Can Amazon destroy traditional higher ed?

January 29, 2016

Pundits have said for years that that online learning will overtake traditional higher education, writes Alexander Holt for Vox, yet few have offered specific details about how this will happen. Holt addresses this perceived gap through a fictional speech that he attributes to Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos in the year 2030. In the imaginary speech, Bezos reflects on the success Amazon has had by offering competency-based education that helps people train for in-demand jobs at a fraction of the prices they would have paid at traditional universities. As Holt admits, the speech is entirely fictional. Yet it may one day turn out to be an accurate prediction of what is to come. Cape Breton University President David Wheeler recently wrote an essay for the Academica Forum outlining specific ways in which technology might significantly disrupt the higher ed landscape. Vox