When I went to university, I noticed the new continuous education program that sought to enroll students in perpetuity, inculcating them with the notion that they were forever stunted in knowledge and skills and needed to be filled up with a barrage of superficial courses that would never achieve its objective of informing them about the world.
Someone greedy hatched the idea for the school to market its offerings by preying on the credulous who felt inferior, were certificate addicts, or wanted to avoid the challenging unknowns of real experience by choosing the ordered spoon feeding of a classroom program.
But it also undermined the idea that a normal degree was sufficient preparation for the adult world. As a strategy to upsell their silly certificates, the university was literally announcing their program was completely inadequate.
For all of its degrees, academia doesn’t attract smart employees so much as scammers who plot ugly short-term schemes and cause harm to the public by abusing trust put into educators. When that trust is fully eroded, better alternatives for education will be sought.
It was no big surprise that the rush to sign up teenagers to debt for diluted degrees of no value was the next product they offered, with huge damage to what a degree used to confer, as well as millions who were on the hook to pay off their worthless credentials after wasting years of their lives taking classes that taught nothing and left them unprepared.