Recent shifts away from traditional liberal arts models and towards online learning (MOOCs) and specialized classes open doors to knowledge for individuals globally. With that said, excitement surrounding these developments should not discount the benefits associated with a university experience.
The university experience, while often a selfish time in life, provides an opportunity to engage with individuals from different backgrounds, partake in academic discussions not focused on "job skills", and develop new interests. These aforementioned skills, while not financially quantifiable in the same way as an online web-development class, are valuable to one's future growth.
Unfortunately, obstacles (most notably, the staggering price tag of higher ed and associated opportunity costs) inhibit university access to all those who desire to attend. With that said, education as a service is a step towards addressing access issues; however, to suggest that such a model is a viable replacement to the university experience is a disservice to all.
But as with enterprise software companies, customer preferences will eventually force colleges and universities to transition from selling bloated, expensive degree programs to “Education-as-a-Service” (EaaS). The transition won’t happen overnight. (Even on the software front, most large vendors continue to expect a significant percentage of their sales to be enterprise for years to come.) But it will happen. Enrollment declines at non-elite institutions demonstrate that students are growing wary of buying degrees without a clear indication of return on investment.