[2012-Sep-09] Is college worth it?

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Kaharz
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Re: [2012-September-9] Is college worth it?

Post by Kaharz »

I mostly agree with Smiley Cow in the general sense. Here is my specific story.

I went to college because I was fairly intelligent and that is what you did. I didn't know what I wanted to do and after being bored out of the comp sci program I ended up with a degree in sociology. I paid for about 95% of my college with loans, my parents covered the other 5%. Sociology was very interesting and there are a lot of different things you can do with it. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of actual opportunities except in federal law enforcement, which didn't interest me. I had been working at engineering firm as a technician while I finished my degree and shortly after graduating was rapidly promoted due to all my bosses quitting while we were expanding the department. So I now I have a decent job completely unrelated to and independent of my degree. But I've also topped out at work until I get an engineering degree, so now I'm back in school. At least this time work is paying for it. So my first degree turned out to be useless so far but second one will be very useful.
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Re: [2012-September-9] Is college worth it?

Post by Jewlian »

Dumb-asses who drop out of comp sci don't deserve a job.

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Re: [2012-September-9] Is college worth it?

Post by Lethal Interjection »

This thread is really challenging my ideas about post secondary education.

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Re: [2012-September-9] Is college worth it?

Post by smiley_cow »

Jewlian wrote:Dumb-asses who drop out of comp sci don't deserve a job.
My, aren't you charming?
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Re: [2012-September-9] Is college worth it?

Post by Chrysophase2003 »

Mr.Funsocks wrote:Yeah, most people who come out of college lack any sort of critical thinking skills nowadays. Those are idiots. If you think that going to college is "putting up with bullshit" then you're one of them. That "bullshit" is called "learning."
I think what you've failed to grasp is that, if the majority of people leaving college lack any sort of critical thinking skills nowadays, that becomes the new standard in what employers expect from persons applying with an associate's or bachelor's degree. That "bullshit" is what was presented to college students in order to keep them busy for four years, while "learning" is what happens to the minority who already have a clear notion of why they've gone to college and an actionable plan of how they're going to achieve their goals. This minority, while it's possible they may achieve their goals, must find a new way to differentiate themselves from the idiot majority in the eyes of employers and superiors, as a diploma, honors, and other academic achievements are no longer sufficient. So, then, the question remains as to whether or not it's possible that the minority can generate some sort of visible achievement which will differentiate themselves from the majority that is sufficiently evergreen so as not to allow the majority to claim that status symbol too. If so, should colleges become the more insular institutions that they once were?

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Re: [2012-September-9] Is college worth it?

Post by Edminster »

Image
ol qwerty bastard wrote:bitcoin is backed by math, and math is intrinsically perfect and logically consistent always

gödel stop spreading fud

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Re: [2012-September-9] Is college worth it?

Post by DonRetrasado »

edminster is on the beat again with some biting current social commentary
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Re: [2012-September-9] Is college worth it?

Post by Edminster »

i also hvae this picture that also proves my point???

Image
ol qwerty bastard wrote:bitcoin is backed by math, and math is intrinsically perfect and logically consistent always

gödel stop spreading fud

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Re: [2012-September-9] Is college worth it?

Post by MrPotatoHead »

Maybe I'm the odd one out, but I double-majored in English and Comp Sci, did well in both, and found them both to be intellectually challenging and useful. I graduated five years ago and am now a programmer doing in-house software for a large nonprofit. I knew going in that Comp Sci was going to be the money-maker after graduation, but I picked up plenty of stuff in the English major that's helped my career so far. I'm good at explaining complex concepts to people in detail, which is something that came up frequently in English and almost never in Comp Sci. It's been one of the main things that differentiates me from most other programmers. I can also get jobs that involve more than just programming. A few years ago, I took a job managing a website for a small business who also needed me to write articles for the site - I wouldn't have been qualified without the writing skills I learned in the English courses.

At my college at least, the main things every English major was supposed to get out of the program were good writing skills and the ability to read, write, analyze, and respond to complex arguments. I took some lit theory courses and enjoyed them, but they were really a vehicle for those goals. Even if it had never earned me a dime, I'd still be happy that I went through the English program - but like I said, it's been good for my programming career.

Also, most people don't spend the rest of their lives doing whatever they planned to do straight out of college, even people graduating with more technical degrees. A technical major might help you get your first job right out of the gate, but what about ten or twenty years in? If you missed the chance to spend four intensive years studying something you love so you would have an easier time landing your first job, I don't think that's a great tradeoff.

If you can afford it, I strongly recommend finding a "money-maker" subject that you still find interesting, as well as the subject you feel the most passionate about, and double-majoring. But I just know it worked out for me. Has anyone else here tried the same thing?

Sorry this post is becoming so huge, but one last thought...the choice of college is going to have a massive influence over the amount of value college education holds over self-education. If you're at a research university and taking only lecture courses, I don't think there's much difference between that and learning online. If your college chooses teachers based on their teaching skills and you're in small discussion-based classes, it's a completely different story. I've never found another intellectual community that can replace the face-to-face conversations I had in my college classes.

jelly1

Re: [2012-Sep-09] Is college worth it?

Post by jelly1 »

No I don’t think it is really worth. Rather than wasting precious years of life in this college it is better to do regular MBA from reputable schools having [url=http://www.businessweek.com/articles/20 ... l-managers]Thunderbird laureate alumni[/url] onboard. This will give you all experience and expertise to land you a good paying job rather than being jobless after months of completing your masters.

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Re: [2012-Sep-09] Is college worth it?

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

MrPotatoHead, I'm doing the exact same thing (with different subjects).

I'm double majoring in biology and music. I always expected for music to just be a hobby (I didn't even plan on continuing in college till I got a letter from the bassoon professor at a university I was applying to asking if I wanted to come visit and have a lesson with him). I'm loving both subjects, and am quite good at both.

Funnily enough, I've made way, way more money with music so far than with biology. Bassoonists are generally in high demand everywhere, and I make about $500 per gig subbing at various regional symphony orchestras. I'm continuing on in graduate school for biology, and I'll probably continue to gig around with bassoon for the rest of my life to make some money on the side (and I really enjoy it).

As for getting jobs in areas unrelated to your major, my mom got her undergraduate degree in business administration (because her dad wanted her to), her Masters in biology, and now she works as a researcher in highway traffic safety. My dad, on the other hand, got his undergraduate in biology, his Masters in biology, and his Ph.D in Botany/Ecology, was a professor for about 12 years and now is the director for conservation at the main botanical garden in the state and adjunct faculty at the university (where my mom is also adjunct faculty). So things can turn out either way, clearly.

I'd recommend double majoring in things you love to everyone in college, but it's certainly demanding. Scheduling is a nightmare, between night labs in chemistry and university orchestra concerts, seminars and quintet performances, etc. Though I know that this is a lot more feasible in American universities than European (and I'm assuming Canadian and Australian universities too).


Edit: responding to the original question, the mindset that's developed in the past couple of decades that everyone has to get a college education is really dumb, for several reasons. One, not all jobs need it; two, not everyone is cut out for the demands and as a result; three, the quality of the education you're getting has gone down in a lot of places. The high cost is one reason I'm double majoring - I want to get as much out of my money as possible.
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Re: [2012-Sep-09] Is college worth it?

Post by Kaharz »

My friend's brother has his doctorate in tuba. When he can get a sub gig, he makes insane money, but those are only a few a year. He has had his PHD for close to a decade now and has been auditioning for much longer and has never managed to grab a permanent seat. He makes most of his money teaching now. Music is great if you can get steady work, but that is hard to do. It is good that you have choices.
smiley_cow wrote:
Jewlian wrote:Dumb-asses who drop out of comp sci don't deserve a job.
My, aren't you charming?
I never saw this, I must have not been reading the forums for a bit and just marked all as read when I came back. Thanks for insulting him back Smiley. I'd defend myself, but it is about a year too late at this point and would have been pointless in the first place.
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Re: [2012-Sep-09] Is college worth it?

Post by Liriodendron_fagotti »

Kaharz wrote:My friend's brother has his doctorate in tuba. When he can get a sub gig, he makes insane money, but those are only a few a year. He has had his PHD for close to a decade now and has been auditioning for much longer and has never managed to grab a permanent seat. He makes most of his money teaching now. Music is great if you can get steady work, but that is hard to do. It is good that you have choices.
Definitely. I'm not relying on the income from music right now, so it's a nice supplement. Glad I'm not running the audition circuit, or plan to, ever.
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Re: [2012-Sep-09] Is college worth it?

Post by smiley_cow »

Kaharz wrote:I never saw this, I must have not been reading the forums for a bit and just marked all as read when I came back. Thanks for insulting him back Smiley. I'd defend myself, but it is about a year too late at this point and would have been pointless in the first place.

It was such a weirdly disproportionately angry response, I'm glad past me was on the ball. Also scrolling back, past Lethal.
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Re: [2012-Sep-09] Is college worth it?

Post by Lethal Interjection »

smiley_cow wrote:
Kaharz wrote:I never saw this, I must have not been reading the forums for a bit and just marked all as read when I came back. Thanks for insulting him back Smiley. I'd defend myself, but it is about a year too late at this point and would have been pointless in the first place.

It was such a weirdly disproportionately angry response, I'm glad past me was on the ball. Also scrolling back, past Lethal.
You are assuming that I was being sarcastic.

Which is accurate a large percentage of the time.

Including this time.

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