..Higher Ed circles the drain...
The recent college/university disturbances, rapidly spreading to a college/university near you, give us insight into what will surely become both a major problem and a major relief for business and industry.
To see this conundrum better, we have to first analyze what colleges and universities are SUPPOSED to accomplish with the students who pay so dearly to attend and matriculate.
Pew Research, the polling outfit, worked this issue. They came up with this. A slight plurality (8%) believes that college should prepare the student to work better. The smaller part thinks colleges should prepare the student's mind and widen their worlviews. Excuse me, Pew, but why can't Higher Ed do BOTH of these things? They did both in my college days, fifty years ago. Student choices in curricula then were aimed at requiring some mind-training along with all those technical subjects which were the nuts and bolts of the Batchelor's Degree. Is Pew now saying these two purposes are mutually exclusive? It would seem so, and this puts an ominous spin on University leadership, doesn't it?
In major companies, there are usually one or more people who are there just to analyze the future of the markets which the company sells goods/services into. I am on these wizards' wavelength, because I have always been somewhat of an "idea guy". In fact, being an idea guy in a strictly-structured organization can be hazardous to one's career, which, in my longest career, that of Deputy Sheriff, is why I retired at the basic rank. "Reverse Charlie the Tuna" syndrome, I used to call it. The Sheriffs DID NOT want tuna that tasted good, DID want tunas with good taste.
Successful business and industry feeds on success, which is invariably fueled by critical thinking. Can any reader tell me how a successful bank, for example, can use a college grad whose best training was in "maintaining personal space" and "rejection of micro-aggressions"? The short answer is that the bank can't use that graduate, no matter what credits they might have in the Money and Banking field. Oh, such a graduate might get hired on the strengths of their transcript and polished resume, but after spouting off in a few meetings about "personal space violations" and how their co-workers/managers are projecting "micro-aggressions" at them, they are going to be shown the door, and quickly.
No, at management entry levels, business and industry needs critical thinkers who can adapt their thinking to existing practice, not space-case thinkers who have to project their mental vacuums into business practice and thereby fark up the works.
Continuing: what, then, is business and industry supposed to do? Where are they to get their new entry-level management staff if they can't trust the sheep-skin factories (Colleges/Universities) to send them USEFUL candidates? Well, they will promote more heavily from within, for one thing. Observing a candidate for eight years or so is far more of a predictive system for future performance than any sheepskin can ever be in today's Higher Ed climate. Also, these companies will hire proven talent from offshore and the military. Sounds like a win-win to me.
What will happen to Higher Ed as it's product loses relevance in the marketplace?
Higher Ed will change or it will die. As of now, only agitprop orgs can use these kids with sheep-skins and socialist-befouled thinking (aka, the Obama-types). Also socialist Government, but maybe not even Government, because it has to have SOME level of mamangement success, or it collapses (see Venezuala).
We are on the brink, my friends, and not from "peak oil" or even "Massive Debt". We are on the brink because our spoon-fed society has lost the collective ability to think it's way out of ugly predicaments, and those predicaments come at us faster and harder these days, don't they?
If you are looking for "Safe Space", college kiddies, you will have to roll up your sleeves (and pull up your pants), put on some work gloves, grab that #2 Dirt Shovel, and start digging. Just like your grandparents dug, and like your parents dug, albeit more reluctantly. All that digging will give you some upper body strength, too, the better to shoulder a rifle with to defend that defensive earthwork you just dug with your own hands.