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Thread: College is Worthless

  1. #21
    Senior Member Array Wanderer's Avatar
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    Feb 2011


    Quote Originally Posted by OrangeAppled View Post
    Agree.... The purpose of college is (or was) higher education, not merely job skills. In the US, primary & secondary education is rather crappy, so a college education can really be significant in rounding out your education. Is it essential? No. Is it the only way to be educated? No. Like anything, a lot of how valuable it is depends on what you put into it & do with it. Some people learn really well in a formal setting, and others don't, so that can make a difference also. I'm a bookish person & found college a really enjoyable, mentally-stimulating part of my life, and that in itself makes it valuable to me.

    I personally didn't have any debt from college. I did not pay one cent of my own money to go to college. I chose a school & area of study that my grants & scholarships would easily cover. I also think if you're not a good enough HS student to acquire grants & scholarships & can't afford college on your own without accumulating substantial debt, then maybe it's not a good choice for you. If you're not one who does well academically or takes school seriously, then college is probably not your cup of tea anyway.

    While I'm not getting rich with my degree, it cost me nothing & does allow me to get work I couldn't get without it - work that over all suits my personality far better than a lot of jobs which don't require a degree.

    I think trade schools & apprenticeships are great ideas as college alternatives for those who mainly need affordable ways to learn job skills. However, for some reason, a lot of employers don't take such methods of learning as seriously as college.
    One can be a bookish intellectual and not get anything out of college; I'm highly intellectual and I enjoy reading and learning (I'm currently learning Accounting and am planning on CLEPing it and most of a business Minor) I had a scholarship that covered my full tuition, and I never lost it. It was housing and everything else that cost me an arm and a leg.

    Also? Not everyone belongs in college. Humorously stated here.

    There is not emphasis put on learning or developing your mind in college. Simply on getting through. I put a lot of effort into my classes, however what I found was mediocrity. Teachers that didn't want to be teaching, students that just wanted a passing grade. I had a few classes that I enjoyed because of the thought and debate they sparked. The vast majority did not. My philosophy class (or more accurately, the professor) was a nightmare. If you didn't spout back that Existentialism was the gospel truth and that Nietzsche and Kirkegaard were intellectual gods among men you wouldn't get higher than a B- for "not understanding the concepts taught" - I understood the concepts taught perfectly well. I just have a different philosophy and personal convictions than that teacher. I don't enjoy knowing I paid for an attempted brainwashing, or that I wound up with a B on my transcript for refusing to kowtow to a bully with a teachers' podium.

    The few classes that I did get "growth" from were not enough to justify the amount charged. I can acquire that same fulfilling growth and discussion at a good book club. This is from someone who both does well and takes academia seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forever_Jung View Post
    I wouldn't say it's worthless. But I know what you're saying. I certainly FEEL like it's worthless sometimes. And it's so damn expensive, even in Socialist Canuckistan, with all of our government subsidies, I had to take the year off just to pay my tuition off from last year. I really wish I had bothered to do all that mind-numbingly boring stuff in high school now, and earned myself a yearly entrance scholarship. So part of it is MY fault.

    Another aspect I dislike about university is that it seems less like higher education and more like an encore of high school. There are many people in my classes who shouldn't be there, but their high school guidance counselor and their parents just told them to, so now they're there, when really they'd be much better off at a community college or in some sort of small business venture. They have no fire, no curiousity for academia, they just want to get laid, get their B- average and get out of there.

    The worst part is that instead of the students having to raise their game and work REALLY hard to meet the school's standards, the University simply lowers their standards for the students. When I get an A+ on a paper it has no meaning to me when I know like 20/40 students got at least an A-. Everything seems dumbed down. I went to Univeristy to stretch my limits, not work listlessly within them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zang View Post
    I didn't read the original post in this thread, but I imagine it amounts to pointing out that college/uni is more expensive. Of course it should be more expensive, because ever since the 70's, energy has been getting more expensive, and so the cost of everything has been rising. However most things have been offset by them becoming more efficient, and so the cost has been bearable;- universities don't do efficiency very well though. People should be doing uni at home through ventrilo or teamspeak, not sitting in expensive auditoriums/lecture halls, in fact the potency for extended tutorial meetings through teamspeak/videochat means there could be more quality time interaction at a much reduced cost. This would be good for the liberal arts at least, which require the most intensive investment to get anything other than mediocre results; of course the sciences do require actual places for practical tutorials, but they cans afford it cause they get stable jobnessess all over the worlds.

    In short, people should not be demanding help with their tuition, they should be demanding and seeking cheaper tuition options which should become the new benchmark which have different qualities not adding up to a lower grade product. One could make an internet university with no multiple choice questions, good lecturers who you interact with, extended tutorial and student liasons to form study groups of people who compliment each others styles of thinking and learning; its not unimaginable.

    So stop living in the past, or don't expect to pay old world prices.
    I'm not demanding help with tuition; I despise the idea of debt entirely.
    My points are:
    (1) A College degree is not difficult to get anymore and therefore worth less now that "everyone should go to college".
    (2) A degree is unnecessary for the average person and the average job.
    (3) College is expensive and unavoidable if you want a real job.
    (4) that College itself does not provide any wonderful "benefit" - It doesn't teach you discipline, hard work, or to think for yourself and grow as a person.
    If you're not capable of discipline and hard work you'll flunk out. Or at least, you SHOULD flunk out.

    Quote Originally Posted by swordpath View Post
    Join the military, get 3 years of schooling completely paid for. Worked well for me.
    I should mention, while active duty, you get tuition assistance (classes paid for) and that doesn't tap into the GI Bill benefit at all. So theoretically, one could knock out an associates while enlisted, or a bachelors if you're enlisting with prior college and then use your GI Bill to get a masters...

    But I wouldn't ever encourage someone to make such a big commitment to joining the military solely for an education benefit. If you don't already feel compelled to join, then you shouldn't.
    Not everyone feels that need, though, and the military IS in the process of downsizing currently.

    On a different note;
    If you're in favor of college, please explain what you think the college experience has to offer (note; said benefits should be UNIQUE to the college experience.)
    What did you, personally, gain from College that you could NOT have gained elsewhere.

  2. #22
    Senior Member Array swordpath's Avatar
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    Oct 2007


    In my case, I think college will be (I'm only in my first year) little more than that piece of paper that says I earned a degree. In general, it's unfortunate that it costs so much to attain that. I'm studying something that interests me (criminal justice) and my goal is to become a police officer. The criminal justice degree doesn't really give a candidate for a police job any more of a leg up than any other degree (the hiring board will really only consider that you have devoted time/energy into an area of study). Anything you need to learn to be a police officer will come from the academy, field training and experience from time on the job. Every department will actually prefer that your education on how to do the job comes from the department that you're hired on with, because methods of enforcing law and even the laws themselves vary from department to department and from state to state. With a lot of city departments, having a college degree isn't a requirement but it does make you a more competitive candidate in an increasingly sought after job with these poor economic times. Also, there is usually an increased incentive pay for officers that have an education. A little extra money every pay check doesn't hurt.

    I know that my situation is a little different from a lot of other people. People going into sciences and other technical fields, the education itself (and not just the diploma) will be paramount.

  3. #23
    No moss growing on me Array Giggly's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    2 sx/so


    Go to a [good] public college, major in something that will get you a job with decent pay, and go part-time for longer than 4 years while working if you need to in order to stay out of student loan debt.

    Or you can join the military like others have suggested.

  4. #24
    sswwwaagggg Array gmanyo's Avatar
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    Jun 2010


    I have a full ride scholarship to my college and it has a music computer lab with a Minimoog, an Arp 2600, and a couple other modular synths in it and every computer comes equipped with an M-Audio MIDI keyboard with mic inputs and they all have Logic, Reason, and Pro Tools installed. You don't get those kind of resources in other places.
    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    I'm starting to see you and your avatar as a cloud of odor that eminates from trashy threads.

  5. #25
    Freaking Ratchet Array Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Jun 2010


    Quote Originally Posted by gmanyo View Post
    I have a full ride scholarship to my college and it has a music computer lab with a Minimoog, an Arp 2600, and a couple other modular synths in it and every computer comes equipped with an M-Audio MIDI keyboard with mic inputs and they all have Logic, Reason, and Pro Tools installed. You don't get those kind of resources in other places.
    Yep, I've know people who've had their first year of UC Berkeley paid for because the person spent his/her time looking up scholarships along with signing up for financial aid.

  6. #26
    curiouser and curiouser Array bluestripes's Avatar
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    Oct 2011


    i don't believe a higher education is the most important thing in life. or even one of the most important. (perhaps it sounds odd, coming as it does from someone who has a degree. but there were the ten or so years when i thought i would never get one - i was a disorganized, irresponsible student and there was a lot of disagreement between me and some of my superiors, which i was unable to solve on my own - and, now that i do, i feel no different. there are times i wish i did not have one still, if it would reduce the amount of potential envy and misunderstanding and make me feel more on par with other people)

    that said, i do not think it is worthless. true, it would be unrealistic to expect that college would automatically teach one anything one needs to know for one's future job. or that it would make one a perfect specialist. not in the sense of having all the information fed into one's head while one sits in class for 1.5 to 9 hours a day and does nothing but listen. one has to look for information on one's own. a lot. and 85 percent or more of the subjects do seem to give little more than a load of unnecessary facts that are going to be forgotten straight after the exam. but between all this one is more than likely to hear about at least a few concepts or ideas that are going to spark some interest and can lead to entire spheres one will fall in love with. one may be surprised at the ways this can go. until recently, i had no idea i would ever be interested in postcolonial criticism and concepts such as the sublime, exotification, othering or the positive and negative impact awe can have on our perception of what we designate as "other". but at graduate school i happened to have several courses that revolved around cultural studies, led by a tutor who was very passionate about her subject and presented it in a manner that could be challenging, even confrontational, but intensely engaging. it was something of a revelation - i suddenly realized she was talking about something i could relate to on the deepest level, because it is the foundation of how i perceive my own self and the rest of the world. now this has become one of my strongest interests.

    no matter what one studies, i think there are always going to be subjects and people such as this. yes, i have seen more than enough tutors who were outright incompetent - dull, lacking expertise in their own field, or perhaps great theoretical specialists but incapable of stringing together a more or less comprehensible phrase - but there were also a few who were genuinely inspired and insightful. my second BA thesis supervisor was one of those people, so were my MA thesis supervisor, the tutor responsible for the cultural studies courses, and another who taught pragmatics. it was them who made it worthwhile.

    as for paying for one's studies, i think it is up to each individual person to decide whether it is worth doing or not.
    "i love deadlines. i like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." (c) douglas adams

    "there are only two ways to live your life. one is as though nothing is a miracle. the other is as though everything is a miracle." (c) albert einstein

    "if only i could grow with my eyes - like these leaves - into the depth" (c) sergei esenin

    "god is in the details" (c) proverb

  7. #27
    Active Member Array Poki's Avatar
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    Dec 2008


    I got a 2 year degree at a community college then started as a technician in the field. The company paid half of college tuition, I used it to try to get a second associates in computer programming, but never made it to my second associates. I decided to start programming to make my job easier and then my boss had me start doing it for others around me. Before I knew it I was writing programs for our whole Engineering group. Then it moved to me writing programs for our whole Fab and I was still just an "equipment technician". Before I was layed off I had developed a wireless tracking system used in 5 different Fabs at a multi billion dollar company...STILL BEING PAID AS A TECHNICIAN. It gave me the experience though that allowed me to apply for a job that requires a bachelors when they shut down the fab I was actually a technician for and was layed off. So by 27 I essentially had my Bachelors level GED...6-7 years on the job experience.

    There are ways to get around the high price of college. You just have to get your foot in the door and show what you can do. I wasnt looking for a job as a computer programmer, I was just trying to make my job easier.
    Take what I say with a grain of salt, because that's all it is compared to the ocean of complexity when it comes to actions and real life.

  8. #28
    sswwwaagggg Array gmanyo's Avatar
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    Jun 2010


    Yeah, college is definitely overpriced but it's far from useless.
    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    I'm starting to see you and your avatar as a cloud of odor that eminates from trashy threads.

  9. #29
    Member Array DisneyFanGirl's Avatar
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    Mar 2012
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    College was the worst thing I've ever done to myself. High school was a struggle, I don't know why I thought I could handle college. Needless to say I've dropped out and am actually better for it. I have a good job, I'm taking classes at a TV studio in my state, and I'm going to take the experience route in getting a job in film instead of the college route. Apparently all the employers really want to see is your demo reel. Thus any pain and debt I'd have gotten in college is completely avoidable.

    My least favorite part of not taking the college route is that people look down on me for doing it. Even people my own age tell me I'm making a terrible mistake and that I should go back immediately (yes, because being miserable and accumulating debt is the best way to make money). While I have nothing against college students or people who want a degree, it's just not the right thing for me.

    What people don't realize about college is that it's optional. If it's a horrible experience, leave. Obviously, if you really want a job that requires the degree, deal with the college experience. But if your ideal career doesn't really require the degree, no one's making you go get it!!

  10. #30


    Hmm. There is very little any experience can uniquely teach you.

    Besides, I am firm believer that all learning is done by oneself. The environment, and the people around can only help or hinder the process.

    College has gotten ridiculously expensive, and I believe Zang made some good points regarding how things can be done more efficiently.

    It would be awesome if you could spend your time reviewing MIT open courseware or and then go take a series of nationally accredited exams to earn a Bachelors of Science or Arts in a particular major.

    I think if we had a system like that set up, a lot of our faster (intellectually) maturing students would be done very quickly, while those who need more time could take the time needed.

    It would also severely curtail diploma mills like University of Phoenix (where a Bachelor's of Science in Communications will be over $60K for just tuition and learning materials).

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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