Find a Need and Fill It — Education, Part 1

OK, looking back at my last few posts here I have gone way off into the ‘feel good’ sport of areas.  Nothing wrong with a little of that, but some people are really looking for practical ideas they can use to build a business.

You may remember I have also written numerous times about the fallacy of your ‘one great unique idea’ and of waiting for everything to ‘be right’ before you make a move.  I highly recommend everyone read this article about “the “Ready, Fire, Aim” concept in hopes you will realize how much time you are wasting … which can never be recovered.  It’s by far one of the better articles I have ever written, (and it’s short, too, LoL), yet it hardly has been commented on, compared to the hundreds of comments I get from guys, some almost literally begging, for a ‘job’, any job, in the Philippines.

OK the title of this article refers to finding a need and to education as well.

I was prompted to write this particular subject when I came across the Student Loan Debt Clock.  Friends, the US and many other Western countries are in serious trouble with the amount of debt piling up for college degrees.

Now I am well known for being a bit unconventional and even anti college education leaning.  I wouldn’t say this is unfair, I have made many statements and voiced many ideas indicating that I am not big on college degrees for all.

But even a stopped clock is right twice a day.  And I am not really as anti-education as I have sometimes appeared to be.

Every student who can work up to college standards ought to have at least a bachelor’s degree, says I.

Being a high school and a college dropout worked out fine for me, but I started my working career nearly 50 years ago.  Things change.

I also found, near the end of my career with the government, that although the rule book clearly stated that I was eligible for advancement even with no degree, the “un-written” rules of senior leadership (general officers and such) had tilted the playing field, and no matter what the law said, people were no longer getting promoted past the position I held without a degree.

I was pissed at times about that mindset, but you know, now that I have been retired nearly 10 years now, I am not pissed at all … I can see clearly why that senior leadership position was not all wrong.

Ok, so now I reversed myself, or more clearly positioned myself into the ‘young people need a degree’ mode.

And I already presented some shocking evidence as to how the cost of that recommend degree is bankrupting individual families and the nation as a whole.

And, this bog is supposed to be about living in the Philippines and making a living in the Philippines.  So is there a connection here?

Yes, I think so.

The Philippines is blessed with a large number of colleges and universities, both religious and secular.  Prices at these schools are very, very affordable in comparison to US schools.  Cost of living (dormitory accommodations and such) are likewise very low.

If a bachelor’s degree cost is beyond your family’s means in the US, it might very well be affordable in the Philippines.

Many Philippine schools are eligible for US tuition assistance programs like the Montgomery GI Bill.

And, in many cases, a degree is a degree is a degree.

Now if your heart is set on attending a “name brand” school like Harvard or Yale or so0me such, well no, the Philippine degree will not have the ‘snob appeal’, that’s for sure.  But also, US student loan programs won’t come close to covering the costs of major Ivy league schools either, so there are in reality two distinct educational markets out there.  the once who can afford the best, and then the rest,.

And in many ways the Philippines would not be all that bad a choice.  Infinitely better than no degree at all in today’s world.

Ok, so I made my point there, how does that tie into a business idea?

I was hoping you’d ask that.  Remember how I have showed a number of examples, lime Tom Nixon’s http://bestonlinehighschools.com family of handsomely earning web sites that also serve a valuable need?

university_towerWell why doesn’t someone start a similar service for post-secondary school in the Philippines?  You find the schools, collect data on them. validate the contact information 9npo small task at all in the Philippines) and then you make money by simply selling adverting on the site or take it  a level deeper and offer consulting service to match students and institutions of learning.

There’s work involved.  I never said there wouldn’t be, but there are rewards out there just waiting to be plucked, and in line with my continual mantra, you would be filling an actual need.  Performing a real service for people, one that you could hold your head up about and one that your Grandma would understand and be proud of.

Any takers out there?  You need no permission and essentially no investment at all, just start collecting and collating the data.  Who is ready to fire and then adjust their aim when you actually have some real-world results.  (Filipino readers, this idea is tailored directly to your talents.  Many schools don’t have good promotional skills, if you speak Filipino and know the ways of doing business in the Philippines you can much more easily get information out of school authorities than a foreigner typically can.  Then broker your knowledge.  Knowledge is power. A great ‘white collar” business idea if you ask me.

Comments

  1. says

    I think I’ll run this idea by a couple of my Filipino cousins and see what their opinion is on it. If they like it, maybe they will take some action on it. Thanks for the idea.

    • says

      Just remember that the target market for this idea is Americans lookig for a cheaper substitute to send their kids to college. very few Filipinos would be well suited to picking this up and running with it.

      Ideally it needs a US parent, even of college age children, to be the public “face” of the site, but the best place for your cousins i suspect is the back end data base type folk .. the ones who would make contact with the school … a notoriously hard thing to do.

  2. says

    Great idea once again and thanks for sharing it with all your readers. I think it’s a great alternative to schools in North America just as long as they save enough dollars while they’re there or like you said if the family can support them financially while they’re there. The reason I say that is because I’m not sure if you can get a student loan from one country for a college in another country. Even if you can’t get a loan though, it’s still a potentially big market.

    I do have a question related to your line ” In most cases, a degree is a degree is a degree.” In your experience are degrees from the Philippines more recognized worldwide than in North America? I know degrees and experience for professions like engineering, doctors, nursing, etc. from the Philippines are not as easily recognized here in Canada (which I think is ridiculous), but is that the same case for other countries like, say, Australia?

    • says

      Hi Marcus, Thanks for your comments. I never even thought about loans between the countries, my whole point was to avoid the life-long quagmire of educational loans that are killing America now. I realize it’s a strange notion to most Americans, but believe it or not, with a little planning and thought there actually are people in this world who pay cash.

      I brought this idea up because a Filipino friend was complaining to me about the current tuition costs to keep a student in Ateneo de Manila, undoubtedly on of the Philippine’s more expensive schools, and the prices mention were about what it costs just for books for a semester in most mid-line US schools.

      Now it is certain that some degrees are not recognized, and others certainly are. To my mind this would be part of the service provided by the business venture … counseling prospective students on what will work for the US and what won’t. Obviously, medical doctor degrees currently don’t transfer, but, as a close example, nursing degrees certainly do, and Philippine schools don’t turn out the 2-year degree RN’s that are considered standard in the US, nurses here earn a4-year BSN … and I know for a fact these transfer just fine, I have a Filipino-born sisters in law in the USA who has made good use of her BSN for years now..

      Most non-professional degrees will transfer, as I said at the beginning if you have the money and need for a Harvard Law degree or a Wharton School MBA, sure, better spend the money and go there, but for an ordinary ‘plain Jane’ bachelor’s degree, at least take a look at the Philippines first.

      Oh, teachers, forgot them. US school sometimes hire new teacher grads here in the Philippines right out of school, so many education degrees must interchange. I guess the operative statement is, pay your money, take your choice ;-)

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