I Still Question The Value of A College Degree

But This Was Encouraging News About My Alma Mater

I loved my time at the University of Florida and value all the memories I walked away with.

Yet, as I got older, I started to question the value of traditional college degrees for reasons we can’t dive into now. 

Were the semesters of coursework, exams, and excessive socializing worth the seven years it took me to pay off my student loans? Maybe.

Could I have learned the same things and forged similar relationships without that much expense? Maybe, but it’s really tough to tell.

However, I have renewed excitement for my alma mater and universities in general with the recent news that the University of Florida ranks highest in the nation in innovation impact, measured by research expenditures.

UF is helping to forge new paths for entrepreneurs and inventors while enriching the value of its coursework. For someone like myself who views entrepreneurship as a critical economic pillar, this is welcome news.

Here is a quote that highlights the wide reach of the school’s offering and what makes UF so special: 

“For our size, we move more technologies to the point of impact than anyone else, period,” said Jim O’Connell, assistant vice president for commercialization at UF and director of UF Innovate.  “In the simplest sense, that is the ultimate job of all tech transfer organizations, and UF does it really, really well.”

UF generated an average of 123 issued patents and 15 startups per year between 2013 and 2017, according to the report, placing it among the top-performing U.S. universities on those metrics. It was a strong performer in license income, earning an average of $36 million per year, equal to 6.4% of research dollars.

During my time there, I spent a lot of time focused on business courses and entrepreneurial experiences so this accomplishment hits close to home.

Here are a couple of other noteworthy stats from the press announcement:

  • UF spun off over 60 companies in biotech and one-fifth of them were acquired by major pharmaceuticals, food, agricultural biotech, and energy enterprises.

  • UF ranks 4th overall in teaching impact. It produced one-third as many STEM Ph.D. graduates each year as the entire University of California system, despite having a research budget only about one-tenth as large. 

You can read the full post here.

Go Gators!