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(Phys Org2)   Higher education isn't for everyone, Cletus   (phys.org) divider line 225
    More: Obvious, higher educations, income families, variable costs, throw in, U.S. Department of Education  
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13162 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Feb 2013 at 12:30 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-02-15 04:29:06 PM

Valiente: Redneck jokes aside, we should have built far more technical colleges than universities in the last 30 years, and we never should have pulled apart the time-honoured practice of trades apprenticeship.

I've needed more plumbers than physicists in my life, and I have never needed someone with a PhD in Dyke Consciousness and a minor in The Light Comedy of Sylvia Plath.. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course, but it's been easier to teach myself welding and small engine repair than to try and find someone qualified under $100/hr. Even with inflation, that's still hooker money to me.

North America is now officially the "C Ship" Douglas Adams warned us about.


This, so much this.
 
2013-02-15 04:33:56 PM

MyRandomName: p the boiler: Rapmaster2000: p the boiler: Since we like to generalize here on Fark about the failings of Liberal Arts majors, I think I will throw out how at least we got laid in college and will have gotten more tail than you oh so intelligent STEM majors.

Some of us petty LA majors do happen to also find well paying careers, and we tend to be a lot more attractive than you trolls - so we both have the opportunity to get attractive spouses (yours solely due to sugar spouses wanting to cash in). Since ours tend to find us attractive and also see that we aren't needy little biatches our significant others are less likely to cheat on us compared to you fat little tech geeks.

Generalizations, how do they work?

Dude, why did you go to Purdue to major in LA?  If you'd gone to IU you could have gotten more and better tail.

I always loved the university - Purdue also has a highly regarded Communications program

Com VistaIn August 2008, Com Vista, a guide to programs of study in communication-related departments, ranked Purdue's Department of Communication No. 2 in health communication and No. 4 in interpersonal and organizational communication. The rankings are based on faculty's publications in the 50 journals related to the field.

Purdue's communication department also placed in the top 10 for specific areas of study, including No. 1 (tie) in the area of narrative and No. 2 in the area of communication and emotion.

Bragging about a comm degree. That's a new one. Not even the football players in your class did that.


Bragging? I answered a question.

But that's ok, keep on thinking your degree makes you superior without knowing what someone else has accomplished with theirs. I'll let you masturbate on that
 
2013-02-15 04:35:26 PM

jst3p: Rindred: WhippingBoy: kwame: WhippingBoy: You said "What's cute is how you don't even understand the number of things wrong with that comment." and then failed to provide a single example of anything that was "wrong".

That's all I was getting at.

It's mostly because this statement gets tossed around in every higher education thread.

I'll address the only one I do every time.  The rest I'm tired of posting.  "Liberal arts" encompasses chemistry, math, anthropology, economics, physics, history, and many more.  To claim that's where academically incompetent students run is really ignorant

There, that wasn't so hard, was it?

I do see your point. Instead of "Liberal Arts", what should we call the "useless" majors then? (e.g. English Lit, Psychology, Gender Studies, Philosophy, etc.). "Humanities"? "Soft sciences"? "Starbucks U?"

Anecdotally speaking?

The IT guy

This IT guy has a good job with a pretty good salary and no college degree (or loans), so he is getting a kick out of your reply.


This IT guy has a BA in English, minored in Humanities Interdisciplinary Studies, has zero IT certs, and has been working solely as a techie for 17 years.

And I always get a kick out of my replies.
 
2013-02-15 04:38:15 PM

Glenford: Darth_Lukecash: I had always struggled in grade school and high school. So when I got to university, I studied my ads off.

Some of the other freshmen thought that memorization would solve their problems, didn't understand that they would be required to think.

Marketing major?


Graphic design/Journalsim actually. :-)
 
2013-02-15 04:40:38 PM

Rindred: This IT guy has a BA in English, minored in Humanities Interdisciplinary Studies, has zero IT certs, and has been working solely as a techie for 17 years.

And I always get a kick out of my replies.


I don't get it. Why do IT guys think that they're among the technologically elite? You're tolerated because you have the root password, and do the jobs that no one else really wants to do.
 
2013-02-15 04:46:37 PM

Moonfisher: It would be nice if public schools stopped demonizing any option other than college.  If a kid is clearly not college material, help him/her find a technical school or certification program.  I see so many women in their late 20s struggling to get their certification for Medical Assistant while holding down two jobs.  If they had gone into that program right after high school, they could have been making a livable wage right off the bat and would be doing much better.  High schools just focus on being able to say they sent a good percentage of their graduating class on to college without considering how many of those students will actually complete their degree vs. how many will be saddled with debt and soul-crushing disappointment.


This. I actually experienced the opposite problem. I went to a private, Catholic vocational (they called it "technical") high school and didn't get any counseling on colleges because, as the vice principal put it, "We get more grants from businesses if it's our diploma hanging in your office, not UCLA's." I still managed to graduate from college, but the only advice they gave me was showing me where the applications were.
 
2013-02-15 04:50:34 PM

WhippingBoy: Rindred: This IT guy has a BA in English, minored in Humanities Interdisciplinary Studies, has zero IT certs, and has been working solely as a techie for 17 years.

And I always get a kick out of my replies.

I don't get it. Why do IT guys think that they're among the technologically elite? You're tolerated because you have the root password, and do the jobs that no one else really wants to do.


Because the rest of you don't realize that "doing the jobs that no one else really wants to do" is actually letting cron run some shell scripts while we fark all day.
 
2013-02-15 04:55:04 PM

WhippingBoy: Rindred: This IT guy has a BA in English, minored in Humanities Interdisciplinary Studies, has zero IT certs, and has been working solely as a techie for 17 years.

And I always get a kick out of my replies.

I don't get it. Why do IT guys think that they're among the technologically elite? You're tolerated because you have the root password, and do the jobs that no one else really wants to do.


I don't consider myself one of the "elite," whatever that is. I describe my job as "50% glorified janitor, 50% grief counsellor."

My importance in relation to my past and present employers is keeping shiat running. So many people think "I'm a smart person - I should be able to fix this computer issue myself!" right up until they can't. Then I get a call. This is no different than plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, firemen, etc. I just happen to have a degree that is technically unrelated to what I do for a living.

But please, don't let me stop you for digging for a way to be offended at me for having a non-STEM degree. Carry on, o mighty Fark rager.
 
2013-02-15 05:00:29 PM
Jiminy Crickets, there are some sensitive snowflakes here.

i45.tinypic.com
Is that better?

/some of you are more snowflaky than my students
 
2013-02-15 05:02:34 PM

Rindred: WhippingBoy: Rindred: This IT guy has a BA in English, minored in Humanities Interdisciplinary Studies, has zero IT certs, and has been working solely as a techie for 17 years.

And I always get a kick out of my replies.

I don't get it. Why do IT guys think that they're among the technologically elite? You're tolerated because you have the root password, and do the jobs that no one else really wants to do.

I don't consider myself one of the "elite," whatever that is. I describe my job as "50% glorified janitor, 50% grief counsellor."

My importance in relation to my past and present employers is keeping shiat running. So many people think "I'm a smart person - I should be able to fix this computer issue myself!" right up until they can't. Then I get a call. This is no different than plumbers, electricians, auto mechanics, firemen, etc. I just happen to have a degree that is technically unrelated to what I do for a living.

But please, don't let me stop you for digging for a way to be offended at me for having a non-STEM degree. Carry on, o mighty Fark rager.


You seem to know your place. We're good.
 
2013-02-15 05:03:23 PM

Smackledorfer: Master Sphincter: Wait.. Are you biatching about people making assumptions about you? On the internet!!? How dare I?  You sound like you are in debt.
But thanks for providing me with the evidence to the contrary.

/surprised you didn't include notarized copies of your statements

Nah, I'm just calling you out for jumping to a personal attack, and a wildly assuming one at that, in lieu of supporting your own discussion points or responding to mine.

I'm just going to go ahead and mark you as troll now, between your posting and your account creation date.


Yes. My creation date is shameful. So after a year or so I will be able to get my panties in a wad because I've been here a while... Got it.
 
2013-02-15 05:05:25 PM

de_Selby: stanank: Ironically the grammar in this article is worse  thanexpected, considering the author's critique of academic aptitude.

"A large part is contributed to the academic or grade performance being worse then they expected; they just weren't prepared," he said.

Read more at:http://phys.org/news/2013-02-dropouts-werent.html#jCp

Hang that on the article writer, not the researcher. It's an interview quotation, and has been poorly transcribed.

/I've been misquoted by a reporter


It still doesn't excuse the fact that the person being quoted should have said "ATtributed" and not "CONtributed," unless I'm totally missing the meaning of the sentence.
 
2013-02-15 05:08:38 PM
Why is it when I hear someone say "STEM" to describe their degree or education, I automatically get a whiff of autism and a dose of smug? I would think there's a direct correlation to how  many times someone describes their degree as just merely "STEM" in one post and their inability to function in normal social situations, but I'll leave that to the STEM-y experts to figure out, heh.  Seriously? Just say what you got your degree in / what you studied.  No one cares about "STEM" STEMSTEMSTEMSTEM.
 
2013-02-15 05:15:11 PM

jst3p: WhippingBoy: Rindred: This IT guy has a BA in English, minored in Humanities Interdisciplinary Studies, has zero IT certs, and has been working solely as a techie for 17 years.

And I always get a kick out of my replies.

I don't get it. Why do IT guys think that they're among the technologically elite? You're tolerated because you have the root password, and do the jobs that no one else really wants to do.

Because the rest of you don't realize that "doing the jobs that no one else really wants to do" is actually letting cron run some shell scripts while we fark all day.


Oh, we know. We also know that when one of those scripts hiccups and takes down a server, you're the one who gets the alert at 3am and any blame for the downtime that comes along with it.

Master Sphincter: Smackledorfer: Master Sphincter: Wait.. Are you biatching about people making assumptions about you? On the internet!!? How dare I?  You sound like you are in debt.
But thanks for providing me with the evidence to the contrary.

/surprised you didn't include notarized copies of your statements

Nah, I'm just calling you out for jumping to a personal attack, and a wildly assuming one at that, in lieu of supporting your own discussion points or responding to mine.

I'm just going to go ahead and mark you as troll now, between your posting and your account creation date.

Yes. My creation date is shameful. So after a year or so I will be able to get my panties in a wad because I've been here a while... Got it.


You'd think, but no. After a year you'll find yourself incapable of caring.
 
2013-02-15 05:19:32 PM

palelizard: ajgeek: UberDave: Many students learn over the course of their studies that college is not a good match for them academically...

...So they go on to major in Business.

/Runs from thread.

Or English, Liberal Arts, and for the ladies, Women's Studies.

/stands defiantly.


If we don't support those degrees, how can I expect my coffee to be served with an unordered side of smug superiority and condescension?  Who will explain to me the power dynamic artificially represented by the tip jar is really just an extension of the philosophies behind Vaclav Havel's greatest works, and like all true absurdist situations, reflecting the opposite of reality to indicate that I, the advanced math degree consumer, am truly the powerless one, not only in the relationship between the barista and I, but in all subjective realities (as objective reality is a thought-construct of the powerless)?

Who will judge me?  I don't want it to be amateurs.


How about an English major? That should be "between the barista and me"
 
2013-02-15 05:25:05 PM

semiotix: I'm a humanities professor at a state university. My cushy salary is leeched off the tax dollars of you bootstrappy folk with your "useful" degrees and practical hardscrabble wisdom you got from the University of Real Life, etc.

I guess I should defend the honor of the dreaded lllllllibrul arts, but I mostly use Fark to kill time at work, and I'll be damned if I'm going to spend Friday afternoon in my office.

See you guys Tuesday!


Based on your username, I think I can guess what you teach.  :-)

/comp sci graduate
//my tenured humanities profs were awesome
///hardest courses I ever took
////except for my very last calculus class, oh my poor brain
 
2013-02-15 05:32:06 PM

CliChe Guevara: dittybopper: My life would be measurably worse without tradesmen like plumbers, auto mechanics, and the like.  I don't have the skills or the tools to do most repairs on my car, for example.

 I come from a background of academia, working in a business environment full of empty advanced degrees, and having a hobby of restoring automobiles and machining parts.
 I can safely tell you the level of technical knowledge, common sense, and problem solving skills required of repairing cars (or any skilled trade for that matter) usually far exceeds the demands of most any classic cubicle farm business degree job.
 In fact, the level of skills required for a good machinist, particularly high-level technical knowledge and mathematics, exceeds that required of most any engineering degree. Engineering is easy, being a machinist is a frighteningly high barrier to reach.

 Working with hands =/= ignorant

 The idea that work must be a total undefinable abstraction to be intellectually demanding is quite simply a crock of shiat.


This, this, this.

I am a degree-holding computer scientist.  Have been for years.  (Programmer, sysadmin, I've done all of that.)  I've spent maybe 40 minutes of my life working on a metal lathe.  It was incredibly fun and scared the everloving shiat out of me.  Whatever those guys make, it's not enough.  Machinists get much respect from this desk jockey.
 
2013-02-15 05:51:47 PM

my herniated disc: Are universities and colleges just pumping out degrees to people who don't actually acquire general university skills and therefore end up unemployable with a degree and crazy debt? Or is it just because the economy is suffering right now and therefore fewer jobs?


A bit of both, IMO.  When I was going through college, the only people I knew who got Liberal Arts degrees were people who started in Major X, and then switched to LA so they could get SOMETHING out of their existing course credits before leaving school.  Some of the people who switched were smart, capable individuals who just didn't know what they wanted to do with their lives.  While others were just slackers who were skating by and probably would have gotten bounced out of school at some point, but decided they should at least get SOME piece of paper or mom and dad would be pissed.

Are all LA majors idiots/slackers?  Absolutely not.  But I'd bet there are a higher percentage than normal who are, vs. other degrees.  Because it seems to be the fallback degree rather than the goal driven one.

Also the economy still sucks and it's harder to find jobs.

I think it's an absolute travesty that our K-12 system pretends as if everyone can or *should* go to college.  For some people, it's just not the right fit.  Kids should be at least exposed to some trades or vocations as they are going through school, just to explore their options.  Many may not know that they are good at construction, mechanical trades, agriculture, etc., which can be good paying jobs that provide fulfillment.  Even if they decide not to go for any of the trades they are exposed to, it can't hurt them to learn about such things.

Not going to college doesn't automatically mean you're a moron.  We should stop pretending like it does.
 
2013-02-15 05:56:11 PM
i dropped out because i realized a major in fine arts wasn't worth huge sums of money, but didn't have any real world experience to know what to change to

so i got some real world experience, and now i'm going back for engineering

the lesson here is, don't go to school straight out of high school
 
2013-02-15 06:03:49 PM

AdamK: i dropped out because i realized a major in fine arts wasn't worth huge sums of money, but didn't have any real world experience to know what to change to

so i got some real world experience, and now i'm going back for engineering

the lesson here is, don't go to school straight out of high school


That is sage advice right there.  Kids right out of college don't know how much they don't know. Until you understand the value of an education you will not appreciate it.
 
2013-02-15 06:23:01 PM

Skraeling: A b.s. pretty much has no meaning now. It's the modern day high school diploma.


Try sitting for the PE exam without a BS in engineering.  It's impossible in many states, and damned difficult in the rest.
 
2013-02-15 06:32:11 PM

Khell: my herniated disc: Are universities and colleges just pumping out degrees to people who don't actually acquire general university skills and therefore end up unemployable with a degree and crazy debt? Or is it just because the economy is suffering right now and therefore fewer jobs?


I think it's an absolute travesty that our K-12 system pretends as if everyone can or *should* go to college.  For some people, it's just not the right fit.  Kids should be at least exposed to some trades or vocations as they are going through school, just to explore their options.  Many may not know that they are good at construction, mechanical trades, agriculture, etc., which can be good paying jobs that provide fulfillment.  Even if they decide not to go for any of the trades they are exposed to, it can't hurt them to learn about such things.

Not going to college doesn't automatically mean you're a moron.  We should stop pretending like it does.


Yeah I found when I was in high school university was always presented as the next step if you wanted to succeed, which is a mistake I think.  Its great for some but is not for everyone and shouldnt be undertaken for lack of something better to do.  Lots of people I know ended up dropping out of it, finding it not really a good fit. Plus high school does nothing useful at all to prepare you for university, making it even more difficult for people entering university without a clear idea of what they are doing and having misconceptions of what a degree actually gets you.

Trades or vocations were downplayed to a fault when I was high school as well. Not to mention going into trades as a woman was unheard of.. and this is only back in the 1990s!   I really wish trades were played up more when I was in high school. Ugh, I cringe when I remember myself saying disparagingly I wouldnt want to be a blue collar worker.  Stupid younger self!  Construction work is awesome.  Depending on the trade, it can be just as mentally challenging as anything else.   (mine isn't but still, lots are)
 
2013-02-15 06:40:00 PM
There has been a lot of arguing about what causes the massive drop-out rate in college.  The argument is a bit political:  conservatives blame lazy irresponsible youth, and liberals blame tuition cost and the failure of our social safety net.

This study confirms what professors have suspected for a long time:  a lot of kids just aren't cut out for it, and leave when they figure it out or have it figured out for them.
 
2013-02-15 07:27:06 PM

my herniated disc: Yeah I found when I was in high school university was always presented as the next step if you wanted to succeed, which is a mistake I think.  Its great for some but is not for everyone and shouldnt be undertaken for lack of something better to do.  Lots of people I know ended up dropping out of it, finding it not really a good fit. Plus high school does nothing useful at all to prepare you for university, making it even more difficult for people entering university without a clear idea of what they are doing and having misconceptions of what a degree actually gets you.

Trades or vocations were downplayed to a fault when I was high school as well. Not to mention going into trades as a woman was unheard of.. and this is only back in the 1990s!   I really wish trades were played up more when I was in high school. Ugh, I cringe when I remember myself saying disparagingly I wouldnt want to be a blue collar worker.  Stupid younger self!  Construction work is awesome.  Depending on the trade, it can be just as mentally challenging as anything else.   (mine isn't but still, lots are)


Agree!  I think many people believe that the degree is going to get you a job in an exact field.  For some people, I'm sure that occurs.  But if other fields are like tech (which I'm in), then most people don't have a degree that precisely lines up with what they are doing.  Sometimes by a wide margin.  I know dudes/dude-ettes coding software that have history degrees, art degrees, mechanical/electrical engineering degrees.  In fact most don't have a "computer science" degree.  They just have the smarts and aptitude to code.  A degree can definitely open doors as it shows that you are generally capable of obtaining a goal (e.g. getting through college), and in areas not tied to what you studied.

As for trades, I can't speak to the female angle but that's interesting to know.  I could see it occurring back then ("Girls can't do construction, silly!").  But my dad's been a union carpenter for 40 years, and when I was still in high school I got to work summers with him.  It definitely opened my eyes to the level of smarts some of the construction tradesmen need to have.  For carpenters, being able to take proper measurements, calculate distances, mentally envision materials they need to cut and put into place, and do it all quickly because you're not paid to sit around 'cipherin all day...  It's not easy work, but at the same time it's not rocket science either.  And good tradesmen will be able to solve problems on the fly, because nothing ever goes exactly to plan.  So I agree with you, the jobs can be mentally challenging.  Plus there's a degree of pride that comes out of it because you can physically see your end product once it's built.
 
2013-02-16 09:14:02 AM
as someone who is currently comfortably in the 98th percentile I can tell you this. Degree, no degree, regardless of actual knowledge...the more money you make, the less work you actually do.
 
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