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Friday, October 6, 2017

Tech Firms Should Play Part in Higher Ed

Americans want tech companies to take a bigger role in improving education in the United States, according to a survey from the digital news company OZY. The study found nearly 70% of 3,350 randomly selected adults who took the survey would support the federal government providing free postsecondary education and 57% said they would be willing to pay higher taxes to cover the costs.

Three-quarters agreed with the statement that there are benefits beyond a degree to traditional on-campus learning, while 23% said the education from online programs is just as good as heading off to college. The poll was equally split on the purpose of higher education as 49% said it teaches people how to think and the same amount saying it prepares students for a job.

More than half of respondents said people will need degrees in science and technology to successfully compete in the job market and 48% said that computer science and engineering majors were best prepared for the workforce. A tangible skill or trade was rated as the most valuable feature of a post-high school education by 23% of the participants, while 17% pointed to professional networking and connections.

The study also noted that tech companies could improve high schools by creating more apprenticeship programs (57%) and providing more technology resources (50%). In addition, more than 90% said that teachers can’t be replaced by robots in the classroom.

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