• #1
    A Bachelor's Degree is nothing more than a piece of paper saying you learned something. It doesn't say there will be a job market out in the real world for what you learned.
  • #11
    Colleges lowering standards..... creating fields of study which have no real world application (aka a JOB) and Loans out the wazuu.
  • #69
    Thank you captain obvious!

    But the fact is that for years these kids have been told "if you don't want to be flipping burgers, you'll need to get a degree" and now that they have one they are being told "What? Are you too good to flip burgers?"

    But it seems that's pretty par of the course for boomers and post-boomers
  • #87

    I was listening to NYT this morning. A young lady was being interviewed who'd graduated college with a bachelor's degree.
    She was walking dogs for a hundred bucks a week and living a meager existence.
    She went on and on how hard she worked to get through school and now despite dozens of resumes and interviews no one was calling her back with job offers.

    She was to a point now if it was something prospective employers didn't like about her like being black, being female, her hair in dreadlocks..... wait.

    What ?

    Her hair was tied in dreadlocks ? She didn't give that suggestion much thought at first when her boyfriend starting suggesting her hair to be an issue holding her back but now that she's had months go by to think his suggestion through she was beginning to give his suggestion merit.

    You think?

    Pretty typical post boomer, wanders through life without a clue, then whines they're getting "a raw deal."
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  • #24
    We have whole crops of young people being ripped off by higher education. The collegiate system is little more than a racket, designed to indoctrinate young people and leave them saddled with debt and useless degree(s). Why does every young person need to go to college to be successful? The short answer is: they don't. What's wrong with a vocational education? Apprenticeships? The droves of young adults working in low-skill jobs and their communities would be much better served if they had opted to learn a trade and become electricians, plumbers, HVAC techs, machinists, etc.

    Let's face it….what good is a degree in history, or worse yet, women's studies? LOL!
  • #34
    Well you are correct that a college degree is a choice and not a necessity. Clearly. But becoming and educated person in an area that you value greatly also has its benefits. If you do what you love to do... You can be successful and never "work" a day in your life... Enjoying your way through live instead of working your way through. If thats mechanics of janitorial or womens studies... Doesnt really matter... There is a need for every person to contribute.
  • #39
    @Pms888 Well said. My real issue is with the fact that one does not need a college degree to be successful in life and a productive member of society. If you enjoy your chosen profession, then that's a huge bonus, especially if you are successful in your endeavors.
  • #94
    @Pms888 You are correct, except that the expectation is that if you get a degree, in anything, it necessarily results in a good high paying job. That is a wrong assumption / wrong premise. Clearly if you become a doctor, petrochemical engineer etc your chances are much better. There just aren't that many jobs for people with a women's studies degree (or the like), except for maybe teaching women's studies!
  • #110
    @Pms888 I doubt any one working as a janitor feels they are the best they can be. To many people take the easiest courses they can and wake out of college with a useless degree a degree that tells prospective employees that they will take the easy way out.
  • #144
    @gettinstroppy good points... but many paths to success... having money is only a part of one of those paths. happiness, contentment, loving family, save and supportive community, health... those are other paths. education guarantees nothing except that you are better educated in a formal education sense of the word. from there on out... there are too many variables to generalize as those graphs are provoking us to do... your points are well taken tho.
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  • #76
    It's the next big bubble that will wreak havoc on our economy. Millions of grads who can't pay their bills.
  • #132

    It's not really a bubble in the classical sense, but you're correct that student loans will be a constant drag on the economy.

    All those loans mean a lot of spending not happening.

    It would not surprise me at all if something was done to reduce the burden, such as payments capped at a low percentage of net income, or some such.
  • #30
    ! grads do NOT get a raw deal. No one is obligated to offer them the perfect job. The problem is that many sit and wait for the perfect job. They don't want to start at the bottom. Many now find it easy to get government assistance as they sit and wait....many at home with Mom and Dad before they reach the new age of adulthood at 26.
    But, there are still some with character...they get out and work while they seek that first dream job.
  • #42
    I'm not sure that adulthood comes at 26, I think there are a lot out there that don't reach that point until they hit 40 if ever.
  • #55
    There's a good PBS documentary called Declining by Degrees, that might make you see things differently... While you are right that it is up to the graduate to be motivated to bust some ass, (as most do at first) it's not the whole picture. it's about how the entire State College system cares more about fancy buildings, stadiums, and gyms that attract new students, While real educational programs face serious budget cuts, the professors are screwed, and the students are screwed.
  • #67
    You are right. Nobody is going to get anywhere waiting on someone else to give it to you. It's up to you to go get what you want.
  • #71
    So going $100k into debt to get the degree they need to not flip burgers only to find out that janitorial jobs are the only openings sounds like a pretty raw deal to me. It's not about being 'obligated', but that there aren't enough opportunities, even at the bottom.
  • #92
    @seedtick "The problem is that many sit and wait for the perfect job. They don't want to start at the bottom."

    If you looked at the graphs, it said the number of college educated janitors had risen by 69%.....if janitor isn't "starting at the bottom" then I hate to know what the bottom is.
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  • #26
    Time out: Flashback to 1999
    Economy roaring. Companies screaming for workers at all levels. Biggest obstacle to prosperity for the nation: "we can't grow because we can't get the people."

    What happened? Greenspan feared "irrational exuberance" (aka good times) and slammed the interest rate up six times over 8 months. His goal was to "cool off" the tech sector, but his blunt-object tool froze ALL sectors of the economy. This destroyed prosperity.

    Then came the false 'prosperity' of the real estate bubble, caused by 'partial' deregulation and mandates from HUD/etc. demanding the industry make loans to unqualified people for political/feelgood reasons. Crash.

    We no longer have a free market, no longer on gold standard, stupendous cost of Social Services, deficit spending, etc. We made a bargain with the devil to game money, and now the house is empty.
  • #74
    Sorry, but no. Just.... no.

    If you want to really see where our problems started you'll need to go to 1981, when we began our trek to add 16 trillion to our debt and began a 30 year de-investment program of the United States.
  • #103
    I did not claim that my starting point was the "only" point of departure/failure. So sorry you had to throw your emphatic "no"s.

    I could one-up you all day. Go back from your 1981 to 1972 when we went off the gold standard. That nulifies your "really started".

    Now do you have any constructive details to add to my post?
  • #227
    @JohnDonohue You beat me to the 1970's legal criminals. Also add the bogus excuse to imprison the people by protecting them from themselves, aka DEA, the war on drugs. It is all a money/greed thing that has hurt our country. The worst of it, is we let them sneak under our radar and do it right in front of us little by little. Including the big one, The Patriot Act. That is why we now live in a police state with civilian police with military weapons, corporations are people too and get big tax breaks, useless wars waged on innocent people while we release the real criminals, 15 trillion in debt with no gold to back it, just print more money, welfare is now a career, you don't need to be legal to get help and live here but can't if you were born here and work hard or ex military and the list continues. We need to do away with all the money burning useless jobs in office and make them get real jobs like the rest of us. They should not be above the people they are suppose to serve.
    No jobs are permanent. Their retirement is until we stop it.
    We have many jobs to do to rebuild our country but we choose to let petty arguments of race, sexual preference and religion fight among ourselves. We attack the people and harass them over BS while the real criminals/thugs in office and in gangs run/ ruin our country. I really feel safe not that I have given up even more of my rights and freedoms.(Sarcasm) The Pentagon can not even account for the money they waste. WHY? WHY is a good place to start.
    That's funny, not ha ha, but how most of problems go back to our servants, some may call them our leaders, but that is a gross misnomer.
  • #231

    Regardless of where you choose to go back to, its always a Republican Congress or Republican President at the root of this country's problems.

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  • #17
    The prospects for college grads is probably even worse than it shows in the stats, because there are vast numbers of people with advanced degrees working outside their fields of study. Over the last 20 years, I've seen many PhDs in the hard sciences in ordinary computer jobs, and if you figure that they are displacing MS degree holders in the same jobs, pretty soon you've got people with useful degrees working at Starbucks, and they are displacing crap degree-holders into janitorial jobs.
  • #113
    I find it ironic that my chi;d with no college degree makes the best living out of my four. He spent 4 years in the Navy in a miserable engine room and got additional licences when he got out. He is 35 makes $96,000.00 a year plus bonus working in a control room for a large utility company. He has good work habits and is very dependable. He is able to provide a good life for his family, likes his job and has no college debt. He is the smartest one.
  • #166
    He is indeed smart!! I've seen some stellar men and women come out of the armed services. A good many have thrived with the skills initially learned 'on the job' with a little added civilianized education targeting. They deserve the success they have achieved!!
    Thank your son for his service to our great country.
  • #188
    My friend got discharged for being gay back in the day and we were so sad for him. Not so much now as he used his army training and is now earning 6 figures and not even 30.
  • #232

    Your son is indeed smart, but you can't put too much blame on the young where parents and teachers and society have put so much pressure on kids to go to college and giving lip service to jobs that require physical labor.

    We have done generations of our young a disservice by showing disapproval for jobs that require skills with hands and minds and by raising up the same jobs and careers that took down the economy and never paid a price for it.

    What are they to think? With the values this country has sunk to, where an honest days pay for an honest days work is sneered at and theft of billions is rewarded.

  • #22
    There is no such thing as a worthless degree, unless you are an athelete who got your school to have someone else do your papers and study and then "earn" your Grades.
    Every College graduate had to put a hell of a lot of time, effort, and consistency into earning that diploma, and that acheivement ALWAYS says worth more about a person than folks who didn't or don't have what it takes, or sadly didn't have the money, or were just too dumb to take advantage of their folk's willingness to pay, or help pay their way......even if your field of study doesn't even exist anymore.
    Yes, there are degrees that won't net any ROI as far as money...but there aren't any "worthless" degrees.
  • #35
    I can't remember whether I usually disagree or agree with your posts. This one, though, is spot on. I would make one clarification. Some choose consciously to get their 'education' outside the college system, are smart people, and don't have any problem making a living because they have instincts that carry them through. Sometimes, too, they simply work in and eventually take over their parents' business. I know one 15-year old kid who has his own vineyard maintenance company, has breakfast with his mentor grandfather every morning, and is a killer employer. He wasn't my best math student, but I have no fears of him not making it ...though my wish for him would still be to go to college and see what more there is that formal education can offer.
  • #40
    @Unfit2serve amen. The world is big enough and diverse enough with enough hurt... That everyone can contribute. However, there may be one worthless degree. The business major who is taught to think of no one but himself (usually a him). That person can inadvertently vandelize the planet and its inhabitants and, thus, i would call that a worthless ... Or worse, a damaging degree. David orr in "earth in mind" writes of the ecologically and socially illiterate business majors who vandalize the earth... Despite their good but ignorant intentions.
  • #46
    @Unfit2serve Feminist studies, African studies, etc. and other "made up" endeavors aren't useful for much other than seeking tenure to perpetuate their studies tripe to others! Thus the useless pool swells...
  • #47
    @Unfit2serve There is truth in what you some extent. The basic college courses are invaluable to you. But, the all important document states "Bachelor of Science in "********" or "Bachelor of Arts in "*********." Today there are so many folks with a degree plus experience looking for a job that the employers can get more for their money with one of them.
    My advice to any young person is to go to college....for something. If you don't go to college you need to go to technical school....for something. And, work your butt off wherever you on time to work or to class. Make yourself valuable to your employer. Leave the clubbing if you never did it at all.
    Make yourself valuable to society...and that doesn't mean demonstrating for anything.
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  • #100
    Employers are hiring college graduates for menial jobs because they can - the labor pool is large and the labor demand is not quite as large.

    No business is going to take on expansion with the uncertain regulatory climate that exists in the US (healthcare mandates that change by executive fiat, policies that artificially raise the price of electricity, etc.)

    You got what you voted for, people.
  • #41
    If they get there degree in the right area and they are willing to work hard they will succeed. Unfortunately far too many think any degree will get them a great job and that just isn't true. The other problem facing todays youth is a total lack of understanding about student loans and how deep a hole they can dig themselves into if they come out of college with a meaningless degree and a $100,000 in debt.
  • #33
    When I graduated from college, it was not my degree in English that got me into my advertising career ... it was my secretarial degree that allowed me to get into a company and move up! I did that 30-something years ago, though, when the economy was pretty good. As for the kids who graduated between 2000-present that this article is about, I have absolutely no sympathy for them. These idiots will be living in their parents' basements for years ... lucky for them they can at least stay on their parents' health insurance until they are 26. However, since college students supported Obama en masse this is what they voted for. This is the first time I've been glad that I'm close to retirement age ... although I'll keep working because I love the industry. I'm in. Since people like me either want to or have to work until they're at least 72, that also hurts the chances of any of these kids breaking in and moving up the ladder for at least the next 10-15 years. They asked for it, and they got it!
  • #48
    At 26 I was divorced with 2 babies under the age of 4 and worked as a waitress. I didn't have a college degree or any college but I did what I had to in order to put food on the table and pay my bills. If that meant scrubbing stranger's piss off toilets that's what I did.
  • #139
    @AceLuby No ... Libertarian. However I never let my youthful idealism lead me to supporting a socialist president who wants to transform the country by wealth redistribution and refusing to enforce this country's immigration laws. I certainly don't subscribe to the "I got mine ..." theory, but I do feel that the same people who are now graduating into a stagnant job market deserve exactly what they voted for and have no right to complain about it.
  • #165
    @Cicely53 Did you call all the previous presidents "socialist"? Just curious because you know that they were, right? Also, I assume you understand that wealth didn't need to be redistributed when you were a child because it was already being done through tax rates that are far higher than those that our socialist president is using today. You know these facts, right? Because your post indicates otherwise.
  • #99
    It depends on how you look at education. Did you come out top 1% in a field that is in high demand? Are you fluent in three languages or can you just text on your smart phone? What do you look like? How much time have you spent in public speaking, communication, Toastmasters and community groups during your four years or did you go to parties and drink? Do you dress like crap and have all your visible skin tattooed and pierced? It also depends on how society looks at the current crop of young people. There are valid reasons for BS degrees matching up with janitorial openings and computer science MS degrees applying for field service tech positions that pay $11.50 an hour. There are two distinct worlds; one where little flying unicorns shit golden rainbows in your cereal bowl every morning and the other is reality where you are nothing until your track record proves otherwise.
  • #85
    Let's consider those who took their degrees in 'ethnic' or 'women's' studies or similar 'underwater basket weaving' majors. Just how many career opportunities - aside from going back and teaching the same useless nonsense to the next generation of 'would you like fries with that'- are there in the real world? And just how many professorial opportunities for those specialties are there? We have to make choices, and if those choices have consequences.
  • #161
    It's kind of scary that you see knowledge as useless. The fact that information doesn't guarantee a job does not mean it lacks value. Steve Jobs and many other visionaries -- college graduates and those who weren't -- have spun a lot of information that you would have probably labeled "useless" into millions of dollars.
  • #169
    Think your focus is a little too narrow here: The focus of the piece was on turning their fresh-minted degrees into jobs. Knowledge in and of itself is a fine and noble pursuit, but 'women's studies' majors start out flipping burgers at the same rate as high school dropouts - at a five year disadvantage.

    There is nothing wrong with the pursuit of knowledge - even 'esoteric' knowledge with little to no application in the real world - but the pursuit of knowledge doesn't require tens of thousands of dollars in pursuit of a degree just for the sake of a degree, which too many believe is a guaranty of their validity, and too many degrees are handed out for parroting the philosophy of professors who got into teaching because their ideas had no validity in that real world.
  • #147
    If any college graduates are "screwed" it's because of their own choices. One doesn't have to amass a huge debt to get an education.
  • #114
    It's all starting to hit home. I see high schoolers knocking themselves penniless for years to get that degree, only to find seventy (70) like-minded degree holders waiting out in the lobby to battle for that one (1) spot; they hit the other five (5) businesses in town, and that's it.....they're stuck sending out resum-EHs to dozens of other places that're wading through thousands of applicants.

    Time for a better system.

    P.S.: Is it just me, or does clicking on the Politix main link send anyone else to "dotster"?
  • #180
    @NormalFlora I've resorted to using a cached version of the site (rather than going through Topix, which also works). Any fixes from the admins forthcoming?
  • #189
    In Europe alot of recruitment programs for graduates require no specified degree but just require good grades in one. They will provide you training and often they try to take a wide variety of disciplines. Even people with sociology or history of art degrees get these types business jobs.
  • #6
    Eyes wide open and understand the game and what is important, and get your Degree done in shortest time possible. Be realistic. Expecting to be the one who beats the odds in some deadbeat major usually does not work out very well. If you love it resign yourself to doing with less.
  • #37
    @WMCOL amen brother. Quality of life can trump standard of living... Love what you do nd youmwont "work" a day in your life. Hurt no one else in the process... And you have lived well. Nice answer.
  • #214
    A degree is about as common as a High School Diploma these days, it's not as "special" as it once was. Our middle class manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas or automated. No executive needs entry level office clerks or secretaries or travel agents anymore- it's all done online.
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