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View Poll Results: What is the highest level of education you have achieved?
High School 15 17.65%
AA/AS 3 3.53%
BA/BS 26 30.59%
Masters 29 34.12%
Doctorate 12 14.12%
Voters: 85. You may not vote on this poll

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Education Poll
Old 08-18-2005, 02:02 PM   #1
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Education Poll

With a very few exceptions, everyone here seems to be pretty well educated. I am curious about the amount of education that REs (and RE wannabees) have attained, compared with the public at large. Any relevent comments are also welcome, but no personal attacks, please.
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-18-2005, 03:29 PM   #2
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Re: Education Poll

Hey, there's no slot for "PhD dropout!"

I guess I'll just settle for Masters.
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-18-2005, 03:41 PM   #3
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Re: Education Poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by yelnad
Hey, there's no slot for "PhD dropout!"

I guess I'll just settle for Masters.
Or what about just dropout?

http://www.theonion.com/news/index.p...31&n=0&id=4289
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-18-2005, 05:20 PM   #4
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Re: Education Poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by yelnad
Hey, there's no slot for "PhD dropout!"
Every PhD candidate I've ever met has never admitted that they've dropped out...
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-18-2005, 06:28 PM   #5
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Re: Education Poll

Formal education is not the only way to learn. I only have a High School education but I read every day. A degree many years ago for a person that thought they "arrived" and never learned anything else doesn't count for much.
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-18-2005, 06:42 PM   #6
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Re: Education Poll

Lazarus,

I agree with you that education does not necessarily denote intelligence, motivation, success, etc. For better or worse, degrees open some doors.

One thing getting through any degree program does tell people is that you have some ability to stick to doing what you set out to do. At least with me, there always came a time when I'd have thoughts about how nice/easy it would be to bail out. I persevered, and am glad I did.
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-18-2005, 06:45 PM   #7
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Re: Education Poll

I agree Mountain Mike. It does prove that you can stick with a goal when you get a degree. Many doors were closed to me because of my lack. Doesn't matter anymore too late to go back. Still I have done better than most.
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-18-2005, 06:56 PM   #8
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Re: Education Poll

My expectations in college was not met in college. I got my BS in accounting and after I was done told myself I would never go back to get my masters
I learned way more about business by buying one that eventually went bust. Dusted myself off and kept going. Because of the internet anything I wanted to learn I just logged on and researched the topic. That's what college taught me...how to research and find answers. It did open doors though.
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-18-2005, 11:18 PM   #9
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Re: Education Poll

Doesn't matter. I could probably still get schooled by a high school graduate
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-19-2005, 05:40 AM   #10
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Re: Education Poll

Chose to go in the Navy after high school due to the draft. Got married and had a kid while in the service. Still was able to send both kids to college.

Daughter just took her APRN test on Monday after graduating Yale in June. Wish her luck! Son is a graphics designer for a local NBC TV station.

Had one door open for me after 12 years on the job and made the most of it. Will be retiring at 56 in January after 33 years. Took a lot longer than a lot of you on this board but wouldn't trade anyone for the life experiences.

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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-19-2005, 09:10 AM   #11
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Re: Education Poll

A college education today is WAY over priced - and WAY over rated. And does nothing to teach their graduates how to make money ... or become self employed.

My BS has done little or nothing to help me achieve FIRE. Took alot of determination, persistence and guts ... no math or science here. Just took lots of real estate risks very early in life.

Always encourage my kids to do well in school. And will encourage college only if they don't have the needed determination, persistence and guts to make it on thier own.
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-19-2005, 09:48 AM   #12
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Re: Education Poll

I agree that what you learn in college is, for the most part, irrelevant to actually having job/life skills. I know I didn't learn much of any use in college. A degree, though, from what I've seen, is very nearly mandatory for any sort of white collar job.

Without college, your prospects are limited, and I think it would be a rare person who would be able to start a business after high school with very limited capital. Without that degree, there isn't a heck of a lot of a fallback position.
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-19-2005, 10:43 AM   #13
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Re: Education Poll

Quote:
it would be a rare person who would be able to start a business after high school with very limited capital.* Without that degree, there isn't a heck of a lot of a fallback position.
Agree ... hopefully you have a mentor in the family.

Also can go back to college anytime.*

For those who succeed in self employment, college is a 4-6 year delay in achieving your goal.* Of course, those who fail, wish they went to college (which circles back to my first post).
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-19-2005, 10:50 AM   #14
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Re: Education Poll

Tryan,

If you look at US Census data, you'll see that increasing levels of education are highly correlated with increasing levels of income. This doesn't prove causation by itself.

You stated no math or science for you. Those skills are sort of necessary to live life. How can you run a business without being able to keep track of money and tell if you are making a profit? How can you get to ER if you can't do the math to tell you how to get there or when you are there?
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-19-2005, 10:55 AM   #15
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Re: Education Poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan
A college education today is WAY over priced - and WAY over rated.* And does nothing to teach their graduates how to make money ... or become self employed.

My BS has done little or nothing to help me achieve FIRE.* Took alot of determination, persistence and guts ... no math or science here.* Just took lots of real estate risks very early in life.

Always encourage my kids to do well in school.* And will encourage college only if they don't have the needed determination, persistence and guts to make it on thier own.
I agree completely. *College courses tend to "train" you to be a good employee and focus too much on how to build your resume to apply for a job.

Maybe that's why a lot of successful people like Bill Gates and Michael Dell dropped out of college.

I remember having to do a project for one of my college courses with 4 other people. *Maybe I was in with the wrong 4 people, but after a week of nobody doing anything except me, I asked the professor if I could just finish the project on my own since I had already done half of it anyway on my own. *At first he said that in a large corporation I would be working in teams, so I better get used to it. *I told him I have planned on starting my own business so I don't have to put up with non-productive teammates. *He agreed to let me finish on my own. *I finished before everyone else, was able to explain the entirety of the project on my own because I worked on the whole project, not just a piece of it, and got the highest grade in the class.

I have been able to semi-ER because I worked harder than many others to get to this point. *School is good, but self-learning and doing things your way is much better and more gratifying.
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-19-2005, 11:06 AM   #16
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Re: Education Poll

Need to find the article ... once read that a disproportionale number of millionaires are self employed.

US Census income/wage data is a measure of dependency. The goal of FIRE is self-sufficiency.


Quote:
You stated no math or science for you. Those skills are sort of necessary to live life. How can you run a business without being able to keep track of money and tell if you are making a profit? How can you get to ER if you can't do the math to tell you how to get there or when you are there?
We agree. But I wasn't talking about high school math ... I was refering to the differential equations, numerical analysis, fourier transforms ...ect. Haven't touch that stuff since I left.
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-19-2005, 11:14 AM   #17
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Re: Education Poll

I see the self-employed Borg is at it again. "You will be assimilated!" Yes, there are many paths. No, college isn't just a waste of time.

I think you get out of higher education what you put into it. I sat in the same business school classes as my fellow students, and I guarantee that I got 200% more out of some of those classes than people sitting net to me.
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-19-2005, 11:32 AM   #18
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Re: Education Poll

Have to confess many of my best memories are from college. But all from the social enviroment - not the academic enviroment.
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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-19-2005, 11:35 AM   #19
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Re: Education Poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan
We agree. But I wasn't talking about high school math ... I was refering to the differential equations, numerical analysis, fourier transforms ...ect. Haven't touch that stuff since I left.
Sorry, diff eq, numerical analysis and Fourier transforms were all high school math for me. I didn't take any math in college. That is atypical for engineers though.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan
Need to find the article ... once read that a disproportionale number of millionaires are self employed.

US Census income/wage data is a measure of dependency. The goal of FIRE is self-sufficiency.
disproportionale? Looks like you could use a little more college English!

It may be true that the population of millionaires is disproportionately self-employed. Self-employment and college education are not mutually exclusive characteristics. I'm guessing a fair share of those self-employed millionaires are doctors, lawyers or accountants. The wages people earn are also strongly correlated with their wealth. You can save and invest your wages just as easily as earnings from a small business/self-employment (or real estate).

Someone else cited Bill Gates and Michael Dell as good examples of why college education isn't really that important. So drop out of college, and you have a 2 out of 300,000,000 chance of ending up like one of these two. Those are odds slightly worse than the lottery. For most people, a college education in an appropriate field is the most likely path to financial success.

Sure, you can start your own business. You see the successes everywhere. No one is famous because their business failed and they lost their house and their kids' college fund (oh well, I guess the kids can always start their own businesses!).






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Re: Education Poll
Old 08-19-2005, 11:56 AM   #20
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Re: Education Poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by tryan
We agree.* But I wasn't talking about high school math ... I was refering to the differential equations, numerical analysis, fourier transforms ...ect.* Haven't touch that stuff since I left.
I agree that advanced math won't help you to balance your checkbook.

But college in general, and advanced math in particular, are tremendously useful in developing critical thinking. *Math is a big help in learning how the world works and to avoid being fooled by those exploiting chaos & coincidence as cause & effect. *College liberal arts-- especially English, econ, & history courses-- can't be properly taught at the high school level (no one would pay the teachers for their specialized knowledge) but are essential to understanding propaganda techniques & marketing manipulation. *Liberal-arts graduates consistently led the Navy's Nuclear Power School classes in the 1970s & 1980s, much to ADM Rickover's frustration.

On this board, numerical & statistical analysis show that some of us are much better at remembering negative college experiences (instead of the positive ones) or Bill Gates' "education" and in extrapolating them to arrive at the wrong conclusion. *We all know that things don't always turn out the way we expect them to, but how many of us can explain the mathematical basis behind that observation? *It gives you an appreciation of when things are more likely to go wrong.

Differential equations gave me a huge appreciation of how non-linear systems really are-- output is rarely directly proportional to input across the entire spectrum. *The application of advanced math in the nuclear industry is pretty straightforward, but I also needed a working knowledge of Fourier transforms to be able to understand when a sonar system was working correctly or just being fooled by its sampling techniques. *It's one thing to say "I've seen this before and the system is screwed up" and quite another to say "It can't cope with this particular situation because of the way it implements the math".

Was it painful? *Sure, especially when I had to combine the math with electrical engineering & signal processing. *But it can help with career & financial decisions as well. *I finally bailed after my first semester of engineering mathematics but my spouse went back for a second helping of that plus another year of advanced computer-modeling techniques. *For her it paid off when she had to face down a bunch of very unhappy senior officers who had to spend a bunch of money battening down the hatches for Western Pacific typhoons. *They were able to point at forecasts that said they'd be OK. *She was able to point out the deficiencies in the models and why typhoons don't care about math. *The typhoon turned out to be right.

We wouldn't have been able to have this board's discussions on the differences between FIRECalc & Monte Carlo simulations without a good understanding of statistics. *Heck, you can even use statistics to understand why Murphy's Law is so popular and why the other line always moves faster.

Finally, here's the most critical reason to have a solid understanding of advanced math: *being able to help my kid with her homework. *Thanks to six years of Kumon she's already finished her algebra curriculum and, at the age of 12, is working at the 11th-grade level. *At an age where most of her peers are whining "Math is haaaaard!" she's acing the tests, and I can use that experience to keep her motivated to plug away at science too.
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