2030 Futurist Predictions - Colleges


Agree or disagree? Why?
"By 2030 over 50% of all traditional colleges will collapse, paving the way for an entire new education industry to emerge."

Future Trends
Predictive Analytics
Predictive Modelling
College Recruiting
Population Dynamics
Vic Clesceri
23 months ago

2 answers


I would agree with this prediction Vic Clesceri. There has been a tremendous uptick in the number of people I know that have taken advantage of Coursera and Udemy as an alternative means of gaining the education they need on a particular subject.

Continuous education is a requirement today. Companies today are beginning to understand that to be high-value innovators you have to also value active learning. Innovation requires individuals who are open-minded and comfortable dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity and that are empowered to continuously learn. To do this companies need to enable and drive innovative behaviors by aligning culture, structure, leadership behaviors, measurements and rewards.
The World Economic Forum published the 2018 Future of Jobs Report that reports on the skills in greatest demand and need. In this 2018 report, the top three growing skills for 2022 were: 

  1. Analytical Thinking and Innovation
  2. Active Learning and Learning Strategies
  3. Creativity, Originality, and Initiative

Companies today are driving innovation through active learning by employing a number of the things below:

  • The use of Collaborative Virtual Classrooms
  • Mind Mapping / Brainstorming
  • Data and the adoption of tools for problem solving
  • Online discussion boards
  • Game based learning

Examples like the above are ways in which companies are helping to shape the need for a changing landscape in education and how people learn and the type of future course material, formats, and delivery models they might offer..

Scott Cook
23 months ago
Scott Cook Great response! I agree on MOOCs. I've individually piloted courses via Coursera and have my commercial organization using MOOCs for continuing education within their IDPs. - Vic 23 months ago

I wrote an article some time ago concerning how industry-based certifications (IBCs) are a more cost effective solution than traditional college, echoing many of the same points in the original article. This analysis holds true for MOOCs and the associated certifications and degrees to a fair extent. From a purely economic efficiency standpoint, the business model of traditional colleges no longer creates value above the cost of creating value leaving no room for economic rents. Something must change and I would question whether 50% is a conservative number.

Although I have to agree with the prediction, I also have to question the full effects of this trend upon our future to remain innovative and resilient in the face of change. While the practical efficiency of purpose-based learning, and it's advantages for active, life-long learning, is hard to dismiss, will the loss of broad liberal arts training create a vacuum? Specifically, in a world where cross-domain knowledge is increasingly the birthplace of innovation, will the self-selection of educational pursuits create the same kind of isolated silos and echo chambers we've seen in social media?

I guess the question isn't whether it is likely to happen, but whether it is something we should be more concerned about?

Kenneth Salchow, Jr.
23 months ago
Kenneth Salchow, MBA, DBA Thanks Ken. I’ll take a read. I have the same concerns on the impact to liberal arts curriculum and what’s that already doing to prestigious DIII colleges and universities. - Vic 23 months ago
Vic Clesceri - That's not to say that the current liberal arts programs don't need to change; however, without the added presure they are under now, perhpas they can rebuild their original value. - Kenneth 23 months ago

Have some input?