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

145791015

Posts

  • enc0reenc0re Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Honestly, you'd probably be better off going to trade school and picking up a library card.
    Let me know how the weather is down there at the bottom rung of the social ladder. It doesn't matter if you make $60K being a plumber. Your still a damn plumber who fixes clogged bathrooms and other messes. Compare that to the social standing of doing something that doesn't involve going to other people's bathrooms? I'd like my higher rung and laugh.
    Fortunately I don't face that choice but I'd happily take the plumber money. There's no shame in having a skill. (I'm shocked to actually have to say that) And if you're good you'll eventually open your own business which makes you 'outrank' just about any salaryman.

    enc0re on
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    Honestly, you'd probably be better off going to trade school and picking up a library card.

    Let me know how the weather is down there at the bottom rung of the social ladder. It doesn't matter if you make $60K being a plumber. Your still a damn plumber who fixes clogged bathrooms and other messes. Compare that to the social standing of doing something that doesn't involve going to other people's bathrooms? I'd like my higher rung and laugh.

    Congratulations. You are officially Part Of The Problem.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
  • mcdermottmcdermott 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. 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.

    Well, I don't really go out of my way but if you're curious I'll tell you the problems I do occasionally have with liberal arts majors (a couple, at least).

    1) They are, generally, the ones who are always coming up with bright ideas of requirements to add on to a university degree that they think would better "round" graduates. Not just the idea of gen-ed requirements (I'm not opposed to this, quite the opposite), but stupid shit like "lulz it would totally be better if everybody took two years of a foreign language just to graduate." No. I'm already at 130 credits minimum versus your 120 just to get out the door, and of those 130 credits like 100 of them are individually named courses. Not even "select one of these from this short list," but specific courses that every one of us must take. And you want to either add to my credit load and/or further limit what few elective choices I do get? Meet my friends "go" and "fuck yerself." I think, honestly, the problem is that a lot of people pursuing BAs just have no real idea what the course load of a BS looks like (in volume, rigor, and rigidity) when they suggest things like this.

    2) Upon having (1) pointed out to them, many will then proceed to suggest that silly pursuits like engineering be shuffled off to technical schools, where they belong, so that universities can return to their proper place as intellectual masturbation chambers where people can read Kant for four years straight, or whatever. This is dumb both because some of us in the engineering and hard sciences actually like venturing outside of our major and interacting with the humanities majors that aren't toolbags, and because being located at a university is pretty fucking handy for the 60% or more of engineering majors who do not remain engineering majors.

    3) This is more of a petty bitterness thing, but fuck GPA-based scholarships and aid that don't take into account the differences between majors. It's a simple fact that, at least at my school, engineering majors had lower GPAs on average than many other departments. Now, argument A might be that engineers are just dumber. But, I think that might not be the case (considering, again, the number of people that drop out after nearly failing in engineering and go on to decent grades in other departments). So when a state scholarship requires something stupid like a 3.5 GPA to maintain, without taking into account the fact that a 3.5 GPA is not equal across departments, that's annoying. Note that I am not saying there aren't plenty of challenging classes in other departments: there are. But particularly for the first couple years, our courses are just plain harder than many other degrees.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Honestly, you'd probably be better off going to trade school and picking up a library card.

    Let me know how the weather is down there at the bottom rung of the social ladder. It doesn't matter if you make $60K being a plumber. Your still a damn plumber who fixes clogged bathrooms and other messes. Compare that to the social standing of doing something that doesn't involve going to other people's bathrooms? I'd like my higher rung and laugh.

    Congratulations. You are officially Part Of The Problem.

    My plumber is a cool dude. I'm glad he's well-paid, and I totally respect his career choice. The world needs plumbers, just as much as it needs engineers or bookstore cler...I mean philosophy majors. ;)

    Honestly, the only issue I see with these supposed "lower-standing" jobs is whether they can easily be done into old age. But hopefully that plumber will, by that point, find a way to take on a supervisory role or start his own business, and still make decent money providing a service that society needs.

    I'm glad when I see good examples of people able to make a decent living without having to fake the funk through some arbitrary degree program.
    And if you're good you'll eventually open your own business which makes you 'outrank' just about any salaryman.

    This too.

    mcdermott on
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    As a clumsy as fuck history major, the concept that everyone who's currently working towards a liberal arts degree would be even remotely qualified for the sort of hands-on jobs that trade schools teach is absolutely fucking hilarious.

    Yeah, I wouldn't mind being a plumber.

    I'd just totally fucking suck at it.

  • Skoal CatSkoal Cat Registered User
    mcdermott, calm down man. Not every Liberal Arts major is a douche bag.

    ceres wrote: »
    Skoal Cat is correct.
  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Skoal Cat wrote:
    mcdermott, calm down man. Not every Liberal Arts major is a douche bag.

    Telling somebody to calm down is usually a great way to do the exact opposite, BTW. And I realize this, in fact...wait...

    ...some of us in the engineering and hard sciences actually like venturing outside of our major and interacting with the humanities majors that aren't toolbags...

    Yup. Believe I said that. I posted because he asked.

    mcdermott on
  • kaliyamakaliyama Registered User regular
    enc0re wrote:
    Honestly, you'd probably be better off going to trade school and picking up a library card.
    Let me know how the weather is down there at the bottom rung of the social ladder. It doesn't matter if you make $60K being a plumber. Your still a damn plumber who fixes clogged bathrooms and other messes. Compare that to the social standing of doing something that doesn't involve going to other people's bathrooms? I'd like my higher rung and laugh.
    Fortunately I don't face that choice but I'd happily take the plumber money. There's no shame in having a skill. (I'm shocked to actually have to say that) And if you're good you'll eventually open your own business which makes you 'outrank' just about any salaryman.

    I... what? Being any sort of skilled profession is the same thing - fixing other people's problems. Lawyers and doctors fix problems much ickier than clogged bathrooms. Engineers fix existing structural problems and try to avoid others. Maybe some of your other hard sciences engaged in basic research do forward-looking production, but really the only people who add some sort of societal value beyond fixing other people's problems are those that make things - blue collar factory workers - and entrepeneurs. Even they are engaged in identifying items and services that will make other people's problems less bad. And cause other problems.

    fwKS7.png?1
  • Fizban140Fizban140 Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    The whole academic side of this argument is covered by the documentary Failing By Degrees, it is really well done.

    533570-1.png
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    The skilled trades are not a great deal. There's a reason that generations of tradesmen saved like motherfuckers to send their kids to college.

    First, outside of the rarified egalitarian air of this thread, social distinctions do follow a profession. We may not like it, but Western and Eastern culture will provide less respect to the skilled trades. If you believe Thorstein Veblen, this has been pretty much true since before man raised the first zigurrat. Welcome to the history of class and culture.

    Secondly, the reality is that being a skilled tradesman means lower pay, longer hours, more physically stressful work, more frequent and longer periods of unemployment and much lower chance of having good medical insurance or retirement savings. Think job security is bad for liberal arts graduates, look at what its like for tradesmen.

    And, yes, some plumbers do make bank. Much like doctors, they work in a needed field that most do not have the inclination or skill to enter.

    Unlike doctors, a person can learn to be a plumber in a couple years of community college coursework. So, if everyone follows the "Be a plumber!" advice that's getting bandied around all over the place, the end result is the market glut will ensure that I'll get access to cheaper plumbers. Great for me, less so for the plumbers.

  • VishNubVishNub Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote:
    As an academic field of study, isn't Chemistry basically a dead science? There haven't been any new ideas or bits of knowledge since what, Molecular Orbital theory?

    I mean... they could be writing BETTER textbooks, I suppose, but it's not like there's been any content-driven renewal of Chemistry textbooks for years...

    Bwah? This is like, entirely wrong.

    Things that are super relevant to undergraduate intro general chemistry? That's a bit more debatable.



    Steam = VishnuOwnz
    Dota2 = Glitchmo
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    Think job security is bad for liberal arts graduates, look at what its like for tradesmen.
    I would love to compare the unemployment rates for liberal arts degrees vs. trade school graduates. i couldn't find any data on either one, though.

  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    I would love to compare the unemployment rates for liberal arts degrees vs. trade school graduates. i couldn't find any data on either one, though.

    Start here:

    http://www.bls.gov/oco/

    Phillishere on
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    I would love to compare the unemployment rates for liberal arts degrees vs. trade school graduates. i couldn't find any data on either one, though.

    Start here:

    http://www.bls.gov/oco/

    BLS doesn't actually have that information

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Honestly, you'd probably be better off going to trade school and picking up a library card.

    Let me know how the weather is down there at the bottom rung of the social ladder. It doesn't matter if you make $60K being a plumber. Your still a damn plumber who fixes clogged bathrooms and other messes. Compare that to the social standing of doing something that doesn't involve going to other people's bathrooms? I'd like my higher rung and laugh.

    Sorry, I was just raised better than to look down on someone earning an honest living. I don't care if they're a plumber, janitor, or admin assistant.

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    There's no shame in having a skill.

    I didn't say that at all. If you can fix your own leaky faucet then that is something good. But as a Plumber for life? Uh, no. I realize the world needs janitors, I want don't accept or approve of is telling a perfectly capable man/woman who is not poor in his studies to go and become one and get 60K because hey you'll be better than wasting 4 years of your life.

    I wouldn't say you're wasting the years. I'd say most are paying five or six figures for institutional babysitting at the tail end of their teens and early twenties to get a certificate certifying they're an actual person (with no skills).

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    BLS doesn't actually have that information

    Look for employment by trade - skip past the narrative and look at the Employment Forecast Matrix tables. They've got them in Excel or PDF.

    Look at educational attainment:

    http://www.bls.gov/cps/earnings.htm#education

    Look at the many, many databases broken down by profession. Choose the skilled trades, professional job and skilled professional categories.

    And here's an older dataset using academic majors. Probably a newer one there if I looked harder:

    www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2008/summer/art02.pdf

  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    One thing that's as true for engineers, computer scientists and plumbers is that they can't research for shit. The number one skill transferred by the liberal arts is the ability to interpret data for themselves and synthesize it for others in understandable language.

    That, more than anything else, is why the liberal arts degree remains the bedrock of the professional world. The business world needs people who can write a report, and the average engineer is not that person.

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Is there a link to delmited text files or a database anywhere in that?

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    Speaking of which, I'm an Environmental Science major because I realized it's the sort of work I love to do. I like being outside and studying ecosystems and such. I never looked up how much I could earn with a BS in ENVR. I still don't have any idea, but since I intend to graduate in a year I suppose I should get an idea at some point. I imagine it's not an inconsequential sum, since last I recall hearing anything about this environmental scientists were in demand, and departments for ENVR seem to be pretty small. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong or tell me if I'm right.

    I would still never say that anybody should join their Ag department if it isn't something they wanted to do.

    ジェイムズ・ブラウンの好きな色は何ですか?
    青!
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote:
    Is there a link to delmited text files or a database anywhere in that?

    Check the Database and Tools bar at the top of here:

    http://www.bls.gov/oco/

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Yeah, that's a goddamn mess and there doesn't seem to be a data dictionary or entity relationship diagram available.

    Maybe I'll search around tomorrow and see if someone with more free time put something together from that... thing...

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    Ye
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    BLS doesn't actually have that information

    Look for employment by trade - skip past the narrative and look at the Employment Forecast Matrix tables. They've got them in Excel or PDF.

    Look at educational attainment:

    http://www.bls.gov/cps/earnings.htm#education

    Look at the many, many databases broken down by profession. Choose the skilled trades, professional job and skilled professional categories.

    And here's an older dataset using academic majors. Probably a newer one there if I looked harder:

    www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2008/summer/art02.pdf
    Apparently your vaunted liberal arts degree research skills weren't enough to notice that what I wanted was to compare, specifically, trades school degrees to liberal arts majors. What you linked to was just the usual "Bachelors or higher vs. some college or associates degree" which really isn't the same thing at all. The one that breaks it down by major doesn't even give the unemployment rate.

  • RchanenRchanen Registered User regular
    There's no shame in having a skill.

    I didn't say that at all. If you can fix your own leaky faucet then that is something good. But as a Plumber for life? Uh, no. I realize the world needs janitors, I want don't accept or approve of is telling a perfectly capable man/woman who is not poor in his studies to go and become one and get 60K because hey you'll be better than wasting 4 years of your life.

    If the man/woman enjoys the work, then I say bully for him. Living your life based on others views of social standing and class structure? Not such a great idea. Also, 60k seems a little low for plumbers. Maybe a journeyman plumber, but a Master plumber?

    shryke wrote: »
    The Democrats aren't crazy but they are still, you know, running the US and it's foreign policy. Which is in the "you don't have a global hegemony without bombing a few eggs" wheelhouse.
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    Apparently your vaunted liberal arts degree research skills weren't enough to notice that what I wanted was to compare, specifically, trades school degrees to liberal arts majors. What you linked to was just the usual "Bachelors or higher vs. some college or associates degree" which really isn't the same thing at all. The one that breaks it down by major doesn't even give the unemployment rate.

    I kinda made the assumption that trade school degrees and people in the skilled trades would equate, since that's the ultimate desired goal of getting a trade school degree. It even takes out the percentage who get the degree but still end up working at McDs. So, best case for your argument.

    Then you can look at the trades individually compared to professional jobs, look at the overall education attainment of the four-year college educated versus two-year or the, admittedly dated, report discussing job prospects by academic major. There's a lot of different sets of data you have to compare, evaluate and discuss, but it is all there.

  • Pi-r8Pi-r8 Registered User regular
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    Apparently your vaunted liberal arts degree research skills weren't enough to notice that what I wanted was to compare, specifically, trades school degrees to liberal arts majors. What you linked to was just the usual "Bachelors or higher vs. some college or associates degree" which really isn't the same thing at all. The one that breaks it down by major doesn't even give the unemployment rate.

    I kinda made the assumption that trade school degrees and people in the skilled trades would equate, since that's the ultimate desired goal of getting a trade school degree. It even takes out the percentage who get the degree but still end up working at McDs. So, best case for your argument.

    Then you can look at the trades individually compared to professional jobs, look at the overall education attainment of the four-year college educated versus two-year or the, admittedly dated, report discussing job prospects by academic major. There's a lot of different sets of data you have to compare, evaluate and discuss, but it is all there.
    But... i wanted to know the unemployment rate... if you only look at people who already have jobs then the unemployment rate is zero, no matter what education they have.

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Deebaser wrote:
    Honestly, you'd probably be better off going to trade school and picking up a library card.

    Let me know how the weather is down there at the bottom rung of the social ladder. It doesn't matter if you make $60K being a plumber. Your still a damn plumber who fixes clogged bathrooms and other messes. Compare that to the social standing of doing something that doesn't involve going to other people's bathrooms? I'd like my higher rung and laugh.

    Sorry, I was just raised better than to look down on someone earning an honest living. I don't care if they're a plumber, janitor, or admin assistant.

    Social standings are a fact of life. Denying that is like living in a fantasy.

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume you aren't part of the Aristocracy.

    Get over your entitled middle class bullshit, son.

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • BagginsesBagginses __BANNED USERS regular
    One thing that's as true for engineers, computer scientists and plumbers is that they can't research for shit. The number one skill transferred by the liberal arts is the ability to interpret data for themselves and synthesize it for others in understandable language.

    That, more than anything else, is why the liberal arts degree remains the bedrock of the professional world. The business world needs people who can write a report, and the average engineer is not that person.

    It probably doesn't help that there's very little taught at a trade school that can't be done by looking what you need to do up on google and watching the video a couple of times. Given how much of a joke looking up your symptoms up on pubmed has become, I don't need to tell you how BA/S (I'm going for BA because the one class that differentiates the two is my weakness and would stop me from graduating early) jobs don't have that weakness.
    Additionally, trade jobs aren't very resilient because they're so based on rote. For example, mechanics are paid as well as they are now because every mechanic educated before, say, 1990 was put out of work by the introduction of computers into the engine.

  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Rchanen wrote:
    There's no shame in having a skill.

    I didn't say that at all. If you can fix your own leaky faucet then that is something good. But as a Plumber for life? Uh, no. I realize the world needs janitors, I want don't accept or approve of is telling a perfectly capable man/woman who is not poor in his studies to go and become one and get 60K because hey you'll be better than wasting 4 years of your life.

    If the man/woman enjoys the work, then I say bully for him. Living your life based on others views of social standing and class structure? Not such a great idea. Also, 60k seems a little low for plumbers. Maybe a journeyman plumber, but a Master plumber?

    This is such a false division you're drawing there. A lot of people care about their social standing and class structure to the extent that it would affect their enjoyment of their [strike]work[/strike] career. One might, for example, enjoy the work of being a garbageman - that is, riding around in a truck and throwing garbage in - but one might dislike the inability to get a date that might come commensurate with "I'm a garbageman."

    Nurses, administrative assistants, teachers, TAs, bus drivers... all of these are examples whose enjoyment of their jobs is negatively impacted by the lack of respect they receive from the general populace. The fact that careers that are dominated by women are, in particular, disrespected and of lower social standing is well-documented.

    hippofant on
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    edited July 2011
    Pi-r8 wrote:
    But... i wanted to know the unemployment rate... if you only look at people who already have jobs then the unemployment rate is zero, no matter what education they have.

    Unemployment rates for skilled professions is in the datasets pass the narrative on the profession descriptions. As I mentioned, those sets are available in PDF and Excel.

    On a larger level, I'm not sure where unemployment comes into this discussion. Every piece of data I have seen indicates that the college educated, which very much includes the majority made up of liberal arts grads, have a much lower unemployment rate than any other sector.

    So, we already know that if the goal is having a job, a b.s. or b.a. is where it's at in the current economy. The skilled trades are flooded thanks to the construction boom and bust, so unemployment and compensation in them are currently fucked. That'll clear out, eventually.

    But I thought we were arguing about the overall wisdom of choosing to go to college instead of trade school. That's when lifetime earnings, average salary and total compensation packages come into it.

    Phillishere on
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    Deebaser wrote:
    I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume you aren't part of the Aristocracy.

    Get over your entitled middle class bullshit, son.

    You know what they say about assuming.

    There is no sense of the world "Aristocracy" in the Western world plus my status as bey would not be known to you. Therefore, your wrong. I'm very much a part of the Aristocracy, but not in the way you or the Western world views aristocracy. Think of a Khan in the Safavid time and as per Turkmen dynasty rules, I'm 3rd in line for the leadership of my Turkmen tribe.

    I'm very much against the "middle class". There are only two.

    Are you going to start telling us about time cube?

    (Please start telling us about time cube.)

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    But I thought we were arguing about the overall wisdom of choosing to go to college instead of trade school. That's when lifetime earnings, average salary and total compensation packages come into it.

    The correlation between university degrees and higher earnings is well-established... but I do wonder how much of that is a self-selecting bias. After all, the correlation between higher socioeconomic status and stronger academic performance is also well-established, and the correlation between stronger academic performance and university degrees is obvious.

  • RchanenRchanen Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote:
    Rchanen wrote:
    There's no shame in having a skill.

    I didn't say that at all. If you can fix your own leaky faucet then that is something good. But as a Plumber for life? Uh, no. I realize the world needs janitors, I want don't accept or approve of is telling a perfectly capable man/woman who is not poor in his studies to go and become one and get 60K because hey you'll be better than wasting 4 years of your life.

    If the man/woman enjoys the work, then I say bully for him/her. Living your life based on others views of social standing and class structure? Not such a great idea. Also, 60k seems a little low for plumbers. Maybe a journeyman plumber, but a Master plumber?

    This is such a false division you're drawing there. A lot of people care about their social standing and class structure to the extent that it would affect their enjoyment of their [strike]work[/strike] career. One might, for example, enjoy the work of being a garbageman - that is, riding around in a truck and throwing garbage in - but one might dislike the inability to get a date that might come commensurate with "I'm a garbageman."

    Nurses, administrative assistants, teachers, TAs, bus drivers... all of these are examples whose enjoyment of their jobs is negatively impacted by the lack of respect they receive from the general populace. The fact that careers that are dominated by women are, in particular, disrespected and of lower social standing is well-documented.

    But then we have to separate work-related social stigma and sexism (which can intertwine quite viciously. God I miss the Cat).

    Of course, the argument I wish to make is "Fuck the haters", but the truth is, that it is easier said than done. If a man or woman is able to get past that social stigma to enjoy their work, more power to them.

    But I cannot deny your assertion that social standing is an element of the reward package of jobs (and thus at least a part of assessing the total compensation one receives for ones employment). Its not the totality and the weight it is given varies from person to person, but it is a factor.

    I also was not aware I was making a false division, so much as a statement that "If you enjoy what you do and you are good at it (and it doesn't involve hurting people), fuck the people who bitch at you. They aren't worth the time it takes to spit on them." More of a moral platitude/tautology than any debatable argument about the impact of social status and perceived rewards on the desirability of a career/line of work.

    shryke wrote: »
    The Democrats aren't crazy but they are still, you know, running the US and it's foreign policy. Which is in the "you don't have a global hegemony without bombing a few eggs" wheelhouse.
  • RchanenRchanen Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote:

    Are you going to start telling us about time cube?

    (Please start telling us about time cube.)

    And that's why folks, I encourage everyone to get the highest level of education.

    The highest level of education is sarcasm.

    shryke wrote: »
    The Democrats aren't crazy but they are still, you know, running the US and it's foreign policy. Which is in the "you don't have a global hegemony without bombing a few eggs" wheelhouse.
  • PhillisherePhillishere Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote:
    The correlation between university degrees and higher earnings is well-established... but I do wonder how much of that is a self-selecting bias. After all, the correlation between higher socioeconomic status and stronger academic performance is also well-established, and the correlation between stronger academic performance and university degrees is obvious.

    I'll admit that the line get blurry between whether college imparts genuine skills or merely serves as a social signifier - the middle class baptism. Either way, it has powerful real effects that last generations. The average child of a college graduate will earn a higher income than the child of non-graduates, even if they do not go to college themselves.

  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    I graduated with a liberal arts degree (English). I read a lot and wrote a lot, which helped me approach arguments from a strictly logical point of view. It also exposed me to a variety of things that I would have otherwise missed out on (psychology, sociology, anthropology, and yes, mathematics).

    I think my major made me into a more empathetic person - and much of my job (heck, every job, right?) is going to depend on how you manage and communicate with others.

    I won't lie - I think it's pretty easy to coast as an English major and graduate with a B average...but I graduated with more credits than my friends with Engineering degrees, had a near perfect GPA (which is tough if you're taking a rigorous, all English course load), and while it did take me two years to land the job that I wanted, I am really, really happy with where I am (advertising and doing tons of math!).

    I wouldn't trade my degree and how it shaped me as a person for anything and I think it's really disheartening to see how little people value, and how easily they openly disparage, majors such as English. I also sincerely doubt the claims by some that what I learned in my classes could have and would have been more efficiently learned outside of University and inside a library with wikipedia open.

    I have tried finding experiences like the ones I had inside of college outside of it, but have had no such luck.

145791015
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