students compete within national boundaries for careers and opportunities. In a globalized world, they will face many students from other nations where in most cases their governments provide free education. So what happens is that debt burden influences a plan to pursue after graduation. Making money to start paying debt may deny them an option to start new companies. Going into relationships with piles of debts at high interests worries them.
Fortunately, in the midst of this challenge, most of the students have come to discovery. And that realization pushes a need for them to become managers right at college and stewards of their finances in a competitive and disruptive marketplace like the 21st century. As they have already known: not going to school is not a good option and the concerns while genuine about affordability must be managed.
And that is the new world. Educate or become a lost sailor.