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Old 07-26-2012, 09:57 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
I'm not sure I am buying the waste of time. Going into massive debt, yes. But getting a degree is still worthwhile for the average smart kid.

I don't necessarily disagree with you anywhere. You qualify your statement by saying "for the average smart kid". You'd be completely right. But what about the not-so-smart kids? What about the smart kids with little organization or drive? What about the immature kids who've had it all paid for them and don't understand the benefit of what they are getting (for free from their parents)?

I wasn't talking about the "average smart kid", I was talking about all the other people that waste 3 years and drop out, those who coast through in 4 years and then complain when they can't get a job (I went to college with some, and they weren't getting internships, they were partying). Or even those who spend 6-7 years in college because they screwed around too much.

There are a whole lot of those people.

Also, massive debt (as an aside), shouldn't have to happen at all. If you get massive debt as part of college, you are probably doing it wrong. I posted on this here, in another thread.

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Old 07-27-2012, 08:05 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by imoldernu
A question about your philosophy, re: education.

If you had it to do over again... what educational changes would you have made in your own life? Would that fit in with today's reality?

No regrets! I have a Business degree and it's been a good foundation for my career. After 10 years of work I went to grad school, only after I felt there would be a good ROI for my time and dollars.

College was cheaper back then. If I were doing it today I'd consider community college for the first two years.


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Old 07-29-2012, 09:39 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by mh View Post
With all the new developments in 3d printers and cnc machines happening there might not be much demand for old school machinists in 5 years.
Acually, there is little demand for "old school" machinists now. All training in machining, tool and die making, model making, etc., involves the new technologies.

Said another way, the demand for "machine operators" (an employee standing at a turret lathe all day cranking out parts for example) is near zero. But the demand for set up people, programmers, etc., is high.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:01 AM   #44
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I attended a community college straight out of high was the thing to do back in the 70' went to college after high school, even if no career in mind. I was bored after one year so joined the military. Finished 4 years active duty then completed a BS at Oregon State University. Had 4 years G.I. bill (and a part time job at the university health center) to cover 3 years of college, so had the luxury of taking my time completing a degree. Unfortunately, still undirected in what I wanted to do as a career, so finished with a BS in general science. Although had a degree worked quite a few years at a min wage job to finally discover that I wanted to go into the nursing profession. Went back to college for an additional 2 years and have been working as a registered nurse now for 24 years. Took six years of college to find a well paying/rewarding career. Would I take the same path again? Yes, but hopefully would have been more focused to turn that 6 years college into a masters degree.

College is just too expensive nowadays to do what I did....Perhaps the first year to explore and decide on a career, but an undirected path after that is risky if one is hopeful of a career type job.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:43 AM   #45
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I suspect there is still a demand for manual (old school) machinists. Industrial areas will always have a need for service and repair shops with a variety of manual machines. The machinists employed will be proficient on all of them. These guys are highly experienced.

The more production oriented shops have moved from older turret lathes, screw machines, automatics, etc. to CNC. The set up men will tool, program, and adjust the offsets until they get the first few parts on size, then hand it off to an operator. Similar to what the 'old style' set up men did with the older machines - setting stops and such depending on the machine..
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Old 07-29-2012, 02:03 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Avalon View Post
I suspect there is still a demand for manual (old school) machinists. Industrial areas will always have a need for service and repair shops with a variety of manual machines. The machinists employed will be proficient on all of them. These guys are highly experienced.

The more production oriented shops have moved from older turret lathes, screw machines, automatics, etc. to CNC. The set up men will tool, program, and adjust the offsets until they get the first few parts on size, then hand it off to an operator. Similar to what the 'old style' set up men did with the older machines - setting stops and such depending on the machine..

With the return of many manufacturing elements to the U.S. and with the fields dying off in the past - there is a shortage of machinists and the shortage is seen to be growing as more of the current ones retire...

A study done by the National Association of Manufacturers concluded the largest impediment to future growth is a skilled workforce. That's why training the next generation of machinists is critical to ensuring America remains a nation of builders.
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Old 07-29-2012, 11:21 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by imoldernu View Post
He's on his way here to stay for 5 days... We'll exchange philosophies, as we always do... and he'll tell me about his summer readings... and there'll be a battle of the wits... and I'll lose. Three years ago, he wanted to be governor, last year, a neurosurgeon, this year, probably a sociologist, and by this time next year, an organizer in OWS.
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Doesn't matter what you think about his college choices! I think the best thing you can do is help him plot out the selection approach so that he can figure out the criteria later and then apply them during the process.

Work it backwards from the start of senior year. Most applications are due by the end of the calendar year (first semester senior year) and the guidance counselors/teachers are swamped with paperwork/recommendations. (Some applications are due in October.) So he wants to make up his mind up by the end of junior year-- spend the summer filing applications and writing essays and pursuing recommendation letters-- and have five or six applications filed by September.

That means he wants to spend the summer before senior year visiting the colleges on his short list. The best way to do that is one-week in-residence programs (for science or engineering or liberal arts) run by plenty of the college's professors & students. He's there to check out the college, but they're there to check out him. It's far better than the high-school counselor because the profs can show him the cool lab gear and talk about his interests. The college students can talk about their interests and how they made their decisions. Most importantly of all, by the end of the week he'll be able to look around the campus and say "Yeah, I can do this" or "Eh, not my people". The cost of one or two of these summer programs is insignificant compared to the cost of a semester's false start.

The summer before junior year is when he visits 3-5 campuses for day trips. This can be problematic because he's probably turning 16 years old that year, which may mean that he'd rather focus on driver's ed and license exams. Some of these campus visits might have to happen during fall break of junior year or spring break of sophomore year. You can't expect much from these campus field trips because they're only for him to learn how to ask the questions, figure out what's important to him, and gain some confidence in his search skills. It's usually a morning presentation, maybe attending a freshman class with a student, lunch on campus, and another class or sports in the afternoon. If you have time then it'd be great for him to spend a night or a weekend in the dorm (while the parents tactfully disappear). By the time they've spent 24 hours with college profs & freshmen they'll have learned far more about their selection criteria than you or the high-school counselor can ever offer.

The summer before sophomore year is a good time to visit whatever campus is within a 30-minute drive. Take the tour, do whatever they offer, see how he likes it. It's just to get familiar with the tour & questions routine so that they can own the process instead of letting Mom & Dad do the heavy lifting. Treat it as an experiment, a learning experience, and a chance to ogle hot college chicks. Your grandson can also attend college fairs during that summer and during sophomore year so that they can chat about the choices with their friends, see all the colleges that are a far-away expensive trip, and collect a lot of cool swag.

Our daughter spent summer before her junior year learning how to drive, so college trips were off the table. We did her college tours during the summer before sophomore year, and that helped a lot. By the time she was choosing her high school AP classes, she knew what she'd need for college validation. Then during the fall break of junior year we visited the college that she's attending now. She'd seen enough college campuses before that trip to know that she'd found "the one" within 10 minutes of setting foot inside the gates. The rest was just hardening her confirmation bias.

Our daughter agonized over the choice between a service academy (USNA) and ROTC. Her week at USNA's "Summer Seminar" program helped her decide to pursue NROTC. The first two years of a service academy are free (no obligation) and the first year of ROTC is free (no obligation). If your grandson has even a casual interest in the military, then this is the time to figure out whether it's what he wants to do. One of my daughter's classmates actually dropped out of college (and the NROTC unit) during sophomore year, volunteered for the submarine force, and is now a machinist's mate on an attack boat. He knew college wasn't for him, but he'd seen enough to land on his feet instead of doing shifts at Taco Bell while living at home with Mom & Dad.

Originally Posted by meierlde View Post
CNC machining still needs someone to input what is to be made into the computer (as does 3d printing) The days of someone actually guiding a lathe or milling machine to make something are long gone. Today one needs computer skills as much as machining skills, (and thus more math training).
I wonder where one would find an old school training program now days anyway at a community college.
It's still kinda hard to fit a CNC box down the hatch of a submarine, but those old-school lathes are essential to fixing pump shafts and a host of other broken gear...


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