U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
 
Old 02-22-2011, 09:42 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,971 posts, read 98,814,535 times
Reputation: 31381

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
There are lots of things that people can benefit from...but that wasn't the question. My feeling, as a parent, is that I will help them become financially self sufficient. That may be college, that may be trade or vocational school, or something different. I have nothing against college (DH and I both have degrees, and we are helping our DD through college as we speak) but I don't think it's the be-all, end-all for everyone. If I had a child who had a clear idea of what they wanted to do in life, and it didn't require college, why would I spend tens of thousands of dollars for something they did not want or need? I'd think the money would be better spent, helping them prepare for/achieve what they DID want to do. Or if they did not have a clue what they might want to do, if it were financially possible, like DewDropInn said, encourage them to spend a "gap year" doing something that might help them figure out what it was they want to do. Endlessly changing majors, retaking classes they don't do well in (if that is an issue) and ending up feeling like a failure after several years and thousands of dollars trying to become what other people think they "should" be, can't be great for a person either.
Well, the topic of the thread is "Why do you pay for your kids college education?" However, we got to talking about some other issue, that is, should everyone go to college? I'll say no, but I'll be dipped if I want to be the one to choose who should and who shouldnt' go. I'm just saying, many vocational courses of study are now being taught in community colleges, where the student also sometimes get an AA or an AAS degree. For example, here is what Front Range CC in Westminster, CO has to offer in voc. ed:

Fields of Study - FRCC

A lot of these vocational programs used to be taught through the public schools, or on the job.

I'm not keen on "gap years" as I've seen kids do that and never get a handle on what they want to do. One guy I know has floundered from job to job, generally minimum wage or barely above, for several years now. Most colleges have an "exploratory" major (called different things at different schools) that can help the undecided student.
Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-22-2011, 09:51 PM
 
Location: Denver area
21,141 posts, read 22,112,687 times
Reputation: 35536
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Well, the topic of the thread is "Why do you pay for your kids college education?" However, we got to talking about some other issue, that is, should everyone go to college? I'll say no, but I'll be dipped if I want to be the one to choose who should and who shouldnt' go. I'm just saying, many vocational courses of study are now being taught in community colleges, where the student also sometimes get an AA or an AAS degree. For example, here is what Front Range CC in Westminster, CO has to offer in voc. ed:

Fields of Study - FRCC

A lot of these vocational programs used to be taught through the public schools, or on the job.

I'm not keen on "gap years" as I've seen kids do that and never get a handle on what they want to do. One guy I know has floundered from job to job, generally minimum wage or barely above, for several years now. Most colleges have an "exploratory" major (called different things at different schools) that can help the undecided student.
Well...I'd say there is a difference between a constructive, well planned "gap year" and just allowing someone to flounder around. Although honestly, some kids just may need to flounder a bit for them to come to terms with the fact that they need to do SOMETHING to move forward. Now of course, that's not going to help someone who's just aimless/lazy. But OTOH, an aimless and lazy person will be that way whether or not you're paying for his college. The point is, that each child is different. What happens after high school is not a one-size fits all. I'd agree that education is always beneficial - but not everyone succeeds in the kind of education that is called college. When I said, that whether college was beneficial wasn't the question, I wasn't trying to say it in a snotty way (sorry if it came acrossed that way!). All I meant was, the thread was about parents paying for college - I don't think that's always the best use of money. Parents seem to focus on college as being the "only" path to success and I just don't believe that's so.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2011, 02:16 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,542 posts, read 17,732,845 times
Reputation: 3681
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
Well...I'd say there is a difference between a constructive, well planned "gap year" and just allowing someone to flounder around. Although honestly, some kids just may need to flounder a bit for them to come to terms with the fact that they need to do SOMETHING to move forward. Now of course, that's not going to help someone who's just aimless/lazy. But OTOH, an aimless and lazy person will be that way whether or not you're paying for his college. The point is, that each child is different. What happens after high school is not a one-size fits all. I'd agree that education is always beneficial - but not everyone succeeds in the kind of education that is called college. When I said, that whether college was beneficial wasn't the question, I wasn't trying to say it in a snotty way (sorry if it came acrossed that way!). All I meant was, the thread was about parents paying for college - I don't think that's always the best use of money. Parents seem to focus on college as being the "only" path to success and I just don't believe that's so.
depends on your definition of success. and of course, there are always outliers (bill gates, etc), but the facts remain that when discussing earning power, the avg lifetime earnings of a college grad far exceed thos of a high school grad. so it depends on what one wants out of life, but college degree will more often than not allow one a better chance to "succeed" depending on your definition of course.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2011, 02:24 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,542 posts, read 17,732,845 times
Reputation: 3681
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
What happens when a stockbrocker loses his job? Honestly, in this economy, a mechanic's job might just be safer than lots of more white collar jobs that are being outsourced. Can't really outsource a mechanic . What happens when any person has a debilitating accident? Or goes blind? Can't really continue to be an interior designer or architect if you can't see....college is no guarantee that there will always be a job or that you will always be able to do it.

Also (to stick with your example) there are many different things a mechanic can do - they don't just work on cars. Also, just like anyone else, who's to say if you're a mechanic that's "all" you can do anymore than if you're a stockbroker that's "all" you can do?
a stockbroker typically has a finance degree. so there are literally hundreds of different jobs they can do. they can prepare financial statements. work in research for an accounting department. work in compliance. etc.

generally speaking, "trade" workers, or what people will sometimes call "low skilled" workers (i don't), have limited skills. my dad is an electrician for a utility company. no college degree. if he ever loses his job, especially at his age, he'd be in serious trouble. there's not much else he can do. maybe be a driver for UPS? maybe work at a factory? but the point is, there's much more competition for those "low skill" jobs because there is a greater number of people with those limited qualifications.

accidents and disabilities aside (many professionals have insurance to cover such things, through their employers by the way), a college degree increases your earning power and your options. is it one size fits all? of course not. but you're going to be better off and have more to fall back on if you have some degree. if you're a mechanic and run your own business, maybe go to the community college for a business management degree. it will help your career, and give you other options as well. of course, it's not for everyone. but i think it's a bit silly to believe that a college educated person does not have more opportunities and some clear advantages. whether it's right or wrong, whether we educate too much...different discussion. but the reality of today is, you almost need a college degree to do anything these days.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2011, 02:28 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,542 posts, read 17,732,845 times
Reputation: 3681
Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
I might. Or at least urge them to spend a "gap year" doing something constructive between high school and college if I thought they just weren't suited to college. Not everyone is. I keep saying it, but I know a lot of successful, creative people who did not go to college. (They do, however, have a work ethic and a drive that's unbelievable. These are the people who don't take "no" for an answer.)
i'd be curious what age group the "lots of successful people" you know that didn't go to college. again, i know it's possible, but it's generally the exception, not the norm. if you start your own business, maybe. but if the business fails, you're back to square one, and you'll have to come up with another idea. many places just won't hire people without the degree. i worked in IT Consulting for years, and had a very good friend who knows 100x more than any of the people I worked with. But, my company wouldn't even interview someone without a bachelors degree. Is it right? No. But it just is.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2011, 02:40 PM
 
Location: West Orange, NJ
12,542 posts, read 17,732,845 times
Reputation: 3681
i should also clarify, and this might sound harsh to some...and my views may chane as I have children that grow older and my experiences change but...

i think the standard "western" attitude, primarily american attitude, of telling a child that they can be "whatever they want to be" is not only misleading, but sometimes dangerous. no, you can't be whatever you want to be. i'm not saying i'll shoot down dreams, but maybe my kid will want to be a lawyer because they think it's glamerous and well-paying. but the facts are, most lawyers graduate with a load of debt, and are lucky to be making $30-$50k per year. if that's what they want, then that's fine, but in some areas, it's impossible to get a job as a lawyer, because tons of people are also looking. my wife is filipina, and he relatives from the phillipines all got to this country basically the same way...they went into nursing, or pharmacy, or food science, etc. depending on the period of time they came over. nursing is what foreigners are persuing now to become citizens or get green cards...because us americans think that we can have our children do whatever they want. well, economy tanks, we have plenty of business people, but no one to fill all the nursing and hospital positions.

so, i do hope to instill some guidance into my children that they can pursue their dreams, but they should be wise and look at a question when choosing their paths: what will people need, what are the demands that are coming, etc. I happened to be interested in IT and Business, but i looked at what was going on in the world when i chose my major. I had help from guidance counselors and from college advisors and from parents. But i knew what I could generally expect if i went down the path of getting an IT degree in the late 90s, early 00s. Just like now, healthcare is going to grow for quite a while.

people need to be smart about what they choose. and yeah, if you want to be something that doesn't require a degree, you need to be smart about not wasting your money on senseless degrees.

i don't want to sound like i think everyone needs to go to college. sorry if it sounded that way.

ok...off soapbox. have a nice night!
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2011, 03:03 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,333,321 times
Reputation: 32238
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
i'd be curious what age group the "lots of successful people" you know that didn't go to college. again, i know it's possible, but it's generally the exception, not the norm. if you start your own business, maybe. but if the business fails, you're back to square one, and you'll have to come up with another idea. many places just won't hire people without the degree. i worked in IT Consulting for years, and had a very good friend who knows 100x more than any of the people I worked with. But, my company wouldn't even interview someone without a bachelors degree. Is it right? No. But it just is.
Boomers. (So, yeah, it probably makes a difference.) Also these are people who write, create, entertainment industry. A few computer people for good measure.

I'm just not an "everyone needs college" believer for a variety of reasons. I am big on CC's and learning a trade and/or technical school for the people who just aren't 4-year university types. The CC I went to has a 2-year Mortician's program. And it's always pretty much full. Perfect example of training for two years and coming out with a skill that will pay the bills. It also has a two-year program for auto mechanics.

There are also socio-economic considerations. There are a lot of young people coming out of high school who need to work ASAP. Who don't have a "college tradition" in their families. These are the people who benefit from training programs and/or two year degrees.

Last edited by DewDropInn; 02-23-2011 at 03:28 PM..
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2011, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,971 posts, read 98,814,535 times
Reputation: 31381
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradykp View Post
i should also clarify, and this might sound harsh to some...and my views may chane as I have children that grow older and my experiences change but...

i think the standard "western" attitude, primarily american attitude, of telling a child that they can be "whatever they want to be" is not only misleading, but sometimes dangerous. no, you can't be whatever you want to be. i'm not saying i'll shoot down dreams, but maybe my kid will want to be a lawyer because they think it's glamerous and well-paying. but the facts are, most lawyers graduate with a load of debt, and are lucky to be making $30-$50k per year. if that's what they want, then that's fine, but in some areas, it's impossible to get a job as a lawyer, because tons of people are also looking. my wife is filipina, and he relatives from the phillipines all got to this country basically the same way...they went into nursing, or pharmacy, or food science, etc. depending on the period of time they came over. nursing is what foreigners are persuing now to become citizens or get green cards...because us americans think that we can have our children do whatever they want. well, economy tanks, we have plenty of business people, but no one to fill all the nursing and hospital positions.

so, i do hope to instill some guidance into my children that they can pursue their dreams, but they should be wise and look at a question when choosing their paths: what will people need, what are the demands that are coming, etc. I happened to be interested in IT and Business, but i looked at what was going on in the world when i chose my major. I had help from guidance counselors and from college advisors and from parents. But i knew what I could generally expect if i went down the path of getting an IT degree in the late 90s, early 00s. Just like now, healthcare is going to grow for quite a while.

people need to be smart about what they choose. and yeah, if you want to be something that doesn't require a degree, you need to be smart about not wasting your money on senseless degrees.

i don't want to sound like i think everyone needs to go to college. sorry if it sounded that way.

ok...off soapbox. have a nice night!
I hear what you're saying, but. . .

To use your example about lawyers, I am an RN and I could tell you 100 reasons why someone shouldn't go into nursing, but I could also give you 101 why someone should. One of our doctors said he could give the talk either way about going into medicine. The point is, unless one is independently wealthy, one must do something for a living. I'd like to see my kids qualified to do more than clerk at the 7-11. Not b/c I think they're above that, but b/c I don't think anyone aspires to do that for 50+ years, which is what we're looking at career wise from college these days, what with the retirement age being raised and talk of raising it even higher. It's possible my kids (now in their 20s) will have more than one career over their lifetimes.

BTW, there is no nursing shortage in most of the country right now.
************************************************** *******

Yes, there are some Boomers who started their own businesses w/o college degrees, but just as my father worked with engineers who hadn't gone to college, and, in at least one case, with one who didn't graduate from high school, that simply is not the way it is any more. My dad's company paid him to get a master's in engineering, and he was the one who was made the head of the dept, so that is something to consider as well. If you're loooking for opportunity for advancement, a degree is always an asset.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2011, 04:20 PM
 
Location: Denver area
21,141 posts, read 22,112,687 times
Reputation: 35536
Not all "technical" trades are "low skill" though...

Just for kicks, I started looking at "mechanics"....there are auto mechanics, diesel mechanics, HVAC mechanics, aircraft mechanics....some of those are quite specialized and can make pretty darn good money. While some colleges do offer those courses - there are also specialized trade schools that cater to those careers. Some of those jobs have more earning potential than some careers that require college. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about...not someone just graduating and hanging out the the local Grease Monkey changing oil for minimum wage and calling themselves a mechanic. If I had a child who had a mechanical aptitude and an interest in becoming an aviation mechanic, I wouldn't have any trouble spending his college fund on a specialized trade school instead of insisting he attend a 4 year college and being burdened with classes he had no interest in if he knew exactly what he wanted to do and had a clear and reasonable idea of how he wanted to get there.
Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-23-2011, 04:26 PM
 
32,538 posts, read 29,333,321 times
Reputation: 32238
Quote:
Originally Posted by maciesmom View Post
Not all "technical" trades are "low skill" though...

Just for kicks, I started looking at "mechanics"....there are auto mechanics, diesel mechanics, HVAC mechanics, aircraft mechanics....some of those are quite specialized and can make pretty darn good money. While some colleges do offer those courses - there are also specialized trade schools that cater to those careers. Some of those jobs have more earning potential than some careers that require college. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about...not someone just graduating and hanging out the the local Grease Monkey changing oil for minimum wage and calling themselves a mechanic. If I had a child who had a mechanical aptitude and an interest in becoming an aviation mechanic, I wouldn't have any trouble spending his college fund on a specialized trade school instead of insisting he attend a 4 year college and being burdened with classes he had no interest in if he knew exactly what he wanted to do and had a clear and reasonable idea of how he wanted to get there.
This.

(Once again Maciesmom has succeeded in expressing what I was thinking. )
Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


 
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:
Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Parenting
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top