A New U: Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College by Ryan Craig Every year, the cost of a four-year degree goes up, and the value goes down. But for many students, there’s a better answer. So many things are getting faster and cheaper. Movies stream into your living room, without ticket or concession-stand costs. The world’s libraries are at your fingertips instantly, and for free. So why is a college education the only thing that seems immune to change? Colleges and universities operate much as they did 40 years ago, with one major exception: they’ve gotten dramatically more expensive. And they’ve actually gotten slower, with the average time to graduate now over five years. As a result, graduates often struggle with enormous debt burdens. Even worse, they often find that degrees did not prepare them to obtain and succeed at good jobs in growing sectors of the economy. Parents and students have accepted this because a college degree has been seen as a prerequisite to a professional career. But now, for the first time, there are real alternatives. In A New U: Faster + Cheaper Alternatives to College, Ryan Craig documents the early days of a revolution that will transform—or make obsolete—many colleges and universities. Alternative routes to great first jobs that do not involve a bachelor’s degree are sprouting up all over the place. Bootcamps, income-share programs, apprenticeships, and staffing models are attractive alternatives to great jobs in numerous growing sectors of the economy: coding, healthcare, sales, digital marketing, finance and accounting, insurance, and data analytics. A New U is the first roadmap to these groundbreaking programs, which will lead to more student choice, better matches with employers, higher return on investment of cost and time, and stronger economic growth.
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