It’s time to drop the college-for-all crusade

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by bruno, May 28, 2012.

  1. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    Messages:
    3,000
    Likes Received:
    300
  2. Frankie

    Frankie Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    2
    I could definantly agree with his argument to a good degree. One-size does not fit all. It may sound mean, but not everyone can be a huge success story and be a doctor/lawyer/congressman, etc. Also we need people to fill does "low paying, dead-end jobs". I'm not saying people should abandon their dreams of being successful, but not everyone can be. Just another cruel reality.
     
  3. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    35
    We were always critical of the old Soviet Union for their centrally planned allocation of resources that resulted in factories that churned out poorly made goods that nobody wanted and didn't make goods that people needed.

    I get the feeling that (maybe not to the same extent) our overgrown higher education system seems to be mimicking that same effort. We have heavily subsidized factories churning out graduates many of questionable credentials that employers are hard pressed to make use of.

    Then again, many of our great growing industries (technology) are not about credentials, but about actually solving the real problems of paying customers (or they don't survive).

    Shifting directions, our military seems to be very much hung up on the 4-year credential in recruiting officers (as evidenced by the small proportion of Green to Gold in commissioning statistics).

    While I believe a college level education is critical expanding the higher level thinking necessary to lead larger missions, I also believe that the military would be better off starting the majority of their officers off in the enlisted ranks, finding the ones who are then ready to study higher level critical thinking and send them through school - including the Service Academies.

    It would be difficult to change to that pattern, given the perception that the kids who go to college right out of HS are somehow superior to all of those who don't. These days the decision to attend college is available to just about anyone with a pulse, so you really can't say that going to college says anything about the overall potential of an individual to lead.
     
  4. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    Part of the illusion is that you can't be a success or have a high paying job without a college degree. That simply isn't true. MANY of the highest paying jobs are those that require a high level of training; but do not necessarily require a college degree.

    I remember when I was going through the TAP briefings. (Transition Assistance Program). It's briefing given to those getting ready to leave/retire from the military. The briefings including E-4 airman all the way to an O-6 Colonel. The person in charge of the briefing emphasized our "TRAINING" and NOT our Education. Make a long story short: A Lt. Colonel, Chief Master Sergeant, and myself all wound up working for the same company when we retired. They had a lot more "Formal Education" than I did. When we hired onto the company; I was making approximately $20,000 per year MORE than the Lt. Colonel or Chief. Why? Because I was an electronic technician and designer. They were administrators by nature. And none of the other techs I worked with at this company had a college degree. Yet, all of us made approximately between $80,000 - $100,000 depending on over-time.

    I'm not saying that a college education isn't important. What it does, is give you more options. However; it is quite possible to make a very successful living without a college degree. But it does require training. The majority of electronic technicians; computer; carpenters; electricians; plumbers; mechanics; etc... make an extremely good living. They all have specialized training; but do not require a college degree.

    I bring this up, because while a college degree isn't for everyone; I don't want people to believe that if they aren't a college grad and are a doctor, lawyer, or other notable profession, that they are in some "Low Paying - Dead End Job". Nothing could be further from the truth. I was easily making 6 figures a year, and I didn't require a college degree to do it. Do I have college degrees? Yes; but I can honestly say that for my profession and my level of success; I didn't need one of those degrees that I have.
     
  5. pilot2b

    pilot2b Candidate Appointee

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    1
    Very true. I wonder if part of the whole salary gap between high school grads and college grads is that MORE college graduates (not all by any means) tend to be more achievement-driven individuals when compared to those who graduated high school only. This is reflected then in their wages. But then, there are multiple factors at work too.
     
  6. FlyBoy1993

    FlyBoy1993 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    26
    I think the caste system is alive and well with you if you associate success with wealth or certain professions.
     
  7. Frankie

    Frankie Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    2
    It's a general assumption. I'm sure when people tell you what they want to accomplish in life, they tell you they wanna be a janitor. Right? If not then the caste system must be truly alive within them if they think a certain profession isn't successful.

    You obviously have no idea what the caste system is if you think that it is "alive and well within me". Last time I checked, once you're put into a certain class in the caste system, you can never move up and you shall be reincarnated into the same class time and time again. I don't believe in any of that.

    If someone is happy with xxx profession, then congratulations to them. That's their life. But i doubt that most people would be satisfied with being a delivery boy until they retire. I'm sure if you ask people with those professions, most of the time will tell you that it's just a job to get the bills paid. Not a career. Theres a difference between a job and career. This topic is about careers.

    Success can come in how happy you just are in life, despite your profession or wealth and etc. Dont get me wrong, please. But the topic on this thread is about education/training and how it affects your life and professions. How college is being down graded and over emphasized that "one size fits all" and how the illusion of that has to stop.
     
  8. SamAca10

    SamAca10 Ensign - DWO

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,019
    Likes Received:
    2
    Do you see having an engineering degree advantageous at all? Or is it just the knowledge and technical skill you acquire on the job?
     
  9. AF6872

    AF6872 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,868
    Likes Received:
    237
    I do regret the loss of many vocational high schools. With the concentration on college track it seems that students are told that you can't make it without a college degree. As Christcorp intimated, have you paid for a plumber recently? I have an MBA and still worked as a long boom operator while getting both undergraduate and post graduate with the help of the GI Bill. I just read different magazines in the shack during lunch.:biggrin: It did help to have the degrees on the resume as I could advance to an inside job after twenty in the field. Did I use them, No.
     
  10. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2007
    Messages:
    8,747
    Likes Received:
    1,002
    Not everyone considers being a doctor/lawyer/congressman as being successful.


    We had this discussion in a grad school class of mine.

    Not everyone needs an associate degree, bachelor's or master's. Don't need a degree to serve fries or walk dogs. We assume people want to "be like us". They shouldn't. Some of the "book smarts" doesn't translate into anything useful.

    Plop my friends and I in the middle of New England 400 years ago and tell me to "survive". No, I will probably die. Technical training is important. Assuming everyone wants an advanced degree, or a degree at all, is some kind of guilt we feel the need to take on, because we, college graduates have "been there".

    Not everyone should "be there". College, an advanced education, is not a right. Never was, never should be.
     
  11. FlyBoy1993

    FlyBoy1993 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2011
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    26
    this line is the one that deviates from the topic of the thread and leans towards your own personal measurement of "success."

    "but not everyone can be a huge success story and be a doctor/lawyer/congressman, etc"

    I'm not the one that equated success with certain professions. Plenty of successful people have worked shifts at the plant or shop for their whole lives. Plenty of doctors/lawyers/ congresspeople(LMAO) have lead lives that I would consider anything BUT successful.

    The education system, and funding thereof, is quickly becoming the next healthcare mess in our society. People are figuring out that when you pour endless amounts of cash into something( see tuition rate increases and neverending loans) that it might not necessarily produce commensurate results.
     
  12. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    My first degree was an Associate's Degree in Electronic Systems. I was active duty, so it didn't really do much for me. My next degree was in Psychology (Behavioral Science). I wanted it, but i can honestly say that it did absolutely nothing for me when i got out of the air force. My next degree was a B.S. in Computer Science/Networking. I was already making 6-figures when I got this degree. "Why did I go back to school? Because I like to learn". But it had no affect on my past or current positions.

    What DID have an effect on jobs such as working for one of the country's largest telecommunication companies, and now working for the Department of Transportation???? Easy: 1) 21+ years of experience in electronics and computers. 2) An FCC License. 3) Experience working on Satellite, microwaves, telephone systems, and radio systems. 4) MS Certifications.

    I quit the telecom job and took a $25,000 pay cut to work for the department of transportation, because I never got to see my kids/wife. All work and no fun. Where I work now, I know of jobs that REQUIRE at least a BA Degree; and yet they make LESS MONEY than my technicians who don't require a degree. It all depends on what your "TRAINING" is in. Some jobs, a college degree will get you more money. Some jobs, "Skills Training" will get you more money. Obviously there are some occupations that require; BY LAW; that you have a college degree. Doctor; Lawyer; etc... But whether you make a lot of money or not depends on the type of work it is. That will determine if you need a college degree or not.
     
  13. pilot2b

    pilot2b Candidate Appointee

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    311
    Likes Received:
    1
    The rapid rise of the importance of technology has also proved that college degrees are not always necessary. I have a cousin who never went to college, but is working at a 6 figure salary for Yahoo.
     
  14. Frankie

    Frankie Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2012
    Messages:
    169
    Likes Received:
    2
    I'm not able to say everything I want to say because I'm on my phone, but long story short..

    That example of being some doctor/lawyer/congress person (lol) was just that, an example. Nothing more. Your assumptions that I think success is measured in profession/wealth are based off of an example and are not true. I just stated in my last post how that is not how I see things.
     
  15. osdad

    osdad Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    746
    Likes Received:
    27
    I have to wonder, if the premise is valid, why is it that most of the people quoted are professors.

    Not sure if it means anything but I found it interesting nonetheless.
     
  16. MemberLG

    MemberLG Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    2,802
    Likes Received:
    443
    I think this quote from the article says it all

    In my opinion, pushing college education obfuscates the truth

    - some people are lazy
    - people have different strengths and weaknesses
    - many public pre-K to 12 schools suck
    - government subsidies (state schools and student loans/grants) push the college industry
     
  17. Luigi59

    Luigi59 Banned

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    4,628
    Likes Received:
    5
  18. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Messages:
    4,963
    Likes Received:
    872
    So many great points of view expressed here. Education has changed so much over the years. Unfortunately, colleges/universities have succumb to them also being a business. Community Colleges and Tech/Trad schools have actually been the foundation on which our economy has grown and prospered. Even they have gotten caught up with the money/business of it all. As mentioned earlier, government grants, low rate student loans, and mega scholarships, while being good intentions, have actually caused a college education to become too expensive and out of reach for so many individuals. And have put so many people into debt.

    If a product or service has to compete for customers, the price will generally become lower and competitive. When more customers are available than slots in school; because of the ease of loans, grants, and scholarships; the price of education goes up. "Because it can". The schools know what they can charge and they do.

    There is absolutely NO REASON that anyone should graduate college with a loan that is higher than an average car loan. In other words, if you graduate college with more than $30,000 in student loans of any kind, then you made some very bad choices. Don't buy the crap that you HAVE to attend some high dollar, big name university in order to be successful. Parents need to work with their kids when they're in junior high and the beginning of high school to see the direction they want to go. If a kid shows a high interest in work that requires "Training" vs "Formal Education"; encourage them. Look for the training options and choose wisely. If anyone thinks that only a college education from a distinguished university can get you a high paying successful job; then they are an idiot. WITHOUT EXCEPTION. If your kid wants a career that requires a college education, then don't get wrapped up into the hype that Harvard, Yale, Purdue, Brown, USC, etc... have to be where they get their college degree in order to get a good job. I can show you first hand a LOT of unemployed Ivy league type graduates. Not only are they unemployed, but they also owe a lot of money.
     
  19. deepdraft1

    deepdraft1 Master, Ocean Steam or Motor Vessels, unlimited

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2009
    Messages:
    266
    Likes Received:
    11
  20. goaliedad

    goaliedad Parent

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,601
    Likes Received:
    35
    And if you approach your career as a business, the proper mix of capital (intellectual, financial and physical) to debt brought together in the right sequence will result in a successful enterprise.

    Leveraging some intellectual capital to enhance a well-capitalized, mature business/trade is a sound investment. Witness the example above.

    Leveraging intellectual capital without an established business plan (i.e. career) often results in an ineffective application of said capital with a cash flow issue. Witness your typical debt-encumbered liberal arts educated graduate with no job experience.
     

Share This Page