The Coming Economic Crash – Part 3 – Post Secondary Education — 7 Comments

  1. Wow – great article.  You’re not kidding about the closing of universities – I think another related event will be the declining enrollment in graduate programs.  It’s no secret that there are too many lawyers (and thus too many law schools) but I think that you could see up to 20-30% (maybe more) of all law schools close within the next 5-10 years.  Just as an FYI, the law school that I attended in the late 90’s just closed after being founded in 1879.  When I was there our class had over 200 students – fast forward to 2017 – class size had dwindled to only only a handful of students that rendered the school essentially bankrupt.

  2. Jack this series is vital to us. Thank you for the knowledge you teach us. You are literally saving lives here!

    I am on too many charity boards. All of them are having numerous meetings for how to deal with Covid19. The worst is our church. The media and government hype have people convinced contracting the disease is a sure death!

    I also love your circles–concern, influence and control. I think of them every day now since you explained it.

    Thanks again, Warren

  3. your graph of the decline of the number of secondary institutions would be more informative if the scale were from 0 to 7400 and the timeline were pushed back ten more years.

  4. Japan is facing a similar decline, mostly based on its low birthrate. As I understand it, Japan has around 180 National/Public universities and around 600 private universities and only about 15.5 million children under the age of 14 to fill them in the future.

    Note: in Japan, the National/Public schools are “free” and considered better quality as it is felt that it’s in the best interest of the state to fund the education of the best students. Going to a private school means you’re having to buy a degree rather than earning one, so to speak. Most students, my own daughters included, first test for a private school as a back up, and then take the test for the National/Public schools. This happens for both high school and university.

    Also note, that, traditionally, as long as a student goes to a prestigious school, such as Tokyo University or Kyoto University, it doesn’t matter what they’ve studied. A computer company will hire someone who studied French Feminist Poetry at Tokyo U simply because they went to Tokyo U. Once the student is hired, they are taught what the company wants them to know in whatever area the company chooses for them to work.

    I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that in Japan university life is your reward for having got to university.

    Lately, though, this system has been breaking down. Not only is there a sense that most students at prestigious schools are only there to party–one of my adult students told me that his department at a top three national university encouraged students not to go class every time as they didn’t have seats for them all–but it’s been noticed that many of the students in the less prestigious schools are studying the fields they actually want to work in and are bringing more than just brand names to the interviews. My oldest, for example, is studying physical therapy at a public school famous for finding people jobs in that field, but is not a particularly famous school.

    Many of the private universities have affiliated elementary, junior high, and high schools that feed them students as once you’re in the system, it’s extremely difficult to get kicked out. I work in a JHS/HS connected to a reasonably presitigious private university and we’ve seen the quality of students deteriorate over the past several years. This is happening as slots are suddenly available in the more prestigious national/public schools. (This, I suspect, is another reason the graduates of the big Unis are suddenly not considered as desirable: they are not the best of the best, they are the best available.)

    What happens at this point is almost certainly similar to the situation you’ve described in the USA. How it falls out, however, will depend on what the major companies decide. If Honda, Toyota, Hitachi, and Sony insist on hiring from brand name schools, the brand name schools will keep their brands. It’s the growing companies that will benefit from students who went to lesser named schools, and they’ll save money not having to teach people what they should already know. It’s also likely less prestigous schools will develop reputations for finding people jobs in specific fields, turning them into de facto vocational schools.

    A lot also depends on how badly the government (many members of which went to the brand name schools) want to protect the alma maters of its members. The government has already disallowed the building of any new universities.

    As for vocational training here in Japan, there are “lower end” high schools that train in clerical and mechanical skills (for example, the students at the “low end” high school where my wife is from can study bookkeeping or underwater welding) and those schools will probably stick around as will the more sports oriented schools. There are also students who go directly into “blue collar” jobs right after junior high school (education is both mandatory and a right until age 15 which is roughly 9th grade here).

    The pain will hit everything below the “top 25” national/public schools and countless private schools. That puts a lot of teachers out of work, lowering the value of having teaching degrees and teaching licenses.

  5. This blog post led me to Udacity, which then led me to a C++ coding video on YouTube. (Something I don’t know much about, but is a prerequisite for the program I am interested in.)

    This particular video had 3.8 million views with nearly 6k comments, the majority of which read:

    ” Why am I even going to college? He just covered my 12 week semester in 4 hours.”


    The writing is on the wall….