1. College: What Are Students Paying For?

    What is the real value of higher education? That’s the question asked by a thoughtful article by John Cassidy in a recent issue of The New Yorker. Cassidy notes that for decades, politicians have focused on higher education as a near-guarantee to a good job and a growing salary. In today’s economy, however, the picture is more nuanced and less rosy. College, once tasked primarily with creating well-rounded citizens, has had an awkward transition to a world with global competition where employers often care more about specific skills than general cultivation. As we rethink education for the next century, two thoughts come to mind: first, we could do a better job teasing apart general education from skills-based education, and second, skills education needs to have a strong focus on outcomes (and the accurate reporting of them). Outcomes, a central focus of Hack Reactor’s educational model, will help students, parents and employers understand what they are paying for and why.