College Education Arms Race Bankrupting America

xDarc

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I'm not gonna do a well researched thread, I'll leave that up to you younglings with disposable free time. However, I would like to make a few points on why I feel the entire structure of the job market and higher education is a sham.

First of all, it's just one of those things no one questions anymore.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I dunno but I better go to college!

I think the shift towards looking for college educated workers started with the baby boomers. The boomers as young adults in the late 60's and 70's, liked to get high- and so they went to college, where pretty much everyone hung out and got high. Some of them even got degrees, completely unnecessary at the time though they were.

Workers in the 1960s and 70s, adjusted for inflation, enjoyed higher wages than us combined with lower costs of living AND jobs that required little education. So, if you're coming up on 60 and you're broke, you really fucked up.

Anyway- this is when the "grow up and go to college" culture started. It's when employers had so many college educated candidates, they pretty much began expecting it. Others had to go to get degrees, to compete with people who got degrees. Until here we are today, where you might have a BA and make $13/hr, working in an office doing MINDLESS work- something that has nothing to do with your degree... and you're LUCKY to be doing that.

I didn't check the source, but I read ok wikipedia that in 2002, Americans spent 282 Billion dollars on higher education.

How much has that cost us over the years?

I think of people had spent this money on assets or set it aside for savings, both of which grow, were talking across decades here- that America wouldn't be such shit today.

And is it a coincidence that the 1970s is when we shifted to the service industry? (means bullshit artist industry) It's almost a what came first, chicken or the egg deal.

However, I seriously doubt people at the time had the foresight to perceive the shift to the service industry and said woah man, like, i better get my ass in college, far out. It is entirely possible that college grads, professional students and lazy boomers kept the price of labor artificially high enough, for long enough- to cause the shift away from manufacturing and production.

*shrugs*

What really bothers me is where does this money go? How many billions to the greedy bankers and lenders get? What do the colleges do with the money? After all the overhead is paid off- do they just use so much money to further their own interests and political agendas? Financing charged research and biased studies?

At the end of the day, that money has been spent on nothing. You didn't get any assets. You didn't get any hard goods. You didn't really produce anything. You are expected to recoup your LOSSES by getting a job, hopefully one that pays well.

But again, maybe you don't get that job. Maybe... you never even graduate and waste a shit load of money.

This happens day in and day out- money wasted on higher education that never truly becomes an investment because the income levels with the degree don't improve as expected.

And then we wonder why so many businesses are owned by foreigners. What do you think you could have done with all that tuition money? You've got a degree, but odds are you'll still be under some bosses thumb.

Why not get a small business loan instead?

You have to go to college first and get a business degree first you say? *face palm*

So this is just me, saying something's gotta give. They have vocational schools that focus on specialized training for specific skilled jobs or trades- but those cost more than the fucking colleges a lot of the time.

You do not need to take all the general ed nonsense classes that academics tell you are important so they can keep receiving a pay check; just to be a nurse.

(That's another thing, everyone thinks they're going to be a nurse... like 1 in 3 people I know are in school for nursing. The US is just gonna be one big hospital in 20 years they must figure. Jesus tap dancing christ.)

But we can yell, scream, jump and down; articles in the wall street journal and new york times. Won't change a thing. The system is in place, employers want college grads.

So either we shift back to small business and break the cycle, or we make cheap training centers that give candidates only the skills they need, and they perform better than college grads enough for employers to notice. I got nothing.
 

jovack22

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What you pointed out is somewhat true, but not entirely. The collapse of the economy is attributed to far worse problems.

The fact is, that most people do NOT pursue college or university after highschool -- true a lot more do, but not to the extent that you are thinking.

You are probably jaded by the fact that undergrad degrees just don't hold as much water as they used to, and even masters degrees are becoming more and more common (especially with so many dime-a-dozen schools offering easy degrees), and yes this is all very unfair in comparison to what people used to need to do to get a job.

Like I said though, the economy's problems have a lot more to do with the shift in business practices, and not people spending money to get educated.
In fact, educating more engineers, for example, would do us a great deal of good to keep us relevant and competitive in the global market.


Off topic, I know how you feel when a well thought out post gets 0 responses and threads like POLL: (always needs to be a poll if you want replies) which JRPG is best, or do you think being gay is trendy, etc.


Also just to add, you say you need a new forum? You realize this website is called "the escapist" one who chooses to avoid the real and spend their time with fictional issues.... Your topic is something that a true "escapist" would avoid like the plague...
 

Dags90

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xDarc said:
(That's another thing, everyone thinks they're going to be a nurse... like 1 in 3 people I know are in school for nursing. The US is just gonna be one big hospital in 20 years they must figure. Jesus tap dancing christ.)
There was/is a major nursing shortage in the U.S. (possibly still ongoing in some regions) where nurses were being scooped up by hospitals as fast as possible and at unheard of salaries. Many more nurses are still expected to be retiring soon, and we need replacement nurses. Combined with an aging and increasingly obese population, our healthcare system needs a lot of people. It's hardly a "BS service" industry. There is also a lot of "burnout" in the nursing profession.

It even makes national news. [http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=116864]

For someone complaining that this forum is too young and immature, you've acted quite petty by whining that people aren't jumping to respond to a disjointed rant.
 

Canebrake

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Maybe nobody has anything to say.

But i think the wages at the moment are at least partially due to the depression.
Hopefully it will pass.
College isn't actually education. college is a certificate saying "this person is willing to try to improve and better themselves"

The fact that it teaches you so little, and for so much is a byproduct of our school systems. Where teachers aren't rewarded for having great grades in their class, but are punished for having bad ones.
And Prestige costs.
 

jovack22

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College (or community college as you in the US like to call it) are good for giving people a quick degree with the basic skills they'll need.

From a respectable University (Ivy League, not something like Local Christian College est. 1960)
Undergrad degrees shows someone is competent enough to carry out work in their field, and shows a level of competency generally higher than people with just high school.

Masters degrees prove someone is competent to carry out specialized work in their field at a level required for things like Research and Development.

Doctorates assert someone has an expertise on a certain topic in their field.


Is this useless? No.
Should EVERYONE go to university? No... but this is not the case regardless.
 

Bara_no_Hime

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xDarc said:
Seriously escapist, your forum foo is weak. It only took ten years for people to forget how to post without being prompted by a dumb ass question?
That's not it - your argumentative attitude, lack of data, and rant-like tone are a turn-off to posters. I sure don't want to post my opinion if you're in this sort of mood.

Also, your blatantly anti-artist and anti-college standpoint are off-putting to many people here, myself included. After all, this is a "games are art" sort of place, and if you don't like art, ergo, you may not like games (and if so, why are you posting here again?)

So basically, no one here wants to talk to you about this. Sorry.

Edit: And for the record, I'm two months older than you. **sticks out tongue**
 
Apr 28, 2008
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xDarc said:
Seriously escapist, your forum foo is weak. It only took ten years for people to forget how to post without being prompted by a dumb ass question?

Do u like pokee man? Maybe that's a better thread.


Christ I need a new forum. You're too young.
Or it could be the first line.

I'm not gonna do a well researched thread...
Thats not a good start. At all.
 

Bara_no_Hime

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Irridium said:
Thats not a good start. At all.
Entirely off topic... sir, you appear to be named after a mineral in Mass Effect. Unless you meant something else by the name Irridium. I can't think of what.

If you are actually named after that mineral that I've mined so oft, then I must say, you sir are awesome, and have named yourself awesomely. Well done.
 

Berethond

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What bothers me more than all that which you said is that our elementary and high schools have just become one protracted college entry process.

Why did I go to elementary school?
To get ready for junior high school.
Why did I go to junior high school?
To get ready for high school.
Why do I go to high school?
To get ready for college.
Why will I go to college?
So I can get a better paying job.

Note that none of the answers to any of these questions are "To learn stuff." Also note that these aren't my answers, they're the answers I get from the people in education.
Bara_no_Hime said:
Irridium said:
Thats not a good start. At all.
Entirely off topic... sir, you appear to be named after a mineral in Mass Effect. Unless you meant something else by the name Irridium. I can't think of what.

If you are actually named after that mineral that I've mined so oft, then I must say, you sir are awesome, and have named yourself awesomely. Well done.
It's actually a real mineral. They use it in high performance spark plugs, among other things.
 

Johnnyallstar

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When I first went into university level education, I asked one of the professors why I needed more electives than classes pertinent to my studies, which is in the medical field. He responded that in the 1970s, there was a sudden, massive explosion of medical students who, seeing how competitive the medical market is, committed suicide because they had so focused their studies, that they couldn't imagine what to do if they couldn't make it. In response, they increased the workload to include massive amounts of electives (which are going to make ME commit suicide) to round the student out.

Also, thanks to the Department of Education, we have continuously lowered the bar of standards for Americans to be considered "educated." In the early part of the 20th century, an 8th grade education was enough to do damn near anything because of the higher standards students were held to. Just look at the writings done in that time by people who were not college graduates. Their ability to use language far outstrips modern usage of the same level.

In the 1960s, the only people who needed university level education were specialists. Doctors, lawyers, and the like. Right now, it's nigh impossible to get a job without a diploma/GED, and a few college years under your belt that's better than around minimum wage. Many places I've applied for require 2 years of college.

The problem isn't the cost of education, as the cost is a result from a greater problem. The true culprit is that we have allowed our standards to fall, which means it now takes longer and longer for us to properly educate the young minds of mush, and time means money.

In my opinion, high school (or college, in some places of the world) should be where basic skills should be taught, and the university level is where specialization happens. There is no excuse for rudimentary maths like basic algebra to be taught at the university level.
 

Bara_no_Hime

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xDarc said:
Bara_no_Hime said:
Edit: And for the record, I'm two months older than you. **sticks out tongue**
Yeah, so what's your excuse?
My excuse for believing that college education is a good thing? Um... I teach at a University. I spend my life enriching student lives, opening their eyes to a world of literature, argument, and proper grammar? Some small amount of that umteen-billion dollars pays my pathetic salary?

Or my excuse for sticking out my tongue at you? For which my excuse is because I'm cute.
 

shaboinkin

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What you said I think is true to an extent. I started off in college as a business administration major. About 6 weeks my freshmen year of taking this intro business class, I started thinking. I'm paying money to read a book... What's the point of this major? Plenty of people started up businesses without having a degree to say that they can run a business. It's been going on in America for hundreds of years already. So I switch my major to something that I like. Computers. I'm a junior in college right now as a computer engineering major and that was the best decision I could make.

Now there are people in this major that barely do the work and think when they graduate they will be making the big bucks with a 2.5 gpa without getting involved in doing any sort of extra work relating to the field. Some aren't fiddling around with electronics to better understand how they work, they don't mess around with programming to better understand it and make their own silly programs outside of class, some don't put the time in to be called an engineer. I tell some people that it's about teaching yourself sometimes but they would rather have someone in front of them telling them what to do. That won't fly on the job when your boss tells you he wants this chip made and you gotta do some extra research on how to make it work. No one is going to hold your hand in an engineering/math/science field.
These majors have some balls under them due for the fact that without them researching new things, we wouldn't be having some of these technological jumps.

Not everyone is really cut out for a field like this, which is why also a few people dropped the major to another field. Example of this is that one of my friends went to mass communications. Now, I may have a sort of biased against these other majors that don't really require as much thought process as a science field, but what would you get out of that? Do people really need to go to a 4 year college to learn about mass communications?
I'm not calling it a "bullshit" degree, but I really don't understand the point.

To answer your question of whether it's worth the cost, yes and no.
1) Depends on the major. Being a researching in lets say, quantum physics with an interest in computers, could potentially push the next milestone in quantum computing.
Being a major in lets say, criminal justice...uh, I don't really know where that could lead someone in the long run. Lawyer maybe? And that's a maybe.

And your statement about the gen-ed classes...YES! GET RID OF THAT BULLSHIT! Isn't that what the SATs/ACTs are for? To see if you are capable of those classes? Math and English?
I took fucking 12 years of English...I fucking get it. Am I a master at grammar and writing? No, but I'm not going to learn anything new now.
I could have been taking more a shit load more courses targeted to my major...but noooooo, I had to sit in these bullshit classes doing fucking busy work while it was a beautiful day outside. I'm not going to learn new techniques to shit I learned over and over again for the past fucking 12 years of my life.
 

Saelune

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While I think anyone who can go, should...I do agree it is pushed too much. I took a break from college because I was dealing with too much personal issues, and my studies were harming me more, and being harmed by my issues. When I did not continue going (planning on going in the future after I am better prepaired) my mother acted like my life was ruined then and there.
You can always go to college.
 
Apr 28, 2008
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Bara_no_Hime said:
Irridium said:
Thats not a good start. At all.
Entirely off topic... sir, you appear to be named after a mineral in Mass Effect. Unless you meant something else by the name Irridium. I can't think of what.

If you are actually named after that mineral that I've mined so oft, then I must say, you sir are awesome, and have named yourself awesomely. Well done.
I came up with it when signing up for PSN(Playstation Network). I tried to go with the normal spelling with 1 'r', but it was taken, so I added another 'r'.

Its cool to, if you roll your tongue on the r's, it sounds sexy.
 

Bara_no_Hime

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Berethond said:
It's actually a real mineral. They use it in high performance spark plugs, among other things.
Oh. Well, clearly my subject isn't earth science. Or, you know, chemistry. Still, that's a bit disappointing. It was far cooler when you named yourself after a mineral from the mining mini-game in ME2.

I know platinum is real (my wedding ring is made out of it) but what about palladium? Is that real too?
 

Lonan

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xDarc said:
Seriously escapist, your forum foo is weak. It only took ten years for people to forget how to post without being prompted by a dumb ass question?

Do u like pokee man? Maybe that's a better thread.


Christ I need a new forum. You're too young.
I certainly sympathize with you not getting a high post count for intelligent questions. I've made quite a few forums on politics and much of the post count is two people arguing.

However, people could simply have two ears and one mouth, and just have nothing to say on the subject. Also, you are very confrontational and negative, which puts people off. Saying that the young adults of the 60's went to college to get high, and some of them even got degrees, may not be a way to endear people to you. They may simply not want to debate you because of this caustic attitude.

Regardless of this, I have considered making a thread about the very unintelligent threads which have a high view post count. There certainly are stupid threads whose title always ends in a question mark, but this is not necessarily contributing to your lack of post count.

Also, age has nothing to do with it. The media constantly uses catchy headlines in order to evoke quick emotions and grab attention. The same is largely necessary here.

Still, you could be right.
 

xDarc

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Canebrake said:
But i think the wages at the moment are at least partially due to the depression.
Hopefully it will pass.
Pretty simply, I believe it's because there are just too many damn people in the world, driving the price of labor down, with which you are competing for a job. Welcome to globalization. It ain't passing. : (
 

thethingthatlurks

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I'm in my last semester at a pretty high ranking university, and I too have mixed feelings about my education. We keep on getting more students, year after year, so the early classes are always overfilled. This can then proceed in one of two ways: 1) most students pass, which clogs things up farther down the line, and leads to unqualified students getting degrees, or 2) failing little Timmy, and then having his multi-millionaire daddy throwing a hissy-fit (yes, that really does happen), which leads to the university losing money. It's usually option 1, which oversaturates the job market with unqualified candidates, who nevertheless spout a degree from a fancy university.
The simple truth is that some professions just don't need a college degree. Or rather, they wouldn't if high school education weren't complete shite. Take for example our business school. Supposedly it's the highest ranking in the south, yet I have never met anybody from there who is better qualified to analyze data than a math major. Before this turns into an all out rant of how McCombs should be burned to the ground, let me just say that there are some professions who absolutely must have college degrees. Your standard MDs, optometrists, dentists, vets, engineers, etc. I'm a science major, and I absolutely have to have a college education to get any sort of job in my field.

Anyway, here's my solution to the price of higher education: 1) impose maximum tuition on all public and private universities. 2) make textbooks have reasonable prices. $60 is fine for a large book, but I'm not going to spend $200 on a book I will only need for a single course! 3) reduce the administrative staff. You have no idea how much of a waste of money those guys are...
There, that's the basic how-to-fix-it bit, now some final thoughts: If you want to go to college, and you are capable of doing some really demanding work, go for it! If you just want a degree, so you can run some billion dollar company into the ground, kindly die in a fire.