Education factoids for what they're worth
Michael Moe's GSV Newsletter lists some interesting data points
On Substack, others are writing about education. I’d plan to feature some of them now and then.
Michael Moe writes the michaelmoe.Substack.com, also labelled GSV. Moe is the founder of Global Silicon Valley (GSV), a group which organizes with Arizona State University the GSV/ASU conference this week in San Diego with about 7,000 attendees. I’ll refrain from commenting on the assumed value of these networking events. GSV/ASU offers keynotes from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Gates and Sheryl Sandberg. If I were there, I’d go to see only one of them, the one who is the author of “What Color Is My World: The Lost History of African-American Inventors.”
This GSV post. which is promoting this week’s event, lists quite a few interesting factoids a la Harper’s Index. It’s a long list so I’ve cherry-picked a few that I thought were the most interesting.
235 million – students enrolled in universities in 2023 (Source)
414 million – students enrolled in universities in 2030 (Source)
This is worldwide. So while the number of students going to universities in total around the world is expected to increase, the total number of American students going to universities, judging from numbers below, is expected to decrease.
53% – Americans in 2013 who thought that a four-year degree would lead to good jobs and higher earnings (Source)
42% – Americans in 2023 who thought that a four-year degree would lead to good jobs and higher earnings (Source)
One can’t assume that most students think college is right path for them, even though the math for future earnings still holds up as does low unemployment rates for college grads.
$22,000 – difference between the median earnings of younger workers with bachelor’s degrees vs. high school degrees (Source)
4.6% – unemployment rate for college graduates aged 20 to 24 in February 2023 (Source)
2.3% – unemployment rate for college graduates aged 20 to 24 in December 2021 (Source)
What an amazing increase in the number of students who are homeschooled!
78,000 – kids homeschooled in America in 1971 (Source)
5,000,000 – kids homeschooled in America in 2021 (Source)
What percentage of all bachelor’s degrees were in the STEM fields?
21% – bachelor’s degrees conferred in 2019-2020 in STEM fields (Source)
I would have thought that number would be higher. More than 75% of the degrees are not in STEM fields. I’m not always clear what is considered a STEM field.
There were a lot of factoids about social media usage that I didn’t copy over. They are as you’d expect. The one below says to me that students feel more comfortable online than offline, which reflects how they are spending their time.
45% – Gen. Z that feels most like themselves “online” than “offline” (Source)
More women hold jobs that have been traditionally held by men, but the opposite is not true.
2x – women flying U.S. military planes as there are men teaching kindergarten (Source)
Declining enrollment in higher ed is a persistent problem, despite an awful lot of attention and money spent getting more young people to go to college.
11 – consecutive years where the post-secondary total enrollments in America dropped (Source)
How much is spent on R&D in education?
Has US education outsourced its educational R&D to Edtech, in which the kind of research that is done is that which is most likely to offer returns to investors?
I guess I find the following factoid worrisome.
70% – employees that say their personal sense of purpose is defined by their work (Source)
It could be how the question below was framed. It’s close to saying that your sense of your own worth is defined by how much money you bring in. A good life comes from having a “personal sense of purpose” but I believe that many sources contribute to feeling a sense purpose, not just work, not just what you get paid to do.