Cover of The College Devaluation Crisis by Jason Wingard
The College Devaluation Crisis
Market Disruption, Diminishing ROI, and an Alternative Future of Learning
Jason Wingard


August 2022
272 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9781503627536
Ebook ISBN: 9781503632219

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Winner of the 2022 Porchlight Business Book Awards in the Big Ideas & New Perspectives Category, sponsored by the Porchlight Book Company.

Bronze Medal in the Career (job search, career advancement) Category from the 2023 Axiom Business Book Awards.

Employers are stepping in to innovate new approaches to training talent that increasingly operates independently of the higher education sector.

The value proposition of the college degree, long the most guaranteed route to professional preparation for work, is no longer keeping pace with rapidly evolving skill needs that derive from technological advancements impacting today's work force. If the university system does not engage in responsive restructuring, more and more workplaces will bypass them entirely and, instead, identify alternative sources of training that equip learners with competencies to directly meet dynamic needs.

The College Devaluation Crisis makes the case that employers and other learning and development entities are emerging to innovate new approaches to training talent that, at times, relies on the higher education sector, but increasingly operates independently in order to satisfy talent needs more agilely and effectively.

Written primarily for managers, the book focuses on case studies from leading companies, including Google, Ernst & Young, and General Assembly, to illustrate their innovative strategies for talent development across varying levels of individual education, age, and background. The book also addresses professionals on the university side, urging readers to consider the question: Will higher education pivot and adapt, or will it resist change and, therefore, be replaced?

About the author

Dr. Jason Wingard is President of Temple University, Professor of Management, and Professor of Policy, Organizational, and Leadership Studies. He is also Chairman of The Education Board, Inc., a boutique management consulting firm specializing in executive coaching and advisory services. Previously, Dr. Wingard served as Dean of Columbia University's School of Professional Studies; Chief Learning Officer of Goldman Sachs; and Vice Dean of the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.

"This book is powerful, with fascinating case studies used throughout to unravel the forces prompting transformation within the university. A must-read for both academics and those interested in strategy and transformation in business and higher education."

—Tanya Menon, Fisher College of Business, Ohio State University

"This book provides a refreshing blend of academic analysis, historical context, and contemporary trends to address the challenges facing higher education institutions to adapt to the rapidly changing needs of the work environment. A must-read for university faculty, staff, and administrators."

—Laura Galloway, Associate Dean, University of Massachusetts Global

"Few outlays today, for individuals and families, are larger than a college education. Getting the effectiveness of the output re-calibrated to the investment is a critical question for kitchen tables and board rooms alike. The College Devaluation Crisis brings rigor, vision, and practical solutions to the debate."

—Bill Strahan, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Comcast

"Unlike most contemporary critiques, The College Devaluation Crisis does not stop at recounting all that is wrong with formal higher education but indicates where the solutions may lie. Drawing from his unique professional journey, Dr. Jason Wingard explores a number of innovative solutions and partnerships that are helping increase the value of higher education for students and employers and issues a much-needed call to change."

—Ángel Cabrera, President, Georgia Institute of Technology

"The slow-moving student debt disaster and the emerging skills gap issues underscore that our higher education system needs a new measuring stick: outcomes. Dr. Jason Wingard has focused on that for years, which instantly makes The College Devaluation Crisis an essential part of this reimagination."

—Randall Lane, Editor and Chief Content Officer, Forbes

"The College Devaluation Crisis provides a thought-provoking examination of higher education and job readiness against the backdrop of a rapidly shifting labor market. Dr. Jason Wingard leaves corporations and institutions with potential solutions to provide employees with the relevant skills to succeed in today's economy."

—Gregory Davis, Managing Director and Chief Investment Officer, Vanguard

"Dr. Jason Wingard asks important questions about how well American higher education prepares students for the demands of our twenty-first century economy. Filled with instructive case studies, his analysis highlights the emergence of a complicated educational ecosystem—one filled with pitfalls and opportunities that educators should understand and watch closely."

—Daniel Colman, Dean, Continuing Studies, Stanford University

"Companies who consistently and effectively enable their employees to embrace lifelong learning as a superpower will be the ones to lead the pack. Dr. Jason Wingard fearlessly investigates: how best will that happen? In traditional spaces? Or through more innovative approaches? This book asks the hard questions necessary to inspire you to find just the right answer."

—Pamay Bassey, Chief Learning & Diversity Officer, Kraft Heinz

"[The College Devaluation Crisis] is well written, and the model for evaluating the programs described allows for an 'apples to apples' comparison of programs and their complementary elements, contributing to broader solutions to meet the challenges institutions face.... Recommended."

—D. E. Williams, CHOICE