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Old 03-25-2011, 12:07 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,139 posts, read 22,715,399 times
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I ask this question after listening to a couple of the posted videos in //www.city-data.com/forum/colle...t-college.html .

Many cultures use a "comming of age" ritual that involves jumping through an otherwise somewhat arbitrary set of flaming hoops to prove their worth as an adult member of society.

Does a college degree do that for our culture? Does the degree say: "I have the resources, the patience and ability to become an elite (and therefore valuable) American citizen?", much like boys of the Samburu tribe must endure certain tasks, harrassment and finally a ritual circumcision without flinching or showing any sign of pain before they are considered men (and therefore strong, brave and capable of great endurance as men must be to be successful in that culture)?

Or is college just a trap, meant to dupe people out of their money and lock them into debt, as many tend to argue here?

whatdayathink?
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Whittier
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Very good question. Although the word "elite" throws me for a loop. Even I graduated from a state school, I had some (not much), but some envy of others who went to a UC (here in California) or even a private school.

I had to accept that even though I thought I had a chance at say an Ivy or Ivy caliber school, that I'd be stuck with my state school degree. As I said however, I'm pretty much over that...

In general however yeah, I'd say that college is just 'another cultural hoop.' And there are stigmas associated with having and not having a degree.

I'd love to delve deeper into this topic, but I'm afraid I'd go on too long. Eh, maybe later.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Purgatory (A.K.A. Dallas, Texas)
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I think college helps people learn how to spell words correctly, for one thing.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Sinking in the Great Salt Lake
13,139 posts, read 22,715,399 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getmeoutofhere View Post
I think college helps people learn how to spell words correctly, for one thing.
Yes, college does train many a spelling nazi to police the web for the "benefit of humanity". Anything else?

Last edited by Chango; 03-25-2011 at 03:07 PM..
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Old 03-25-2011, 03:37 PM
 
Location: New York City
4,035 posts, read 10,258,273 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
Or is college just a trap, meant to dupe people out of their money and lock them into debt, as many tend to argue here?
What is the alternative? Should we not have trained doctors or structural engineers? Should we close down a school like UCLA because it’s just a “trap”? Should everyone just muddle along with a high school diploma? Does anyone really believe this?

The real issue is that the 20th century was the Golden Age of the blue-collar worker. Manufacturing and skilled trade jobs paid middle-class wages with little or no academic, i.e., theoretical, education. Such a time is unlikely to ever come again and the transition is very, very painful for many people.

We forget that the 20th century was an anomaly. For the rest of recorded history the vast majority of people were peasants or manual laborers who toiled under brutal conditions just to get by. You don’t need to read Marx to see this. An author like Charles Dickens will do as well.

College does not guarantee anything, but it is often a prerequisite. People without a degree have fewer options to make a middle-class wage.

Also, education has been tied to status since the Middle Ages. The difference now is that people have access like never before. In the 19th century, many people started working at 13 or even younger. Finishing high school was a luxury and college was nearly impossible.
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:19 PM
 
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It really does not take much to get a generic degree with a 2.0 GPA from one of the 6,900 accredited universities; graduates, especially young and inexperienced ones, are a dime a dozen and not valued by employers. In fact, they will typically be ignored.
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:33 PM
 
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Its not a gneris degree that reallt pays but even then the stats show that you have a much btter chance of advancemnt. I have even known amny who did it while srokig knowing that they had limits otherwsie in corporate wrold. You can be a plumber with trainig if you want really but as a friend said who is a pluber;hope by back holdsout until retirement.
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Old 03-25-2011, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,316 posts, read 120,209,612 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chango View Post
I ask this question after listening to a couple of the posted videos in //www.city-data.com/forum/colle...t-college.html .

Many cultures use a "comming of age" ritual that involves jumping through an otherwise somewhat arbitrary set of flaming hoops to prove their worth as an adult member of society.

Does a college degree do that for our culture? Does the degree say: "I have the resources, the patience and ability to become an elite (and therefore valuable) American citizen?", much like boys of the Samburu tribe must endure certain tasks, harrassment and finally a ritual circumcision without flinching or showing any sign of pain before they are considered men (and therefore strong, brave and capable of great endurance as men must be to be successful in that culture)?

Or is college just a trap, meant to dupe people out of their money and lock them into debt, as many tend to argue here?

whatdayathink?
As my kids and their friends graduated from high school, I came to feel that HS graduation is the coming of age ritual. After all, at least in middle class society, practically everyone graduates from high school.
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Old 03-26-2011, 12:26 AM
 
Location: San Francisco, CA
15,088 posts, read 13,390,926 times
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Yes, college does have something to do with proving your worth from a societal standpoint inasmuch as we live in an information age now where one's ability to secure a viable future for oneself is dependent upon one's ability amass the right knowledge base and skill set. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.
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Old 03-26-2011, 01:11 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
14,317 posts, read 22,298,125 times
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College is just another factor that enables a person to conduct their lives. It's not that it separates winners from losers. For those who haven't been fortunate enough to find their calling before going to college, college gives one additional time to mature while gaining more knowledge. The additional knowledge has great intrinsic value and expands one's options.

Winners and losers can be found among those who graduated from college as well as those who didn't attend at all.
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