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Steelheadfred

An upper level education will become far far more important as our economy shrinks over the next decade plus.

The fact remains 29% of American's have  college degree. The competitive advantage of having a degree far out weights anything else. Our economy has changed from manufacturing to a service based economy, skilled trades degrees along with traditional bachelors and beyond will be more important then ever.

Education is power and the most important thing IMO to earning a degree whether you ever use it or not is the fact that you had the perseverance to set your mind towards a challenging goal and to achieve it.

Sure there is an exception to every rule, but going out on your own with a degree is far more important then going forward with out it.

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Everything I needed to know about life, I learned in the Genius thread.

as if we couldn't tell... :D

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I wanted to become a teacher.   Can't become a teacher without a higher education.

Now, I'm a teacher with a higher education.

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It would be fool-hardy at best to improve ones education simply for financial gain.  Similar things can be said about "...the earning potential of a degree versus the cost should be considered when choosing your potential college and career field."  Really?  If you are the best, or better than most, in your field, you will be comfortable financially, I guarantee it.  Yes, there are fields with disproportionate income-to-education levels, believe me, I'm living it.    

The purpose of a degree is to make money.  You can kid yourself about being a better person, having the college experience and so on but the degree is needed to get a job.  Otherwise, you could educate yourself for free at the library and use your college money on hookers and booze.

Maybe you can educate yourself in history at the library, or philosophy, but try being a self taught microbiologist, biochemist, or engineer.

You need labs and equipment for that, and expert instruction that convey to the hands on skills as well as the academic knowledge.

My sum of my college debt is a few times my annual salary. College nearly killed me. I am applying for a PhD program that will pay me about $23K for the next 5-7 years, only so I can get a post doctoral fellowship that may pay me $40, only to have the 1 in 1000 chance of landing a job as a professor that may pay me $70, at which point I will be nearly 40. All so I can pursue science, it obviously isn't for the money.

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One of the problems I noted as a business owner was that, as others have pointed out, the typical recent US High School grad is not qualified to do much of anything in todays world.  They cant read, they can't write, they can't count change correctly, they don't know simple algebra or fractions either.  Most have had little science and have no understanding of the way a computer works or any knowledge of electricity at all.  

In the past there were apprenticeship programs, usually available through a union, that these "graduates" could enroll in and learn a trade.  Probably the best I've ever seen is that run by the electrical workers or electricians.  Mandatory classes, tough examinations, applicable work experience and a logical progression from apprentice to journeyman to master craftsman.  

The idea that every kid needs a college education is in my opinion wrong, wrong, wrong!

I think most kids need post high school education or training but in many probably most cases, college is a very expensive wrong answer.  Unfortunately, the teachers and administrators in our secondary school systems push what they know; college, rather than what the see as substandard or less desirable vocational training/education.

It is too bad as many square pegs are pushed into round holes, expensive round holes!

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One of the problems I noted as a business owner was that, as others have pointed out, the typical recent US High School grad is not qualified to do much of anything in todays world.  They cant read, they can't write, they can't count change correctly, they don't know simple algebra or fractions either.  Most have had little science and have no understanding of the way a computer works or any knowledge of electricity at all.  

But they choose to be this way. It is all about my ipod and cell phone. Over pampered is the best way to put it. Then they get out of high school and reality hits them right in the face and most of them still don't care. You are supposed to do for me. After working in the Public school system for over 20 years now I am here to tell you it is screwed up. When you put the little bangers in with kids that want to learn the teacher spends all the time trying to control the bangers. I see the top five to ten percent over come it all and get into very good colleges on scholarships any way. We as a country need to take a serious look at schools if we want our children to do well in life. Kids need more than reading and writing, they need to learn to think so they can be productive.

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I I think it is more a decision of lifestyle over $$. For most $$ is lifestyle so you best find the best way to make $$. I have 2 brothers without a college degrees. (they have some college though) they both own their own business and do very well. One of my brother's owns a a couple of used car lots he has employees with only a  HS diploma making 50-65k, Some folks graduating college hope to make that kind of money. However, those folks work lots of hours especially weekend and evenings. This leaves less time for personal time and family...(Not that college is a walk in the park). Now My brother the owner can take a lot of time off! But owning a successful business is not for everyone either... It comes at a price... I think whether you own your own business or get a degree there is a price to be paid..  All we have to decide which we would rather pay and what lifestyle we want and choose accordingly...

Additionally I think there is intrinsic value to an education.... We would all be better of the more educated the populace becomes! I get tired of everything being viewed through a business model some things don't fit into an business model.... If we all took that approach it is much easier and simpler to purchase chicken from the grocery store, so don't tell me there is no value to education if you don't earn more money!!

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Additionally I think there is intrinsic value to an education.... We would all be better of the more educated the populace becomes! I get tired of everything being viewed through a business model some things don't fit into an business model.... If we all took that approach it is much easier and simpler to purchase chicken from the grocery store, so don't tell me there is no value to education if you don't earn more money!!

Agreed. Making a living is obviously important, but if education is seen as nothing more than specific job training, it is a very narrow definition of education. An education, or a good one anyway, should broaden your knowledge of the world - of politics, geography, other cultures, etc. beyond simply your narrow focus of a pre-determined future career and dollar signs. That's what being "educated" used to mean, and I still believe that there are huge societal benefits to having an educated populace that knows something of the world beyond the US borders and their iPhone and this season's hip tv series.

As an aside, I used to work with university-age kids, and many of those came from some of the top schools in the country. I was astounded at how many of them couldn't spell or construct a basic sentence.

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I can attest to the value of a degree.  I had 20 years experience as a computer operator, programmer, business analyst but no degree.  I had worked on my degree but hadn't finished so I had some college also.  When I was laid off, I couldn't find a job as a business analyst except with a consulting company (they want the experience more than the college), but the lifestyle of a consultant is hard (gone from home Sunday night thru Thursday night, possibly Friday) then do it again on Sunday.

Anyway, I finally finished my degree (I was on the 30 year degree program) and within a month I had a job for more than consulting was paying me included bonuses.

For many my age in the computer business this is what we have to deal with because there weren't IT degrees then.  It sucks but unfortunately that's the way it is.

Cindy

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I did not read through the whole thread but in my opinion a college education is: Priceless!

You earn it and nobody can take it away!

I learned a helluva alot working towards my Masters.

And I learned a helluva lot scrubbing pots in the hospital kitchen where the majority of workers were HS dropouts or graduates. They would ask me why I was there. I'd reply " I'm getting an education here and need money to stay in college." Honestly it was a good experience and I was fortunate to work with a group of people who understood what I was doing and supported my efforts.

Both experiences (college and scrubbing pots) got me to where I am today so to speak.

I also believe if an individual is smart enough to earn a solid education they are smart enough to use it to their advantage within field or something else. This includes the education one reaps from a book and/or work.

In the end it really boils down to the individuals desire and ambition to succeed. Granted it helps knowing a few people along the way and being in the right place at the right time.

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Couple of things i want to point out is one if kids are graduating high school and cannot pass basic reading, writing and math skills the parents are to blame IMO for letting this happen too.   At least at the grade school level when kids are bringing home all of there school work and the parents are observing how poorly they are doing but do nothing about it

is unreal.

The other for those who claim college for earning potential is a small benefit but also college to learn politics etc.   What kind of parent is going to go in debt or put there kid in debt $80,000 to learn how to carry on an intelligent conversation about various topics outside the working world.

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The other for those who claim college for earning potential is a small benefit but also college to learn politics etc.   What kind of parent is going to go in debt or put there kid in debt $80,000 to learn how to carry on an intelligent conversation about various topics outside the working world.

Many, if not most, of the leaders of the western world (religious, scientific, education, financial, commercial, political) are university educated. Hewers of wood and drawers of water are essential to any society and some make out very well indeed. But, if the individual aspires to maximize his/her potential, then a university degree would "help" in the process. Besides helping to open a few more doors it does broaden the mind, believe it or not.

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But, if the individual aspires to maximize his/her potential, then a university degree would "help" in the process. Besides helping to open a few more doors it does broaden the mind, believe it or not.

Broad mindedness does not seem to be a desirable characteristic of present American Society.  

We want everyone to think like us, dress like us, do like us, believe like us, worship like us, vote like us..............heaven help someone that voices a different idea today.  

It seems to me that "higher education" hasn"t helped broaden many minds!

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Broad mindedness does not seem to be a desirable characteristic of present American Society.  

It seems to me that "higher education" hasn"t helped broaden many minds!

How true, but not just American society. :(  :(

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Broad mindedness does not seem to be a desirable characteristic of present American Society.  

It seems to me that "higher education" hasn"t helped broaden many minds!

How true, but not just American society. :(  :(

I, with only a high school education, am able to identify a profound observation when I see one. I just saw one!

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