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Old 10-25-2017, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,243 posts, read 3,403,041 times
Reputation: 8787

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I disagree that there are a host of "worthless" degrees.

My dad died a couple years ago and we went through a bunch of stuff at my parents house to discard. There were binders and boxes with some of my old high school assignments.

I had forgotten, and was thus amazed, at how badly I performed in math & science related subjects and how terrible my writing was. College made a huge difference for me. If I was still at my high school level of writing & math skill, I'd be lucky to make more than minimum wage today. I would not even be able to craft an acceptable cover letter. In fact, most of my high school friends who did not go to college (we are all early-mid 30s now), are making at best in the $20 an hour range.

My wife is a few years younger so I saw first-hand the improvement in her communication skills throughout her college career. She now makes a living as a grant writer, bringing in millions of dollars to her organization. She definitely could not have done without the improvement college provided.
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Old 10-25-2017, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Summit, NJ
1,388 posts, read 1,272,926 times
Reputation: 1571
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobaba View Post
Most of it.

Very little of what I learned is relevant to my job, and if I learned it a long time ago and seldom use it on the job, I have to look it up again and relearn how to do it. Which makes that stuff marginally useful I suppose.

But the stuff like Linear Algebra, Organic Chemistry, and Dynamics were totally useless. I can't even tell you how many hours I spent learning that stuff and ... all gone. And for the people saying going through stuff like that makes you smarter or more well rounded, it really doesn't. It's just a total waste of a lot of effort and brainpower really.
Do you use the actual content of these courses in your job? For the majority of people, no.

Do you use your quantitative brain, largely developed by solving problems in these courses? Yes.
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:05 PM
 
146 posts, read 60,727 times
Reputation: 345
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirt Grinder View Post
It's an initiation rite.
To those unable to make anything better of it.
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:40 PM
 
3,052 posts, read 1,216,716 times
Reputation: 6078
Quote:
Originally Posted by jobaba View Post
Most of it.

Very little of what I learned is relevant to my job, and if I learned it a long time ago and seldom use it on the job, I have to look it up again and relearn how to do it. Which makes that stuff marginally useful I suppose.

But the stuff like Linear Algebra, Organic Chemistry, and Dynamics were totally useless. I can't even tell you how many hours I spent learning that stuff and ... all gone. And for the people saying going through stuff like that makes you smarter or more well rounded, it really doesn't. It's just a total waste of a lot of effort and brainpower really.

OTOH, if I had spent all those hours doing sight reading, or ear training, or learning to do salsa dancing or something like that, then my life would be enhanced.

But ... not. Lessons to be learned.
It really DOES make a difference to be well rounded. Take it from someone who spent thousands of hours reading work from people who couldn’t do basic algebra, write a sentence to save their lives, or do a lick of critical thinking. I would ask them if they even bothered to READ what they were sending to me (that they apparently composed) and they said no, they couldn’t be bothered to analyze what they wrote. The people who did the best were the people who had a good, well-rounded education.

That’s why many people who ended up in top leadership positions have useless majors and why useless majors end up having higher salaries at the end of their careers than people with the more practical majors. You need to be well rounded to move up, because you need to know how to think critically in all spheres to get out of the lower level positions. I was actually working with a manager at my last job and talking about her major and she was embarrassed by it because it was really worthless sounding, but she had done pretty well for herself in spite of it being worthless because she could think critically.
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:54 AM
 
1,505 posts, read 1,965,441 times
Reputation: 1123
In my mind the purpose of college is to better make you eligible for jobs that are beyond the typical high school graduate level. Yes I hope to become well rounded and to become a global citizen, to expand my horizon and whatever else but the core is that when I graduate college my job prospects will be better than if I just stopped education after high school.

Obviously you have majors that are more easily able to get a job right out of college: nursing, accounting, supply chain management, IT, engineering etc... But what happens when you don't have the aptitude or the interest in one the "golden" majors. You still want to learn, you still want a job better than the retail/fast food market but your interest are not engineering, accounting etc...-is college still a viable option for you then?

I'd like to think "yes" college is still a good option if your interest are History, English, Anthropology etc... but I know how difficult marketing those type of degrees can be. Barring knowing someone on the inside or going to a school where the name recognition alone is enough, it is usually much more difficult to market the English degree than the Accounting degree. Plus there are usually more Accounting positions, accounting clerk, accounting assistant etc... openings than there are Copy Writer, Proofreader, Copy Editor openings.

I would argue that the LA grad is just as capable of moving up the corporate ladder, of building a career as the STEM grad, BUT the problem is getting that first shot as a LA grad. That is getting that bottom rung, bottom of the totem pole position as a LA grad and hopefully, eventually working your way up. If that assistant position, that entry level tech writer position, that data clerk position is gated behind 2-3 years of experience and strongly recommends a degree in "X" then it can be very difficult for the LA grad to ever start his career. Thus leading to the thought of "college is a waste of time unless you study A,B,C ."

Overall I am not sure if I am ready to call college a scam if you go for the LA degree but I would say college def. underperforms if you go the LA grad route. But I don't know if that is the fault of the college itself or the employer having ridiculous requirements for even the most basic, bottom of the barrel roles.
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Old 10-26-2017, 08:17 AM
 
146 posts, read 60,727 times
Reputation: 345
There is money enough at the top of every profession. Those that love their work, whatever it is, tend to be the ones collecting the lion's share of it.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:33 AM
 
Location: East Helena, MT
765 posts, read 480,817 times
Reputation: 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by L210 View Post
You obviously didn't bother to read the articles I linked to on the first page.




College courses in statistics and research methods would teach you about the worthlessness of anecdotal evidence. I could easily counter your anecdotal stories with my own.

$20,000 for two years at a community college is actually way out of the norm. The average tuition for a community college is under $4,000 per year. Also, students who attend community colleges have higher student loan default rates, on average, than those who go to a 4-year college even though community colleges are cheaper. As a matter of fact, those with less than $16,000 in debt are more likely to default than those with more than $30,000 in debt. How is this so? It's because those with less debt are often those who didn't finish school; therefore, they have more difficulty landing a job that pays well enough to cover student loan payments.




I'll make sure to tell my wife and her sister that what they went through doesn't matter, because statistically they are an outlier.
Your statistics are crap anyway, because only HALF of students who start college, actually graduate.


https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/fres...-finds-n465606


So looky here, there are ALLOT more people in my wife's position than you thought.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:56 AM
 
6,963 posts, read 10,846,505 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by averysgore View Post
Do you use the actual content of these courses in your job? For the majority of people, no.

Do you use your quantitative brain, largely developed by solving problems in these courses? Yes.
That's pretty doubtful.

I have an extensive amount more math than a lot of the people I work with and it really doesn't help me in doing back of the envelope calculations, which is most of what we do. A lot of them can do it faster than I can.

Studying for the GRE paid huge tabgible dividends in increasing the depth of my vocabulary. But again, that is only useful for convincing pompous people that I am 'intelligent'.

Last edited by jobaba; 10-26-2017 at 12:06 PM..
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:45 PM
 
6,963 posts, read 10,846,505 times
Reputation: 7450
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericsvibe View Post
I love all of the talk about scholarships. Those are reserved for EXCEPTIONAL students. My problem with college is the brainwashing students get in high school, causing AVERAGE students to sacrifice their financial security to go to college, with little reward. I will use my wife, and her sister as examples. My wife wasn't a very good student in high school, she had a C average. Because all she heard in high school was "you have to go to college to make something out of yourself", she applied everywhere. She didn't get a single scholarship, she got $300.00 in grants. She wound up with $20,000.00 in student loans to cover her first year of school, at the closest university to where she grew up. She took a remedial math and English to get in, got another C average, and mid way through her second semester she was failing math. She retook the math class, failed again, and was kicked out of her degree program. We are finally paying off the remainder of her loans, 13 years later, so that she can go to technical school for an LPN program. She never belonged in college to begin with, but was pressured to do so.


Her sister also was a C student in high school. She also didn't get a scholarship, and went to the same local university. She got her bachelors degree is Psychology, but because of a C average in college, she has tried for years to get into a Masters program, and has gotten denied. She racked up $60,000 in debt. She pays $385.00 a month on an income based repayment program. It is going to take over 20 years to repay her loans. She currently works at a cell phone store as an assistant manager, earning $32,000.00 a year. College is nothing more than an anchor on her neck. The store manager in her store never went to college.


I went to technical school, for free, through a program for low income students in high school. I've made it to lower level management without having to go to college. I'm at the point where to advance, I have to have a piece of paper saying that I have a degree in something. My local Community College will cost me about $20,000.00 for the first two years, including books, and fees. It will cost about $30,000.00 for the final two years at the closest state university, again including books and fees. There isn't anything that college can teach me that 20 years of work experience hasn't taught me already. This is the reason that many, me included, feel that college is just a scam. Unfortunately for me, and others in my position, I can't get into mid-level management without it.
In an objective sense, and I don't mean this in the wrong way, I doubt your wife 'isn't college material'.

I know people who had mediocre command of the English language at best when they entered undergrad, and it wasn't much better when they left. Still, they got through, and in many cases, performed well.

College is not too difficult, and in the right environment/timing, I'm sure your wife would have been able to get through it. I don't know your wife, granted, but yea ... I'm pretty sure.

Whether or not completing that degree would have been beneficial to her overall life and happiness (and NOT just her cost/benefit/lifetime earning potential), is a whole 'nother animal.

I personally have three degrees and there's still days I question the value of any of them.
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Old 10-26-2017, 12:46 PM
 
Location: Oregon, formerly Texas
5,243 posts, read 3,403,041 times
Reputation: 8787
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazeddude8 View Post
In my mind the purpose of college is to better make you eligible for jobs that are beyond the typical high school graduate level. Yes I hope to become well rounded and to become a global citizen, to expand my horizon and whatever else but the core is that when I graduate college my job prospects will be better than if I just stopped education after high school.

Obviously you have majors that are more easily able to get a job right out of college: nursing, accounting, supply chain management, IT, engineering etc... But what happens when you don't have the aptitude or the interest in one the "golden" majors. You still want to learn, you still want a job better than the retail/fast food market but your interest are not engineering, accounting etc...-is college still a viable option for you then?

I'd like to think "yes" college is still a good option if your interest are History, English, Anthropology etc... but I know how difficult marketing those type of degrees can be. Barring knowing someone on the inside or going to a school where the name recognition alone is enough, it is usually much more difficult to market the English degree than the Accounting degree. Plus there are usually more Accounting positions, accounting clerk, accounting assistant etc... openings than there are Copy Writer, Proofreader, Copy Editor openings.

I would argue that the LA grad is just as capable of moving up the corporate ladder, of building a career as the STEM grad, BUT the problem is getting that first shot as a LA grad. That is getting that bottom rung, bottom of the totem pole position as a LA grad and hopefully, eventually working your way up. If that assistant position, that entry level tech writer position, that data clerk position is gated behind 2-3 years of experience and strongly recommends a degree in "X" then it can be very difficult for the LA grad to ever start his career. Thus leading to the thought of "college is a waste of time unless you study A,B,C ."

Overall I am not sure if I am ready to call college a scam if you go for the LA degree but I would say college def. underperforms if you go the LA grad route. But I don't know if that is the fault of the college itself or the employer having ridiculous requirements for even the most basic, bottom of the barrel roles.
Good points. People really need both numeracy and literacy. I've seen studies that show that the soft skills of liberal arts help you move up more quickly once you get that initial position. My wife's experience bears this out. She skyrocketed past her peers once she found something, and it had to with her liberal art background... but it took her a while to get into the starting position.

There is also a place for the communication and citizenship skills that the liberal arts provide.

A "scam" would be an intentional deception. I don't think most colleges are doing that. I majored in history and my professors & advisors actually communicated to me a "warning" message - that there were no ready-made jobs on the other side after I graduated, that I would have to intentionally sell myself in creative ways or even create my own job opportunities. They made it clear that was my responsibility, not theirs. At best they would provide me improved communication skills & literacy to make a respectable attempt. So the actual professionals are not the ones perpetuating a lie. A college department's job is to teach you thier subject to the best of their ability, not to "get you a job."

When I think of who told me things like "any college degree pays off" it was generally friends and family who didn't really know what they were talking about. Also high school teachers & counselors, who seemed to look at college as the "one ring to rule them all."

Last edited by redguard57; 10-26-2017 at 12:55 PM..
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