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

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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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 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 (2 years ago) Permalink

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

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

ruhl

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

ruhl roh

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

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

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

I thought that was undertaker-ing. xp

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

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

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

oh wait you do

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

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

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

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

my 12th grade guidance counselor's degree was in mortuary sciences, which explains his cold handshake.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

btw mortuary biz doing as shitty as everything else these days according to my uncle.

strongo hulkington's ghost dad, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

xp but how would you explain his death erection?

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:39 (2 years ago) Permalink

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

― Halal Spaceboy (WmC), Friday, September 2, 2011 4:38 PM (1 minute ago) Bookmark

seems pretty easy - shovel the corpse into a furnace, collect $200

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

btw mortuary biz doing as shitty as everything else these days according to my uncle.

we can fix this by raising the Social Security age.

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:40 (2 years ago) Permalink

not gonna lie though -- going by dude's house, mortuary game is tight during times of plenty when people can afford those amenties like a coffin and a plot.

strongo hulkington's ghost dad, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:42 (2 years ago) Permalink

maybe he keeps all his money in the vault... the cold vault.

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

pry the money from his cold dead hands

Anakin Ska Walker (AKA Skarth Vader) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 2 September 2011 20:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

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.

well being a lot closer to admissions than to tenure i feel like 'people' care at least a little. but really, and even if 'tenured professor' is approaching the type of rarified position currently occupied by like head of WME, it was more an attempt to test a basic assumption i have against some easily accessible real world data. and as another anecdote my dad was a senior executive on wall street and weve talked abt this a little: at some point it doesnt matter if you went to princeton or u nebraska, what matters is the work youve done for the firm. if they were considering promoting someone to vp they wouldnt consider undergrad at all. but a hell of lot more candidates for vp went to princeton than u nebraska
i guess my point is: i dont think going to u michigan or uva or any other well regarded state school makes it impossible to work on wall street or at a top law firm or management consulting firm or think tank or entertainment conglomerate or talent agency or government agency but i think it makes it harder? and maybe its a good trade to simply pay less tuition and have to shine a little brighter and work a little harder than a harvard alumni would? but i think the problem is the perception that things are made easier and that makes it harder to make the best choice as a 17 yo? like:

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.

but to what extent are smart, ambitious hs students to blame for the sort of signaling thats going on here? this is a p hardnosed calculation for someone to be making at this point in their lives, yknow?

Lamp, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:45 (2 years ago) Permalink

there is also the perception that "you only do this once, so make it count" wrt going to college, somehow makes the debt 'worth it'

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:47 (2 years ago) Permalink

i think i do miss not being able to hang around old-money types by not going to a private school. that's a magical opportunity lost to me, like having a unicorn for a roommate, so maybe harry potter is to blame for this aura around private school?

Philip Nunez, Friday, 2 September 2011 20:54 (2 years ago) Permalink

horseshoe: yes, that's who it was.

sarahel, Friday, 2 September 2011 22:27 (2 years ago) Permalink

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-innovations/president-obama-there-is-no-engineer-shortage/2011/09/01/gIQADpmpuJ_story.html

this is a big problem

And, sadly, our top engineering graduates don’t always become engineers. They move into finance or management consulting — both of which pay far higher salaries than engineering. I have seen the dilemma that my engineering students at at Duke University have faced. Do they take a job in civil engineering that pays $70,000, or join big Wall Street financial firm and make $120,000? With the hefty student loans that hang over their heads, most have made the financially sensible decision. In some years, half of our graduates have ended up taking jobs outside of engineering. Instead of developing new types of medical devices, renewable energy sources and ways to sustain the environment, my most brilliant students are designing new ways to help our investment banks engineer the financial system.

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 22:30 (2 years ago) Permalink

"Run the World (Goldman Sachs)"

J0rdan S., Friday, 2 September 2011 22:33 (2 years ago) Permalink

my college was basically a feeder school for goldman sachs

remy bean, Friday, 2 September 2011 22:34 (2 years ago) Permalink

I think every college is a feeder school for goldman sachs

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 22:35 (2 years ago) Permalink

it isn't gonna win me any friends, i know, but i've gotta admit that i actually have major thorny ethical issues w/ a lot of MBAs going to work for these big bank/finance firms, even in lowly "respectable" capacities.

remy bean, Friday, 2 September 2011 22:38 (2 years ago) Permalink

it's not just MBAs that go to work for big bank/finance firms! lots of undergrads go straight from college. it kinda sucks but big banks/finance firms are probably one of the last 'meritocratic' hirers left in America. fuckers

dayo, Friday, 2 September 2011 22:41 (2 years ago) Permalink

yeah, true. communications/political science majors were the first ones drafted from my undergrad.

remy bean, Friday, 2 September 2011 22:43 (2 years ago) Permalink

horseshoe: yes, that's who it was.

― sarahel, Friday, September 2, 2011 6:27 PM (18 minutes ago) Bookmark

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh what is she like i am mildly obsessed with her

horseshoe, Friday, 2 September 2011 22:46 (2 years ago) Permalink

as somebody who knew that getting the degrees i did wasn't going to make me a millionaire or anything, i still think that i learned quite a bit and gained a fair amount of insight/entre into certain worlds— most are arts-related, but that's what i dig, so whatever.

what i resent is that no one will hire me. at this point, i'm working on a business plan with a lawyer who wants to start this unique research agglomeration site for other lawyers, as i have worked as a paralegal in the past, and can zoom around WestLaw and LexisNexis etc. also, duh, i know the internet better than most lawyers above the age of 35.

(BTW— having training and experience as a paralegal and legal researcher means nothing if you did it on the other side of the country, as i have found out the hard way :( )

jizz inside of your nose (the table is the table), Saturday, 3 September 2011 00:08 (2 years ago) Permalink

i guess my point is: i dont think going to u michigan or uva or any other well regarded state school makes it impossible to work on wall street or at a top law firm or management consulting firm or think tank or entertainment conglomerate or talent agency or government agency but i think it makes it harder? and maybe its a good trade to simply pay less tuition and have to shine a little brighter and work a little harder than a harvard alumni would? but i think the problem is the perception that things are made easier and that makes it harder to make the best choice as a 17 yo?

I feel like mich/uva are exceptions - they're generally considered 'better' than all but a handful of private schools and their student body composition is pretty similar to those private schools. but I think focusing too much on them is misleading too, cause these days all the schools 'better' than them offer substantial aid. most 18 y/o's aren't blessed w/ that kinda decision to begin with - they have to make much more subtle calculations. harvard vs. umich is easy - howbout, idk, rutgers vs. bard? for someone 100% intent on going into certain fields, grad school, med school, the private school is generally a safer decision, even if it means massive debt. for someone who just wants to work an office job, the marginal gain might not be worth it. but most people don't know what they want to do w/ the rest of their lives at 18, and these calculations can get pretty complex.

why we allow 18 y/os make complex financial analysis w/ 100s of thousands of dollars, idk.

iatee, Saturday, 3 September 2011 00:57 (2 years ago) Permalink

er, why we allow them to do complex financial analysis*

iatee, Saturday, 3 September 2011 00:58 (2 years ago) Permalink

^^ otm

If a kid right out of high school up and decided to buy a house (expensive car, condo, whatever is comparable) people would be puzzled, but commit to likely borrow that much cash for school and it's like "oh, that's cool."

unwarranted display names of ilx (mh), Saturday, 3 September 2011 01:00 (2 years ago) Permalink

well, an expensive car is a horrible investment

D-40, Saturday, 3 September 2011 01:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

you can't sell your degree back

iatee, Saturday, 3 September 2011 01:01 (2 years ago) Permalink

a BA from somewhere is almost always 'worth it' but there are no shortage of graduate degrees - many from 'top colleges' - that are worse investments than an expensive car

iatee, Saturday, 3 September 2011 01:02 (2 years ago) Permalink

i dunno i think you can come up w/ a better example. a car is pretty much the worst expensive investment you can make

D-40, Saturday, 3 September 2011 01:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

as soon as you drive off the lot etc etc

D-40, Saturday, 3 September 2011 01:03 (2 years ago) Permalink

well yes, also morally

iatee, Saturday, 3 September 2011 01:04 (2 years ago) Permalink

but I mean if you live in sprawlsville and need to get to your job, a cheap car is an investment that allows you to get to your job, the actual value of the car is going to go down but that's not the reason you bought it

iatee, Saturday, 3 September 2011 01:05 (2 years ago) Permalink

and if you buy an expensive car, it's also not because you think it's going to increase in value. you buy it for social reasons, personal reasons, display name reasons, also to get places. but if you lose your job you can sell it. it's worth something as an object.

whereas college degrees - many of which cost as much as expensive cars - *are* generally considered financial investments. I buy degree X because it will increase my earnings potential in the long-run. (also cause it's fun to go to college, I want to meet girls, whatever, but if the investment factor wasn't there it'd be hard to justify the price. whereas expensive cars are veblen goods - people want them because of what they represent, not because a 100k car is gonna get you to work better than a 20k car)

iatee, Saturday, 3 September 2011 01:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

well i just mean the resale value on cars is much worse than like any other product.

my technics have if anything gone up since i bought them, in contrast

D-40, Saturday, 3 September 2011 01:14 (2 years ago) Permalink


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