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Old 01-24-2011, 03:17 PM   #16
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Here's the problem... most people end up not using the degree they went to school for in the first place... so then what was the point?
I may not use the exact material I had to memorize but I certainly use the experience of having to work with all sorts of people (some of which I couldn't stand) and the experience networking in my fields of study and/or interest. College was not more difficult for me academically, but there was a much greater emphasis on networking and team work. To me there's a big difference between having to write a 20 page paper on your own where the teacher has given very specific guidelines and outline of what the paper should cover (high school assignment) and having to sit down with half a dozen other people not of your own choosing and developing a marketing and business plan for an existing business (undergrad assignment). I haven't written a real marketing plan or an employee handbook since college but those sorts of projects taught me how to work with other people and develop connections with local businesses and those skills I can and do use daily regardless of what field of study is on my BA.
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:30 PM   #17
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i majored in English. i now make TV. i certainly considered being an English teacher, but the four years i spent at a small liberal arts college where i studied a variety of subjects and learned how to read and write enabled me to graduate and be able to move into any variety of careers. i studied English simply because i thought the courses looked more interesting overall than the courses in the History department, and because American Studies looked a bit too DIY at the time, though, in retrospect, that would have been better.

however, i think this kind of education was a luxury predicated upon not only my parents being able to afford for me to spend four years growing my mind, but also because i have a wide variety of interests and a base level of ability whereby getting into a graduate school, or making a total career change, were/are entirely possible. i do agree that most people who are more career oriented right out of high school -- people who know what they want to be and know what they need to do to get there -- probably wouldn't be as interested or even willing to pay for a liberal arts background and probably would be better served by the model you suggest.

and yet, there's a part of me that would like to think that a dental hygenist might have really loved her Shakespeare courses in college, or that a physical therapist has a bookshelf full of their Philosophy 101 books, and that because our professionals have had a wider exposure to knowledge and because they've been asked to write critically about a subject that isn't directly related to their career earnings, that they're more able to think outside of the box when performing their everyday jobs. and we're all better for that.

as education becomes ever more expensive, it does seem to me that many people would rather learn what they need to know as quickly (and cheaply) as they can, and then let's move on and maybe i'll only be $25K in debt rather than $50K.
and that last paragraph is the entire point... the cost.

yes, i agree... it would be great if everyone could take the 4 years of college and learn as much as possible.

but the costs are getting outrageous, and we have generations of young adults saddled in debt before they even get a job. i don't even think a change to the colleges themselves is necessary. why should you need a degree to work at trader joe's? many people could get the appropriate training with associate degrees or even from taking certificate programs.

if the job market would look more at whether or not you can do the job and less at whether or not you have a piece of paper that says you can do the job, even if you can't... i think we'd all be happier and in a lot less debt.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:15 PM   #18
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why should you need a degree to work at trader joe's?

if the job market would look more at whether or not you can do the job and less at whether or not you have a piece of paper that says you can do the job, even if you can't... i think we'd all be happier and in a lot less debt.
Because nobody goes to college so that they can work at Trader Joe's.

It just so happens that the bachelor's degree has been watered down and is almost worthless. There is a lot of competition for grad schools and professional schools and many people get left behind because they don't have the grades, or don't want to spend the money or whatever.

But a lot of them go to college with a certain goal in mind, and that goal sure isn't Trader Joe's. It just so happens that they end up there anyway. Could that have been foreseen at the outset? Maybe, for some of them. Maybe not for others.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:34 PM   #19
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:43 PM   #20
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Because nobody goes to college so that they can work at Trader Joe's.
Trader joe's lists "4 year degree preferred" on their job postings.

That was my point. Not that people with degrees settle for trader joe's because they have no choice, but that trader joe's its looking for people with degrees to stock shelves and wave little red flags.

If employers cared more about who can do a job vs. who has a piece of paper that says they should be able to do a job, then maybe just maybe colleges wouldn't be able to jack up their tuition as much as they do now.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:44 PM   #21
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I am not happy with the cost of my education, but I definitely got the job I have now because I was in the right place at the right time working on my BA. I feel that I make the right amount of money considering what I do, I make enough to enjoy the type of lifestyle I prefer, and there are very, very few jobs in any industry in this country that can offer anything comparable as far as the benefits package. Also my current employer pays for me to receive additional training and certifications in my field, so I already have other industry-specific titles that are not part of graduate programs. So was it worth the high cost "just" for the BA? I'm inclined to say yes (just received an acceptable counter offer on purchasing our first house as I was typing this post).
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:48 PM   #22
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a four year degree....jesus. maybe if you want to become a pharmacist or a pilot.

from my perspective outside looking in, gen ed is a downright insulting waste of money and i can't (wait...i can) believe places can pull that shit.

but i digress.
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:59 PM   #23
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Trader joe's lists "4 year degree preferred" on their job postings.

That was my point. Not that people with degrees settle for trader joe's because they have no choice, but that trader joe's its looking for people with degrees to stock shelves and wave little red flags.

If employers cared more about who can do a job vs. who has a piece of paper that says they should be able to do a job, then maybe just maybe colleges wouldn't be able to jack up their tuition as much as they do now.
I do agree and think this is ridiculous in some cases. My mom works for an affordable daycare program at an inner-city community center and they have a favorite daycare employee that has been with them for years and raised several children of her own by herself. She is amazing and is great with the kids, the type of woman whose gift is truly child-rearing. No amount of chaos effects her mood or ability to do her job. But, something was changed (I believe some requirement of the state or possibly the foundations issuing the grants that fund the daycare program) and now all employees must have an associates degree at minimum regardless of their other qualifications. That is cakepie to some people but this woman came from nothing, a high school drop-out, and works her hands raw. So she reads at a 5th grade level, she is not doing payroll or writing grant proposals, she is raising infants. Everyone at the daycare helped her with her schoolwork, heck even I was in on proof-reading her papers, formatting the correct MLA citations, etc. Her professors knew she was only in their program so she could keep her job and didn't seem to care that my mom and I were basically writing her papers. Such a waste of time and money for everyone involved but they couldn't afford to lose such a valuable employee.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:44 PM   #24
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my degree is in sports management. helped me get my job, but most of what i do at my job now consists of advertising, web programming & design. just happens to be advertising & web programming/design in a non profit sports & rec type job. i have lots of on the job training now doing these things, completely self taught.

i now live in manhattan. i still work on long island. takes a long ass time and a lot of money to get out there and back every day. and when it snows? forget it.

so i've tried looking at web & graphic design jobs in the city. haven't gotten a sniff. why? i have no certification in web & graphic design. so now i'm taking a $4,000 certificate program at hunter college so that i can get a piece of paper that says that i know what i already know how to do.

now $4,000 ain't much, and is certainly something i hope to make up (and then some) with a new job and fewer travel expenses. but i'd certainly like to put that $4,000 towards, oh i dunno, my wedding and/or honeymoon, rather than for a piece of paper that tells someone else that i can do what i can already do.

in a side, ironic note... my fiancé has a masters in public policy, specializing in non profit work, yet works in sports. go figure.
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:29 PM   #25
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Congrats on the house, Lies!!

On topic - my undergraduate degree was in Immunology, which has exactly ZERO to do with my current career (corporate law). Do I regret it? Not at all. I always knew that a bachelor's degree wasn't enough for me and I'd do further schooling so I studied what interested me at the time.
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Old 01-24-2011, 07:48 PM   #26
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One more thing to throw into the mix.

Unemployment rate is around 10%

15% for those with out a 4 year degree
and 4% for those with a 4 year degree.


I am not surprised Trader Joes is putting degree preferred on their postings.
I think many places may be doing that, just to make sure that the employee will have basic reading comprehension.
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:55 PM   #27
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I am not happy with the cost of my education, but I definitely got the job I have now because I was in the right place at the right time working on my BA. I feel that I make the right amount of money considering what I do, I make enough to enjoy the type of lifestyle I prefer, and there are very, very few jobs in any industry in this country that can offer anything comparable as far as the benefits package. Also my current employer pays for me to receive additional training and certifications in my field, so I already have other industry-specific titles that are not part of graduate programs. So was it worth the high cost "just" for the BA? I'm inclined to say yes (just received an acceptable counter offer on purchasing our first house as I was typing this post).
Congrats on your house! That's pretty exciting!
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Old 01-24-2011, 09:59 PM   #28
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As there is a need for shorter degrees that deliver real skills at a reasonable cost, bursting this bubble will hopefully deliver it. Eventually.

The Coming College Education Bubble - Forbes.com

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Higher education's price-earnings ratio looks like Nevada housing circa 2007.
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The overwhelming cultural consensus of the post-WWII generation was that if you are middle-class, then you simply must own your own home and your children must go to college. Out of that cultural consensus emerged a complex system of tax breaks and special lending deals designed to make sure that the number of Americans who bought houses and bachelor's degrees was as high as possible--or maybe more so.

Many people now understand that this system of tax-and-lend has created a multigenerational housing bubble. But only a few have noticed that a very similar tax-and-lend system has also created a multi-generational higher education bubble.
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Higher education shows every reasonable sign of having a completely unrealistic, astronomical price tag. Beyond that, the sacred cow psychology that commonly accompanies other mania is clearly present.
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Numerous authors have minutely detailed the dangers to college consumers: the price tag is too high; the lending is too lax; the product is too low-quality; the socialization process is too coarsening; the parents are kept too much in the dark; the earning advantages are too aggressively touted; the alternatives are too cheap.

And yet, when I asked these critics whether it was worth it any longer, some of the harshest of them still piously genuflected to the college altar and rebutted the idea that higher education had entered a bubble phase. What greater sentiment indicator could there be? It reminded me of one of those third-world dictatorships where even the opposition candidates effusively praise the virtues of the glorious leader against whom they run.
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Old 01-24-2011, 10:39 PM   #29
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the college loan people should be put out of business.

sometimes i wish the youth of america wasn't so lazy and had such a bad sense of entitlement regarding college. seems that any time the price goes up in other parts of the world there are massive riots and protests. here we all just bend over and take it in the tookus.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:15 AM   #30
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Forty-five percent???

I was expecting more.
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