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Old 09-11-2012, 01:00 PM   #1
yoopermom
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"Is College a Lousy Investment?" (Newsweek)

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newswee...ge-bubble.html

Hype to sell the magazine, or truth to it?

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Old 09-11-2012, 01:58 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing.
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Old 09-11-2012, 02:09 PM   #3
yoopermom
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I just don't know quite what to think of that magazine anymore. When I was growing up, my DF read it every week, and shared important parts with the rest of the family. Now it just seems to be mostly op ed pieces masquerading as information.

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Old 09-11-2012, 03:13 PM   #4
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Yeah that definitely seems like an opinion piece but they may not be off. I manage a small personal loan company, starting pay $8 per hour, and each time we hire I get lots of resumes from people with bachelors degrees, even people in their 40s with plenty of office experience. It's really kind of sad.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:15 PM   #5
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I think there's a lot of truth to it. Most of my childhood friends went to college and earned degrees. Few have seen any real benefit to it. And the issue the article raises about "credentialism" is certainly dead-on; jobs that never used to require college now do, not because the skills needed to do the job are taught there but as a way of filtering the mountain of applications to a more manageable pile. Heck, in this economy Starbucks could probably get away with requiring at least an associates and still have an oversupply of baristas.

We are graduating FAR more young adults than we have jobs requiring higher education. The logical consequence of that in a market economy is that the value of the degree is diminished. Still we continue to push ridiculous ideas like "college for all", even at the expense of technical and vocational training for fields in which there are growing shortages, while the very idea that a 4 year education isn't always the right choice is pretty much dismissed as nonsense.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:22 PM   #6
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I think it can be a lousy investment for some people.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by littlebit0863 View Post
Yeah that definitely seems like an opinion piece but they may not be off. I manage a small personal loan company, starting pay $8 per hour, and each time we hire I get lots of resumes from people with bachelors degrees, even people in their 40s with plenty of office experience. It's really kind of sad.
I was in IT before becoming a SAHM... Straight out of school, with an associates and a few industry certifications, I was earning 40K/year. Now? Most ads I see want a 4 year degree and the same certifications for $12-15/hr jobs. And the sad part is, the parents of high schoolers that I talk to know this... They are very aware that a degree isn't going to assure a middle class lifestyle. They're focused on the lower unemployment rate for college grads, rather than higher earning potential. Because $12/hr employed steadily is better than $8-10/hr with frequent layoffs, which has become the "new normal" for high school educated people around here.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:39 PM   #8
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Personally I think a college degree is a good investment if you choose a marketable field of study. You also need to use common sense in funding a college education. It makes no sense to spend $100K on a college education with limited marketability or earnings potential.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:46 PM   #9
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When it comes time, I am going to encourage DD12 to go the trade school route if that seems more logical for what she is interested in. My parents were all about college, college, college - if you were interested in something that didn't require college, well then you needed to change your interest to something that did! That was how the next generation was supposed to do better than the last. So my father would probably be flabbergasted at my willingness to send my daughter to trade school if he were still alive. But times have changed.
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Old 09-11-2012, 03:55 PM   #10
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:01 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TinCup View Post
Personally I think a college degree is a good investment if you choose a marketable field of study. You also need to use common sense in funding a college education. It makes no sense to spend $100K on a college education with limited marketability or earnings potential.
I think how you're paying also makes a huge difference - if you can pay cash, I think college is still a good investment. If you're going to finish with 5-figure debt and pay decades of interest on it, maybe a different route would be more suitable.

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When it comes time, I am going to encourage DD12 to go the trade school route if that seems more logical for what she is interested in. My parents were all about college, college, college - if you were interested in something that didn't require college, well then you needed to change your interest to something that did! That was how the next generation was supposed to do better than the last. So my father would probably be flabbergasted at my willingness to send my daughter to trade school if he were still alive. But times have changed.
I have one on each path - DS14 is interested in trade school or an apprenticeship through our community college, DD11 has a career goal that requires a degree. And a lot of people are flabbergasted that I'm not pushing DS to "set his sights higher", even though the trades he's interested in (machining primarily, or maybe welding) pay well and are experiencing/expecting shortages of qualified new hires.

If I was going to push one of them to reconsider it would be DD11, who wants to be a teacher - $100K+ in education (not counting eventually needing a masters or the ongoing continuing ed requirements) to earn $35K/year in a high stress job that is constantly caught in the middle of political tug-of-wars just doesn't sound like a great path to me!
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Colleen27 View Post
I think there's a lot of truth to it. Most of my childhood friends went to college and earned degrees. Few have seen any real benefit to it. And the issue the article raises about "credentialism" is certainly dead-on; jobs that never used to require college now do, not because the skills needed to do the job are taught there but as a way of filtering the mountain of applications to a more manageable pile. Heck, in this economy Starbucks could probably get away with requiring at least an associates and still have an oversupply of baristas.

We are graduating FAR more young adults than we have jobs requiring higher education. The logical consequence of that in a market economy is that the value of the degree is diminished. Still we continue to push ridiculous ideas like "college for all", even at the expense of technical and vocational training for fields in which there are growing shortages, while the very idea that a 4 year education isn't always the right choice is pretty much dismissed as nonsense.
Agree, Agree and Agree!
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colleen27 View Post
I think how you're paying also makes a huge difference - if you can pay cash, I think college is still a good investment. If you're going to finish with 5-figure debt and pay decades of interest on it, maybe a different route would be more suitable.



I have one on each path - DS14 is interested in trade school or an apprenticeship through our community college, DD11 has a career goal that requires a degree. And a lot of people are flabbergasted that I'm not pushing DS to "set his sights higher", even though the trades he's interested in (machining primarily, or maybe welding) pay well and are experiencing/expecting shortages of qualified new hires.

If I was going to push one of them to reconsider it would be DD11, who wants to be a teacher - $100K+ in education (not counting eventually needing a masters or the ongoing continuing ed requirements) to earn $35K/year in a high stress job that is constantly caught in the middle of political tug-of-wars just doesn't sound like a great path to me!
If your DD wants to be a teacher, have her consider speech language pathology or occupational therapy. Both have shortages and can be teachers in school. Both also have other options if the schools aren't paying enough, as well.
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colleen27 View Post
I was in IT before becoming a SAHM... Straight out of school, with an associates and a few industry certifications, I was earning 40K/year. Now? Most ads I see want a 4 year degree and the same certifications for $12-15/hr jobs. And the sad part is, the parents of high schoolers that I talk to know this... They are very aware that a degree isn't going to assure a middle class lifestyle. They're focused on the lower unemployment rate for college grads, rather than higher earning potential. Because $12/hr employed steadily is better than $8-10/hr with frequent layoffs, which has become the "new normal" for high school educated people around here.
yep, the 4 year degree is simply to help become employed, not rich. Around here even part time has become favorable as it keeps you actively in th ework place making you more likely to get hired in the next position. Matter of fact, I know a lot of folks woth 2 part time or part-time/contract/free-lance income. Some of those folks have Masters degrees.
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Mike Rowe is regarded as positively God-like in our home. His whole outlook and beliefs mirror ours. Our DS who just turned 18 was fortunate enough to watch the show during his early formidable H.S. years and took advantage of shop classes in school etc., I am sure because he was so entertained by Mr. Rowe, he saw a fun side to the practicality of it. The guy is beyond entertaining and draws his audience in by being a regular guy (quite easy on the eyes as well ) anyways, I wish John Ratzenburger's Made in America was still on as well.

I would vote for Mike Rowe for President, I really would.
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Old 09-11-2012, 04:39 PM   #15
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I agree that college is not for everyone and that the push for "college for all" has downgraded the value of a four year degree. I also agree that there is not enough transparency regarding the cost of college versus the benefits. Too many kids (and their parents) simply do not understand how hard it is going to be for a 22 year old to pay for tens of thousands of dollars in loans while still earning enough to have a reasonable lifestyle. It was hard back in the 90's and it's worse now, especially since a lot of the student loans out there are unsubsidized and accrue interest the whole time the student is in school. The student graduates owing more than they borrowed and the interest rates for unsubsidized loans are fairly high. It's sad.
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