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College Isn’t For Everyone

TedTed
edited July 19 in Off-Topic
FYI: College isn’t the right track for many young people; there, I said it.

Before lighting a fire to burn me at the stake, let’s look at some data:

20% of students don’t graduate from high school.
20% will go from school to something besides further schooling.
20% enroll in college but fail to graduate.
20% graduate but land in jobs that have very little to do with their (often) very expensive degrees.
Regards,
Ted
https://tonyisola.com/2019/07/college-isnt-for-everyone/

The Judge Was Right
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Comments

  • Amen to that! I fully realize how college is a necessity for most specialized fields. But for me it was the absolute worst four years of my life. Of course there is a back story to that.
  • who says or has ever said it's for everyone?
  • MJG
    edited July 18
    Hi Guys,

    I too agree that college is not for everyone, but it usually adds positively and considerably to income. Here is a Link to an informative chart that illustrates that point:

    https://www.bls.gov/emp/chart-unemployment-earnings-education.htm

    The chart demonstrates both a strong income and unemployment coupling to education level. Of course it is not the singular determining factor, but it is a major player. Please note the income difference between those who completed the advanced education and those that tried but failed to complete the work. That’s a costly lesson, but persistence wins yet once again.

    Many jobs do not require any advanced course work whatsoever. That usually means that many job candidates exist, compete for the work, and keep income down. That too reflects basic economics and is expected. Some things never change.

    An additional thought. College is not designed for liking, it’s for learning. Liking it would make things easier, but it is not a necessary condition. Easy and/or entertainment are not goals. For what it’s worth, I liked the sometimes controversial exchanges between student and professor. Professors are nor always right. We all make misjudgments and misstatements.

    Best Wishes
  • And yet, if you have a favored child or grandkid, wouldn’t you do whatever you could to help him or her get the very best college education? My grandmother set up a trust that paid for my college/law school, and I created a 521 account for my grandkid. My life was tremendously enriched by the education I received (which includes my appreciation for travel and the arts, not just a good paying job). My college years were some of the best times of my life.

    Junkster: what the heck happened? Must have been a woman (just kidding).
  • Great thoughts here (as always). If you make poor choices regarding your education, it could cost you dearly over the course of your life. Sometimes those choices are dictated by things outside a person’s control but it does make you wonder - what do we owe those that make poor choices?
    MJG makes a great point here that I had not considered before -
    “Many jobs do not require any advanced course work whatsoever. That usually means that many job candidates exist, compete for the work, and keep income down. That too reflects basic economics and is expected. Some things never change”.

    Also want to agree with Lawlar - I worked with some electrical technicians for a short period, none of them had gone to college, most had learned their skills in the military. They liked to laugh at the college kids that didn’t have any “street knowledge” but everyone of them would talk about how they wanted their kids to go straight from high school to college to a career with a desk.
  • edited July 18
    Lawlar said:



    Junkster: what the heck happened? Must have been a woman (just kidding).

    Good guess. I was without my high school sweetheart for much of the years. And I had never been above the Mason Dixon line before. Quite a culture shock. I knew what I wanted to do since reading that book by Darvas when I was 13 and they didn’t teach trading in college. You learn that through the school of hard knocks. I just never realized the school of hard knocks would take so many years.


  • Never knock higher education It may open doors someday that you can't see now. Once you have it no one can take it away!!
  • edited July 18
    It seems like every six months this subject comes up on this board. I'm not sure what it has to do with mutual funds, but also I don't understand why it keeps needing to be discussed. But to each his own. I think college isn't just about earnings power--although studies reveal it has a definitive impact on that--but acts as a civilizing force. Here's an interesting stat from one study:
    Results show that increased college graduation rates corresponds to a significant decrease in the crime rate. A 5% increase in the college graduation rate, for instance, produces an 18.7% reduction in the homicide rate.
    https://as.nyu.edu/content/dam/nyu-as/politics/documents/Gonzalez.pdf
    College opens one's eyes to other ways of thinking and seeing the world and I believe liberal arts in particular help to teach people empathy and critical thinking--both positive traits that may not have a specific monetary value.
  • I worked with an Air Force Colonel once that said that he used degrees as a filter for jobs with many applicants. He said that finishing a bachelor's degree showed that the applicant was not only capable but also was someone who could stick with it and finish what he/she started. He considered higher degrees to add a screen for a job that required the individual to work independently to complete the work. He also said that he realized that other applicants might be just as good or better but he didn't have a filter for selecting them from the pack. I think things have changed since he said this because the benefit/cost has dropped rapidly for those applicants.
  • edited July 19
    But education is (or should be) for everyone. There are many ways to acquire it.

    Alas! We are in sore need of more in this nation.
  • You folks have made me feel pretty inadequate for not having acquired a higher-education degree of some type.

    While I surely agree that such a degree is a huge advantage in today's work world, I have to wonder what the best educational path for someone who desires to be an electrician, plumber, automotive mechanic or other tradesman is supposed to be.
  • voke schools and often community colleges, as always, alive and thriving in many parts of the country

    this is an unusually strawish strawman discussion

    it is true that post-compulsory education is a screener and also a signaling opportunity, for stick-to-it-iveness and curiosity and speed of chipset and more, but smart employers know how else to spot and assess those qualities in other ways
  • Plagiarism, pure and simple.
    FYI: College isn’t the right track for many young people; there, I said it.

    Before lighting a fire to burn me at the stake, let’s look at some data:

    20% of students don’t graduate from high school.
    20% will go from school to something besides further schooling.
    20% enroll in college but fail to graduate.
    20% graduate but land in jobs that have very little to do with their (often) very expensive degrees.
    Regards,
    Ted
    It doesn't take a college degree to recognize plagiarism when you see it. The above, promoted as if it were a statement from @Ted, most certainly is not that. It is stolen, completely and without any credit or source attribution, word-for-word from "A Teachable Moment", by Tony Isola.

    Graduating from college may potentially increase one's income, but it evidently does nothing to increase one's ethical values.


  • @Old_Joe Pretty funny!

    @Ted Aren't you a retired teacher? Why are you plagiarizing another "student of life's" work?
  • edited July 19
    @LewisBraham- Something bothered me from the moment that I first read Ted's post, but it took a while before it crystallized: the commentary is written in decent standard English, which Ted, despite having been a teacher, is patently incapable of constructing.

    Evidently his higher education failed to improve either his ethics or his grammar. One can only wonder.
  • @MFO Members: "Plagiarizing" no, forgetting to enclose the link yes ! Picky ! Picky !
    Regards,
    Ted
  • edited July 19
    "Oh, gee, I forgot!"

    Sure. And the dog ate my homework, too.
  • In the modern conservative, Trumpian view, education is unnecessary and frivolous. What matters most is your “gut” feelings — whether you’re talking about the environment, the economy, immigration or any other issue. Science, higher education and liberal arts should be viewed with suspicion if not outright hostility.
  • edited July 19
    Old_Joe said:

    “Something bothered me from the moment that I first read Ted's post, but it took a while before it crystallized: the commentary is written in decent standard English ...”

    @Old_Joe Damned! - I hope this doesn’t sound condescending, but I could tell right away that that isn’t Ted’s writing!:)

    Tipoffs:

    - There’s a degree of modesty and humility in the self-depreciating clause: “there, I said it.” That’s not Ted’s style.

    - The author tosses in some nice metaphorical imagery: “Before lighting a fire to burn me at the stake...”. Ted, on the other hand, tends to be pretty literal (“lower tier member” being one of his oft-used precise modifiers).

    - Appropriate use of a qualifier (“often”) in parenthesis. Ted rarely if ever qualifies anything he says. His declarative sentences tend almost always to consist of “flat-out” statements of absolute truth or correctness, not worthy of debate or exception.

    - The author demonstrates an understanding of the role and purpose of punctuation. Use of the colon (:) in particular displays a level of mastery of the language that I haven’t observed in Ted.

    So, no, that’s not Ted’s writing!


    Sorry I’d missed Lewis’ earlier comment. Great point he makes. Perhaps related: I never really understood in high school and college why we studied history - though I did well in the courses I took and, to a degree, enjoyed them. It’s hard when you’re 15 (or even 21) to comprehend why we should know about the advent of western civilization, the Roman Empire, the Magna Carta, the immense influence a small island nation like Great Britain had on the future of the world, the rise of Fascism in parts of Europe pre WW II and the Berlin Wall - just to mention a few. Now I get it. Wish more understood about these things. (No intent here to slight the other great civilizations that developed around the world).

    Regards to all
  • @Tarwheel ----- Nice troll... equating every single 'modern conservative' (whatever that is) to some kind of savage beast that should they disappear overnight, the country will be an infinitely better place.

    The problem with "science" is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to decouple from politics - and this unholy mix was happening long before Trump.

    Until a year ago, I would have called myself a 'climate skeptic' because I have a general distrust for people and organizations that think throwing money at any problem will solve it. My engineering and experience in certain fields caused me to challenge much of what was implied factually by the so-called 97% consensus. Some things that were claimed were at direct odds with my own real-world experience. To reconcile those, I took a mini-course on "climate change". The instructor answered my questions in a satisfactory manner, and while I'm less skeptical of the problem, I'm still skeptical of the solution - which seems to be "switching to green energy" and eliminating the use of all fossil fuels. The loudest mouths who tout this solution have absolutely no concept of the enormity of the systems engineering problem related to holding the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees C. The average person in the US hears 2 degrees C, and doesn't realize that 2 degrees C is close to 4 degrees Farenheit. Look at the discussion on MFO regarding the 737Max. How many readers out there see that debacle as a failure of systems engineering? Nah, it's 'bad engine placement' and shitty software and the gov't handing off certain regulatory things to BA. Even the comments complaining bemoaning having only one AOA sensor are wrong. Having two independent sensors does nothing; if the readings disagree, which one do you presume is incorrect? Perhaps that's why in many man-rated applications where safety is a big concern, triple redundancy is the gold standard. Had these two accidents never occurred, people would not even be aware of engine relocation on the 737Max. The control problem with the elevator should be a relatively easy fix, as should defining the test cases to prove correct operation of MCAS. My concern is of course that this problem is fixed, but more importantly, what's broken at BA in terms of practices and culture that well be addressed so that something like this never happens again.

    Those who complain about computers controlling flight control surfaces might want to consider that a number of US military aircraft require sophisticated software for flight stability.

    In summary, Mr. Tarheel, you might want to refrain from using your gut feelings to broad brush an entire group of people who may not agree with you.
  • edited July 19
    @hank- Yes, I completely understand your comments about being too young to either understand or appreciate the flow and lessons of history. It wasn't until I was an adult, and re-watched some episodes of "Victory at Sea" that I began to wonder what had actually led to the start of WW2. That led, of course, back to WW1.

    And from there... well, eventually, back to the "beginning": I chose Will and Ariel Durant's "The Story of Civilization" as the primary source for that journey, which took me up to the beginning of the 19th century, and then filled in the 19th century gap from a rich multitude of sources, including Jürgen Osterhammel's masterwork, The Transformation of the World.

    I still pick that book up from time-to-time, and read random sections just to refresh my memory (or what's left of it).

    Speaking of some of the origins of WW2, the current crop of nationalist "populist" leaders may eventually start us down that unfortunate path yet again. How soon we forget.

  • Conservatives have continued to rally around Trump, no matter what he says or does. Trump has been very vocal about his skepticism and hostility toward scientific consensus on a number of issues including climate change.

    I worked most of my 40-year career in environmental science and protection. My degree is environmental science. I spent the last 20 years of my career working for a state environmental agency. My agency had a reputation for moderation and working with businesses to solve problems. Yet, when Republicans took over our state government, they gutted our environmental agency, slashed funding and hired hacks to run many environmental agencies. I speak from actual experience when I tell you that modern conservatives are hostile to environmental protection. Our descendants will one day view modern day conservatives’ handling of environmental issues the way we now view Southerners support of slavery in the 1800s. Unfortunately, everyone will suffer from the lack of action resulting from these views.
  • It's very ironic that "conservatives" have little interest in actually conserving much of anything, other than their treasured "right" to plunder and despoil the resources of the entire world.
  • edited July 25
    I can only beg everyone not to go political. It’s a “no-win” for everyone. I pay no attention to sharp-pointed declamatory rhetoric here, whether coming from the right or left. Hell, there’s enough on Fox or MSNBC to satisfy everybody’s appetites without bringing it here.

    On the issue of people’s political viewpoints being aired and argued here at MFO - I’m, perhaps oddly, in complete agreement with Melania.

    image
  • edited July 19
    @hank- Well, I don't believe by any means that "conservatives" are necessarily limited to any specific political party, although on a worldwide basis, it's obvious that they do tend to gravitate towards some parties in particular. China, for example, can hardly be described as "right wing". The "right" to plunder world resources with no regard for the future is claimed pretty much across the political spectrum.

    And I question the categorization of my observations as "rambling".
  • @hank
    I can only beg everyone not to go political. It’s a “no-win” for everyone.
    Yes, but so is climate change.
  • @Tarwheel - thanks for info on your background. I've studied a bit about environmental regulations (more than a mini-course) and appreciate how some parts were written to allow what is possible now, while other parts were written to prod the development of technologies to what could be possible. It takes a certain type of person to be able to work in this field, whether from a scientific, technological, or regulatory perspective.

    Before your post, just for a moment there, I thought I'd walked into an episode of "Ask Dr. Science."
    The show's motto is "He knows more than you do." The sketch always concludes with the disclaimer that he is "not a real doctor," although Dr. Science insists he has "a Master's Degree... in science!"
    To parphrase a popular quote these days, we choose to save the planet not because it is easy but because it is critical. Or at least we would with leadership that wasn't afraid to even whisper "climate change".
    https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/23/agriculture-department-climate-change-1376413

  • edited July 19
    @Old_Joe,

    Thank you for the constructive criticism. I’ve deleted / replaced the objectionable word in my above post. I always try to disagree without seeming disagreeable. But sometimes it eludes.

    Regards
  • msf
    edited July 19

    College opens one's eyes to other ways of thinking and seeing the world and I believe liberal arts in particular help to teach people empathy and critical thinking--both positive traits that may not have a specific monetary value.

    A liberal arts education with its emphasis on critical thinking can, or at least ought to, make graduates attractive to employers. Especially with the US form of capitalism, where employees are responsible for their own training and thus need to emphasize "generalist" and learning skills. (In some other capitalist countries industries take greater responsibility for training, and workers tend to stay within a given industry.)

    Many years ago I had the pleasure of listening to the commencement address at a public college, given by one of the college's faculty. He waxed eloquent on the value of a liberal arts education. In contrast, my college selected its commencement speaker because he was an alum who had just won a Nobel prize. He said that people don't remember commencement speeches. And except for that statement, he was correct about his own speech.

  • I can honestly say that I used every bit of my education in my work as well as my personal life. Education doesn’t have to mean college but it does tend to open people’s minds and expose them to ideas and knowledge that they wouldn’t otherwise get. I know people who didn’t go to college yet read voraciously and are obviously very intelligent and knowledgeable. I’ve also known people with advanced degrees but lacking in basic common sense and reasoning ability. However, for most people, education is an enlightening experience and makes them better people.

    Since I majored in environmental science as an undergraduate and journalism in grad school, I didn’t study much in business or economics in college. I have read extensively in that subject since I started investing 30 or more years ago. I never try to present myself as an expert in economics and investing, but I am virtually certain that I know more about that field than most business people know about environmental science. Yet many business people seem to present themselves as experts on environmental science because they have dealt with environmental regulations in their jobs, read articles in some business publications or heard something on Fox News or Rush Limbaugh.

    The lack of education and knowledge about environmental science in this country is very troubling. If you haven’t had any education in this regard, you owe it to yourself, your children and grandchildren to start learning. We are changing this planet in ways that we don’t wholly understand and can’t entirely predict, but in all likelihood we are creating a huge mess for our descendants. The sad thing is that we have the means to prevent and mitigate a lot of problems if we can work together. Hopefully it won’t take a disaster to reach that point.
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