Skip to comments.Mythbusting 101: Uncomfortable Truths Your College Won't Tell You
Posted on 08/20/2012 6:47:45 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
If you or anyone close to you is grappling with the decision of whether to commence or continue college or graduate studies, there are several important facts of life you should know aboutfacts that colleges themselves arent likely to mention. These are a few of the uncomfortable truths they wont tell you:
1) Far more people earn degrees in many liberal arts majors than can be employed in those fields.
Consider the following statistics: More than half of Americans under the age of 25 who have a bachelors degree are either unemployed or underemployed. According to The Christian Science Monitor, nearly 1 percent of bartenders and 14 percent of parking lot attendants have a bachelors degree.
Adding additional degrees is no guarantee of employment either. According to a recent Urban Institute report, nearly 300,000 Americans with masters degrees and over 30,000 with doctorates are on public relief.
President Obama said in this years State of the Union Address that he wanted larger numbers of people to attend college, but the grim fact is that colleges and universities continue to crank out too many degrees for which there is no need. Every year we award diplomas in economics, sociology, political science, English, history, law, etc., far beyond the market demand for those degrees.
Perhaps the most egregious example of this is the field of psychology, which is perennially one of the most popular undergraduate majors. In a recent year, over 80,000 Americans received a bachelors degree in psychology and slightly over 100,000 received a B.A. in education. Preparing 100,000 new teachers a year seems plausible, but does the U.S. job market really need four people trained in psychology for every five trained to be teachers?
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
2) You cannot assume that if you work hard and get good grades, you will be rewarded with a good job.
3) Some of what you learn in college may be worse than useless.
(Part Two of this article will have four more warnings about higher education.)
Re 2) - A job is not a reward. A job is a transaction: you give someone something they want badly enough to pay you for it; for this to happen, you have to have something another wants.
Re 3) - My folks learned electrical engineering, all about “tubes”; they walked out of graduation into a world of transistors. At such a point, you find the real point of education is learning how to learn.
I your going to spend a fortune on a college education, get a degree with some teeth to it. Engineering, Math, Science, Medical or even Business or just invest in an AS degree.
tHIS LINK WORKS.
From the article, number 3 nails a major problem:
Some of what you learn in college may be worse than useless.
Not only may you pay big bucks to acquire a degree that wont land you a job, but the odds are that some of your money will also be wasted on instruction in learned quackery. Stultifying political correctness, ideological indoctrination, esoteric and fantastic theories, and blatant political propagandizing are common perversions of higher education in America today.
You may end up paying for your family to be split apart by strange doctrines. Many economics departments, for example, still teach Marxian or Keynesian theories that were disproved decades or generations ago. I once taught at a high-priced, prestigious college for the children of the successful where my fellow economists taught their pupils that the economic system that enabled their families to afford to send them to an expensive college was immoral and inferior.
You may have to endure tedious education courses (like I did) that are long on collectivist nostrums and short on pedagogical training. You may be stuck with sociology professors who teach that government redistribution of wealth is the key to solving social problems; history courses that obsess about our countrys past faults while ignoring or even denigrating its signal achievements; political science courses that are anti-American; and any number of courses that are intolerant of Christianity.
Remember: Colleges dont issue refunds for courses that distort reality and warp your intellectual development. Caveat emptor!
Exactly. That was a point driven home several times by one of the best professors I had while in Engineering School. A second point he made was the fact that an education provides one a solid base to build from.
To be clear, everything after the first line of the post is a quote from the article.
In my skool daze, We learned both toobs and transistors, but not ICs.
However, my faculty advisor offered some sage advice. He said (paraphrasing after 43 years!) that increasingly, the former concentration of many EEs on devices and circuits would be shifting to that of systems, component relationships, and interfaces, brought on by the advent of the integrated circuit.
And contemporaneous with that shift of emphasis (and serving to accelerate it) was the shift of technology from analog to digital.
The really marketable degrees are in the fields of gender studies, gay and lesbian directions, gay history, and most other liberal arts studies teaching students how to be perverts and run other peoples’ lives. sarc
Here's another tip for would-be Psychology majors. Classes and degrees that are overly "fun" because the material is semi-interesting and the demands on your study time are relatively low, generally lead to low-paying (or no-paying) jobs. There are reasons that students flunk out of some other program, and end up in Psychology, just as there are reasons that Chemical Engineering majors get paid exceptionally well--even when they graduate with less that honors.
If your collegiate course of study would be considered a good hobby then you are probably not going to do well in the “real world” trying to leverage that degree.
By the grace of God I learned this. Starting with an English literature degree, 20 years later I'm a tech writer in the pharma industry (as far as I know, the only industry in which a journeyman writer can support a family of six on a single salary).
I started off as a “Poly Sci” major because growing up I was a C-SPAN nerd. I actually enjoyed watching Congressional hearings, watching “Firing Line” and reading National Review. It was a little difficult being the resident conservative ogre in a school of pc, doctrinaire liberals, but it was kind of fun be the “contrarian” in most of my classes.
One day I strolled down to the Career Counselor’s office at SUNY Stony Brook and looked at the job offerings/listings applicable to respective graduating majors. There were two binders, a thick Blue binder for Math, Engineering, Physical Science, and Computer Science Majors and a rather thin Red binder for Liberal Arts Majors. The Blue binder had listings for Research Chemists, Nuclear Physicists, Electrical Engineers all offering more than $50,000/year salary (1990 dollars!). The Red Binder had job advertisements such as “Sears Roebuck Sale Representative”, “Telemarketer”, and “General Manager for McDonalds”, all making near-minimum wage and/or commission.
The next day, I went down to the admissions office and changed my major to Computer Science. I have never been sorry or unemployed since then...knock on wood.
A few courses in Art Appreciation and Gender Studies and that student loan will be paid back in no time at all.
Of course, it is not just that College is often not the path to success, suggested by the politicians & Academic profiteers. Much of what is being taught--prattled or gobbled are probably better terms--is simply not true; indeed mischievous in the extreme. (See Myth Makers In American "Higher" Education, which deals with some of the more sociopathic myths & furthest Left myth makers.)
This is not to deny that there remain many fields where College is an absolute essential to entry in today's world.
Not all 'studies' are equally worthless. I double majored in Business Management and International Studies. I had so much foreign language credit from the military that I only needed to take International Business classes (which counted for Business Management too). This helps me specialize in foreign business like India, China, and the Middle East.
But like you said, you had a military background and majored in Business Management.
So, you have a point.
However, I think the best example is the daughter of a good friend who graduated from a well known Jesuit university with a degree in Peace and Environmental Studies. Needless to say she had to go back to school to get a degree that allowed her to get a descent job.
Truer words were never spoken. ANYONE can graduate from college and get a degree. I have always thought that the best lesson I ever got out of college was learning how to effectively concentrate my focus to finding answers to questions.
I also think my military experience taught me far more useful things than my college degree, but have alwasys felt that they complemented each other perfectly.
Bottom Line: If I ever have to choose a candidate for a job, and am given the choice between a 10 year Marine Corps veteran and a college graduate, I am choosing the USMC every time, all other things being equal.
Fingas, that flash of genius seems to ellude so many “students” in this age—actually looking at the output before expending the input. Yet it should be common sense.
Agreed, the school should just hand out unemployment forms in lieu of diplomas.
A young (23 years old) visiting nurse (LVN) who came to our house did one year of full time study to get her certificate. She was one of 14 to finish the course after 32 started it. She found work right away, and started at $20/hour. She’s at $26.50 now.
Because her school (a private one) had a reputation for being tough to get through, students were recruited before they graduated. This is very different from other private outfits that try to graduate everyone.
I know someone with two technical degrees working at a Wal-Mart in the northeast. Of course he blames Republicans for creating such a bad economy but that's another story.
Years ago I was looking forward to taking a class in semiconductor electronics from a professor who was using his own recently published textbook.
I'm not a good note-taker and appreciate having a well-written textbook that follows the coursework.
Unfortunately, the professor was working on a new textbook with the emphasis on MOSFETs and fed us with a stream of photo-copied notes. What a disappointment. I still have the textbook but haven't a clue what happened to all his photo-copied notes.
With a bit of foresight, anyone can avoid majoring in a useless subject.
I love the French language. I also love science. No doubt, it would have been far easier to go for a bachelor’s then a Ph.D. in French, but I considered the employment opportunities for each major, and decided to go for science instead.
While life scientist PhDs do not have the lowest unemployment rate, their unemployment rate is only slightly higher than the lowest, less than 2%. A life sciences PhD is meant to prepare a student for academia and/or research, but there are plenty of non-research job opportunities. I cannot complain about my choice of majors, or about the time I spent in college.
Part II of the series:
Following your lead, here is what Prof. Hendrickson tells us in PART II of the article:
4) College is not an investment.
5) Going deeply into debt for some degrees can ruin your life.
6) It is now a buyers market at all but the top colleges.
7) You dont have to be in a classroom or on a campus to learn what you need to learn.
CLICK ON THE ABOVE LINK (see post 28 ) for the detailed explanation.
“...a degree in Peace and Environmental Studies.”
Great Cesar’s ghost, WHAT kind of degree is that? Any degree that sounds so dumb has got to be worthless (as the young woman found to her dismay).
For what it's worth, I chose the USMC over college. In the nearly 30 years I've been out, I've never been unemployed. Ever. Every single job interview I ever went on resulted in an offer.
Now that I'm in position to hire people, those with military backgrounds always go straight to the top of the pile.
While there are exceptions, people with military background tend to be more dependable, have better work ethic and work well under pressure.