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

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they should!! the fact that we have a system that discourages it is terrible!

haha this thread is making late for a lab im running in 20 mins...

― and a butt (Lamp), Thursday, November 10, 2011 11:38 AM (3 minutes ago) Bookmark

yeah, they should! unfortunately america's graduating way more high schoolers than it knows what to do with so they're tightening the sieves, degree creep &c.

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:42 (seven years ago) link

xp wait we were only talking about the academic job market all this time and not the job market in general? *facepalm*

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:43 (seven years ago) link

"this student can use statistical reasoning to shed light on current debates on public policy, and can write up her results clearly"

haha this is killing me. "this student can dress neatly and type 80wpm." "this student can discuss proust without making a jackass of themselves."

s.clover, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:43 (seven years ago) link

i know english is not the rigorous righteous discipline that philosophy is but i know about 10 english phds from an excellent school who are scraping by, jobless, some of them 3 years out from their ph.d. at this point. these people were crazy academic go-getters all their lives. i have to admit i always take arguments like Euler's really personally. i guess it's all their faults because lol English.

― horseshoe, Thursday, November 10, 2011 11:42 AM (30 seconds ago) Bookmark

heh I will remember always attending the english ph.d info session at my school and the first words out of the mouth of the prof running it was "only 50% of our grads actually get jobs"

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:44 (seven years ago) link

one of the best decision in my life so far was not going into grad school for english right after graduation

still i ryde english till i die

max, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:46 (seven years ago) link

i am so glad you didn't do that, max <3

horseshoe, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:46 (seven years ago) link

one of the best decision in my life so far was not going into grad school for english right after graduation

You were a wise person. (I might have done similar if I hadn't received the fellowship, which couldn't be deferred.)

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:46 (seven years ago) link

worth keeping in mind that "business" is currently the #1 undergrad major (which if it's a choice between that and math/philosophy for undergrads then imo Euler Is Right And Don't Even Get Me Started), and those guys aren't getting jobs at a notably better rate than English grads so.

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

all yoga attacks are fire based (rogermexico.), Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:47 (seven years ago) link

tbh i didnt really make that decision, i belly flopped on my thesis and the decision was made for me, so actually it was me being lazy/unmotivated that led me to have an irl job and not be staring down the academic market!

max, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:47 (seven years ago) link

looks like i just disproved euler

max, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:48 (seven years ago) link

shit all the triangles are gonna disintegrate

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:48 (seven years ago) link

and i'm talking about the academic job market because these english phds are older than the millenials but kind of in the same boat economically because they delayed their career arcs because of grad school and inherited this horrible economy

horseshoe, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:50 (seven years ago) link

- its probably p hard to isolate the impact that 'getting good grades' has from all the other good things ppl who are going to work hard at college do but it seems p obv that the ppl who are working hard have a better chance at a getting a good job, being 'successful' &c

correlation vs. causation q

- there are direct benefits to good grades which iatee is kinda hand-waving at (and lots of big co.s ask for transcripts now even in stuff like advertising/pr) but there are clear indirect benefits (like impressing yr professors haha)

in the not so distant future I think everything (grades, job history, everything) will have to be verified online via some linkedin type system, that is my prediction. maybe some peoples' 2.3 gpas will haunt them more in that future?

- while macro factors are really whats going to fuck u, might as well control the micro factors amirite?

this is otm but at the same time euler was making macro comments, ya know?

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:51 (seven years ago) link

oh the humanities job market

Mr. Que, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:51 (seven years ago) link

so it's about the humanities job market but it's also about the fact that it's hard to transition into another field because of the economy.

horseshoe, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:52 (seven years ago) link

ok cool I'm out on this now---my actually pretty good students await---but the academic job market is a totally different thing than what I'm talking about, batshit though I may be.

the academic job market is pretty similar to what's happening everywhere else, it's just ahead of the curve

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:52 (seven years ago) link

i was told by an adviser 3? years ago that i would have no trouble finding a great job, she was a big fan of me dropping out and it's really hard for me not to feel like it's my fault that hasn't happened. i guess that's why the Euler argument rankles.

horseshoe, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:53 (seven years ago) link

it might have been four years ago jesus christ

horseshoe, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:53 (seven years ago) link

not enough plato, i think

max, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:54 (seven years ago) link

haha i know, right? philosophy ph.d. students were always seriously telling me a version of that! english grad students lack reasoning ability, apparently

horseshoe, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:55 (seven years ago) link

skim phaedrus tonight and youll have an even better job the next morning

max, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:55 (seven years ago) link

also we can't write

horseshoe, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:55 (seven years ago) link

i was told by an adviser 3? years ago that i would have no trouble finding a great job

What in the world. (This was what was being said to us almost twenty years ago and there was little belief in that either.)

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:56 (seven years ago) link

philosophy students are the worst!!

max, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:56 (seven years ago) link

oh no, she wasn't talking about the academic market. she was talking to me about how i was imminently leaving academia and how great that was. tbf to her she definitely knows about the humanities market. i think it makes her feel like a criminal on a daily basis.

horseshoe, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:56 (seven years ago) link

i was just saying, just by virtue of spending all that damn time in grad school i returned to the job market at a terrible time, as did many of my friends who completed the ph.d. but are now tryign to find any job.

horseshoe, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:57 (seven years ago) link

i mean we all made some poor choices i'm not trying to say we bear no responsiblity it's just not a failure of imagination/laziness problem imo

horseshoe, Thursday, 10 November 2011 16:59 (seven years ago) link

not gonna lie, I am very happy that I stuck with a CS degree and that I graduated in the mid 90s when anyone who had ever looked at a computer could get a job writing software

sex-poodle Al Gore (DJP), Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:00 (seven years ago) link

well i am really lazy but most of them are not

horseshoe, Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:00 (seven years ago) link

Maybe starting a PhD next year will work out and I can skip the shitty economy.

If I don't get in as a CS PhD though I am gonna be sorely tempted to apply to philosophy PhDs next go round and then what will become of me

whoop, up the butt it goes (silby), Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:00 (seven years ago) link

failure to know the form of the job market

max, Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:00 (seven years ago) link

failure to understand alcibiades' lust for socrates

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:02 (seven years ago) link

how is jobby formed

goole, Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:04 (seven years ago) link

so, I am not sure how reliable these numbers are or what they're measuring but:

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf

table A-4 on pg 15 shows that the unemployment rate for ppl 25 and older with at least a bachelor's degree at less than 5% for the 5 months, slightly lower than what it was a year ago

I'm not sure how that correlates to "no one with a college degree can get a job" and I understand that it doesn't include most recent recent BAs

sex-poodle Al Gore (DJP), Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:10 (seven years ago) link

yeah i pointed that out upthread--the real crisis in employment is w/ ppl who have less than a HS degree--but this conversation seems to be taking place in the context of "people not being able to find jobs" because otherwise im not sure what the point is

max, Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:12 (seven years ago) link

iirc another criticism of that is that it doesn't take into account the quality of the job & degree creep - a guy with a BA or MS is doing something like data entry that even a HS dropout should be able to do xp

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:18 (seven years ago) link

the two are linked as college gets more expensive and the end result becomes less of a sure thing, 'the way out of poverty' is now just its own type of poverty xp

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:19 (seven years ago) link

yeah that's a big reason why why the hs dropout is unemployed xp

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:20 (seven years ago) link

why why why

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:20 (seven years ago) link

> maybe some peoples' 2.3 gpas will haunt them more in that future?

After your first job or so, I don't know if anyone ever cares about your GPA again?

also, don't remember if this was posted yet: http://chronicle.com/blogs/innovations/just-dont-go-the-sequel/30693

s.clover, Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:29 (seven years ago) link

that's partly due to your ability to hide it, if we have permanent online resumes, every stain from your past might be online somewhere

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:34 (seven years ago) link

Facebook Timeline iirc

fun drive (seandalai), Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:44 (seven years ago) link

I mean, for real, you can probably tell most employers "yeah, I partied too much in college, but when I hit the real world I got myself together, and since then I've x y and z" and they'd wonder why you're even telling them about college.

Unless they're just looking for excuses to cut people, which has more to do with the economy &c. than anything else, then why would they care? Like Don Draper always sez, it will shock you how much it never happened.

s.clover, Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:48 (seven years ago) link

I think that is true atm but less true in our linkedin-timeline world where your resume, academic and (just as much) work history is gonna be less in your own hands

this is just my crazy futurist predictions and not super important tho

iatee, Thursday, 10 November 2011 17:53 (seven years ago) link

I think the other thing college students get shafted on is lack of "experience." Dan's right in that CS degrees were (and to an extent, are) a golden ticket of sorts but most companies still don't want to hire a fresh from college guy these days. Once you get 2-3 years under your belt it's like job city, but finding the places that will hire you right out of school can be tricky.

I guess it's like that for a lot of jobs, but with even less demand and no particular skills requirement

mh, Thursday, 10 November 2011 18:09 (seven years ago) link

failure to understand alcibiades' lust for socrates

Nothing simpler. By the same token as cannibals, who think they can absorb the virtues of their enemies by eating their choicest parts, Alcibiades felt (it was not a rational matter) that seducing Socrates would set a royal seal upon his powers of persuasion - and the power of seductive persuasion was the keystone of Alcibiades' career.

Aimless, Thursday, 10 November 2011 19:11 (seven years ago) link

*gives aimless a job*

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Thursday, 10 November 2011 19:12 (seven years ago) link

(aimless tuckshis thumbs under his galluses and beams benevolently)

Aimless, Thursday, 10 November 2011 19:15 (seven years ago) link

http://bigthink.com/ideas/41034?page=all

I've got a good bit of student-loan debt myself, acquired studying philosophy in grad school. And then I dropped out before finishing my Ph.D.! Well, I don't regret it. Sometimes in grad school you'll hear students and faculty both speak with a certain dread of "the real world." It turns out, however, that universities aren't actually located outside this here space-time continuum, but are part of the real world, and a pretty great part, too, if you're lucky enough to get into it. I don't know that when I took out student loans to help support myself that I thought I was taking some kind of "gamble." I knew I was redistributing income from my future to my present self, and not really because I needed the money to make an investment that would payoff, but because I wanted to study philosophy and I couldn't otherwise afford it. I was buying the rarefied leisure of grad school and knowledge of philosophy. Now I know all about philosophy, will for the rest of my live, and I love it! Did I get some remunerative skills in the bargain? I reckon I did. I certainly sharpened my analytical and argumentative abilities, which came in handy as a think-tank fellow, and come in handy now as a semi-employed blogger for The Economist and Big Think. But so what! I spent years reading and thinking about Aristotle and Kant and Quine and Rawls, which is not everyone's idea of a holiday, but I'll always treasure that time in my life, and I've got more to show for it than a scrapbook of exotic snapshots. It remade my mind.

Now, what I'm not about to do is pitch a tent on America's lawn and complain that "the system" has done me wrong. That would be insane. I studied painting and drawing at State U on an art scholarship. I studied philosophy at two more State Us, subsidized by taxpayers the whole way, either in the form of tuition waivers (for being a graduate teaching assistant, a job that doesn't really ask that much of you, to be honest) or in the form of cheap loans I certainly couldn't have landed on the market. ("Please, sir: I have an art degree with a mediocre GPA, and I would like your bank to give me some money to read Roderick Chisholm. Please?") "The system" gave me a very nice time, and helped me accumulate some rather luxurious if not exceedingly practical "human capital." So I'm not complaining about debt-slavery or anything moronic like that.

he's the success story of someone in his position - can pay the bills, enjoys his work, even uses his analytical skills - but at the same time he misses the tragic aspect. the 'success story' - a semi-employed blogger has very little career security, probably can't really imagine buying property, etc. who knows, maybe he can bank on conservative think tanks employing him for the rest of his life. maybe his blog will get huge or he'll write a best seller.

but in reality
a. not everyone who drops out of a philosophy phd w/ tons of student debt can get a part-time blog at the economist
b. even people like him who 'made it' are often in precarious financial situations w/ unclear long-term prospects

iatee, Friday, 11 November 2011 16:32 (seven years ago) link

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204224604577030562170562088.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories

when the WSJ sounds the siren...

ASPIE Rocky (dayo), Friday, 11 November 2011 18:04 (seven years ago) link


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