Campus ecosystems are increasingly being shaped by the confluence of business and academic activities. By 2020, two-thirds of estimated job openings will require postsecondary education or training, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics. But the career opportunities presented by digital technology is leading students to focus entrepreneurial enterprise, incentivizing growing numbers of middle and high school students to skip advanced education and start their own businesses. As a result, both colleges and universities are taking measures to reposition the campus ecosystem as an engine of growth for community development, especially as higher education’s dependence on local sources for funding grows. The focus in some cases is on collaborative learning and practical, job-related skills.
Questions are being raised about the value of a traditional degree. As tuition and fees have climbed, colleges and universities are pricing themselves out of the reach of most American students at a time when demographers observe a downward trend in the number of students available to attend college.