Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Higher Education - How can we make it suck a little less?

13468915

Posts

  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo wawing a note with the cinema code Registered User regular
    I like the way you think Darkwolfe. Parents should tell their kids at a young age that the ice cream factory isn't accepting any resumes for tasters.

    My mom told me that I should be a plumber. As a kid I found the notion offensive, but it was actually decent fucking advice that I should have considered.

  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    Darkewolfe wrote:
    The whole concept of "doing what you love" is something I still find stupid. There's too many theater majors already, and they're not very employable.

    I think more people need to find things they are good at, find ways to monetize them in a way that they don't hate, and then learn to take pleasure from doing their jobs well and being successful. When you think of all of the work that needs doing, and the types of work there are, people just aren't going to match up to truly being passionate about much of it. Yet people who want to be successful and make a decent amount of money are going to find a way to be happy with that success. I think it's a failing of our education system that I know so many theater/art history/English majors. Those are things it's EASY to get passionate about, and while they have some general job skills, they don't make you as competitive as other things you could be pursuing.


    Yeah basically that, you can really like a specific thing but I bet you like not being homeless more. So it comes to a choice. I mean I like playing video games, I should be a video game tester! That is poor logic. If everyone did what they liked I doubt there would be as many janitors, teachers, people in the military, cops, engineers, hell everything.

    533570-1.png
  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo wawing a note with the cinema code Registered User regular
    If everyone did what they enjoyed, our society would crumble under the weight of all the "professional" pornography/personal lubrication reviewers

  • SavdecSavdec Registered User
    Wait, being an English major is the result of systemic failure? Damn, guess I better switch to neuroscience. Also, better get a grad degree in neurosci because that undergrad degree won't get me a job.

    NOTE TO INVADING ALIENS: Avoid this town. (Like this town avoided us.)
  • LoserForHireXLoserForHireX Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote:
    The whole concept of "doing what you love" is something I still find stupid. There's too many theater majors already, and they're not very employable.

    I think more people need to find things they are good at, find ways to monetize them in a way that they don't hate, and then learn to take pleasure from doing their jobs well and being successful. When you think of all of the work that needs doing, and the types of work there are, people just aren't going to match up to truly being passionate about much of it. Yet people who want to be successful and make a decent amount of money are going to find a way to be happy with that success. I think it's a failing of our education system that I know so many theater/art history/English majors. Those are things it's EASY to get passionate about, and while they have some general job skills, they don't make you as competitive as other things you could be pursuing.

    It all comes down to priorities.

    If your priority is being successful (as realized by monetary gain), or having a family, or any number of other things then absolutely. Find something that you are good at, that you can take pride in, that can provide for you and your family. I think that you're going for something like this with the bolded part.

    However, I can't do that. I need to do something that I love. I've worked the job that I did well and that provided for me and it was shit. I hated going to work every day. I couldn't wait to get home. I can't imagine actually living a life like that.

    "The only way to get rid of a temptation is to give into it." - Oscar Wilde
    "We believe in the people and their 'wisdom' as if there was some special secret entrance to knowledge that barred to anyone who had ever learned anything." - Friedrich Neitzsche
  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo wawing a note with the cinema code Registered User regular
    Savdec wrote:
    Wait, being an English major is the result of systemic failure? Damn, guess I better switch to neuroscience. Also, better get a grad degree in neurosci because that undergrad degree won't get me a job.

    NOTE TO INVADING ALIENS: Avoid this town. (Like this town avoided us.)

    Honestly, you'd probably be better off going to trade school and picking up a library card.

    Also, great sig. Mclusky/FoTL is the tits.

  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS
    Darkewolfe wrote:
    The whole concept of "doing what you love" is something I still find stupid. There's too many theater majors already, and they're not very employable.

    I think more people need to find things they are good at, find ways to monetize them in a way that they don't hate, and then learn to take pleasure from doing their jobs well and being successful. When you think of all of the work that needs doing, and the types of work there are, people just aren't going to match up to truly being passionate about much of it. Yet people who want to be successful and make a decent amount of money are going to find a way to be happy with that success. I think it's a failing of our education system that I know so many theater/art history/English majors. Those are things it's EASY to get passionate about, and while they have some general job skills, they don't make you as competitive as other things you could be pursuing.

    It all comes down to priorities.

    If your priority is being successful (as realized by monetary gain), or having a family, or any number of other things then absolutely. Find something that you are good at, that you can take pride in, that can provide for you and your family. I think that you're going for something like this with the bolded part.

    However, I can't do that. I need to do something that I love. I've worked the job that I did well and that provided for me and it was shit. I hated going to work every day. I couldn't wait to get home. I can't imagine actually living a life like that.

    Would you have been happier if you made more money? I think if I was making $60,000 a year and I only worked 40 hour works weeks in an office it would be the best job in the world. You aren't suppose to like work, that is why they pay you :P

    I am going to try and find some studies on this, now I am interested.

    533570-1.png
  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote:
    If everyone did what they enjoyed, our society would crumble under the weight of all the "professional" pornography/personal lubrication reviewers

    Our society is organized around allowing people to do what they enjoy. Whether that be in their work or in their leisure time.
    Darkwolfe wrote:
    The whole concept of "doing what you love" is something I still find stupid. There's too many theater majors already, and they're not very employable.

    I think more people need to find things they are good at, find ways to monetize them in a way that they don't hate, and then learn to take pleasure from doing their jobs well and being successful. When you think of all of the work that needs doing, and the types of work there are, people just aren't going to match up to truly being passionate about much of it. Yet people who want to be successful and make a decent amount of money are going to find a way to be happy with that success. I think it's a failing of our education system that I know so many theater/art history/English majors. Those are things it's EASY to get passionate about, and while they have some general job skills, they don't make you as competitive as other things you could be pursuing.

    Repeat after me: higher education is not job training. Higher education is not job training. Higher education is not job training.

    Industry, university bureaucracies, and many governments have come to believe it is. It's not, and has never been. Fifty years ago, it was perfectly acceptable for individuals to take a degree in the Humanities and get hired on by banks and companies of all sorts. The expectation was that the firm doing the hiring would do the training for whatever job needed doing. A shift has occurred, so that firms now expect prospective employees to come pretrained for whatever position they are hiring. This is often done at the taxpayer's expense (whether through student loan programs or simply through public funding of universities), and the utterly laughable part is that students who go through this process have no guarantee of a job at the end of it. The most insidious effects of this change in attitude remain upon the institutions of higher education themselves: instead of simply providing an education, goddammit universities change their standards and measures of worth into base utilitarian calculations of economic good.

    It doesn't work, and it's harmful to both students and the institutions themselves. The only ones who come out ahead are the private firms. They now have their job training almost entirely subsidized by the taxpayer, and they rarely have to provide any resources toward this effort.

    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo wawing a note with the cinema code Registered User regular
    It's not all about making money, it's about making enough money such that you don't have to worry about money. I don't mean being straight up baller and filling your toilet with Cristal because you like the way it fizzes on your rectum.

    I mean, not having to worry about rent, utilities, or food. You swipe your card at the grocery store and don't even think about whether it'll be declined or not. I'll take my no fun corporate sell out job over that feeling every day.

  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote:
    It's not all about making money, it's about making enough money such that you don't have to worry about money. I don't mean being straight up baller and filling your toilet with Cristal because you like the way it fizzes on your rectum.

    I mean, not having to worry about rent, utilities, or food. You swipe your card at the grocery store and don't even think about whether it'll be declined or not. I'll take my no fun corporate sell out job over that feeling every day.

    And I imagine that you use your leisure time to do things that you actually enjoy. That's my point. Either you do what you love, or your job enables you to do what you love. It's how our society is organized.

    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo wawing a note with the cinema code Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Fifty years ago I would be able to smoke in my office, have a scotch at noon and slap an office girl on the ass. The colored kid in the mailroom would be proof of my company's forward thinking social attitudes. Computers were run on punch cards.

    Times have changed. Anyone can go to college, now. A BA isn't the assurance that it used to be that you are from good social stock. The world is also more complicated, smaller, and more competitive. A lot of the 19 year olds futzing around with REALLY INTERESTING OPINIONS are doing themselves a great disservice.

    Deebaser on
  • KrieghundKrieghund Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote:
    It's not all about making money, it's about making enough money such that you don't have to worry about money. I don't mean being straight up baller and filling your toilet with Cristal because you like the way it fizzes on your rectum.

    I mean, not having to worry about rent, utilities, or food. You swipe your card at the grocery store and don't even think about whether it'll be declined or not. I'll take my no fun corporate sell out job over that feeling every day.

    You wouldn't need a college education for that. $20/hr would suffice for that if that is all you want.

  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo wawing a note with the cinema code Registered User regular
    saggio wrote:
    And I imagine that you use your leisure time to do things that you actually enjoy. That's my point. Either you do what you love, or your job enables you to do what you love. It's how our society is organized.

    We're talking about different things then. I'm pretty sure that Darkwolfe wasn't making the point that "doing what you love" in your leisure time is stupid.

  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    saggio,

    That's just the start of it. The ability of private industry to effectively shoulder their on-the-job training to academia has allowed private employers to demand a narrower and narrower set of skills.

    What this means for individuals is that they've got to return to school - public, private or skeevy training center - over and over again during their professional lives to earn certificates to qualify them for jobs that they already know how to do or could do with a few days or hours of employer training. A generation ago, this was a cost absorbed by the employer.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote:
    saggio wrote:
    And I imagine that you use your leisure time to do things that you actually enjoy. That's my point. Either you do what you love, or your job enables you to do what you love. It's how our society is organized.

    We're talking about different things then. I'm pretty sure that Darkwolfe wasn't making the point that "doing what you love" in your leisure time is stupid.

    No, of course not. And to the other poster, repeat after me: "University is not what it was 50 years ago. University is not what it was 50 years ago. University is not what it was 50 years ago." Yes, there was a time when universities were places where the privileged and wealthy upperclass would send their students to mingle with the few and far between brilliant scholars, and they'd all gather to collaborate on great works of art and science, because there weren't good ways for them to collaborate as a community otherwise.

    That's not what bachelor level degrees are anymore. Now they ARE professional training mixed with general civics education and rounding. They ARE a functional requirement for white collar work. You ARE wasting your time, your money and likely the taxpayers' money if you're pursuing a liberal arts degree without an eye on how to turn what you're studying into a marketable job skill.

    If you just want to learn about something, it's incredibly easy to do it now. This isn't the old days, when learning was restricted to specific classes of people organized in certain localities.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    "
    No, of course not. And to the other poster, repeat after me: "University is not what it was 50 years ago. University is not what it was 50 years ago. University is not what it was 50 years ago." Yes, there was a time when universities were places where the privileged and wealthy upperclass would send their students to mingle with the few and far between brilliant scholars, and they'd all gather to collaborate on great works of art and science, because there weren't good ways for them to collaborate as a community otherwise."

    He's not talking about that. The situation he's described is what it was like from the GI Bill wave in the late 1940s to the mid-1990s. It's not ancient history.

    In a larger point, he's not bemoaning the great lost past. He's making the rational case that job training is not something that universities do well, at all. It's not their institutional skillset.

  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote:
    The whole concept of "doing what you love" is something I still find stupid. There's too many theater majors already, and they're not very employable.

    I think more people need to find things they are good at, find ways to monetize them in a way that they don't hate, and then learn to take pleasure from doing their jobs well and being successful. When you think of all of the work that needs doing, and the types of work there are, people just aren't going to match up to truly being passionate about much of it. Yet people who want to be successful and make a decent amount of money are going to find a way to be happy with that success. I think it's a failing of our education system that I know so many theater/art history/English majors. Those are things it's EASY to get passionate about, and while they have some general job skills, they don't make you as competitive as other things you could be pursuing.

    It all comes down to priorities.

    If your priority is being successful (as realized by monetary gain), or having a family, or any number of other things then absolutely. Find something that you are good at, that you can take pride in, that can provide for you and your family. I think that you're going for something like this with the bolded part.

    However, I can't do that. I need to do something that I love. I've worked the job that I did well and that provided for me and it was shit. I hated going to work every day. I couldn't wait to get home. I can't imagine actually living a life like that.

    Your username makes this hilarious.

    Seriously, though, if you've found work doing what you enjoy, good for you. There's certainly room for SOME people to be ice cream testers, pornography reviewers, theater majors and Shakespeare critics. By and large, though, people who could otherwise be driven to be more successful in a less exciting field are being encouraged, too often, to pursue a degree that isn't really going to benefit them or society enough in the long run.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    I'm not talking about job training, though. I'm talking about math, science, business, linguistics, economics, etc. Knowing 17th century literature to the point that you do when you earn your degree in that field isn't going to help more than 1000 people in the country do some kind of work. Majoring in economics, studying french and then picking up some chemistry background WILL be a huge boon to someone hoping to find a way to monetize their knowledge and capabilities.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Ok, weird. My first post in the double post there was created and supposedly posted awhile back in this discussion. Forums are being wonky. Sorry about that.

    Edit: C-c-c-combo Post. (Sorry!)

    Darkewolfe on
    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    saggio wrote:
    Darkwolfe wrote:
    The whole concept of "doing what you love" is something I still find stupid. There's too many theater majors already, and they're not very employable.

    I think more people need to find things they are good at, find ways to monetize them in a way that they don't hate, and then learn to take pleasure from doing their jobs well and being successful. When you think of all of the work that needs doing, and the types of work there are, people just aren't going to match up to truly being passionate about much of it. Yet people who want to be successful and make a decent amount of money are going to find a way to be happy with that success. I think it's a failing of our education system that I know so many theater/art history/English majors. Those are things it's EASY to get passionate about, and while they have some general job skills, they don't make you as competitive as other things you could be pursuing.

    Repeat after me: higher education is not job training. Higher education is not job training. Higher education is not job training.

    Industry, university bureaucracies, and many governments have come to believe it is. It's not, and has never been. Fifty years ago, it was perfectly acceptable for individuals to take a degree in the Humanities and get hired on by banks and companies of all sorts. The expectation was that the firm doing the hiring would do the training for whatever job needed doing. A shift has occurred, so that firms now expect prospective employees to come pretrained for whatever position they are hiring. This is often done at the taxpayer's expense (whether through student loan programs or simply through public funding of universities), and the utterly laughable part is that students who go through this process have no guarantee of a job at the end of it. The most insidious effects of this change in attitude remain upon the institutions of higher education themselves: instead of simply providing an education, goddammit universities change their standards and measures of worth into base utilitarian calculations of economic good.

    It doesn't work, and it's harmful to both students and the institutions themselves. The only ones who come out ahead are the private firms. They now have their job training almost entirely subsidized by the taxpayer, and they rarely have to provide any resources toward this effort.

    Really? A company is gonna hire me then teach me advanced calculus, classical mechanics and fluid dynamics? Or they are gonna teach me circuit design and database structures?

    I don't know what past you are thinking of, but it's not the one that actually happened.

    Large segments of university were always job training (of a sort) and still are. The parts that weren't job training before, still aren't. And English or History or Philosophy degree is still not job training.

  • SyrdonSyrdon Registered User regular
    shryke wrote:
    Really? A company is gonna hire me then teach me advanced calculus, classical mechanics and fluid dynamics? Or they are gonna teach me circuit design and database structures?

    I don't know what past you are thinking of, but it's not the one that actually happened.

    Large segments of university were always job training (of a sort) and still are. The parts that weren't job training before, still aren't. And English or History or Philosophy degree is still not job training.
    Amusingly enough, all the engineers I know say they were taught everything about the math they actually do on the job. That said, there's not one that could have done it without taking at least 8 semesters of math in college, and the usual set of physics/chemistry type courses. If you want to work in anything relating to creating stuff other people can directly use (be it research or a bridge), you have somewhere between decades and centuries of catch up that you need to play. If you can do it in 4 years, you got off easy. If all you want to do is shuffle money and/or paper around, you can do that right out of high school (well, ok, depending on the job some finance knowledge may be helpful),

    If what you are trying to get out of college is being a well rounded person, save yourself tens of thousands of dollars, get a library card and use it to get all the sources for any wikipedia article that sounds vaguely interesting. Once a month, find a subject you know nothing about, and add it to your reading list. Use the distribution requirements from a university you respect if you want to be forced into things you don't care about (which, honestly, is probably a good thing). Oh, and there's any number of very good schools putting a lot of their course material online too, so limiting yourself to wikipedia and the library is actually shortchanging yourself a bit.

  • devCharlesdevCharles Registered User regular
    Repeat after me: higher education is not job training. Higher education is not job training. Higher education is not job training.

    Shryke basically made my point, but I'll go on this as well. Higher education is basically proof to an employer than you can handle the work in engineering as well as giving you a strong foundation for the further learning required. My sister went to Rice, and they basically used a made up programming language there that was useful for jackshit, but it proved that she knew how to pick up languages, use them appropriately, and she learned better strategies for adapting to a language she didn't know. She's behind the curve when she had to go learn a language that I learned in my classes at my University, but all the same, even when it's entirely direct, it's very much tied in.

    To be entirely honest, I have a difficult time seeing where you guys are coming from that love your work. That might just be an inherent thing I don't get.

    If someone asked me, do you love being a computer engineer? My answer is no. If I had it my way, I'd be doing music. The only problem is a lot of these degrees, like English if you want to be a writer, or theater if you want to be an actor, require more than straight up studying. A number of these degrees require an innate talent. I have a friend in Journalism at my University. He's part of about 10% of people at his level in his program that have actually done some professional journalism through co-ops, internships, etc because his portfolio got him those positions. Some of those people may have the training, but not the talent necessary to get a job in the field they want. Comparatively, the architecture program at my school requires you have the talent going into junior year or they kick you to the curb; whereas, you can float through journalism without exhibiting any kind of necessary talent for a job that can require it.

    I view the people in those degrees as essentially riverboat gamblers.

    Xbox Live: Hero Protag
    SteamID: devCharles
    twitter: https://twitter.com/charlesewise
  • SageinaRageSageinaRage Registered User regular
    I think the whole 'do what you love' bit is kind of misused a lot. It's very possible for people to do what they love in large numbers, and make a living at it, but people first need to actually find what they like to do. There's a LOT of actual jobs out there, and we try very few of them before we tell ourselves that we're locked into a career path. And, people have to be willing to take a job they enjoy even if it's not a high status job. I really enjoyed my jobs as a machine shop gopher, and as a mail clerk, but hated working in a stockroom. I enjoyed acting, but the work surrounding it didn't appeal to me. I enjoy programming to a certain extent, but I think I'm going to enjoy law more, which is what I'm aiming at now.

    It's also much easier for people to love what they do when they're doing something where they can actually develop skills and put them to use. Lots of people don't realize how much they might enjoy working hard at something, because they never have to work hard, and are taught by society that working hard is for suckers. And, people are frequently really bad at knowing what they will enjoy.

    Basically, I think the issue is not nearly as simple as people make out, and the 'you're not supposed to enjoy work' mentality is somewhat harmful to progress.

  • CptKemzikCptKemzik Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Darkewolfe wrote:
    I'm not talking about job training, though. I'm talking about math, science, business, linguistics, economics, etc. Knowing 17th century literature to the point that you do when you earn your degree in that field isn't going to help more than 1000 people in the country do some kind of work. Majoring in economics, studying french and then picking up some chemistry background WILL be a huge boon to someone hoping to find a way to monetize their knowledge and capabilities.

    Um, if you're actually being a resourceful student in school, studying 17th century literature will A) endow you with the history of a cultural period (which, really, is never "useless" unless you're a braindead goose) B) allow you to read complex texts efficiently C) write clearly and intelligently (which is lacking with plenty of people on this here forum) D) how to efficiently research things in order to present that writing convincingly and E) whatever else comes along with studying the subject. Getting a liberal arts degree is never inherently useless no matter how pissy it may make you that people are studying it. The above list can be made into a marketable skill set for most non-specialized jobs (i.e. not medicine, hard sciences, engineering related etc), and also provide the person with the ability to think outside the box; because studying the humanities forces one to become versatile in order to do well with it.

    I have friends who graduated as business majors and yet they're either still pissing around at their parents places, or working menial jobs that *I* could have applied for as an art history and classical languages major. Meanwhile I currently have work lined up till july next year, which isnt lucrative in pay but gives me plenty of professional development, and i have a clear idea of what to do afterwards. Again humanities and arts degrees are not necessarily designed to be directly applied by all of their graduates; this doesn't make them inherently useless.

    A liberal arts degree isn't, and shouldn't, be a straight line because honestly that can screw you over in certain situations. You can rant and rave about the people who are studying them all you want, but a degree is only as useful, or useless, as the person earning it.

    CptKemzik on
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    CptKemzik wrote:
    Darkewolfe wrote:
    I'm not talking about job training, though. I'm talking about math, science, business, linguistics, economics, etc. Knowing 17th century literature to the point that you do when you earn your degree in that field isn't going to help more than 1000 people in the country do some kind of work. Majoring in economics, studying french and then picking up some chemistry background WILL be a huge boon to someone hoping to find a way to monetize their knowledge and capabilities.

    Um, if you're actually being a resourceful student in school, studying 17th century literature will A) endow you with the history of a cultural period (which, really, is never "useless" unless you're a braindead goose) B) allow you to read complex texts efficiently C) write clearly and intelligently (which is lacking with plenty of people on this here forum) D) how to efficiently research things in order to present that writing convincingly and E) whatever else comes along with studying the subject. Getting a liberal arts degree is never inherently useless no matter how pissy it may make you that people are studying it. The above list can be made into a marketable skill set for most non-specialized jobs (i.e. medicine, hard sciences, engineering etc), and also provide the person with the ability to think outside the box; because studying the humanities forces one to become versatile in order to do well with it.

    I have friends who graduated as business majors and yet they're either still pissing around at their parents places, or working menial jobs that *I* could have applied for as an art history and classical languages major. Meanwhile I currently have work lined up till july next year, which isnt lucrative in pay but gives me plenty of professional development, and i have a clear idea of what to do afterwards. Again humanities and arts degrees are not necessarily designed to be directly applied by all of their graduates; this doesn't make them inherently useless.

    A liberal arts degree isn't, and shouldn't, be a straight line because honestly that can screw you over in certain situations. You can rant and rave about the people who are studying them all you want, but a degree is only as useful, or useless, as the person earning it.

    Too much of what is going into most liberal arts degrees now is stuff that could be learned, researched and studied far more efficiently outside the university than in it. People misinterpret the subjects they want to study as "subjects that are easy for me to learn about." They should be challenged in the university setting, and more often than not the lit and English classes, just as an example, are not actually challenging them. Every value you listed for studying 17th century lit could be gained from independent study and just being a more avid reader. Granted, if you pursued that subject in your own time to a more specialized degree, then you could see greater value taking a more advanced course with a professor well-versed in the subject. But taking several undergrad level courses on those subjects? Huge fucking waste of time and money.

    "Well, look at this. Appears we got here just in the nick of time. What's that make us?"
    "Big Damn Heroes, Sir."
    "Ain't we just."
  • JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    But the point people are making is that you don't NEED 4+ years of position specific 'employment training' for 90+% of non-technical white collar jobs, and after you get your first entry level position in a given field potential employers will look at your work history, references, etc far more than your education - it's usually like a single line on your resume and for good reason.

    Now if you really know what you want to do, sure getting the right degree will help you break into the field. But it's not like no one is prepared to sell paper for Dunder Mifflin if they haven't been through their Salesman major and took American Lit instead.

    Tired of getting reamed by Gamestop? Sign up for Goozex!
  • CptKemzikCptKemzik Registered User regular
    If people aren't being challenged even in the entry level classes (and i've had difficult low-level humanities classes), that is the fault of the professors in terms of organizing and presenting material; not the subject itself. And not everyone can glean that skill set by just reading advanced books on a subject in their own time, or know how to access advanced material in a subject on their own.

  • CptKemzikCptKemzik Registered User regular
    Really I just want to know why people need to go out of their way to piss and moan about someone who chooses to get a BA in college rather than a BS. Did the liberal arts run over your dog and fuck your dad or something? Who the hell are you to make judgement calls about those who study such things? If it's just because most people you've met studying those degrees are lazy jerkbags then whatever, i've met plenty of lazy jerkbag business majors and I'm not making declarative statements of how taking such a degree is an automatic waste of one's time and money.

    This thread was actually interesting when discussing things like grading, administrations, and funding, yet here we are going back to the same tired cliche arguments that don't go anywhere.

  • SyrdonSyrdon Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    CptKemzik wrote:
    B) allow you to read complex texts efficiently C) write clearly and intelligently (which is lacking with plenty of people on this here forum) D) how to efficiently research things in order to present that writing convincingly
    I keep seeing these as touted as benefits of a liberal arts education. I've just never followed why its not possible to get them through the hard sciences.
    Did the liberal arts run over your dog and fuck your dad or something?
    My objection to the liberal arts is actually that in my experience (which I will now claim is data, and not anecdotes) they might give you A and E from the post I quoted but they don't manage B, C or D. It does, however, make these people thing they are any good at any of those, which leads to them positing things that are demonstrably wrong, and backed up by research that was shown to be bunk a decade ago or more.

    edit 2: I don't think anyone is mentioning business majors, from what I've seen its been hard/soft sciences vs liberal arts for the debate. I could be wrong though.

    Syrdon on
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    JihadJesus wrote:
    But the point people are making is that you don't NEED 4+ years of position specific 'employment training' for 90+% of non-technical white collar jobs, and after you get your first entry level position in a given field potential employers will look at your work history, references, etc far more than your education - it's usually like a single line on your resume and for good reason.

    Yes, but that line can be very, very important because it can say alot about your base skill set.

    "BA in 17th Century Literature" says the shit CptKemzik was talking about.
    "BSc in Physics" says a bunch of other shit about your skills.

    "Worked at Job X" can replace the stuff from alot of Liberal Arts degrees.
    For many other degrees though, it doesn't. (Although obviously work experience still counts for something)

  • hippofanthippofant Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Trying to follow this discussion, I'm vaguely reminded of some lyrics by a band name Sparta...
    The difference between
    Finding what you love,
    And loving what you've found
    Is killing us right now

    "Doing what you love" doesn't mean, "Go find a way to make a living eating, sleeping, and having sex with hot supermodels."

    I mean, let's not get tripped up here. There are X number of university programs in the world and there are >> X jobs in the world, so of course, university degrees are not substitutes for on the job training.

    Similarly, let's not fall into the trap of thinking that just because some of the things some people learn in university are "useless", therefore everything everybody learns at university are "useless".

    And one more... let's not put "finding a job" and "making money" as the sole objective of higher education. If that were the case, then why bother sending kids through 16 years of schooling in the first place? We can just train them from birth to perform a specific function for their entire lives! "Forget all this learning about history and geography and music and art crap; Steve's going to be an accountant, so he doesn't need to know any of that shit!" There's obviously value in learning things that are not immediately practical for your earning wages; the question might be better portrayed as how we strike the balance, wherever it's supposed to be.

    hippofant on
  • SyrdonSyrdon Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    I'm not sold that you can't get the same broad spread of information from your local public library (and/or) the internet (although, if I'm going to be fair there, I should include the open courseware folks which are really just large portions of the class put online).

    edit: Yes, this means you need to be motivated to get this yourself, but if you don't think its important enough to care about you're not going to use that information after you pass the class anyway. Most of this isn't limited by income either, as its all freely available at your local library if your library has internet (ok, I'm ignoring the time it takes to pay your rent/etc, but I'm going to justify that by pointing to school costs).

    Syrdon on
  • LucidLucid Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    By and large, though, people who could otherwise be driven to be more successful in a less exciting field are being encouraged, too often, to pursue a degree that isn't really going to benefit them or society enough in the long run.

    This is a ridiculous unsubstantiated generalization. Care to demonstrate your method for measuring benefit to society through liberal arts?

    It's not all about making money, it's about making enough money such that you don't have to worry about money. I don't mean being straight up baller and filling your toilet with Cristal because you like the way it fizzes on your rectum.

    I mean, not having to worry about rent, utilities, or food. You swipe your card at the grocery store and don't even think about whether it'll be declined or not. I'll take my no fun corporate sell out job over that feeling every day.

    Liberal arts does not equal poverty stricken. I don't know anyone with a BA who is decidedly uncomfortable. Some struggle, some do not. They all(in my experience) usually end up with some amount of comfort or privilege.

    People have varying levels of comfort desires. Getting a BA is conducive to many of these levels.

    Lucid on
  • DeebaserDeebaser Alpha Teemo wawing a note with the cinema code Registered User regular
    CptKemzik wrote:
    Really I just want to know why people need to go out of their way to piss and moan about someone who chooses to get a BA in college rather than a BS.

    This didn't actually happen. There's no reason for you to be defensive and uncivil.

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    edited July 2011
    devCharles wrote:

    If someone asked me, do you love being a computer engineer? My answer is no. If I had it my way, I'd be doing music. The only problem is a lot of these degrees, like English if you want to be a writer, or theater if you want to be an actor, require more than straight up studying. A number of these degrees require an innate talent. I have a friend in Journalism at my University. He's part of about 10% of people at his level in his program that have actually done some professional journalism through co-ops, internships, etc because his portfolio got him those positions. Some of those people may have the training, but not the talent necessary to get a job in the field they want. Comparatively, the architecture program at my school requires you have the talent going into junior year or they kick you to the curb; whereas, you can float through journalism without exhibiting any kind of necessary talent for a job that can require it.

    I view the people in those degrees as essentially riverboat gamblers.
    I have a degree in theatre. I'd love to be in LA going to auditions and working on sets, but I'm not for several reasons. However, I absolutely love production work and that's what I'm doing now. My theatre skills and passion for what about theatre I love has led me here. I could be doing fucking wedding planning and I would enjoy it. I'm lucky to actually be designing theatre productions, but I also wound up working myself into a very niche field where I don't have a lot of competition on pure skill.

    My BA in Theatre means that I have specific training and experience in productions, time management, attention to detail, verbal and non-verbal communication, public speaking, creative problem solving, self motivation, and group work environments. Those are the skills you need to be successful in theatre, and as chance would have it, a lot of other fucking places.

    Skoal Cat on
    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    Darkewolfe wrote:
    Too much of what is going into most liberal arts degrees now is stuff that could be learned, researched and studied far more efficiently outside the university than in it. People misinterpret the subjects they want to study as "subjects that are easy for me to learn about." They should be challenged in the university setting, and more often than not the lit and English classes, just as an example, are not actually challenging them. Every value you listed for studying 17th century lit could be gained from independent study and just being a more avid reader. Granted, if you pursued that subject in your own time to a more specialized degree, then you could see greater value taking a more advanced course with a professor well-versed in the subject. But taking several undergrad level courses on those subjects? Huge fucking waste of time and money.

    I'm wondering what, exactly, makes liberal arts something that could be more efficiently learned, researched, and studied outside of a university setting but makes apparently none of the hard or soft sciences equally so. I must be missing how mathematics, for example, can only be truly learned at a university.

  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Lucid wrote:

    People have varying levels of comfort desires. Getting a BA is conducive to many of these levels.

    That's the hilarious thing about these arguments. The majority of students who graduate from college get a BA. The majority of those students go on to get professional jobs. Then, they send their students on to get a BA. Even today, it remains a solid entry point for professional life.

    It's the default degree for the majority of working America. By contrast, engineering, computer science, medicine, etc. are all niche fields. A fraction of students take them, and since there is a definite social need, those students have a better chance at a high paying job.

    Or did, until the Fortune 500 realized that it could off-source those jobs to Asia. They haven't gotten them all yet, but China is certainly hiring as many American and UK English and other B.A. grads as they can get to teach language skills. Tomorrow's Chinese engineer is going to be both cheaper and fluent in English.

  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    shryke wrote:
    saggio wrote:
    Darkwolfe wrote:
    The whole concept of "doing what you love" is something I still find stupid. There's too many theater majors already, and they're not very employable.

    I think more people need to find things they are good at, find ways to monetize them in a way that they don't hate, and then learn to take pleasure from doing their jobs well and being successful. When you think of all of the work that needs doing, and the types of work there are, people just aren't going to match up to truly being passionate about much of it. Yet people who want to be successful and make a decent amount of money are going to find a way to be happy with that success. I think it's a failing of our education system that I know so many theater/art history/English majors. Those are things it's EASY to get passionate about, and while they have some general job skills, they don't make you as competitive as other things you could be pursuing.

    Repeat after me: higher education is not job training. Higher education is not job training. Higher education is not job training.

    Industry, university bureaucracies, and many governments have come to believe it is. It's not, and has never been. Fifty years ago, it was perfectly acceptable for individuals to take a degree in the Humanities and get hired on by banks and companies of all sorts. The expectation was that the firm doing the hiring would do the training for whatever job needed doing. A shift has occurred, so that firms now expect prospective employees to come pretrained for whatever position they are hiring. This is often done at the taxpayer's expense (whether through student loan programs or simply through public funding of universities), and the utterly laughable part is that students who go through this process have no guarantee of a job at the end of it. The most insidious effects of this change in attitude remain upon the institutions of higher education themselves: instead of simply providing an education, goddammit universities change their standards and measures of worth into base utilitarian calculations of economic good.

    It doesn't work, and it's harmful to both students and the institutions themselves. The only ones who come out ahead are the private firms. They now have their job training almost entirely subsidized by the taxpayer, and they rarely have to provide any resources toward this effort.


    I don't know what past you are thinking of, but it's not the one that actually happened.

    Large segments of university were always job training (of a sort) and still are. The parts that weren't job training before, still aren't. And English or History or Philosophy degree is still not job training.

    Yes, being a priest and scribe to some unlettered noble often required an university education.
    Really? A company is gonna hire me then teach me advanced calculus, classical mechanics and fluid dynamics? Or they are gonna teach me circuit design and database structures?

    No, just as most companies aren't going to teach you formal logic or how to read Classical Greek. And yet, all of these skills possess value...
    Darkwolfe wrote:
    I'm not talking about job training, though. I'm talking about math, science, business, linguistics, economics, etc. Knowing 17th century literature to the point that you do when you earn your degree in that field isn't going to help more than 1000 people in the country do some kind of work. Majoring in economics, studying french and then picking up some chemistry background WILL be a huge boon to someone hoping to find a way to monetize their knowledge and capabilities.

    Your lack of subtlety makes me think that you must have studied something like Computer Programming in university.

    You are doing two things in your argument that I find to be problematic. First, you appear to be measuring the worth of entire academic fields entirely by their ability to be monetized (a crude and utilitarian calculation if there ever was one). Second, you are saying that only the skills gleaned from studying a given field are of any value. A person studies French grammar so that they might write and speak better French.

    Both of these contentions are wrong. Knowledge (and if you like, art and culture) are more precious than any amount of money or wealth, and it has cost us more than dollars to generate, protect, and carry forward all of the knowledge in every field that we have today. What amount of money could a person pay for the knowledge of Aristotle's lost work, On Comedy? Or the entire corpus of Molière? These things are priceless, and their impact on our society and your own thinking is deep and far reaching. Their value and the value of all other great knowledge and art and culture of Western civilization cannot be counted by any mean or mode of economic measure. These things are the inheritance and gift of the project of Western civilization. I am quite stunned that you would even consider throwing away all of that for some poorly thought out notion of "job training." (Although I perhaps should not be surprised. Programmers quoting Ayn Rand who think themselves educated are far too common than I would like.)

    Your second contention about study being only useful insofar as those skills imparted are useful is a more forgivable error. It's a very common belief amongst many in education departments (despite being widely discredited amongst philosophers of education), so it's no surprise that you would parrot such a view. I won't trouble you with a long winded explanation of why this view is wrong. I'll only say that when a person studies Greek grammar, I'm of the view that one learns far more than how to simply conjugate. It is the same for most any discipline or field of enquiry.

    saggio on
    3DS: 0232-9436-6893
13468915
Sign In or Register to comment.