Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 133
  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    swimming across the Atlantic
    Posts
    1,215
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0

    Why did 17 million students go to college?

    http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovatio...-college/27634

    Over 317,000 waiters and waitresses have college degrees (over 8,000 of them have doctoral or professional degrees), along with over 80,000 bartenders, and over 18,000 parking lot attendants. All told, some 17,000,000 Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that the BLS says require less than the skill levels associated with a bachelor’s degree.
    Interesting article. However, I don't buy the argument the article is trying to make...

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Rejecting your reality and substituting my own
    Age
    30
    Posts
    11,006
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Well it's really hard to say whether those degrees are wasteful right now. The economy is REALLY bad now - maybe in better economic period, these people would have been doing something else rather than attending to parking lots, but right now they'll take whatever they can get.

    And the turnaround time for graduate degrees is such that it's very difficult to predict the economic environment when it's graduation time. When my best friend went into law school, her mother was gleefully mentioning her future six-figure salary every chance she could get. She graduated right when every big law firm was shedding jobs, not hiring. She finally got a job a year after graduation, where a law degree is not required.

    I think if someone is truly interested in earning a postsecondary degree and has a way of avoiding six-figure debt, they should go for it. You never know when it might come in handy, especially while the economy is in flux.

  3. #3
    Bountifully Enmeshed
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    At the Christmas Bizarre
    Posts
    38,168
    vCash
    250
    Rep Power
    46915
    Quote Originally Posted by iloveemoticons View Post
    Interesting article. However, I don't buy the argument the article is trying to make...
    Well, he agrees with Murray . But what do you not buy?

    I found the followup comments much more interesting than the article itself, which is just one more round of a very common theme in academia right now.

    Some examples (with Murray himself!): http://chronicle.com/article/Are-Too...oing-to/49039/

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/educati...uestions_N.htm (Murray again)

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Colleg...90094.html?x=0

    http://collegeaffordability.blogspot...-graduate.html

    http://www.american.com/archive/2008...ing-to-college

    http://www.time.com/time/nation/arti...967580,00.html

    I could post a lot more, but you get the idea.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Top Secret FSU Witness Protection Location
    Age
    32
    Posts
    20,724
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    35102
    One thing I have learned, don't go to college unless you really know what you want to do. I wish I had taken that route. I wasted a lot of time and money goofing off, switching majors because I wasn't mature enough to pick a career that interested me. I am 28 and finally decided what I want to do. Unfortunately I have to have a degree so I am back in school and adding to my student debt but it is a necessary evil and for the time being, I am not worried about a job when I graduate. Things could always change but I feel confident, with the people I know, I can get a job using my degree.
    -Brian
    "Michelle would never be caught with sausage grease staining her Vera Wang." - rfisher

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    BC
    Posts
    9,148
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    35999
    How many waiters and waitresses are in the US? Maybe all those educated waiters and waitresses are living in New York or Los Angeles, doing this before they land a guest spot on Gossip Girl.

    Anyways, I was working in a supermarket during law school, so I would be in those numbers too. Tom Cruise was waiting tables while in law school in The Firm. I didn't see the problem at the time, and I still don't.

    One thing I have learned, don't go to college unless you really know what you want to do.
    Well, I am pretty sure I would've been even more clueless about what I want to do in my life had I not gone to university--not that I actually know now. I think that's the whole point of university-figuring these things out.
    Last edited by manhn; 11-02-2010 at 03:48 AM.

  6. #6
    Bountifully Enmeshed
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    At the Christmas Bizarre
    Posts
    38,168
    vCash
    250
    Rep Power
    46915
    Quote Originally Posted by manhn View Post
    How many waiters and waitresses are in the US? Maybe all those educated waiters and waitresses are living in New York or Los Angeles, doing this before they land a guest spot on Gossip Girl.

    Anyways, I was working in a supermarket during law school, so I would be in those numbers too. Tom Cruise was waiting tables while in law school in The Firm. I didn't see the problem at the time, and I still don't.
    Yes, and the study also assumes that these people are employable in their field. They may or may not be, for many reasons.

    But the unemployment rate for recent college grads is pretty alarming and that's something that's been developing for a while, not just something that occurred when the economy tanked; colleges are taking note.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  7. #7
    Saint Smugpawski
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Cutting Down Privet Because Food Prices Are Going Up Next Year
    Posts
    11,742
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    35114
    I was looking at Executive Assistant positions in NYC recently and there were quite a few of them that didn't want anything less than a Master's. I said well how about that, now you need a frigging Master's to be a secretary.
    The fastest thing out of New Jersey since Tricky Nicky in a Muscovian handbasket

  8. #8

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    5,324
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    9947
    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    But the unemployment rate for recent college grads is pretty alarming and that's something that's been developing for a while, not just something that occurred when the economy tanked; colleges are taking note.
    In fact, it's been the topic of several FSU threads and posts!

    I am reminded of John Gardner's writings:

    "We must learn to honor excellence in every socially accepted human activity, however humble the activity, and to scorn shoddiness, however exalted the activity. An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society that scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy. Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water."

  9. #9
    Bountifully Enmeshed
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    At the Christmas Bizarre
    Posts
    38,168
    vCash
    250
    Rep Power
    46915
    Quote Originally Posted by Gazpacho View Post
    In fact, it's been the topic of several FSU threads and posts!
    Careful--SHARPIE will open a new forum.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    5,324
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    9947
    While I believe that the pedestal of higher education has been overextended--I refer not to knowledge, skills, or wisdom but rather formal degrees--I take issue with the article's insinuation that the purpose of college is to get a job that cannot be done without the knowledge and skills gained in college courses.

    Why did 17 million students go to college? For a good number of them, they went to college to ease the transition from childhood to adulthood, to learn responsibilities and independence gradually, to gain self-knowledge, and to be able to make mistakes in a more forgiving environment. That is the most valuable part of college.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    In the middle of a hair war with Alena Leonova.
    Posts
    2,554
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    I honestly don't think a lot of kids put much into applying and going to college, actually. When cuts are made, I hear/see a lot of stories from ambitious kids who have goals, and even if they don't know exactly what careers they want, they know they want further education. But I think the majority of college kids wind up there because it's the most obvious, automatic thing to do after high school. Maybe I'm out of touch though - it just seems that way to me.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    5,962
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    7850
    I do think that the number of graduate programs has excessively proliferated, and that the production of PhDs from relatively weak institutions has led to many students with that degree who have no reasonable hope of ever landing college-level academic positions that they would like. Add to that the number of students getting PhDs (from any institution) in many of the humanities and social sciences vs. the number of faculty openings in those areas and you have another huge misfit. (You also have the ridiculousness of extended time now required to get a PhD in subjects like English, where the median time is now over 9 years of grad school.)

    It is one thing if people pursued these degrees because of some inner drive for personal satisfaction, but an awful lot of them seemed to think that they would actually be able to get faculty appointments, and they must be rather sorely disappointed.

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    Oz, of course
    Posts
    11,361
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    I agree in principle, but I'm not sure how valuable the 17 million student statistic is. My guess is that a decent proportion of those people want to be doing something else and may still have a decent chance of doing so.

    Plus, there are many jobs that don't need a bachelor degree level of education but still require or prefer a degree from their applicants.

  14. #14
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,751
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by wickedwitch View Post
    I agree in principle, but I'm not sure how valuable the 17 million student statistic is. My guess is that a decent proportion of those people want to be doing something else and may still have a decent chance of doing so.

    Plus, there are many jobs that don't need a bachelor degree level of education but still require or prefer a degree from their applicants.
    I'm not sure the statistic is completely accurate either. I know people who got degrees for something to do for four years or for the dating scene (or the MRS degree) or something and never had career aspirations. I also spent a lot of time hanging out with music performance majors in college--almost all of whom are doing nothing remotely related to their degree and many are doing something that would not require one. So it is sometimes a result of having pursued a useless degree.

    Your second point is a huge problem. It is a mindset that business needs to give up. My husband has an associate's degree and was automatically not in contention for a number of jobs he was more than qualified for and capable of doing when he was unemployed a couple of years ago.

  15. #15
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Age
    31
    Posts
    2,640
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    This may seem far-fetched, but perhaps there's a small percentage of those waiters and waitresses who actually like the job (even if they never intended on making a career out of it) and can make a decent enough living to do so and don't feel the need to put their degree "to use." Aren't there such people who could be considered "professional" waiters/waitresses?

  16. #16
    aspiring tri-national
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    in flight
    Posts
    20,556
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    39757
    If the argument is that there should be career tracks to middle-class jobs requiring specialized knowledge that do not require a BA, I agree. Many people profit from being exposed to Dante or Kant or Margaret Mead in college, even though they do not become professors or intellectuals. Others could skip that happily, learn how to be a good actuary or software programmer or EMT or whatever, though a certification program that accredits people for that specialty.

    The question is, how do you know for sure which is which. There are kids who achieve in high school and make the good grades just because they're docile and that's what their parents and environments expect. They go to college and take courses without a real need or interest in them and eventually find a field to work in. (or not.) There are kids who are hell-raisers in high school who just need some maturity time, and by their early twenties are devouring knowledge as fast as it is handed to them. That's how my ex-husband, a historian, was. He dropped out of Duke at 19, joined the Marines, and only three years later was ready for his extended and cerebral career.

    So if we separate the sheep from the goats at age 16, we're precluding growth and changes later. All other things being equal, I'd rather more people who didn't really need a liberal arts education receive one than denying it, by cost or social barriers, to a lot of people for whom it would be wonderful.
    "Youth and vigor is no match for age and deceit." -- Prancer

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,751
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Stefanie View Post
    This may seem far-fetched, but perhaps there's a small percentage of those waiters and waitresses who actually like the job (even if they never intended on making a career out of it) and can make a decent enough living to do so and don't feel the need to put their degree "to use." Aren't there such people who could be considered "professional" waiters/waitresses?
    I think that is probably true, too. And I know a few people who went to college for an MRS degree and got it, had some kids, and now that they are in school full time are working retail or food service jobs part time for a bit of extra money and they are perfectly happy with that.

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Still cheering for Mirai and Jeremy
    Age
    30
    Posts
    3,882
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    1271
    Quote Originally Posted by BigB08822 View Post
    One thing I have learned, don't go to college unless you really know what you want to do. I wish I had taken that route. I wasted a lot of time and money goofing off, switching majors because I wasn't mature enough to pick a career that interested me. I am 28 and finally decided what I want to do. Unfortunately I have to have a degree so I am back in school and adding to my student debt but it is a necessary evil and for the time being, I am not worried about a job when I graduate. Things could always change but I feel confident, with the people I know, I can get a job using my degree.
    You and me both. I'm 26 and in the same boat. I finished my degree but I have no intention of pursuing a career related to my undergrad major. I suppose with the graduate degree I want to pursue, it ultimately doesn't matter since I would need a Master's degree to pursue that career I want anyway but it still sucks that I am having hard time getting a job that doesn't even require a Bachelor's. If I was more focused and seriously thought about what I wanted to do when I was younger, perhaps I would have attended graduate school sooner and actually have a career by now. However, I guess there is no point in crying over spilled milk.

    I really think that high schools and colleges should do career counseling with students when they're high school seniors and college freshmen. Have students take tests and self assessments so that they can get an idea of what track to take in college (and beyond) instead of wasting time trying to figure it all out along the way.
    "If people are looking for guarantees, they should buy appliances at Sears and stay away from human relationships."~Prancer

  19. #19

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    house hunting
    Age
    41
    Posts
    5,883
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    I have a degree and 10 years experience working in admin and when job searching, most places here wanted me to get an Administrative Assistant diploma. It's crazy how competitive it's gotten for what used to be entry-level jobs.

  20. #20

    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Some place competitive and athletic, but ultimately more like an audition than anything else.
    Posts
    7,804
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    20419
    Why did 17 million students go to college?
    Crowd control.

Page 1 of 7 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •