Skip to comments.Donít Think College Is Worth It? Ask People Who Havenít Gone
Posted on 06/07/2012 4:31:59 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Last month the Heldrich Center for Workforce Development released data showing that college graduates generally do not regret going to college, despite lots of criticism of the value of higher education. Today the center released a new report focusing on the depressing state of America’s recent high school graduates, who seem to agree about the importance of further education.
The study reported on a survey of high school graduates of the classes of 2006-11 who do not have college degrees and are not enrolled in school full time. This group overwhelmingly believes that additional education beyond a high school diploma is required to succeed:
Seven in 10 of these recent graduates said they would need more education if they were to have a successful career. Despite their belief in the value of post-secondary education, though, only 38 percent definitely planned to attend college to get more education in the next five years. Barriers included skyrocketing tuitions and family obligations.
(Excerpt) Read more at economix.blogs.nytimes.com ...
Nowadays, of course, the "value proposition" of college is eroding daily. It's all available online. The sort of person who is motivated to teach himself is a much more productive and creative person anyway. And if corporate America doesn't get that -- well, just look at corporate America. Its a disaster. And guess why?
if you want to be the "in-crowd", then yeah, you need to be in the "higher education" pecking order. But if that's the sort of thing that matters to you, you stopped reading this a long time ago.
Ask the people who have dropped out, too. Education is too precious a thing to look for on a typical college campus.
Lets not forget the economic disruption public sector unions have introduced. I discovered early on that I could make a fortune bypassing college and landing a gubmint job. Here I am 11 years later earning way more than most college grads many years my senior.
Seven in 10 of these recent graduates said they would need more education if they were to have a successful career.
I agree with them....BUT....that additional education is not necessarily to be found on a college campus. Also, the additional education mentioned should not be *remedial* in any way. Our educational systems from first grade through high school need serious reform. Students should be strong in their understanding of the basics and they should know MUCH more about their own vocational strengths and talents before graduation. In an ideal society, students should also be seeking Divine guidance for their careers...with the help of their parents and churches.
Adults who logged a lot of airline miles as children tend to earn more than adults who never flew as children. Therefore, we should fly children around in planes.
Thomas Sowell said that, with tongue in cheek.
The NYT needs to learn the difference between causation and correlation. Or maybe they’re playing stupid.
One problem with this is that many of the people polled are in their mid-40s and older. If you attended college prior to 1990 then you got a college education when it still meant something. Now, except for a few professions (medicine and engineering, mainly) the utility of a college education is pretty close to what the utility of a high-school diploma was back in the 1920s or so.
My journalism degree came in handy when I went to work as a coal salesman.
Just one example, but it substantiates the point of the article.
College education is like any other commodity, you can have a glut of it and that’s part of our problem today. Its like saying that everyone who goes into the NAVY needs to be SEAL team 6.
Sure we need engineers, doctors, and scientists but they should be the elite of our workforce and they should be paid accordingly. The bulk of the workforce should be diggers, drillers, drivers, and builders. In fact a good bit of the tech stuff they claim requires college can be learned on the job. I’m a high school dropout who learned to program, operate and maintain robotics on the job and I became foreman as a result.
We need more apprenticeships and trade schools where students learn the specific skills for the job without all the extraneous social engineering crap. College should be reserved for those who can afford it or those who can earn philanthropist and corporate funded scholarships.
And as you pointed out, online learning presents a lot of great opportunities. I took an online extension course in graphic arts and it helps bolster my meager income. Besides, I can and do learn more all the time.
Education is too precious a thing to look for on a typical college campus.
Educate (as in ‘bring forth from within’) became indoctrinate at these institutions of higher learning!
Of course it is necessary because what happens in public high schools is not education. They don't get educated in school, but when life whacks them upside the head, they realize how important it really is.
“There are some companies that require a college degree for their entry-level management positions.”
Just as there were companies back in the 1920s that required a High School Diploma for an entry-level management position. So your statement just validates my point: A BA circa 2110=HSD circa 1920
Heck, let’s send everyone to college. Everyone has the same academic ability, no?
didn’t finish college, nor did my husband - doing fabulously.
We have a small business, lovely family, and bright children who win every award in the book - National Merit Scholars to boot....
experiencing college is where some kids miss out, but with all the indoctrination....
one of our boys is so genuine, gregarious, and literary, he’d be perfect as a pastor, but wouldn’t dare major in Biblical Studies at the state university. That’s the sad part. Most of these old colleges began as Christian universities.
The discussion is pretty useless until you start defining what a college education is. Degressin woman’s studies, gay studies, balck studies, literature, music, humanities etc are economically NOT a college education. Graduates with these degrees have just wasted 4 years and thousands of dollars learning nothing that is useful.
Focus on the sciences, engineering, and other technical degrees and you find that a college education does help you.
Absolutely correct. There is an insane clinging to the idea of a “CAREER”. What you must have is the ability to get and keep a job to support yourself and family.
It is the “uneducated” but highly skilled tradesman of all kinds who are the ones who keep this society running. i.e. without the elevator repairman, not a building in the USA would be over 3 stories high.
Without the greasy handed auto mechanic we would still be looking down on the rear end of a horse.
What good will that “degree” in Gender Studies do when the bridge across the local river is reaching a danger point?
Go to the TECH high schools. The seniors getting a diploma on a Saturday have a job waiting for them on Monday. And many of them have been RECRUITED by SKILL seeking employers.
Scores show students arent ready for college
75% may need remedial classes
For many students, getting a high school diploma doesnt mark the end of a high school education.
Three out of four graduates arent fully prepared for college and likely need to take at least one remedial class, according to the latest annual survey from the nonprofit testing organization ACT, which measured half of the nations high school seniors in English, math, reading and science proficiency.
Only 25 percent cleared all of ACTs college preparedness benchmarks, while 75 percent likely will spend part of their freshman year brushing up on high-school-level course work. The 2011 class is best prepared for college-level English courses, with 73 percent clearing the bar in that subject. Students are most likely to need remedial classes in science and math, the report says.
Although the results are slightly better than last year 24 percent of the 2010 graduating class met ACTs four thresholds the report highlights a glaring disconnect between finishing high school and being ready for the academic challenges of college.
I did not go to college. I make six figures, people with advanced degrees report to me, some of my work is published, and I will retire very comfortably. Do I wish I had gone to college? You damn right I do. Life would have been much easier, I would have had more options and I probably would have done even better. I missed out on experiences and connections that I truly regret. Also, in todays environment it would be much more difficult for me to repeat my success without a degree, maybe impossible.
They ain't playin'.
The entire system is completely skrood up. Once upon a time, a college degree actually meant something...in fact, once upon a time, a high school diploma actually meant something.
In terms of knowledge, all kids do now is spend more time to get less knowledge than that possessed by the average 8th grader (former end of formal schooling) at the beginning of the 20th century. Education is now nothing but social shaping and control - and the progressivist Dewey regarded this as one of its primary purposes - and the things that kids are actually “learning” in college should have been learned long ago. We’ve gotten to the point where they are now doing basic ed in college.
The only difference is in the sciences, where there actually is learning taking place - but a lot of the young winners of science prizes are either home-schooled or kids who have been allowed to skip a lot of formal schooling and are motivated by someone in their family or even by their culture (I’m thinking of Indian and Asian Americans).
And in terms of paying for a really expensive college, all you are doing is making sure your kid makes contact with the kids of other families with money and connections, which could certainly be helpful in the future but has nothing to do with learning.
One of the reasons the school drop-out rate is so high among people who really need skills and knowledge is that even they know that they are not going to get them in the current system, and they don’t see much point in staying.
A college degree will get you a job with a company founded by a high school dropout.
—— They ain’t playin’.-—
I have a master’s degree and I work with software development tools founded by a college dropout ( well, he no longer runs the company, but he’s still America’s richest man).
So, you--like so many others on FR--see college as job training, I gather.
College is totally worth it if you enjoy learning in a communal environment, you can afford it, and economically speaking, it puts you in a position where you can better your lot in life. College is completely not worth it if you cannot afford it and go into massive debt to attend it with no realistic prospects for repaying that debt.
College is a flat-out waste of time if all you end up doing is partying, which, let's face it, is one of the major draws of attending college for many people.
One thing we must do, however, is somehow remove the stigma these days on those who don't attend college. We were raised to believe "YOU GOTTA GO TO COLLEGE," so now if you don't, you feel like a failure, when that's simply not the case.
Very close but not exactly.
Most college is (or should be) entirely aimed towards ones life work, either advancing the sciences, building something, advancing the welfare of all mankind etc. These goals can only be reached if someone is willing to pay you for the knowledge you have acquired.
Almost all "made up" degrees (womens studies etc) are useless to almost everyone. No one is going to pay for a woman's studies graduate to use their degree. This knowledge, if one really desires to have it, should be acquired in one's spare time. No reason to spend thousands and remove yourself from the productive part of society.
A graduate with a "gay" studies degree (for example) is simply a welfare case waiting to happen. He has wasted all that time and money on trivia.
So you earn a little less money? How about a lot less money.
Most companies today require a 2 or 4 year degree for the decent jobs. My local electrical utility company requires a minimum of a 2 year technical associates degree in electronics-that is for everyone-including the entry level lineman.
Even blue collar jobs such as plumbers, HVAC techs are now requiring a minimum of a 2 year associates degree in a related field.
I would not want to be stuck with a $10-12 hour job for the rest of my life...
——Education is now nothing but social shaping and control - and the progressivist Dewey regarded this as one of its primary purposes ——
Behaviorism dominates teacher colleges today, as it has for 100 years. The “hard” form completely ignores the mind, only accepting external behaviors, or “outcomes,” as valid data for scientific investigation.
Not surprisingly, people are termed “human animals” in the literature.
IOW, children are treated like laboratory rats. And we’re surprised by the outcome.
Yes, a science that ignores the intellect dominates modern “education.”
I just graduated 5 years ago and there was no indoctrination at my university-57K students. I even took some political science classes for BER and none of the teachers crammed liberal ideology down our throats. Matter of fact they encourages students with liberal and conservative viewpoints to debate civilly in class.
See my post #32
Since your accent is on the “sciences” why don’t we just drop the pretense of higher education for people who want to be engineers and scientists and form institutes that teach those subjects and only those subjects? We could have an Institute for Civil Engineering, an Institute for Physics, etc.
Think of the savings of time and money once we eliminate all those extraneous courses in English, Western Civiiliztion, and the like and concentrate on what you think is important: advanced job training. Darn, I bet we could cut the training time down to at least half.
And then we could concentrate higher education toward those studies that really comprise higher education. And, no, I’m not in favor of crap majors such as black, gay and women’s studies. I’m thinking more along the lines of development of a person versed in his cultural background (i.e., knowledge of western civilization), one who knows English composition and literature, a person who learns to appreciate the arts, you know, what we used to call an “educated person.” Leave the technical training to those by whom you think society is better served.
This is a course at Portland Community College.
The Illumination Project (IP) is Portland Community Colleges innovative student leadership and education program designed to foster a climate of equality, compassion, justice, and respect for all people in the PCC academic community and the community-at-large.
The Illumination Project uses interactive social justice theater as a venue for Student Educators and audience members to join together to rehearse ways of solving problems. Interactive theater, with its capacity to engage diverse learning styles and members of a community, is an ideal way to challenge racism, sexism, heterosexism, and other forms of oppression. In performances audience members enter a scene and dynamically change its outcome. In this way, the Illumination Project challenges the viewpoints of both the audience and the actors/Student Educators in a performance.
The Illumination Project is a program of the Sylvania Womens Resource Center and finds additional support from the Sylvania Campus Presidents Office, Multicultural Center, Sociology and Theater Departments.
Current Topic and Events
Winter Term 2012, the Illumination Project will focus on racism, immigration and cultural pluralism and Spring Term 2012 we will be focusing on issues of classism. Our goal is to create a campus community that values people of all backgrounds. Our plays will focus on the challenges faced by people of color, immigrants and poor and working class people within the PCC community and will reflect the desire for all individuals to be respected and included.
I wonder what sort of job this qualifies you for?
Oops, I really do know how to spell “civilization.”
Ask computer programmers. No college degree required yet they hold the top 7 careeer incomes of the top 10 careers, even over doctors and lawyers.
Ask plumbers, welders, oilmen, and the like. No degree required yet they can earn $100k no problem.
Ask small business owners. They, too, can earn 100k, no degree required.
The vast majority of college graduates do not perform within the industry or career path their degree is within.
I will trade you straight up (except family situation of course) right now. You didn’t miss anything and wouldn’t have done better, probably worse.
LOL at life would have been easier. If that were even true it wouldn’t have been worth it.
Colleges already have become nothing but extremely expensive trade schools. Strip away the black and women studies and you’ll find the remaining courses simply teach the job, sometimes, often they teach nothing. Most courses are also superficial at best. Even PhD programs are a joke. I have read countless papers and found little new theory or discovery is any of them. Many papers are rewrites or “studies” of previous papers, yet, that makes for a PhD these days.
An institution is necessary is some cases, like medical sciences, but the majority of knowledge isn’t ever found in a college.
EEOC Czar or a position in the HR department.
I would love to see how this percentage breaks out for Home-School, Private-School and Publik Screwel students. I bet I can guess where the majority of the 25% come from.
Don’t know about home/private school, but here is an interesting breakdown:
Specifically, the studys findings include the following:
Only 70% of all students in public high schools graduate, and only 32% of all students leave high school qualified to attend four-year colleges.
Only 51% of all black students and 52% of all Hispanic students graduate, and only 20% of all black students and 16% of all Hispanic students leave high school college-ready.
The graduation rate for white students was 72%; for Asian students, 79%; and for American Indian students, 54%. The college readiness rate for white students was 37%; for Asian students, 38%; for American Indian students, 14%.
Graduation rates in the Northeast (73%) and Midwest (77%) were higher than the overall national figure, while graduation rates in the South (65%) and West (69%) were lower than the national figure. The Northeast and the Midwest had the same college readiness rate as the nation overall (32%) while the South had a higher rate (38%) and the West had a lower rate (25%).
The state with the highest graduation rate in the nation was North Dakota (89%); the state with the lowest graduation rate in the nation was Florida (56%).
Due to their lower college readiness rates, black and Hispanic students are seriously underrepresented in the pool of minimally qualified college applicants. Only 9% of all college-ready graduates are black and another 9% are Hispanic, compared to a total population of 18-year-olds that is 14% black and 17% Hispanic.
We estimate that there were about 1,299,000 college-ready 18-year-olds in 2000, and the actual number of persons entering college for the first time in that year was about 1,341,000. This indicates that there is not a large population of college-ready graduates who are prevented from actually attending college.
The portion of all college freshmen that is black (11%) or Hispanic (7%) is very similar to their shares of the college-ready population (9% for both). This suggests that the main reason these groups are underrepresented in college admissions is that these students are not acquiring college-ready skills in the K-12 system, rather than inadequate financial aid or affirmative action policies.
Not sure I believe these three but I am always suspicious of "groupthink" memes like "you need a Degree to get ahead"...
“I even took some political science classes for BER and none of the teachers crammed liberal ideology down our throats.”
Liberalism isn’t an overt act in most cases; you might not even detect they did it. It is the steering of your thoughts by leaving out facts you do not know and replacing them with lies you also know nothing about. A person leaves thinking you have all the facts and those facts lead them to believe in something or in a certain way. That is the method of propaganda: Don’t let the subject know they have been brainwashed.
Did you ever fact check what you were told, researched the subject further? Did you simply accept what you were told because it was what you had known “your whole life”? Did they actually teach you how to think, how to research and discover for yourself, or did they teach you what to think while making you believe those thoughts were your thoughts all along? Did many of their comments start with such phrases as, “As we all know ”, or, “Of course...”? Did they ever bash conservatives, racist white guys, Republicans, men, etc., ever? Where they truly apolitical or did their biased comments simply seem common and normal and so you didn’t notice them?
I have known a number of people that have claimed their teachers and schools were apolitical and didn’t indoctrinate them only to find under questioning they actually did receive the liberal propaganda. I had this neighbor that claimed their two girls had not had anything even remotely like that happen. Once we started talking with those girls they discovered they had and a full does of it. They even had that, Sign your name on this promise and promise not to tell mommy and daddy that we are teaching you these lesbian sexual techniques. It will be our little secret. I kid you not. They constantly received comments against non-liberal people, places, historical events, etc. They were made to feel bad about not being liberals, yet, they felt that environment was normal and thats just school.
So, did you really have an apolitical experience, or did you simply not notice?
47% of black kids thought they “definitely would” go to college? Sorry kids, they just don’t hand out that many basketball scholarships. I am sure that straight up 90% of those 47% saying they “definitely would” go to college were talking about athletics and not scholastics. There is no way 47% of black high school freshmen think they are going to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, accountant or any other profession needing a college degree. No way.
All the negativity toward college on this thread is scaring me.
I hope you parents who have high school children with solid technical academic aptitude are not steering them to become carpenters instead of doctors, lawyers, engineers and accountants.
Just how many high school drop outs became big name CEO’s last year? 10? 20? 100? 5000?
We had 5000 kids in my high school. Sure, you just go on telling your kids to drop out and become CEO of a tech start up. Go for it. You may have an extra room they can use to live with you the rest of your life anyway.
It is insane to take kids with solid academic aptitude and intentionally steer them into lower paying, less secure blue collar jobs when they can get a bachelors of science or masters of science degree and make more money with more job security in a better work environment. Just insane.
I agree that many bachelor of arts majors are worthless. It is the parents job to steer their intellectual children away from the arts and toward the sciences. You can’t always do that, but discouraging children from going to college in favore of a lower paying blue collar job, often with much more difficult working conditions, is just insane.
Most of you on this thread are nuts. You are whacked out and giving horrible advice. Any child with the aptitude to graduate from college should be encouraged to do so in one of the sciences or technical fields. To not do so is to betray your children. It is really sad to see so much bad advice on one thread.
I worked for a company that was started by three teenagers in Seattle delivering cross town on bicycles.
My husband has a degree that he has never used. Luckily, he went to school when you could actually put your self through college. However, if he had to rack up the kind of debt that it takes now, he would not have gone.
I think that if you a specific career in mind that take a college degree, by all means go. If you are just going to get a blanket type of degree, you are wasting your time and money.
You would be better off taking that money and starting a business.
RE: All the negativity toward college on this thread is scaring me.
It is NOT college per se that people are skeptical about. It is the following that people are questioning :
* What KIND of college you attend.
* What course one is taking.
* What subjects one is enrolled in, and what is being taught.
* Whether one is even intellectually cut out for college or not (Nearly half of American students drop out of college before attaining their degree ).
* Whether it is worth taking on humongous tuition debt as opposed to considering other alternatives.
American College tuition debt is approaching a trillion dollars already and many are defaulting on their college loans.
THOSE ARE LEGITIMATE CONSIDERATIONS IMHO.
No one is saying that kids with solid academic aptitudes should not go to college. What people are saying is this -— WEIGH THE COST, THE CAREER YOU PLAN TO PURSUE and determine if there is a demand for it. If not, THINK OF OTHER ALTERNATIVES.
Pull out all engineering and economics degrees and college salaries drop precipitously. The salaries are skewed because of these very successful degrees.
What America needs is an effective certificate and apprentice program. The truth is if you can do the job you’ll succeed. Sales or entry level is one way to start and as a boss myself I would never care if a degree existed or not. If the employee or subcontractor is doing the job satisfactorily the market will edit out the trash.