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(Economist)   Having a college education adds about $25K to your salary and several more years to your morally repugnant godless communist heathen life   (economist.com) divider line 57
    More: Obvious, secondary education, higher educations, work experience, communism, community colleges, salary, public parks  
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1088 clicks; posted to Geek » on 11 Sep 2012 at 4:00 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-09-11 04:13:52 PM
Well.... duh.
 
2012-09-11 04:15:36 PM
You know, as education costs continue to rise and wages/salaries do not, we are fast approaching the day that college will be a bad investment.

For some fields, it already is.

I wonder what will happen when that threshold is crossed for mainstream or prestigious degrees. I honestly don't know.
 
2012-09-11 04:18:45 PM

LiberalWeenie: You know, as education costs continue to rise and wages/salaries do not, we are fast approaching the day that college will be a bad investment.

For some fields, it already is.

I wonder what will happen when that threshold is crossed for mainstream or prestigious degrees. I honestly don't know.


At the horribly awful risk of making this a political thread, is that going to be an issue for the next election? I know what Obama has already said but it definitely doesn't fix the problem. I haven't seen Mitt actually talk about it, but I can't imagine him even offering an empty promise about it.
 
2012-09-11 04:26:18 PM
Having a college education adds about $25K to your salary assuming you don't over-educate yourself out of contention for the jobs that don't really feel like paying for grad school credentials.

/bitter
 
2012-09-11 04:27:57 PM
That's only if you can get a job. When you can't, the degree is useless.
 
2012-09-11 04:31:47 PM
Says a bunch of business-school graduates with certainly no incentive to justify the cost of their own educational expenses.

Schooling is great if you need it, and if you can reasonably afford it. In the real world, though, employers are generally more interested in applicable experience. That piece of paper is nice when you're trying to get a foot in the door at the very outset of your professional career, but nobody of any importance will care about it in five or ten years.

Now, let's hear from the peanut gallery, who will proceed to make unfounded assertions about my age, my employment history, and my intelligence, but avoid rebutting the argument entirely, as they stare wistfully at the framed diploma just above their monitors...
 
2012-09-11 04:35:08 PM

wmoonfox: Says a bunch of business-school graduates with certainly no incentive to justify the cost of their own educational expenses.

Schooling is great if you need it, and if you can reasonably afford it. In the real world, though, employers are generally more interested in applicable experience. That piece of paper is nice when you're trying to get a foot in the door at the very outset of your professional career, but nobody of any importance will care about it in five or ten years.

Now, let's hear from the peanut gallery, who will proceed to make unfounded assertions about my age, my employment history, and my intelligence, but avoid rebutting the argument entirely, as they stare wistfully at the framed diploma just above their monitors...


Nah, you're fine. Not always right, though. In my field, most employers wouldn't give my resume a second glance if it didn't have a bachelor's on it, and depending on the position they'd probably still slush it if it didn't have an M.S. as well.
 
2012-09-11 04:35:43 PM
/anecdatum
 
2012-09-11 04:37:34 PM
as tuition continues to go up at many multiples of inflation, this will be a serious, serious problem in the coming years. disillusioned youth + an economy that continues to flee off shore = violence waiting to happen.
 
2012-09-11 04:40:04 PM

thecpt:

At the horribly awful risk of making this a political thread, is that going to be an issue for the next election? I know what Obama has already said but it definitely doesn't fix the problem. I haven't seen Mitt actually talk about it, but I can't imagine him even offering an empty promise about it.


I'm 30, but I think just like in years past, kids don't expect anyone to do anything about it. Like they know it's politically not feasible. So I don't see why it would impact the election.

Does anyone really know why the costs are going up so quickly? I know universities are charging more because they are getting less and less aid from their home states.

Of course, if students voted as frequently as seniors, tuition would be just as big of a deal as Medicare. Then again, everyone I knew as a student voted.

The only solution I see is subsidizing it like we are about to do with health insurance, though that doesn't control costs and requires tax dollars, and good luck getting a tax increase through anywhere.
 
2012-09-11 04:50:41 PM

LiberalWeenie: I'm 30, but I think just like in years past, kids don't expect anyone to do anything about it. Like they know it's politically not feasible. So I don't see why it would impact the election.

Does anyone really know why the costs are going up so quickly? I know universities are charging more because they are getting less and less aid from their home states.

Of course, if students voted as frequently as seniors, tuition would be just as big of a deal as Medicare. Then again, everyone I knew as a student voted.

The only solution I see is subsidizing it like we are about to do with health insurance, though that doesn't control costs and requires tax dollars, and good luck getting a tax increase through anywhere.


I'm only 24 and went to a private school (yes costs were high, but engineering school with a half ride and I'm one of those fiscally responsible youths) and I understood our problem as the financials weren't available to us and our school spent money on stupid shiat in order to increase our "student experience." It usually made the experience worse. Then the market took the downturn and their endowment investments tanked so costs went way up.

Now prolonging subsidized loans at lower interest rates is fine and dandy, but can't legislation be passed for more transparent institutions maybe? Ours clearly needed someone to look over what they were spending on idiotic stuff like ridiculous landscaping, needless statues, buying properties and making them into sober hangouts that nobody went to (stuff students didn't need or want)...etc.,

Yeah, pretty futile and 1,000 ways around anything that gets passed but everyone knows its a problem. Thats something at least.
 
2012-09-11 04:52:04 PM
Well, that, or possessing the faculties to even attempt acquiring a degree establishes that you're most likely more intelligent, financially stable, and posses more drive and determination than your typical American.

Just saying.
 
2012-09-11 04:59:32 PM

Incetardis: Well, that, or possessing the faculties to even attempt acquiring a degree establishes that you're most likely more intelligent, financially stable, and posses more drive and determination than your typical American.

Just saying.


Causation vs Correlation isn't something for reporter to care about. That would be responsible and wouldn't forward their agenda.
 
2012-09-11 05:00:51 PM
I have two college degrees and I teach at the college level, and if my salary is $25,000 more today than it would be otherwise, I would make about $300 a month instead.

I guess there are two lessons to take away from this: a) Never listen when you hear this statistic from anyone, but especially when it's coming from a college recruiter, because your own experience may depart dramatically from the mean, and b) Never *ever*, under any circumstances, unless you are an idiot who wishes to be poor the rest of your life, become a teacher. DON'T DO IT!
 
2012-09-11 05:03:53 PM

LiberalWeenie: Does anyone really know why the costs are going up so quickly? I know universities are charging more because they are getting less and less aid from their home states.


I would assume the increased access to loans is also making costs go up. If kids can get the money, then schools can spend the money. But if you cut back on loans available and money from the state, the universities will be forced to finally start cutting costs. Right now, there's no incentive for them to do so as long as the lenders and states give them money. After all, they don't have to worry about tracking down the alumni who can't pay their loans 10 years after graduation -- that's the lender's job.
 
2012-09-11 05:10:42 PM

axeeugene: I have two college degrees and I teach at the college level, and if my salary is $25,000 more today than it would be otherwise, I would make about $300 a month instead.

I guess there are two lessons to take away from this: a) Never listen when you hear this statistic from anyone, but especially when it's coming from a college recruiter, because your own experience may depart dramatically from the mean, and b) Never *ever*, under any circumstances, unless you are an idiot who wishes to be poor the rest of your life, become a teacher. DON'T DO IT!


I read in another recent article that if you go teach for Chicago public schools, you can make $70,000/year working only 9 months.
 
2012-09-11 05:11:38 PM
Maybe be for STEM degrees you see an increase in earning potential. Though I do hear a rumor that underwater basketweaving is making a comeback in the marketplace.
 
2012-09-11 05:23:37 PM

killershark: LiberalWeenie: Does anyone really know why the costs are going up so quickly? I know universities are charging more because they are getting less and less aid from their home states.

I would assume the increased access to loans is also making costs go up. If kids can get the money, then schools can spend the money. But if you cut back on loans available and money from the state, the universities will be forced to finally start cutting costs. Right now, there's no incentive for them to do so as long as the lenders and states give them money. After all, they don't have to worry about tracking down the alumni who can't pay their loans 10 years after graduation -- that's the lender's job.


It will be a huge mess no matter what.
Universities won't want to cut costs immediately, they'll raise tuition.
For a while, people will try to keep going, racking up more ridiculous debt than they are now. Most kids don't understand what they have to pay off. Even their parents won't understand exactly, they'll just keep remembering the "You need a degree mantra" and assume it will be worth it.
When people start to figure it out, they're going to feel disenfranchised when they finish high school and realize they can't go to college and they're blocked out of a STEM or any career with inflated educational entry requirements. They're likely to complain to the government at that point.
But in its current state, the government is already falling behind in public education. I don't know how they'll react to serious public outcry over higher education. Higher education is something of a golden goose for a lot of communities. International students bring tons of money into the US every year, and the US gets a significant portion of its high skilled labor through brain drain from other countries (which sounds awful, but in a global system is beneficial).

All I know is that at my university the last thing that gets cut is sports programs. Which, admittedly is another golden goose for the community, but as far as I'm concerned is pathetic for an institute of higher education.
 
2012-09-11 05:25:42 PM

blahpers: wmoonfox: Says a bunch of business-school graduates with certainly no incentive to justify the cost of their own educational expenses.

Schooling is great if you need it, and if you can reasonably afford it. In the real world, though, employers are generally more interested in applicable experience. That piece of paper is nice when you're trying to get a foot in the door at the very outset of your professional career, but nobody of any importance will care about it in five or ten years.

Now, let's hear from the peanut gallery, who will proceed to make unfounded assertions about my age, my employment history, and my intelligence, but avoid rebutting the argument entirely, as they stare wistfully at the framed diploma just above their monitors...

Nah, you're fine. Not always right, though. In my field, most employers wouldn't give my resume a second glance if it didn't have a bachelor's on it, and depending on the position they'd probably still slush it if it didn't have an M.S. as well.


Where I work, it's a science or engineering program, at minimum, to get in at entry level. Entry-level with salary bonus usually needs a P.Eng, P. Geo., a Masters, or a helluva lot of experience.

(Problem is, now-a-days, sometimes your ten years doing whatever means shiat if we think you were doing it wrong...)
 
2012-09-11 05:29:26 PM

Bondith: Having a college education adds about $25K to your salary assuming you don't over-educate yourself out of contention for the jobs that don't really feel like paying for grad school credentials.

/bitter


Well I assume it is an average, so for everyone that does that, there are others that gain more than the average $25k/yr from having a college education.
 
2012-09-11 05:36:02 PM

killershark: LiberalWeenie: Does anyone really know why the costs are going up so quickly? I know universities are charging more because they are getting less and less aid from their home states.

I would assume the increased access to loans is also making costs go up. If kids can get the money, then schools can spend the money. But if you cut back on loans available and money from the state, the universities will be forced to finally start cutting costs. Right now, there's no incentive for them to do so as long as the lenders and states give them money. After all, they don't have to worry about tracking down the alumni who can't pay their loans 10 years after graduation -- that's the lender's job.


I read some interesting points about this. Such as the number of students wanting to go to schools are much higher so some (reasonable) land/construction purchases had to be made to accomodate students. Even local commuters need classrooms and the non-locals need dorms. This happened as real estate prices were going up, up up.

The tech needs for your average school also went from 1. Science for the sciences and 2. Projectors, video players and blackboards to constant access to Wifi, and a ton of software for all school computers (the needed number of which also went up at warp speed). The costs for this also involve getting the dorms hooked up with actual cables before wifi came along and a fleet of new full-time employees to keep everything running.

University's have ways to mitigate those costs (academic-use software prices, staffing help desks with IT students) but the second half of this century still went from blackboard to Kahn Academy.

Also, health insurance for all employees (and for some schools, all students) went up. And then there's the shrinking gov. support to think about. And the fact some snowflaky kids will not consider a school with old, cinderblock dorms and no good gyms/rockwalls/cafes on campus.

And then there's the sad fact some schools got more and better applicants after a tuition hike. I read about this, though to my shame I can't find the article anymore. It might be a case of correlation !=causation, but I have known a few people to assume anything with a good price must be of lesser value than something more expensive.

/not defending the rise of education costs
//these were things I hadn't thought about until someone on Fark pointed them out
 
2012-09-11 05:36:20 PM

blahpers: wmoonfox: Says a bunch of business-school graduates with certainly no incentive to justify the cost of their own educational expenses.

Schooling is great if you need it, and if you can reasonably afford it. In the real world, though, employers are generally more interested in applicable experience. That piece of paper is nice when you're trying to get a foot in the door at the very outset of your professional career, but nobody of any importance will care about it in five or ten years.

Now, let's hear from the peanut gallery, who will proceed to make unfounded assertions about my age, my employment history, and my intelligence, but avoid rebutting the argument entirely, as they stare wistfully at the framed diploma just above their monitors...

Nah, you're fine. Not always right, though. In my field, most employers wouldn't give my resume a second glance if it didn't have a bachelor's on it, and depending on the position they'd probably still slush it if it didn't have an M.S. as well.



I know people who are damn good at what they do, but they can't rise any higher because a college degree is required. They're perfectly capable of doing the work, and they'd shine at it, but HR is looking for that college degree in the resume, and without it, into the circular file it goes. Stupid, I know, but that's how some jobs are.
 
2012-09-11 05:50:18 PM

GilRuiz1: blahpers: wmoonfox: Says a bunch of business-school graduates with certainly no incentive to justify the cost of their own educational expenses.

Schooling is great if you need it, and if you can reasonably afford it. In the real world, though, employers are generally more interested in applicable experience. That piece of paper is nice when you're trying to get a foot in the door at the very outset of your professional career, but nobody of any importance will care about it in five or ten years.

Now, let's hear from the peanut gallery, who will proceed to make unfounded assertions about my age, my employment history, and my intelligence, but avoid rebutting the argument entirely, as they stare wistfully at the framed diploma just above their monitors...

Nah, you're fine. Not always right, though. In my field, most employers wouldn't give my resume a second glance if it didn't have a bachelor's on it, and depending on the position they'd probably still slush it if it didn't have an M.S. as well.


I know people who are damn good at what they do, but they can't rise any higher because a college degree is required. They're perfectly capable of doing the work, and they'd shine at it, but HR is looking for that college degree in the resume, and without it, into the circular file it goes. Stupid, I know, but that's how some jobs are.


This is, largely, the result of inflated educational requirements. If you don't mind some anecdotal remarks, I've heard that in some of the cities in Taiwan, a bachelors degree is now necessary to become a public bus driver. It's a fairly predictable consequence of a system in which higher education is less selective than skilled labor (or conversely, when there are less high skilled job openings than people graduating from adequate fields). Every year more people graduate and the pool of candidates grows, and thus the level of competition increases and begins to spill into less desirable fields causing them to become increasingly competitive. The presumed expectation is that the salary of such fields should begin to drop, creating less incentive for students to join those fields, but there seems to be either a substantial lag in this or there is simply little correlation (or expected salary after graduation hasn't changed significantly). Social pressure to obtain a 4 year degree is also a considerable factor.

I think the social pressure is particularly significant. Even if everyone took more justifiable majors, that wouldn't necessarily increase the positions for people in those fields. Furthermore, pay would have to remain high to secure quality in those areas. An underpaid (or disgruntled) engineer is a dangerous person. Entire departments are developed not because there is demand for people with those skills, but because there is social pressure to obtain a 4 year degree, it's a field in which students may be interested, and they have (or can get) money to pay for it. In this regard, education resembles a business quite strongly.
 
2012-09-11 06:02:03 PM

K.B.O. Winston: but the second half of this century still went from blackboard to Kahn Academy.


2051-2101?
 
2012-09-11 06:41:59 PM

ThatGuyFromTheInternet: K.B.O. Winston: but the second half of this century still went from blackboard to Kahn Academy.

2051-2101?


The other KAAAAAAAHHHHHN.
 
2012-09-11 06:46:26 PM
How about ANY salary. Got two degrees years ago and still haven't been able to hold a job for an entire year. Farking economy.
 
2012-09-11 06:47:47 PM
I'd like to see this broken out across majors.
 
2012-09-11 07:39:59 PM

Mytch:

All I know is that at my university the last thing that gets cut is sports programs. Which, admittedly is another gol ...


Most of the time the sports programs are a net gain. In some of the major schools, that have really good programs, such as a winning football team they bring in enormous amounts of cash. I have no idea how they allot the surplus or if just is recycled back into the sports programs. However, if it does go back into the regular functions of the university it is helping the higher education. Also, sports allows for some individuals to get a higher education that may have forgone if they had not otherwise been recruited to a university. And finally, sports can also have a major positive impact on a community. Especially football since it is played primarily during the crap weather months.
 
2012-09-11 07:52:20 PM

Cinaed: Well.... duh.


Don't believe it. I don't have a single scrap of paper past my GED and my honorable discharge. I worked hard to get where I am at, but I am happy and my salary is decently above average for my field / area....and I have zero student loan debt.
 
2012-09-11 07:52:23 PM

LiberalWeenie: thecpt:

At the horribly awful risk of making this a political thread, is that going to be an issue for the next election? I know what Obama has already said but it definitely doesn't fix the problem. I haven't seen Mitt actually talk about it, but I can't imagine him even offering an empty promise about it.

I'm 30, but I think just like in years past, kids don't expect anyone to do anything about it. Like they know it's politically not feasible. So I don't see why it would impact the election.


Yeah, pretty much. Sort of the way most the under-30s don't give a fark about Social Security because we know there's going to be -$5 left in it by the time we're retirement age. We just take the paycheck deduction in stride with the hopes it will make the boomers leave us alone.
 
2012-09-11 08:15:33 PM

wmoonfox: Says a bunch of business-school graduates with certainly no incentive to justify the cost of their own educational expenses.

Schooling is great if you need it, and if you can reasonably afford it. In the real world, though, employers are generally more interested in applicable experience. That piece of paper is nice when you're trying to get a foot in the door at the very outset of your professional career, but nobody of any importance will care about it in five or ten years.

Now, let's hear from the peanut gallery, who will proceed to make unfounded assertions about my age, my employment history, and my intelligence, but avoid rebutting the argument entirely, as they stare wistfully at the framed diploma just above their monitors...


I can create quite a list of managers at the company that I work for that value an education equally as much as experience and you can bet your ass that all but certifiable geniuses needed that piece of paper if they want a job there.

One very important thing to remember is that experience only guarantees that one can solve a problem it doesn't guarantee that they can solve it the way that it should be solved. For example, In my field I find that uneducated but experienced people favor band-aid fixes to the 'right way' of fixing things. I feel that that isn't a coincidence.

Also since you asked for it, you must be a retarded, jobless 23 year old who regrets not getting a piece of paper and is jealous of his higher paid colleagues.
 
2012-09-11 08:17:15 PM

Kazrath: Also, sports allows for some individuals to get a higher education that may have forgone if they had not otherwise been recruited to a university.


To clarify, sports allows for some individuals to attend university that may have forgone if they had not otherwise been recruited. Whether said individuals obtain any kind of education during their time there depends heavily upon the moral compass of the educators and how much influence the sports department can bring to the table -- a negative aspect of education that I have to deal with on a daily basis, as I am instructing coworkers in the basics of their duties over and over again, whilst they discuss amongst each other the prospects for star quarterback at their alma mater this season.
 
2012-09-11 08:26:27 PM

LiberalWeenie: thecpt:


Does anyone really know why the costs are going up so quickly? I know universities are charging more because they are getting less and less aid from their home states.


Just a quick FYI I've had the displeasure of seeing the bank account for a public university that receives state funding this university decreases student services and increases tuition consistently every year, oh and also gives the president a hefty raise. and let me just assure you, it would make you sick to your stomach. I nearly lost my lunch counting the digits. I have no idea why they just horde all the money... collecting interest maybe? not a clue but there are much better ways for it to be spent.
 
2012-09-11 08:30:14 PM

DieAchtung: I can create quite a list of managers at the company that I work for that value an education equally as much as experience and you can bet your ass that all but certifiable geniuses needed that piece of paper if they want a job there.


That's nice. I can produce a list of former hiring managers and supervisors at, off the top of my head, three Fortune 500 companies, all of whom place far more emphasis on the verifiable experience of the applicant and the result of the technical interview than any piece of paper -- industry-standard certifications aside. Maybe our lists could get together and have a few drinks?

DieAchtung: One very important thing to remember is that experience only guarantees that one can solve a problem it doesn't guarantee that they can solve it the way that it should be solved. For example, In my field I find that uneducated but experienced people favor band-aid fixes to the 'right way' of fixing things. I feel that that isn't a coincidence.


There's a fair number of "just fix it" types in any field. The ones who don't fix the problem the right way either learn, or they are surpassed/replaced. This problem addresses itself.

DieAchtung: Also since you asked for it, you must be a retarded, jobless 23 year old who regrets not getting a piece of paper and is jealous of his higher paid colleagues.


Oh, I regret it. I had a tough time getting started in my field. I tried to pay my own way through after being left on the curb by a wealthy enough father that his status disqualified me from all but the most prestigious merit scholarships, but ended up dropping out when the stress of working three jobs and going to night school proved too much. I managed to catch a couple of lucky breaks to get my foot in the door, and have been building up a pretty impressive resume ever since. So, while colleagues were busy partying all night on borrowed money, I was gaining real-world experience and starting my retirement savings.

Would I have liked to have an easier time breaking in, such as a diploma would have afforded me? Sure. Has it made a difference, ultimately, in my career status? Well, I might have more money in the bank than my colleagues, and I'm not saddled with their level of debt, but... helped or hindered my career advancement... no, not really. Like I said up-thread, nobody even asks for a diploma once you've been in the field long enough.
 
2012-09-11 08:54:07 PM

LiberalWeenie: thecpt:

At the horribly awful risk of making this a political thread, is that going to be an issue for the next election? I know what Obama has already said but it definitely doesn't fix the problem. I haven't seen Mitt actually talk about it, but I can't imagine him even offering an empty promise about it.

I'm 30, but I think just like in years past, kids don't expect anyone to do anything about it. Like they know it's politically not feasible. So I don't see why it would impact the election.

Does anyone really know why the costs are going up so quickly? I know universities are charging more because they are getting less and less aid from their home states.

Of course, if students voted as frequently as seniors, tuition would be just as big of a deal as Medicare. Then again, everyone I knew as a student voted.

The only solution I see is subsidizing it like we are about to do with health insurance, though that doesn't control costs and requires tax dollars, and good luck getting a tax increase through anywhere.


It's already one of the most heavily subsidized industries in the country. There was a true liberal weenie on NPR last weekend arguing that if colleges were not subsidized by the state (State colleges"), they would be much cheaper. I happen to agree. These colleges don't "save" money. They spend it, so any subsidy is spent on stuff, not tuition for the students, aside from a few scholarships.
He also argued, correctly, that a degree is only worth what an employer is willing to pay. As someone said above, it is a bad investment these days. Some "occupy" folks think they are owed something because they have a degree. A bad investment does not bring returns.
 
2012-09-11 09:22:02 PM
 
2012-09-11 09:27:51 PM

mycatisposter: LiberalWeenie: thecpt:

At the horribly awful risk of making this a political thread, is that going to be an issue for the next election? I know what Obama has already said but it definitely doesn't fix the problem. I haven't seen Mitt actually talk about it, but I can't imagine him even offering an empty promise about it.

I'm 30, but I think just like in years past, kids don't expect anyone to do anything about it. Like they know it's politically not feasible. So I don't see why it would impact the election.

Does anyone really know why the costs are going up so quickly? I know universities are charging more because they are getting less and less aid from their home states.

Of course, if students voted as frequently as seniors, tuition would be just as big of a deal as Medicare. Then again, everyone I knew as a student voted.

The only solution I see is subsidizing it like we are about to do with health insurance, though that doesn't control costs and requires tax dollars, and good luck getting a tax increase through anywhere.

It's already one of the most heavily subsidized industries in the country. There was a true liberal weenie on NPR last weekend arguing that if colleges were not subsidized by the state (State colleges"), they would be much cheaper. I happen to agree. These colleges don't "save" money. They spend it, so any subsidy is spent on stuff, not tuition for the students, aside from a few scholarships.


complete utter nonsense

NY has cut back funding for state schools over the past 4 years, both funding and tuition assistance programs. a total of $1.4 billion in cuts for what was originally an $11.5 billion subsidy bill, so roughly 10%.

average tuition has risen 25-30% during that time.

did the NPR contributor actually cite an example of subsidy cuts leading to a cut in tuition rates? or was this his/her gut feeling?
 
2012-09-11 09:31:36 PM

LiberalWeenie: You know, as education costs continue to rise and wages/salaries do not, we are fast approaching the day that college will be a bad investment.

For some fields, it already is.

I wonder what will happen when that threshold is crossed for mainstream or prestigious degrees. I honestly don't know.


While colleges might be farked up with increasing costs, it's still possible to find worthwhile degrees in technical fields. It's just that not everyone wants to go into technical fields. For those who chose basket weaving or whatever, there was never even an existing market in the first place. Partly there may be increasing costs due to higher rates of HS students going to college (higher demand translates higher cost given the same supply).

hmmmmmmmmmmmmm all the HS kids who decide to take 30k/year loans out for their easy philosophy degrees...hmmmm
 
2012-09-11 09:33:30 PM

GilRuiz1: I know people who are damn good at what they do, but they can't rise any higher because a college degree is required. They're perfectly capable of doing the work, and they'd shine at it, but HR is looking for that college degree in the resume, and without it, into the circular file it goes. Stupid, I know, but that's how some jobs are.


I agree that this is a foolish practice.

From an interviewer's standpoint, I can see the rationale for slushing resumes with insufficient education--experience only matters if you did it right rather than coasting. Theoretically, a degree from a reputable university suggests that you were at least exposed to the requisite knowledge and skills. The lower the bar for interviewing, the more time spent interviewing hopeless cases. It doesn't leave much room for people with natural talent or practiced proficiency who happen to lack educational credentials, but for some fields, them's the breaks.

I mean, who'd want a brain surgeon who skipped med school?

That said, there are plenty of positions in which a degree means little compared to experience.
 
2012-09-11 10:15:08 PM
Undergrad also started me smoking and grad school exacerbated my drinking, though, so I imagine the statistics probably all balance out at some point.

Also, when people say "I know a guy that's totally good enough for a promotion, it's like totally unfair that they can't be promoted due to lack of a degree", that's a good clue that the person talking has never, ever worked as management, especially in a technical field. They're also probably dramatically over-estimating their friend's competence, if their statement were remotely true any large company with a strict degree-requirement policy would have already taken steps to get that employee the necessary education.

//If it's a smaller company with not-so-strict policy on degree requirements, then there is another reason your buddy isn't getting promoted, probably related to either their personality making them probably a poor fit for the position or your estimation of their ability being dead farking wrong, or both. The promoted position isn't necessarily the same kind of work, either.
//I know that was a bit ranty, but having been in charge of hiring a couple times I get sick of people treating promotions and hiring like it's setting up their loser friend on a date. "No, dude, he's totally charming when you get to know him and really knows his shiat" is not a goddamned qualification, there are actual, for reals, quantifiable things involved.
//To be fair, I took my responsibility with HR a lot more seriously than other people I've known, so I guess it's possible your HR guys are just jerkoffs adding arbitrary rules 'cause they're lazy.
 
2012-09-11 11:14:35 PM

vartian: Don't believe it. I don't have a single scrap of paper past my GED and my honorable discharge. I worked hard to get where I am at, but I am happy and my salary is decently above average for my field / area....and I have zero student loan debt.


If you play your cards right, you can get through school without debt, or at least you could back when I was an undergrad. I went to a state college, had two different merit scholarships, and burned through all of my earnings from the jobs I worked (as well as tapping savings), but by the time I went to grad school, they were paying me and giving me free tuition for teaching. I'd actually never had any debt (apart from the debt that my credit card accumulated before being paid off each month) until I got a mortgage.

On the other hand, you have to be sure you're getting a good value. A no-name college's diploma isn't worth much, but a top-end school's diploma isn't worth the extra cost, either - the additional doors that, say, an MIT degree would open compared to your state university are few and far between, and after you get a foot in the door, the difference quickly becomes nonexistent. I turned down the big name schools and focused on a place where I paid in-state public university tuition, and never had cause to regret that.
 
2012-09-11 11:42:23 PM

Sum Dum Gai: a top-end school's diploma isn't worth the extra cost, either - the additional doors that, say, an MIT degree would open compared to your state university are few and far between


If you have a MIT CS degree, compared to an average state university, it becomes significantly easier to get interviews at software and technology companies. Sites like developerauction.com will only take you if you have a Stanford or MIT degree.
 
2012-09-11 11:54:09 PM

skazzytl: If you have a MIT CS degree, compared to an average state university, it becomes significantly easier to get interviews at software and technology companies. Sites like developerauction.com will only take you if you have a Stanford or MIT degree.


My job is at a software company; I had no difficulty getting hired with a state diploma. Getting a high GPA at a state school is just about as good as a prestigious school for a far lower cost - and honestly, that degree really only matters at your very first job.

Frankly, I *wish* more technology companies would hire only MIT/Stanford grads; my company would happily pick up all the talented people from other schools that they overlooked.
 
2012-09-12 12:15:18 AM
No, it doesn't. Jobs that pay $25k more often require (or strongly prefer) college diplomas. That does not mean that Burger King your current employer is going to go ahead and give you an extra 25k just because you got that liberal arts degree.
 
2012-09-12 12:21:07 AM

serial_crusher: No, it doesn't. Jobs that pay $25k more often require (or strongly prefer) college diplomas. That does not mean that Burger King your current employer is going to go ahead and give you an extra 25k just because you got that liberal arts degree.


See, I ain't got no college degree and just look at these HTML skills I done accrued.
 
2012-09-12 12:58:23 AM
$72k/yr on average for a chemical engineer starting out. That's what the guy who let me in at age 29 told me when I applied. He lied, it took me a good six months of working to make more than that.
 
2012-09-12 08:45:57 AM

wmoonfox: Says a bunch of business-school graduates with certainly no incentive to justify the cost of their own educational expenses.

Schooling is great if you need it, and if you can reasonably afford it. In the real world, though, employers are generally more interested in applicable experience. That piece of paper is nice when you're trying to get a foot in the door at the very outset of your professional career, but nobody of any importance will care about it in five or ten years.

Now, let's hear from the peanut gallery, who will proceed to make unfounded assertions about my age, my employment history, and my intelligence, but avoid rebutting the argument entirely, as they stare wistfully at the framed diploma just above their monitors...


Simply wrong. Maybe in pure business that is true, but for many career paths you are only eligible to be employed through virtue of certification and degree, i.e. teachers, doctors, nurses, engineers, law, etc.
 
2012-09-12 09:29:15 AM

manimal2878: Simply wrong. Maybe in pure business that is true, but for many career paths you are only eligible to be employed through virtue of certification and degree, i.e. teachers, doctors, nurses, engineers, law, etc.


Medical, law, and education positions "benefit" from the oversight of a third-party certification board which mandates these qualifications regardless of institutional policies. While the result is the same, the difference in intent is significant -- and it may be a heavy contributor to the steep decline in quality of doctors, teachers, and engineers of late.

Just sayin'...
 
2012-09-12 10:32:11 AM

K.B.O. Winston: University's have ways to mitigate those costs


University's what?
 
2012-09-12 05:01:27 PM

wmoonfox: the steep decline in quality of doctors, teachers, and engineers of late.


According to who? Citation needed.
 
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