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  1. #1
    Senior Member Wanderer's Avatar
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    Default College is Worthless

    http://blogs.reuters.com/reuters-mon...lege-worth-it/





    Perhaps College isn't worthless. Maybe. At the very least it's not worth the money spent.
    http://www.savingsaccount.org/frugal...le-in-america/

    Add in that college costs are continuing to rise faster than inflation, and that more and more people are going to college and getting degrees (making actually earning a degree less of an edge, more of a necessary evil)

    Explain to me why, exactly, College still exists as an institution.

    Most of what you NEED for a job you'll learn in on the job training.

    Math/Science heavy jobs would probably still need 4 years of university training - but not this liberal arts - core curriculum nonsense. Only what you need to function (and excel) in the area you've chosen.

    It just seems unreasonable (Downright stupid, actually) to place debt on the segment of the populace least able to afford it - college students.

    What ever happened to apprenticeships? Wouldn't that be a better way to create professionals and skilled laborers than by furthering the American society's obsession with debt?

    /rant
    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    I think the problem with college is that people started to behave like it's a trade school and the only useful thing that could possibly come from studying there is money.

    ^same reason liberal arts gets no respect

    Also, no one places debt on college students. College students assume debt with their own financial decisions.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

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  3. #3
    Senior Member Wanderer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    I think the problem with college is that people started to behave like it's a trade school and the only useful thing that could possibly come from studying there is money.

    ^same reason liberal arts gets no respect

    Also, no one places debt on college students. College students assume debt with their own financial decisions.
    The point is to learn what is needed to do the job or profession you want to make part of your life. "Broadening young people's horizons" is PC nonsense. Your horizons are broadened far more by travel and work then 4 years of beer swilling greek life xP

    Also; If you won't be hired unless you have a degree, then employers are effectively forcing young people to defer 4 years of their lives to an institution wherein they will gain nothing of real value. Nothing that could not have been gained in a far more costeffective manner.

  4. #4
    Per Ardua Metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    The point is to learn what is needed to do the job or profession you want to make part of your life. "Broadening young people's horizons" is PC nonsense. Your horizons are broadened far more by travel and work then 4 years of beer swilling greek life xP

    Also; If you won't be hired unless you have a degree, then employers are effectively forcing young people to defer 4 years of their lives to an institution wherein they will gain nothing of real value. Nothing that could not have been gained in a far more costeffective manner.
    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. In my personal experience, college was very useful to me and my degree was irrelevant in getting and keeping my job. It helped develop the way I think about things and my overall life views. Furthermore, had I not taken 4 years out of my life to go to college when I did, it would have taken far far longer to get the benefits that I received there. In fact, I probably never would learned on my own most of the things that I learned there.

    If someone wastes their college experience in beer swilling greek life, that's their own fault, not the college's. While I do think travel is very capable of broadening your horizons, most people's jobs do not. If anything, they're surrounded by like minded people doing the same menial bull shit every day.

    Life is about more than work and income.
    "You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit."

    Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office
    than to serve and obey them. - David Hume

  5. #5
    FRACTALICIOUS phobik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    The point is to learn what is needed to do the job or profession you want to make part of your life. "Broadening young people's horizons" is PC nonsense. Your horizons are broadened far more by travel and work then 4 years of beer swilling greek life xP

    Also; If you won't be hired unless you have a degree, then employers are effectively forcing young people to defer 4 years of their lives to an institution wherein they will gain nothing of real value. Nothing that could not have been gained in a far more costeffective manner.
    Idk about education in the U.S., but that certainly is far from being absolute. Now if one is to question the present availability of information online vs the trust deposited in institutionalized education vs the cost to enroll in such programs there may room for debate/improvement. Some top U.S. institutions are providing free online education to some extent, as well as other sources/countries, which could be the beginning of a new trend and future changes in the existing system.
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  6. #6
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Also; If you won't be hired unless you have a degree, then employers are effectively forcing young people to defer 4 years of their lives to an institution wherein they will gain nothing of real value. Nothing that could not have been gained in a far more costeffective manner.
    I think that this is being somewhat harsh. Don't get me wrong -- you have a point when modern society is requiring a university education for jobs that frankly, don't have much need for it (especially with the increasing costs). But to say that a college student doesn't gain anything of real value is a little short-sighted, I think. Learning to be on your own, to be your own person, to take responsibility for your own day-to-day life (or learn the consequences of not doing so) in a "halfway house" sort of environment isn't inconsequential. Also, a lot about college is not the details of what you learn -- it's *how* you learn to think, put information together, etc. Granted, not everyone takes advantage of this, and not everyone needs to, based on what they want to do for a career. But it's not nothing.
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  7. #7
    Administrator highlander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree. In my personal experience, college was very useful to me and my degree was irrelevant in getting and keeping my job. It helped develop the way I think about things and my overall life views. Furthermore, had I not taken 4 years out of my life to go to college when I did, it would have taken far far longer to get the benefits that I received there. In fact, I probably never would learned on my own most of the things that I learned there.

    If someone wastes their college experience in beer swilling greek life, that's their own fault, not the college's. While I do think travel is very capable of broadening your horizons, most people's jobs do not. If anything, they're surrounded by like minded people doing the same menial bull shit every day.

    Life is about more than work and income.
    College is valuable. I believe the reason for questioning it is whether the value received is worth the cost. The cost is exorbitant. It's a requirement to have a degree for the most part to get a good job though. So, the student is put between a rock and a hard place. They end up graduating with an enormous amount of debt or their parents pay through the nose (or some combination of both). I have seen people take jobs that in the short term pay more money though they are passing up a better opportunity. The reason they do it is because they need to pay off their student loans and are trying to get out from under all the debt. I know one guy who - between him and his wife - made $250K a year. He had some bad luck - getting a divorce and losing his job - and ended up going bankrupt in relatively short order - which is not something that should happen to a person who makes that kind of money and was his age. Was he a spendthrift? No. He did go into hock to pay for his five children to go through college though. This whole thing - the way it's headed from a cost standpoint and where it is - cannot possibly be sustainable. Debt is the plague and colleges are driving students and their parents into it. Meanwhile, the top schools have huge endowments while charging $50K a year for tuition. It's all rather absurd.

    I'm sure somebody is making money off it though or it wouldn't be happening.

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  8. #8
    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    Thoughts?
    You're right that the American expectation to take on (unreasonable amounts of) debt to better their career prospects is a scam for many college students. However, I think you have to consider these two important points:

    1. non-American countries have what America had one generation ago: a functional system of loans and tuition costs that makes it a win/win value-added/value-added for both the individual and the educated nation. Many Americans are going to Canada and paying international tuition rates and still saving money. So it's important to frame the problem in terms of "why is the system set up for win (banks & neoliberal education-as-business-model) - loss (individual), when it clearly could be otherwise?

    2. Because of the cultural expectation that college is for everyone, too many Americans go to college for reasons other than wanting to further their intellectual education. When students are not interested in exploring foreign ideas or developing cognitive skills, they have built a wall in the way of learning, and they're not getting anywhere until they change their attitude and chip away at that wall they've built. So there should be less stigma for trades and other forms of education, because the students that don't want to be there dilute the classroom experience for everyone. It's like going to a sports camp to educate your muscles and refusing to get off your ass and move. The student's attitude is paramount to a good college education.
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  9. #9
    Sugar Hiccup OrangeAppled's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphosis View Post
    I think the problem with college is that people started to behave like it's a trade school and the only useful thing that could possibly come from studying there is money.

    ^same reason liberal arts gets no respect

    Also, no one places debt on college students. College students assume debt with their own financial decisions.
    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.
    Often a star was waiting for you to notice it. A wave rolled toward you out of the distant past, or as you walked under an open window, a violin yielded itself to your hearing. All this was mission. But could you accomplish it? (Rilke)

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  10. #10
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    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.

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