Education Market

December 21, 1966

Report Outline
Education: New Frontier for Big Business
Government and Industry in Education
Challenge for the Education Industry

Education: New Frontier for Big Business

Education in its broadest sense now constitutes a $60 billion business in the United States. More than one of every four Americans is directly engaged full-time in the nation's educational institutions as student, teacher or administrator. Numerous others work in business or industrial enterprises that supply the elaborate equipment and materials required by new teaching methods that are coming increasingly into use.

Fed by a bountiful flow of public money from federal, state and local governments, education is considered by many to be today's leading growth industry. A spokesman for one company with deep roots in the so-called knowledge industry has put the situation in dramatic terms: “The American economy was built around the railroads in the last half of the 19th century, around the automobile in the first two-thirds of this century, and it will be built around education in the balance of this century.”

The race for a share of the mushrooming education market has led in recent years to no less than 120 corporate mergers among electronics companies, publishers of educational materials, and mass communications companies. Competition is severest for the $1 billion annual business in teaching machines and materials. It prompted the U. S. Commissioner of Education, Harold Howe II, to warn recently of an “unfortunate combination of sophisticated machinery and unsophisticated buyers.” Money made available under such federal programs as the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 have created what Howe called a revolution in the capacity of schools to purchase educational equipment.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Undergraduate and Graduate Education