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  1. #1
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default 20 Worst Paying College Degrees

    20-worst-paying-college-degrees-in-2010: Personal Finance News from Yahoo! Finance

    It includes working with kids, art, music, and culinary pursuits. The article says to tap the highest level of pay, one should be taking courses that involve a lot of math.

    A conversation from this could head in many directions:
    • What are our cultural values, embodied in which fields we are willing and able to pay higher prices for and which fields are less rewarded? Do the financial rewards we hand out to various occupations align with what our culture claims to value?
    • Where does salary/financial reward rank in terms of career satisfaction?
    • Are college degrees worth the money invested in them nowadays? (...considering that my first year of tuition was $18K, at a prestigious liberal arts school, and that is now the typical price for a basic state school and the school I attended is somewhere around $36K a year, not counting living expenses) Or are they now just mandated worthlessness since everyone is expected to go but the knowledge acquired isn't very useful?
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  2. #2
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    That's freaking depressing. I've worked in education for almost 5 years and I still don't even make the "starting pay" listed under that field.

    Of course, my major was in foreign language. I'm surprised not to see that on the list!
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Actually, foreign languages are extremely important nowadays, due to increased globalization, at least in terms of being applied within other disciplines. The Hispanic population in the US continues to increase as well, but it's not just espanol that can be helpful in getting a job.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    Jennifer, have you read the book The Gift? I haven't read it, but my friend who's a classically trained violinist LOOOOVES the book. It talks about gift economies (focusing on interpersonal bonds) and market economies (value of a particular service) and how you cannot even measure the worth of things like childcare, education, etc., and in a market economy those types of services will always be undervalued. In gift economies, that type of work is placed in the highest regard, and the people who perform it are supported by gifts from the community. In a market economy, though, you have to assign value to everything.

    Not sure if I'm recalling it 100% correctly based off of the friend's description of the book to me... anyway, that might be an interesting way to approach the topic.

    My parents pushed us toward technical/math-heavy careers for this reason, so we could finance our educations and ultimately ourselves. It makes sense, but I might have had more fun doing something else... who even knows?
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

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    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Yeah, I actually have used my French frequently in both of the jobs I've held in my professional career. But usually it's more useful to double major in a foreign language and business, or something, or major in something more "useful" and just take classes in a foreign language. Majoring in a foreign language alone is not terribly lucrative. Teachers make crap. Translators make crap. Interpreters make crap. Even those at the UN don't make that much, and they have to be fluent in at least 3 languages.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aquarelle99 View Post
    Yeah, I actually have used my French frequently in both of the jobs I've held in my professional career. But usually it's more useful to double major in a foreign language and business, or something, or major in something more "useful" and just take classes in a foreign language. Majoring in a foreign language alone is not terribly lucrative.
    Yeah, that is basically what I meant.
    It's a lucrative skill but not on its own.

    Teachers make crap. Translators make crap.
    Actually, I had a friend (who was a member here for awhile) who was a Russian interpreter (of documents and news articles) for about 20 years for the fed gov in the Wash DC area. He made decent money, although he also managed other translators. Unfortunately the market for Russian dried up over the years; nowadays, Chinese is far more valuable.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  7. #7
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Actually, I had a friend (who was a member here for awhile) who was a Russian interpreter (of documents and news articles) for about 20 years for the fed gov in the Wash DC area. He made decent money, although he also managed other translators. Unfortunately the market for Russian dried up over the years; nowadays, Chinese is far more valuable.
    Yeah... there are definitely some translators and interpreters who make good money, whether for a corporation or the government, and the people who translate popular books like Harry Potter....but most... not so much. I wanted to be a translator. Now I just do it occasionally on the side.

    As for your original questions... yeah, still super depressing!! I still think college is a good idea because it teaches people to think and generally broadens their understanding of the world. But I don't really think it's worth going to prestigious schools that cost a lot of money. At least not for some students. If you're going to major in business or engineering or something, it probably makes more sense to go to a more prestigious school. But for those of us in the lowly education field... well, considering my husband makes a heck of a lot more than I do and he does a job that does not require a college degree (although he does have one), I can't say it's worth going into heavy debt for an expensive school.

    That said, for me, money is definitely not the primary measure of job satisfaction. As I said, I make under $35K a year, and I am pretty happy. Granted, until I got a raise at the beginning of this year, I did struggle a bit, and especially before my husband and I moved in together, I struggled a lot to make ends meet. So, to take a line from a Silverchair song, "You say that money isn't everything, well I'd like to see you live without it." It's not everything, and I'd rather make just enough to live comfortably and actually enjoy my job and do something I can feel good at, than make a crapload of money and do a job I hate. But the fact is that money is necessary, and if you're constantly struggling to make ends meet, you're going to have a lot more stress, even if you love your job. Sucks, but it's true.

    I really think people should be paid according to what their job contributes to the well-being of mankind. Social workers should be paid much more, in my opinion. Teachers, too. CEOs, stock traders, etc.... should be paid less.
    Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting.

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  8. #8
    Senior Member Chunes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer
    Or are they now just mandated worthlessness since everyone is expected to go but the knowledge acquired isn't very useful?
    This one, definitely.

    It's not even that the knowledge isn't useful; it's that we've provided a mass way to climb the ladder. I guess some people in high up positions don't understand the concept of value. Something isn't valuable unless it's rare. I have to wonder how much longer this mass delusion can hold. Young people need to start realizing that college is a terrible investment with lessening exceptions.

    It's incredibly insulting and hurts my brain that the default expectation of young people is that they should load themselves down with debt. That's not okay, and not a way a healthy, functional society should work. And don't bring up scholarships. Nearly everyone is still back in the 70's. The reality is that scholarships are mostly a pipe dream from that era.
    "If you would convince a man that he does wrong, do right. But do not care to convince him. Men will believe what they see. Let them see."
    Thoreau

  9. #9
    morose bourgeoisie
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    I should have become a stock broker. That is aparently the only career worth pursuing, based on the implications of that article.
    Money uber alles. It's the Amerikan way.

  10. #10
    Pumpernickel
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    Horticulture lol

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