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One-third of American adults now hold bachelor's degrees

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Link to the NY Times story here.

Personally, I think this is great. biggrin.gif
post #2 of 17

I'm amazed it's that high.

 

But we always need service sector workers, such as car mechanics, food servers, all sorts of manual labor.  Not everyone is cut out to go to college. 

 

However, the military, I think, has a reasonable attitude.  They figure just being successful in college shows that you are adaptable and know how to learn, so you can be an officer no matter what you studied in college.

 

I once worked for a guy who owned a number of businesses.  He wouldn't hire anyone who didn't have a high school diploma.  He said someone who couldn't sit through 5 hours of air-conditioned classes per day was never going to have enough determination to dig a ditch for 8 hours in 100 degree heat.

 

I took a look at the article, and I didn't see it giving any comparison to other countries.  Anyone have an idea how that would stack up?

post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by speakhandsforme View Post

Link to the NY Times story here.
Personally, I think this is great. :D


Yeah, that's great. But now, lets see how many of those people get jobs in the field they majored in.

 



 
post #4 of 17
The more people who have a degree, the more meaningless it becomes dontknow.gif. It used to be that a high school diploma meant something. . .now it doesn't. I imagine that if things go on the way they've been going, a bachelor's degree will be viewed the same way at some point.

And, yeah, most of the people I personally know who have an undergrad degree are in jobs that don't require a degree at all (mechanic, HVAC, Postal worker, baker, truck driver, etc.), mainly because they couldn't find a job in their field. Doesn't seem worth it in most cases, and then you're in debt for years with no return for that debt. I guess if you want an office job in business you'd need a degree. . .but who wants that? tongue.gif
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Oh yeah, we'll always need people to work at Walmart and things like that. Obviously college isn't for everybody.

My stepdad wanted me to join the Air Force and be a JAG for a few years instead of taking the civilian law school route. I told him I was determined to be the only person from our town who didn't join the military. laughing02.gif

Here's an article about grad rates in different countries. Says we're 12th in that survey, which sounds about right to me.

As for getting jobs in your major, I agree. I personally know a lot of people that are going to school for things like Art History, rolleyes.gif with zero intention of going to grad school to enhance their marketability, all while racking up massive debt in their own name.

I know that if I wasn't going to law school, I wouldn't be majoring in political science. I'd be majoring in something I could get a job with, like some sort of STEM degree, although that stuff isn't really in my wheelhouse. I guess if something happened and I suddenly couldn't go to law school anymore, I'd be getting a teaching job with my history degree.
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
I also think some of the problem is that some people go to college having gotten mediocre grades in high school and still expect to do well. Then they get there and they find out it's a whole different game.

I really think they should emphasize that high school teaches you THE BASICS, and if you can't excel in that then you aren't cut out for the higher learning that college involves. Too many people don't get that point and waste their money on a few semesters of college, then drop out with nothing to show for their huge amounts of debt.
post #7 of 17
I don't know anybody who dropped out after a few semesters with huge amounts of debt. A few semesters shouldn't cost that much, and they can sell the books. . .

I do think that a lot of people go to college not knowing what their chosen field is really like and whether it's a good fit for them. Or even without knowing what they really want to do. My cousin went to college--changed her major a million times, took extra classes, ended up with 5 years in (and 5 years worth of debt) and graduated with a degree in psychology. Found a job fairly quickly in a group home for developmentally disabled adults, didn't like it, then found a job with a private counseling firm. . .and very quickly decided that psychology isn't for her. She now works in the bakery at Wal-Mart and loves it biggrin.gif. She hopes to someday have her own bakery. Too bad she didn't figure that out before she put the 5 years in. She'll probably never pay off her student loans, and being so deeply in debt may prevent her from being able to open her own business. But the family and societal pressure for her to go to college (because that's what smart people do!) was too much for her. And that's a really bad reason to do anything.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
One semester at my very reasonably priced public university will cost about $7,000 all told before scholarships or anything like that. If you go to a private university the costs are astronomical.
post #9 of 17
I was basing my statement on looking up estimated tuition for the University of South Dakota, and they estimated total costs for state residents at around $15,000 a year, around $6,000 of that being housing and food service (and my cousin lived at home and didn't have those costs). So $9,000 a year, $4,500 a semester. . .it's not great to have that kind of debt at a young age but it's not insurmountable. But you're right--if they also lived in the dorms it would be around $7,500 for one semester. I guess you better know what you're doing before you try it out!

Unless someone is able to get a lot of grants and scholarships, that means they would be about $100,000 in debt (since student loans are often used for living expenses as well) when they get their bachelor's degree. I'm not sure most people will recoup that cost. Yes, I've seen the studies that show that a person with a degree, on average, will earn about a million more throughout their working life than someone without a degree. But I think that study was done a while ago. I wonder if it's still as cost-effective.
post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Yep! The only reason I left home to go to school is because this school gave me a $40,000 full ride scholarship. That plus the state tuition scholarship just about covers everything, and I'll likely graduate with no undergraduate debt. This is little consolation since I'll graduate law school with $100,000 of debt anyway. laughing02.gif But I'll have a job that I can pay it off with, which is the big difference between me and those who rack up that much debt and have only a bachelor's to show for it.

If I hadn't got this scholarship, I'd be going to the local state college like everyone else. agree.gif
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post


Yeah, that's great. But now, lets see how many of those people get jobs in the field they majored in.

 

The last I heard, only about 8% of the people who graduated from college were working in the exact field they trained for.  I think that's low, but who knows?

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblanche View Post

The last I heard, only about 8% of the people who graduated from college were working in the exact field they trained for.  I think that's low, but who knows?



I'm one of those people who never had a paying job in the fields I have degrees in. I have a BS in veterinary tech, another BS in Biology, and my job after college was banking. Starting salary in Vet tech was 7.50 an hour back then, Bio-no jobs to be had at the time...Starting salary as an assistant branch manager trainee was almost 14 dollars an hour. 

 

I have an EMT-C (AMT) Certification, volunteered in a fire department, only place around here to get paid for that type of certification is NYC EMS. Sorry, driving 60 miles one way isn't for me, especially with 4 kids and the pay isn't that good. (Not worth the gas money) Plus, honestly I was raised in the city, I moved out here for a reason!

 

Then I got certified as a trainer, (NSCA) I can get a job around here, BUT unless you work privately, it doesn't pay. 

 

 

 

On another note, in order to get a job in the FDNY, you now need at least a Associates degree. It doesn't matter what you have a degree in, you could be a CPA, you can be a firefighter for the city of NY. 

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willowy View Post

The more people who have a degree, the more meaningless it becomes dontknow.gif.

 

 

Yes, it's the equivalent of inflation as far as qualifications. You can call it "credential inflation". It's very sad in my opinion because it feeds into the delusion that everyone should be a chief and not an indian. Not everyone is destined to be a chief - It's as simple as that.

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by speakhandsforme View Post

I also think some of the problem is that some people go to college having gotten mediocre grades in high school and still expect to do well. Then they get there and they find out it's a whole different game.
I really think they should emphasize that high school teaches you THE BASICS, and if you can't excel in that then you aren't cut out for the higher learning that college involves. Too many people don't get that point and waste their money on a few semesters of college, then drop out with nothing to show for their huge amounts of debt.

I dunno, I pretty much flunked out of high school (due to absences), and a few years later went to university and got straight A's my first semester. I graduated with a B.S. in Biology and now I'm in grad school.

I have no undergrad debt, thanks to several things including living at home (my university is about 2 miles away, and it's a "commuter" school), my mom working for the college so I got half off my tuition for much of my time in undergrad, and merit scholarship-tuition waivers covered the other half when I was able to apply for them.

post #15 of 17

I'm lucky in that I am working directly in the field I studied in college. I was a non-traditional student, having started college when I was in my 40s. I majored in Geography with a concentration in Environmental Planning. I work in the county planning office, reviewing subdivision and land development plans....which is pretty much what I studied in college, although we went through all the elements of planning and such. Right after I completed my internship, an ad appeared in our newspaper for a county land use planner. I applied for the position and got it.....believe me, nobody was more surprised than me; I wasn't even going to apply for the position, but DH really pushed me to try. I figured that my age would be a big disadvantage, but it worked out and I've been there since 1999.

 

My son, OTOH, was a Physics major at Albright College in Reading, PA. It's a private school and we all worked like crazy to get that boy through school; even my parents and my in-laws helped out. My parents sent him spending money every single week he was in college for the entire 4 years. My in-laws paid the bill for all school texts and such. We paid his tuition the whole four years, but we had planned for his college from the day he was born....he was going to college and he knew it from the time he was young. After high school came college and that was that. He lived on campus as it was too far away to commute. He took no student loans because we didn't want him saddled with loans as soon as he got out of school.

 

And now? He's the branch manager of a local bank....not even close to his field of study. But he enjoys his job and it pays well enough for him, so he's happy.

post #16 of 17

I think part of the reason so many people end up working in fields they didn't major in is because how many 18-22 yr olds  really know what they want to do when they grow up? Honestly. I know I didn't (heck, I STILL don't! laughing02.gif ) I started college majoring in Psychology and lost interest after the first year. I switched to English. Why? Because I like to read. I didn't want to teach or work at a newspaper or anything that would be practical. I guess I thought someone would just pay me to read and analyse books. Now, I can analyse the crap out of anything (a trait that my husband hates) but I've never had a job that remotely deals with my major.

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by calico2222 View Post

I think part of the reason so many people end up working in fields they didn't major in is because how many 18-22 yr olds  really know what they want to do when they grow up? Honestly. I know I didn't (heck, I STILL don't! laughing02.gif )

I've known what I wanted to do since I was about 5... The problem has been actually getting there. Still working on that part...

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