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Environmental Scanning for Stocks from the Business of Education (Part 1)

14 February 2008 - Markets - Editor

It is worth taking the time to understand the term. Everyone scans the environment, from a hungry eagle to a child pitcher on a playground mound. Some of us do it unconsciously, but spotting the most relevant opportunities and threats needs skill. What better way can there be than practicing with live examples? Please visit our earlier piece on this web site with the title “Perspective Environmental Scanning for Accurate Stock Price Prediction”. This article attempts to illustrate the method of Environmental Scanning through an example from the field of education.

Controversies about methods of education will not die down, but the need to train people will not go away either. Even literate people need fresh training. Most exit interviews after pink slips have been distributed include sops on going back to school. Rapid advances in science and technology have made education a lifelong journey of both convenience and need. What does this have to do with stocks? Adult education has financial implications. Universities have always looked beyond grants. Large corporations have huge budgets for training. Private enterprise is here to stay in education. We accept that teachers can make profits.

Electronic and Print Media Shares for Stock Value in Education

Publishers have been amongst stock market listings for a long time. Digital printing and the Internet have changed the business of text-books, note paper, and stationery. The print media continues to generate cash, but most stock investors know that the days of such means are numbered. Titans of the print era have begun online business ventures. Owning knowledge as an asset is a challenge in the electronic age, but the Wizard of Seattle has shown that it can be done! Many sectors of a stock exchange are basically applications of knowledge, so education as a commercial venture is not as strange as it may seem at first sight.

The Internet has always sided with small guys. Music piracy has made deeper inroads than attempts to copy books and courses. However, the real profit protection for education business stocks lies in customization. Each student has special needs, because of which online education can make money. Ivy League colleges have begun to take market shares of online education through free programs, but hope to make big bucks from their Internet ventures soon. They can certainly reach far beyond the physical confines of their campuses!

Knowledge and Competence Moats to Protect Stocks in Education

Nanotechnology and biotechnology are fine examples of how much teaching and learning have changed. You can still use an English grammar text book written in the last century, but some branches of science change completely every few years. Doctors and pilots have to renew their licenses every year. Such a system could soon apply to many other vocations. Large companies do invest in keeping their employees in touch with relevant new developments. Many people have switched careers by learning to program computers, and by taking new languages as well.

Environmental economics is another large and new field of study. New developments in science may be of interest to specialists alone, but environmental and social accounting is an example of collaborative practice. The latter means that experts from very different fields have to come together and pool their knowledge resources. Profit-making organizations have to spend large amounts of money on such new fields because they affect business so much. This is another reason why modern education can be conducted on a business model.

Environmental Scanning for Stocks from the Business of Education (Part 2)

 


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