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(The Atlantic)   How college is sold to poor kids, who latch onto the notion of getting a four-year degree as the way to propel them into a superior social strata   (theatlantic.com) divider line 241
    More: Interesting, social hierarchy, private schools, colleges, elementary schools, personal statement, college application, Inglewood  
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10973 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Jan 2014 at 4:05 AM (47 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-18 11:12:36 PM  
I didn't grow up poor, but my degree has gotten me in the door for an interview a few times. I have my current job because the other folks who interviewed didn't have a degree. Hell I thought they were better candidates.
 
2014-01-18 11:35:33 PM  
I grew up poor, and my degree did open up a world unattainable by any other means.  The degree in question being my Masters.  My Bachelor's didn't do Jack All for me, except get me into grad school.
 
2014-01-18 11:41:46 PM  
This article was an interesting read after seeing an interview with Mike Rowe, host of "Dirty Jobs". He is part of a scholarship group at profoundlydisconnected.com that says, "A trillion dollars in student loans. Record high unemployment. Three million good jobs that no one seems to want. The goal of Profoundly Disconnected is to challenge the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success. The Skills Gap is here, and if we don't close it, it'll swallow us all."
Basically talks about how there are a lot of jobs out there in the technical fields and trades that require training, not a degree, and many employers say they have difficulty finding people to fill those positions.
 
2014-01-18 11:52:25 PM  
I grew up in a middle class home and didn't qualify for aid or win any scholarships, so I paid all my schooling with loans.  I've been thinking what a waste it seems to have been, as little opportunity has come my way and not many interviews for jobs in the 2 years since graduation.  Depressing, really.  My SO is an electrician and has had no problem finding employment.  He has a sweet gig now...at the same damn employer I've been trying to snag...go figure...
 
2014-01-18 11:55:31 PM  
My bootstraps were made for lifting.
And that's just what they'll do.
Every day my boots straps
Lift myself all over you.
 
NFA [TotalFark]
2014-01-19 12:08:01 AM  
I was promoted to management because I was the one employee with a degree.  My college education allowed me to understand the technical aspects of the work environment better than my coworkers.  Now I'm a technical director and all the technical support personnel work for me.

Education really does make a difference.  The problem is that the degrees which will work for you are the ones you really have to work hard to earn.
 
2014-01-19 12:24:23 AM  
The message is that intellectual curiosity plays second fiddle to financial security.

Darn tootin'! This is 'Merika, dollars uber alles.
 
2014-01-19 12:35:42 AM  
static4.businessinsider.com
 
2014-01-19 12:38:19 AM  
My college degree and JD have helped me get where I am today. Without a higher education, I would've been stuck in BFE working telephone customer service or collections for a credit card company...until the sweet release of death. At least now, I've got flexibility in my life.
 
2014-01-19 12:46:37 AM  
So I read the article, and this utter moron who obviously grew up fairly well off seems to think that poor kids should pay tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of dollars and be in debt for the rest of their lives in order to have the privilege of going to college, not to get skills, but to exercise their intellectual abilities?

Is he crazy or just stupid?

People who are going to exercise their intellectual abilities will do so regardless of a college education. I didn't go to college until I was 30. I must assure you, i did not spend 12 years in an intellectual void. I read. I learned things. I had experiences, adventures, late nights talking about philosophy. But reading doesn't pay the bills, no matter how much you do it.

So I went to school and made sure that I was getting a STEM degree where I would be in a field in high demand, and got screwed anyway because it turns out no one in my city wants someone who does what I do, they want a programmer who also knows how to do what I do (GIS). And I paid $50,000 for the privilege of getting a degree that I thought was good, but turned out to be basically useless. And I only engaged my intellectual abilities in one class, and that was ethics. I sailed through everything else that wasn't math, and got through my math by the skin of my teeth, and never once did I dwell on what a goddamned travesty it was that I wasn't thoroughly enjoying "exercising my intellect" while working, raising two kids, and slogging through a metric farkload of homework every night.

Anyway, you can't honestly sit there and tell people that they should spend that much money and time to go be free spirits and do whatever they want and be intellectuals. The purpose of college is not to sit around and be smart.

Let me repeat that.

THE PURPOSE OF COLLEGE IS NOT FOR YOU TO SIT AROUND AND FEEL SMUG ABOUT HOW SMART YOU ARE.

The purpose of college, in this day and age, is to learn marketable skills, or to get a Mrs. degree. It's too goddamned expensive to play around with it, in both money and time. Anyone who thinks otherwise is living in a goddamned dream world.
 
2014-01-19 12:58:13 AM  
"People are privileged to follow their hearts in life, to spend their time crafting an identity instead of simply surviving."

more like

Privileged people are allowed to follow their hearts in life, to spend their time crafting an identity instead of simply surviving.
 
2014-01-19 02:17:11 AM  

Bunny Deville: So I went to school and made sure that I was getting a STEM degree where I would be in a field in high demand, and got screwed anyway because it turns out no one in my city wants someone who does what I do, they want a programmer who also knows how to do what I do (GIS). And I paid $50,000 for the privilege of getting a degree that I thought was good, but turned out to be basically useless. And I only engaged my intellectual abilities in one class, and that was ethics. I sailed through everything else that wasn't math, and got through my math by the skin of my teeth, and never once did I dwell on what a goddamned travesty it was that I wasn't thoroughly enjoying "exercising my intellect" while working, raising two kids, and slogging through a metric farkload of homework every night.

Anyway, you can't honestly sit there and tell people that they should spend that much money and time to go be free spirits and do whatever they want and be intellectuals. The purpose of college is not to sit around and be smart.


Yes. Surrender your life to the machine. You are only what other people tell you that you are. Have a biscuit, Fido! Good dog!

Go into a field you'll hate. Have your entire career planned at 17, and do not deviate from that plan once you begin to learn more in your young adulthood. Never study literature. Don't travel, except via commercial tourism destinations. Forego art and history. Live an empty existence in service to your masters.

That goes double if you have a natural ability to understand the arts and humanities, enjoy them, and can get a free or reduced-price education from scholarships. Forego those, for they will never lead to an engineering career. Instead, follow the wisdom of Bunny Deville -- someone who pays for a math/technology education, and can't find work in that field anyway, but damns the rest of the world to hell for wanting to actually enjoy life.
 
2014-01-19 02:36:52 AM  

EmmaLou: My college degree and JD have helped me get where I am today. Without a higher education, I would've been stuck in BFE working telephone customer service or collections for a credit card company...until the sweet release of death. At least now, I've got flexibility in my life.


Same here. I'd bet I was poorer than anyone else in this thread when I graduated from high school -- I lived in the Steel Belt just as it turned into the Rust Belt.

I was able to go to college on a fine arts scholarship. That led to me getting a scholarship at an even better school a few years later. Music theory is the least marketable degree in the world, but the fact that I was able to put myself through a real college made me attractive to employers.

Other civilized nations realize that we need more than industry drones to create a good, balanced society and actually subsidize post-secondary education, as the United States once did. Instead of turning people off of college because of the debt, we should be asking how we can change our society to educate as many people as possible.

The world may need ditch-diggers, but educated ditch-diggers make better informed choices in a democracy.
 
2014-01-19 02:38:28 AM  
www.quickmeme.com
 
2014-01-19 02:39:26 AM  

Lenny_da_Hog: Bunny Deville: So I went to school and made sure that I was getting a STEM degree where I would be in a field in high demand, and got screwed anyway because it turns out no one in my city wants someone who does what I do, they want a programmer who also knows how to do what I do (GIS). And I paid $50,000 for the privilege of getting a degree that I thought was good, but turned out to be basically useless. And I only engaged my intellectual abilities in one class, and that was ethics. I sailed through everything else that wasn't math, and got through my math by the skin of my teeth, and never once did I dwell on what a goddamned travesty it was that I wasn't thoroughly enjoying "exercising my intellect" while working, raising two kids, and slogging through a metric farkload of homework every night.

Anyway, you can't honestly sit there and tell people that they should spend that much money and time to go be free spirits and do whatever they want and be intellectuals. The purpose of college is not to sit around and be smart.

Yes. Surrender your life to the machine. You are only what other people tell you that you are. Have a biscuit, Fido! Good dog!

Go into a field you'll hate. Have your entire career planned at 17, and do not deviate from that plan once you begin to learn more in your young adulthood. Never study literature. Don't travel, except via commercial tourism destinations. Forego art and history. Live an empty existence in service to your masters.

That goes double if you have a natural ability to understand the arts and humanities, enjoy them, and can get a free or reduced-price education from scholarships. Forego those, for they will never lead to an engineering career. Instead, follow the wisdom of Bunny Deville -- someone who pays for a math/technology education, and can't find work in that field anyway, but damns the rest of the world to hell for wanting to actually enjoy life.


img9.joyreactor.cc
 
2014-01-19 03:33:15 AM  
Yes? And? College degrees typically mean a *lot* more money than just high school, which typically means greater social opportunities. It's not like these kids are being lied to.

img.fark.net
 
2014-01-19 04:16:28 AM  
Doesn't it depend on the person? Also, a 4 year degree seems to be mostly worthless, grad school the same, especially if one goes for some bs arts degree. My wife spent a good 12 or 14 years in school, hated everything till she hit medical, loved medical aside from the nonsense touchy feely BS but she's a neuro-ophthalmologist and makes half a crapton. I went for a couple of semesters, couldn't stand the culture, dropped out, went after the dream, and was lucky enough to land it. So now combined we make a crapton.

/college isn't for everyone
 
2014-01-19 04:20:10 AM  

verchad: This article was an interesting read after seeing an interview with Mike Rowe, host of "Dirty Jobs". He is part of a scholarship group at profoundlydisconnected.com that says, "A trillion dollars in student loans. Record high unemployment. Three million good jobs that no one seems to want. The goal of Profoundly Disconnected is to challenge the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success. The Skills Gap is here, and if we don't close it, it'll swallow us all."
Basically talks about how there are a lot of jobs out there in the technical fields and trades that require training, not a degree, and many employers say they have difficulty finding people to fill those positions.


Do they pay wages commensurate with this demand? $$$ is what will shift this dynamic, but if they refuse to pay anything above migrant worker wages, they'll be whining for a while....
 
2014-01-19 04:20:34 AM  
Luck has given me most of what I have.  Being in the right place, the right time, the right person...

No college degree, six figure salary, still keeping my knowledge fresher than the college grads that intern for me.

Go to college, get your degree; as long as it makes sense.

Otherwise, do your best, focus on the right thing and find your happiness wherever you are.

My major issue?  Worrying that I will have to prove myself again and again if I lose my job.  A degree will at least get you past that worry.
 
2014-01-19 04:24:42 AM  

robohobo: college isn't for everyone


Statistically college isn't for most people. Only about 1/3 of the population ever gets a 4-year degree, and half of students who start at a 4-year school never graduate. We really need to stop telling people that a BA/BS is the right plan for everyone -- it's a lie, and it objectively hurts a huge portion of the population.
 
2014-01-19 04:32:04 AM  
Hoops, man. You gotta jump through those hoops. Other people had to do it, so if you want to make money and be happy, YOU have to as well. It's bullshiat, but that really seems to be part of it. Aside from all the doctors I'm forced to know, most of the very successful people I know got there without the 'benefit' of having jumped through those hoops--and have it held against them by people in the same field. It's kinda funny.
 
2014-01-19 04:40:29 AM  
Better yet, if you're an illegal alien, Obama will fire the American with a degree and hire an illegal alien. Suckers.
 
2014-01-19 04:47:34 AM  

phrawgh: Better yet, if you're an illegal alien, Obama will fire the American with a degree and hire an illegal alien. Suckers.


Deport you, even if it breaks up your family to do it.

Don't assign the crimes of his critics to him, when you can criticize him with what he's actually doing.
 
2014-01-19 04:50:50 AM  
If you go to college SOLELY to satisfy your need to learn and your intellectual curiosity, you're an idiot and a fool.

If you go to college SOLELY to get a degree and jump-start your learning potential, you're an idiot and a fool.

If you go to college to learn more about things that you would otherwise not be able to learn, and in the process discover what it is that you want to do with your life, which will impact your career and ultimately how much money you will make, then congratulations, you've discovered the actual purpose of higher learning.

This is not the 1800's, and you can't afford to go to college for ten years to study snowflake crystallization on the fourth moon of Jupiter just because it's neat. Nor should you be going to college and racking up six figures worth of debt to get a degree in whatever the economics magazines assured you was the "hot trend in jobs" because by the time you get that degree, the "hot trend" will be full of people who already had that degree and you will be shiat out of luck.

Go to college, learn some things, find out what it is that you really want instead of what you thought you wanted or what your family told you you wanted or what your school counselor said was going to be a great way to make money. Just remember that six months after you graduate, those loans start coming due.
 
2014-01-19 04:55:55 AM  
4 years of college and a non-stupid degree abso-farking-lutely is the most reliably positive thing a poor kid could possibly get out of their youth.
 
2014-01-19 04:56:16 AM  

profplump: robohobo: college isn't for everyone

Statistically college isn't for most people. Only about 1/3 of the population ever gets a 4-year degree, and half of students who start at a 4-year school never graduate. We really need to stop telling people that a BA/BS is the right plan for everyone -- it's a lie, and it objectively hurts a huge portion of the population.


A lot of dropping out is due to financial circumstances rather than lack of academic ability. Even if you borrow money for tuition and direct expenses, you often have to work full-time in a minimum wage job to afford to live in the meantime, and one minor mistake or setback can put you into an unrecoverable tailspin.
 
2014-01-19 05:01:21 AM  
Yeah, go to a liberal arts college and become a secretary or or do something useful and get a life. I have news for Isabella, unless your daddy is as rich as Packard and is willing to spend a few hundred million dollars building you an aquarium to be an oceanographer at then expect decades on the academic treadmill. Universities fill their race and gender quotas in African, Latino and Wymyn's studies so they can keep STEM positions for actually qualified faculty. Being an unemployed oceanographer isn't substantially different from being an unemployed English major. Nice to the teacher, who went to a private high school, is wasting his life riding herd on criminal aliens and ghetto babies.
 
2014-01-19 05:01:57 AM  
I left a shiat secondary school in a shiat little town in Scotland with almost no qualifications and no plan.

I decided to go to University. I was the first person in my family to complete a university degree (5 year undergraduate MEng in Software Engineering). I was offered a job by the first company I interview before I had graduated and with a starting salary higher than either of my parent's salaries in jobs they'd held for 20 years.

University also gave me the opportunity to leave my home town. I love my adopted city.

Attending university was probably the best decision I have ever made.

A caveat: I worked reallly hard at university. I didn't realise it at the time but in retrospect I can see that I was puttiing in a lot of effort. Not necessarily on things directly related to the course I was studying but to just becoming and educated and effective person and to understanding the world. At the time I thought I fit the lazy student stereotype because I was barely working on assignments, but I see now that I was such a nerd my idea of bunking off was actually what mot people would call studying. I know a lot of people from my course didn't apply themselves and use their time at university to work on themselves and as a result are in a worse position than they were when they started the course. The same fire that melts the wax hardens the clay.

tl;dr University is a few years where your time is basically your own. You get what you make of it.
 
2014-01-19 05:04:40 AM  
30 years ago they weren't wrong
 
2014-01-19 05:04:54 AM  

raerae1980: I grew up in a middle class home and didn't qualify for aid or win any scholarships, so I paid all my schooling with loans.  I've been thinking what a waste it seems to have been, as little opportunity has come my way and not many interviews for jobs in the 2 years since graduation.  Depressing, really.  My SO is an electrician and has had no problem finding employment.  He has a sweet gig now...at the same damn employer I've been trying to snag...go figure...


I don't know what your problem is, so I will make fun of you using that mindlessly retarded expression, "SO". That's what I go figured.
 
2014-01-19 05:05:22 AM  
 I think all kids, not just poor kids, go off to college with the dewey eyed ideal that college is going to be the place where they cem

verchad: This article was an interesting read after seeing an interview with Mike Rowe, host of "Dirty Jobs". He is part of a scholarship group at profoundlydisconnected.com that says, "A trillion dollars in student loans. Record high unemployment. Three million good jobs that no one seems to want. The goal of Profoundly Disconnected is to challenge the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success. The Skills Gap is here, and if we don't close it, it'll swallow us all."
Basically talks about how there are a lot of jobs out there in the technical fields and trades that require training, not a degree, and many employers say they have difficulty finding people to fill those positions.



Ask those same employers about their training program and they'll look at you with a blank stare.

Ask them why they have empty positions, they'll say they can't find people trained to fill them.

The idiotic disconnect is lost on most corporations who think workers pop out of a box somewhere, fully trained to their ideal specifications.
 
2014-01-19 05:07:33 AM  

phrawgh: Better yet, if you're an illegal alien, Obama will fire the American with a degree and hire an illegal alien. Suckers.


fark off.
 
2014-01-19 05:07:51 AM  
I'm pretty sure we tell this to nonpoor kids or even kids in general.
 
2014-01-19 05:10:53 AM  
Ahem, Subby.... stratum
 
2014-01-19 05:11:26 AM  

phrawgh: Better yet, if you're an illegal alien, Obama will fire the American with a degree and hire an illegal alien. Suckers.


*yawn*
 
2014-01-19 05:11:31 AM  
From what I have read on Fark and reddit, the USA has a class major thing going with college education - ie, f you haven't got one your a trogladyte and deserve to eat shiat and die.

Tradies earn big over here. Bigger than peeps with a bachelors in soft studies.
 
2014-01-19 05:11:57 AM  
I dropped out because I was already doing contract work in my field and was bored with college. Been hired over people with degrees. College is good, but not for everyone. If you're going to do anything right in college, network. Meet lots of people and make lots of friends.

Most people should go to trade school and pick up something needed and reasonably enjoyable for them. Not waste time at a 4 year college.
 
2014-01-19 05:12:35 AM  

lhclubs: Ahem, Subby.... stratum


a lady I work with will see every movie that Jason Stratum stars in, on it's opening weekend.
 
2014-01-19 05:14:08 AM  

phrawgh: Obama will fire the American with a degree and hire an illegal alien



Was there another -gate or something?
 
2014-01-19 05:15:51 AM  

Gyrfalcon: If you go to college SOLELY to satisfy your need to learn and your intellectual curiosity, you're an idiot and a fool.


Really?  I work with people who are very happy with their positions yet continue to take classes and gather Masters simply for this reason.  They have the money, why not?

I, although would not myself, support them and am proud to know people like that.
 
2014-01-19 05:15:52 AM  
Subtitle: "Higher education should be promoted to all students as an opportunity to experience an intellectual awakening, not just increase their earning power."
 
2014-01-19 05:19:53 AM  
Darn. Let's try that again.

Subtitle: "Higher education should be promoted to all students as an opportunity to experience an intellectual awakening, not just increase their earning power."

img.fark.net
 
2014-01-19 05:19:59 AM  
www.tuition.io
 
2014-01-19 05:20:45 AM  

zzrhardy: From what I have read on Fark and reddit, the USA has a class major thing going with college education - ie, f you haven't got one your a trogladyte and deserve to eat shiat and die.

Tradies earn big over here. Bigger than peeps with a bachelors in soft studies.


That's the mistake people make, isn't it? Thinking that an institution's approval is the sole way of measuring someone's value to society.  The least offensive thing I can muster up without it being a complete platitude is "do whatever you want, but think about a plan B and a means to support yourself as well".

Also related:I'm Just A Free Spirit Who Is Entirely Financially Dependent On Others
 
2014-01-19 05:23:11 AM  

robohobo: Doesn't it depend on the person? Also, a 4 year degree seems to be mostly worthless, grad school the same, especially if one goes for some bs arts degree. My wife spent a good 12 or 14 years in school, hated everything till she hit medical, loved medical aside from the nonsense touchy feely BS but she's a neuro-ophthalmologist and makes half a crapton. I went for a couple of semesters, couldn't stand the culture, dropped out, went after the dream, and was lucky enough to land it. So now combined we make a crapton.

/college isn't for everyone


It depends on what you plan to do with your degree. My daughter went to school as a musical theater major. She decided early on that her goal was not to be "famous" but to be a working actor.

That's exactly what she does. You don't know her name, but she is a working actor in theater, television, radio, cruise ships, Disney and so many regional theaters I've lost count.

She is known in her field and respected for her work. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and she uses it to her full advantage. She is self-supporting and I'm ridiculously proud of her.

That being said, I think the premise of this article is wrong. No matter what neighborhood you grow up in, the goal of be able to provide for one's self and one's family by doing paid work that you like to do or even, have been trained to do, is a goal that should be encouraged.

http://youtu.be/WLKb_OA4Xn8
 
2014-01-19 05:24:50 AM  

rzrwiresunrise: Darn. Let's try that again.

Subtitle: "Higher education should be promoted to all students as an opportunity to experience an intellectual awakening, not just increase their earning power."

[img.fark.net image 850x556]


www.freewebs.com
/gaaaaaay
 
2014-01-19 05:30:40 AM  

verchad: This article was an interesting read after seeing an interview with Mike Rowe, host of "Dirty Jobs". He is part of a scholarship group at profoundlydisconnected.com that says, "A trillion dollars in student loans. Record high unemployment. Three million good jobs that no one seems to want. The goal of Profoundly Disconnected is to challenge the absurd belief that a four-year degree is the only path to success. The Skills Gap is here, and if we don't close it, it'll swallow us all."
Basically talks about how there are a lot of jobs out there in the technical fields and trades that require training, not a degree, and many employers say they have difficulty finding people to fill those positions.


Lazy slackers these days just want to sit around and click a mouse all day and get paid big buc... oops, gotta go... my program just finished compiling.
 
2014-01-19 05:32:19 AM  

Hermione_Granger: robohobo: Doesn't it depend on the person? Also, a 4 year degree seems to be mostly worthless, grad school the same, especially if one goes for some bs arts degree. My wife spent a good 12 or 14 years in school, hated everything till she hit medical, loved medical aside from the nonsense touchy feely BS but she's a neuro-ophthalmologist and makes half a crapton. I went for a couple of semesters, couldn't stand the culture, dropped out, went after the dream, and was lucky enough to land it. So now combined we make a crapton.

/college isn't for everyone

It depends on what you plan to do with your degree. My daughter went to school as a musical theater major. She decided early on that her goal was not to be "famous" but to be a working actor.

That's exactly what she does. You don't know her name, but she is a working actor in theater, television, radio, cruise ships, Disney and so many regional theaters I've lost count.

She is known in her field and respected for her work. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and she uses it to her full advantage. She is self-supporting and I'm ridiculously proud of her.

That being said, I think the premise of this article is wrong. No matter what neighborhood you grow up in, the goal of be able to provide for one's self and one's family by doing paid work that you like to do or even, have been trained to do, is a goal that should be encouraged.

http://youtu.be/WLKb_OA4Xn8


And that's awesome. One of the best kind of actors to be. Seriously. My best friend is a fairly well known stand-up comedian, sitcoms, comedy central, etc, but he makes his real living as a HS teacher. He loves the shiat out of both, but even if he suddenly hit it big as a comedian, I suspect he'd still choose to be a teacher.

Being able to support oneself should be a top priority. There seems to be a decently sized portion of our society, however, who believes a decent living is owed to the average philosophy/art/sociology/whore studies major.
 
2014-01-19 05:38:16 AM  
Your college friends replace your high school friends.  The consequences of this on the rest of your life cannot be overstated.  Nobody ever says "like being back in college" when criticizing a social situation gone bad.
 
2014-01-19 05:39:59 AM  

WhoGAS: Luck has given me most of what I have.  Being in the right place, the right time, the right person...

No college degree, six figure salary, still keeping my knowledge fresher than the college grads that

 who intern for me.

At least a college education may have spared you from being ridiculed by a grammar Nazi.
 
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