Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School predicts that "disruptive innovation" of higher education is inevitable, and that as many as half of all colleges and universities will face challenges that may force them to reconsider the way the operate in coming years, reports the Houston Chronicle.
Rising tuition fees and increasing levels of student debt are two main factors that Christensen cites as potential causes for the radical education reform he thinks is coming. Slipping retention rates and the time it takes many students to earn their degrees are other reasons that Christensen says will contribute to a shift in the way that higher education in the U.S. functions.
"I wouldn't be surprised if in 10 to 15 years, half of the institutions of higher education will have either merged or gone out of business," said Christensen, as quoted by the news source.
Despite the rising cost of education, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that the majority of employment growth during the past 20 years has been among individuals with a college education. A significant number of jobs that have been created require candidates to possess at least an associate's degree, with most new positions being held by individuals with bachelor's degrees. The number of college-educated workers increased from 27 million in 1992 to 44 million in 2009.
Despite the fact that times are tough and college costs are rising, earning a college degree is a valuable investment in your future. If you're serious about your academic career, make sure to study hard and research merit-based financial aid programs like scholarships.