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英语新闻:硕士学位可能即将过时?

2015-04-20    来源:英语点津    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

英语新闻:硕士学位可能即将过时?

When George Washington University announced last week that it was laying off nearly 50 employees to reduce costs, the university’s president, Steven Knapp, blamed a decline in enrollment in graduate and professional programs.
上周,乔治华盛顿大学宣布,将解雇近50名职工,以减少开支。校长史蒂文·纳普称,因硕士及职业教育学生人数下降,不得已做出此决策。

Graduate degrees and professional certificates have been the fastest-growing segment of higher education in recent years, and the thinking has always been that when the economy improves, fewer people go back to school for such credentials because they can more easily get jobs instead.
近几年来,考取硕士学位及职业证书的人数持续上升。而公众一直以来都认为,经济繁荣的时候找工作更容易,所以很少有人返校继续求学。

But GW and thousands of other college and universities are mistaken if they think that any downward trend in graduate enrollment is a temporary blip caused by an improving economy. Rather, what is happening now is a permanent shift in how today’s working adults acquire education throughout their lifetimes.
但若乔治华盛顿大学和其他高校因此便以为,研究生人数减少是经济增长导致的暂时性现象,那就大错特错了。恰恰相反,目前的变化将成为长期的发展形势——今日的上班族终生都在追求教育。

Until now, if you needed additional training to get ahead in your job or switch careers, you had little choice but to enroll in a graduate or certificate program at a local college or online. These programs largely replicated undergraduate programs at colleges in that they required students to start at a specific time and dedicate months or even years to a series of courses. Most of all, the programs were expensive, and came with little, if any, financial aid from the colleges, which saw them as cash cows.
当下,如果你想在工作中更有成就或想要改变职业发展方向,只能考取当地大学或网校的研究生课程或证书课程,几乎没有其他选择。这些课程与本科课程几乎如出一辙,要求学生在特定时间开学,花上数月甚至数年学完一系列课程。最重要的是,此类课程收费昂贵,即使学校提供补贴,也是微乎其微。在这些学校看来,学生就是摇钱树。

We hear a lot these days about the “student-debt crisis,” but some of the biggest increases in student debt have come at the graduate level, not among undergraduates. A Brookings Institution report released last June found that the average debt levels of borrowers with a graduate degree have more than quadrupled since 1999, from about $10,000 to more than $40,000 (by comparison, those with a bachelor’s degree increased from $6,000 to $16,000).
近来,媒体频频报道有关“学生负债危机”的消息,然而,负债人数上升最快的是研究生,而非本科生。布鲁金斯学会去年6月发布了一份报告,指出硕士贷款者平均负债额自1999年以来增长了三倍多,从约1万美元上升到4万多美元(相较之下,本科生从6000美元上升到1.6万美元)。

The graduate and professional education market is ripe for disruption, yet much of the discussion on the changes coming to higher education have focused on undergraduate programs, like the kind Sweet Briar College operates. Persuading 18-year-olds and their parents to think of alternatives to a bachelor’s degree is a tough sell in a culture that celebrates the coming-of-age experience of going off to college. It’s much easier to offer a different pathway at the graduate level, when students already have a bachelor’s degree and they’re often paying the tuition bill themselves.
硕士及职业教育市场已臻成熟,不容易受外部影响。相反,在高等教育改革方面,讨论最多的是关于本科生课程的改革,斯威特布莱尔学院便是如此。学生们都盼着长大成人、走入大学校园,在这样的文化氛围中,想要说服18岁孩子和他们的父母放弃本科学位、转向其他选择,实在太难了。而对于已经拥有学士学位、学费也可以自力更生的研究生来说,想要说服他们“选择另一条路”就容易多了。


New players in the market that aren’t traditional colleges — the Khan Academy, General Assembly, Skillshare, Lynda.com, Coursera, and Dev Bootcamp — are starting to attract students who normally would have pursued a graduate degree or certificate. Sure, these so-called “boot camps” don’t have the household brand names of legacy players, but they are largely succeeding where traditional colleges haven’t even tried to compete: with “just-in-time education.”
教育市场出现了不同于传统大学的新兴角色——可汗学院、综合学会、技能分享网、琳达在线教育、Coursera公开课和德夫训练营——他们开始招揽原本想要考取硕士学位或证书的学生。当然,这些所谓的“训练营”并非历史悠久、家喻户晓,但他们兴旺的秘诀很大程度上在于,勇于探索传统大学尚未尝试与他们竞争的领域:“即时送教育”。

Think of just-in-time education as when you watch a video on YouTube to figure out how to change a flat tire or fix a broken appliance.
比如你从YouTube上搜索如何更换轮胎或如何修理损坏的电器,这就是“即时送教育”。

These emerging providers know that today’s economy demands education throughout our careers rather than just at the beginning, so they offer short spurts of content (from a few hours to a few weeks) when students need it instead of giving them a full helping of a degree.
这些新兴学院很清楚,当前经济发展要求我们在工作的同时要长期不断学习,而不只是三分钟热度。因此,当学生有需要的时候,他们便提供短期冲刺班(几个小时到几周不等),而不是全日制学位教育。

So far, their model is proving popular. The Khan Academy serves 10 million people a month with 5,000 videos. General Assembly has nearly two dozen locations around the world and more than 12,000 alumni who have taken its full- and part-time courses, most of whom are in their 20s and 30s and already have a bachelor’s degree.
以目前趋势看来,这种模式广受欢迎。可汗学院每月提供5000个视频,供1000万人学习。综合学会在全球拥有近20个分支,有超过1.2万学员(其中多数在20-30岁之间)原本就拥有学士学位。

And then there is Lynda​.com, which reaches more than 4 million people a year with its how-to tutorials online in everything from management skills to programming. Last week, just as GW was announcing its cutbacks, LinkedIn announced that it was buying Lynda​.com.
琳达在线教育提供各领域的在线实操课程,从管理技能到编程等,每年学员高达400多万。上周,就在乔治华盛顿大学宣布裁员时,领英宣布收购琳达。

The purchase price: $1.5 billion. That’s almost double George Washington University’s annual budget and perhaps the only sign you need to see the kinds of changes coming in graduate-level education.
收购价为15亿美元。这几乎是乔治华盛顿大学年度预算的两倍,或许也是你需要关注研究生教育变革的唯一迹象。


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