What if you study like there was no tomorrow, graduate from college, only to discover that there are no jobs at all in your field? All the career counselors, career books, advice from friends, teachers, turned out to be dead wrong. You approach employers, only to find pigheaded bosses who don't want an overly smart employee. Invariably, they tell you that "there must be a great job for you somewhere," wherever that is. You could go back to school, so you can become even more overeducated and undesirable. Well, maybe you could become a professor, and submit your application along with 250 other applicants for the same spot.
Meanwhile, the blokes from high school who never studied have found secure jobs as mechanics, sales clerks, etc. and are doing fine. ;D
Sure, if you don't mind being bossed around by uneducated idiot officers, receiving vicious pranks from other enlistees who didn't go to college, or becoming one of those geezers missing a leg or two at the local military hospital.
You're screwed either way, as I see it. If you don't go to college, then you have to work in physically uncomfortable jobs. If you do go to college, then you're just office fodder who could suddenly be escorted out of the office at any moment, unlike the mechanics or sales clerks they really need.
In hindsight, it might be better to work part-time while studying (or do a part-time internship) in something remotely related to something you might be doing in the future. They do not have as much risk in hiring you for that.
In the meantime, you look at all the opportunities around you.
Post by milkman's baby on Nov 18, 2010 13:27:01 GMT -5
Over the years, I've really learned to detest the leaders and proponents of academia. While I'm not necessarily all about vocational-strictly education, I'm tired of these so-called "educational experts" who think they know what every student needs. They raise our tuition and make us take these liberal arts gen ed requirements (a yoga class to fulfill my requirements, really?) and make it impossible for students to graduate in 4 years. Then after 4 years they try to convince us we need another 10 years of graduate school to get a good job. And it's partially the employers to blame too. I would have considered becoming a school teacher if it weren't for the absurd requirements. Why should an ELEMENTARY school teacher of mathemetics or physical education have a Master's degree? Our society has come to rely too much on education credentials. The economy sucks, the job sector sucks, and right now the education is not paying off. My professors are trying to convince me to come back after I graduate to get a Master's and I really wanted to tell them to go screw themselves. It's just another way to take my money all the while trying to convince me I will someday get a great job when I never will. I hate being a student and right now is one of the worst times to be a graduating student.
Over the years, I've really learned to detest the leaders and proponents of academia.
I felt the same way when I had my bachelor's degree. Too many departments are politicized. At the undergraduate level, there is too much brainwashing.
In grad school, they do teach more interesting deep thoughts and politically incorrect facts. I used to be an atheist until I went to grad school, and learned how science is built upon layers of assumptions. Many of these assumptions have been proven wrong. Science has acted like the Pharisees by ignoring the errors and continuing to preach the same dogma.
On the other hand, all the academic exposure has taught me a disinterest in the private sector's lack of intellectual rigor, so it has "harmed" me that way.
Where did you go to grad school, a theological seminary? I doubt anything you learn in grad school would make you believe in a thousands year old text - it should make you more skeptical of everything, which is hardly a reason to embrace organized religion or deity worship in general.
It's true that our higher education system is not terribly efficient. There is a serious college premium for employment but it is partly the result of a zero-sum game (since everything else equal someone with a college degree looks better) and is not necessarily socially efficient. College and grad school are certainly not for everybody, and in many areas the supply of grads far exceeds the demand (the economist had an interesting article on this last month called "the disposable PhD"). There should be more vocational training, and the government should actively subsidize certain areas of academia (e.g. sciences and engineering, medicine) while raising the requirements in others (e.g. humanities and social sciences). It seems like some countries do that, but America less so. Of course, you can (and should) regard higher education as a consumption good for many people rather than an investment - it may not raise productivity or job prospects but it's a lot more fun than starting a real job at 18 or 22.
I'm a distant cousin of Singaporean pop sensation Dìck Lee. Bruce would have been a lot cooler but I'll take it.
I am getting my PhD in a hard science. Through my education, I have learned about the extent of assumptions that go into scientific thinking, and the extent to which they are wrong. It's all quite disturbing. Scientists claim their "laws" and "principles", underpinned by sweeping assumptions. The assumptions have all been shown (by scientists!) to be wrong, but science continues preaching them as if they are absolute truths. When backed into a corner, scientists will say that their reasoning is based on mathematics, and that mathematics is logically infallible. But then, mathematicians will tell you that mathematics is a closed system of reasoning with no implied relation to physical reality. Also, the "theorems" of mathematics are not infallible; new theorems are voted on for acceptance, and often overturned later. Science does a poor job of acknowledging the unknowable, and of moral questions; that's where religion holds answers for me.
I don't know how historically accurate the bible is, and I don't follow its every little rule about proper ways to sacrifice goats. The tales do illustrate moral points that science does not. I have a faith that good behavior tends to bring long-term rewards; you can call that convergence by probability, or God, or whatever you like.
Last Edit: Jan 31, 2011 14:07:06 GMT -5 by haplotype
- Post grad degrees are utterly useless unless it's in something highly technical or a program that requires the specific infrastructure/facilities/oversight of a university (e.g., astrophysics)
- MBA is the most useless/overvalued degree on the planet
- People who do post-grad in Arts need their heads examined
OP has a point..... too much education can definitely harm you. I work in two industries right now and there's certainly a bias against the traditional educational path:
1) I-banking: No one I know would ever touch anyone with a PhD or masters degree student unless they were in research or writing trading/quant models..... MBAs are looked down upon unless it facilitated a career transition.
2) Government/Foreign Service: Countless people apply from "International Relations", "Poli Sci" and other arts, even law backgrounds. Recruiters want people with hard skills in industry, finance, engineering etc., not another kid who attended model UN, speaks spanish and wants to work as a human rights lawyer.
Post by helloagain on Mar 31, 2011 14:54:18 GMT -5
The only way education harms you is if you somehow pick up the attitude that something you do for yourself makes you better than everyone else, and people should admire you for it. I've seen a lot of people with that attitude fall flat on their face. Learning, is almost never bad.
I wouldn't go as far as saying higher education is a scam these days but I would argue that the returns are clearly diminishing. Generally speaking, students are paying more tuition only to graduate with more debt and less earnings.
Long ago, a college/uni education was a coveted/prestigious thing only the children of elite could get into. These days it's accessible with anyone with a pulse. Having a college degree is worth a lot less than it used to be since everyone has it. Supply and demand of the market will them determine how terrible your wage will be.
The reason why this is all happening is because of government-backed student loans. Even the intellectually handicapped are allowed access to student loans, unsecured debt in the hundred thousands. Basically anyone can go to college now so the schools got smart and began demanding higher and higher tuition since the students can afford them anyway. I've talked to some American girls I know and they've told me they've spend over 100000 on their undergrad degree alone. Obviously this is not sustainable and eventually a correction is bound to happen.
Here's an alright video that might be entertaining to watch if you have the time: