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Old 01-24-2023, 07:18 PM
 
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It's both. It's to stimulate intellectual curiosity and to prepare you for a job in academia or research field (doctor, etc.).
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Old 01-24-2023, 07:33 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
How to apply learnings to your career are very weak currently. College has minimal value to employment. Even the higher skilled engineers we interviewed were woefully ill-equipped to consider entry level contributors. They just could no longer 'do-it' as could their peers of yesteryear. (actually knew how to do something, and if not, they were inquisitive and talented and equipped enough to figure out a solution). No more.
While I wouldn't call them "higher skilled" I do agree that many of the younger engineers we are interviewing are not ready for the work environment. I've found it depends on the college attended. Graduates of some colleges come in prepared to dive in and search for solutions to new problems. Graduates of other schools are willing to work hard but unwilling or unable to just take initiative. They have to be told every step of the way and when they finish one step, they come back waiting for someone to tell them what to do next.

Sometimes it feels like I'm dealing with little puppies. After every task they're sitting there, wagging their tail, waiting for a treat and pat on the head. They need constant praise. And if you give them the slightest criticism, they start whimpering like a little whipped puppy.
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Old 01-24-2023, 10:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by jtab4994 View Post
Yeah, I think "both" is going to be a popular answer.

Back in olden times, a college or university education was reserved for the wealthy or those studying for the clergy. They would learn Latin, Greek, mathematics, rhetoric, et cetera.

In modern times when "everyone" is supposed to go to college, college has to be dumbed down for the masses or they'll flunk out even more frequently than they do now. Hence, we have community colleges, on-line colleges, and local branches of land grant universities. Those are your diploma mills that teach kids who in the 1950's and 60's would have gone to a technical or secretarial school.

Full disclosure: I flunked out of a private working-class college after 1 year and then went to night school for computer programming. My wife has a master's degree and both of our kids are college graduates.
I's not that "everyone" is supposed to go to college... it's that everyone thinks they are supposed to go to college. As a result, lower quality institutions like the ones you mentioned (community college, online, etc.) take advantage of those who otherwise would not succeed with a college education or those who cannot afford a quality education.

The decent colleges are still largely focused on research and innovation over maximizing attendance.
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Old 01-25-2023, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Honolulu, HI
24,148 posts, read 9,091,371 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasLawyer2000 View Post
As a result, lower quality institutions like the ones you mentioned (community college, online, etc.) take advantage of those who otherwise would not succeed with a college education or those who cannot afford a quality education.
The quality of ones education for the majority of employers is irrelevant, including the major itslef. The degree is just a checkmark to supplement and compliment experience.

Only 25% of Americans 25+ have a degree, which is good enough to eliminate the majority of Americans who would've otherwise applied for the job.

You continue to make a subjective distinction between "good and bad institutions" when most people don't even have a degree, most employers only want it as a checkmark to compliment their experience, and most employers couldn't even afford to pay what Ivy League/MIT/top level grads would expect to make as entry level employers. Hell, they would just quit and search for greener pasture after getting their experience anyway.
Quote:
In 2021, the highest level of education of the population age 25 and older in the United States was distributed as follows

23.5% had a bachelor’s degree as their highest degree.
https://www.census.gov/newsroom/pres...ttainment.html

I've worked for multiple defense contracting companies, here's how many cared about my degree: ZERO. They didn't even ask to see it. You ask 20 different people what school they went to or what they majored in and you'll get 20 different answers, yet everyone is working for the same firm making around the same pay. Wow, shocking.

Here's how many firms cared about my experience, certifications, software tools proficiency, clearances, etc. to supplement the degree: ALL of them.

Last edited by Rocko20; 01-25-2023 at 06:33 AM..
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Old 01-25-2023, 11:38 AM
 
6,922 posts, read 6,979,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasLawyer2000 View Post
It's both. It's to stimulate intellectual curiosity and to prepare you for a job in academia or research field (doctor, etc.).
Even though most of us aren't headed for a career in academia nor a research field. I would describe each level of school as follows:

Elementary School: Basic skills, and preparation for middle school

Middle School: Preparation for high school, and probably the closest you get to preparation for the real world

High School: Gatekeeper as to who gets into which college

Undergrad: Preparation for an idealized academic world that won't exist for most of us

Grad School: The worst combination of school, a menial job, and a high level professional job, with the negatives of all 3, and the perks of none. Basically cheap, compliant labor that the professors get the pay and the glory for

As to the original question: I've said many times in the past that much of our college system, such as the idea of a liberal arts education just for the sake of learning rather than job training, made sense for the upper class, but are impractical for the middle and lower classes. The middle and lower classes need job training, but college does a terrible job of that. If college really was about learning for the sake of learning, then there would be no grades, and no required classes, and tuition would be free.
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Old 01-25-2023, 11:41 AM
 
6,922 posts, read 6,979,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnff View Post
While I wouldn't call them "higher skilled" I do agree that many of the younger engineers we are interviewing are not ready for the work environment. I've found it depends on the college attended. Graduates of some colleges come in prepared to dive in and search for solutions to new problems. Graduates of other schools are willing to work hard but unwilling or unable to just take initiative. They have to be told every step of the way and when they finish one step, they come back waiting for someone to tell them what to do next.

Sometimes it feels like I'm dealing with little puppies. After every task they're sitting there, wagging their tail, waiting for a treat and pat on the head. They need constant praise. And if you give them the slightest criticism, they start whimpering like a little whipped puppy.
Maybe instead of constantly bashing them, giving them the "constant praise" could be a cost-free way to improve productivity. If they desire praise, give them praise. It won't cost you a dime.

Maybe the first few times they need to be told what to do next. Especially if they get crucified over the smallest mistake. From my experience, "initiative" means mind reading.
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Old 01-25-2023, 01:17 PM
 
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I went to college for an engineering degree, but I really enjoyed some of my electrives which pertained to various courses such as art-related studies, or my favorite course of my entire 4 years there - History of WW2.

Necessary for an engineering degree? No, but I'd take those courses all over again.
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Old 01-25-2023, 01:31 PM
 
12,579 posts, read 8,809,297 times
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Originally Posted by mitsguy2001 View Post
Maybe instead of constantly bashing them, giving them the "constant praise" could be a cost-free way to improve productivity. If they desire praise, give them praise. It won't cost you a dime.

Maybe the first few times they need to be told what to do next. Especially if they get crucified over the smallest mistake. From my experience, "initiative" means mind reading.
Praise for what? No one is "bashing" them but they do have to be told what they've done wrong and how to do it right. But how many times do you have to tell them the same thing? Initiative doesn't mean mind reading but steping out and doing your job without having to be told to do your job.

Seriously, I see a difference based on where they went to school. I know folks on here like to say the degree doesn't matter or the school doesn't matter, but it does matter on the important things at least. I know you like to discount my experience as different somehow, yet I've seen this not just through myself, but watching my friends from college as well as my kid's and their friends and through coworkers over the years.

Two new hires, roughly same age so there's not a generational difference. Essentially the only difference is Pebbles graduated from a well-known Name Brand Tech with a top reputation and BamBam graduated from Upper Lower Somewhere State Tech. Given similar work tasks.

Pebbles: Got it. Goes off & researches the topic. Reviews the standard process and procedures for doing the task. Reads similar reports by others to get a feel for the style and content. Does a draft and has coworkers critique the draft, then presents the draft for review. Takes the comments and produces a final product. That's initiative.

BamBam: Needs the task explained. Doesn't research the topic. Doesn't review standard processes and procedures. Doesn't read similar reports. Doesn't do a draft or get critiques on the draft. Produces a product and delivers it as final that doesn't match the task given. When told the product isn't what was asked for, doesn't take it well. Has to be told to go back and research the topic. Then expects praise for researching the topic. Then has to be told to review standard processes. Then expects praise for that. Then has to be told to read other reports to get a feel for style and content. Then has to have someone explain the example to them. Then expects praise again. Then has to be told to do a draft. Then expects praise again. Then has to be told to get comments. Doesn't like comments and has to have comments explained to them and then told to include the comments. Finally delivers the product again, late, and still lacking, but expects praise for having completed it.

A couple years later Pebbles is team lead, running whole projects while BamBam is still working at the same level and complaining about Pebbles being ahead of him.
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Old 01-25-2023, 02:05 PM
 
18,606 posts, read 33,168,447 times
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Some college or a degree in anything relate to civil service exams and jobs on every level. Very useful.
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Old 01-25-2023, 05:34 PM
 
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i will vote career, since the contacts i made in college (networking?)
have paid off (career) over and over. "who you know"...or knew?
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