Cost of education

Zeabot

Californium
Founder
Oct 25, 2013
1,506
7
68
I just finished reading http://chronicle.com/blogs/next/2011/09/18/what-the-lost-decade-on-wages-means-for-colleges-and-their-graduates/ . It's a real basic article outlining a problem I have been talking about for years. Essentially, it is saying with the recent downward spiral of incomes, colleges still insist they should increase their tuition. The debate rages on: with the cost of college at ridiculous prices, is it still worth it?

For things first, I must be upfront and say the gubment is paying my undergraduate tuition a la GI Bill, so my opinion is obviously swayed by the fact I am going to leave my undergraduate program debt-free. However, I'm going to take the easy way out and say, in general, it depends. I am studying a very specific science -- one which "on the job training" is not quite sufficient. On top of that, I am continuing onto graduate school to learn the intricacies of said science. So, I believe college is worth it in my case.

---- BUT ---- in general, I believe attending college is not quite worth it. Many majors prepare their students for very little once it comes to performing a job in the real world. In that case, the only reason for a college education is for minimal exposure on the topics you will learn on the job. On top of that, about half the classes taken in college are "general education" classes -- an extension of high school if you ask me. The problem, though, is the social norm to attend college. Therefore, it is almost necessary to have a degree to compete in many fields that would not necessarily require it -- or did not require it as little as 20 years ago.

Anyways, I am getting long winded. So to sum up, I believe going to school is great if what your studying actually requires you to spend a few years before you can truly grasp it. But overall, the rising cost of tuition is pretty ridiculous and I feel there will be a shift in social norm of attending college, unless something is it done to stop it. Opinions?

[I'm not too sure how this applies to our international friends, but I'd like to hear your opinions, too]
 

Unhappy Camper

Hells yeah
Founder
Mar 10, 2008
5,012
25
178
Fayettenam Area, NC
I agree with your premise, and here's what seems to prevail in the real world;

My case evidence is based on the last 4 years spent looking for "the job". It seems that from my personal point of view that dudes that do NOT have a sheet of paper that reads that they went to "Butt Sniffer University" will simply not get put in the consideration pile with all the other applicants that DO have that paper. Even if guy A with no paper has 10, 20, or more years of REAL TIME hands on in that identical field he most likely will never even be looked at for the position.

Now the above is also due somewhat to the flood of college egg heads on the market since the economy tanked. Employers know they can hire a BA degree for the pay formerly offered to an AS degree gimp these days.

Why does having a Bachelor's degree in a non technical field make a person more desirable to an employer than a guy, the same age, that has had a solid work history and excellent references for the past 5 years?

I don't employ anyone and as such my vision is based on other tangibles but I value real world experience far above that gained only from academia.


But tell all that above to a guy in his mid 30's with no college degree. It means nothing, he only knows he is not getting hired and it is almost ALWAYS due to the fact that he does not have at LEAST an AA from a recognized institute. Even an AA in general ed (64 credits?) can mean a world of difference today... and does.

AA degree = the new HS diploma.
 

Zeabot

Californium
Founder
Oct 25, 2013
1,506
7
68
AA degree = the new HS diploma.
I feel in the very short-term future that a BA/BS = new HS diploma. That's part of the stigma I was talking about before. Most kids, when leaving HS, just automatically assume college is the next step. It is that social norm that is flooding the markets.
 

Unhappy Camper

Hells yeah
Founder
Mar 10, 2008
5,012
25
178
Fayettenam Area, NC
It is that social norm that is flooding the markets.
Maybe now that families are unable to fund that 25-90,000 $$ then maybe they will start steering junior to trade schools.

I've pointed it out before that competent welders can earn very decent wages and increases with experience. Dudes can get certified in TIG/MIG in under 6 months. Hell, my local community college offers an AS degree program in welding technology. As I see it you can't beat a two year college degree tacked on to a year of hands on certified welding. All at very manageable tuition costs.

What family would send Junior across country unless that kid gets a full ride? I know no one able to afford it any longer.

Who, as a parent, can reasonably dismiss the community college as a proper 1st step in the 4 year degree plan? Here in NC the community college programs are almost ALL fully transferable into a 4 year plan, even if the student takes years in between the 2 year and 4 year. ( working, family etc ..)
 

KommieKat

Mao's Pet Cat
Founder
Mar 2, 2008
3,497
6
68
58
Hong Kong, hiding from the Kommies!
IMO, an AA degree at the least.

A person would not regret going to a community college. Those 2 years will not only accelerate your maturity, they will give you a well earned degree, much cheaper had you gone to UNI directly after HS, which is a foot in some doors and they are the first 2 years of credits knocked off for a 4 year Uni.

Also, IMO, one should consider doing a years worth of overseas backpacking before committing to at CC or after. Once you find full employment, if you can these days, you'll have no time for that kind of fun.