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Is College a Scam?

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by Jimmie84, Jul 12, 2011.

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  1. Jimmie84

    Jimmie84 New Member

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    With a huge rise in Tuition rates, high number of people with Degree's, Do you think College is a scam?

    I've recently been looking into a two year degree (Associates in Applied Science) For the Information & Telecommunications Technology. It HAS not been fun figuring out the long term prospect's of this degree and If I'm going into a decent field.

    We see TONS of high school graduates going off to college and racking up a cool $100k in loans, And are getting jobs that make $12 per hour...

    The question is, Is college really necessary?

    I really don't think College is a gateway to make a lot of money. I think personal drive and the ability to learn is what is the key factor.

    Discuss!
  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    college today is a scam. they've built a fiefdom like everyone else in today's society. even if you're a c/d student in highschool, there is a college for you somewhere and maybe even some taxpayer assistance!
  3. davesrose

    davesrose Active Member

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    I would say an education is very important these days. Debating about a liberal arts degree from a very expensive private school vs getting some vocational degree is a seperate debate. Considering the US has steadily been eliminating manufacturing jobs, a high school degree just guarantees part time jobs at food and retail jobs by this point.

    As for trying to assess what degree is best: there's always been a factor of chance over how benificial the degree will be. The main arguement for expensive 4 year degrees is that it at least gives you a basic overall education for either basing critical thinking or helping you decide what you'll further get into. If you have a passion for IT work, I would at least see what kind of certification programs you need for jobs that strike your fancy.

    Considering that the markets have been changing, I think it is interesting that we still have a relatively low rate of college graduates (though more are going to school later in life)

    [​IMG]
  4. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    Jimmie, the biggest problem with your thinking is that it's shortsighted. What happens when the economy turns around? Those degrees are sure going to come in handy. It may not rake in gold, but you can count on better paying work than w/o a degree.

    During the height of the dot-com era, Apple had a booth setup at a Stanford graduation. Apple was announcing that any new grad who showed them their diploma could get a job at Apple - just like that! Guess what, some people were crazy enough to turn them down.

    Our economy will see peaks and troughs. A solid education will always help in either of these times whether you see it now or not.
  5. JSH

    JSH Senior Member

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    No college is not a scam but you do need to be selective when it comes time to pick a field of study. I would also recommend anyone going to school pick a field that has to be done on site. Any job that can be done on a computer can be done anywhere in the world and that means that you care competing for jobs with the whole world.

    I'm a mechanical engineer with 11 years of experience. I'm not sure if there will still be a job for me in another 10 years. The last company I worked for had 3 design engineers in the US and 21 in India. My current company outsources all of our design and modeling work to an Indian engineering firm. When a new Indian engineer with work for $10K and a new American engineer starts at $50K it is hard to compete.

    EDIT: Skilled trades are an excellent option. They need to be done in person and you can learn most through an apprentice program or a 2 year degree. There has been and ad for an experienced and certified auto mechanic in my local paper for weeks now. $70K salary, Blue Cross Medical, 401K, and 2 weeks paid vacation. A couple of weeks ago they added a $3K signing bonus.
  6. daniel

    daniel Cat Lovers Against the Bomb

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    Only in America would anyone ask whether an education is necessary! Only in America does society fail to recognize that an educated populace strengthens the entire nation. Only a nation of imbeciles does not provide free education to everyone.
    8 people like this.
  7. amm0bob

    amm0bob Permanently Junior...

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    Hmmmm...

    This is usually a question posed by someone that doesn't want to believe that higher education makes a difference in what they want to do... or how much they can earn...

    I will say this Bra:

    Some doors will NOT open without a degree regardless of what your skillsets are... and there are LOTS of places that think an AA or an AS ain't enough of a Degree to start with... Just saying.

    Some doors will not open even with a degree in the field without experience in the field... unless you have some coinage influence behind you of course.

    Some doors will not open without a degree and inside influence in your favor... be it someone you know, or someone that was told about you and YOUR Degree.

    Some doors will not open unless you are a favored party... (read: specified faction/minority/chosen few... or included in a program)... OK... it's true... it's not always legal, but we have proof year after year it happens.

    Some doors never open for you because the entrants have been pre-chosen... and thus, the ultimate winner(s).

    And sometimes... if you are one of the lucky... (as I know I am)... you get an opportunity to have a position to give some influence in a project just because YOU had a piece of paper that said YOU finished something in education... Have some experience... And Know Someone that vouched for You.

    Just saying...
  8. Southern Dad

    Southern Dad Active Member

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    When I was growing up it wasn't a question of whether I was going to college but rather which college I'd be attending. After a long military career, I opted to move to Georgia where I felt that I would have less competition for good jobs. Georgia has a very low cost of living and a high drop out rate. The more education you have the better off you are in the job competition.
  9. amm0bob

    amm0bob Permanently Junior...

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    Most of the planet does not... unless you include only the "selected"...

    You know that Bra...
  10. caffeinekid

    caffeinekid Duct Tape Extraordinaire

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    One of my favorite topics.....right after finance.

    Yes. MANY colleges and the degrees they offer are scams. At the very best they are merely grossly over-priced and a poor man's tax. This has been the case for quite some time when it came to vocational schools like ITT, but we have reached a whole new level under current circumstances that now includes degrees from more traditional institutions. It has literally gotten out of control.

    Google "education bubble" for a real eye-opener and spend a few months researching. It will take at least that long to get your head into the scope of it and how intertwined it is with the economy and government subsidization. In a nutshell, if you think the housing bubble hurt, just wait until this one pops. Many people believe that this is the one that will finally tank the global currency ruse.
  11. Jimmie84

    Jimmie84 New Member

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    You make a VERY good valid point.

    Take a look at the kids that go off to a University and rack up $100k in loans. Just how long will it take for them to pay it back?

    Some people don't belong in College and some shouldn't even consider it.

    I'll wager that 20% of people who go off to College, Are getting booted out of the house by Mommy & Daddy JUST to get them out of the house....

    I'm not saying nobody should go to college, College is not a ticket to getting rich.
  12. caffeinekid

    caffeinekid Duct Tape Extraordinaire

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    People often refer to the infamous " >100K" medical and law school loans, but the cold reality is that most are much less than that, yet just as unlikely to ever get repaid due to the NINJA factor- No Income, No Job or Assets. Worse yet, these degrees are largely achieved with paper printed and backed by the government.
  13. macmaster05

    macmaster05 Senor Member

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    I don't know anybody who goes to college saying "this is going to make me rich." Most people go to college (and this goes for grad and professional level too) to learn and explore an interest. It ALWAYS must start with this. Money comes later after hard work.
    1 person likes this.
  14. cproaudio

    cproaudio Speedlock Overrider

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    There are many jobs require a bachelor degree, doesn't matter what degree it is as long as it's degree from an accredited college.
  15. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    This is where it separates the thinkers from the the doers. If you are a doer (mechanic, plumber, grocery bagger, or the sorts of jobs you find on craigslist/newspapers) then you will probably benefit very little from going to university. College may be a requirement for some of those "professions" but it is more of a getting you in the door then a requirement. I don't know how aboriginal art history will help you packing boxes at FedEx, but it sure looks good on your resume...

    If you are a thinker (engineer, scientist, doctor, or the ones who need the degree because they are learning things they will later use) then it is not a waste of time at all. And all of these require university at a minimum, no college here.

    I graduated with 0 loans. I had a few academic scholarships but the rest I paid for. I'll be going back for my masters within the next couple years not because it looks good on paper, but because there are things I need more learnin' with.
  16. 2k1Toaster

    2k1Toaster HID Guru

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    We need more people like this in powers of higher authority. (Not that you aren't high on the PC authority list :p)

    Politicians are too afraid of pissing of their voters where idiots >>> non-idiots. You must recognize failure to be able to fix it.
  17. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    The US is seriously lacking in education for the trades. Anyone who has experienced the level of incompetence in car repair facilities should aware of that. Those are also the decent paying jobs that are difficult to impossible to export to cheap labor countries. We seriously need better education in the technical (and not so technical) trades.

    I am convinced that the main reason so many jobs that don't really need a college education require a Bachelors degree is that by the time a person has a Bachelors degree they are at least 4 years older and have gotten a lot of foolishness out of their system. They have also demonstrated they can stick to something that requires some effort for at least 4 years.

    Other careers, such as medicine, engineering and law, you can't get into without a degree or if you do manage to get in you will be getting into a gunfight armed with knife.
  18. mmcdonal

    mmcdonal Active Member

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    Don't forget, you also have to put something into the process, not just sit back and accumulate a degree with passing grades and expect that things will now happen.

    A lot of kids that enter college just go for the beer (and vomiting, leave us not forget the vomiting) and think that they deserve a living once they have the paper. Even if you are a "thinker," you have to be a "doer" to get something out of the degree, and then get something out of your career.

    A good trade school can also open a lot of doors if you want to do that. I was in a trade first, and it was very rewarding.

    US High Schools used to have trade preparation, that is where I think we went wrong - getting rid of those programs.
  19. stevemcelroy

    stevemcelroy Active Member

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    At business school one of the standard exercises used in many orientations (including mine) is to analyze the economic value of the MBA everyone is looking to get. You take the starting salary of someone with and without an MBA and project forward earnings to retirement and then discount them back to today's $'s and factor in the cost of the degree (tuition and living expenses for 2 years) and also loss of salary for 2 years. It comes out to show show getting the degree is a wash economically. As far as I remember no one got up and left.

    As for the specifics - there is a huge value education, but I think that tuitions at many schools is out of whack with the value that they give. There was a story a few weeks back about the highest priced colleges in the country. There were a number of schools that I had never heard of on the list, and many well known ones not on the list.

    My daughters are going to be college age in a few years. If they wind up getting into a top school my wife and I will not have a problem paying, if they wind up getting into average schools it will be state college. We live in Philly - so if they were to get into U. Penn or Swarthmore we will gladly figure out how pay for it, if they were to get into Philadelphia University (a school I never heard of before moving here) we would not pay.

    OP - if going back to get this degree will improve your life both financially and in other ways then do it. Be especially careful if the school you are looking at is for profit. It sounds like you have done your homework on this so trust your gut & good luck.
  20. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    Do you have that personal drive? Do you, in fact, have a better idea than college?
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