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

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Not all messages are displayed: show all messages (2171 of them)

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

liberal arts school can't really be blamed for 0 net job growth this month

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

last month, rather

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

schools

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:21 (2 years ago) Permalink

gonna put that one on the Ivies, as usual

wanna get some class resentment going on this thread also

Euler, Friday, 2 September 2011 18:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

ime the critical thinking tends to be "i wish i hadn't done a useless humanities degree"

Once Were Moderators (DG), Friday, 2 September 2011 18:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

The public university at which I work has increased tuition and enrollment geometrically in the last two years to compensate for evaporating state funding, with no commensurate strengthening of infrastructure.

The quality of students haven't changed much except I'm seeing more examples of mediocrities: girls getting psych degrees as a time killer before marriage because their parents press on them the importance of a college education, guys getting business degrees because, well, they want to start their own franchises, and journalism majors who don't realize how useless that degree is and always was.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 2 September 2011 18:22 (2 years ago) Permalink

I had recently earned my master’s degree from Harvard and had accepted a coveted yet thankless entry-level position at a well-known philanthropic organization in New York City.

A thankless entry-level job! They didn't tell me it was going to be like this!

Burt Stuntin (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 11 February 2014 17:41 (2 months ago) Permalink

nobody ever does

Nhex, Tuesday, 11 February 2014 17:42 (2 months ago) Permalink

Hey, I've seen those ads for "entry level" non-profit jobs and I've complained about them before. List of requirements: be ivy league, have lots of internships, show a writing portfolio/x number of writing samples, know all these unrelated computer programs, speak a couple of languages, have professional AND character references, just really A FUCKING LOT of stuff...to be an office manager and be grateful to occasionally have the chance to serve NGO executives when their travel plans go wrong.

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Tuesday, 11 February 2014 17:58 (2 months ago) Permalink

And be that very smart, accomplished person, and then be content to spend at least a few years just making appointments and ordering staples and if you're lucky doing basically uncompensated labor way above your pay grade.

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Tuesday, 11 February 2014 17:59 (2 months ago) Permalink

Nuh uh.

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Tuesday, 11 February 2014 17:59 (2 months ago) Permalink

So...don't work in a non-profit? Why do people think that a fancy degree entitles them to interesting, challenging and well-compensated work where they ALSO get to feel like they are saving the world, right out the door from school?

Burt Stuntin (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 11 February 2014 18:03 (2 months ago) Permalink

...

Orson Wellies (in orbit), Tuesday, 11 February 2014 18:10 (2 months ago) Permalink

she got a MASTERS degree from harvard cmon anyone can get a masters from harvard

iatee, Tuesday, 11 February 2014 18:35 (2 months ago) Permalink

nobody's holding a gun to their heads!

balls, Tuesday, 11 February 2014 18:36 (2 months ago) Permalink

ivy league schools + schools in cool places to live use terminal masters degrees as money printing machines

iatee, Tuesday, 11 February 2014 18:40 (2 months ago) Permalink

Most people don't know how to actually DO anything useful in a professional setting straight out of school

Burt Stuntin (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 11 February 2014 18:43 (2 months ago) Permalink

also what iatee said, although to be fair, I don't think enough people going into these programs really realize this

Burt Stuntin (Hurting 2), Tuesday, 11 February 2014 18:44 (2 months ago) Permalink

this piece is nightmarish to me, would not hold the pro forma "oh millenials oh lord" reaction against anyone over this

een, Wednesday, 12 February 2014 02:32 (2 months ago) Permalink

it also fits nicely into the Dunhamesque "I did a thing to be interesting" narrative

Burt Stuntin (Hurting 2), Wednesday, 12 February 2014 02:37 (2 months ago) Permalink

well they don't hand out publishing deals for just having master's degrees

j., Wednesday, 12 February 2014 02:38 (2 months ago) Permalink

look at me, don't look at me, look at me

i'm the first to react adversely to "you have opportunities, don't be lazy, make something of yourself" rhetoric. but if you have a masters from harvard then for fucks sake you have opportunities, make something of yourself.

her poor parents.

eric banana (s.clover), Wednesday, 12 February 2014 02:42 (2 months ago) Permalink

i mean why do you want to be published. that's not a thing anymore.

eric banana (s.clover), Wednesday, 12 February 2014 02:43 (2 months ago) Permalink

or maybe you know that if you write about like being an "intellectual erotic blahblah" then you will be published.

eric banana (s.clover), Wednesday, 12 February 2014 02:43 (2 months ago) Permalink

her story seems totally similar to a male friend of mine who is a recent art school grad who was a guy on gay cam sites for money to help him get by as he negotiated the post-graduation fallout zone. he went through the same cycle of suddenly getting lots of money and interest, and then it cooled down as his novelty faded, and then it became kind of alienating and forced, and gradually he just stopped doing it until he found a regular job that he likes better- but he was at it for about a year. he's someone who totally fits the "adorable gay twink stereotype" look - white and thin with good bone structure- so it's not surprise that he was appealing, but he said that you had to work at it if you wanted to make real money and that mostly involved always being available/accessible. So, not really an escape route from the typical work week, hours-wise, it was just different hours, and the sheer weirdness of having to babble "dirty talk" to strangers for hours at a time became really unpleasant for him.

the tune was space, Wednesday, 12 February 2014 03:35 (2 months ago) Permalink

i got a vague whif of untruth from that story (not tune's friend, the salon thing) but i can't really put my finger on it w/o rank speculation

goole, Wednesday, 12 February 2014 15:19 (2 months ago) Permalink

1 month passes...

so goddamn expensive

Nhex, Tuesday, 1 April 2014 04:19 (3 weeks ago) Permalink

http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/buying-the-future/

Given how finance has been able to convert the future of raw materials, corporations, and land into tradable instruments, what about “human capital?” University of Chicago economist Gary Becker defines human capital as investments people make in themselves, including their own education, skills and health. As with land and raw resources, “people cannot be separated from their knowledge, skills, health, or values in the way they can be separated from their financial and physical assets,” so they can’t just count as capital the way money in their bank account does. It resides in the human, as opposed to capital in the form of property, which exists due to a dense network of property law and customs.

The most likely route for human-capital futures is standardizing through funding for individual education. Startups are trying to turn young college students into cows or mortgages by trying to render predictable the future salaries they’ll earn based on their higher education, which comes with current known cost. A combination of state disinvestment, an exploding managerial class, and a grouping of elite schools that can drive up tuition have all combined to make a huge amount of upfront capital necessary for the sort of college degree that can secure employment. Finance will have to jump into the picture. If it proves a lucrative investment, it may flood people into higher education, assuming they can compel work and profit later. This could send so much money into higher education that its prices will spiral, as with the housing bubble.

What else could go wrong with a society where, as Malcolm Harris described it, “a sizable portion of our young workers are partly owned by other people—at least the ones who can find buyers”? The element of control over what students learn will become tantamount. The ideal graduate will have to be embodied in the contract itself, just like for healthy cows. Otherwise, students will simply learn rather than valorize their human capital at the investors’ expected rate. Whereas most financial engineering has tried (and at times catastrophically failed) to value contracts by extrapolating from past data, there will most likely be demand to directly control human capital more directly. You can’t bully a cow into avoiding hoof-and-mouth disease, but you can bully an 18-year-old into doing its organic chemistry homework.

j., Wednesday, 9 April 2014 03:58 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

i think the obv problem is that you can't really bully an 18-year-old into doing its organic chemistry homework

Mordy , Wednesday, 9 April 2014 04:04 (2 weeks 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 (2 weeks 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 (2 weeks 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 (2 weeks ago) Permalink

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

Mordy , Wednesday, 9 April 2014 19:28 (2 weeks 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 (1 week ago) Permalink

kendzior is the shit

smooth hymnal (m bison), Wednesday, 16 April 2014 02:04 (1 week ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.