SIMNET Weblog

October 13, 2012

What’ s a W&M degree worth? #CFHE12

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Frank Polster @ 6:45 pm

“What’s a W&M degree worth?”  was the lead headline on this mornings print version of the “Virginia Gazette”, here in Williamsburg VA.  You will notice that in the web addition of the article the subtitle reads, “New W&M grads not top earners, but data likely failed”. I do not know for a fact that the data for the article is the same data that Jeff Selingo (The 5 Disruptive Forces That Will Change Higher Education Forever) cited, which was from the state of Virginia’s unemployment records. But my guess is that there is not much of a difference if any. The article’s database is from the State (Virginia) Council of Higher Education that compared salaries 18 months after graduation, based on majors from dozens of two-year and four-year colleges.

W&M economics professor David Feldman, and Bob Archibald co-authored the book, “Why Does College Cost So Much?” stated in the article that the database used “doesn’t include grads working outside Virginia or those working for the federal government, including in the military.” There are a lot of Virginia grads working for the federal government in northern Virginia.

I assume from this that the unemployment data from Virginia, that Jeff Seliingo, cited, did not include grads that are unemployed outside of the state of VA or the population of grads who went on to graduate school right after graduation.

Ok the data may be flawed and this is nitpicking but at the end of the day it does not alter the validity of Jeff Selingo’s over all argument – there are disruptive forces that are changing HE and there are risks and opportunities.

I for one, am looking for the opportunities.

Ed Futures #CFHE12

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