What Happens if Online Degrees Become the Norm?

February 20, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

What would a future in which instead of going to a four year university, courses offered by various universities offered online are the norm? Megan McArdle speculated about some of the future implications for our society:

  • A few big universities would dominate. The winners are likely to be the first-movers, such as MIT and Stanford, and perhaps a dark-horse that upends the contemporary model.
  • The liberal arts degree would become increasingly unpopular. Grading math coursework online is a lot easier than grading English papers.
  • The end of universities as research centers. In such a future academic would become a pass-time as it was in the past or it might become the field of think tanks, consultancies, and government research.
  • Students will have to pay for their own PhDs.
  • Civil society will have to take on the role of developing friendship and business networks. High school relationships might become more enduring.
  • There will be a lot less student debt.

To read more about what such a future could bring, the industries that might grow, and whether or not this would be a good thing for society, click here.

Source: The Atlantic