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Old 07-11-2013, 06:45 AM
 
16,825 posts, read 17,723,474 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s1alker View Post
Networking and people skills is far more important than what degree you have.
Well that is a gross generalization that doesn't apply to almost any STEM field.

Do you really think you can be an astrophysicist with a liberal arts degree as long as you have "networked"?

That you can be an electrical engineer with a degree in marketing if your "people skills" are good?
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Old 07-11-2013, 06:53 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,386 posts, read 35,525,084 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starman71 View Post
I agree with you, but...

There's a problem with ignoring the lower level students. They are the ones that can show the most gains on standardized tests. The upper level students - while making high scores - show the least gain. And since the "gain" is a part of our (TN) evaluation process, you find many teachers catering to the lower level. If they are predicted to make 10% on the test but you can get them up to 20%, that's great! They still failed, but they made great gains. OTOH, a student predicted to make 99% misses one question by shear happenstance makes a 97%. That one is great, but actually brings your "gains" down and hurts your evaluation.

I know it's stupid, but this is what we have to deal with. So I've seen teachers cheer at getting a class full of what I have affectionately called the "sweat-hogs" or students with IEP'S.

Now the argument might be made that keeping the standards/materials/content high in the class helps bring up those on lower end - that they will rise to the challenge. In my experience, this rarely works. For some, they'll try, but most won't.
I find the top 2/3 will rise to the challenge. The bottom, while not attempting to reach the bar, however, can do better on the state tests just because of the exposure to the classroom setting where the other kids are engaged. As I noted in previous posts, there was a 41% increase in passing scores on the state tests during the two years I taught at the charter school. I set the bar high and there was no other teacher teaching chemistry so they had no choice but to take me. The top 2/3 rose to the challenge and, to a certain extent, dragged the bottom with them.

In my current school, I'd have to cater to the bottom because the bottom knows they can complain to the management and get moved to the other teacher. They are pitting teacher against teacher and the only way to play the game is lower your standards so A's and passes are easier in your class so you are the teacher they ask for.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Middle America
37,409 posts, read 53,553,761 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
I agree. I have no idea why we're in love with the idea that everyone must go to college.
Probably because every other job posted for even support-level staffing right now is demanding a degree as weed-out criteria.
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:33 PM
 
Location: midwest
1,594 posts, read 1,410,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
Probably because every other job posted for even support-level staffing right now is demanding a degree as weed-out criteria.
So it is circular reasoning that forces people to go to college and we have lots of dummies with college degrees. Like people with degrees in psychology are SO SMART.

psik
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Old 07-11-2013, 01:43 PM
 
2,349 posts, read 5,433,874 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazeddude8 View Post
The reason I think is because one is usually told "In college you can study whatever you want, pursue your passion and you will find a good job"- that passion whether it is Nursing or Engineering vs the music or sociology etc... does not matter people are just told pursue your passion (regardless of whatever the passion is) and you will be fine.

Also many still have the mindset that college degree (in anything)= white collar job. The thinking is "Ok maybe I won't get a job at the Museum of Natural History with my Anthropology degree, but I know I will find some sort of entry level data entry, customer service position etc.." They say that not knowing that even the low level office stuff is incredibly hard to get. How many "entry level jobs" has one seen that has "2-3 years experience in X ?"

1) They actually don't know how bloody tough it is out there-they actually DO NOT realize the competition for professional jobs
2) They are told, indoctrinated in the "Major in whatever you want and you will find work"
3) They are naïve and unrealistic

If I where to advise a high school grad or someone asking about what to major in college, I would strongly suggest to:

"Major in something marketable, practical whether it is your true passion or not does not matter as much as you think. I am sure there are engineers out there who would rather be doing something else, I am sure there are accountants who would have rather pursued the dream of his band making it big- but they are still good accountants and engineers nonetheless. Not everyone is going to get the dream job/end up doing what he/she truly wants to do and that is ok. As for the anthropology, the music, the English etc... pursue that as a minor"

In my view and yes I know many will disagree and I respect that, that's fine, in my view the point of college is to directly lead to a career (not taking the same Party city job you had in high school) and if the LA is no longer delivering on that, then why should I major in the liberal arts? In a sense I see college as almost a vocational type education that leads directly from A to B. The whole "learning for the sake of learning, art for art's sake, well rounded individual etc.. etc..." that's all well and good but I better be looking at more than minimum wage if I go that route.

Perhaps unrelated but in any case. The LA often, unfairly gets a bad rep. When you have the student that just wants to "coast for 4 years", show up and not really do anything etc... more than likely he/she will major in the liberal arts. You don't see many slackers decide to pursue a degree in biochem because "screw college I just want something easy". No doubt that yes there are slackers in the LA, but to then assume that every LA student is a slacker is there to "coast for 4 years" is unfair.
Good post.

I'd bet a lot of white collar workers did indeed major in something non-primary, maybe even LA. There are a lot of people working in those big tall building in cities and office parks - I would think a lot of them have secondary roles.

Also, automation has possibly eliminated a lot of those secondary, support roles. Years ago, there were a lot more secretaries and secretary level people (clerical, light technical), than there are now. Engineers for example do their own word processing for the most part and submit stuff to CM/DM.

Finally, a LOT of very successful people have made it in sales with LA degrees. I am surprised at how many people I have met with slackology degrees pulling in six figs+ because they know how to sell (insurance, whatever). You know, the popular frat boy type (who supports the old saying "The A Students end up working for the C Students").

A typical upper middle class neighborhood will have an engineer(s), a pharmacist, a business owner, other STEM people, a couple of dual income adults or DINKS, and several sales dudes making the big bucks.
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Old 07-11-2013, 03:39 PM
 
1,761 posts, read 2,605,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plmokn View Post
Good post.

I'd bet a lot of white collar workers did indeed major in something non-primary, maybe even LA. There are a lot of people working in those big tall building in cities and office parks - I would think a lot of them have secondary roles.

Also, automation has possibly eliminated a lot of those secondary, support roles. Years ago, there were a lot more secretaries and secretary level people (clerical, light technical), than there are now. Engineers for example do their own word processing for the most part and submit stuff to CM/DM.

Finally, a LOT of very successful people have made it in sales with LA degrees. I am surprised at how many people I have met with slackology degrees pulling in six figs+ because they know how to sell (insurance, whatever). You know, the popular frat boy type (who supports the old saying "The A Students end up working for the C Students").

A typical upper middle class neighborhood will have an engineer(s), a pharmacist, a business owner, other STEM people, a couple of dual income adults or DINKS, and several sales dudes making the big bucks.

I agree on all counts, especially towards the sales. The thing is some grads are turned off by sales because what they usually find is "Commission only, you have to invest XXX$ for the license and start up fee etc.." Certainly one can be successful with sales however.

I think one of the biggest thing the college grad has to realize is Degree does not equal automatic white collar work. The temp agencies, those entry level, low level office positions the employer can be picky about those as well.
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Old 07-11-2013, 04:02 PM
 
1,614 posts, read 2,071,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazeddude8 View Post
I am in college right now and speaking on behalf on the small group of friends and acquaintances I know, STEM is the thing right now. The nursing, IT, computers, accounting, supply chain management etc... those are the hot majors, this is what everyone is studying. Asking some of them "Is accounting what you really want to do? Why are you interested in finance etc...?" Often the answer is "no, I really like anthropology but I know there is little chance of a job at the end so I have to major in something useful/practical".

My opinion on the matter:

I do not believe that the liberal arts are any less rigorous as the STEM fields. I do not believe that LA students are somehow less disciplined, less passionate, less intelligent than STEM majors, nor do I believe that those teaching LA are any less of a professor than the STEM professors. The problem I see is the employers are not hiring LA grads, or the LA grad will have to work much harder for that entry level job than the friend who majored in STEM.

When you have friends that majored in English or Sociology and are working in Starbucks or Shop Rite, compared to the Accounting or finance grad who is working for Sony in their finance division, or the IT grad working for Johnson and Johnson- of course that makes the LA major look bad. Students will ask themselves , "If all a Psych degree is going to get me is cashier at Khols, why should I major in it?"

Friends talk, students talk, if they see more of their LA friends get good jobs-non minimum wage jobs then they maybe they are more likely to go for a LA degree.
My wife has a B.A and a B.S - in her view, obtaining the B.S was more difficult. However, getting a B.A is easy, and takes very little work, so perhaps it is all relative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by s1alker View Post
Networking and people skills is far more important than what degree you have.
Can't argue there.
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:26 PM
 
36 posts, read 72,717 times
Reputation: 40
NO. But it is all the talk with the amnesty bill. The amnesty bill the senate passed is packed full of visas. It allows for massive numbers of visas so that companies can get cheaper labor than hiring Americans. I know some young college grads now, with degrees in engineering, who cannot even find positions other than part-time work. No one wants to do much recruiting. If you read the news you will see it is all about part time jobs now. Corps want cheap cheap cheap labor and so they pay congress to vote for expanding visas programs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by never-more View Post
So I wish to all of you this question: Are the STEM fields the only thing that matters in education today, to the point we should neglect the other fields?
~never-more

Last edited by skeedoodle; 07-11-2013 at 06:00 PM..
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Old 07-11-2013, 07:58 PM
 
Location: somewhere flat
1,373 posts, read 1,653,942 times
Reputation: 4118
Quote:
Originally Posted by never-more View Post
So I wish to all of you this question: Are the STEM fields the only thing that matters in education today, to the point we should neglect the other fields?
~never-more
No. The STEM fields are not "everything these days". Some people can't write and do well in Math and Science. The STEM fields offer them a way to attend college.

Realistically, every job that is available can not be in the STEM fields.

People need to get a grip and to stop operating out of fear.
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Old 07-11-2013, 09:55 PM
 
Location: Paranoid State
13,044 posts, read 13,861,555 times
Reputation: 15839
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkb0714 View Post
Technically true but as a STEM teacher I can tell you it is generally assumed to be higher math. When I said reading and math, I meant solid basics i.e. ability to do addition, subtraction, so on, quickly, accurately and without a calculator if need be...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Starman71 View Post
I teach AP chemistry an AP physics. Yet, I tell my students that the most important classes they will take are the english classes - hopefully ones that focus on reading comprehension. ...
I never learned arithmetic. I am a product of an educational experiment in the early 1960s called "The New Math." It was sort of like this: "If Johnny has 4 apples and Suzie had 3 carrots, how does Jill feel about the war in VietNam?" OK, that's an exaggeration, but you get the idea. "If star A has a temperature of X, and star B has a temperature of Y, what would the temperature be if you added them together?" Stupid question; why would anyone ever add them together?

Ultimately, I did grad level math & stat; my inability to do arithmetic without a calculator didn't hold me back.

At any rate, in marketing there is a concept sometimes called "a four wheeler." You never see an advertisement for an automobile advertising it has 4 wheels -- it is assumed (same thing for a steering wheel, brakes, etc).

The ability to communicate is, in my mind, a four wheeler. I assume someone can communicate - and then it is about what else they know & can do. For so many things, for me it always boiled down to attitude & ability to learn.
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