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Old 11-08-2017, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,242 posts, read 3,403,041 times
Reputation: 8787

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mingna View Post
Was it the degree in and of itself? Or was it innate talents, combined with degree-related skills, and whatever bit of luck (right time, right place, connections) that may have been involved?

And which STEM degree? Were those STEM holders poorly qualified for their jobs i.e. barely passed their STEM classes from the bottom ranked school, thus relegated to poor job opportunities providing lower pay?

Were these STEM holders restricted to certain markets that limited their ability for career growth? Or perhaps the STEM holder made career choices that resulted in the poorer salaries. Maybe market changed on them, and they found their degrees less in demand unless updated, and the pay for their field experienced downward pressure due to forces outside their control?

"STEM degrees" is such a broad, nebulous term when used in this context.

Personal anecdotes trying to support such a broad and poorly defined assertion is what can lead many students to make ill-suited personal decisions - with the corresponding poor outcomes. Otherwise to the uniformed potential student, this statement could be interpreted as: Just go get a journalism degree (what kind, where, and just the degree itself, or internships and other job-related experiences) and you too, can expect to work for institutions such as Stanford and make more than those in STEM!


Then you wonder why there are so many entitled degree holders, chest deep in debt, many unable to realistically pay it all off, or maybe even planning on doing so in hopes of some sort of eventual bail out.
If a student can't make it in journalism, is it guaranteed she can make it in business or engineering? Some of the basic skills of career success are similar across fields. What I notice is that competent people can do a wide variety of tasks, less competent ones can't. I think we do a disservice looking at this in zero sum terms.
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Old 11-08-2017, 06:02 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,242 posts, read 3,403,041 times
Reputation: 8787
When people on C-D talk about STEM, I get the sense they are talking about the 'T' & 'E' part, not really the 'S' & 'M' part (heh).

I went to a presentation by a scientist on paleontology the other day. Her specific field had to do with trying to figure out what color certain dinosaurs might have been. She had also done cool research on what sounds dinosaurs might have made. In order to that research she needed to also know quite a lot about geology, biology, and ornithology.

That is very much "science." Although she pointed out that in this case, the artists they work with are essential to what she does. There was also history, culture and politics to it to it, since she discussed the history of how they know what they do, why it has appealed to the public through media, and the politics of access to the digs which are in China, which required a whole lot of work by people with soft skills.

No one really needs to know dinosaur color in the "real world of work" that C-D is obsessed with. There is no money in it. It's not creating the next killer app, it's not building a bridge, it's not running a business or figuring out an investment algorithm or corrupt financial derivative, but it is part of understanding our world, and the skills involved in figuring that stuff out can be valuable in anyone's further understanding of the Earth. But there is no direct economic benefit.

That can be said for a great many sciences and also the academic side of mathmatics.

Last edited by redguard57; 11-08-2017 at 06:15 PM..
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:59 PM
 
5,770 posts, read 3,047,758 times
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I'll go a step further and say that when most people talk about STEM, they are really thinking IT. We see it with the science teachers we work with. What they are most interested in is tools/toys to help teach programming. Not science. Not Technology. Not engineering. Not math. Programming.
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Old 11-09-2017, 06:13 AM
 
723 posts, read 495,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
If a student can't make it in journalism, is it guaranteed she can make it in business or engineering? Some of the basic skills of career success are similar across fields. What I notice is that competent people can do a wide variety of tasks, less competent ones can't. I think we do a disservice looking at this in zero sum terms.
That was not the issue I was addressing.



Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
When people on C-D talk about STEM, I get the sense they are talking about the 'T' & 'E' part, not really the 'S' & 'M' part (heh).

I went to a presentation by a scientist on paleontology the other day. Her specific field had to do with trying to figure out what color certain dinosaurs might have been. She had also done cool research on what sounds dinosaurs might have made. In order to that research she needed to also know quite a lot about geology, biology, and ornithology.

That is very much "science." Although she pointed out that in this case, the artists they work with are essential to what she does. There was also history, culture and politics to it to it, since she discussed the history of how they know what they do, why it has appealed to the public through media, and the politics of access to the digs which are in China, which required a whole lot of work by people with soft skills.

No one really needs to know dinosaur color in the "real world of work" that C-D is obsessed with. There is no money in it. It's not creating the next killer app, it's not building a bridge, it's not running a business or figuring out an investment algorithm or corrupt financial derivative, but it is part of understanding our world, and the skills involved in figuring that stuff out can be valuable in anyone's further understanding of the Earth. But there is no direct economic benefit.

That can be said for a great many sciences and also the academic side of mathmatics.
That kind of thinking is short-sighted and detrimental to innovation and growth. You can't advance as a society by looking only to reinvent the wheel, afraid to take risks and think outside of the box. Advances in the sciences, engineering, and math have played key roles to our advancement as a society, both intellectually and materially in the past, and will continue to be needed in the future. We can not continue to grow as a mainly service industry nation.





Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
I'll go a step further and say that when most people talk about STEM, they are really thinking IT. We see it with the science teachers we work with. What they are most interested in is tools/toys to help teach programming. Not science. Not Technology. Not engineering. Not math. Programming.
Then they are selling themselves and their students short, and engaging in groupthink behavior. Provide the students with a strong foundation in all of the basics. This will allow those who are capable of it to take those tools and run with it to lead further growth and innovation.

Last edited by mingna; 11-09-2017 at 07:04 AM..
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:12 AM
 
3,979 posts, read 1,603,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redguard57 View Post
If a student can't make it in journalism, is it guaranteed she can make it in business or engineering? Some of the basic skills of career success are similar across fields. What I notice is that competent people can do a wide variety of tasks, less competent ones can't. I think we do a disservice looking at this in zero sum terms.
The fallacy here is a notion that every brain works in the precisely same way. I'm trying to figure out what in your experience would justify this.

I do not have a mathematical mind. Yes, I can perform basic mathematics and use algebra and geometry all the time in my daily life and work. But trigonometry and calculus? Just not my greatest strengths. Yet one of my chief clients is a large manufacturing firm with a decided technical emphasis, one where I meet with engineers on a weekly basis and offer thoughts on how to run their company. They have profited greatly from my advice, valuing it enough that I've been engaged with them for the past seven years.

Why? Because I look at their business problems from a completely different perspective. They value my advice for that very reason and come to me early on when they have a problem that needs solving.

I suppose your point might be true in limited ways, namely in showing up to work on time, trying to do a good job, paying attention to what your boss needs, and having basic manners in the office or in a meeting. But beyond that, different people do different things well. I can't believe that I actually have to point this out.
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:26 AM
 
5,770 posts, read 3,047,758 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
...
I suppose your point might be true in limited ways, namely in showing up to work on time, trying to do a good job, paying attention to what your boss needs, and having basic manners in the office or in a meeting. But beyond that, different people do different things well. I can't believe that I actually have to point this out.
You might be surprised at how many people today do lack those very basic, not so common anymore skills. Or skills like being a self starter. Being able to think. Not needing to be hand held and spoon fed.
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:29 AM
 
3,979 posts, read 1,603,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
You might be surprised at how many people today do lack those very basic, not so common anymore skills. Or skills like being a self starter. Being able to think. Not needing to be hand held and spoon fed.
That's true. They either learn, wind up unemployed, or become government workers.
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:37 AM
 
698 posts, read 383,935 times
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Government workers? Way to blow yourself right out of the water.
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Old 11-09-2017, 08:56 PM
 
3,979 posts, read 1,603,769 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VendorDude View Post
Government workers? Way to blow yourself right out of the water.
Sorry. There are certain departments with hard-working government workers. Law enforcement. The military. A couple of others. But I've seen way too many that weren't.

It's not that they're sitting around reading magazines, mind you. In fact, most really think they're working hard. But no. They have no idea how much of their time is spent shuffling paper and attending endless meetings as opposed to actually producing.

One thing I learned years ago. Never hiRE someone who worked in a huge bureaucracy such as the SSA or your state agency. They get into the private sector and simply don't know how to function. Meanwhile, the people I've known who worked in private sector and then went to work in government unanimously complain about the sheer inertia they encounter when it comes to getting the simplest things done.
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Old 11-10-2017, 02:29 AM
 
6,768 posts, read 9,757,198 times
Reputation: 5069
Quote:
Originally Posted by MinivanDriver View Post
Sorry. There are certain departments with hard-working government workers. Law enforcement.
With law enforcement, it depends. If you're in a small town with a low crime rate, you're mostly patrolling around making sure that people don't go one mile per hour above the speed limit. Then, you eat, eat, and eat some more.
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