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

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http://chronicle.com/article/The-US-Should-Adopt/129504/

iatee, Tuesday, 25 October 2011 01:02 (seven years ago) link

we were talking about migration in this thread?

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/28/us/americans-migration-patterns-shifting.html?_r=1

dayo, Friday, 28 October 2011 01:59 (seven years ago) link

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/education/cooper-union-may-charge-tuition-to-undergraduates.html

RIP cooper union ;_;

dayo, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 10:07 (seven years ago) link

founded in 1859 to provide free education for the working class

lol that game's been over for a while

elan, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 14:03 (seven years ago) link

But here's a revenue idea: contract students out for arch/engineering jobs and make them work for free. Call it an internship.

elan, Tuesday, 1 November 2011 14:06 (seven years ago) link

Despite the grabby headline, that article at least calls out the writers of the myopic Jeremiads for what they are.

I need to learn more about this bit of data:

Their results are sobering. The Collegiate Learning Assessment reveals that some 45 percent of students in the sample had made effectively no progress in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing in their first two years. And a look at their academic experience helps to explain why. […] Half the students in the sample had not taken a course that required more than twenty pages of writing in the previous semester, while a third had not even taken a course that required as much as forty pages a week of reading. […] two points come through with striking clarity. First, traditional subjects and methods seem to retain their educational value. Nowadays the liberal arts attract a far smaller proportion of students than they did two generations ago. Still, those majoring in liberal arts fields—humanities and social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics—outperformed those studying business, communications, and other new, practical majors on the CLA..

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Sunday, 6 November 2011 02:37 (seven years ago) link

The goddamn liberal arts are still the foundation of our goddamn civic society, is what my takeaway is.

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Sunday, 6 November 2011 02:38 (seven years ago) link

My problem: I don't have a degree. In anything. I should get one so that I can go farther in society. I'd prefer to get something like General Studies or Liberal Arts, something that gives me a good background in life. I know that no one takes either one of those degrees seriously. What should I do?

Sorry to drag this off topic.

Christine Green Leafy Dragon Indigo, Sunday, 6 November 2011 02:49 (seven years ago) link

my honest to god advice is to put a fake BA on your resume from somewhere inconspicuous and believable

iatee, Sunday, 6 November 2011 02:52 (seven years ago) link

that said, I know your situation right now is kinda shitty and there are things to be said about actually learning shit for 4(+...) years. you should look into the very cheapest public university you can find (generally = 2 years at cc -> transfer). you'd qualify for pell grants and there are actually *tons* of scholarships out there in america, some of them are pretty obscure and few people apply to them.

student loans are a devil, but if you only took gov't loans and planned ahead to pay them back w/ IBR (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_Based_Repayment) you could be alright even if you didn't find yourself in a fantastic situation after your degree. IBR is new and I think some people think it won't last forever.

but 'going to college' might actually be a decent way out of your life situation, come to think of it. the process more than the career options afterwards.

iatee, Sunday, 6 November 2011 03:13 (seven years ago) link

Their results are sobering. The Collegiate Learning Assessment reveals that some 45 percent of students in the sample had made effectively no progress in critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing in their first two years. And a look at their academic experience helps to explain why. […] Half the students in the sample had not taken a course that required more than twenty pages of writing in the previous semester, while a third had not even taken a course that required as much as forty pages a week of reading. […] two points come through with striking clarity. First, traditional subjects and methods seem to retain their educational value. Nowadays the liberal arts attract a far smaller proportion of students than they did two generations ago. Still, those majoring in liberal arts fields—humanities and social sciences, natural sciences and mathematics—outperformed those studying business, communications, and other new, practical majors on the CLA..

― whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Saturday, November 5, 2011 10:37 PM Bookmark

This strikes me as a bit misleading though -- since when are "natural sciences" and "mathematics" considered part of the liberal arts? And since when is communications considered a "practical" major -- I always thought that was liberal arts lite.

pass the duchy pon the left hand side (musical duke) (Hurting 2), Sunday, 6 November 2011 18:00 (seven years ago) link

"liberal arts" is just supposed to be "general knowledge"--science is a liberal art! "humanities" and "liberal arts" are not the same thing

max, Sunday, 6 November 2011 18:05 (seven years ago) link

& ive always thought of communications as a practical major. its where ppl go to become like... ppl who work in "marketing."

max, Sunday, 6 November 2011 18:08 (seven years ago) link

I've heard many people knocking college over the past few months (touring in a band in the southeast, so maybe it's a demographic thing). I knew an arts degree "wouldn't amount to anything" but went ahead and got my B.A. and I learned many wonderful things, had some inspirational teachers, got to study in Egypt, and in general had my worldview opened up. I wouldn't take any of that back. Plus, having a degree went good on my resume and no doubt helped me get some work.

I do think things are changing though, with student finance laws, with tuition rising and program cutbacks. Back when I was in school, I had HOPE cover tuition and got a couple grand per semester from the Pell Grant, so I could work part-time and still afford to go to school. And have the spare time needed for studies. I think if I ever go back, it's going to have to be in another country.

Emperor Cos Dashit (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 6 November 2011 18:24 (seven years ago) link

& ive always thought of communications as a practical major. its where ppl go to become like... ppl who work in "marketing."

I've always thought of communications as the sorority girl version of a business major (at least at my school...)...it's practical insomuch as it might signal to certain employers that you're someone who was more interested in getting a job than learning for the sake of learning, but at the same time it doesn't actually give you a real skill

iatee, Sunday, 6 November 2011 18:44 (seven years ago) link

I don't think the people who give them jobs usually think that. They're probably communications, business or hospitality majors themselves, so they're not going to be snobs about it.

bamcquern, Sunday, 6 November 2011 18:47 (seven years ago) link

totally, that's not their actual thought process, but there's still this unconscious signaling game going on. even if it's just 'this person is demonstrating that they think more like me and picked a *practical* major* because we are *practical* people'

iatee, Sunday, 6 November 2011 18:56 (seven years ago) link

incidentally people getting business/communications/etc. degrees are probably a 'bigger part of the college bubble' (if we want to look at it like that) than humanities majors

http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d10/figures/fig_15.asp?referrer=figures

iatee, Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:04 (seven years ago) link

communications is a made-up major for girls who arent rich/hip enough to major in art history

so solaris (Lamp), Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:06 (seven years ago) link

what do we think about girls who major in psychology

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:13 (seven years ago) link

psych is the 'I like learning but I have absolutely no clue what I want to major in' major, tho I do know multiple girls who are now in psych phds so maybe they actually like it

iatee, Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:14 (seven years ago) link

^^had a long conversation with an old friend who is in the midst of her psychology phd. pretty sure i made some cracks back in the day when she was an undergrad, but she's sure shown me.

encarta it (Gukbe), Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:16 (seven years ago) link

one hopes they like it, if they're doing PhDs xp

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:16 (seven years ago) link

that was a p shitty post i dont know why im so sour this morning

i have lots of advanced opinions abt 'practical' majors but it mostly just boils down to the fact that a lot less ppl should be going to university than currently do

so solaris (Lamp), Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:17 (seven years ago) link

i'm doing a masters in critical theory

plax (ico), Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:19 (seven years ago) link

I think this thread more or less agrees with you on that last point. xp

plax I hope you aren't paying money for that

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:20 (seven years ago) link

unless you are like wealthy or whatever in which case neat

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:20 (seven years ago) link

anything that can be described as "practical" is stupid

max, Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:20 (seven years ago) link

i'm not a very practical person

plax (ico), Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:21 (seven years ago) link

yeah, when I become a computer science professor six or seven years from now my goal will be to make computer science departments less practical

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:21 (seven years ago) link

ppl can learn to program on their own time, it's pretty difficult to teach people to be good programmers in a classroom anyway

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:22 (seven years ago) link

practical degrees are p funny partly because theyre so completely impractical, ppl are wasting so much time and money getting a degree that teaches them nothing and 'signals' increasingly less. mostly ppl should just work admin or entry level positions for a couple of years and take w/e professional certification courses theyre going to have to take anyway at night and both they and employers wld be better off blah blah blah work farms in new hampshire

i mean i think education is p fantastic but what if most ppl dont really want to learn about greek history or genetics or chaucer they just want a job that earns them some money

so solaris (Lamp), Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:46 (seven years ago) link

kinda feel like everybody should just major in a science, at worse you become a lab tech and make 40k

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:47 (seven years ago) link

not even true for lots of science majors tho

iatee, Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:51 (seven years ago) link

that's true, everybody should just major in biology or biotech or bioinformatics

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Sunday, 6 November 2011 19:52 (seven years ago) link

the bigger problem is that we actually do need a certain amount of people to do generic white collar jobs, a 'liberal arts education' is prob as good a preparation as you're gonna get (powerpoint on hegel -> powerpoint on car insurance companies)

but it's unclear how many people and even more unclear how many people 10 years from now and really hard to imagine that this is some dynamic situation where you can expect most people to look at the macro picture and be like "oh clearly we need X more people in this field" - you can plan ahead w/ some things but right now you're asking 18 y/os to make 6 figure investments in a super complicated market. I'm not sure what the answer is beyond 'college needs to be cheaper'.

iatee, Sunday, 6 November 2011 20:03 (seven years ago) link

I majored in communication because I thought it was the same thing as communications, but it's not, so I switched to "Journalism and Media Studies" which wound up JUST being journalism, and not even modern tech-centric journalism but like entire classes on how to report news for radio and stuff like that. So now I have a journalism degree. I still am trying to work out how I wound up with a journalism degree.

Parker Posey as herself dancing to house music in NYC in 1995 (Stevie D(eux)), Sunday, 6 November 2011 20:06 (seven years ago) link

'this person is demonstrating that they think more like me and picked a *practical* major* because we are *practical* people

I was a comp sci major dropout and lol @ the immense mutual disdain between the theoretical comp sci/maths+CS people and the Business & IT majors

how do i shot slime mould voltron form (a passing spacecadet), Sunday, 6 November 2011 20:32 (seven years ago) link

the bigger problem is that we actually do need a certain amount of people to do generic white collar jobs, a 'liberal arts education' is prob as good a preparation as you're gonna get (powerpoint on hegel -> powerpoint on car insurance companies)

sure, except that most white collar jobs dont need a liberal arts education at all, and shouldnt require one, and a good liberal arts education probably shouldnt be abt powerpoint

so solaris (Lamp), Sunday, 6 November 2011 20:37 (seven years ago) link

xp lol, i thought it was just me (another cs dropout)

Nhex, Sunday, 6 November 2011 20:40 (seven years ago) link

ya I agree w/ all of that but I think our culture is at a point where it'd be pretty hard to convince people (esp since the people 'in charge' almost all went to college) otherwise. instead things are going in the opposite direction even, w/ fast food places weeding people out if they don't have a college degree.

also our unreliable hs education system makes a college degree that much more insurance that you have rudimentary math and writing skills.

xp

iatee, Sunday, 6 November 2011 20:43 (seven years ago) link

and even then...

Nhex, Monday, 7 November 2011 00:10 (seven years ago) link

yeah, when I become a computer science professor six or seven years from now my goal will be to make computer science departments less practical

― whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Sunday, November 6, 2011 7:21 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark

<3

new rap guy (BIG HOOS aka the steendriver), Monday, 7 November 2011 05:55 (seven years ago) link

our computer science department is a total circus sideshow imo - all sorts of obnoxious industry trendhopping going on

fill up ass of emoticon fart (crüt), Monday, 7 November 2011 06:08 (seven years ago) link

your <3s mean the world to me hoos; if you can send them along also to the graduate admissions committees of the schools I'm applying to…

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Monday, 7 November 2011 08:03 (seven years ago) link

yeah I could go off on a huge tear about computer science's role/function/mission in the academy but I won't

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Monday, 7 November 2011 08:03 (seven years ago) link

http://graphicsweb.wsj.com/documents/NILF1111/#term=

J0rdan S., Monday, 7 November 2011 16:46 (seven years ago) link

That table comes from this:

http://cew.georgetown.edu/whatsitworth/

Finding - if you want to be comfortable study engineering

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgzl1Sai4Y0

American Fear of Pranksterism (Ed), Monday, 7 November 2011 16:55 (seven years ago) link

I think the CS program at my university now has a software engineering track that is more focused on the methodology and practice of programming. The long, math-and-logic proof classes are still there, but as a core.

mh, Monday, 7 November 2011 17:02 (seven years ago) link


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