Infographic: The higher education bubble, Part two

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A bubble in liquid

In part one of this infographic series, we looked at the circumstances surrounding a “bubble” forming and the specific three factors for higher education: the dramatic increase in the cost of college, the rise in student loans, and a tough job market. In part two, we take a closer look at the second and third factor.


Created By: Education News

Education News

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Mary Ann Bitter is a Creative Strategist for Red Hat's Marketing Communications & Design team. She lives at the intersection of business and design and believes the open source values have never been more relevant than they are today.  She is passionate about problem solving and working with people who give a damn.


Good take aways, and hopefully ones that are being realized and acted upon as we speak. Since the mathematics of the situation are pretty convincing wouldn't these statistics promote some competitive discounting, especially in but not limited to the private sector, as rising costs equates to fewer financially aware students, lower income and smaller profits?

This is a very interesting graphic and one that highlights the dilemmas about pursuing a college education. Each week it seems there are more and more articles about higher education being a bubble that's about to burst.

Healthcare is another bubble that will burst. It's insurance, very little better than a lottery. To get value from healthcare, one has to become ill. What percentage is there in that ? I guess the preventative is a plus ?

That's true. Healthcare is another bubble that will burst. Insurance is covering less and less every year or requiring higher co-payments or other fees. Each year there seems to be more tests and each year it seems the insurance pays out less. You don't necessarily have to get ill to get value from healthcare. Women usually get more preventive care each year (i.e. pap smears) and each year as women get older there seems to be more testing (i.e . mammograms). I'm not convinced that the preventive is always a plus. There was a breast cancer study released this week or last about misdiagnosis or over diagnosis with the amount of mammograms today. With the baby boomer population aging, healthcare is only going to escalate and become more of a bubble.

Value with higher education is related to rising costs and colleges/universities often refusing to reduce expenses like turning to open source. With more and more colleges/universities resorting to part-time and/or temporary adjuncts, it becomes more difficult to argue on the high tuition at an expensive private college/university and the sacrifice involved to pay it when one can get the same quality at a public institution in this country or abroad for a lot less money.

Wow. Love the take-away talking about understanding what your degree will cost. I never thought about that before or during college. It's probably because I went to an affordable public institution and had a mixture of grants, scholarships, loans, and worked my way through college.

This generation seems completely different.

Welcome to the real world USA ! It's a total system crises not only educational, house or goods. It's an entire economic system. We have been facing this situation for years in our country. Now things seems to be more easy but it's just a fake. Opposite to US our stundents don't care about the debt. The wholy country is in debt so one more one less doesn't account. Our bubble is getting bigger and bigger. Our interest rate is above 10% that's why banks wants more and more debts.

This is a great infographic that should be shared with all high schools, high school students and high school parents!!

I went to a State school because it had a good program for my major and was going to cost about 20% of what a private institution's tuition would have cost.

A college experience can be great regardless of the price tag of the institution. Also, if you work hard, get good grades and actively participate in your campus you will get noticed by employers regardless of how prestigious your school was.

I had an awesome time im college, learning in and out of the classroom. I graduated with zero debt in 2011. I got a job in my career field 8 months later (not so bad in this economy) and I was able to wait 8 months because of my lack of loans. My school wasn't glamorous but in hindsight I'm really happy with the more practical choice I took.

I completely agree! There is a lot of motivation for students to get into a prestigious, and often expensive, institution, and that's the most important goal for them. Without the foresight to think about the actual value of the degree or the value of what they <em>make</em> of that education and experience, some students are creating immense challenges for themselves.

While this infographic tackles the supply side problem it fails to deal with the demand side of the problem.

Fact is there are not enough jobs to employ all the people who need jobs. Automation has reduced the need for people to produce goods but not reduced the need for people to buy the goods. With 70% of the GDP of the US dependent on consumerism when un/underemployment increases the economy tanks. Meaning wages are lower, and there is less to spend on gee-gaws or other "surplus."

In about 1830 a farmer could produce about 1.5 times the amount required by themselves, by 1990 a farmer could produce 100 times what they needed themselves. Though the figures differ by industry the same holds across the board everywhere.

It is issues like this that are not being dealt with as a whole. We puzzle at a single piece, the housing bubble, the college bubble, etc., but we fail to look at how they all interlock.

Papageno: "What should we say now?"
Pamina: "The truth, the truth, ...even if it is a crime."

I'd sure like to see some discussion of *why* the cost of college is going up so dramatically. Haven't seen much of that in Part 1 or 2, although the rest of the content has been great. Thanks!

The similarity of the housing bubble to an education bubble, is tenuous at best. The "Take Aways" part of the info-graphic was quite important, though a little simplistic. One must take into consideration if they will thrive in a particular academic environment and to some extent should evaluate the perceived prestige of the degree you receive (and work experience you might accrue); these factors will often determine if a potential employer or graduate program will consider you a viable candidate after graduation.

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