Tuition Fees and Student Loan Debt: A Shock?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by overedge, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. madm

    madm Active Member

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    I know I'll be in the minority, but I actually do have a daughter who majored in marine biology at Oregon State and worked for several years after graduation as a dolphin trainer in Miami. After graduation she did an unpaid internship on a great white shark research program in South Africa (an expensive way to get experience but way cool), and then she did dolphin training internships in Florida before being hired permanently. She knew coming out of her major that marine biology jobs all require a year of experience before they will let you apply, and that meant doing internships (mostly unpaid). It's tough getting hired in marine biology but do-able. Following this, she realized that she was doomed to a very low salary forever as a dolphin trainer, so she decided to pursue a vet school degree and eventually work as a zoo/aquarium vet. Hopefully she will still work with marine animals but at a much higher salary.
     
  2. KCC

    KCC Active Member

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    I loved my schooling and career as a chemE. Along the way, I picked up great business/finance skills, project management, product development, and more. Never want to work those hours again, but I am always happy to be tapped to help with big and small technical projects - most recently to manage our community irrigation system (pumps, control systems, valves, filters, etc., of course with no documentation) and the design/planning of a regional science center. I am also a kick-butt home plumber. It is disappointing to see job numbers fall, but I think the best students in all disciplines should be able to find something - assuming they are flexible for location and get some experience in internships, and if the stars align, etc.
     
  3. misskarne

    misskarne #ForzaJules #KeepFightingMichael

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    Spongebob Squarepants has a lot to answer for.

    Actually, when CSI started becoming really big down here, one of the universities in my city actually changed forensic science to a postgrad because they were getting flooded with these airhead 18 year olds who thought it would be just like CSI.
     
  4. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    Did I miss sarcasm? :lol:
     
  5. AxelAnnie

    AxelAnnie Well-Known Member

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    No kidding!

    Both my husband and my brother worked, had families, and made it through law school. No debt. My brother is one of the 100 top family law attorneys in the country, and my husband was a very successful attorney.

    Top tier law firms? Nope.

    My son went to Georgetown Law. We told him - have a ball, but that is not in our budget, so if you are going there.............loans, buddy, loans. This kid was Law Review at Georgetown, went to one of the top 3 law firms in the country, worked his butt off, paid his loans (had to wait a few extra years for that Porsche)...bummer.

    I would like to think that anyone who is considering law school can add.
    So I don't know who they think is supposed to pay for their graduate school.
    The same person who is supposed to be funding my trust fund?

    Life is choices. Choose wisely, and then be responsible for the choice.

    Just an aside....my daughter wanted to go to Columbia and get a masters in social work. Now, there is no way that pencils out. She did go, she does have the debt, and she and her husband are paying off the debt. But she knew what she was choosing when she chose it.
     
  6. Anita18

    Anita18 Well-Known Member

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    :rofl:
     
  7. Prancer

    Prancer Dysteleological Staff Member

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    I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was young. What's not to want about it? The ocean! Dolphins! Whales! Diving and swimming and seeing cool sea creatures! My daughter will be taking marine biology for a science elective next semester and I fully expect her to decide that's what she wants to do in college.

    I met someone with a marine biology degree this past summer. She was leading a kayaking tour I took--it was one of her three jobs :p.

    We've had that here, too. My son did a forensics class in high school and that killed that particular dream for him. He thought it was the most boring thing he'd ever done in school.

    It never fails that the students who most think they want to do forensics are disorganized and impatient with detail. I don't know what they think forensics involves.

    Just a bit of it.
     
  8. suep1963

    suep1963 Well-Known Member

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    My niece had forensics in high school. She is now in a forensic program at her university. She likes doing the testing stuff--like comparing bullets. She doesn't care much for "ooey gooey dripping bones"
     
  9. mkats

    mkats New Member

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    :lol: the last couple of posts put together remind me of my college roommate, who graduated from college clinging to the dream of being a dolphin trainer; eventually dumped that for forensics, got halfway through her masters before she decided that she "didn't like any of the things people with a forensics masters can do". And now she's applying to law school :shuffle:
     
  10. twizzletoes76

    twizzletoes76 Member

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    I have been following this thread loosely and have to say that there are advantages and disadvantages to a liberal arts degree. Advantages: breath of exploration; opportunities to learn subjects above and beyond what is offered in most high schools; exposure to academic research. Disadvantage: it is not a professional degree. The liberal arts degree will not get you your "dream job" afterward; it will get you in the door somewhere to an entry level position, or, to a decent internship once you are finished. Salary will be minimal, if any. To get real work (i.e. work with a sustainable salary), afterwards, you will need to clock a lot of hours at your entry level job until you move up; switch fields to something more entrepreneurial where you are your own boss (for example, I know tons and tons of liberal arts graduates who have yoga certifications and think yoga is just the greatest thing ever and don't want to do anything with their lives other than teach yoga and open their own studios, but maybe that is a different rant); or, most likely complete an additional degree or two.

    Best advantage I can say of the liberal arts degree is that it opens the door of a wide range of professions. If you do well, or, even decently, the doors to medical school, law, public policy, education, academia, will always be open. You will also have a big advantage after if you decide to pursue a field more traditionally thought of as vocational. For example, someone who does a four year undergrad degree and then a nursing degree after will make more money than someone who just does a two year associate's degree to get licensed. The person with the BA will also have more opportunities to get involved in research and could also add something like an MPH (master's of public health) to his/her credentials at some later date.

    But a big problem I have now, especially, as, in this election time, this idea keeps getting repeated is that people (i.e. policy makers) keep trying to sell the idea that a college degree is a key to security. It's not. There are other ways. The college degree is a start. Twenty years ago, yes, maybe all you needed was a four year degree to get stable, worthwhile employment. Thomas Friedman discusses this in a recent NYT article and I agree completely: the key to staying in the middle class is continued education, i.e. lifelong learning and additional professional degrees.

    I believe this is because so many more people are going to college now then before. The trend will continue. This makes the financial investment of an undergraduate four year degree less and less worth it. The real value then, of course, is a.) the quality of the degree (were the classes worth while? was the social environment of the school stimulating? was there an appeal about the subjects learned?) and b.) what graduate and professional training programs will that degree then enable the person to attend.
     
  11. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Further education doesn't have to be a "professional degree". There are more and more people with undergraduate degrees going to colleges and training institutes for vocational or trades training.
     
  12. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

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    Even 20 years ago, it wasn't the case that a college degree was a ticket to a secure future. It could help you get there, but it wasn't a guarantee, even then.
     
  13. MacMadame

    MacMadame Cat Lady-in-Training

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    Reminds me of way too many people...

    When it comes to forensics, I love to solve puzzles but I know I suck at lab work and that CSIs are basically lab people in spite of what you see on tv.

    I also know that 99.9% of what I see on tv that I know something about is wrong so therefore I assume that 99.9% of what you see on tv about things I don't know about is wrong too.
     
  14. Debbie S

    Debbie S Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I graduated from college (a top school) in 1993 in the middle of a recession, and the degree definitely was not a guarantee of employment for me and my friends. Most of us started out doing jobs that didn't require a college degree.
     
  15. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    Seinfeld?