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Thread: The Importance of College

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    #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbox View Post
    Does the fact they're funnelling their DROPOUTS to the trades play any part in that problem, do you think? The Germans send a lot of the smart kids through the apprentice pipeline, and look at what they can do.

    Speaking of the Germans...SHOULD American companies be investing in their technical training like the Germans do? Would that be better, or is there something that would make it not work so well outside Germany?

    (Note, I have no real formed opinion. I'm just questioning to see where this leads)
    It works well for us, I don't see a reason it wouldn't work in other countries. It's usually a 3 year apprenticeship with school and on the job training. You also get already paid. It's a pretty good system for trade jobs and people who don't want to/can't go to university.
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    1) I think that pushing kids into college and the stigma associated with not attending college is wrong, there are plenty of trade jobs that pay well. And those positions should be as valued as someone with a degree and white collar job. I saw an article the other day in the "good news" section that posted that all 300+ kids graduating from a high school were attending college the next year. Great well, how many of them will be getting degrees in the underwater basket weaving and have 100k in debt, perfect. At least they will be well-rounded adults? Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if some of them went into a trade or military.

    2) There is nothing wrong with trade jobs, if I had kids and they didn't want to attend college and had a legit plan to do something else I would be completely on board. With that said, I'm first generation college and my parents pushed my sisters and I into college because they wanted us to have ability to not work quite as hard as they had/have to. But that all depends on what you study and its worth in the marketplace.

    3) To me the difference is if it has long term growth or is a temporary position. For example, fast food and retail are so low paying and unskilled that they are considered a job to me unless you are planning on working up the ladder and franchise or something. Careers have growth, skilled labor, and/or an intention to move up and progress, to me at least.
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbox View Post
    Does the fact they're funnelling their DROPOUTS to the trades play any part in that problem, do you think? The Germans send a lot of the smart kids through the apprentice pipeline, and look at what they can do.

    Speaking of the Germans...SHOULD American companies be investing in their technical training like the Germans do? Would that be better, or is there something that would make it not work so well outside Germany?

    (Note, I have no real formed opinion. I'm just questioning to see where this leads)
    I mean, that may be part of the problem, but really, why would anyone smarter WANT to go into the trades when there's no guaranteed work, wage, or unions? It's a catch 22. In my cousin's case though he dropped out cuz he's bipolar and couldn't afford his meds while in college since he was trying to pay tuition to not take out loans

    I think the more European model is great personally (hardcore socialist here) but I don't know that it would be able to be present in a lot of American society. I can't ever see most employers being willing to take on the time and educational burden of providing training that is an alternate to a degree. Why spend 50K educating your employee when you can just say a Master's in Engineering is required instead?
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    I am not a college graduate - I never finished college. Looking back, I wish I had just for that "magical piece of paper" because it's that piece of paper that gets you in the door. I find it sad really, because experience should trump college in my eyes.

    With everyone pushing for college, what's going to happen to those blue collar jobs that need filled? Ask Mike Rowe - he has lots to say about that. I also have to wonder about student loans - all these kids are incurring such debt and then going out into the world looking for jobs - jobs that are often hard to come by. How are these kids supposed to support themselves while they are paying their student loans? I think that's why a lot of kids are living at home longer - they can't afford to move out and live on their own due to their student loans.

    If your career choice requires you to go to college (teacher, nurse, doctor, attorney, etc) then do it - but you really have to ask yourself is a magical piece of paper really worth x amount of years in debt? Think about it - the first 20 years of your life, you'll be working to pay off your student loans.

    I guess my answer doesn't really help the debate any - I'm not against college, I'm just against the debt that people have to incur to get an education.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kw1214 View Post
    I am not a college graduate - I never finished college. Looking back, I wish I had just for that "magical piece of paper" because it's that piece of paper that gets you in the door. I find it sad really, because experience should trump college in my eyes.

    With everyone pushing for college, what's going to happen to those blue collar jobs that need filled? Ask Mike Rowe - he has lots to say about that. I also have to wonder about student loans - all these kids are incurring such debt and then going out into the world looking for jobs - jobs that are often hard to come by. How are these kids supposed to support themselves while they are paying their student loans? I think that's why a lot of kids are living at home longer - they can't afford to move out and live on their own due to their student loans.

    If your career choice requires you to go to college (teacher, nurse, doctor, attorney, etc) then do it - but you really have to ask yourself is a magical piece of paper really worth x amount of years in debt? Think about it - the first 20 years of your life, you'll be working to pay off your student loans.

    I guess my answer doesn't really help the debate any - I'm not against college, I'm just against the debt that people have to incur to get an education.
    Just wanted to touch on the bolded because that's pretty unrealistic honestly. I don't know anyone who is planning on taking the full 20 years to be able to pay off their debt, not even my sister who got a very expensive private art school degree in photography and then a masters in Art Librarianship

    Mine are going to take exactly 37 months to pay off (just 2 left!!!) for both my BS and MPH degrees.
    While I very much agree that it's important to consider how much debt you're getting into, I don't know that there really is much alternative especially if you DO want to do something that requires a degree like nursing. There are only so many grants and scholarships out there, kwim?
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    [QUOTE=rocket_lizz;10058903]Just wanted to touch on the bolded because that's pretty unrealistic honestly. I don't know anyone who is planning on taking the full 20 years to be able to pay off their debt, not even my sister who got a very expensive private art school degree in photography and then a masters in Art Librarianship

    Mine are going to take exactly 37 months to pay off (just 2 left!!!) for both my BS and MPH degrees.
    While I very much agree that it's important to consider how much debt you're getting into, I don't know that there really is much alternative especially if you DO want to do something that requires a degree like nursing. There are only so many grants and scholarships out there, kwim?[/QUOTE

    Unrealistic as it might be, the point I was trying to make .... the price of college is outrageous and student loans are a big problem!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    Just wanted to touch on the bolded because that's pretty unrealistic honestly. I don't know anyone who is planning on taking the full 20 years to be able to pay off their debt, not even my sister who got a very expensive private art school degree in photography and then a masters in Art Librarianship

    Mine are going to take exactly 37 months to pay off (just 2 left!!!) for both my BS and MPH degrees.
    While I very much agree that it's important to consider how much debt you're getting into, I don't know that there really is much alternative especially if you DO want to do something that requires a degree like nursing. There are only so many grants and scholarships out there, kwim?
    Half of the teachers in my high school were still paying off school loans and this was 10-15 years post graduation for most of them.

    I don't think college is the only route. While it definitely is a must for some careers, it isn't for others and I'm tired of people (especially high school teachers) acting like college is the "right" way. There is nothing wrong with blue collar work and people make decent livings off of it with no formal schooling and just a bit of training. It all depends on what you want to do.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    Just wanted to touch on the bolded because that's pretty unrealistic honestly. I don't know anyone who is planning on taking the full 20 years to be able to pay off their debt, not even my sister who got a very expensive private art school degree in photography and then a masters in Art Librarianship

    Mine are going to take exactly 37 months to pay off (just 2 left!!!) for both my BS and MPH degrees.
    While I very much agree that it's important to consider how much debt you're getting into, I don't know that there really is much alternative especially if you DO want to do something that requires a degree like nursing. There are only so many grants and scholarships out there, kwim?
    My mom works with lots of doctors in their 40s and 50s that are still paying on student loans. Also, my best friend is a large animal vet and her loans are so massive that her payments (4 years undergrad, four years vet school, two one-year internships, and 3 year residency) would easily extend 20 years if she wasn't super intense on paying them off. I think the key is that these are professions that have a good financial return on investment. If it was 50k in loans with a degree in English literature that might be harder to swing.
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    #19
    1) The often repeated line that a bachelors is what a high school diploma used to be, and you need at least a masters to be truly competitive...do you agree with this? Do you NEED a college education to get a good job? SHOULD you need a masters? Have we devalued college by mistake, if everyone must have it?

    I work with several people whom don't have a degree and make more than I do (I have a Bachelors), I do think that as a society we have devalued a college degree in most cases. I don't think you NEED college but you do need some of the skill sets you obtain from upper level coursework...I think that could be obtained by working your way up in the business world in most cases though.

    2) What about the perception of college as the best path to a good job? Even if it's not necessarily accurate, a lot of people seem to treat it as gospel, and God knows a lot of kids get into horrendous debt over it - to my eyes there's very much a perception/value judgement thing at play here. Would YOU ever consider trades work, or encourage your kids to pursue it? Why/why not?

    I don't agree that college is always the way to a good job, I know a lot of people who started working straight out of high school while I went to a 4 year university and are at pretty much the same place I am in their career. I will say that in some cases there are people who get really nice cushy jobs straight out of college but they are few and far between IMO.

    3) Where do alternate pathways (like the apprenticeship I did, or real world experience in general) fit into this? It's not college, so how should it be valued on the "job" vs "career" scale?

    I think there is a lot to be said for gaining on-job experience and I think a lot of employers value that more than some punk straight out of college with a degree thinking they know exactly how to do everything, in reality they know how to do NOTHING because college doesn't prepare you for the real world most of the time.



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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by rocket_lizz View Post
    Just wanted to touch on the bolded because that's pretty unrealistic honestly. I don't know anyone who is planning on taking the full 20 years to be able to pay off their debt, not even my sister who got a very expensive private art school degree in photography and then a masters in Art Librarianship

    Mine are going to take exactly 37 months to pay off (just 2 left!!!) for both my BS and MPH degrees.
    While I very much agree that it's important to consider how much debt you're getting into, I don't know that there really is much alternative especially if you DO want to do something that requires a degree like nursing. There are only so many grants and scholarships out there, kwim?
    I don't think that's terribly unrealistic, there have been a few posts just in the past couple of days on /r/personalfinance where people have discovered after several years of making payments that they now owe more than their original student loan amount.
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