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I think the knowledge I gained during my undergraduate studies at the University for the Sexually Gifted has had many real life applications since I graduated.

Magna Cum Laude, I would add.

Wait, isn't that an all-male school?  ewwww

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Well I am looking around the office and all the people (3 or 4) who work under me have degrees of some sort. In fact the only ones who don't are the owner, the VP and me.

Interesting.

I remember having the conversation with our controller about what school I went to.......none. She didn't believe me and I'm not sure she does now.

Are there times I wish I had been able to go.........of course. Are there things I would have done better......probably. I guess I would not be making more money.....so that's good.

My wife has a couple degrees and I make 3 times what she does......like anything it's all what you make of it.

I will of course give my daughter every opportunity to go......even though it was fine for me......I believe she should go.

....but going is not enough, I think some folks go and believe that's it.......that's just the beginning really.

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IMO you have to know you child's maturity level before spending the money on a college education. Many of the kids who go off to college have no clue on what they want to do with their lives. Better to bank the money, and let them work for a year or two to discover what they want to do. If they cant hold a job, what would make a parent think they have the maturity level to hit the books in college and get good grades?

These days employers need to look at college transcripts to see the grades because passing in some schools is 50%. In the last 30 yrs. programs have become much easier since required courses in a subject have been dropped...particularly ones that require quantitative skills.

Frankly, I think going into a trade these days is the way to go. One could work and make good money, AND go to college. I would think that students who have to pay out of pocket for their own education do better than kids whose parents are paying for the degree since they want to be there and have a goal.

As far as the state of education there is a good blog...it is Canadian but has relevance in the US as well. The latest posting is regarding Ontario's plan to reduce HS dropouts:

http://www.ivorytowerblues.com/?p=213#comments

Sure, a college education is a good thing, but it is what the student makes of it that determines worth.

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Another thought on the subject.  The 15% of my high school class that went beyond high school were pretty committed, capable people the great majority of whom likely actually did something with the post-high school education they obtained.  Most of those who didn’t go for education beyond high school went into the trades and most of them did very well for themselves – I’m sure quite a few could buy and sell me several times over.

These days, it seems like nearly everyone goes to college.  Even when my own kids graduated from high school (a long time ago now), some 98% of their graduating classes went on to post-high school education.  All too many of those partied and played in college, maybe graduating with a degree in business administration, broadcast journalism, or some such and a very undistinguished record.  

Where is the benefit of all that time and money?  They are no more employable than they would be without a college degree, yet they look for white collar jobs because they have a degree.  You end up with a nation of bank tellers, store clerks and telemarketers instead of master machinists, mechanics and carpenters.

On the other hand, during that time they were not learning a trade and they were just societal parasites, heading to Florida for yet another spring break.  Plus many of them accrue debt that they can’t pay unless they really do get a well-paying job in business administration.

At a societal level, this push to educate everyone is a disaster.

On the other hand, a high school education these days seems to turn out people who don’t even have 7th grade levels of basic readin’, writin’ and ‘rithmetic.  But, the “graduates” sure know how to play sports and they’ve had plenty of courses on diversity, etc.

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Steelheadfred
I went to college for four years and didn't use my degree in a professional sense but I passed through the fire and learned that yes, even I can learn practically anything if I wish.

Through the years, this has had great value to me.

You get out of anything what you put into it.

more to come from me after this meeting I am attending.

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I think a degree for most, buys a "network" for potential use at a later date in lfe, assuming it is used that way.  Short of th "professional trades" CPA,JD,MD, PE...., th rest of the folks,  get 4 yrs to figur it out, and gets them into a club, fr htever that is worth.

Unfortunately, i think it has become a necessary evil, for which, lacking a egree, just becomes a potential reason toeliminat somone in a job settting, which is sad.

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I have an undergrad degree.  Best 6.5 years of my life.  It's not necessarily what you learn inside the classroom, it's what you learn on the outside too.  Getting out of bed without mom yelling at you (took me two years to learn that - see "best 6.5 years") , budgeting $3500 to last you eight months for room and board, living with responsibility, funneling beer, rolling doobies, how to sleep so you don't choke on your own vomit, etc.
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If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.  

Education is a key.  It will allow you more opportunities in any walk of life.  If you CHOSE to do nothing with your education, it is at least and educated choice.

While i don't have that piece of paper behind me on the wall My salary has out paced many fiends and family members that do have it.   Its not just about the paper and the $50K in student loans many people rack up.

My last year in the carpenters union without much overtime was $84K/ year. I've yet to find to many other occupations that pay that without being "papered"

ML

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Question for the group: striclty from an earning potential standpoint, at what point does the degree become negligible?  How much experience and "real world" accomplishments begin to offset the benefits of the degree.  Do you think that potential employers look at the 40 year old man with 20 years experience and solid accomplishments different than the 40 year old with a B.S. but less experience and accomplishments?

Just curious...

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bosco mctavitch

I think people use the word education to mean lots of things.  To me, learning a trade is not the same thing as education.  I think both are important but rarely are they the same.

A few of our founding fathers had some ideas about how important education is to a free society.  

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."  Thomas Jefferson

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DennisMcFeely

Nate, cue the "How much education do you have?" poll.  Then mix in a little of the "What do you hunt?" data from Marty's poll, and report back with some correlaries on what type of gun this pack of eastern elitist grouse-hunting bastards hunts with... :devil:

Oh, and while you're at it find out who's the best: Spiller, Foster, or GBE. :<img src=:'>

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Agree with those who post that an education/earnings ratio is irrelevant.  However, to me the idea of the value of an education being measured by financial compensation is also irrelevant.  Am glad I have a degree or two, am also glad that one degree was for learning and the other was for prepping for a specific type of life.  Undergrad in Liberal Arts, then an MBA.  Seemed to work ok for both my wife and me.  

We both believe that it is definitely important for our kids that they have the opportunity to get an undergrad degree.  We're willing and I hope, able, to fund that much.  Beyond that, they are on their own.

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Gundogpa got me started thinking and thats always dangerous. My oldest graduated from University of Wisc. and is a part time bartender with no prospects. My daughter is a freshman at a local school. She worked hard and was rewarded with a fairly good scholarship. Still by the time she graduates she will have accumulated nearly 80 thousand dollars of debt. Her local prospects will amount to a 30 to 40 grand a year job, if she can find one. However if you don't get an education prospects are pretty dismal. I think the system is way out of whack.

BTW, this topic also reminded me of an NPR segment that was just on late yesterday about how tough this economy has been on recent college grads -- they say it will take many quarters of recovery before jobs are enough to support the population looking for their 1st jobs.  The age group 18 to 24 is in a very tough place jobwise.  But the report also mentioned that that was the bad news -- the worse news is for those without degrees especially without HS diplomas.  We are looking at a working class that is going to be jobless and without much skill level to support themselves over the next many years.  

Pretty gloomy huh?  As soon as this segment ended, I immediately switched over to the Frames "Set List" CD, had enough economy talk for a while.  Some live screaming Irish rock seemed like a good idea.

But earlier, they were reporting on military recruiting and how much the economy has stoked the ranks with recruits who are HS grads, good grades, in shape etc.  The pool of recruits has gotten much better of late.  The #1 reason the recruits wanted to enter the service?  Opps to continue with their education via Uncle Sam post service.

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