I sometimes wonder: would I encourage my kids to go to college? In economic terms, college seems to be a good choice. People who complete college tend to earn much more over a lifetime of work. And this is an often-repeated argument. Under the surface, though, this argument is lacking. How much of the increase … Continue reading What is happening to college?
Electric scooters. Music video apps. Social networks. That's what you're used to thinking when you hear the word 'startup'. Recently, though, a much different kind of start-up has emerged. Health insurance startups are charging onto the scene. Founded between 2012 and 2017 these startups are raising huge sums to fund rapid growth. Here's a rundown: … Continue reading The hot new startups: health insurance companies
Mechanical engineering jobs are taking off. From 1999 to 2017, the number of jobs has increased from 200,000 to 295,000. During the same period, the median salary increased from $55,000 to $87,000 in nominal dollars. (This amounts to a less-impressive $82,000 to $87,000 in inflation-adjusted 2017 dollars, but it's still a raise). (This data comes … Continue reading Mechanical engineering jobs are growing: 1999-2017
Minnesota state funding for its flagship university has plummeted nearly 50% as a fraction of the total budget, according to an analysis of budget documents from the University of Minnesota and the state of Minnesota. In 2009, University funding made up 4.28% of the state budget but in 2017 it made up only 2.39%, a … Continue reading The catastrophe in Minnesota higher education funding
$12.50 per semester. That's the stadium fee at the University of Minnesota that all students are forced to pay. TCF Bank Stadium was completed in 2009. As a student of the university at the time, the $300 million stadium was hard to swallow. Typical, I thought, of the greedy administrators to spend lavishly on athletics while … Continue reading Why do colleges have athletics programs?
It might have been Wisconsin's best kept secret. Eau Claire is a town of 65,000 people in Northwestern Wisconsin. It boasts lush greenery, riverfront bike paths, low crime, a low cost of living and a stable economic base. Recently, the secret has gotten out. The city has gotten buzz for its music festival and development … Continue reading A look at the Eau Claire buzz
How will you plan your next vacation? Travel agents were once the method of choice for booking your next getaway. Now, online applications have allowed consumers to directly navigate complex purchase decisions like airline tickets. So travel agents are going the way of film projection operators, right? A surprising comeback After some difficult years, travel … Continue reading This job has a surprisingly rosy outlook