Learning about the biggest threats to education in 2020 is very important for students, teachers, administrators, and employers. Higher education in the USA has changed dramatically over the past few decades. While many of the changes have been positive, there are also quite a few problems that people in 2020 and beyond will have to face.
A Reduction in Students is a Big Threat to College Education
The birth rate in the US has been dropping for quite some time, and this seems to be a trend that is going to continue into the future. This has implications on virtually every area of life, including higher education. Over the past several decades, fewer babies have been born, which means there are fewer people entering college today.
Colleges and universities are having to fight to attract the college aged students in many new ways. Since the overall number of potential students has gone down, the enrollment is going to be directly affected. While some colleges and universities are still thriving, others are facing major challenges when it comes to getting enough people enrolled to cover all their costs. In 2020, and for the foreseeable future, there will likely be an increase in the number of schools that have to consolidate, shut down facilities, and even close all together if they are unable to attract enough students.
Popularity of Online Learning Continues to Grow
Online learning in itself isn’t a threat to education. In fact, it is a huge benefit to many students, teachers, and universities when it is done properly. Unfortunately, however, it isn’t always done properly, which presents a major risk to those involved in this type of system. The following are some of the biggest problems that online education faces in 2020 and beyond:
Lack of One on One Help – The biggest problem with online classes is when there is no option for one-on-one help with a professor. In many cases, there is simply no substitute for in-person help when someone is failing to grasp a concept.
The Costs are Still High – While a school’s costs associated with online classes are a fraction of what they are for in-person classes, the costs remain the same. People are quickly realizing this is unjust and starting to complain. How this will impact education in the coming years is something to keep a watchful eye on.
Online Degrees Aren’t Always Respected – Some people will receive degrees from well-known colleges and universities by taking classes online, and these remain respected in the workforce. Many online only schools, however, don’t command that same level of respect, which will hurt the students in the long run.
One of the best ways to overcome the challenges that online schools present is to seek a hybrid learning option. This allows students to take some classes online, and others in person. It is also possible to attend a class that has an in-person option, with lectures and other resources recorded and made available for students to review online. This type of thing will provide the best of both worlds so students can maximize their learning opportunities.
Continued Skyrocketing Price of College Education
In the past 30 years, the cost of a college degree in the USA has increased by 1120 percent. This is an incredible number, and one that is a growing concern for many people. Students are graduating with tens of thousands of dollars in loans, which is causing them financial problems for decades. Many politicians are starting to consider legislative action against schools if their rates continue to rise. This could include losing federal grants, being charged taxes on their endowments, and much more.
While it is still unclear exactly how these costs are going to impact education in 2020, there is little doubt that it is a major concern for all parties involved. Students are looking more closely than ever at their total costs, and administrators are trying to find ways to slow the spiking tuition. Anyone involved with education in any way in 2020 will have to consider the total costs, scholarship opportunities, grants, and much more.
The Value of a Degree is Dropping
For generations in America people believed that the best way to find success was to get a college degree and enter the workforce. This resulted in a huge increase in the overall number of people pursuing higher education. Today, however, there aren’t always enough jobs that require these degrees, which can make it a challenge for those graduating.
Anyone who is entering college in 2020 will need to carefully look at what they are majoring in to ensure there will be jobs waiting for them when they graduate. It is no longer enough to simply have some type of degree, one must have their education in a relevant field to justify the high costs of their education.
Pressure to Avoid Controversy is a Threat to Education
Universities once served as a bastion of open debate and discussion. Students and faculty alike could get together and talk about diverse ideas in a respectful and open way (even if it did sometimes get heated). Today, however, this feature of higher education is under attack. No matter where one stands on the political spectrum, it is hard to argue that silencing people’s opinions is a good thing for improving an educational institution.
The challenge that students and educators have in 2020 is finding the balance between allowing open discussions and ensuring everyone is respected and protected at the same time. If this is done properly, it will allow education to flourish long into the future. If universities continue to shut down free speech, and cave to those who want dissenting opinion stopped, then this issue will become the biggest challenge to authentic education these institutions have ever faced.