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Old 08-19-2013, 10:11 AM
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More importantly, what students get out of any college/training course is about proportional to the effort that they put into it.
I think that is a great point. And I'm wondering if that state of affairs has gotten through.

The world of 'work' after formal education has changed immeasurably since I graduated. Success today and tomorrow depends now on effort in= results out. EVERYBODY is being assessed at work now, everybody. A job you have today may change drastically in another 5 years, you have to keep up with that. And that requires 'flexibility'. One will have to be adept at changing 'gears' smoothly. New technology, new ways of thinking, news ways of simply doing are rapidly invading 'work'.

Really everybody who has a 'job' will have to do so-called 'life-long learning. It aint Kansas anymore...;-)... We're all in this and have a stake either for ourselves or our children.
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
"Ah, I see!" said the blind woman. "It's all the colleges' fault that their grads can't get good paying jobs!"

I get a real sense in this thread that many posters are trying to shirk their own responsibilities for what they do/did in their lives. Parents, teachers, and guidance counselors told you a lot of things you should or should not do when you were an adolescent, and you took some of that advice to heart and the rest you ignored. That was your choice.

A number of posters have gone on about various alternatives to a college degree, but when you look at it long and hard, did parents/teachers/guardians really have it that wrong? What great career opportunities did you miss out on by going to college rather than by detailing cars at the local Chevy dealership or by cashiering at Walmart? What great on-the-job-training did you pass on to study at Expense U? The fact is that unskilled and low skilled jobs that pay decently and offer opportunities for advancement are virtually non-existent. The fact is that employers don't want to waste time and money on OTJT because employees aren't likely to stay long enough for the employer to gain from his investment. The Chevy dealership will send its veteran mechanics to training on new diagnostic equipment, but it's not going to train a kid fresh off the street how to be a mechanic. Most high schools simply don't have the $$$ to provide up-to-date vocational training in auto mechanics or other technical careers.

Unless somebody coerced you to attend a particular college, again it was your choice of school, and your choice of a major. It's also your choice on whether you make the most of whatever school you choose to attend:
  • Maybe a two-year program in nursing or a one-year certificate program in welding or electricity at the local community college would have been a better choice than getting a BA in Business or a BS in Elementary Education.
  • Maybe joining the military or working for a year (or going to the local community college to get a general degree) are better choices for kids who "don't know what they want to do" than investing big $$$ (and taking out loans to do it) on going to a four year school and living on campus.
  • Maybe working as an intern for the summer would have been a wiser move than spending summer life-guarding or working in a shop in the mall.
  • Maybe not partying quite so hearty and showing up for all your classes, doing reading assignments, and studying for exams would have enabled you to get As and Bs instead of Cs in your major.

I'm not absolving colleges of responsibility for how they present their product, but the fact is that four year colleges are NOT vocational schools. Their responsibility is to encourage students to think critically and to express themselves well while gaining some expertise in their chosen field. Community colleges and various trade schools are more for vocational training. Four year college grads who have been decent students should be flexible enough to apply their education to success in several fields whereas one/two year vocational grads will likely have less flexible career choices.

More importantly, what students get out of any college/training course is about proportional to the effort that they put into it.
Yes I wholeheartedly agree. I have my interest and tend to hang around people with similar interest. Many of them got degrees in subjects such as political science, economics, and sociology and are now on the path towards doing what they're interested in because they applied their interests to what they were learning in school. On the same token, I do have friends whose visions didn't match their actions while in school.

Overall, what makes it even more interesting is that the people who have a chip on their shoulder about diminishing returns to college always project a narrative that doesn't even line up with the data about college graduates.
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