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I think college degrees are overrated.

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A degree in many cases is a union card, it gets your foot in the door, it shows peers and employers that you have committed to a field of study, it doesn't prove skill level, it doesn't show ability other than to achieve goals and doing the work. Education never stops, and no one can ever take away what you put between your ears. Having programming expertise and staying up to date on technology might help in a programming role, but it doesn't mean the programmer has a rounded background or a varied exposure to other things that lend perspective. I would always choose a developer with a formal education over coding-fiend who only had a high-school education and took a few test to become certified in something. JMHO

 

Formal education is not only about ROI, it's about the struggle, it's about challenging yourself it's about the tests, the homework and the teachers you hate as much as it's about pursuing your dreams and leaning. You can't take people who question the cost of education seriously who haven't considered the world without educated people and what that world would be like. Yes college is crazy eff'ing expensive and colleges are raking it in, but a student can shop around and should seek to offset costs by combining work-study and academic grants. They shouldn't blow it off, cause some MBA from Duke writes an article in U.S. News & World Report saying we should all reconsider getting a college education cause it cost too much... The alternative costs MORE!!! :glare:

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I can't think of a single thing out there that I would do that doesn't require a degree.

 

Outside of hiring a CFO, where an MBA was the starting requirement, I can't think of a single hire that didn't require education and knowledge, but a degree? Not so much.

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Having programming expertise and staying up to date on technology might help in a programming role, but it doesn't mean the programmer has a rounded background or a varied exposure to other things that lend perspective.

 

 

Now that I think about it, I've never run across a crack programmer that was well rounded. There are areas where education, and it is almost certain the person has a degree, is critical. Someone that is going to design Kalman based control systems, for instance. OTOH, 99% of degreed engineers wouldn't be suitable for that job either.

 

There has been grade inflation and degree inflation over the years that has eaten into the value degrees once had while overall engineering fields have become increasingly complex. It's not so much that education has become less important. The opposite is in fact the case, What has happened is that technical degrees just aren't as useful an indicator as they once were. IMO, any HR department that screens out people without degrees should be replaced. Unless required by regulatory agencies, people should be hired based on their ability and demonstrated knowledge first and foremost.

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I'm not saying for one second that programmers without formal degrees can't do the work, they certainly can and do, but extrapolating that to be an argument against education does not work, not for me anyway. I work with well rounded "crack programmers" everyday, off shore resources not withstanding. This could be a semantics issue, the use of the word "indicator" is an odd one, degrees rarely are indicators of anything other than general accomplishments, no industry hands the keys over to a new graduate?

 

 

 

Having programming expertise and staying up to date on technology might help in a programming role, but it doesn't mean the programmer has a rounded background or a varied exposure to other things that lend perspective.

 

 

Now that I think about it, I've never run across a crack programmer that was well rounded. There are areas where education, and it is almost certain the person has a degree, is critical. Someone that is going to design Kalman based control systems, for instance. OTOH, 99% of degreed engineers wouldn't be suitable for that job either.

 

There has been grade inflation and degree inflation over the years that has eaten into the value degrees once had while overall engineering fields have become increasingly complex. It's not so much that education has become less important. The opposite is in fact the case, What has happened is that technical degrees just aren't as useful an indicator as they once were. IMO, any HR department that screens out people without degrees should be replaced. Unless required by regulatory agencies, people should be hired based on their ability and demonstrated knowledge first and foremost.

 

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The problem is that education has changed. Education isn't just from ivory castles that require you to know subjects like logic, humanities, etc., along with the classes for your degree subject. A lot of AAS or BAS just more or less teach you items related to your degree. I actually think it is pretty sad and that may be the reason that the US is falling so far behind the other countries.

Yes, your big state universities and private universities still require these things....but many community colleges and technical type colleges don't. So IMHO, those graduates I would call "trained"....not "educated".

 

On the flip side....I know quite a few people who have never gone to college but are very "educated" (or maybe "enlightened" is a better term) when it comes to things like world history, humanities, and the arts.

 

Yet I will never forget where a "college graduate" only knew that Hitler vaguely had something to do with WWII....and thought Japan was somewhere in Germany. This happened not once, but twice....2 different people, two totally different situations. One had an AAS (RN program) the other had a BS from a local business college. Seriously? SERIOUSLY??? these are things that are taught in both Jr and Sr high school!

So yeah, call me a snob....I admit it. I want to be around intellectuals (whether they have a degree or not). Yeah, I might be too uneducated for some of them (depending on the subject matter)...but I will bone up on a subject if I know it will be discussed.

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The problem is that education has changed. Education isn't just from ivory castles that require you to know subjects like logic, humanities, etc., along with the classes for your degree subject. A lot of AAS or BAS just more or less teach you items related to your degree. I actually think it is pretty sad and that may be the reason that the US is falling so far behind the other countries.

 

Yes, your big state universities and private universities still require these things....but many community colleges and technical type colleges don't. So IMHO, those graduates I would call "trained"....not "educated".

 

On the flip side....I know quite a few people who have never gone to college but are very "educated" (or maybe "enlightened" is a better term) when it comes to things like world history, humanities, and the arts.

 

Yet I will never forget where a "college graduate" only knew that Hitler vaguely had something to do with WWII....and thought Japan was somewhere in Germany. This happened not once, but twice....2 different people, two totally different situations. One had an AAS (RN program) the other had a BS from a local business college. Seriously? SERIOUSLY??? these are things that are taught in both Jr and Sr high school!

 

So yeah, call me a snob....I admit it. I want to be around intellectuals (whether they have a degree or not). Yeah, I might be too uneducated for some of them (depending on the subject matter)...but I will bone up on a subject if I know it will be discussed.

Yep. I was always asked when I took a philosophy class or whatever, "Why are you taking that? That doesn't have anything to do with your degree." Yeah, well..no, it doesn't. But not only do I want a good career, I want to be able to hold an intelligent conversation with people and not sound like a blubbering salamander. I want to be well-rounded...and I mean in the intellectual sense, not the "well-rounded" that most Americans are these days because they can't put down the fork.

 

I always look at one of my uncles. He's never been a lawyer, doctor, CEO, or anything of any vast importance. But this guy is probably one of the most intelligent people I know. History, physics, movies, music, philosophy...ANYTHING. It's amazing and I find it so cool. He got that way through years of education and traveling and just plain life. And it shows, his kids are following right in his footsteps. It's awesome.

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I went to a liberal arts undergrad, and it was one of the best decisions of my life. I pursued tech things (computer science, math), but was forced to be well-rounded to complete my studies. Foreign language profiency, social sciences, music, hell, even religion and a phys ed class were required.

Edited by ArchonInitiative

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I should be clear that I do not believe education is not something highly valued and valuable. It obviously is and should be. A college degree is an indicator that a person is more likely to be educated but there are a surprising number of autodidacts out there and an all too large number of degreed people that must have been going to too many parties.

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The whole

 

 

Ehhh....nevermind. :wave:

Oh go on. I want to read some controversial shitstorm today. :rofl: I need some entertainment.

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Today, more than ever before, education needs to be a continuing process. Hopefully, graduation means that you don't need handholding to continue learning.

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The problem is that education has changed. Education isn't just from ivory castles that require you to know subjects like logic, humanities, etc., along with the classes for your degree subject. A lot of AAS or BAS just more or less teach you items related to your degree. I actually think it is pretty sad and that may be the reason that the US is falling so far behind the other countries.

 

Yes, your big state universities and private universities still require these things....but many community colleges and technical type colleges don't. So IMHO, those graduates I would call "trained"....not "educated".

 

On the flip side....I know quite a few people who have never gone to college but are very "educated" (or maybe "enlightened" is a better term) when it comes to things like world history, humanities, and the arts.

 

Yet I will never forget where a "college graduate" only knew that Hitler vaguely had something to do with WWII....and thought Japan was somewhere in Germany. This happened not once, but twice....2 different people, two totally different situations. One had an AAS (RN program) the other had a BS from a local business college. Seriously? SERIOUSLY??? these are things that are taught in both Jr and Sr high school!

 

So yeah, call me a snob....I admit it. I want to be around intellectuals (whether they have a degree or not). Yeah, I might be too uneducated for some of them (depending on the subject matter)...but I will bone up on a subject if I know it will be discussed.

 

I think there's a difference between wanting to "be around" intellectuals and wanting to hire them. I'm one of those people who is very guilty of not being able to retain information that I don't use fairly frequently (i.e. - important historical dates, figures, etc). But I'm an engineer, and I don't need to know or remember those things to design and start-up a sterile water distribution system. I like to think I'm pretty damn good at my job, based on performance reviews and rate of advancement, and not once have I had a boss say "You're a great engineer, but damn do you suck at Geography".

 

Anyway, that is a bit off-topic. As far as degrees being overrated, it's a matter of perception. Mine has served me very well. But I agree with CramItCCAs, a degree will help get your foot in the door for a lot of positions, but you need to demonstrate a level of competence to move from there.

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Why Asians shall lead.....

 

Asia’s parents suffering 'education fever'

 

I could have started another topic, but I thought it fit into this thread rather well.

Of course, it talks of extremes, but it makes me wonder....why aren't American parents pushing their children towards excellence?
People often talk of patriotism, waving flags and whatnot....but when the US falls far behind the rest of the world in education......it is really rather embarrassing.

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I firmly believe that we don't push excellence because we're taught that excellence is bad. Success is bad. "Rich" people are evil and greedy. It's such BS. I was talking with a friend's [welfare queen] mom this weekend and she was making fun of her sister and brother in law because "they paid off their house in 7 years and want $1MM before they retire!" as if that's something to be ashamed of and something one should be making fun of. Kids are taught at an early age that being wealthy is a bad thing. Take a look at public schools. Kids get made fun of for doing well, studying, and trying hard. It's just ridiculous. And you're right, we are embarrassing.

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I firmly believe that we don't push excellence because we're taught that excellence is bad. Success is bad. "Rich" people are evil and greedy. It's such BS. I was talking with a friend's [welfare queen] mom this weekend and she was making fun of her sister and brother in law because "they paid off their house in 7 years and want $1MM before they retire!" as if that's something to be ashamed of and something one should be making fun of. Kids are taught at an early age that being wealthy is a bad thing. Take a look at public schools. Kids get made fun of for doing well, studying, and trying hard. It's just ridiculous. And you're right, we are embarrassing.

 

It may also be a side effect of the credit industry, Don't save, buy today. Why deprive yourself. Buy xxx now, no payment for 15 months. I see those ads all the time. We have created our own environment.

 

As an aside, it's interesting to see how widespread Amy Chua's "Tiger Mom" meme has become. It's prominent in the BBC report.

 

OTOH, lest we forget there was far more antagonism towards "The Wealthy" in the 60's.

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Honestly how many american parents support their kids fully for their education? How many of them ask the kids do part time jobs and get their own loans?

I know a lot of asian parents and 99% of them pay their kids education until the kids find the jobs.

 

I believe this is a fundemental change that turn the kids away from schools into dropouts and into deep debts.

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Before I retired we had an ethnic Chinese comptroller. She, and her siblings, worked for free at their family owned restaurant. When it was time for college their parents paid all their expenses but when they were home for summer they also worked, again for free, at the family restaurant. I think there was a certain amount of incentive to study since dropping out meant you had to go back home and work for "free" or support yourself entirely on your own. I'm not sure it's an Asian thing though. In my experience it is fairly typical of most families that run a small biz where there are few if any non-family workers.

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My parents paid for all 3 of us. My son's college education was set aside when he was 4.
Of course scholarships help here and there.

My daughter, on the other hand.....nothing, nada. My husband is under the impression that she will get a full scholarship somewhere. (lord help us all)

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