The Future of U.S. Higher Education

David Pearce Snyder
Consulting Futuri
Lifestyle Editor, Futurist Magazine

7pm Wednesday
April 16th, 2014

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The future evolves in an orderly manner,
out of the realities of the past, filtered and shaped by the decisions of the present.”


David Pearce


Consulting Futurist
Lifestyle Editor, Futurist Magazine

David Pearce Snyder is a data-based forecaster whose thousands of seminars and workshops on strategic thinking have been attended by representatives from most of the Fortune 500 companies, as well as hundreds of agencies at all levels of government, educational institutions, professional societies and trade associations. 

Before entering private practice as a consulting futurist
in 1981, Mr. Snyder was Chief of Information Systems, and later, Senior Planning Officer for the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, where he designed and managed
the IRS Strategic Planning System.  He was also a consultant to the RAND Corporation, and has served
as an instructor for the Federal Executive Institute,
and for Congressional and White House staff development programs.

David Snyder has been Contributing Editor of The Futurist magazine for over a quarter century.  In addition, he has authored hundreds of studies, articles and reports on the specific future of a wide range of U.S. institutions, industries and professions, and on the socio-economic impacts of new technologies. He is the editor/co-author of five books, including Future Forces and a sequel, America in the 1990s, both published by the American Society of Association Executives. 

He also serves on the Editorial Boards of On the Horizon and World Futures Review, and has appeared on Nightline, the Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, and the BBC World Service.



For decades, corporate leaders, politicians and many educators have asserted that,
in our emerging information-based economy, essentially everyone will require a
post-secondary degree in order to earn
middle-class wages. 

However, Labor Department forecasts consistently show that – for the foreseeable future – more than half of all U.s. jobs will continue to require no more than a high school education!  At the same time, job content analysis has shown that, from now on, ALL work will require a new set of "higher order cognitive skills," including:

systems thinking • problem analysis
• team work • numeracy, applied creativity
& Internet mastery.

These new skills  – the Common Core Standards of learning for reading, math,
and science  – will eventually be required
by all high school graduates – whether
they choose to go directly into the workplace or go on to college. 

Against this backdrop, Snyder describes how economically-stretched educators in both K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions are quickly adopting Internet-based technologies – including etextbooks, social networking, computer simulations, on-line games, Skype, “MOOCs,” modular curricula & certification, and artificial intelligence – to provide their students with both the traditional skills and the new competencies that they will need to meet the challenges of our rapidly evolving future.

Even more quickly, Snyder says, edupreneurs like Khan Academy, Coursera and edX are exploiting cyber technology to meet the exploding demand for career-enhancing, future-fulfilling knowledge.  By 2020, our understanding of the content and form of education will have evolved substantially from today, and the successful institutions of learning will be those who have discovered how to meet society's changing needs and expectations.