On the monetary value of an education, and bad statistics

Daniel Lemire, Weblog, Jan 25, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The numbers demonstrating the monetary value of a higher education look good, says Daniel Lemire. But so did the numbers promising a return on your investment in the stock market. "Anyone who invested massively in the 1950s is probably wealthy right now. But the return on investment in the first decade on the twenty first century has been negative... most people have lost money! Is it safe to predict that, eventually, the 1950s will come back? Nobody knows." And similarly, the market for higher education may fail. "Effectively, this has already happened with Ph.D. in many fields (see Don't become a scientist by Katz). The promise of good jobs to those who study hard will be broken."
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