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(Wall Street Journal)   Seven years of college down the drain   (wsj.com) divider line 318
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39019 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Aug 2008 at 2:10 AM (6 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2008-08-14 10:48:07 AM
The four year BA or BSC shows a willingness to start something and finish it. That counts for a lot in an age where people want it and want it now.

Next, the transcripts show how well they did. If the student was a C it means they're a coaster, if they scored B's and A's it means they not only finished the degree but worked at it. You're hired.

Certification is fine and all, but who runs the certification? How would I be sure that your cert is worth anything? I passed a bunch of certs back in the 1990s with scores near 100% (MSCE, A+ etc:), I never scored that high in university (Math was my major).

To me this might solve one problem but create others.

I have yet to be hired without first showing my transcripts. Not sure why this didn't get mentioned in the article.
 
2008-08-14 10:49:31 AM
rob.d: Next, the transcripts show how well they did. If the student was a C it means they're a coaster, if they scored B's and A's it means they not only finished the degree but worked at it. You're hired.

I have never been asked for a transcript by anyone other then my grad school admissions office.
 
2008-08-14 10:50:59 AM
Garrett Jax: No, no, no. The purpose of a college degree is, and always has been, a method for the "haves" to keep from giving jobs to the "have-nots." Now that the have-nots are going to college in record numbers, the haves will simply require more and more levels of education or construct some other expensive barrier.

You must have worked at Citigroup at some point in your career. The company paid for most of my MBA which I earned by going part time at night/weekends. When I was done, I tried to move to a "front office" position (i.e. buy-side credit analyst, etc.) I was told that my MBA was a waste of time because I did not go "Top 25" school. Actually, I remember one person who had the nerve to tell me "we are only hiring Cornell grads this year".

Yeah the glass ceiling in the investments business is pretty strong, let me tell ya
 
2008-08-14 10:52:08 AM
tabula_rasta: me: doctorate... wife: GED after dropping out of high school... I make a fair living, she makes twice what I do (thankfully)

You married a stripper?

farm1.static.flickr.com
 
2008-08-14 10:54:07 AM
I was told:

B.S., M.S., Ph.D.

Bullshiat, Moreshiat, Piled higher and Deeper.

Sometimes, I tend to agree...some of the smartest people on this earth are so incredibly stupid...occasionally.
 
2008-08-14 11:05:46 AM
mrtoadswildride: Engineers don't just make up numbers, when they design things...

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Woo, good one.

The hell we don't. We call them "assumed values" as a warning to the rest of the nerd herd that we made that shiat up. They go hand in hand with our "simplifying assumptions", which usually means "I have no idea how to quantify these factors, so I'm leaving them out." Occasionally it means "The problem is unsolvable in my lifetime unless I drop some of these terms."

You can't know values for everything, so sometimes you just gotta wing it. That's where experience and professional judgment come in.

/practicing mechanical engineer
//it's far less cut and dried than people think
///interesting work, though
 
2008-08-14 11:05:50 AM
Great, propaganda to dumb down America even more. We are only as educated as our most ignorant citizens. Who cares if it is worthwhile or helps with a job. The rest of the world is kicking our butts, and we deserve every blow. Uneducated people tend to think lack critical thinking skills. They can be easily swayed by persons of authority. Education IS national security.

/"blow" tee, hee
 
2008-08-14 11:08:01 AM
Entry level degree for jobs in my area = doctorate, so I'm getting a kick...
 
2008-08-14 11:09:22 AM
I think college has value, but it's not for everyone, and it's not the only way to learn. In some ways, it is a giant racket. Why else have "required" courses like English and Speech and some kind of P.E., if not to keep you in for 4 years so as to get as much money out of you as possible? I feel bad for people who have to go into massive debt for a degree. I think they should get more help.

Yeah, I have a degree (B.A.). It wasn't a waste. Have a job now, doing OK, income-wise.
 
2008-08-14 11:10:39 AM
Only skimmed the thread, but I will say this ..

I had to learn geology, chem & biology with a smattering of phyics to know what to look for and (when something's found) how some of those results worked ... and all I got was this lousy BA.

And people give my BA shiat when I have a better overall knowledge of more stuff than they ever will with their understanding of one scientific discipline.

/don't know if that'd fit on a t-shirt
//let's play "spot-the-archaeologist"
 
2008-08-14 11:12:47 AM
all i know is my girlfriend has a degree from a nice fancy private university.. and i make more money than her with my high school diploma and about a year worth of college.

/lots of experience in my field
//she has a poli-sci degree.. in florida.
 
2008-08-14 11:22:43 AM
Some ppl go to college to party, some go to learn about something they're interested in, and some go to make money.

You're lucky if you can manage all three. I only got 2/3 which is why I'm back in school (no $$$).

Started out engineering at a top rate school: hated it/failed out
Switch to psych: loved it/took difficult interesting classes->took 5 years to find an interesting low paying job (30k)
Back in grad school to make more $$$ in something i'm interested in.

BOTTOM LINE: Only certain smart ppl can get lucrative degrees in undergrad. It doesn't just take intelligence. It takes discipline and dealing with things you might hate doing for 4 years.

Most liberal arts degree are mostly good for dinner conversation and/or helping ppl in broke-ass jobs (teaching, social work, etc). However, ppl with more lucrative degree's (comp sci, engineering, etc) can't often be very boring ppl that spend too much time talking about money.
 
2008-08-14 11:23:06 AM
BokChoy: Yeah? Good for her. I'll bet her profession has absolutely nothing to do with her English degree. Some people can draw on other skills besides research paper writing, and be successful. Which makes the degree just as pointless, except as a shiny star on your resume.

My roomate is getting an English degree. He has no job prospects now beyond shiatty, dead-end summer jobs; the degree will be, by his own admission, useless to him. A classmate in my current major is now in his eight or ninth year of school because, the first time around he went for English, and it got him jack shiat. 4 years of college down the drain.


Psych and history major checking in here - two "useless" degrees that I wouldn't give up for the world. After a year of doing administrative work for a student loan collection agency, I've been offered a position with the State. In Columbus at least those are good jobs that are very hard to come by.

I didn't get a degree in Excel, FDCPA regulations, or any kind of auditing, but that didn't stop me from pursuing those skills when I got into the work force. I don't make a shiat-ton of money the way a lot of you engineers do, but I work 40 hours a week, I'm off on evenings and weekends, and make enough to survive and live comfortably.

In short I pursued majors in college that I enjoyed, enjoy what I do now, and am very happy to have obtained stable, government employment where I can actually retire one day. I may fail many people's metric of "success" on here but I enjoy what I'm doing and money's not the only object of my desire.

And the whole thing about turning college into a glorified vocational school? My dad always said that if you want a vocation, go to vocational school. If you want to learn how to think and broaden your horizons, go to college. There's a reason they're separate.
 
2008-08-14 11:24:43 AM
"Speciality develops only part of a man; a man partially developed is deformed; and one deformed is the last person to be thought of as a ruler . . . When Socrates declared in the Phaedrus that he learned not from the trees of the country but from the men of the city, he was exposing the fallacy of scientism . . . The student ceases to be a doctor of philosophy when he is no longer capable of philosophy. He has made himself an essentially ridiculous figure. It is a banality that the scholar contributes to civilization by adding to its dominion over nature. It is just as if Plato's philosopher had left the city to look at the trees and abandoned speculative wisdom for dendrology. The people who would urge just this course in education are legion among us today. The facts on the periphery, they feel, are somehow more certain . . . FACT has taken the place of TRUTH; "it is a fact" is now the formula for a categorical assertion. And the public is being taught systematically to make this fatal connection of factual particulars with wisdom . . . I would not be surprised at a day, perhaps not far off, when men begin to question the legitimacy of non-factual learning at all, and seek to make all universities into factories for producing trade workers . . . When materialism becomes the underlying cultural philosophy, it won't be long before knowledge is pursued strictly for its buying power."
-Richard M. Weaver, writing in 1948
 
2008-08-14 11:31:58 AM
lilplatinum: trappedspirit: Watch out, man! They call it the gateway language

I can quit whenever I want.


Declensions! I got your declensions right here! Genitive, dative, what's your joy? Ablative absolutes for the man who wants something stronger.
 
2008-08-14 11:35:16 AM
tuxmaska: My dad always said that if you want a vocation, go to vocational school. If you want to learn how to think and broaden your horizons, go to college.

Ha! Get an engineering degree. In theory you can do both!

/does dating strippers count as broadening horizons?
//oh wait, I did that before college, too
///not so much after, though
 
2008-08-14 11:37:41 AM
TFA: Why not present graduate schools with certifications in microbiology or economics -- and who cares if the applicants passed the exam after studying in the local public library?

This pretty succinctly describes how his argument FAILs.

For all of the talk about how K-12 education is being ruined by forcing teachers to boil everything down to standardized tests, this guy sure seems excited about the idea of extending that all the way through college.

Sure, you might be able to pass a standardized test on microbiology by studying in the local public library, but unless your local public library has a microbiology lab in the basement, you've lost out on some necessary skills. No lab experience, no mentor to teach you how to use the lab equipment or construct scientifically-sound lab experiments, no experience with keeping lab documentation and constructing scientific journal articles from your lab research.

I have a friend pursuing an M.S. in a microbiology lab, and the lab work is 90% of the job - lab work is 90% of any Master's or Ph.D. student's job when they work in a science field. So a professor with grants to pursue and papers to write has two choices: a student who received a degree at an accredited college and has appropriate lab experience from an institution known to actually teach students the science, and some jackass waving a form saying he scored competently on a standardized test. Who do you think the prof. is going to hire?

If all you get out of your college experience is a piece of paper stating that you went to college, then yes, your accomplishment is equivalent to a certification. But you FAILed in college, and it's not your college's fault.
 
2008-08-14 11:45:07 AM
rockman55:

There's plenty to be said of the dangers of technology out pacing the humanities of a culture but the way this guy says it makes him sound crazy until about half-way through.
 
2008-08-14 11:54:48 AM
I heard a guy talk on NPR the other day about how College doesn't really draw a financial line (where people who have degrees automatically get paid more) nor an intellectual line (where people who went to college are smarter) but rather a class line.

People who work for $30k a year but has a BA are somehow viewed as being of a higher class than high school graduates in a job that gets them six figures.

This can come in quite handy for connections. College provides a place to hook up with others of your profession as well as mix among the plethora of students of all different economic backgrounds (the rich send their kids there too).

That being said, I vote for not removing BA programs. How else will we get strippers?
 
2008-08-14 12:26:44 PM
rubi_con_man: The key is to restrict the market for colleges. only 10% of the population should be going to college at all. Grand the top 10% of each graduating high school class (that means 10% of Stuffy-prep high and the top 10% of Jackson Heights U ) a license to attend college before 21.

Ha ha ha ha. Go learn the concept of a magnet school and also the general test scores of private vs public school students. You're pretty much proposing to fark over most students who decide they want to go to a high school which isn't 99% idiots (ie: one they can actually learn something at). Actually even if you're doing badly in high school it could very well be because your high school is such a horrid POS you have 0 incentive to work hard. See the one thing the US did right with education is that nothing determines your whole life early on.

Yes, this effectively gives the top 10% of students a huge leg up by both having wiser and older peers in University AND giving them a whole three or four years to advance their careers.

Nope, it will simply stick 10% into one set of college and an older 90% into other colleges.

Additionally, it will vastly improve the quality of high schools as millions of parents, realizing that their snowflakes will have to get jobs on their HIGH SCHOOL educations, start pushing for vocational training and real logic, language and rhetoric classes. The Desire to push out 'troubled' students will reverse, as they will effectively grant more people that precious license, and it will stop degre inflation as more employers see 21 year olds with 3 or 4 years of experience in the workforce.

Nope, the problems is parents don't give a damn.
 
2008-08-14 12:40:41 PM
I'm 2/3 of the way into putting myself through one of the most expensive schools in the US with no outside financial support.

/Statistics major though.
//So the debt will be worth it, right?
///Right?
 
2008-08-14 12:50:05 PM
Did four years of college make me substantially better at my job than four years of field experience would have? Absolutely not. Did I need that four-year degree on my resume to land the job in the first place? For sure.

It doesn't make sense, but it's the truth for many careers, and arguing that most people "don't need" a degree is like saying we "don't need" credit cards. It's true in a theoretical sense, but in the real market, you're just being ridiculous.
 
2008-08-14 12:54:53 PM
lilplatinum: rob.d: Next, the transcripts show how well they did. If the student was a C it means they're a coaster, if they scored B's and A's it means they not only finished the degree but worked at it. You're hired.

I have never been asked for a transcript by anyone other then my grad school admissions office.


Well that is the problem then. The solution is to ask for the transcripts.

The CPA is simply more transparent, you pass and your grades are visible.

/I was a solid B+ in Math and an A- in Literature, keeps a copy of the transcripts at home.
 
2008-08-14 01:02:57 PM
College is about so much more than just a B.A. anyways..... some level of parental independence, but in a controlled environment, sports, clubs, greek (if that's your thing), learning to deal with new types of people, making new friends, for many: a new area... etc.
 
2008-08-14 01:04:13 PM
LouDobbsAwaaaay: TFA: Why not present graduate schools with certifications in microbiology or economics -- and who cares if the applicants passed the exam after studying in the local public library?

This pretty succinctly describes how his argument FAILs.

For all of the talk about how K-12 education is being ruined by forcing teachers to boil everything down to standardized tests, this guy sure seems excited about the idea of extending that all the way through college.

Sure, you might be able to pass a standardized test on microbiology by studying in the local public library, but unless your local public library has a microbiology lab in the basement, you've lost out on some necessary skills. No lab experience, no mentor to teach you how to use the lab equipment or construct scientifically-sound lab experiments, no experience with keeping lab documentation and constructing scientific journal articles from your lab research.

I have a friend pursuing an M.S. in a microbiology lab, and the lab work is 90% of the job - lab work is 90% of any Master's or Ph.D. student's job when they work in a science field. So a professor with grants to pursue and papers to write has two choices: a student who received a degree at an accredited college and has appropriate lab experience from an institution known to actually teach students the science, and some jackass waving a form saying he scored competently on a standardized test. Who do you think the prof. is going to hire?

If all you get out of your college experience is a piece of paper stating that you went to college, then yes, your accomplishment is equivalent to a certification. But you FAILed in college, and it's not your college's fault.


Where you go wrong is where you attempt to make state assessments equivalent to specialized and very rigorous tests like CPA. And then you try to shoehorn a deliberately irrelevant field into your flawed scenario.
 
2008-08-14 01:10:20 PM
rob.d: Well that is the problem then. The solution is to ask for the transcripts.

The CPA is simply more transparent, you pass and your grades are visible.

/I was a solid B+ in Math and an A- in Literature, keeps a copy of the transcripts at home.


My point is most non technical jobs could give 2 shiats about what your GPA is. I wish I had known that noone would ever look at my degree or I would have drank even more.
 
2008-08-14 01:23:59 PM
College prepares you for the following:

1. To think critically.
2. To complete tasks and assignments on time INDEPENDENTLY.
3. To live your life amongst a larger social atmosphere than high school, but smaller than "real life", as a stepping stone.

All of these above factors prepare you for jobs. What college really prepares you for is just to be a sheep in the field, being commanded and pushed by the wolf. In the internet age, everything you need to know can be instantly learned by just 'googling'. I have learned more by googling stuff than the 4 years I spent at Carnegie Mellon University. What a waste of money for me. College is just name branding, but I won't dispute the fact that most people in society are not brilliant self-motivated individuals but are rather just work horses for those brilliant self-motivated individuals. Thus we need a measuring tool (college) to figure out which work horses the brilliant, self-motivated groups want to pick.

IMHO, college should be no more than 2 years. Everything you need to learn should be done in that period of time. Really, half of the required courses have nothing to do with real life applications, or will teach skills that will never be used at all throughout your life. Majors should apply more closely to jobs rather than force worthless classes onto you such as calculus for non math majors.
 
2008-08-14 01:24:12 PM
I'm halfway to my BA for accounting, hopefully I won't get stuck at H 'n' R Block for my life.
 
2008-08-14 01:27:51 PM
You know Murray wrote "The Bell Curve" and has expressed the heresy that genetics can contribute to IQ, don't you? Figures he would favor a competency-based system. It's a very neat end run around the problem of a college education being devalued by admission standards that went from merit-based to race/class-based. I like it.
 
2008-08-14 01:38:31 PM
LukeA: Where you go wrong is where you attempt to make state assessments equivalent to specialized and very rigorous tests like CPA. And then you try to shoehorn a deliberately irrelevant field into your flawed scenario.

I don't care how specialized and rigorous the test is, if you can pass it by studying at your local library, it isn't testing you on your actual scientific (e.g. lab) skills.

And I didn't shoehorn an irrelevant field into the scenario. They guy in TFA specifically brought up microbiology, which is why it's in the quote. I guess your certification didn't require reading comprehension?
 
2008-08-14 01:44:37 PM
SgtArkie: afterall not all little snowflakes get to be brain brane math scientists. Someone has to work at the titty bars,dig ditches, fast food ect....oh wait we got mexicans

///fixed that for me


FTFY.
 
2008-08-14 01:57:13 PM
>Outside a handful of majors -- engineering and some of the sciences -- a bachelor's degree tells an employer nothing except that the applicant has a certain amount of intellectual ability and perseverance. -TFA

That's where I stopped reading. I'm an engineer and frankly, BS's or MS's from universities with intensive science and engineering curricula do matter. They do represent both starting base knowledge and ability to learn. The correlation is not two-way however: while it is possible that you can be just as competent through being self-taught while not having a degree, the onus is now on you to prove that to me before I will hire you. You do not get the benefit of the doubt to the same extent that a degree-holder will.

But yeah, most BA degrees I've seen outside of science and engineering fields these days are pointless for anything beyond trying to go for your MA.
 
2008-08-14 02:02:29 PM
lilplatinum: mrtoadswildride: But yeah...I'm sure the latin you used (what? to impress the cashier at Starbucks) is probably way more relevant.

I said in the life of a non technical professional, I never said math was useless for engineers or that engineers were useless. Learn to read.

Latin was extremely usefull when I had to learn other languages.


The issue here is, as I've said in other threads, one doesn't appreciate the opportunities to use certain skills when those skills are lacking.

A lot of people say they can't find applications for "maths" in their day to day lives while still injuring themselves daily due to an inability to intuit basic physical mechanics, or failing to see novel solutions to household problems just the same.

These are, I suppose, fairly minor things. Also, being able to use something in the day to day requires a deep sort of retention. Even a lot of people who are forced to sit through some courses would never really bring that knowledge to bear, though they might.

All in all, I'd say knowing mechanics would probably make just about everybody's lives easier.
 
2008-08-14 02:08:39 PM
stellar_wench: And BTW, I personally think that EVERYONE one the entire planet should be required to take a programming course over and over again until they can pass it with flying colours so that at LEAST... the very least... they will have a good sense of logic, applied logical constructs and methodical thinking and therefore will not annoy the living shiat out of me because they cannot engage in even the most basic logical discourse.


Until they barrage you with endless useless opinionated comments in their REM statements:
/* This comment adds no value but will endless rant on about my emotional baggage */
/* implying that my emotional baggage is now your problem. */
/* Beginning programmers love comment text, stupid beginning programmers imagine */
/* that the endless comment text will magically compile into functional programs */
/* because computers are not dumb machines, but smart human minds trapped in a box */
/* because Jesus loves them so very much. Even those these comments are not */
/* retained at all in compact functional code and are stripped out at compilation time. */

// Ignorance is temporary.
/// Ignorance is an empty arrogant head needing to accept the education of their betters.
// Ignorance is ignoring facts that a curious mind finds intriguing.
/// Stupid is forever.
// Retarded means "Slow Memory".
/// Retarded folks are not generally less capable of being smart, but the information is being slung against a wet Teflon wall of short-term flitting memory and slipping off down the drain before the retarded person is aware of it.
// A retarded person can learn everything a high-school graduate can, but it may take 3 times the duration for the basic information to finally stick in the retarded person's long-term memory.
/// Stupid is a brain with a kid's sippy cup worth of long-term memory that spills out and is lost instantly when overfilled compared to the average bucket volume of human long-term memory.
 
2008-08-14 02:09:29 PM
JericoPaladin: A lot of people say they can't find applications for "maths" in their day to day lives while still injuring themselves daily due to an inability to intuit basic physical mechanics, or failing to see novel solutions to household problems just the same.

When would I ever need calc as a ship broker? I took it, and it was the only C I got in college, but I passed it and I can't think of a time I ever used anything I learned in that class or even thought about it since I brought the book back to the bookstore immediately after the exam and used the money to buy a large amount of intoxicants to celebrate.
 
2008-08-14 02:10:59 PM
jaerik: That's where I stopped reading. I'm an engineer and frankly, BS's or MS's from universities with intensive science and engineering curricula do matter.

That is why he explicitly said "Outside a handful of majors -- engineering and some of the sciences" in the very quote you referenced.
 
2008-08-14 02:16:23 PM
lilplatinum: That is why he explicitly said "Outside a handful of majors -- engineering and some of the sciences" in the very quote you referenced.

I know, I was just seconding his opinion. While it does suck that say, a BA in English is pretty useless these days, I think even at 28 I'm starting to get old and crotchety enough not to give a damn about people who go that route and are then disappointed with the results. It's still pretty important for my increasingly specialized industry.
 
2008-08-14 02:18:11 PM
rcain: GoDeep: /$192k a year as what?

I'm an independent web services architect/developer, $125.00 an hour and work from home/cafes.
Pretty sweet if you ask me, it's something I actually enjoy doing.



I don't care how much you make, if you're happy with what you're doing you're better off than almost everyone who hates their jobs.
 
2008-08-14 02:21:19 PM
lilplatinum: JericoPaladin: A lot of people say they can't find applications for "maths" in their day to day lives while still injuring themselves daily due to an inability to intuit basic physical mechanics, or failing to see novel solutions to household problems just the same.

When would I ever need calc as a ship broker? I took it, and it was the only C I got in college, but I passed it and I can't think of a time I ever used anything I learned in that class or even thought about it since I brought the book back to the bookstore immediately after the exam and used the money to buy a large amount of intoxicants to celebrate.


Eh, I guess I'm just a birdbrain that finds reasons to justify doing strange integrals or taking the fourier transform of my cat. The math is all around us, I sometimes use it like others may use historical or cultural references: as a matter of interest and intrigue, maybe not so much as to boost my work.

However, I'm still firmly committed to the idea that we would all be a lot safer if more people knew just the most basic physics. Of course, we have an intuition about most of it that tends to be sufficient, but there are gaps where injuries and other forms of damage can happen, and they certainly have.
 
2008-08-14 02:23:28 PM
Gridlock: stellar_wench: And BTW, I personally think that EVERYONE one the entire planet should be required to take a programming course over and over again until they can pass it with flying colours so that at LEAST... the very least... they will have a good sense of logic, applied logical constructs and methodical thinking and therefore will not annoy the living shiat out of me because they cannot engage in even the most basic logical discourse.


Until they barrage you with endless useless opinionated comments in their REM statements:


The idea is to torture them endlessly until they learn, you see?

/Whips and chains sold separately.
 
2008-08-14 02:23:53 PM
lilplatinum: When would I ever need calc as a ship broker? I took it, and it was the only C I got in college, but I passed it and I can't think of a time I ever used anything I learned in that class or even thought about it since I brought the book back to the bookstore immediately after the exam and used the money to buy a large amount of intoxicants to celebrate.


Think of your education like a toolbox.
Everything you learned, every skill you gained, and every fact you retained are all tools to provide a stable future for yourself when you are required to use them.

Sure, you may think arching your back (makes curved gesture with hands) "just so..." would never come in handy when there comes an assault force of flesh-devouring pus-spurting zombies after your leg is severed in a truck crash, but then again...

There are times a hammer can be used to replace a saw and a screwdriver can replace a wrench, but you cannot easily chop wood with a corkscrew. Sometimes a powered drill is superior to a hand drill, but there are man instances when the hand drill is a superior choice. Basic math is a handy all around tool, but worthless for composing most job applications. Every tool has a purpose and every learned employable job skill has value.
 
2008-08-14 02:27:31 PM
My best friend and I both work in non-profit. Her degree is tailored to her job. Mine doesn't even come close, yet I make $5,000 more a year than she does.

/go figure
 
2008-08-14 02:28:53 PM
Lot of engineers and scientists in this thread who have (successfully) found their way around the college system. I get it. Where are all the people whose livelihoods don't depend on numbers and certs?
 
2008-08-14 02:29:33 PM
JericoPaladin: The idea is to torture them endlessly until they learn, you see?

/Whips and chains sold separately.


Who me?

images.hugi.is

Why ever would I do that?
(Without being entertaining, of course)

// Many people *read* books. The smarter ones *comprehend* the point of the books after reading them. The ones doomed to purposeful existence actually try to *functionally apply* what they've learned into practical applications.
/// Meanwhile the creeping silliness always comes calling with the chattering hordes of giggling acrobats.
 
2008-08-14 02:46:08 PM
Gurlugon: I'm halfway to my BA for accounting, hopefully I won't get stuck at H 'n' R Block for my life.

No you wont. Trust me. You already have more education than half of the morans that work in that place. You wanna talk about being a coporate sheep, go work for the Big 4. That assumes you fit their "image". My roomate was an accouting major, good grades the entire deal. He had a tough time making it into one of the Big 8 back then. Once he made it, he basically got "easter paraded" and laid off right after tax season. He eventually passed the CPA exam and now has his dream job as an FBI agent.
 
2008-08-14 02:55:12 PM
SpinStopper: dramboxf: FTFA: They need a certification, not a degree.

Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

I agree.

I learned more getting certifications than I did in years of college. Then, I learned more out in the real world than I did getting certs.


Problem is that business wants the degree. My brother is an alphabet soup:

MCSE+IIS, Novell, CCNP, A+, SCNA, et al.

Couldn't get a decent job until after college.
 
2008-08-14 03:20:16 PM
College is a good experience if:

A) You felt let down by your HS education

B) Have no idea on what career you want to persue and want to get some visibility into new fields of study

C) Know what career you want to persue and know it REQUIRES the additional ,formal, education.

D) Are a super-genius, have completed HS but are still to young to legally work.

There are others but you get the point.

Bad reasons to attend college

A) Mommy/Daddy expect you to, or else!

B) You have no idea what career to persue and you have no intention of figuring it out.

C) Booze

D) You've decided that being career student is your calling.

E) You're afraid of the real world

F) Girls/Guys

G) You're an internet tough guy but oppose the draft.

again, there are more, but you get the point.

I've been a worker bee since the Monday after my HS graduation back in '97. I started in retail (as is the trend) but decided to make the jump to a career in March of '00.

Since then I've gone from making $13 an hour as a laptop/desktop technician to a Windows/ESX systems administrator pulling in $110K+ a year. In my spare time, I take the time to educate myself in matters that I find interesting. Science/Engineering/Medical topics mostly. I like to think i keep up on these things and have been known to demonstrate knowledge on par with some of my co-workers who have degrees in these fields.

My wife came from a slightly less fortunate background and gets rather upset with me when I say that for some people, like me, college is a waste of time. She was the only child out of 4 to attend college, having no support from her parents and having to finance it herself. I decided to not waste my parents' money and took the path i'm on now. The big fights will begin when our child has to start deciding about continuing their education. I expect that if the kid turns out smart, i'll be happy either way, but if they're genuinely struggling, i might encourage them but i'm not going to force them. The wife however might be a bit more forceful.

As for certifications, as long as a randomized, hands-on demonstration of skills is required, I'm all for it. Tests for A+ and MS are, for the most part, recall. Throw in the fact that nearly every question/answer is posted out on the internet, and these certs are barely worth the paper they're printed on. I've had to fire several A+ and MS certified individuals because they lack basic troubleshooting skills. Something that could have been discovered if they had been tested properly.



/rambled a bit there
//College for some = Good
///College for others = maybe not.
 
2008-08-14 03:20:34 PM
Gridlock: \
Think of your education like a toolbox.
Everything you learned, every skill you gained, and every fact you retained are all tools to provide a stable future for yourself when you are required to use them.


Yes, and calculous is that rusty old socket wrench in the back that has been sitting there unused so long that it probably wouldn't even work anymore :)

I do agree basic math and science is important, that is why its taught in high school. But for non technical people I think developing working communications skills are far more critical to success in everyday life and business in general than higher level math and science.
 
2008-08-14 04:06:44 PM
lilplatinum: I do agree basic math and science is important, that is why its taught in high school. But for non technical people I think developing working communications skills are far more critical to success in everyday life and business in general than higher level math and science.


Well, hindsight is 20/20. I didn't think calculus would be important to me in high-school (which is why I didn't take it), but it turned out to be an everyday tool once I started pursuing a degree that I wanted.
 
2008-08-14 04:07:03 PM
Agreed.

The only thing I learned in college was how to get laid. Im not saying I know how to do it well, but I know how to get the ball rolling.
 
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