Over the past many years our society has experienced a massive growth in the number of students finishing a university degree. This development is great for the long term prosperity of the society. However, the short term consequences are quite significant and course what can be described as inflation of education.
What happens in society during times of crises is that the demand for labour falls, forcing either wages down or the level of qualifications for employees to rise. Due to the established unions, the reality of flexible wages is non-existing. This means that employees with less qualifications or short education are overtaken by people with a long education and on paper better qualifications.
Let’s observe the scenario from another perspective. A guy with a bachelor expecting to take a job with the usual requirements of a BA, see that the vacancies are taken by people with a masters level. This forces the bachelor to take positions usually possessed by high-school students or people with shorter educations. Then the high-school students are forced to seek even lower and totally push out individuals with no education at all. What we are experiencing is INFLATION in EDUCATION.
Is it a problem for society?
High education will never be considered as a problem of society. However, in the short term we have a lot overqualified people in positions that won’t be challenged and won’t develop new skills, which will result in lazy employees. The issue with educational inflation is that, at a certain stage in the educational process, research and methods become more important than the actual result. This makes academic mumbo-jumbo that is not of any value to the majority of the companies in the market.
What we should aim for is a closer link between industries and our educational institutions, to make more practical educations that focus on skills needed, instead of theory for the matter of the theory. Society needs to realize that if this inflation continues, we will soon see PHD as a requirement for taking care of kids.