How can Students get an Affordable Degree and be Employable?

The idea of getting into college, only to graduate four years later graduate with six-figure debt and bleak career prospects, shows the landscape some students are facing in higher education. Long gone are the days when students had the luxury to opt for degrees out of pure interest instead of employability. Today, it takes one wrong choice of your major to end up with at least $24,900 in debt —the average tuition debt graduates have to pay — and with no one willing to hire you.

For many decades, students and parents would singlehandedly apply for student loans because higher education seemed to be the key to a well-paying, high-growth career. The miscalculation however, cost many dearly. As more students got into college, the tuition fees swelled and it wasn’t long before the job market was full of graduates with potentially irrelevant diplomas and overwhelming debts. Many young people are unable to their education to relevant and good use and pay off their debts. Graduates are already compromising by taking jobs they wouldn’t otherwise be passionate about. As long as they’re not going further into debt, that’s considered progress nowadays.

The imbalance of debt and employment opportunities is gradually changing the landscape of higher education. An Art degree may not translate into a promising and well-paying job for most students, this inevitably leads to decreased enrollment. The fact that in many cases higher education makes students poorer but not necessarily employable is a reality just now being recognized. According to a research study by Gallup, 40% of graduates end up in jobs that don’t require a degree. Students and their parents must weigh the risk going into debt for a degree that might or might not be of value?

Prospective students are not as eager to go into debt for a college degree that won’t guarantee a job prospect equal to the money and effort invested in earning it. Across the US, enrollment is trending downward; some universities are suffering as much as a 10% decrease, a substantial gap in revenue they must pool from other resources, such as removing faculty, limiting research and not investing in innovation.

A pipeline or line of communication between businesses (source of employment) and universities (pool of hiring talent) needs to be established so that school’s can provide students specific tools and skill sets that will prepare them to be a desirable candidate for employment upon graduation. Schools can reduce their administrative costs by investing in a more blended learning or a flipped-classroom concept, along with offering degrees and education that is employer-friendly.

Growing an online learning portfolio doesn’t always have to put the entire burden on the school. MOOCs offer universities a chance to lower their tuition fees and get compensated with higher enrollment in online courses. Of course there is a concern from schools of how to deliver and verify student integrity. This can be addressed by the MOOCs already robust online platform and there are options for automated student identity verification such as ProctorFree. Investing in new technologies actually saves money, and there are tools to verify and ensure the credibility of online courses remains the same of its counterpart, live classes.

ProctorFree provides continuous identity verification and proctoring for online exams. This technology is scalable so that institutions won’t have to worry about service outages for their student population and we make it easy for faculty to view academic integrity violations that take place during an exam.