MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters · Instagram 
Saturday, September 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 73.0° F  Mostly Cloudy
Collapse Photo Bar

Do we need more people with college degrees?

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.

Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby Huckleby » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:24 am

We don't even need more people with STEM degrees.
http://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/educat ... -is-a-myth

MAybe we need more doctors. But the system is already rigged to limit that supply, all the slots are filled.

What business needs are people with certain specialized skills from technical college. They need people with college degrees to fill entry level positions, but there is no shortage.
Huckleby
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6574
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:12 pm
Location: parents' basement

Re: Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Sep 03, 2013 10:33 am

The Wisconsin State Journal basically says the same thing for local employment.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19883
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby rabble » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:09 am

I haven't read any of these yet but it was interesting to see this thread after seeing one from Alternet about how college degrees are becoming required for increasingly low-level jobs.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6157
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby snoqueen » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:19 am

I got far, far more work-world benefit (and enjoyment) out of my MATC associate degree in a technical subject than I ever got out of my 4-year liberal arts degree. No comparison at all.

Your credits at MATC generally transfer 1:1 to UW, so if you get an associate degree first you can always go back and complete the remainder of a 4 or 5 year degree later on if you need it or want it. I would advise almost anybody to go this route, young person or returning adult. It's practical, usually cheaper, and there's no downside I can think of. People have to keep upgrading their education throughout their working life, either in bits and pieces or by taking a year or two off to return to school at times.

A good path for a young person might be to work a year after high school to get motivated, either by distaste for low-level work or positive interest in learning more. Then go for a 2-year degree, work a while longer to re-orient and stabilize your finances and skills, and decide what to do next. A background showing both work experience and education is the strongest one for employability.

I have serious doubts that a 4-year degree coming straight out of high school is the best choice for any but the very wealthy. Going from four-year college to an entry level position is discouraging and a waste of education, money, and people.
snoqueen
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 11501
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 11:42 pm

Re: Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby Huckleby » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:49 am

snoqueen wrote:I have serious doubts that a 4-year degree coming straight out of high school is the best choice for any but the very wealthy.


Sad to think this is true. I'm still wildly in favor of college simply to make us better people. I think I benefited greatly from my liberal arts courses. I suppose you don't need a 4-year degree to get that enrichment, but I would say it helped me.

But Randy Newman's song Rednecks does come to mind.

We got no-necked oilmen from Texas
And good ol' boys from Tennessee
And college men from LSU
Went in dumb - come out dumb too
Hustlin' 'round Atlanta in their alligator shoes
......
Huckleby
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6574
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:12 pm
Location: parents' basement

Re: Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby baked goods » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:53 am

Same here. I have a professional degree in an esteemed but dying profession. I could have gained the same skills and knowhow in half the time and half the cost if I would have gone to a tech school. My tech associates degree is paying dividends shortly after graduating. Great value.

Unless you’re going into a hard science or a healthcare vocation, skip the liberal university path. You can go the liberal route if your parents are rich and connected or you have credible core elite values. Most people don’t have these prerequisites and by design can’t get them, so don’t bother aiming high. You have to have those prerequisites in order to be accepted into the correct private school because most liberal schools simply don't matter. Name brand does count.

“Forget the dire predictions of a looming shortfall of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians”

This is true. However, business likes cheap foreign labor from India. It doesn’t want to pay the market price for skilled techs and coders even though those techs and coders have to pay a market price for their education.

We don’t need any more debt ridden humanities graduates with no skills. The professional left will tell you we do because the student’s debt pays the professional lefts’ salaries. Easy fix here. It should be easier to default on student loans. Private lenders wouldn’t finance humanities education knowing it’s value is useless outside of sounding impressive at (the right kind of) east coast dinner parties. Therefore reducing the perverse incentive to go into them.
Last edited by baked goods on Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
baked goods
Senior Member
 
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:56 pm
Location: Madison

Re: Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby Huckleby » Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:58 am

In Europe, college is not so crazy expensive.

I have an idealist proposal. How about full government funding for a 4-year degree. And then the graduate pays-back something based on their income. A 5% income surtax for 20 years, say.
Huckleby
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6574
Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2005 5:12 pm
Location: parents' basement

Re: Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:06 pm

One field in which a college degree can lead to immediate employment is teaching. But nearly 50% leave that profession within five years. Large urban districts have the highest turnover.

Nationally, the average turnover for all teachers is 17 percent, and in urban school districts specifically, the number jumps to 20 percent, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. The National Commission on Teaching and America's Future proffers starker numbers, estimating that one-third of all new teachers leave after three years, and 46 percent are gone within five years.

Their departure through what researchers call the "revolving door" that's spinning ever faster—the commission estimates teacher attrition has grown by 50 percent over the past 15 years—costs roughly $7 billion a year, as districts and states recruit, hire, and try to retain new teachers.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19883
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:14 pm

Huckleby wrote:In Europe, college is not so crazy expensive.

I have an idealist proposal. How about full government funding for a 4-year degree. And then the graduate pays-back something based on their income. A 5% income surtax for 20 years, say.


What are you? Some kind of crazy socialist?

Actually this sounds like an excellent plan, though I think having an alternative method of paying back through national service (military or civilian) would enhance it.

snoqueen wrote:A good path for a young person might be to work a year after high school to get motivated, either by distaste for low-level work or positive interest in learning more. Then go for a 2-year degree, work a while longer to re-orient and stabilize your finances and skills, and decide what to do next. A background showing both work experience and education is the strongest one for employability.

I have serious doubts that a 4-year degree coming straight out of high school is the best choice for any but the very wealthy. Going from four-year college to an entry level position is discouraging and a waste of education, money, and people.


I took the year off, but then went right to a 4 year and in retrospect I probably would have profited far more by going for a 2 year first. Not sure how you could do that and still have young adults get the same growing up experience that comes with full time college living though.
Francis Di Domizio
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2427
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby Henry Vilas » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:30 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:Actually this sounds like an excellent plan, though I think having an alternative method of paying back through national service (military or civilian) would enhance it.

There is AmeriCorps.
Henry Vilas
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 19883
Joined: Wed Sep 04, 2002 8:57 pm
Location: Name sez it all

Re: Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby rabble » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:45 pm

Francis Di Domizio wrote:I took the year off, but then went right to a 4 year and in retrospect I probably would have profited far more by going for a 2 year first. Not sure how you could do that and still have young adults get the same growing up experience that comes with full time college living though.

After being a returning adult undergrad and then fifteen years working on campus, I have come to the conclusion that college is not the growing experience you and I remember from the 70's and 80's.

It's all much more specialized now. Nobody, not even lib arts, is trying to turn out a well rounded student. These kids are in the middle of one of the most diverse and colorful learning places in the world and maybe one out of twenty will try to take advantage of it.

My own opinion is that the growing experience you're associating with a four year college has partly shifted to the two-year schools which are behaving more like colleges, and has become an option instead of a requirement.
rabble
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 6157
Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2008 7:50 pm

Re: Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby Stebben84 » Tue Sep 03, 2013 12:55 pm

rabble wrote:It's all much more specialized now. Nobody, not even lib arts, is trying to turn out a well rounded student. These kids are in the middle of one of the most diverse and colorful learning places in the world and maybe one out of twenty will try to take advantage of it.


I think the problem with many Universities such as Madison, is the size. You can get lost pretty easily. I think students can get that well rounded education, but it takes initiative. I think this is why the tech schools are more appealing. They're smaller and students tend to get more attention. At the UW, you need to seek that attention out and be proactive.

I got my BFA and I made sure to take other classes that I felt would benefit me as a person and an employee. There was a comment about Humanities folks not having skills. Knowledge may not be a skill, but it can go a long way. Employers do look for this.

I'm still paying student loans, but I would never change the decision I made to get my degree. I don't think it's for everyone and it shouldn't be a knee jerk reaction that someone should get a college degree.
Stebben84
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 4843
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 12:59 pm

Re: Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:10 pm

rabble wrote:After being a returning adult undergrad and then fifteen years working on campus, I have come to the conclusion that college is not the growing experience you and I remember from the 70's and 80's.


90's for me, and it was probably starting even then. On the other hand while schools themselves aren't actively doing so, there are plenty of things young adults need to learn that moving away from home, (and hopefully) into a very different environment can teach them. Maybe the problem is that schools (and parents) are trying to make students too comfortable?

rabble wrote:My own opinion is that the growing experience you're associating with a four year college has partly shifted to the two-year schools which are behaving more like colleges, and has become an option instead of a requirement.


In some ways probably. I'm not sure the social learning is there though. One of the first leasons I learned in school wasn't in Science or Liberal Arts, but how to communicate with a Japanese room mate who spoke almost no english. Not because I wanted to necessarily but because that was the only way the two of us would make it through our semester together in the dorms.
Francis Di Domizio
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2427
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:11 pm
Location: Milwaukee, WI

Re: Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby barney » Tue Sep 03, 2013 1:21 pm

While the MATC degree is going to get you the most bang for your buck right out of school, ten or 15 years down the road the bachelor's or higher degree has a much higher return - particularly those from lower socio-economic statuses or minorities. For the four-years, it's a slow and steady climb versus a nice jump, then more of a plateau with the associate's.

However, I do think we have overemphasized a college education, and it starts at the high school level. We have decimated our vocational classes and programs, then wonder why no one wants to become tradesmen?
barney
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 760
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 3:43 pm

Re: Do we need more people with college degrees?

Postby msnflyer » Tue Sep 03, 2013 2:40 pm

I attended MATC when it was downtown, many years later went to Lakeland to finish my 4 year degree. It only took 10 years to complete it. They transfered all my MATC credits but two semesters of Communications Skills didn't get me out of Expository or Persuasive Writing.

With the help of employer's tuition assistance I was able to graduate without student loans. I'm thankful for that because my double major bachelors degree has not provided any financial benefits. My job title is the same, I get the same cost of living raises as my coworkers, but there has been no career progression due to my higher education level. Where's my pie in the sky that a four year degree is supposed to provide? I'm a better critical thinker and writer than I was, wish there were tangible benefits for all those years spent in evening classes. I'm just waiting for a coworker to graduate from the U of Phoenix in January. If they get a raise due to getting a bachelors degree I will not be happy. Going to HR won't be an option because it's staffed by incompetents.

A recent alumni survey asked how my degree had improved my financial standing, I had to answer 0%.
msnflyer
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 383
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 9:22 am

Next

Return to National Politics & Government

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar