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Mythbusting 101: Uncomfortable Truths Your College Won't Tell You
Forbes ^ | 08/17/2012 | Mark Hendrickson, Grove City College

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 about—facts that colleges themselves aren’t likely to mention. These are a few of the uncomfortable truths they won’t 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 bachelor’s 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 bachelor’s degree.

Adding additional degrees is no guarantee of employment either. According to a recent Urban Institute report, nearly 300,000 Americans with master’s degrees and over 30,000 with doctorates are on public relief.

President Obama said in this year’s 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 bachelor’s 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 ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Education; Society
KEYWORDS: college; debt; degree; jobs; loans; unemployment
SOME OTHER UNCOMFORTABLE MYTHS (read the details by clicking the above link ):

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.)

1 posted on 08/20/2012 6:47:54 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


2 posted on 08/20/2012 6:57:01 AM PDT by ctdonath2 ($1 meals: http://abuckaplate.blogspot.com)
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To: SeekAndFind
With what is costs to get a college education today, anyone who majors in anything that in ends with “studies” or “arts” is almost certainly going to end up flipping burgers or working at Wal-Mart.

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.

3 posted on 08/20/2012 6:58:45 AM PDT by Carbonsteel
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To: SeekAndFind

tHIS LINK WORKS.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/markhendrickson/2012/08/16/mythbusting-101-uncomfortable-truths-your-college-wont-tell-you/


4 posted on 08/20/2012 6:59:00 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: SeekAndFind

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 won’t 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 country’s 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 don’t issue refunds for courses that distort reality and warp your intellectual development. Caveat emptor!


5 posted on 08/20/2012 7:02:24 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: ctdonath2
At such a point, you find the real point of education is learning how to learn.

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.

6 posted on 08/20/2012 7:06:06 AM PDT by Michael.SF. (Romney was right about the Olympics, but neither the Brits or the Dems will admit it.)
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To: cuban leaf

To be clear, everything after the first line of the post is a quote from the article.


7 posted on 08/20/2012 7:11:27 AM PDT by cuban leaf (Were doomed! Details at eleven.)
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To: Michael.SF.

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.


8 posted on 08/20/2012 7:22:03 AM PDT by Erasmus (Zwischen des Teufels und des tiefen, blauen Meers)
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To: SeekAndFind

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


9 posted on 08/20/2012 7:22:37 AM PDT by Neoliberalnot (Marxism works well only with the uneducated and the unarmed.)
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To: Carbonsteel
Don't forget, college would cost far less if there wasn't a plethora of useless degree programs and bloated staff incentivized by a firehose stream of cheap money that can't be discharged in bankruptcy.
10 posted on 08/20/2012 7:23:22 AM PDT by Axenolith (Government blows, and that which governs least, blows least...)
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To: SeekAndFind
Perhaps the most egregious example of this is the field of psychology, which is perennially one of the most popular undergraduate majors.

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.

11 posted on 08/20/2012 7:26:52 AM PDT by Lou L (Health "insurance" is NOT the same as health "care")
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To: Lou L

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.


12 posted on 08/20/2012 7:31:41 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Michael.SF.
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.

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).

13 posted on 08/20/2012 7:34:50 AM PDT by Oberon (Big Brutha Be Watchin'.)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


14 posted on 08/20/2012 7:36:26 AM PDT by 3Fingas (Sons and Daughters of Freedom, Committee of Correspondence)
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To: Lou L

Bflr


15 posted on 08/20/2012 7:37:04 AM PDT by ebshumidors ( Marksmanship and YOUR heritage http://www.appleseedinfo.org)
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To: SeekAndFind

A few courses in Art Appreciation and Gender Studies and that student loan will be paid back in no time at all.


16 posted on 08/20/2012 7:44:24 AM PDT by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Grove City College is one of a small handful in America, where realistic values still prevail--at least they did the last time I heard.

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.

William Flax

17 posted on 08/20/2012 7:51:15 AM PDT by Ohioan
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To: Carbonsteel
"With what is costs to get a college education today, anyone who majors in anything that in ends with “studies” or “arts” is almost certainly going to end up flipping burgers or working at Wal-Mart."

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.

18 posted on 08/20/2012 8:13:04 AM PDT by Azeem (There are four boxes to be used in the defense of liberty: soap, ballot, jury and ammo.)
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To: Azeem

I understand.

But like you said, you had a military background and majored in Business Management.

So, you have a point.


19 posted on 08/20/2012 8:20:26 AM PDT by Carbonsteel
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To: SeekAndFind
We are even seeing a glut of law school grads. When my son took the bar exam in Minnesota a few years ago he was one of over 600 taking the exam that day. Assuming a pass rate of 80+% more than 500 new lawyers are being added to the Minnesota bar each year. My son was lucky to land a good job but many of his classmates had problems finding jobs or if they were hired are working for salaries that barely cover their school loans.

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.

20 posted on 08/20/2012 8:56:05 AM PDT by The Great RJ
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To: ctdonath2
"...At such a point, you find the real point of education is learning how to learn..."

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.

21 posted on 08/20/2012 9:00:22 AM PDT by rlmorel ("The safest road to Hell is the gradual one." Screwtape (C.S. Lewis))
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To: 3Fingas

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.


22 posted on 08/20/2012 9:03:05 AM PDT by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: Carbonsteel
With what is costs to get a college education today, anyone who majors in anything that in ends with “studies” or “arts” is almost certainly going to end up flipping burgers or working at Wal-Mart.

Agreed, the school should just hand out unemployment forms in lieu of diplomas.

23 posted on 08/20/2012 9:25:50 AM PDT by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


24 posted on 08/20/2012 9:28:01 AM PDT by CPO retired
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To: Carbonsteel
Even those majors aren't a sure bet.

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.

25 posted on 08/20/2012 10:14:44 AM PDT by newzjunkey (Election night is 77 days away.)
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To: ctdonath2
ctdonath2 said: "... they walked out of graduation into a world of transistors. "

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.

26 posted on 08/20/2012 10:57:46 AM PDT by William Tell
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To: SeekAndFind

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.


27 posted on 08/20/2012 11:49:43 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: SeekAndFind

Part II of the series:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/markhendrickson/2012/08/19/mythbusting-101-uncomfortable-truths-your-college-wont-tell-you-part-ii/


28 posted on 08/20/2012 12:18:20 PM PDT by PapaBear3625 (A deep-fried storm is coming, Mr Obama.)
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To: PapaBear3625

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 buyer’s market at all but the top colleges.”

7) “You don’t 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.


29 posted on 08/20/2012 12:49:21 PM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: The Great RJ

“...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).


30 posted on 08/20/2012 11:58:21 PM PDT by MasterGunner01 (11)
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To: rlmorel
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.

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.

31 posted on 08/21/2012 2:27:35 AM PDT by SamAdams76
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