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Old 09-13-2012, 07:24 AM   #61
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I would just like to ask what the alternative to college is? Study after study has shown that college graduates have less unemployment and make more money that people without a degree. Yes, the value of a bachelor's degree has deteriorated in recent years as more and more people go to college and the economy is not expanding at a rate that will employ all of them, but at least with a college degree you have the minimal credential necessary to get your resume even looked at by and employer.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:45 AM   #62
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Those stats include EVERYONE without a degree. Were they only to include people with vocational traIning, tech school, trade unions, family businesses and military the discrepancy would not be the same.
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:56 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by punkin
I would just like to ask what the alternative to college is? Study after study has shown that college graduates have less unemployment and make more money that people without a degree. Yes, the value of a bachelor's degree has deteriorated in recent years as more and more people go to college and the economy is not expanding at a rate that will employ all of them, but at least with a college degree you have the minimal credential necessary to get your resume even looked at by and employer.
Trade school- apprenticeship. Or Getting to work at a younger age and maybe doing night school for a degree later when a kid is ready for it. ( yes the initial job will be at lower pay than a person with a degree ..but they could still come out better with 4 years experience and paychecks under their belt rather than 4 year of loans to pay back. Also military , fire company etc. there are MANY alternatives. My plumber makes more than my husband who has a graduate degree. It's silly to think everyone has to go to college.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:01 AM   #64
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As a current college student, I thought I would chime in.

I attend a well-ranked, private university with tuition/fees sitting around $50,000-$60,000 per year. I have a very close to full scholarship and would not have been able to attend such an expensive school without a large amount of financial help. I will be attending law school in the fall.

My boyfriend attends a private college as well. He is in engineering and will not need an advanced degree. His parents pay his $35,000 tuition in full each year.

We both believe that our educations are a great opportunity and investment and we are both confidant that we will easily be able to find jobs upon graduation. Why? We both have an incredibly useful program called Co-op built into our years at university.

Co-op is an experiential education progam that allows students to gain between a year or two of work experience directly relevant to their field of study. Both my boyfriend and myself are currently on co-op and we are both paid very well. My boyfriend will be making upwards of $20,000 in his current six month placement. Many students at our respective schools are offered full-time positions by their co-ops upon graduation. At the last law firm I co-oped at, 90% of the attorneys working there had previously co-oped at the firm and were offered positions there upon their graduation from law school.

College can be an amazing investment if you do your research and think logically and realistically about your future.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:06 AM   #65
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As a current college student, I thought I would chime in.

I attend a well-ranked, private university with tuition/fees sitting around $50,000-$60,000 per year. I have a very close to full scholarship and would not have been able to attend such an expensive school without a large amount of financial help. I will be attending law school in the fall.

My boyfriend attends a private college as well. He is in engineering and will not need an advanced degree. His parents pay his $35,000 tuition in full each year.

We both believe that our educations are a great opportunity and investment and we are both confidant that we will easily be able to find jobs upon graduation. Why? We both have an incredibly useful program called Co-op built into our years at university.

Co-op is an experiential education progam that allows students to gain between a year or two of work experience directly relevant to their field of study. Both my boyfriend and myself are currently on co-op and we are both paid very well. My boyfriend will be making upwards of $20,000 in his current six month placement. Many students at our respective schools are offered full-time positions by their co-ops upon graduation. At the last law firm I co-oped at, 90% of the attorneys working there had previously co-oped at the firm and were offered positions there upon their graduation from law school.

College can be an amazing investment if you do your research and think logically and realistically about your future.
Paying for a college that costs $200,000+ is not realistic for most people.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:12 AM   #66
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Paying for a college that costs $200,000+ is not realistic for most people.
It would not have been realistic for me either, had I not done everything I could to secure scholarships while in high school. I come from a very low-income area where the high school dropout rate is near 50%. It's not impossible to pay for an expensive school completely using a mix of merit scholarships and financial aid.

EDIT: Just to be clear, I'm not saying that college is necessarily a better investment than vocational training, or really a good investment in general. I AM saying that college has been a great opportunity for myself and my bofriend.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:17 AM   #67
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I would just like to ask what the alternative to college is? Study after study has shown that college graduates have less unemployment and make more money that people without a degree. Yes, the value of a bachelor's degree has deteriorated in recent years as more and more people go to college and the economy is not expanding at a rate that will employ all of them, but at least with a college degree you have the minimal credential necessary to get your resume even looked at by and employer.
First of all, I'm not sure how much validity those studies have as they look only at earning potential and not return on investment. A teaching degree, for example, likely means a slightly better income than a high school diploma but the earning premium may very well be less than the cost of student loans after accounting for interest charges. They also look only at averages, so a high school grad with advanced technical training is in the same category as a directionless grad content to deliver pizzas and live in his parents' basement. Likewise, the college average includes the engineer making six figures along with the French lit major tending bar. More sub-divisions within each category would improve the usability of the statistics.

As far as alternatives, vocational training is an excellent option. Around here, voc-ed programs are struggling for lack of enrollment because no one wants their child to be a mechanic or a machinist or a plumber, but all of those trades make a very good living, better than many college grads. And I think going straight into the workforce is an option; many times an entry level job will require a degree for advancement but that degree can be earned over time rather than all at once, sometimes with employer reimbursement, while gaining valuable job experience. That also offers the advantage of experiencing real world conditions in your field of interest before committing large amounts of money to an education in that field - too many kids these days are going to college because it is expected even though at 18 they are fairly directionless, and that can make for very costly delays and changes of course.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:22 AM   #68
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A lot of it is because bachelor's degrees are a dime a dozen now. In fact the market is saturated with tons of people with Master's Degrees now as well.
Actually, no. It's easy to THINK that "everyone" has a college degree, but I think that's because when the topic comes up, people who don't have degrees tend to keep silent on the subject. So it's easy to think that the people who discuss these things are the whole picture.

Here's a link to a 2009 Census document: http://www.census.gov/compendia/stat...es/12s0233.pdf

In my state 26.5% of all adults over 25 have a bachelor's degree, and a scant 8.8% have a degree above a bachelor's. That's hardly "dime a dozen" or "saturated".

Lest you think my state is unique, it seems that Mass. is the best educated state (or at least the state with the highest number of degreed individuals). 38.2% of their population has a four-year degree, and 16.4% has a degree beyond that level.

According to the Census, the least-educated state is West Virginia, where only 17.3% of the adults over 25 have a bachelor's degree and only 6.7% have an advanced degree.

You could argue that today's 20-somethings are attending college at a higher rate, and that these numbers will increase in future years. That may or may not be true. Also, this varies within the state. For example, in NC you'd find a larger percentage of people with advanced degrees living in the center of the state near NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill, Wake Forest, the other smaller colleges, and the Research Triangle. You'd find fewer degreed individuals to the west in the Appalachians and in the east in all that flat land between Raleigh and the coast. But if you happen to live in the center of the state, you could easily think that people "everywhere" are degreed at that same rate. Regardless, it seems that, depending upon where you live, roughly 62-83% of the population is making it without degrees. I've heard these numbers for years, and they haven't changed significantly.
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Originally Posted by punkin View Post
I would just like to ask what the alternative to college is? Study after study has shown that college graduates have less unemployment and make more money that people without a degree. Yes, the value of a bachelor's degree has deteriorated in recent years as more and more people go to college and the economy is not expanding at a rate that will employ all of them, but at least with a college degree you have the minimal credential necessary to get your resume even looked at by and employer.
The choice isn't college or a life on the outskirts of society barely making it on crusts of bread. Many people are trained for specific jobs in the community colleges, trade schools, or through on-the-job training. For the person who is motivated but has no resources, the military provides excellent job training. Even the vocational classes in high school send kids out into the world ready to work as entry-level Electricians, Auto Mechanics, cosmetologists, etc.

The bigger point is that everyone who wants to have a career beyond basic service jobs needs something beyond high school. Those somethings vary wildly.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:25 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by Colleen27 View Post
First of all, I'm not sure how much validity those studies have as they look only at earning potential and not return on investment. A teaching degree, for example, likely means a slightly better income than a high school diploma but the earning premium may very well be less than the cost of student loans after accounting for interest charges. They also look only at averages, so a high school grad with advanced technical training is in the same category as a directionless grad content to deliver pizzas and live in his parents' basement. Likewise, the college average includes the engineer making six figures along with the French lit major tending bar. More sub-divisions within each category would improve the usability of the statistics.

As far as alternatives, vocational training is an excellent option. Around here, voc-ed programs are struggling for lack of enrollment because no one wants their child to be a mechanic or a machinist or a plumber, but all of those trades make a very good living, better than many college grads. And I think going straight into the workforce is an option; many times an entry level job will require a degree for advancement but that degree can be earned over time rather than all at once, sometimes with employer reimbursement, while gaining valuable job experience. That also offers the advantage of experiencing real world conditions in your field of interest before committing large amounts of money to an education in that field - too many kids these days are going to college because it is expected even though at 18 they are fairly directionless, and that can make for very costly delays and changes of course.
Vocational training is great for those who have the aptitude and desire. I would not mind saying "my daughter, the plumber" but my girls have no desire to go that way. They are very academic in their orientation. I am not sure if college will be a good FINANCIAL investment for my children (DDs are 19 and 13), but I can guarantee that I will not consider it a waste of money.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:37 AM   #70
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like anything in life that offers a choice, it's all relative. The statement of "Is College a Lousy Investment" is too cut and dry. I guess if you are going to pay six figures and invest 4+ years of your life and never work/contribute or benefit from it, it's a bad investment by todays financial terms. Kinda like paying 100,000 for a car pats that will never create a working vehicle. There is no yes/no answer, but most things in life are that way. The college bubble will burst much like the housing one did, and all of the statistics will be skewed and so on and so on...necessity will continue to determine who needs what to live in their chosen lifestyle, and that will affect the country, world, etc. Life is what you make it, and to me as of now a degree is still a valuable item to have, but not the only way to be successful, by far.
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Old 09-13-2012, 09:40 AM   #71
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I think college is a good investment depending on the degree you get. Also, a lot of college students do not think they need to network to find jobs. I was really shocked by that because networking is a huge part of getting a job. Another thing, kids need to do some kind of co-op (if they can). Everyone I know that did a co-op was hired right out of college and making great money.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:23 AM   #72
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I didn't plan it this way, but I think I've done/am doing pretty well. I got a certificate from my local CC and got into Travel, where I've mad great money as a corporate travel agent for the last 13 years. I'm now going back to school, will likely have a good chunk of it paid for by my company thru tuition reimburement, and by the time I'm done I'll have either an AS or BS in Business Administration (not sure if I'll transfer to a 4 year online program once my AS is done, we'll see how things go with the AS first) and won't pay hardly anything OOP.

But as it is, I'm making as much or more than a lot of college grads with only a HS diploma and a 14 week certificate course to my name. I'm only going back to school to open up more options should something happen to my current position.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:33 AM   #73
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like anything in life that offers a choice, it's all relative. The statement of "Is College a Lousy Investment" is too cut and dry. I guess if you are going to pay six figures and invest 4+ years of your life and never work/contribute or benefit from it, it's a bad investment by todays financial terms. Kinda like paying 100,000 for a car pats that will never create a working vehicle. There is no yes/no answer, but most things in life are that way. The college bubble will burst much like the housing one did, and all of the statistics will be skewed and so on and so on...necessity will continue to determine who needs what to live in their chosen lifestyle, and that will affect the country, world, etc. Life is what you make it, and to me as of now a degree is still a valuable item to have, but not the only way to be successful, by far.
This is nearly the exact post I was going to write. Is college a lousy investment for some people? Absolutely. Is it a lousy investment in general? No, I don't think so. And I think the larger picture is that some form of post-secondary education is vital - whether that be a 2 year associate's, a 4 year bachelor's, or a 14 week technical training program - I'm not sure that very many people are extraordinarily successful without some form of additional training or education.

I guess maybe it is time to change the thinking that "college" must mean "4 year degree." My bachelor's degree (in biology) got me a whopping $19K a year after I graduated 15 years ago - but I didn't have any student loan debt (full scholarship to small state university, lived at home). After 3 years, I found a different job making more than double the money - they required either a Master's or 2 years experience. After 6 more years, I realized I needed more education and experience would only carry me so far. So, I went back to pharmacy school and changed careers completely. I do have debt now, but I also make over 3 times as much as I did when I left my previous employer. I don't think my education was a lousy investment.

My sister got her associate's in radiology straight out of high school - she made great money (more than me with my BS!), but she hated the job. She just wasn't "into" school and a CC education was great for her at the time. About a decade later, she decided to pursue her bachelor's and ultimately her master's in health care administration. She now manages a medical office and she is happy and making a decent amount of money - BUT, not really much more than she could have continued to make as an X-ray tech. Her education was not a good investment from a "return on investment" perspective, but was a good investment from her own personal job satisfaction perspective.

There just really isn't a good answer and when DD starts really considering her options, I'm going to maintain an open mind. Right now, she wants to be a teacher (or a rock star), so she has a few more years to think on it.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:17 PM   #74
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In my state 26.5% of all adults over 25 have a bachelor's degree, and a scant 8.8% have a degree above a bachelor's. That's hardly "dime a dozen" or "saturated".
In my school district 76% of high school graduates in 2012 were going on to a 4 year college compared to 20%, when I graduated so there are definitely more bachelor's degrees out there thus the lower demand and lower pay scale. With so many then going on to get their Master's degrees, soon you will need a PhD to compete in the job market in certain careers. So for many young adults, a trade school would be a better paying, more marketable option.
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Old 09-13-2012, 12:46 PM   #75
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In my school district 76% of high school graduates in 2012 were going on to a 4 year college compared to 20%, when I graduated so there are definitely more bachelor's degrees out there thus the lower demand and lower pay scale. .
One misnomer that I've seen in my decades of education is the fact that high school's push this number "oh we have X % going on to a 4 year college" but they do NOT follow up, and see how many GRADUATE from a 4 year college. I work at a tech college now, and the attrition rate from all colleges is a lot higher than what many people think it is.

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