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 (six 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 (six 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 (six 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 (six years ago) Permalink

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

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

wait maybe some sleeping...and eating

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

haha yeah tenure but like Sampras I wanna keep rising high

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

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

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

seems a little different to me!

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

Euler what is your field?

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

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

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

you mean @ your school or philosophy majors in general

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

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

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

xp lol

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

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

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

my hs had it, I didn't take it

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

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

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

Critiques of my teaching and debate team coaching, often made through backchannels and delivered to me secondhand or not at all, centered on my easygoing personal style (He doesn't use the title "doctor!" He teaches in T-shirts!), my effusive student evaluations (If he's pleasing them, he must be doing something wrong!), and my relatively calm demeanor (If a young academic doesn't seem stressed beyond capacity, he's not working hard enough!).

yes these were definitely the critiques made

kinder, Friday, 16 October 2015 10:02 (two years ago) Permalink

hmm looking at his previous work, I am sure you could top that pretty easily xp

"Why I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Clickbait" in The Good Men Project Magazine, February 2014

"Masculinity and Competitiveness: Why I Quit Playing Video Games" in The Good Men Project Magazine, February 2014

"Rick Rude: The Loneliness of the Above Average Man" in The Good Men Project Magazine, December 2013

"So What if Barack Obama is Gay?*" in The Good Men Project Magazine, November 2013

iatee, Friday, 16 October 2015 13:23 (two years ago) Permalink

what's your biggest weakness?

that's a difficult question, but i suppose that if i had to, i'd say that i can sometimes care TOO much about this company.

1998 ball boy (Karl Malone), Friday, 16 October 2015 13:24 (two years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

But Veblen did not call Veblen goods “me goods”

heheheh

j., Wednesday, 23 December 2015 21:45 (two years ago) Permalink

Mission creep is driven by student demand (the terrible reality that America has no use for non-degreed workers any more)

This isn't necessarily true. Iirc, college enrolment has declined for three consecutive years and isn't predicted to grow again until 2017 at the earliest. The next ten years of growth are predicted to be relatively modest. When the economy is reasonably robust, a lot of people go straight into employment. The big growth years tend to coincide with recessions. For-profit colleges have been the worst hit due to a (necessary) increase in regulatory scrutiny and questions over vfm.

On a Raqqa tip (ShariVari), Wednesday, 23 December 2015 21:56 (two years ago) Permalink

The economic analysis in that article sounds pretty questionable in places.

Also, the word "loan" is conspicuously absent from the article although it's probably the main driver of college cost. Veblen good or no, a 120k "discount" price would appeal to far fewer status chasers if there weren't a virtually bottomless well of credit available with few of the limitations affecting other forms of credit.

on entre O.K. on sort K.O. (man alive), Wednesday, 23 December 2015 22:29 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

The biggest problem we face is not financial illiteracy. It is compound interest.

In the coming decades, the returns on 401(k) plans are expected to fall by half. According to an analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a drop in stock market returns of just 2 percentage points means a 25-year-old would have to contribute more than double the amount to her retirement savings that a boomer did. Oh, and she’ll have to do it on lower wages.

Ari (whenuweremine), Friday, 15 December 2017 18:47 (one month ago) Permalink

I am 35 years old—the oldest millennial, the first millennial—and for a decade now, I’ve been waiting for adulthood to kick in. My rent consumes nearly half my income, I haven’t had a steady job since Pluto was a planet and my savings are dwindling faster than the ice caps the baby boomers melted.

I don't understand this. I've recently begun working at a Portuguese callcenter. This is not the best job in the world, it's probably pretty low in the hierarchy of jobs in Europe, wage is lower than any job in Denmark, but it's steady, and I'd never think to spend half my income on rent. This guy has enough experience and network to get a "highline" article on huffpost but he's unable to land a steady job?

Dunno, maybe things are just terrible in the US.

niels, Friday, 15 December 2017 22:14 (one month ago) Permalink

The rent situation here depends very much on where you live. Even the outskirts of popular cities can be expensive.

nickn, Saturday, 16 December 2017 00:08 (one month ago) Permalink

I'd never think to spend half my income on rent.

congratulations?

𝔠𝔞𝔢𝔨 (caek), Saturday, 16 December 2017 05:54 (one month ago) Permalink

Average take-home pay in the UK is something like £1700. Average rent is something like £850-£900. In London that is £2200 and £1600 respectively.

Obvs that includes rent on multi-occupier properties as well but I’d be surprised if anyone other than the fairly wealthy renting in the south of England is living on their own and spending much less than half their income on accommodation.

Wag1 Shree Rajneesh (ShariVari), Saturday, 16 December 2017 06:15 (one month ago) Permalink

Twenty years ago I was living on $18K a year but my rent (apartment with a couple of roommates, suburb of a popular city) was just under $300 a month, so $800 a month for the whole place. Just looked on Zillow and apartments of similar size in my old neighborhood are now renting for $2500 and up. So yeah, people who live there are spending half their income on rent unless they've got a lot of income for a young person.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Saturday, 16 December 2017 06:23 (one month ago) Permalink

if i were paying the rent on the one bedroom apartment i share with my wife by myself i would be paying 50 percent of my wages on rent + utilities. my apartment is a coupe of hundred dollars cheaper than the average one bedroom in the city, i have a 9-5 office job at a university.

khat person (jim in vancouver), Saturday, 16 December 2017 06:48 (one month ago) Permalink

good story, thanks whenuweremine.

Nhex, Saturday, 16 December 2017 07:41 (one month ago) Permalink

This guy has enough experience and network to get a "highline" article on huffpost but he's unable to land a steady job?

yup!

difficult listening hour, Saturday, 16 December 2017 07:47 (one month ago) Permalink

lol yes exactly

Nhex, Saturday, 16 December 2017 07:51 (one month ago) Permalink

nothing matters

Nhex, Saturday, 16 December 2017 07:51 (one month ago) Permalink

with a little luck tho the huffpo check'll come by easter

difficult listening hour, Saturday, 16 December 2017 08:04 (one month ago) Permalink

Dunno, maybe things are just terrible in the US.

Wait til you hear about our healthcare system...

louise ck (milo z), Saturday, 16 December 2017 08:31 (one month ago) Permalink

sry to hear about crazy rent everybody, that's terrible!

just to clarify I rent a very small room and spend about 25% of my income on this - renting an apartment on my own would easily cost 50% of my income (so I don't, would be nice tho)

btw I know it's hard to come by steady jobs in journalism, I was suggesting that with the author's skillset it would seem he'd be able to land a different kind of job, pretty sure he could have my job if he applied

anyway, I don't mean to dismiss issues of poverty in the US, just found the author's tone... a bit much. Iirc pay gap and poverty issues have a terrible racial and gender slant, something about his apocalyptical victim narrative abt college educated millenials seems off to me. Not sure how trustworthy the US Census Bureau is but general outline in this article seems realistic to me https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/13/493751949/census-bureau-poverty-rate-down-median-incomes-up

niels, Saturday, 16 December 2017 09:48 (one month ago) Permalink

Hobbes is from Seattle where the average rent in commuting distance on a 1br apartment is $2000. To hit the 25% mark, after federal taxes, etc, you’d need to earn $120k - of course he would still need to pay for healthcare, etc, which we do not. idk what the ratio of millennials to $120k jobs in Seattle is.

Renting a room, sharing a house, etc are all solutions to existing in a big city but the broader point about living in those conditions being a bar on a transition to doing ‘adult’ things like getting married, having a family...buying a table?…, etc is true. Living a perpetual student lifestyle is great if you enjoy it but generational expectations are being radically redefined.

Whiny millennials have access to the public ear in a much more obvious way than the people who bear the greatest burden of poverty but the contraction of the traditional middle class and expansion of paycheque-to-paycheque living aren’t things that we should be glossing over because other people have it worse.

Wag1 Shree Rajneesh (ShariVari), Saturday, 16 December 2017 10:04 (one month ago) Permalink

French owners are allowed by law to avoid renting to you unless the rent is at most 1/3 of your income, and in practice they take advantage of this, because French law makes it hard to kick someone out when they can't pay. so when we moved here we had to live 1h20 by train from the city. granted, we are a family of 5, and so need a bit of space (~70 m^2 works) but yeah, living in the city was impossible then.

now we live in the city because we got social housing (being gov employee with a long commute & big family got us priority). but to qualify for this *highly* subsidized apartment my salary still had to meet the 1/3 threshold and my starting salary did not, so we had to wait a year and a half to be eligible for social housing.

living in the countryside & commuting wasn't that bad because I picked a town where I could commute by train (we didn't need a car bc French villages are compact for daily life)(and half my transport costs were paid by my employer, by law). USA countryside doesn't permit this, so you're talking long car commutes there if you're not in the city.

droit au butt (Euler), Saturday, 16 December 2017 10:27 (one month ago) Permalink

Accounting for inflation, I spend twice as much a year on a train ticket as my (poor, immigrant) father spent on renting a two bedroom Victorian flat with a huge garden in central London in the eighties. The flat would rent for a minimum of £36k-£40k a year now. And I’m lucky! I own a house!

Wag1 Shree Rajneesh (ShariVari), Saturday, 16 December 2017 10:33 (one month ago) Permalink

What was his internet speeds like

remember the lmao (darraghmac), Saturday, 16 December 2017 10:57 (one month ago) Permalink

those are very good points ShariVari, thanks

niels, Saturday, 16 December 2017 11:36 (one month ago) Permalink

The ratio of Millennials to $120k salaries in Seattle is heavily influenced by the proliferation of software developers working for Amazon et alia. Which is to say there’s a sizable supply of kids willing to rent a studio for $2000.

.oO (silby), Saturday, 16 December 2017 15:55 (one month ago) Permalink

every generation has seemed to rationalize selling out their potential and playing dumb in exchange for hypothetical material security, not just millenials, the poor kids

reggie (qualmsley), Saturday, 16 December 2017 20:38 (one month ago) Permalink

When you say something like that

Do you ever I mean ask

Assuming it even makes any sense as a statement never mind that it's accurate let's just assume in your head this is a coherent sentence and also a fact

Assuming that and don't forget you just made an ass out of u and ming then do you ever ask yourself why each generation does this thing you think they do

remember the lmao (darraghmac), Sunday, 17 December 2017 23:49 (one month ago) Permalink

U ok hun

But doctor, I am Camille Paglia (Bananaman Begins), Monday, 18 December 2017 01:21 (one month ago) Permalink

I feel like that highline article dilutes its own argument by ultimately turning out to be about every bunch of Americans who ever graduated college during a major recession.

El Tomboto, Monday, 18 December 2017 01:34 (one month ago) Permalink

eh i'll take it, all that damn "milleniums are the worst" clickbait trash needs to be countered a little bit

Nhex, Monday, 18 December 2017 03:37 (one month ago) Permalink

U ok hun

― But doctor, I am Camille Paglia (Bananaman Begins), Monday, 18 December 2017 01:21 (two hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Read it aloud babes it might make more sense if it doesn't that's cool too x

remember the lmao (darraghmac), Monday, 18 December 2017 04:04 (one month ago) Permalink

yeah average rent is like 2 K in vancouver now, it's fucking bunk. also same as jim i'm in a decent rent sitch but it's easy to put half the cheque towards rent

In a slipshod style (Ross), Monday, 18 December 2017 04:50 (one month ago) Permalink

I live in a pretty small basement apt in Toronto and I spend about 40% of my take-home on rent.

Simon H., Monday, 18 December 2017 04:59 (one month ago) Permalink


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