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

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"the upshot was that 90% of them were upset that they had paid $30k-$40k a year in tuition and were not making a living as artists."

Shocker.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Friday, 2 September 2011 19:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

I call them "people who should be gving ME money instead to make my shitty songs"

http://www.meca.edu/news/support-meca
actually we have one here - Roxxame Quimby

did you c/p that randomly or what (Latham Green), Friday, 2 September 2011 19:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

I'm kind of sad that democratizing art via the Internet has kind of taken the form of 20x200 (and similar), which is okay for photography but renders everything else they put out more decoration than art (because it's all just scans and inkjet prints, more like a poster you buy at the mall than 'art' with any kind of engagement with the artist).

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Friday, 2 September 2011 19:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah like this is why we can't be telling people that college is a purely economic decision (even though the BLS indicates that it still has that effect). If you want to spend four years training as an artist, that is awesome and you might have a great time, but nobody should be telling you that you are going to graduate into a well-paying sculpture job.

Do not go gentle into that good frogbs (silby), Friday, 2 September 2011 19:41 (3 years ago) Permalink

I was in "the art world" allot at least in academics as a youngster and now I am fille dwith a sense of fear and loathing when ever I pass Maine COllege of Art

did you c/p that randomly or what (Latham Green), Friday, 2 September 2011 19:41 (3 years ago) Permalink

Is anyone telling sculpture students that? Cuz that would be truly irresponsible.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Friday, 2 September 2011 19:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

do you know what they do? ... they ask your for an ARTISTS STATEMENT

did you c/p that randomly or what (Latham Green), Friday, 2 September 2011 19:43 (3 years ago) Permalink

COL!!! (crying out loud)

did you c/p that randomly or what (Latham Green), Friday, 2 September 2011 19:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah s'what I'm saying, I don't know if anyone is telling them that, but cf. sarahel's anecdote; plenty of people still have an expectation that going to college and learning a lot about something could launch them into a career doing that thing. whereas to actually make that work out you need a lot of luck and tenacity.

Do not go gentle into that good frogbs (silby), Friday, 2 September 2011 19:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

genius art IMO

did you c/p that randomly or what (Latham Green), Friday, 2 September 2011 19:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

I don't know anyone who went to or considered going to a high-dollar art school (grad or undergrad) who thought of it as a wise investment monetarily. They either considered the debt and didn't care, had family money enough to not give a shit, or were too starry-eyed to consider the implications - but none of them thought it was a guarantee of income afterward.

One of my first photo professors has been a "senior lecturer" for a decade, which cured me of any desire to get my MFA and try to find a teaching job.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Friday, 2 September 2011 19:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

hey at least he has a job

iatee, Friday, 2 September 2011 19:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

ALIHAJ - "at least I havea job" is everyone's current self-soothe

http://www.losanjealous.com/nfc/perm.php?c=38&q=22

did you c/p that randomly or what (Latham Green), Friday, 2 September 2011 19:49 (3 years ago) Permalink

maybe the difference between this generation and Gen X is that Gen X art students had a more realistic perspective on working as waiters and strippers to support themselves financially.

sarahel, Friday, 2 September 2011 19:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

ok let me get to Lamp's post above:

i'm interested in your 'just go to a state school argument' because how much does that then start closing doors to possible future careers? or at least certain career paths? i mean the % of ppl who are ever going to sit on the supreme court or be an svp of an investment bank or write for the simpsons or w/e is negligible already but the idea that anyone who cant afford/doesnt want to risk huge debt to pay for a private school shldn't even dream of it is p dispiriting

Who's to say whether a public school undergrad can't end up on the Supreme Court? Scalia went to Georgetown, which is quite a bit worse than the top public universities in America. but anxiety about closing doors on certain ~dreamy~ careers is legit---you're weighing risks when you make these choices, & you might think massive debt is worth the risk in order to get a chance, no matter how remote, of such a career. Or you might not! My argument is that aside from those dreamy choices, a public degree can be/generally is (unless drugs/laziness/etc) just as valuable as a private degree. To the extent that it's not, it's because "top" hs prospects choose private schools w/ big debt b/c they think those degrees signal ~success~. & then they get articles like the one atop this thread written about them.

i mean 'private colleges are really expensive so don't go to them' is reasonable advice except: public schools are getting more expensive, only have so many spaces and is at odds w/ the idea that at least certain private schools are the 'only way' to make it certain professions. also at my large public university the % of tenured professors who did not attend an elite private college is hanging right around 15% w/ most of the coming from oxbridge/my own school. so, yknow...

yeah I mean this discussion is hard b/c things depend on the locale. like the UC system has to reject pretty good people...or send them to Davis! whereas in other states, of the flyover type, we have lots of spots, & our grads go on to do lots of terrific things, albeit generally not on the coasts (which I know is a basic good to many of you). But another reply: I don't know which "certain professions" you have in mind; same as the ones above? most of my (fellow private school) undergrad friends have tech jobs of one sort or another, or are lawyers. Those are pretty normal upper-ish-middle-class things to do. I tend to worry more about "average" (upper-ish-)middle class people's aspirations; dreamers oughta know they run big risks no matter what school they choose.

lastly: in my world of tenured professors no one knows or cares where any one went to undergrad, & I've sat on several hiring committees in recent years.

Euler, Friday, 2 September 2011 19:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

nothing wrong with being a stripper, that IS art

did you c/p that randomly or what (Latham Green), Friday, 2 September 2011 19:54 (3 years ago) Permalink

like the UC system has to reject pretty good people...or send them to Davis!

The UC system and the CA State system have doubled or tripled tuition and fees in the past decade! If I were going to grad school now, there's no way that i'd be able to pay even part-time tuition with wages from a part-time job (which is what i did, except for my thesis semester)

sarahel, Friday, 2 September 2011 19:58 (3 years ago) Permalink

I really never hear good things about California's governance, economy, zoning laws, or flammability at this point.

Do not go gentle into that good frogbs (silby), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

I don't know anyone who went to or considered going to a high-dollar art school (grad or undergrad) who thought of it as a wise investment monetarily. They either considered the debt and didn't care, had family money enough to not give a shit, or were too starry-eyed to consider the implications - but none of them thought it was a guarantee of income afterward.

― Kiarostami bag (milo z), Friday, September 2, 2011 12:47 PM (4 minutes ago

I went to a high-dollar art school (albeit writing for screen/ tv) and thought - based on the statistics quoted by the program that it would be a wise investment. I considered the debt, did care, was reassured by the financial advisers at the school, and went for it. Never recouped, not even close.

remy bean, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:01 (3 years ago) Permalink

lol

markers, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

The thing is, my writing career probably would have been successful if I'd had 3-5 years after graduation to focus on it intently, w/o distraction and as a full-time profession. Some of the people in my graduating class did: and they were successful or are becoming very wealthy/respected/acknowledged now. But I was poor going in, poorer coming out, and unable to devote myself sufficiently to the pursuit for which I'd gone to school . So while the employment statistics (quoted as like 50% success rate, IIRC) I was told upon entry be accurate, and an okay gamble, the odds of me succeeding were always a lot, lot lower.

remy bean, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:08 (3 years ago) Permalink

"I went to a high-dollar art school (albeit writing for screen/ tv)"

brothers in foolishness arms.

strongo hulkington's ghost dad, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:09 (3 years ago) Permalink

Mike Schmidt had no use for art school

did you c/p that randomly or what (Latham Green), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

xp - yeah, my next door neighbor freshman year did that (the intent focus w/out distraction), i did not. She is now a celebrated playwright. I work in accounting.

sarahel, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:11 (3 years ago) Permalink

The thing is, my writing career probably would have been successful if I'd had 3-5 years after graduation to focus on it intently, w/o distraction and as a full-time profession.

couldn't you have found a really cheap place to live though--like in a weird part of the country, lived there, worked on your craft for a few years? just wondering/thinking out loud.

Mr. Que, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:13 (3 years ago) Permalink

like you know

http://www.rentals.com/Kansas/Wichita/

Mr. Que, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:15 (3 years ago) Permalink

is that a recent trend, or one making a resurgence -- "community discussions" about establishing artist/writer colonies in cheap areas of the US? 10 years ago everyone was talking about Detroit. Now I think it's South Dakota.

sarahel, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:20 (3 years ago) Permalink

I think they just call it the ghetto - oh wrong thread

did you c/p that randomly or what (Latham Green), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:21 (3 years ago) Permalink

couldn't you have found a really cheap place to live though--like in a weird part of the country, lived there, worked on your craft for a few years? just wondering/thinking out loud.

I did learn a lot when I was there – I got to make films, visit sets, talk to people who'd worked inside the industry, spend time with like-minded writers, chat it up in targeted groups and be mentored by "industry insders" while receiving incredibly profound and honest feedback. I paid a lot for 'access' and was provided it unstintingly. Maybe if I were more of a, err, go-getter, I could have arranged that access on my own and written and honed my craft for 4 years. But, honestly, I don't have anything negative to say about the quality of my education - it was good, and I don't regret it. I do regret not understanding the necessity of stockpiling $$$ or finding a crap job to let me work full-time on the writing after I left. I dislike that there wasn't a little caveat underneath the "50% of graduates work in the field of TV/film in ten years" that said "and they are often working in it when they enter/have family connections/come from wealthy backgrounds that allow them a single-minded pursuit of their craft" but really that is not too realistic to expect.

remy bean, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

live in Mom's cellar

did you c/p that randomly or what (Latham Green), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:23 (3 years ago) Permalink

There was a short documentary (sponsored by a skate brand?) recently about Detroit as artist's colony, so I think that's still often talked about.

Kiarostami bag (milo z), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:23 (3 years ago) Permalink

the whoel city of detroit? thats too much art

did you c/p that randomly or what (Latham Green), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

LG could you plz stop dropping dubious lols into this thread with every other post?

Do not go gentle into that good frogbs (silby), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:25 (3 years ago) Permalink

my heart just jumped into my throat

did you c/p that randomly or what (Latham Green), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:26 (3 years ago) Permalink

LG could you plz stop dropping dubious lols into this every thread with every other post?

Halal Spaceboy (WmC), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

there is nothing dubious about anything I do

did you c/p that randomly or what (Latham Green), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:28 (3 years ago) Permalink

xp - yeah, my next door neighbor freshman year did that (the intent focus w/out distraction), i did not. She is now a celebrated playwright. I work in accounting.

― sarahel, Friday, September 2, 2011 4:11 PM (13 minutes ago) Bookmark

heh there's a cousin in my family who inherited a nice chunk of change, spent several years devoting himself to writing, and is now an optometrist

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:28 (3 years ago) Permalink

holy crap, sarahel, was your next door neighbor freshman year sarah ruehl????

horseshoe, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:30 (3 years ago) Permalink

ruhl

horseshoe, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:30 (3 years ago) Permalink

ruhl roh

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:31 (3 years ago) Permalink

lol @ 50% engineer economy; welcome to China :(

― dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 13:24 (1 hour ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

Leaving non-vocation college education aside, which is definitely valuable and enriching. There is an oversupply of MBAs and JDs and an undersupply of Engineers in the US. If you pick an oversubscribed field you have to accept the risk that you won't get to practice what you train for.

As a side note I was very interested to hear recently that Ernst and Young (big four Accountancy firm) was hiring straight from A-Level in the UK and guaranteeing that salaries would match or exceed those of incoming graduates after 3 years. An apprenticeship by other means.

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:31 (3 years ago) Permalink

writing's so good that he has to optometrize you so you fully appreciate it

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:32 (3 years ago) Permalink

accounting is the ultimate "hey the world will always need ___________" job

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:32 (3 years ago) Permalink

I live in a building that is slowly becoming an artists colony ie everyone young is now on unemployment

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

I thought that was undertaker-ing. xp

Halal Spaceboy (WmC), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

you don't have to go to school to become an undertaker

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:35 (3 years ago) Permalink

oh wait you do

http://www.ehow.com/how_8117_become-mortician.html

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:36 (3 years ago) Permalink

You thought morticians didn't have to be trained/licensed?!

Halal Spaceboy (WmC), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:38 (3 years ago) Permalink

you do! unless you can APPRENTICE.

i actually turned down a chance to become an apprentice undertaker a few years back.

strongo hulkington's ghost dad, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:38 (3 years ago) Permalink


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