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Compy
10-06-2010, 08:39 PM
I spent a lot of time in college....got my bachelor's in 6 years and my master's in 2.

I also taught classes during grad school. My degrees are in a field most people call useless, and rightfully so: English. When it comes to contributing productively to an economy, an English degree does arguably less than all other degrees besides Education and Political Science (zing!).

College is not worth it. Ever. In fact, the problem is in the question. Here's why:

You know how people complain about academics? How it's all a bunch of useless 'mental masturbation?' It's where as you get more advanced degrees you know more about less?

That's the way academia SHOULD be, but at the same time it should be treated as a luxury, not a necessity, or a right.

The idea in America is that you're supposed to go to college so you can get a job, and this has created the cost/benefit analysis of college that should have never come about in the first place.

So, the question 'is college worth it' is wrong if you look at it through an economic lens. The State, however has CREATED this phenomenon by requiring licenses and ridiculous amounts of semester hours to qualify for sitting for tests, etc.

I couldn't get a job after my BA (surprise!) so I went back for my MA. What has changed? Absolutley nothing. Although I have teaching experience teaching college classes I am not qualified to teach at the high school level because I did not go through the Education Department at my University.

My university has a strong background (it was initially a "Teacher's College") and supposedly one of the best Education Departments in the state, but after interacting with all the Education Majors there I was easily lead to the one conclusion: they are stupid.

Anyway, I have a whole 'nother rant on that :/

Back to the point is that college should be treated as a luxury only rich families can afford. Everything that 'prepares you for a job' should be a vocational/technical school. Then, the only departments that would exist at the University would be those like English...

The business of academia is inventing theories about the world. That's it. Whether it be expressed through scientific formulae, art, literary theory or psychological theory, we might be better if, as a society, we separate this idea that college prepares you for a trade.

A much better system would be apprenticeship, but the minimum wage has destroyed that.

So college is never worth it if you're trying to get a monetary return on your investment, look elsewhere. Friends from high school who didn't go to college and went on to be plumbers and electricians can rightfully laugh at all my degrees and my lack of income.

keh10
10-06-2010, 09:14 PM
+1

amy31416
10-06-2010, 09:15 PM
+ rep.

Jordan
10-07-2010, 09:00 AM
There are plenty of instances where highly qualified people do not get promotions/better jobs due solely to the fact they don't have a degree.

It happens. It happens a lot. That's just the way the world works.

You could argue to death that marketing (an example) is a shitty system. Companies spend money to tell us all about their product and then pass on the cost to us. Every time Apple runs an ad for its iWhatever, the cost of that product goes up.

But that's just the way the world works. Look at a degree like the packaging of a product. Often, the packaging, not the product, makes the sale.

If you can get fancy packaging inexpensively, go for it! If you can't, well, there may be better alternatives. To say that a college degree never makes a good monetary investment is foolish. Quite a few people with a $20,000 investment in 4 years of a state school could get a promotion or a raise that would pay that off in a matter of a few years. That's a good return!

I think the college system is pretty stupid. But other people don't. And if I'm looking for a job THEY, the other people that value a college education, have to give me one. I can at least understand that they have their own requirements for the job. If I don't meet their requirements, nothing else matters, does it?

brandon
10-07-2010, 09:04 AM
Depends on the degree. Engineering works out well for most people. Business, accounting, and marketing degrees are usually a good idea. Some things require specialized academic training before you can do them productively. You just have to avoid the useless degrees. And not overpay for college.

Natalie
10-07-2010, 09:09 AM
When it comes to contributing productively to an economy, an English degree does arguably less than all other degrees besides Education and Political Science (zing!).



What about Women's Studies and Philosophy? I think those are definitely the two most useless degrees.

Jeremy
10-07-2010, 09:13 AM
What about Women's Studies and Philosophy? I think those are definitely the two most useless degrees.

Art History.

brandon
10-07-2010, 09:32 AM
What about Women's Studies and Philosophy? I think those are definitely the two most useless degrees.

My sister got a degree in "Sports Management" with a concentration in "Leisure Studies". I think that takes the cake. She was unemployed for a year after graduation, and now works at a gym.

osan
10-07-2010, 10:49 AM
I spent a lot of time in college....got my bachelor's in 6 years and my master's in 2.

Similar in my case. Seven undergrad (5 degrees) and 3 grad (2 degrees). Taught at CCNY for 4 years. It was fun.


I also taught classes during grad school. My degrees are in a field most people call useless, and rightfully so: English.This is a very foolish statement. An English degree is not nearly useless. Understanding language in that particular way represents a body of knowledge that absolutely must be preserved if there is to be any hope that people will ever again be intelligent on the average. Language is the single most important non-reflex based activity that human beings have ever done and may ever do. Virtually NOTHING that we know would exist were it not for language, so you need to sit awhile in a dark room - have a beer (or whatever) and carefully think about your view on this. As it stands, it is completely loused up.

That we as a nation place such low value on such abilities is conclusive proof of just how stupid we are on the whole. Language and its use creates our world in-toto. Without language we would not survive past infancy.

Worthless? How about you make it valuable? Don't be a lamer - be bold, creative.



When it comes to contributing productively to an economy, an English degree does arguably less than all other degrees besides Education and Political Science (zing!).Not the fault of the degree or the body of knowledge it represents.


College is not worth it. Ever. In fact, the problem is in the question. Here's why:I strongly disagree. College is great for certain purposes and people. It is not right for all. I would say it may even not be right for most of the people attending, but your broad statement fails tremendously. I had a great time in college and I learned a lot. I majored in engineering, math, physics, computer science, education, and then got my MBA. The environment was absolutely perfect for me. QED.


You know how people complain about academics? How it's all a bunch of useless 'mental masturbation?' It's where as you get more advanced degrees you know more about less?
Which is nonsense.


That's the way academia SHOULD be, but at the same time it should be treated as a luxury, not a necessity, or a right. We agree, mostly. It is a right insifar as one has the right to attend if they have the means to - both academically and materially. The do not, however have the right to be provided with a college education, or any other for that matter.


The idea in America is that you're supposed to go to college so you can get a job, That is what it has become, but that was not the reason I went.


[snipped a bunch of silly "should" commandments]


The business of academia is inventing theories about the world. That's it. Whether it be expressed through scientific formulae, art, literary theory or psychological theory, we might be better if, as a society, we separate this idea that college prepares you for a trade. This is nonsense. The business of academia is LEARNING - or ought to be. Many such institutions have put learning on the back burner.


A much better system would be apprenticeship, but the minimum wage has destroyed that. Better for what? NOthing wrong with apprenticeship, per se, but I am not convinced it is the answer for all people.


So college is never worth it if you're trying to get a monetary return on your investment, look elsewhere. Friends from high school who didn't go to college and went on to be plumbers and electricians can rightfully laugh at all my degrees and my lack of income.Again I cannot agree. My education cost perhaps $20K, not including the $90K I spent on the MBA. During my money making days, I pulled down perhaps $5 million over 15 years. I'd call that a pretty good ROI.

The point here is that everyone is different. Your assertions are certainly true for some, but just as certainly they are not for others. I agree with you that apprenticeships is a good system - it worked for millennia and the world got along fine. It was disposed of and now look at the shape in which we find ourselves. But the colleges (some of them anyhow) offer value as well for some, and that should not be discounted.

specsaregood
10-07-2010, 10:52 AM
..

Dan710
10-07-2010, 12:58 PM
I believe in our current system, attending college can be very useful. You won't learn much and won't be very productive in your field until you've actually worked in the field for a few years but the piece of paper is seen as valuable to employers. I have always wondered why it is deemed so valuable. Some employers don't even care what the degree is in. They just want someone with a degree.

The apprenticeship idea is wonderful for most technical fields(engineering, computer science, etc) and business fields. I believe you would learn much more doing an apprenticeship for four years rather than attending classes.

Natalie
10-07-2010, 01:12 PM
My aunt got her Bachelors in Psychology from Yale and ended up working as a waitress at IHOP. You'd think having any degree from Yale would be impressive enough in itself to get a good job anywhere, but I guess not. A Bachelors in Psychology is totally worthless unless you go to grad school to become a Psychologist or something. Same with my best friend. She got her BA in Psychology and works as a waitress now. But she is planning on going for her PhD eventually.

Son of Detroit
10-07-2010, 01:16 PM
Friends from high school who didn't go to college and went on to be plumbers and electricians can rightfully laugh at all my degrees and my lack of income.

Not everyone wishes to be electricians or plumbers. I'm terrible with my hands. I couldn't do anything in a career involving a skilled trade.

heavenlyboy34
10-07-2010, 04:14 PM
I believe in our current system, attending college can be very useful. You won't learn much and won't be very productive in your field until you've actually worked in the field for a few years but the piece of paper is seen as valuable to employers. I have always wondered why it is deemed so valuable. Some employers don't even care what the degree is in. They just want someone with a degree.

The apprenticeship idea is wonderful for most technical fields(engineering, computer science, etc) and business fields. I believe you would learn much more doing an apprenticeship for four years rather than attending classes.

Because the law forbids employers from testing intelligence. The degree requirement is how the market got around that stupid law, even though it vastly narrowed the pool of possible employees who would otherwise be qualified. Your government at work. :p

dannno
10-07-2010, 04:46 PM
Art History.

You've obviously never seen White Collar :cool:

FunkBuddha
10-07-2010, 07:15 PM
What about Women's Studies and Philosophy? I think those are definitely the two most useless degrees.

My wife graduated summa cum laude with an English degree and a minor in Women's Studies. She stays home and takes care of the house and the kids. The sad thing is that if she had had Physics in high school she would probably be an astonomer. She took a physics class after she graduated and she loved it and was good at it. She just didn't have the confidence going into college to go for it when she came out of high school.

And then I probably wouldn't have accused her of being a man hating lesbian the night we met and we wouldn't be married with two smart, beautiful children.

FunkBuddha
10-07-2010, 07:18 PM
My aunt got her Bachelors in Psychology from Yale and ended up working as a waitress at IHOP. You'd think having any degree from Yale would be impressive enough in itself to get a good job anywhere, but I guess not. A Bachelors in Psychology is totally worthless unless you go to grad school to become a Psychologist or something. Same with my best friend. She got her BA in Psychology and works as a waitress now. But she is planning on going for her PhD eventually.

What is it with women and psyche degrees? If a woman told me she had any sort of psyche degree she would immediately be undatable <sp?>. I have so many issues her head would explode.

TCE
10-07-2010, 09:05 PM
For actually being a psychologist, a doctorate is minimally required. There is so much competition in that field, it's insane.

I agree with Osan for the most part. The OP stating college is Good for nothing all the time is false. Some of us have 5-figure scholarships and are paying virtually nothing for college. It would be pointless for me to skip it when I can get my degree for maybe $20,000 with no debt. A Master's for around $8,000 more.

DamianTV
10-07-2010, 10:33 PM
The knowledge or the information itself is neither good or bad. The way in which it is acquired, and then measured, is a problem.

The money required for a college education outweighs its benefits. And the funny thing is that having some guy stand up in front of a hundred people and read a book to them would be a lot cheaper if people just read the books themselves. Oooh, I have a new scam idea! I could charge my kids $100 bucks for reading them Dr. Seuss books while I put them to bed!

libertarian4321
10-08-2010, 07:54 AM
It depends on the degree you get.

Try getting into lucrative fields like engineering, science, medicine, etc without a degree. It ain't going to happen. The degree(s) are an absolute necessity.

That's not to say that there aren't a lot of worthless or nearly worthless degrees out there. You know the kind- where having the degree and the ability to say "Want fries with that?" or "Welcome to Walmart" will guarantee you a career.

Spend 4-6 years drinking beer and tossing a frisbee while getting your degree in Women's studies, Art History, English, African Studies, Music or any other BS (I mean Bull Shit, not Baccalaureate of Science) degree and you are likely to find yourself un- or under- employed (and yes, I know, someone is going to say "well, I have a friend with a degree in Art History, and he makes great money as the curator at the Louvre).

There are plenty of degrees that are worth the money (and btw, it helps if you get the degree in 4 years- every year you fart around in college is not only more tuition money wasted, it's another year of lost income).

heavenlyboy34
10-11-2010, 03:08 PM
It depends on the degree you get.

Try getting into lucrative fields like engineering, science, medicine, etc without a degree. It ain't going to happen. The degree(s) are an absolute necessity.

That's not to say that there aren't a lot of worthless or nearly worthless degrees out there. You know the kind- where having the degree and the ability to say "Want fries with that?" or "Welcome to Walmart" will guarantee you a career.

Spend 4-6 years drinking beer and tossing a frisbee while getting your degree in Women's studies, Art History, English, African Studies, Music or any other BS (I mean Bull Shit, not Baccalaureate of Science) degree and you are likely to find yourself un- or under- employed (and yes, I know, someone is going to say "well, I have a friend with a degree in Art History, and he makes great money as the curator at the Louvre).

There are plenty of degrees that are worth the money (and btw, it helps if you get the degree in 4 years- every year you fart around in college is not only more tuition money wasted, it's another year of lost income).

There are VocTech schools that teach these kinds of subjects (such as ITT Tech). So yes, you can get into these sort of fields without a 4 year degree.

libertarian4321
10-15-2010, 08:17 AM
There are VocTech schools that teach these kinds of subjects (such as ITT Tech). So yes, you can get into these sort of fields without a 4 year degree.

The degree's one get's from places like ITT are technician's degrees, that isn't the same as an engineering degree. They are usually 2-year associates degree programs.

If a place like ITT (or similar) did start offering 4-year engineering degrees, my guess is that their graduates would have a very tough time finding employment.

Just went to the ITT we site, and the closest thing they have to anything in engineering is a 2-year degree in "Computer and Electronics Engineering Technology."

libertarian4321
10-15-2010, 08:20 AM
There are VocTech schools that teach these kinds of subjects (such as ITT Tech). So yes, you can get into these sort of fields without a 4 year degree.

The degree's one get's from places like ITT are technician's degrees. They are 2-year associates degree programs that teach very basic information. It's not the same as a real engineering degree.

It's roughly the equivalent of teaching someone to be a licensed practical nurse rather than a registered nurse- a huge difference in education and a large difference in pay.

If a place like ITT (or similar) did start offering 4-year engineering degrees, my guess is that their graduates would have a very tough time finding employment.

Just went to the ITT we site, and the closest thing they have to anything in engineering is a 2-year degree in "Computer and Electronics Engineering Technology."

heavenlyboy34
10-15-2010, 08:20 PM
The degree's one get's from places like ITT are technician's degrees. They are 2-year associates degree programs that teach very basic information. It's not the same as a real engineering degree.

It's roughly the equivalent of teaching someone to be a licensed practical nurse rather than a registered nurse- a huge difference in education and a large difference in pay.

If a place like ITT (or similar) did start offering 4-year engineering degrees, my guess is that their graduates would have a very tough time finding employment.

Just went to the ITT we site, and the closest thing they have to anything in engineering is a 2-year degree in "Computer and Electronics Engineering Technology."

Srsly? Strange. I don't know much about that field, but in graphic design, one can get a degree from a place like Art Institute and have as much success or more than someone who goes to a 4 year school. There are some things that universities are good for (education degrees, for example), but not everything-and certainly not as many things as commonly claimed.

CroSpartacus
10-15-2010, 10:06 PM
I'm going into History, teaching of history to be exact. Is this a useless degree?

Dan710
10-15-2010, 10:23 PM
I'm going into History, teaching of history to be exact. Is this a useless degree?

Of course :p

Just find a school that allows you to teach real history.

heavenlyboy34
10-15-2010, 10:33 PM
I'm going into History, teaching of history to be exact. Is this a useless degree?

I suppose you could become a famous revisionist historian like Tom Woods. ~shrugs~ ;):D

youngbuck
10-16-2010, 12:44 AM
Srsly? Strange. I don't know much about that field, but in graphic design, one can get a degree from a place like Art Institute and have as much success or more than someone who goes to a 4 year school. There are some things that universities are good for (education degrees, for example), but not everything-and certainly not as many things as commonly claimed.

Yes, ITT Tech cannot provide anything even close to a real engineering degree.

libertarian4321
10-30-2010, 08:28 AM
Yes, ITT Tech cannot provide anything even close to a real engineering degree.

Right.

Not that the ITT degree is totally worthless, it's far better than nothing, but it's essentially a community college degree. Won't help you at all if you want a job in engineering.

A BS from a reputable school is the minimum for engineering, and those that are serious about the technical aspects of engineering probably should get an advanced degree, or an MBA type degree to move into management as their career progresses.

osan
10-30-2010, 10:44 AM
I suppose you could become a famous revisionist historian like Tom Woods. ~shrugs~ ;):D

Not familiar with his work. In what ways does he transgress?

heavenlyboy34
11-05-2010, 03:03 PM
Not familiar with his work. In what ways does he transgress?

A few notable ways are his books about Hamilton and Lincoln. He demonstrates that these men were villains of history, rather than heros. Hence the name "revisionist history".

heavenlyboy34
11-13-2010, 05:54 PM
Didn't read the whole thread, but, OP, you should know that another reason college is so expensive is because of discrimination laws. That is, employers are forbidden to test applicant's intelligence (ADA and so forth), so they require a degree instead. It's just an overpriced IQ test, for the most part.

low preference guy
11-13-2010, 05:57 PM
Didn't read the whole thread, but, OP, you should know that another reason college is so expensive is because of discrimination laws. That is, employers are forbidden to test applicant's intelligence (ADA and so forth), so they require a degree instead. It's just an overpriced IQ test, for the most part.

i know for a fact that there are employers who ask you for your SAT scores, and don't hide that they do

austin944
11-15-2010, 10:09 PM
I couldn't get a job after my BA (surprise!) so I went back for my MA. What has changed? Absolutley nothing. Although I have teaching experience teaching college classes I am not qualified to teach at the high school level because I did not go through the Education Department at my University.

I didn't think an education-related degree was required to teach in the public schools.



http://www.teachforamerica.org/admissions/faqs/eligibility-and-who-were-looking-for/

Who is eligible to apply to Teach For America?
In order to apply to Teach For America, you must have a bachelorís degree from an accredited college or university by the first day of summer institute, you must have a cumulative undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.50, and you must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or permanent legal resident. Teach For America accepts applicants from all academic majors, programs, and professional backgrounds and experiences. A degree or coursework in education, however, is not required and has no bearing on a candidate's chances of admission.



Another option is that instead of waiting for someone to hire you in the job you like, create your own job by starting your own business.

jmdrake
11-18-2010, 08:59 AM
I didn't think an education-related degree was required to teach in the public schools.


That differs from state to state. As with any profession, if a state wants to set up asinine rules restricting economic liberty it (the state) is free to do so. This is one place the interstate commerce clause should be used, since many people get degrees in one state and then practice their profession in another. But alas, the main purpose of the ICC today is to let the federal government oppress people as opposed to giving the federal government a tool to remove state economic oppression.



Another option is that instead of waiting for someone to hire you in the job you like, create your own job by starting your own business.

True. Education today at all levels is geared toward "getting a job" rather than creating a business. If education did more of the latter, unemployment would not exist. In fact that should even happen at the high school level. Encourage kids to start businesses while they're still living at home so if the business goes belly up they aren't out on the street.

AgentOrange
11-25-2010, 04:37 PM
Financially speaking--unless one is majoring in a degree program with a clear career path (education, anything in the medical field, law), a college degree is unlikely to be worth the money spent to get it. Sure, someone with a degree might get a job paying them $5.00/hr than someone without a degree....but then they are in a higher tax bracket and paying pay thousands of dollars in loans, so it really is a wash.

If one wants a particular job, and doesn't care that financially they won't come out ahead, then college is necessary, in the same way that hazing is necessary to join a fraternity/sorority. Going through college is about "paying one's dues" with the reward being greater job choice. Education is not the purpose of college (obviously it should be, but most of us who've been through college know that most of what we learned, was learned outside of the classroom, and "on-the-job" training.)

heavenlyboy34
12-02-2010, 11:32 PM
i know for a fact that there are employers who ask you for your SAT scores, and don't hide that they do

Yes, but that is not an intelligence test.