One more reason to finish that dissertation: In a story about how robots could “kill” many Las Vegas jobs, CNN notes, “People with a doctoral degree only have a 13% chance of being replaced by robots and AI, while people with only a high school degree have a 74% chance.” Thanks for the good news, CNN!
In related news, a survey by Chatbots.org (“a global community devoted to the promotion of AI for business and societal value”) finds that better-educated humans have less patience with chatbots: college graduates are more likely than high school graduates to rank bots as “ineffective.” One explanation: “This could be because educated consumers challenge chatbots to resolve more complex service problems.” Also, the survey shows Gen Zers are more likely to regard chatbots favorably.
The latest employment report shows jobs increased by 200,000 in January, while average earnings increased 2.9%. The current (official) unemployment rate is 4.1%.
Pueblo Community College has received a Bellwether Award for its innovative use of mobile learning labs. The program’s trailer-like classrooms are typically deployed at an employer’s site, allowing for convenient, hands-on job training near the workplace. PCC’s program beat out over 1,000 other nominees.
The West Virginia legislature is close to approving a bill which would offer free community college to residents, provided they can pay for and pass a drug test.
In the UK, college applications have decreased by 1%, but this is mainly attributed to the smaller size of the present college-age population. Separately, one Member of Parliament has criticized the “UK’s obsession with academic degrees.” MP Robert Halfon has called on British universities to offer more technical training and apprenticeships, or else lose their government funding.
The US Education department reports the federal student loan program will soon start losing money as more Americans take advantage of debt-forgiveness plans. One factor: “income-driven repayment,” where student debtors pay back a percentage of their earnings, but only for a fixed time period, after which all remaining debt is forgiven. The estimated total, outstanding student debt among Americans is $1.4 trillion.
A group of economists continues to track the schools which show the best results in propelling lower-class students into middle- or upper-class income levels. Their Top-10 list of these “bottom-to-top” schools can be found here. The #1 school in this category: Cal State – Los Angeles.
Proponents of Greek life are organizing efforts in Nashville, where a legislator has introduced a bill to ban fraternities and sororities at Tennessee schools. Meanwhile, according to the Harvard Crimson, sorority participation by new students at Harvard has decreased about 60% in one year now that new school sanctions have taken effect: participants in single-gender clubs and Greek organizations are barred by the school from serving as leaders in other campus organizations. Harvard also will no longer endorse Greek members in their fellowship applications.
We’re seeing more and more articles about depression and mental health issues among Gen Z and college students. Here’s the latest one. Meanwhile, we read that the mental health of PhD candidates is at risk, while elsewhere we’re told it’s the adjunct faculty who are suffering most of all. Is anyone developing a counseling chatbot yet? “Psychologist is typing…”