Is a university degree still worth it?

Discussion in 'Labor & Employment' started by Anders Hoveland, Nov 7, 2011.

  1. Anders Hoveland

    Anders Hoveland Banned

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    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZtX32sKVE"]College Conspiracy - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epaUy7tjmGY"]Is college for everyone? - YouTube[/ame]
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glzuTXLzUFs&feature=related"]Save Money Skip College - YouTube[/ame]
     
  2. Anders Hoveland

    Anders Hoveland Banned

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    If you are in college right now, you will most likely either be unemployed or working a job that only requires a high school degree when you graduate. The truth is that the U.S. economy is not coming anywhere close to producing enough jobs for the hordes of new college graduates that are entering the workforce every year. In 2011, 53 percent of all Americans with a bachelor's degree under the age of 25 were either unemployed or underemployed. Millions upon millions of young college graduates feel like the system has totally failed them. They worked hard in school all their lives, they went into huge amounts of debt in order to get the college education that they were told they "must have" in order to get a good job, but after graduation they found that there were only a handful of good jobs for the huge waves of college graduates that were entering the "real world". All over America, college graduates can be found waiting tables, flipping burgers and working behind the register at retail stores. Unfortunately, the employment picture in America is not going to get significantly better any time soon.

    All over the United States, "middle class jobs" are being replaced by "low income jobs" and young college graduates are being hurt by this transition more than almost anyone else. Massive numbers of young college graduates are now working jobs that do not even require a high school degree. Some of the statistics about young college graduates are absolutely astounding.
     
  3. raymondo

    raymondo Banned

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    Your basic point has some truth .
    But the opposites are also true .
    A huge number of young people going to University actually do not have the minimum talent to obtain a worthwhile degree .They should not have been accepted for Higher Education in the first place .
    Standards are low and types of courses are absurd in many instances .
    Over here , as easy examples , you can obtain a degree in Media Studies and in Photography .
    Enough said .
     
  4. JohnConstantine

    JohnConstantine Active Member

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    Personally I think if you're in a position to do it, you should. I think it is worth it for its own sake, if for nothing other than to congregate and network with those who wish to pursue knowledge, and of course expand your own.

    I'm 26, and although I intend to get around to doing a distance learning degree, it will be something I will always regret not going to university.
     
  5. septimine

    septimine New Member

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    How many of those kids have real degrees? Not the fluffy stuff, but math, science, and engineering? The problem isn't that we don't have enough graduate level jobs -- there are plenty that are not filled -- the problem is that people aren't taking into account the job prospects of a given degree before going and getting that degree. There isn't much demand for lit or philosophy, psychology is known for having a high unemployment rate, and so on. If you go to college, you should be majoring in something that the economy needs. we need lots of college grads -- chemists, engineers, computer scientists, mathematicians, economists, accountants, etc. We just don't need the millions of kids who go to school for fluff and can't get jobs later.
     
  6. PatrickT

    PatrickT Well-Known Member

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    Part of the discussion has to deal with the cost. The cost has been inflated all out of reason. Many years ago, two young men who had recently graduated with business degrees opened a small hot dog stand. I worked in that part of town and they had excellent hot dogs and I frequently stopped for a hot dog and a chat with the owners. After a year they were going out of business and I gave one owner my condolences.

    "Don't. We lost $5,000 and a year's time on this venture but we learned more than we did at the university which was $40,000 and four-years of our life." Allowing for some hyperbole, he has a point but now that $40,000 is $120,000 and up and it's five years instead of four.
     
  7. NotEliTanenbaum

    NotEliTanenbaum New Member

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    Amen. Many popular majors, such as nursing, accounting, finance, and computer science have relatively low unemployment rates, and high wages throughout their careers. If you are willing to study something serious, there is plenty of opportunity out there. This is a good reference.
     
  8. PatrickT

    PatrickT Well-Known Member

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    I suppose next you'll attack a Ph.D. in Surf Science....dude.
     
  9. tkolter

    tkolter Well-Known Member

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    Oddly one area where earning a degree is worth it is religion. If you graduate from a Seminary, Theological School or Yeshiva in most faiths you are assured a job and usually a salary. A starting Rabbi for example can walk out of a Yeshiva and earn an average of $50k a year. A Priest usually gets their education for free and a career, if they reach full ordination and are in high demand even with the obligations. These may be soft degrees but appliable to a real career if one is serious about serving others and studying for this.

    Even a soft degree to a gifted student is not a waste a high performing student in the arts with the talent and who can make it work is not in a bad major say a Theater or Music program, it depends on the student. And sorry but we need academics maybe not tons of them but genius is of value even if in philosophy that can lead to other things writing, legal studies, academic careers and the like even if not big money makers. I would say if the student is on an academic scholarship and doing very well and not going therefore to have a serious debt the budding scholar being a scholar is fine. Or if a student is older and pays their own way its also a good thing to study what you like. A degree in and of itself has some value and some people might be more into advancing knowledge and the like over making money that is not bad.
     
  10. septimine

    septimine New Member

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    Well, the problem with such a thing is that we're producing far more of these fluffy majors than we could ever hope to employ. You cannot believe that we need to graduate thousands of new philosophers every year, and the same goes for other fluffy majors. I'm thinking mostly about those who are taking out loans in order to persue a career in their major. If you're independently wealthy and don't have a lot of worry about whether or not the degree leads to a job, then yes, go as fluffy as you want. That's a rare case, and really shouldn't be used to encourage yet more 18 year olds to major in "Humanities" and go $100K into debt. Even for most hobbyist humanities lovers, I would recommend buying the books and teaching yourself. It's a lot cheaper.
     
  11. Diuretic

    Diuretic Well-Known Member

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    Couple of issues there. First, if you see university as a sort of higher vocational education then I think that would accord with your views. Secondly, produce too many graduates of anything and there will be unemployment in a particular occupation or profession. A university degree has worth and it's not just the discipline that's important. For me education is a process of continuing development of an individual. The context of the education is obviously important and any university education should - as with any form of education - prepare an individual for citizenship and work. Economic conditions though are a separate issue. I would think that any student who took a degree based on what the jobs market would look like in four or five years time is making a mistake. And someone taking a degree that they thought would provide good job prospects but kin a discipline they weren't enamoured with would probably drop out anyway.
     
  12. CinnamonGirl

    CinnamonGirl New Member

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    I think it's absolutely worth it. It's important to note that one should exercise a little discretion in determining which degree to pursue. There's no reason that a good degree with earning potential can't also be interesting. All it takes is a little leg work. Of course, it might help if high school guidance counselors were worth more than a pound of mulch. I just completed my bachelor degree, and I'm in my 30's. I had no clue what I wanted to do after high school. Luckily, my daughter has me and she's in college now, right after high school. No fluffy degree for her, either. Computer science.
     
  13. PatrickT

    PatrickT Well-Known Member

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    When I was in high school, a long time ago, I was told to write a paper for an English class on a good career choice. I wrote a paper on aviation engineering. High starting salary, salaries increasing rapidly, get to work and live in good locations like Washington State and, at that time, California. Okay, so the work is boring but you can go surfing when you're not working. Twenty years later, in the middle of the anticipated career, the field imploded. I recall an engineer being interviewed on television and he was a janitor in the building where he had been an engineer.

    One can predict some fields as loser. Sociology, any minority studies program, and anything that all your friends want to do. Back in the seventies it was park rangers. Everybody was going to return to nature as a park ranger. It wasn't until after graduation that they learned it involved emptying the pits at outhouses. Eeeee-uuuuuuu.

    Somewhere along the way we left my dream of every bright person being able to go to college and shifted to every person going to college. I was a police officer and had college students who had to dictate a confession because they couldn't write one. I routinely gave copies of Strunk and White's "Elements of Style" to college granduates working for me hoping they would learn to write. Most didn't get the point. My favorite response was a man who said, "I don't need this book. I have a master's degree in Sociology." "That's a non sequitur." "What's a non sequitur?"

    Lastly, when the question is, "Is a college degree worth it?" it implies a question about the value. Taking a degree in performance arts because it's fun and the dope is good is not "worth it".
     
  14. septimine

    septimine New Member

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    I see it that way mostly because of the expense. I agree with educational development. I've gotten rather into history (kinda through a side door or reading a book written by a guy who's convinced of a Dark Age coming fairly soon), but I'm doing so with general interest history books as well as things like primary sources -- journals that have been published, stuff like that. It's a lot cheaper to do so on your own then to take on $100K of debt, and probably get a bit less than what you could get simply reading things written at the time. The second advantage of that approach is that since I'm doing all the legwork myself, it's self paced and self motivated. So even if I'm not in a university setting, I'm getting not only the benefit of learning more about history, but I'm learning the very things that unis are supposed to teach -- self-discipline to plant my ass in a chair and read the stuff, learning to look for patterns and commonalities between events, or looking for cause and effect. In a lecture hall, you don't get that. So I am getting a bit of a uni education, but unlike most of the students of history, I'm not gimping my future by not getting a job skill, nor am I graduating with a piece of paper and $100K in debt.

    So my answer is -- education for its own sake is good, but I wouldn't advise doing so at a uni, simply because it prevents you from using the same uni time and the money spent (and loaned to you) to get a skill that would allow you to pay off the loan. It's not that it's not a valuable thing, just that in the age of college (and the right degree) being necessary to get a good job, you'd be a fool to waste the time and money getting a degree in a hobby subject.

    As to whether or not a person loves the subject -- I think it matters in picking a broad subject, but it shouldn't be the only consideration. Most people being human will choose work that seems easy and fun. That's good, if you can get it. However, those jobs are often hard to find and pay poorly because everyone wants to do it. Besides that, most of the work that actually needs to be done is hard and not always fun. Accounting isn't fun, but it pays well because people need to keep books and pay taxes. Engineering isn't always fun, but someone has to do it. On the other hand, some of the stuff that on the surface sounds fun, really isn't. Lots of kids like the idea of being a "game designer" -- but the day to day reality is not fun. The hours are pretty long, especially when it gets close to release day. There are stories of people sleeping under their desks because they simply don't have enough time to go home. Coding itself is most certainly not always "fun" -- it's work. So basing your idea of "what I want to do" on perceptions of fun is not a good idea. If the work actually IS fun, chances are that the market is full of other people who really want to do it, and thus wages are low and unemployment is high. If not, chances are that people leave the industry because the work is harder than advertised.
     
  15. 4Horsemen

    4Horsemen Banned

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    Always room for more lying, stealing preachers.
     
  16. 4Horsemen

    4Horsemen Banned

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    to answer the OP, College is an awful scam propped up by the Banksters.. sure wish I hadn't wasted all that time and money. But once you're enrolled your balls belong to the Banks.

    I have a friend who graduated with me 18 years ago and just recently in 2012 finished paying the loan off. RIPP OFF!!!

    Watch this for a clear understanding why college is a total scam.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A75KERKwEQM
     
  17. Durandal

    Durandal Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    I find it a worsening proposition, certainly. It's getting way too expensive to afford by working, and wages even in jobs requiring college education are often too low to cover costs of living + debt repayment. It is increasingly not economically viable.
     
  18. Durandal

    Durandal Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    "The College Bubble" :thumbsup: That describes it marvelously.
     
  19. Diuretic

    Diuretic Well-Known Member

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    septimine - sounds to me like you're getting an education, just not getting the piece of paper in the paper chase.

    The problem is credentialism.
     

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