generation limbo: 20-somethings today, debt, unemployment, the questionable value of a college education

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attendance is at a high this year but the prez/board of regents is keeping it at more or less stable levels, so we're only about 500 students up this year iirc

my #s seem a bit down wait-list-wise but my classes are all full so things seem ok

Euler, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:07 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm not sure that four-year college is right for those students either, but I think a lot of the problem is that while the "go to college & ~find~ yourself" is great for upper-middle-class kids, I don't think it suits others so well.

fwiw I feel the same way about the sexual revolution

Euler, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

jeez I didn't find myself until about four years after college

unwarranted display names of ilx (mh), Friday, 2 September 2011 17:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

also before you people tell me to get to work

a) I've got the stomach flu pretty wicked right now
b) taught 3 hrs yesterday & gonna do it again for an hour today
c) was an awesome Pete Sampras at the US Open moment yesterday, hoping to play like a champion again today

Euler, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

I thought you were tenured? it should be ilx+tennis 24/7 now

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

wait maybe some sleeping...and eating

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

remy otm - there is a huge disparity in the quality of education that a student can potentially get before college.

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

this article instantly reminded me of a nearly identical piece in Time Magazine from the early 90s about Generation X - over-educated, aimless, without economic prospects, debt-ridden, unlikely to scale the economic heights of their forebears, etc. I wonder if that is online somewhere...

I can feel it in my spiritual hat (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 2 September 2011 17:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

haha yeah tenure but like Sampras I wanna keep rising high

Euler, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah the thing is 'aimless college grads' has always been 'a thing', but right now we're in an economic downturn that's not comparable to anything else post-great depression xp

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

I guess part of what I'm getting at is that for students who require special accommodations, have either documented or undocumented LDs, speak mediocre English, need to take a slower, non-traditional (or interrupted) path through schools, or require additional mentorship or counseling, the the community college and state school system has often been welcoming, empowering and viable. Whether it's true or not, these students aren't perceiving the same help/options in these schools b/c of a one size fits all approach that now include a lot of more traditional students who need less in the way of support. For the school's bottom line, this is a good thing: accommodations cost money, and customarily the students who require them have a lower earning potential (as a group) than the students who don't, so why not focus on the most likely-to-be-successful students?

remy bean, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

ah here it is

xp

I can feel it in my spiritual hat (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 2 September 2011 17:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

"Reason: America needs them. Today's young adults are so scarce that their numbers could result in severe labor shortages in the coming decade."

yeah this part doesn't come up in many articles today

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

boomers kids are their own demographic bump, gen x was the lack of one

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

What worries parents, teachers and employers is that the latest crop of adults wants to postpone growing up. At a time when they should be graduating, entering the work force and starting families of their own, the twentysomething crowd is balking at those rites of passage. A prime reason is their recognition that the American Dream is much tougher to achieve after years of housing-price inflation and stagnant wages. Householders under the age of 25 were the only group during the 1980s to suffer a drop in income, a decline of 10%. One result: fully 75% of young males 18 to 24 years old are still living at home, the largest proportion since the Great Depression.

In a TIME/CNN poll of 18- to 29-year-olds, 65% of those surveyed agreed it will be harder for their group to live as comfortably as previous generations. While the majority of today's young adults think they have a strong chance of finding a well-paying and interesting job, 69% believe they will have more difficulty buying a house, and 52% say they will have less leisure time than their predecessors. Asked to describe their generation, 53% said the group is worried about the future.

I can feel it in my spiritual hat (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 2 September 2011 17:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

69% believe they will have more difficulty buying a house, and 52% say they will have less leisure time than their predecessors.

that much turned out to be true!

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

Because they are fewer in number, today's young adults have the power to wreak havoc in the workplace. Companies are discovering that to win the best talent, they must cater to a young work force that is considered overly sensitive at best and lazy at worst. During the next several years, employers will have to double their recruiting efforts. According to American Demographics, the pool of entry-level workers 16 to 24 will shrink about 500,000 a year through 1995, to 21 million. These youngsters are starting to use their bargaining power to get more of what they feel is coming to them. They want flexibility, access to decision making and a return to the sacredness of work-free weekends. "I want a work environment concerned about my personal growth," says Jennifer Peters, 22, one of the youngest candidates ever to be admitted to the State Bar of California. "I don't want to go to work and feel I'll be burned out two or three years down the road."

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

seems a little different to me!

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

Euler what is your field?

Do not go gentle into that good frogbs (silby), Friday, 2 September 2011 17:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah sure there are differences - I haven't read the article in 20 years fwiw

I can feel it in my spiritual hat (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 2 September 2011 17:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

gen x: lazy
millennials: overeducated, prob a little lazy, mostly just fucked

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:24 (2 years ago) Permalink

that article feels more like "aimless 20 somethings not sure of what they want to do", today's version of "aimless 20 somethings WANT to do something but finding all doors shut"

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah as far as I can tell In This Economy™ what used to be entry-level jobs all advertise as requiring 3 years experience. I somehow have gotten a few interviews anyway but every time one peters out I just get less interested in applying for more programming jobs and more interested in killing time until grad school.

Do not go gentle into that good frogbs (silby), Friday, 2 September 2011 17:25 (2 years ago) Permalink

I'm a phil-ah-soh-pher

which btw shouldn't be conflated with "the liberal arts" b/c our students aren't usually the dreamy-wanna-write-a-story types, rather they're the mass debater types & go on to do analytic work & typically get pretty well paid (unless they go to grad school obv)

Euler, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

you mean @ your school or philosophy majors in general

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

Not really involved in the discussion but here's a link that might be of interest - http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2011/08/31/historical-trends-in-college-tuition/

The linked post about the retained value of a college degree is also worth a look.

pullapartsquirrel (Jenny), Friday, 2 September 2011 17:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

both xp unless we're talking continental philosophers w/ all that crit theory bullshit & that's just dreamy-wanna-write-a-story stuff that isn't gonna get you anywhere

obv I am a pawn of the status quo

Euler, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:56 (2 years ago) Permalink

I dunno I think their prospects aren't much different from english majors or whatever, they just have a higher tendency to go to law school

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 17:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

if I owned 'generic business' I would totally hire a bunch of philosophy majors tho, seems like an undervalued asset (as long as I didn't have to talk to them)

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

what if 'generic business' was a 'medicinal marijuana shop'

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

fwiw philosophy majors rank in the top three nationally on the LSAT, GMAT and GRE pretty much yearly; our only competition is physics & math iirc

Euler, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

xp lol

Euler, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

Got turned down for a job I had two interviews for today. FUCK THIS SHIT.

gay socialists smoking mushrooms with their illegal gardeners (a hoy hoy), Friday, 2 September 2011 18:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

xps to Euler: see I don't like the idea of denigrating "the liberal arts" as a thing, I legitimately believe that the liberal arts (including liberal study of the sciences) are the foundation of a democratic society; this is why high school is at least in part a weird mini liberal arts education. College as a job-training-and-credentialing exercise is just going to become a worse and worse value proposition (though it honestly isn't now, as college grads are still outperforming non-college-grads in the job market, modulo debt I guess), especially because the academy moves so slowly that by the time it has figured out how to prepare students for the economy of 2011 it'll be 2038.

a hoy hoy: YEAH NO KIDDIN

Do not go gentle into that good frogbs (silby), Friday, 2 September 2011 18:06 (2 years ago) Permalink

this is why high school is at least in part a weird mini liberal arts education it's becoming less of this all the time

remy bean, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah I would like to see more discussion of the value of a liberal arts education itt. think a lot of ppl (though not all) who post to ILX prob have a degree in the liberal arts and went to liberal arts colleges?

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

did anybody actually have 'shop class' in high school?

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

my hs had it, I didn't take it

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

^^^we did and I managed to studiously avoid all of them

I can feel it in my spiritual hat (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 2 September 2011 18:09 (2 years ago) Permalink

we also had an auto-repair type class, I think

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:10 (2 years ago) Permalink

the stuff I learned in my hs journalism class - particularly how to write, use a computer, and lay things out - came in much handier professionally than anything I learned in college, really. but liberal arts degrees/colleges are not really about learning a specific subject matter imho, they're about training your mind to think critically and work in different contexts.

I would definitely be making more money in the same industry I'm in now if I'd gotten an engineering degree, but I always hated math.

I can feel it in my spiritual hat (Shakey Mo Collier), Friday, 2 September 2011 18:11 (2 years ago) Permalink

school is awful - full of false promises and useless work
memorization and paper achievements
any kind of real sense of desires to learn or create are put to the side

Birth Control is Sinful in the ILE Marriages (Latham Green), Friday, 2 September 2011 18:12 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah 'critical thinking' is the rote response to people who question the value of a liberal arts education

I'm still trying to think through the true value of the ability to 'think critically' in the job market

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:14 (2 years ago) Permalink

dayo it was called the vocational wing in my hs

also folks, this is my line of work and i have a lot of relevant things to say, but i would really rather not discuss it publicly for a variety of reasons

xp - critical thinking is REALLY IMPORTANT esp if you don't have very good critical thinking skills

i drive a wood paneled station dragon (La Lechera), Friday, 2 September 2011 18:15 (2 years ago) Permalink

did anybody actually have 'shop class' in high school?

Was v sad when I had to give up woodshop b/c there was no room for it in the college-prep curriculum. It was down to shop or band, and marching band won.

Just think, I could have grown up to be a stoner!

brb recalibrating my check engine light (Laurel), Friday, 2 September 2011 18:16 (2 years ago) Permalink

I tend to take Dewey's line about the value of a liberal-arts-education in creating & nourishing a populace able to handle democracy

+ DFW's take in his Kenyon graduation address

Euler, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:17 (2 years ago) Permalink

oh I totally agree that critical thinking is implicitly and in and of itself a valuable skill, LL - but that's not how all employers see it

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

ps - i had shop class in middle school

it's an important skill to have as a human being, not as an employee

i drive a wood paneled station dragon (La Lechera), Friday, 2 September 2011 18:18 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think that the american liberal arts education actually contributes substantial economic value to this country - overall we had a much more adaptable job market in the late 20th century than most of the world. more engineers would be good too, but an economy can't be 50% engineers (and really would anyone want to live in a dystopia like that?) most contemporary jobs don't require specific training and in better economic times can be learned on-the-job.

said it in the other thread but the bigger problems are:
a. jobs! (I know underemployed engineers from good schools!)
b. cost

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:19 (2 years ago) Permalink

i do not work at a liberal arts school btw

i drive a wood paneled station dragon (La Lechera), Friday, 2 September 2011 18:20 (2 years ago) Permalink

I have a *provocative question* to ask -- doesn't the private student loan industry already basically make an "upfront investment" in your education in exchange for a guarantee of future cashflows from your income (or even in spite of your lack thereof)?

ביטקוין‎ (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 9 April 2014 04:08 (3 months ago) Permalink

I mean it's fun to write in dystopian language that makes it sound like we'll all be slaves, but I don't really see how that sounds worse than what we have now (which, of course, is bad).

ביטקוין‎ (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 9 April 2014 04:09 (3 months ago) Permalink

well, i think the implication is that the more of a role finance has in education funding, the more it will follow past examples in asserting more detailed specifications of the product upfront?

which in my experience would be disastrous in particular for students who get locked in but cannot find their way to succeeding/thriving in a course of study initially chosen (of whom there are loads, maybe even the majority?).

j., Wednesday, 9 April 2014 04:26 (3 months ago) Permalink

fuck u salon + fuck u gen-x'rs, ffs

Mordy , Wednesday, 9 April 2014 19:28 (3 months ago) Permalink

http://www.policymic.com/articles/48829/why-you-should-never-have-taken-that-prestigious-internship

sarah kendzior sayin strong stuff bout 'prestige economy'

j., Wednesday, 16 April 2014 01:59 (3 months ago) Permalink

kendzior is the shit

smooth hymnal (m bison), Wednesday, 16 April 2014 02:04 (3 months ago) Permalink

http://www.totalenter10.com/is-pearson-education-in-serious-financial-trouble/

v. v. detailed rundown of education vendor/octopus pearson education's current state of business

j., Saturday, 26 April 2014 00:10 (2 months ago) Permalink

Mordy, Thursday, 1 May 2014 19:50 (2 months ago) Permalink

Alan Singer's article is mostly nonsense. The share price uncertainly is more a reflection of concern that the educational materials sector is never going to be as profitable in established markets as it was three or four years ago. It isn't linked to a belief that the company is "overextended" - something he doesn't really provide any evidence of. Some factual errors and lots of speculation too - particularly relating to the idea that the spread of online education (in which it is only one player of many) will lead to the closure of thousands of colleges. The idea that tests are actively being made harder to generate more money is an absurdity.

It's frustrating as there is definitely a good article waiting to be written about the company and the potential conflicts between service provision and active participation in policy making but I get the sense that nobody really has enough of an overview or enough expertise to write it without a hell of a lot more research and consideration than Singer. The attacks are coming from people with an axe to grind where a scalpal would be more effective.

Yuri Bashment (ShariVari), Thursday, 1 May 2014 20:12 (2 months ago) Permalink

http://www.roughtype.com/?p=4464

Those millions aren’t enough, apparently, to pay translators to help the company extend its online courses, or MOOCs, into foreign markets. Instead, Coursera is taking the digital sharecropping route. It announced this week that it is recruiting skilled translators and asking them to donate their work to the company for free. What the volunteers receive, in lieu of income, is the satisfaction of being a member of Coursera’s “community.” Translation, says the company, is “much more than a means to an end. By joining the GTC [Global Translator Community], you’ll become a member of a tight-knit community of committed individuals and organizations.”

j., Thursday, 1 May 2014 22:56 (2 months ago) Permalink

jesus did they pick that up at awesomeness fest

goole, Friday, 2 May 2014 03:05 (2 months ago) Permalink

That's a bizarre use of the word "sharecropping." Also, no one's gonna fucking do that.

Doritos Loco Parentis (Hurting 2), Friday, 2 May 2014 03:07 (2 months ago) Permalink

it is much more than a means to an end. to you. to us, it is a means to an end. the end of not paying you.

j., Friday, 2 May 2014 03:10 (2 months ago) Permalink

Mordy, Friday, 2 May 2014 03:10 (2 months ago) Permalink

mookieproof, Monday, 12 May 2014 23:57 (2 months ago) Permalink

rage

j., Monday, 12 May 2014 23:59 (2 months ago) Permalink

facebook actually did that 'hey can u guys translate this for us thanks' thing back in the day

iatee, Tuesday, 13 May 2014 00:02 (2 months ago) Permalink

xxxp

That's a fucking bummer

building a desert (art), Tuesday, 13 May 2014 00:09 (2 months ago) Permalink

arrrrrgh that coursera stuff makes me so fucking mad

espring (amateurist), Tuesday, 13 May 2014 00:15 (2 months ago) Permalink

a milli a milli a milli

smooth hymnal (m bison), Tuesday, 13 May 2014 01:26 (2 months ago) Permalink

*Typical Financial Profile
nah just playing there are literally only about 12 millenials like this

smooth hymnal (m bison), Tuesday, 13 May 2014 01:28 (2 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

http://chronicle.com/article/The-Miseducation-of-America/147227/

, Thursday, 19 June 2014 23:59 (1 month ago) Permalink

More than that, they represent a much larger anxiety-provoking but also potentially thrilling economic evolution that is affecting all of us.

They must be firing editors.

What Is It Like To Be A HOOS? (silby), Friday, 20 June 2014 16:20 (1 month ago) Permalink

or hiring sixth graders to write thinkpieces

What Is It Like To Be A HOOS? (silby), Friday, 20 June 2014 16:21 (1 month ago) Permalink

feel like it's one step away from: "no, you can't find security, but the opposite of security is risk, and risk has higher rewards, so this is an OPPORTUNITY FOR HIGH REWARDS DO U SEE?!"

Insane Prince of False Binaries (Gukbe), Friday, 20 June 2014 16:25 (1 month ago) Permalink

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/22/technology/workplace-surveillance-sees-good-and-bad.html?smid=tw-share

will any of these employers pay me to curl up in a ball on my bed and claw my way up from catatonia because i can do that real efficiently

j., Sunday, 22 June 2014 20:34 (1 month ago) Permalink

i mean jesus

j., Sunday, 22 June 2014 20:42 (1 month ago) Permalink

The rebuttal seems sound, although my grasp of stats and sampling is weak at best. But I appreciated the point in the first article about students who don't graduate and are STILL carrying debt--because students who don't graduate often don't graduate for family and financial reasons, so there's a high correlation with ppl who won't be able to pay back the loans they took out, esp without that degree.

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Tuesday, 24 June 2014 14:44 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Right, there is that and also some other good substantive points in the times article, but the way they slice it up and present it winds up as "student debt is way overblown and nbd"

Hier Komme Die Warum Jetzt (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 24 June 2014 14:45 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

nice to see someone calling bullshit on that terrible brookings study

dude (Lamp), Tuesday, 24 June 2014 14:45 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

Love the headshots

, Tuesday, 24 June 2014 14:53 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

matthew chingos more like matthew chingados, pinche cabron

it's not a fedora, it's a trill bae (m bison), Tuesday, 24 June 2014 15:50 (4 weeks ago) Permalink

They look like smug fraternal twins doing a smug mind-meld.

Hier Komme Die Warum Jetzt (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 24 June 2014 16:57 (4 weeks ago) Permalink


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