The Role of For-Profit Universities
For-profit universities are just that-their universities that are designed to make money. They are run as businesses. This is quite a bit different men traditionally University that is run as a nonprofit organization. Many for-profit universities are accredited institutions. They take a lot of criticism because in their quest to make a profit they often hire underqualified teachers and have aggressive recruiting tactics.
However it’s important to see that there is a role for for-profit universities in training. A traditional university generally reacts very slowly. It takes years in order for them to bring a new degree program into existence. This means that there is a large gap of time from when employers need a new skill until traditional universities are turning out students. this is where for-profit universities can be very helpful. A for-profit university is driven by the profit motive and because of this they have to react much more quickly to market forces. When employers need a new skill the for-profit universities can quickly create a degree program that targets that particular area.
The ability to quickly get students into the marketplace for hot skills in areas that may not have even existed five years ago is very important. It gives employers a pool of potential employees to hire from this simply would not exist if they were to wait on traditional colleges to create new degree programs and attract students.
Another way to for-profit universities benefit the economy is by allowing people to attend school who could not handle the schedule of a traditional class. Many of the for-profit universities have invested heavily in online technology as a means of providing instruction. We are starting to see traditional institutions catch up, but for many years the bulk of online education was happening in for-profit university classrooms. These nontraditional schools are pushing the envelope when it comes to teaching styles and delivery methods. When the traditional organizations catch up there will probably be some new way of providing instruction that will be pioneered by these nontraditional accredited institutions and eventually trickle down into traditional schools as well.
While these schools that are operated for profit for filling very vital role in the economy, care needs to be taken to keep them from taking advantage of students. In the drive to make money there needs to be some standard in their recruiting process. Traditional schools are more careful about who they let in because the student failing is very expensive for them. In many a the nontraditional schools they make their money regardless of whether or not the student fails or graduates. These perverse incentives can make it easy to create aggressive recruiting that tries to get people to sign up most people are fairly trusting of academic institutions so they don’t always check things out as much as they should when a recruiter gives them stats and figures about job opportunities that they will have upon graduation.