April 13, 2017

How many university professors know they are educating kids for jobs not to be had?

Sir, Mo Ibrahim writes: “the more time young people in Africa spend in education, the more likely they are to be unemployed… It highlights the worrying mismatch between the skills our young people are taught and those needed by the contemporary job market. This is a recipe for frustration and anger” “Africa’s youth, frustrated and jobless, demand attention”, April 13.

Scary! But it is even scarier if we connect this to Rana Foroohar “Dangers of the college debt bubble”, April 10 and Alex Pollock’s letter of April 12, “Colleges are acting like subprime loan brokers”.

A question. In our universities how many of the professors might be aware of the slim chances of their students’ landing a job in the future that will allow them to service their student debt and have a life… and still say nothing?

In many occasions over the years I have written about the needs to better align the remuneration of professors, at least their pensions, with the future of their students.

It is amazing to see so many professors criticizing bankers for poaching their clients while they de facto behave just the same. Load up the kids with loans, so that we can collect (bonuses) today! 

It will not work, and it will come back and bite us all.

PS. If I owed a student loan I would ask for a debt to equity conversion, offering a percentage of my after tax earnings over a certain amount for a definite number of years.