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Old 11-30-2017, 08:50 AM
 
7,008 posts, read 6,641,386 times
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People who major in rhetoric have the hardest time getting a job.

College majors with the highest unemployment rates - Business Insider

There are lots of online places where these people can hone their skills for free with willing partners.
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Old 11-30-2017, 09:51 AM
 
Location: My House
33,080 posts, read 26,901,384 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoleFanHSV View Post
I believe many stem degrees really should be more like trade schools. And learning to communicate doesn't necessarily require a college education.

I graduated with way more humanities than I needed a would have been much better off with more engineering courses, project courses, and economic courses
That's the beauty of higher education. You can CHOOSE to take more electives in areas like econ, engineering, etc.

One of my master's degrees is in English, but it's also in Technical Communication. I had to take a Project planning course as part of the Tech Comm component. I also could choose to take courses in stuff like ergonomics OR in stuff like linguistics.

Learning about both of those diversified my knowledge base.

Sometimes, when people are going for a bachelor's degree, they take the courses they heard would be the easiest for their electives, because they want to graduate with honors, get the diploma, etc.

Ultimately, though, that chance at an education is all about you and what you want to LEARN. I wish the focus would shift from letter grades and all universities would go to pass/fail grading for everything except what's in a person's major field of study.

I think it would allow people to feel better about exploring all the other offerings available to them in a liberal arts format without fear that they'll tank their GPA by getting a B- in a course they weren't sure if they'd like or ever use.

I think you're right about the trade school stuff, though. That path should be seen as a respectable way to get an education that will lead to a more lucrative career. People who go into the trades to become repair technicians can always choose to attend a 4-year college program for adult learners down the road and expand their career potential, if they choose.

I'm a big fan of lifelong learning.
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Old 11-30-2017, 09:55 AM
 
Location: My House
33,080 posts, read 26,901,384 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobster View Post
I think this is a bit misguided though. It's like this current generation that purchases McMansions, with the expectation that this type of behavior can continue in the future, despite scarcity and population growth.

Maybe someone could have obtained an English degree in the past and worked their way to the top of an organization, but today there is far too much competition and there are actual skills that are necessary to provide value for increasingly sparse jobs.

People in college today may NEVER be able to pay off their student debt because automation is going to increasingly replace human labor capital until there are literally almost 0 jobs available for humans. It is very important today that students prepare for this and obtain majors in subjects that will help them navigate this reality.
If you think having an English degree means a person doesn't have any "actual skills," I feel like you don't understand what it means to have an English degree.

It doesn't always mean one thing.

Also, plenty of people with English degrees go on to amass certifications and so forth that make them more appealing than other candidates. Many learn to program or get a CPA later on. Some go on to get an MBA.

Are you saying they don't have what it takes because they didn't major in Engineering? I do not believe that is true at all.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:00 AM
 
Location: My House
33,080 posts, read 26,901,384 times
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Originally Posted by BigCityDreamer View Post
This kind of thinking could be reasonable if college wasn’t so expensive for most people. However, when you have to pay tens of thousands of dollars or more for a college education, then you most certainly have to focus on ROI. That is the bottom line.

Not everyone can afford an expensive hobby like what you’re talking about. Ultimately, it is about the money.
Why can't they spend 2 years at their local community college, then transfer to a 4-year college?

That's really affordable.

You are never guaranteed any sort of ROI with college.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:22 AM
 
Location: South Florida
4,526 posts, read 4,862,222 times
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Originally Posted by RedZin View Post
Why can't they spend 2 years at their local community college, then transfer to a 4-year college?

That's really affordable.

You are never guaranteed any sort of ROI with college.
Great post

Degree or not - you've got to hustle to make things happen.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:44 AM
 
698 posts, read 383,647 times
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Originally Posted by tnff View Post
Exactly. Many don't realize the sequential nature of many STEM programs. Miss one class in sequence and you might need an extra year to get back on track.
Liberal arts programs are also sequential. STEM is nothing special in this or much of any other regard. The point meanwhile seemed to be to stay general until you had a chance to become acquainted with the processes of higher education. And at most schools of course, even these god-like STEM students will at some point need to complete a battery of general ed courses in order to graduate.
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Old 11-30-2017, 10:49 AM
 
698 posts, read 383,647 times
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Originally Posted by Jobster View Post
If you think this, you will quickly find that you are out of touch with reality.
I'm not seeing much chance of that. Of course, I tend to doubt off-the-wall claims as a group. Perhaps you have a different outlook on the matter.
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Old 11-30-2017, 11:07 AM
 
1,481 posts, read 594,283 times
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I started college majoring in Political Science then changed to English in my Sophmore year. I majored in English for two years and only needed a few more English courses for the major but switched back to Political Science in my senior year and got a degree in International Relations. The reason I left the English major was because I felt the professors were just looking for students to parrot back their ideas and were not at all open to opposing points of view, which I thought was the whole purpose of literature.
A few years after graduation I had a job writing procedures for a Fortune 100 company. I took a one week inhouse course in clear and concise business writing. I realized I had to unlearn everything I had learned in school about writing. The concept was that every extra word you put in business communication, every flowery word used in place of a simple and plain word, costs the reader and the company money in terms of lost time. You basically should always write the way you talk, and if you get stuck, say what you want to communicate then write it down. I learned more about writing and communication in that one week company training class than I did in all my high school and college English classes combined.
I did go on to get an MBA at company expense, and I wound up spending my last 17 years of work before retirement as a computer specialist, which I really enjoyed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RedZin View Post
If you think having an English degree means a person doesn't have any "actual skills," I feel like you don't understand what it means to have an English degree.

It doesn't always mean one thing.

Also, plenty of people with English degrees go on to amass certifications and so forth that make them more appealing than other candidates. Many learn to program or get a CPA later on. Some go on to get an MBA.

Are you saying they don't have what it takes because they didn't major in Engineering? I do not believe that is true at all.
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Old 11-30-2017, 11:55 AM
 
3,972 posts, read 1,601,299 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobspez View Post
I started college majoring in Political Science then changed to English in my Sophmore year. I majored in English for two years and only needed a few more English courses for the major but switched back to Political Science in my senior year and got a degree in International Relations. The reason I left the English major was because I felt the professors were just looking for students to parrot back their ideas and were not at all open to opposing points of view, which I thought was the whole purpose of literature.
A few years after graduation I had a job writing procedures for a Fortune 100 company. I took a one week inhouse course in clear and concise business writing. I realized I had to unlearn everything I had learned in school about writing. The concept was that every extra word you put in business communication, every flowery word used in place of a simple and plain word, costs the reader and the company money in terms of lost time. You basically should always write the way you talk, and if you get stuck, say what you want to communicate then write it down. I learned more about writing and communication in that one week company training class than I did in all my high school and college English classes combined.
I did go on to get an MBA at company expense, and I wound up spending my last 17 years of work before retirement as a computer specialist, which I really enjoyed.
That only means that you didn't have a very good writing professor in college. I had those kinds of atrocities flogged out of me by the time I hit my sophomore year.
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Bay View, Milwaukee
2,071 posts, read 4,004,154 times
Reputation: 2486
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobspez View Post
I started college majoring in Political Science then changed to English in my Sophmore year. I majored in English for two years and only needed a few more English courses for the major but switched back to Political Science in my senior year and got a degree in International Relations. The reason I left the English major was because I felt the professors were just looking for students to parrot back their ideas and were not at all open to opposing points of view, which I thought was the whole purpose of literature.
A few years after graduation I had a job writing procedures for a Fortune 100 company. I took a one week inhouse course in clear and concise business writing. I realized I had to unlearn everything I had learned in school about writing. The concept was that every extra word you put in business communication, every flowery word used in place of a simple and plain word, costs the reader and the company money in terms of lost time. You basically should always write the way you talk, and if you get stuck, say what you want to communicate then write it down. I learned more about writing and communication in that one week company training class than I did in all my high school and college English classes combined.
I did go on to get an MBA at company expense, and I wound up spending my last 17 years of work before retirement as a computer specialist, which I really enjoyed.
Many colleges offer business/technical writing; perhaps yours didn't. College-level writing for literature also should strive for concision and clarity, but most professors also like to see an engagement with rhetoric and style.

Your success in the business writing course you took may in fact be due in large part to your work in writing in college English classes. It's possible that the latter classes helped position you to move up to the next level of writing when you were more intellectually mature. That happened to me both in high school and in college.
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