Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

I don't doubt any of it. The CS market is an outlier though, so I wouldn't make too many arguments based entirely on that. For someone with a decent degree in a biological or physical science, the pay cut for a tenure-track position compared to industry is not that bad. (The work-life balance and employment market may be worse, but that's a whole 'nother issue.)



> with a decent degree in a biological or physical science

Mathematics is as close to "humanities" as the STEMs get in terms of compensation and employment options for PhDs, and even top 10 mathematics PhDs can make 2x in the private sector with at least 2 years fewer opportunity costs.

Basically the only fields where what you're saying is true are the humanities and social sciences, but those aren't expanding programs or cost centers.

Work-life balance is one of those things that you would think would better in academia, but is often actually not.

The broader point is that outside of R1, prices mostly reflect the fact that for most students education doesn't scale very well and experienced human labor is more expensive than ever. Those are self-reinforcing, for obvious reasons. Case-in-point: the would-be educator who can't afford a 200k pay cut because of the loans they took out for their own education.


> The broader point is that outside of R1, prices mostly reflect the fact that for most students education doesn't scale very well and experienced human labor is more expensive than ever.

Education scales fine with motivated students or with mechanisms to help students with their motivation. I did a MicroMaster’s with EdX that covered ¼ of a Master’s degree. Now I’m doing a Master’s with SOAS, University of London. Exam and essay marking aside marginal costs per student are close to zero. MOOCs work with motivated students.

For students who are tackling subjects with steeper learning curves scheduling and project based learning seem to work very well along with initial selection. Lambda School is 40 hours a week for 30 weeks. It’s entirely online but the lectures are live so it’s cohort based and you are on the same schedule as the rest of the class. They have a university like method with TAs and lecturers, where the TAs can solve most problems. It seems to be a pretty good system, people have gone from lambda school to MicroSoft and Google.[1]

Education scales fine. The fact that it hasn’t been scaled yet means we’re getting started.

[1]https://mobile.twitter.com/austenallred/status/1010214066701...


I do agree with your comment. Education scales fine as long as your students are independently motivated and have the study skills that help them help themselves. Unfortunately, that describes a surprisingly tiny fraction of the US college population.

Education is not about what works for outliers.


Yeah, I think we largely agree. At just a 2x pay cut, and the potential to be an tenured scholar, there are plenty of people who want to try for it. It's also close to the height of the job market right now, with unemployment very low. That pay disparity may go down quite a bit during the next recession.

>The broader point is that outside of R1, prices mostly reflect the fact that for most students education doesn't scale very well and experienced human labor is more expensive than ever. Those are self-reinforcing, for obvious reasons. Case-in-point: the would-be educator who can't afford a 200k pay cut because of the loans they took out for their own education.

The challenge here is that for the 85% of students getting an education from a public school, is the increase in tuition costs they've seen due to increases in expenditures (which I haven't seen any supporting data for), or a decrease in state funding of tertiary education (which is wide-spread)?




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: