For those of you who don’t know Eric Schmidt is the Executive President of Google and Peter Thiel is an outspoken leader of a venture capital firm. He also founded PayPal with Elon Musk and was the first investor in Facebook.
Thiel is also a critic of the current higher education system. He recently had a debate with Eric Schmidt in which he talks about many things but at very end they talk a bit about college.
Here’s a chunk of what Thiel had to say.
We have a bubble in education. If there’s anything in our society that’s a bubble, it is education. Costs have tripled since 1980, or quadrupled, 300 percent increase after inflation in 1980 for secondary education, college education. It’s not clear that the quality has gone up at all. And if you measure how many years it takes for people to recoup the debt that they take on in college, it’s actually steadily increasing. Since 2000, it’s actually been better to finish after high school than after college on a relative basis. So, college was a good investment, was increasingly good investment through 2000. Since 2000, there’s been basically a roughly consistent gap between college and high school education because the debt has kept going up that people amass, it has actually become relatively ‑‑ it’s still better, but by a lesser degree since 2000.
The full video debate can be seen embedded at this link. It’s really interesting so if you have a little time, I encourage you to watch it.
It’s nothing I haven’t spoken about many times before but it’s still interesting and relevant. This of course begs the question of are we in a higher education bubble? How would we know if we were? I think I will tackle that tomorrow.