Heading off to college is not only a rite of passage, but moving away from home is something most students look forward to. Problem is, costs are prohibitive for some New Zealand families, plus, with growing class sizes, some question the value of the education they’re receiving.
However, technology is changing the face of education. Today’s student can still attend his or her favorite college, but they don’t necessarily have to leave home. Sure, students might have to endure staying with mom and dad awhile longer, but it doesn’t make the cost of an education quite so prohibitive.
The Challenges of a Bricks and Mortar Education
Educational value regarding the whole “college experience” can be measured in the quality of education received. But with class sizes increasing every year, you run into the following challenges:
- It is usually teaching assistants instead of professors who are doing the teaching
- Classes are too large
- Professors are unable to establish personal working relationships with students, which results in a subpar educational experience.
These are among the reasons that students are turning to the internet to obtain their degree. One of the advantages of video conferencing from services like BlueJeans is that this allows you to take your lessons from the comfort of your bed. When taking into consideration the questionable value of attaining the much sought after “college experience”, opting for a more affordable method of getting the type of degree you want seems to be a much better option.
What Do Students Gain?
The website Content.time.com questions whether students actually gain anything from the education they pay for – a hotly debated topic. It must first be noted that in a regular free market environment, there is a certain degree of relative quality that comes with the cost of a product, the higher the quality the higher the inherent cost of the product purchased. In the case of education, the increasing costs don’t match any subsequent increase in the perceived quality of education.
Classes are often not taught by professors but rather by teaching assistants, there is no inherent guarantee made by the schools that by gaining a college education you will immediately be entitled with a job commensurate with your degree and it is often the case that college students have to start at the very bottom of the company with jobs that don’t necessarily entail the knowledge gained in college. As such, is there any real difference between having to go to a real class and merely taking an online video conference based class? If the content is the same and one is more convenient and cheaper than the other, then it makes sense to choose the more convenient option.
Alternatives to Pursue
When it comes to getting a college degree, the Washingtonpost.com has a few interesting viewpoints to toss into the equation wherein it argues that the amount of money that goes into a college education would be better served in other investments that produce an immediate and tangible result. One way to see this point in action is by comparing the difference in average pay over a lifetime between college graduates and high school graduates and see whether the same amount of money used to buy a college education could have been used to invest in the stock market yielding double the average returns of the pay difference between a college and high school graduate.
Economist.com explained the reasoning behind this college conundrum by stating that such an argument bases itself off the fact that a person does not necessarily need to graduate from college in order to become successful.
Some of the richest and most successful men on Earth never finished their college degrees and the fact remains that there are various alternative paths that can be pursued which can result in the same amount of success. It is based on this that whether you choose an on campus class or an online video conference based class doesn’t matter in the end. Instead, what you intend to do with what you have invested in makes the biggest difference in your life.
That’s why students today are increasingly asking themselves if they really need to go the traditional route when it comes to attending college classes. As such, the return on your investment – which should be a decent job in your chosen career – is no guarantee in today’s market. Combine that with large class sizes and a lack of”= one-on-one attention, and it’s easy to see why technology is redefining what was once considered “traditional.”
If you’re still thinking about school, here’s a Flokka article about who invented school.