DEBATING THE SIGNALING MODEL OF EDUCATION: “Bryan argues that a large part of our education spending (perhaps as much as 80%) is socially wasteful ‘signaling.’ It is a kind of arms race where students try to get more education than than their rivals in order to signal their conscientiousness, conformity, and intelligence to potential employers. Crucially, however, much of the information learned is actually not needed for their careers; the real objective is just to rack up better-looking credentials than the Joneses in order to look good to employers. Both sides make many good points. Overall, I am not persuaded by Bryan’s argument, at least not yet.” Well, as the higher education bubble talk grows, we’re certain to hear more on this.
Plus, some related numbers from Points And Figures.