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Thread: Is a university degree still worth it?

  1. Default Is a university degree still worth it?

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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. #3
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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 .

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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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anders Hoveland View Post
    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.
    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. #6

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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. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by septimine View Post
    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.
    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.
    Last edited by NotEliTanenbaum; May 27 2012 at 11:18 PM.
    "Why are we surrounded by Sea? Surely that our Wants at home might be supply’d by our Navigation into other Countries, the least and easiest Labour. By this we taste the Spices of Arabia, yet never feel the hot Sun which brings them forth; we shine in Silks our Hands have never wrought; we drink of Vinyards which we never planted; the Treasures of those Mines are ours, in which we have never digg’d; we only plough the Deep, and reap the Harvest of every Country in the World."

    Henry Martyn

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by raymondo View Post
    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 .
    I suppose next you'll attack a Ph.D. in Surf Science....dude.

  9. #9

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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.
    Modern methods of production have given us the possibility of ease and security for all; we have chosen, instead, to have overwork for some and starvation for the others. Hitherto we have continued to be as energetic as we were before there were machines; in this we have been foolish, but there is no reason to go on being foolish for ever. - In Praise of Idleness, Bertrand Russell, (1932)

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    Quote Originally Posted by tkolter View Post
    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.
    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.

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