Analyst Sees Dramatic Shift in Education Landscape

10/09/2017 08:10 pm ET Updated Oct 10, 2017
Hear more from Trace Urdan and other innovative analysts, thought leaders, and educators at the 2018 Future of Education Technology Conference (FETC), January 23-26 in Orlando, Florida. Learn more here.

Trace Urdan is a renowned observer and analyst of the education market, something he has done for nearly 20 years. He has followed and analyzed companies in all sectors of education from early childhood to K-12 and postsecondary. He is an expert in the world of for-profit education.

I spoke with Trace recently, and one of the topics we discussed was the dramatic changes occurring in higher education and what colleges and universities are choosing to do about it. Higher education institutions are suffering from a downward trending enrollment, and Trace says it is a combination of demographics and math.

“The number of 18-to-22-year-olds that are coming into the post-secondary system has flattened,” he told me. “And those 18-to-22-year-olds have become much less affluent than that demographic has been historically. This is just a fact of life that colleges and universities have to live with.”

We discussed how some struggling colleges are rethinking their brand and their offerings. For many of them, being broad learning institutions that offer a wide variety of majors emphasizing comprehensive critical thinking is no longer of highest priority for potential students. Institutions are beginning to narrow their focus on specific areas to provide students with intensive learning environments that prepare them for good paying jobs when they graduate.

About Trace Urdan:

Trace Urdan has followed the Knowledge Services market as an equity research analyst for more than 18 years, during which time he has held senior research positions at a number of firms including ThinkEquity, Robert W. Baird, Signal Hill Capital Group, Wells Fargo Securities, and most recently as a Managing Director at Credit Suisse. After holding senior management positions within Time Inc. and KPMG Media Marwick, Trace began his career as a research analyst in 1998 with Alex. Brown & Sons, covering publishing and education.

During his career he has followed a wide range of companies serving the education market including early childhood, K-12, higher education and employment training. He is widely-cited as an expert on the topics of for-profit education, education technology and education policy.

In 2011 he authored a white paper for the Kauffman Foundation on the topic of higher education regulation. In 2008 he was cited by Career College Central magazine as one of the 25 most influential people in the career college sector. And in 2005, he testifIed before the Spellings Commission on the Future of Higher Education. Trace received a BA degree from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Follow Trace Urdan on Twitter

Further Reading:

Additional Reading:

How teachers can level up

Fitting the unique learning style of elementary students

Thought leaders improving global education

About Rod Berger, PsyD.

Dr. Rod Berger is President and CEO of MindRocket Media Group. Berger is a global education media personality and strategic influencer featured in The Huffington Post, Scholastic, AmericanEdTV, edCircuit, EdTechReview India and Forbes.

Audiences have enjoyed education interviews with the likes of Sir Ken Robinson, Arne Duncan, Randi Weingarten, Sal Khan along with leading edtech investors, award-winning educators, and state and federal education leaders. Berger’s latest project boasts a collaboration with AmericanEdTV and CBS’s Jack Ford.

Follow Dr. Rod Berger on Twitter.

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