Riptides of Change

September 25, 2017

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.”
​​-Stephen Hawking

Jeffrey J. Selingo of the Washington Post recently noted that “there are fewer students graduating from American high schools these days compared to just a few years ago, as the teenage population has dropped off in much of the country.”

This should alarm us all. It points to deep demographic and economic changes we are experiencing in the United States. Last week during a meeting of higher education leaders from the Columbus Region, I was reminded that the disruptive forces reshaping business and government are also directly impacting colleges and universities. The Washington Post article linked above and the book College Disrupted sum up the undercurrents of change that are causing enrollments to decrease and operating models to be made obsolete.

While disturbing, it is also heartening to hear that students and workers are quickly realizing that they are in an era that requires continuous learning, and they are getting practical. A college education leads to higher lifetime earnings and those who continue to gather credentials and skills are rewarded with promotions and higher wages in the short term.

Clearly, there will be implications for institutions of higher learning, including the ever-nimble technical and community colleges. The majority of today’s young people may not experience higher education as it has been for decades.

Change will come to employers, too. Will they allow ample time for continuous learning? Will they change how they work with institutions and how they recruit?

I’m proud that leaders of Columbus Region colleges and universities are meeting, discussing these changes and engaging with the economic development community. This collaborative attitude will allow our institutions, the students they serve and our communities to adapt.

-Kenny McDonald

One Columbus Update

  • Congratulations to Delaware and Powell, both named among the top 100 places to live in the U.S. by Money Magazine.
  • One Columbus received significant recognition last week at the International Economic Development Council 2017 Annual Conference. Thank you to our clients, partners and investors! We share these honors with you.
  • This week, the One Columbus team is in Las Vegas for PACK EXPO, in Seattle for the Site Selectors Guild 2017 Annual Fall Forum and in Atlanta for CSCMP EDGE 2017.