October 25, 2021

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced many colleges and universities to switch to virtual learning, it likely killed their business model.

This spring, college enrollments dropped by more than 600,000, the largest decline ever. This means fewer “customers” for schools, which of course will hurt their bottom lines. In fact, more than 100 colleges shut their doors in the past year or so. And many schools are now cutting tuition.

Now, of course, this isn’t going to happen everywhere. Harvard and Yale will always attract students and command huge tuitions. But the schools issuing “standard” college degrees could die off rapidly. It could be eerily similar to department stores disappearing across the U.S.

To find a fix, some private companies are training people.

Consider how software developer jobs are some of the highest paying in America. The average coder earned $107,000 last year. Well, Google will train you to become a data analyst, which is a foot in the door and pays a median yearly wage of $66,000.

The training takes months (not years) and costs hundreds of dollars (not multiple thousands). Plus, Google considers the certification as good as a college degree. Other big companies do too.

Why take four years and tons of debt to maybe get a job when you can get a high paying job in less than a year? This could just be the beginning of a much larger trend.

So, what is the future of the four-year degree that costs $50,000 or more? It’s not a bright one, that’s for sure. Good thing university endowments are having banner years.