The Pickens Podcast this week is all about higher education – why it’s important and who should pay for it. I went into this discussion with Jack DeGioia, President of Georgetown University – a private college; and Eduardo Padrón, President of Miami-Dade College which offers students post-secondary opportunities from certificate programs to associate degrees to full bachelor degrees.

These two college presidents had the tough task of trying to convince me that a college education should be available to any student that wants one.

They came pretty close.

Their best argument was this one: Of the 11.6 million jobs created in the U.S. since the recession, only 80,000 have gone to high school graduates. The rest went to people with post-secondary certificates and degrees. Then they told me that in the next decade we will have 11 million unfilled jobs that require post-secondary education. We can’t afford NOT to provide it.

President Padrón said that 100 years ago, “we were having this same national discussion over whether free public education from kindergarten through high school was a universal right and a public good. We’re having that same discussion in the technologically advanced world of the 21st century today.”

Listen to this fascinating discussion. I’d be interesting in hearing if, like me, you found their arguments not just interesting, but compelling.

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