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(The Atlantic)   The college bubble isn't bursting, mostly because it isn't a bubble   (theatlantic.com) divider line 114
    More: PSA, economic bubble, community colleges, Richard Vedder, profligate, Center for College Affordability, Ohio University  
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7997 clicks; posted to Main » on 10 Jan 2014 at 2:27 AM (29 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-10 02:45:09 AM
Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.
 
2014-01-10 02:50:24 AM
College.  Your boss went to one.  It's important.  Memorize trivia.  Get good grades.

Learn things? Grow as a person?  Do that in your off time.
 
2014-01-10 02:50:37 AM

Krieghund: Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.


Well, see, it all depends on how you define "money".
 
2014-01-10 02:53:22 AM

Krieghund: Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.


I went to college AND I run my own business AND I have a successful Kickstarter. It's a gorram smarminess trifecta!
 
2014-01-10 02:54:07 AM

Krieghund: Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.


That would never happen. Couldn't possibly happen, in fact. It's not like Bill Gates dropped out of college, for Chrissake.
 
2014-01-10 02:58:43 AM
As long as girls can get their Mrs. degree, college will always be a thing.
 
2014-01-10 03:03:57 AM

Krieghund: Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.


Well, it's nice that you pre-emptively kicked off the "unimaginative authoritarians who bristle at the notion of 'people who still have good lives and lucrative jobs in spite of not following the officially-sanctioned instructions on how to get there.'" portion of the thread.

"Why aren't they digging ditches?!?!? I was assured that they would be digging ditches!!!"
 
2014-01-10 03:04:30 AM
What college bubbles may look like ...

elitedaily.com
 
2014-01-10 03:06:21 AM

thisisyourbrainonFark: What college bubbles may look like ...

[elitedaily.com image 485x247]



AIn't nothin' deflationary 'bout them titties!
 
2014-01-10 03:07:31 AM
Well, they state the reason right in the article - a large influx of foreign students.  They make up a big chunk of the students at my school.  Also, Vedder is correct when he says that the cost of tuition consistently outpaces the rate of inflation and the return on investment in a college education has been declining.

I think the notion of encouraging *everyone* to go to a four-year college should be put to rest.  It just isn't for everyone and for those not suited for it that choose to go will likely end up ruining their life by racking up staggering debt while earning a degree that qualifies them to pour coffee.
 
2014-01-10 03:08:23 AM
Far be it from me to think that the ostensibly erudite and well bred folks at the Atlantic would pooh pooh the notion that getting your debt certificate is not longer a wise move and might have ulterior motives for shilling against that notion.
 
2014-01-10 03:10:25 AM
Done in one.

Also, in before a mike rowe 'everyone should be a plumber' claim.
 
2014-01-10 03:11:58 AM

Krieghund: Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.


Some have, some haven't.  Depends on what you plan to do.  Although broad stroke dismissal does seem to be the crux of discourse, here.
 
2014-01-10 03:13:23 AM

technicolor-misfit: Krieghund: Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.

Well, it's nice that you pre-emptively kicked off the "unimaginative authoritarians who bristle at the notion of 'people who still have good lives and lucrative jobs in spite of not following the officially-sanctioned instructions on how to get there.'" portion of the thread.

"Why aren't they digging ditches?!?!? I was assured that they would be digging ditches!!!"


Dude, I have Hollywood on the line. They say you are a master at projection.
 
2014-01-10 03:15:00 AM

Wangiss: Krieghund: Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.

I went to college AND I run my own business AND I have a successful Kickstarter. It's a gorram smarminess trifecta!


Need an assistant?
 
2014-01-10 03:15:45 AM
Everybody's coasting on brand name recognition.  The product is another matter.  Libraries will take you as far into education as you wish to go.  A piece of paper that tells some wanker that it's OK to hire you is another matter.
 
2014-01-10 03:26:07 AM

Krieghund: Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.


It's freakin' easy to point out that college isn't everything when people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet had successful ventures without graduation and before enrollment.

It's also freakin' easy to point out Buffet was a senator's son and Billy the Kid wasn't exactly from the wrong side of the tracks either. Connections are as useful if not moreso than a degree and being a freakin' genius don't hurt neither.
 
2014-01-10 03:26:34 AM

Bane of Broone: technicolor-misfit: Krieghund: Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.

Well, it's nice that you pre-emptively kicked off the "unimaginative authoritarians who bristle at the notion of 'people who still have good lives and lucrative jobs in spite of not following the officially-sanctioned instructions on how to get there.'" portion of the thread.

"Why aren't they digging ditches?!?!? I was assured that they would be digging ditches!!!"

Dude, I have Hollywood on the line. They say you are a master at projection.



How was that projection? Do you even know what projection is?
 
2014-01-10 03:31:48 AM

Krieghund: Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.


But, I'm totally an IT guy with a GED AND a six-figure salary - plus I'm hung like a horse.

(Seriously - go to school.  If you really don't want to worry about debt after the fact, stick to a more 'employable' degree, but a person with *any* college degree is going to be better off financially than most people without.  Oh, and don't go to a $50k/year private school with loans to get a BA in Ancient History - that's just asking for it.)
 
2014-01-10 03:41:46 AM
Maybe outside the bubble, but I think it would be constructive to push trade schools a hell of a lot harder, with scholarships and internships. I think on the low end (number out of my ass but the data is out there), around 40% of high school grads are not ready for college level work. Probably quite a bit higher. Quite possibly near 80%. Maybe 90%. Subtract out the Bill Gates types. Square both sides, toss in a few college sorority babes and a keg.
 
2014-01-10 03:50:17 AM

bunner: Everybody's coasting on brand name recognition.  The product is another matter.  Libraries will take you as far into education as you wish to go.  A piece of paper that tells some wanker that it's OK to hire you is another matter.


Libraries don't have labs, and some fields still need hands on teaching in a physical environment. Simulations can only take the student part of the way.
 
2014-01-10 03:51:00 AM
The thing is, *anything* that rises in price per the same unit faster than inflation, is a bubble. Unless it''s a new product that's still trying to find its proper price point.
 
2014-01-10 04:03:31 AM

Bonzo_1116: bunner: Everybody's coasting on brand name recognition.  The product is another matter.  Libraries will take you as far into education as you wish to go.  A piece of paper that tells some wanker that it's OK to hire you is another matter.

Libraries don't have labs, and some fields still need hands on teaching in a physical environment. Simulations can only take the student part of the way.


I'm inclined to agree with you and bit concerned as to how it has come to pass that anything that is not directly involved with the sciences has been deemed worthless.
 
2014-01-10 04:21:04 AM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but when people talk about the college bubble or it popping they're usually referring to  college graduates with crushing student debt and limited job prospects who can't pay their student loans. Shouldenough of them default on their loans, this would cause a crash in the industry as billions of dollars becomes suddenly worthless.

This article tells me that while college enrolments have fallen, several schools (especially non profits) have shown tiny increases in enrolments. How is this solve the problem above? That as long as enough students join the pyramid it will not collapse?
 
2014-01-10 04:30:03 AM
1.3% doesn't sound very impressive, considering the number of people who go back to school in lean times after losing their job.

I konw a lot of people who went to good schools, got 'valuable degrees' and yet are not working in their field of study....no one studies to become an insurance adjuster or customer service rep or help desk cog.  Was college a waste of 4 years and tens of thousands of dolars (cost of school/living expense/opportunity cost)?  Seems so.

On the other hand, I know guys who make pretty good livings (and can go work for themselves) who learned trades.  Not college, but some at technical schools and some apprenticed.

But then I've been drinking so what do I know....
 
2014-01-10 04:40:23 AM
If you are worried about money, worry about what degree you get. Some skills just aren't worth shiat, and some degrees are only valuable if you feel like holing up in the ivory tower and staying there (which requires dedication and will expose you to very bitter departmental politics - you have to be willing to jump through whatever hoops your professors set up as well).

Also, your ability to sell yourself is more important than your degree. If you hate kissing ass you will probably be poor unless you have a very in demand skill. Keep in mind your own personality and what you like - if you hate being outside or getting sweaty or lifting heavy things, then you probably shouldn't go into a trade. If you hate offices and suits you shouldn't get an HR or communications degree.

But let's also be frank: the trades are needed, and smart people are needed in the trades, and you can make decent money as a tradesman. A journeyman will easily be middle class. They won't make as much as an engineer, but they are likely to make as much or more than someone with any random liberal arts degree or even many types of science degree.

Frankly, I think college is mostly a farking rip off now unless you have it mostly paid for and can be certain that your degree is in demand.
 
2014-01-10 04:44:25 AM

pedobearapproved: Wangiss: Krieghund: Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.

I went to college AND I run my own business AND I have a successful Kickstarter. It's a gorram smarminess trifecta!

Need an assistant?


Yes, I need an assistant.  What can you do?  EIP.
 
2014-01-10 05:13:51 AM
The reason a college degree isn't worth as much anymore is cause no one is willing to pay someone with a degree any more than anyone else. Judging by the functionally illiterate clerks I've dealt with, no one cares about a person being able to do a good job, they just want a warm body that's willing to work for what they're paying, which isn't a lot.

Then there's that whole thing about working in your field. You don't need a degree in Business to file paperwork or degree in Biology to wash test tubes. Colleges are not trade schools (at least the public university I went too). College should be providing you with a wider variety of skills than the average person, which makes a grad more valuable as they should need less training.
 
2014-01-10 05:21:42 AM
Graduating high school used to be proof of literacy. Now even a bachelor's degree doesn't guarantee it. Most (non-MBA) master's degree holders can write a coherent paragraph, so that's the new standard for hiring in my company.

#jklol, I don't hire employees; that's stupid.  Contracting is the way to go.
 
2014-01-10 05:45:28 AM

adamatari: If you are worried about money, worry about what degree you get. Some skills just aren't worth shiat, and some degrees are only valuable if you feel like holing up in the ivory tower and staying there (which requires dedication and will expose you to very bitter departmental politics - you have to be willing to jump through whatever hoops your professors set up as well).

Also, your ability to sell yourself is more important than your degree. If you hate kissing ass you will probably be poor unless you have a very in demand skill. Keep in mind your own personality and what you like - if you hate being outside or getting sweaty or lifting heavy things, then you probably shouldn't go into a trade. If you hate offices and suits you shouldn't get an HR or communications degree.

But let's also be frank: the trades are needed, and smart people are needed in the trades, and you can make decent money as a tradesman. A journeyman will easily be middle class. They won't make as much as an engineer, but they are likely to make as much or more than someone with any random liberal arts degree or even many types of science degree.

Frankly, I think college is mostly a farking rip off now unless you have it mostly paid for and can be certain that your degree is in demand.


Year N:  OMG We have a shortage of hamster breeders.  Hamster breeders out of school get six digits!
Year N+1:  College students switch majors and high-school students enter it.
Year N+2:  More hamster breeders graduate to a great market
Year N+3:  Still more hamster breeders graduate to a good market
Year N+4:  Yet more hamster breeders graduate to a mediocre market, and foreigners who breed hamsters are encouraged to immigrate.
Year N+5:  OMG we have a glut of hamster breeders!  Stay OUT of that field!  Majors in the field go elsewhere
Year N+6:  Falling wages drive hamster breeders into other fields, as does the inexorable march of time.
Year N+9:  OMG we have a glut of hamster breeders!  Hamster breeders out of school get six digits!
 
Moral:  You can never, ever be certain that your degree is in demand.  Some other possibilities: 

Year N+1 (IT scenario):  Hamster breeding outsourced to Elbonia;  15% of the hamsters come back dead and not one hamster has four different grandparents, but the shareholders don't care because it's so CHEAP!
 
Year N+2 (tech obsolescence):  You mean we can breed them by putting a male and female in the same cage and letting them take care of the rest?  Well, we still need hamster sexers but that can be taught in high school. 

Year N+3 (nursing -- compensation shifts from beds filled to patients cured, meaning fewer beds and fewer nurses are needed):  You mean that breeding a hamster every time she's in heat is cruel and leads to fewer pups?  HamsterCorp and United Hamster reduce breeding events by 75%, laying off breeders in proportion. 

Year N+4 (vagaries of fashiom)  Oh, you breed hamsters.  That's so Year N-3;  everybody wants marmots and guinea pigs now. 

(Props to College Misery for using hamsters to hide what proffies really teach, lest it be traced.)
 
2014-01-10 06:10:45 AM
As someone who works at a large public university in a rural state with declining traditional student population (18-21), the numbers are pretty scary. We are staring down the barrel of a $15 Million budget shortfall - on a $92 million annual budget - that has to be made up by the end of next month. This comes not only from lower than expected head count, but students are also taking fewer credits per semester. Growth in large research-based, land grant universities may be skewing the numbers here - urban public comprehensives like us are getting killed on the numbers and are forced to make very difficult decisions coming forward.
 
GBB [TotalFark]
2014-01-10 06:14:48 AM

Macular Degenerate: As someone who works at a large public university in a rural state with declining traditional student population (18-21), the numbers are pretty scary. We are staring down the barrel of a $15 Million budget shortfall - on a $92 million annual budget - that has to be made up by the end of next month. This comes not only from lower than expected head count, but students are also taking fewer credits per semester. Growth in large research-based, land grant universities may be skewing the numbers here - urban public comprehensives like us are getting killed on the numbers and are forced to make very difficult decisions coming forward.


Better raise the prices then.  It's the only thing that makes sense.  Ask one of them thar graduates.
 
2014-01-10 06:19:02 AM
Confucious say; man with eight year degree in women's studies still gets divorced in five.
 
2014-01-10 06:31:43 AM

Krieghund: Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.


Is this the thread where a bunch of unhappy but rich people complain about all those happy but poor people? Good times.
 
2014-01-10 06:55:23 AM

Krieghund: Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.




Just remember: a salary is just an an artificial cap on how much money you're allowed to make.
 
2014-01-10 07:13:23 AM
This would help explain why I am hearing a lot of commercials on the radio recently for Liberty University. They even have Kirk Cameron voicing a number of the spots.
These spots seem to ignore the religious leanings of the school, at most using the line of 'like minded individuals'.

So I chuckle every time.
 
2014-01-10 07:34:03 AM

Wangiss: Krieghund: Oh good, it's been a while since we had a thread where Farkers try to convince us they make just as much money without going to college as they would if they had.

I went to college AND I run my own business AND I have a successful Kickstarter. It's a gorram smarminess trifecta!


Successful, as in you got people to give you money?

Successful, as in you completed an art project you wanted to do?

That is a pretty vague claim.


Yamaneko2: Moral: You can never, ever be certain that your degree is in demand.


Mechanical, electrical, and chemical engineering would like a word with you (off the top of my head).
 
2014-01-10 07:40:39 AM

Coming on a Bicycle: The thing is, *anything* that rises in price per the same unit faster than inflation, is a bubble. Unless it''s a new product that's still trying to find its proper price point.


THIS.

The article completely ignores the fact that a four year education in most majors (not all) is heading to the point where a college grad is only going to have money to pay rent, student loans, health insurance and maybe bus fare to work. Nothing else.
 
2014-01-10 07:47:06 AM

IanMoone: Coming on a Bicycle: The thing is, *anything* that rises in price per the same unit faster than inflation, is a bubble. Unless it''s a new product that's still trying to find its proper price point.

THIS.

The article completely ignores the fact that a four year education in most majors (not all) is heading to the point where a college grad is only going to have money to pay rent, student loans, health insurance and maybe bus fare to work. Nothing else.


Yeah, my alma mater has increased from $33k in 2005 to about $48k this year.  An average annual increase of about 4.8%.  Better than twice the rate of inflation.  Smells fishy.
 
2014-01-10 07:47:52 AM
hbowatch.com
"The college bubble isn't a bubble- it's a ladder."
 
2014-01-10 07:52:07 AM

IanMoone: Coming on a Bicycle: The thing is, *anything* that rises in price per the same unit faster than inflation, is a bubble. Unless it''s a new product that's still trying to find its proper price point.

THIS.

The article completely ignores the fact that a four year education in most majors (not all) is heading to the point where a college grad is only going to have money to pay rent, student loans, health insurance and maybe bus fare to work. Nothing else.



So what you're saying is there's going to be a big upswing in the number of actual college girls "just doing this to get through school" in the clubs and putting out the escort ads?
Sweeet.
 
2014-01-10 08:22:04 AM
costs are rising disproportionately to income and weren't low to begin with.  if a trend can't continue it won't.
 
2014-01-10 08:22:18 AM
It needs to.
 
2014-01-10 08:32:44 AM
For those of you too busy to read the article this morning, here's a summary:

"Here, let me reshuffle those numbers so they now say what I want them to say."

Like a lot of things in life, how much money you make seems to be a crap shoot. Of all my friends, the only guy who's on easy street is a high school pal who went into the Navy the week after graduation, stayed just long enough to qualify for a pension, got out, got a veteran-setaside job at the Post Office in San Diego. Stayed just long enough to qualify for a pension there. Married a local girl. Now they live two blocks from the water in Ocean Beach, with his two pensions and whatever money she makes working parttime at her parents' restaurant. They spend most of their days going out on the sailboat or surfing. Last time I saw him, he smiled and said: "So, who's the asshole now?"
 
2014-01-10 08:39:49 AM

tom baker's scarf: costs are rising disproportionately to income and weren't low to begin with.  if a trend can't continue it won't.


That's because there is no real downward pressure: we just keep writing bigger and bigger grants/loans.  Universities aren't forced to live within a budget, so they don't.
 
2014-01-10 08:40:56 AM

hestheone: 1.3% doesn't sound very impressive, considering the number of people who go back to school in lean times after losing their job.


They found jobs. Hence the drops in enrollment and public 2-year community colleges / trade schools and for-profits like ITT Tech.

I konw a lot of people who went to good schools, got 'valuable degrees' and yet are not working in their field of study....no one studies to become an insurance adjuster or customer service rep or help desk cog.  Was college a waste of 4 years and tens of thousands of dolars (cost of school/living expense/opportunity cost)?  Seems so.

On the other hand, I know guys who make pretty good livings (and can go work for themselves) who learned trades.  Not college, but some at technical schools and some apprenticed.

But then I've been drinking so what do I know....


Insurance adjusters, customer service reps, and help desk cogs all need more communications skills than your average high school grad, for starters. Average, anyway. There are exceptions, but "has a 4-year degree" is a decent - and still legal - way to sort resumes.

Technical schools are pretty much the same as college, as far as I've seen. Names aside. The 2-year I take classes at has a trucking school as well as a math department. *shrug*
 
2014-01-10 08:46:48 AM

bunner: Libraries will take you as far into education as you wish to go.


I have a PhD that landed me a research scientist position in a cooperative institute at an R1 university.  I doubt I could have attained the same level of education by going to the library, especially since by the time I was finishing my PhD I was the one writing the book.

Libraries will take you as far into education as you wish to go, so long as you don't plan on going very far into education.
 
2014-01-10 08:53:42 AM
Not a bubble. A scam. There's a difference .
 
2014-01-10 08:54:37 AM

GodComplex: The reason a college degree isn't worth as much anymore is cause no one is willing to pay someone with a degree any more than anyone else. Judging by the functionally illiterate clerks I've dealt with, no one cares about a person being able to do a good job, they just want a warm body that's willing to work for what they're paying, which isn't a lot.

Then there's that whole thing about working in your field. You don't need a degree in Business to file paperwork or degree in Biology to wash test tubes. Colleges are not trade schools (at least the public university I went too). College should be providing you with a wider variety of skills than the average person, which makes a grad more valuable as they should need less training.


There are, in my opinion, 3 things that have happened with degrees (based on the UK):-
1) Massive increase in supply. Having a degree in Eng Lit used to get you a good job because it showed you were higher functioning than school kids. You could get into management programmes. But management programmes haven't increased in demand.
2) Employers have figured out that "intelligence" isn't that simple. Go back a decade or so, companies would hire graduates with degrees in geography or French as trainee programmers. What they worked out is that many of them weren't any damn good at it. You could find kids who were at school and good at math and were building their own games and programmes and they'd do better.
3) Bureaucratic middle-management is dying. The guy who did the timesheets, holidays and knew sod all about the jobs of his staff is dead today, because we killed the bureaucracy with technology. Places I go and work at now - every PM is basically an ex-developer or analyst with years of experience.
 
2014-01-10 08:55:20 AM
The argument the author makes seems to be of the "no except yes" kind. They come to the same conclusion, except one of them worded it differently.
 
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