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College often not worth time, money
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ^ | Thursday, February 24, 2005 | Mike Seate

Posted on 02/24/2005 9:12:40 AM PST by Willie Green

A waitress at one of my favorite Strip District restaurants last week used one of the industry's oldest cliches. She delivered a meal and reminded me that she "really didn't do this" for a living.

Waiting tables, she explained, was simply something she was doing until a well-paying job opened up in the field she studied during six years in college.

While this is rote conversation for wait staff in places like New York and Los Angeles, where everyone with a tray of linguini in their hands is waiting for a slot on NBC's "Fear Factor," it's unusual for Pittsburgh.

Or is it?

The waitress, it turns out, spent all that time and nearly $150,000 of her family's money studying social sciences, but after graduating she became disappointed with the entry-level salary of her chosen field.

"I can make, like, twice what I'd make as a social worker waiting tables," she confided, "so I'm probably going to just stay here."

(Excerpt) Read more at pittsburghlive.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: academia; career; education; thebusheconomy; vocation; work
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1 posted on 02/24/2005 9:12:46 AM PST by Willie Green
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To: Willie Green

2 posted on 02/24/2005 9:14:29 AM PST by jsmith48 (www.isupatriot.com)
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To: Willie Green
"I can make, like, twice what I'd make as a social worker waiting tables," she confided

Seems like an English degree would open more doors for her.

3 posted on 02/24/2005 9:15:56 AM PST by Lil'freeper (Te audire no possum. Musa sapientum fixa est in aure.)
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To: Willie Green

A BS/BA degree means that you are trainable for future position of increasing authority/responsibility.

Also, the degree which one attains directly relates to one's initial salary level.

If you get a BA in basket-weaving, don't expet to get a salary like someone who majored in Finance and gets a Job as a Jr. investment banker with Salomon Bros.


4 posted on 02/24/2005 9:16:31 AM PST by roaddog727 (The marginal propensity to save is 1 minus the marginal propensity to consume.)
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To: Willie Green

The short-sightedness here is surprising. What one starts out with in a career doesn't necessarily predict what you will be doing in 5 years. As I see it, a degree is something that just cuts past another people.


5 posted on 02/24/2005 9:16:47 AM PST by technochick99 (Self defense is a basic human right ; Sig Sauer is my equalizer)
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To: Willie Green

--the market triumphs again---


6 posted on 02/24/2005 9:16:51 AM PST by rellimpank (urban dwellers don' t understand the cultural deprivation of not being raised on a farm)
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To: technochick99

another people = other people


7 posted on 02/24/2005 9:17:49 AM PST by technochick99 (Self defense is a basic human right ; Sig Sauer is my equalizer)
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To: Willie Green

If she'd spent her time studying real science instead of "social science," she could have had a good job.

Putting social in front of any word negates its meaning -- Social Science, Social Work...


8 posted on 02/24/2005 9:18:49 AM PST by MediaMole
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To: Willie Green

The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning, while those other subjects merely require scholarship.

ROBERT HEINLEIN


9 posted on 02/24/2005 9:21:46 AM PST by HuntsvilleTxVeteran (Rush agrees with me 98.5% of the time!)
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To: Willie Green
it turns out, spent all that time and nearly $150,000 of her family's money studying social sciences

150,000 dollars for a Social "science" degree. Where did she go? Even the most elite colleges are only around 25,000 a year. That equals six years for her degree. Maybe she can't find a job because she's an idiot.
10 posted on 02/24/2005 9:21:51 AM PST by DarkSavant
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To: Willie Green

The second half of this editorial explains the general problem. It is lack of self-motivation/discipline as is the problem. No college degree or other formal education can overcome lack of motivation/discipline.

The second half of this editorial should have been the headline instead of the fluff title.


11 posted on 02/24/2005 9:24:01 AM PST by PetroniDE (Profile of Winners: Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, President G.W. Bush, Free Republic)
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To: PetroniDE

as is = that is.... damn grammar check.


12 posted on 02/24/2005 9:24:59 AM PST by PetroniDE (Profile of Winners: Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, President G.W. Bush, Free Republic)
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To: Willie Green

"reminded me that she "really didn't do this" for a living."


Strippers say the same things.

Oh, I'm putting myself through college.


13 posted on 02/24/2005 9:25:06 AM PST by American Vet Repairman
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To: MediaMole
Thanks for that :)

i went to an engineering school. We didn't even have a social worker degree. I did meet an ancient languages major once at another school. I was sort of like you pay 30 grand a year to learn a hobby. Yes i'd like fries with that.
14 posted on 02/24/2005 9:25:08 AM PST by tfecw (Vote Democrat, It's easier then working)
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To: roaddog727
If you get a BA in basket-weaving, don't expet to get a salary like someone who majored in Finance and gets a Job as a Jr. investment banker with Salomon Bros.

Well said! Americans gripe about the number of H1-B visas we issue but I can't help wondering if this correlates to the decreasing number of American students who major in hard sciences like engineering and chemistry.

To many American university students would rather spend their college years pulling bong-hits while they major in "Literature of Contemporary Protest" and "Peace Studies" and leave the mechanical engineering classes filled with students named Amir, Singh and Mohammed.

15 posted on 02/24/2005 9:26:27 AM PST by Drew68
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To: Willie Green

4 years full time at Bucknell: $100,000
degree: liberal arts
two years later: teaching high school (law degree for a few)

4 years full time at Penn State: $10,000
degree: accounting
two years later: passing CPA exam and practicing accounting


16 posted on 02/24/2005 9:26:36 AM PST by bobjam
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To: rellimpank

"--the market triumphs again---"

BWAHAHAAHA!
The market is no freind to fools.


17 posted on 02/24/2005 9:26:53 AM PST by American Vet Repairman
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To: jsmith48

HAHA I saw that sign! It's from Chuy's! As a Mechanical Engineering major at the University of Texas (Austin), I really appreciate a good slam on liberal arts majors! =P


18 posted on 02/24/2005 9:26:53 AM PST by Zeppelin (Keep on FReepin' on.....)
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To: MediaMole

I agree.


19 posted on 02/24/2005 9:27:51 AM PST by yellowdoghunter (Liberals should be seen and not heard.)
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To: Willie Green

Entry level salaries suck... It's true you can make more money doing other things, like working at UPS..

But five to ten years later, it swings the other way.

And if you make it to directorship, it swings big time..

College grads need to have realistic expectations that they will have to put in time to get more money.. If they are too focused on "now" money, then college may not be required..

(But college is a good insurance plan, many white collar jobs require a degree -- any degree.)

Spending $150k on a degree, however, is excessive unless one has definitive plans to excel in school and after. If one just wants a job, then community/state college is fine.


20 posted on 02/24/2005 9:28:26 AM PST by 1stFreedom (1)
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To: Willie Green
The more I read about today's college grads the more I am convinced that the only reason for most colleges to exit these days is to employ leftist America-hating Professors and to sell high priced text books.
21 posted on 02/24/2005 9:29:09 AM PST by Mad Dawgg (French: old Europe word meaning surrender)
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To: Willie Green
"I can make, like, twice what I'd make as a social worker waiting tables," she confided, "so I'm probably going to just stay here."

Gives a new (nonsensical) meaning to the phrase "College Degree Required", doesn't it.

22 posted on 02/24/2005 9:29:25 AM PST by Publius6961
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To: yellowdoghunter

My youngest daughter majored in business and minored in math. She hasn't had any problems finding good paying work.


23 posted on 02/24/2005 9:29:29 AM PST by umgud
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To: jsmith48

What's worse is that humanities majors are not even seen as serious academics. It's one thing to have an impractical degree (I managed to get a job as a mathematician) but when it's also considered to be easy, it's a disaster. The truth is, liberal arts degrees from the Ivy League may carry some weight, but not from other schools.


24 posted on 02/24/2005 9:30:08 AM PST by AmishDude
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To: bobjam

"4 years full time at Bucknell: $100,000
degree: liberal arts
two years later: teaching high school (law degree for a few) "

Two years RN school.
Work 3 days a week- $52K


25 posted on 02/24/2005 9:30:32 AM PST by American Vet Repairman
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To: Willie Green

I attended an ROP (regional occupational program) in high school for electronics lab tech assistant. I performed well and was able to get work experience at a large electronics company, then later hired at 6.35 an hour in 1984, pretty good money then for an 18 year old. I am still in the industry doing well financially. College is NOT the only way. In fact for *some* people in may be wasting valuable time. For others it is the best choice. Everyone is different.


26 posted on 02/24/2005 9:30:54 AM PST by Names Ash Housewares
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To: Willie Green

""I can make, like, twice what I'd make as a social worker waiting tables," she confided, "so I'm probably going to just stay here.""


Ding ding ding. Its great that she can't look past the next 6 months a realize that she'll never progress past a waitress or shift leader.

Having ANY BS degree in college virtually guarantees a $25k a year job in SOMETHING. My brother started an engineering job for 30k in 1996 when he graduated college and now makes over $300k a year as VP. Heck, I know people that start at 25k-30k with business degrees from ho hum state colleges that make over $50k after 4 years and now they're on the cusp to make upper management jumps in a few more years. That's a good wage for 20 somethings in south (obviously northern or western states require more income).

People need to get the idea out of their heads that they'll live like Paris hilton the day they graduate from college. There's a lot of time to build a very successful career in 5-15 years out of college. The six figure incomes just take time.


27 posted on 02/24/2005 9:31:02 AM PST by ruiner
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To: Willie Green

Hey this guy writes for my favorite motorcycle mag, "Iron Works". Always enjoy his columns there, have to check this out...


28 posted on 02/24/2005 9:31:37 AM PST by Betis70 (I'm only Left Wing when I play hockey)
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To: Lil'freeper
Seems like an English degree would open more doors for her.

Just lay down the expected 20% tip and keep it to yourself.

29 posted on 02/24/2005 9:31:43 AM PST by siunevada
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To: MediaMole
If she'd spent her time studying real science instead of "social science," she could have had a good job.

Not necessarily. I spent two years from 2001 to 2003 in a community college getting a network administration degree, and can't find work in that field. I'm looking into going back to work in the field that dropped me on the street back in '01, since I at least have "experience". In the computer field, they want you to have five years of experience in a technology that's only been out for four years, so you pretty much have to have been a beta tester way back when in order to meet the requirements.

College seems to be a big waste of people's time, and taxpayer money, anymore. Degrees only impress other academics, and government agencies that hire only relatives of people already working there.

30 posted on 02/24/2005 9:31:57 AM PST by hunter112 (Total victory, both in the USA and the Middle East!)
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To: Willie Green

Apprenticeship at a trade union would cover employability. A liberal arts college degree puts one in the herd of unskilled laborers.


31 posted on 02/24/2005 9:32:05 AM PST by RightWhale (Please correct if cosmic balance requires.)
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To: Willie Green
"I can make, like, twice what I'd make as a social worker waiting tables," she confided, "so I'm probably going to just stay here."

Like, really?

32 posted on 02/24/2005 9:32:19 AM PST by TankerKC (The Media turn each tactical victory for insurgents into a strategic victory for terrorists.)
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To: Mad Dawgg

One of my professors held a lecture yesterday called "God and Science". I heard it was supposed to be really good...too bad I had way too much to do yesterday and schedule conflictions. Anyway, colleges aren't all bad these days. Sure, there's plenty of libs. But the Young Conservatives are very present here. For example, the Affirmative Action Bake Sale, where whites paid $1.00 for a cookie or brownie, Hispanics paid $0.50, and black paid $0.25 . There was alot of controversy over that, but it really made people think.


33 posted on 02/24/2005 9:33:32 AM PST by Zeppelin (Keep on FReepin' on.....)
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To: Zeppelin

conflictions = conflicts. damn i'm tired.


34 posted on 02/24/2005 9:34:23 AM PST by Zeppelin (Keep on FReepin' on.....)
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To: technochick99

My brother works at MBNA. He had started out going to college, had no discipline, and went into the Air Force. His tour ended and he left. He applied to MBNA for their entry level job. Everybody at MBNA starts out telemarketing (they only call their own customers) even the college graduates. In fact, there are so many college graduates that it's tough to break in without a degree. Well, with his 4 years in the Air Force, they gave him a shot -- after 6 interviews! He's doing well now, better than he ever thought possible in the past.


35 posted on 02/24/2005 9:34:35 AM PST by AmishDude
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To: Willie Green

Social Worker = good bucks?

She must have skipped that appointment with her high school guidance counselor.


36 posted on 02/24/2005 9:34:40 AM PST by siunevada
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To: Willie Green

I still think most of the kids in college these days shouldn't be there. Last week I was on a thread where people were saying partying and finding spouses were valid reasons for going to college. Pathetic.


37 posted on 02/24/2005 9:35:00 AM PST by k2blader (It is neither compassionate nor conservative to support the expansion of socialism.)
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To: Drew68

"To many American university students would rather spend their college years pulling bong-hits while they major in "Literature of Contemporary Protest" and "Peace Studies" and leave the mechanical engineering classes filled with students named Amir, Singh and Mohammed."

Yep,

When I did my under grad, I wnet after the hardest subject matter degree program I could find (I didn't go to an Engineer school - but a business school), so I took Economics. Hard economics - mathematical Supply and demand, GNP determination, Econometrics, all that. Not easy stuff, but it makes sense once you get past ECON 101.


38 posted on 02/24/2005 9:35:17 AM PST by roaddog727 (The marginal propensity to save is 1 minus the marginal propensity to consume.)
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To: jsmith48

My daugther is just in love with ballet.

Somehow I can't see sendign her to college for a dance degree. If she makes it as a dancer, great (only 2% of dancers can find a dance job when they done being trained.)

Then again AFTER her dance career maybe, she can get a different degree. I just don't know.

Any Freeper's with some experience in the dance world?

(Propably a strecth, but I thought I try)


39 posted on 02/24/2005 9:35:21 AM PST by TruthConquers (Delenda est publius schola)
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To: Willie Green

""I can make, like, twice what I'd make as a social worker waiting tables,""

Well, at least she mastered basic economics in her 6-years of college.


40 posted on 02/24/2005 9:36:54 AM PST by RFEngineer
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To: American Vet Repairman

You know a RN that works 3 days a week? Most I have met work 6!

Seriously though, if you getting a degree in social sciences, you either better be planning on teaching or becoming a social worker. Same with most art majors.

The exception is a friend of mine. He wanted to be a graphic artist, and approached his classes like I approached my engineering ones. He has done rather well for himself.


41 posted on 02/24/2005 9:37:44 AM PST by redgolum
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To: newgeezer

This just in.


42 posted on 02/24/2005 9:37:44 AM PST by biblewonk (Neither was the man created for woman but the woman for the man.)
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To: Willie Green

If you want your children to be rich, get them into a trade school for air condition/heating, diesel repair, plumbing, electrical work or auto repair. Lawyers are a dime a dozen and getting cheaper as the unemployed go home to live with their parents.


43 posted on 02/24/2005 9:38:22 AM PST by kittymyrib
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To: ruiner
Having ANY BS degree in college virtually guarantees a $25k a year job in SOMETHING.

I graduated in 1998 with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering. The best job I could find for a year and a half paid about $19K, and I was lucky to get it.

44 posted on 02/24/2005 9:38:33 AM PST by Sloth (I don't post a lot of the threads you read; I make a lot of the threads you read better.)
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To: bobjam
4 years full time at Penn State: $10,000
degree: accounting
two years later: passing CPA exam and practicing accounting

Not sure where you got that info.
A quick check of PSU's Tuition Rates shows it's roughly $10K per year for state residents, and TWICE that amount for non-residents.

Then you have to add room & board, not to mention various other fees and living expenses.

45 posted on 02/24/2005 9:38:35 AM PST by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran
...while those other subjects merely require scholarship...

...sometimes.

46 posted on 02/24/2005 9:38:51 AM PST by TankerKC (The Media turn each tactical victory for insurgents into a strategic victory for terrorists.)
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To: HuntsvilleTxVeteran

and is why a degree in the fuzzy subjects pays much less!


47 posted on 02/24/2005 9:38:52 AM PST by nuke rocketeer
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To: Willie Green

This article is just one further piece of evidence that the quaint old 19th-century Progressive-era college education distribution structure we all presume to be eternal is headed for the ash heap of history.

Ward Churchill is even more evidence.

My long-held prediction: "College" as that term is understood today, will not exist as a dominant education modality after 2015.


48 posted on 02/24/2005 9:39:42 AM PST by Maceman (Too nuanced for a bumper sticker)
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To: Willie Green
The title of this article is so misleading....it should say: "Spending $150K on a social worker degree is not cost-effective."

I was in a similar situation...I graduated with a degree in psychology. Now, if you have any brains, you know that the BS degree is worthless...if you intend to make any money at all, you need a MS at the very least, or a Ph.D more likely.

My first few years out of college, I made $15K as a social worker. However, I went to law school and now make much more than $15K. Moreover, my earning potential is limitless.

Some people are just clueless...and they deserve what they get.

49 posted on 02/24/2005 9:40:47 AM PST by ContemptofCourt
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To: Willie Green
Agreed, pipe-fitters, plumbers, boilermakers, carpenters, cabinet makers, satellite techs, home theater techs and a variety of other vocations pay very well.
50 posted on 02/24/2005 9:40:58 AM PST by eastforker (Ask me about a free satellite TV system!)
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