Highlights from SXSWedu

For a first-timer, this educational conference was both invigorating and overwhelming.  With 15 sessions running simultaneously, it was impossible to cover everything. I focused my attention on Higher Ed and EdTech sessions, but wish I could’ve cloned myself, as there were still too many panels to choose from.

The exciting news is that innovation is coming to higher ed, most of which is being created and driven by tech entrepreneurs.  The question will be whether university presidents and faculty decide to embrace these changes and partner with companies or stand their ground and hold on to traditional models and methods.

Here are some nuggets that made an impact on me.

  • Chegg CEO, Dan Rosensweig, the textbook rental and learning platform company, is on a mission to transform higher ed, reduce costs, and improve graduation rates and job outcomes. He hired a polling company to interview college grads– here’s the sobering stats on why changes are needed FAST.
    • 50% of college grads wish they would have changed their major
    • 40% of college grads are underemployed, 18% unemployed
    • College grads leave with an average debt of $35.2K
    • In 2010, college grads were financially independent by 25, now the average age is 30
  • LinkedIn, at 277M users, continues to expand product features (portfolio and University pages) and users at the rate of 2 every minute.
    • Bottom line – college students must have a presence on LinkedIn and the quality of each profile matters more than ever before
    • Check out other LinkedIn stats here
    • See what companies and industries have the best internship to offer rates here
  • The topic of GRIT was mentioned in multiple sessions as educators grapple with how to teach it. It’s important.

Why Grit, not IQ, Predicts Success

Which Traits Predict Success? (The Importance of Grit)

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