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Old 11-07-2019, 12:36 PM   #61
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I didn't say all liberal arts degree holders are flipping burgers, but I will venture that essentially zero engineers are making minimum wages while a lot of liberal arts majors are. Sure I believe history and the arts add to the richness of life, but you can learn about those as a hobby while you make bank as a STEM professional.

It's just logical to get the required training to excel in a highly paid field rather than becoming a well rounded intellectual that nobody wants to hire. If you can't monetize education then it isn't worth much except as a hobby.
The degree that determines your comphensation is your final degree, so if grad or professional school is in the picture it is that degree not your undergraduate major. I found that the 4 years I spent in Grad School (left with masters not Phd) were very valuable as it taught me how to learn without being taught. For example although my masters is in Geophysics, I learned a lot about computers spending my last working years in IT in particular in Enterprise Architecture (dealing with questions of how IT can help the business achieve its goals), Then after retiring I became a more voracious reader and read and learned a lot of history. IMHO if you go into any field and get to the point where you can teach your self by reading etc. you have gotten the major value of education. In particular this is true in the STEM field as knowledge changed over time, ideas and theories I learned in the 1970s have been greatly updated (Much easier to keep up since retirement, plus the web means not having to accumulate journals).
In one sense then going into a Phd Program where in your major subject you have to teach yourself is a big help. (Medicine and other areas require continuing education for example, but it is really needed in all areas)
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:52 PM   #62
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I'm generally in the camp that college at the undergraduate level does not need to be all about job training or ROI. I don't think the formal education process suddenly stops in the 12th grade. College is where kids learn to think independently, creatively solve problems with no clear answer, write effectively, and get exposed to more abstract thinking like the arts and humanities.

I think it's rare that an 18 year-old actually has a clear idea about what career they want for the rest of their life. Even if they do, there's a good chance it will change at some point. In my opinion, that's WAY better than ending up unhappy in a career you dislike. So the first few years of college are a time of exploration, discovery, and maturing as a young adult. Career stuff can be done at the same time or figured out later. It all depends on the individual. Graduate school is a great place to get more focused about a career and there's nothing wrong with working for a few years and then going back to grad school when things are clearer.

Our kids both have 4-year degrees... one is an electrical engineer, the other a teacher. They are 30 and 27. The engineer is talking about getting an MBA because he thinks it will help advance his career beyond the technical roles that are available to him now. The teacher is trying to figure out how to go to grad school for Occupational Therapy, which is near-impossible to do while still working. We may have to help her out to make it happen. We are capable and happy to do that if she is committed.

I had a liberal arts undergrad, with quite a bit of graduate work in the same field. I dropped out and worked in restaurant and retail management for a few years before going back for an MBA. I was almost 29 when Megacorp hired me as a college recruit. I strongly believe that much of my success as a manager at Megacorp stemmed from the liberal arts undergrad more than the MBA. But that's just me. Every person is different.
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Old 11-09-2019, 09:29 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by steveark View Post
I didn't say all liberal arts degree holders are flipping burgers, but I will venture that essentially zero engineers are making minimum wages while a lot of liberal arts majors are. Sure I believe history and the arts add to the richness of life, but you can learn about those as a hobby while you make bank as a STEM professional.



It's just logical to get the required training to excel in a highly paid field rather than becoming a well rounded intellectual that nobody wants to hire. If you can't monetize education then it isn't worth much except as a hobby.


I feel like the value of the college experience that was not used for a job can be measured by answering, “After you got your first job, how much did you continue to spend on taking liberal arts classes?” If nothing then it seems you went to college to get a job.
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College Math is Fuzzy Math
Old 11-09-2019, 11:50 PM   #64
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College Math is Fuzzy Math

I was somewhat logical as a child

After getting tired of school, I asked my parents why I was going

They said to get an education to get into university

Then what?

To get a degree and work for a good company

Then what?

To make money

I asked if I could skip the years of pointless classes and study money. Just take a shortcut

They said it didn’t work that way

I thought this method was BS. My rationale was that, if this path was so great why did people who followed this path complain about not having enough money? Why weren’t all my parents friends rich?

They were all penny-pinching old people with very little money. Often their biggest “investment” was their primary residence. No thanks

My parents were wrong. It did work that way. I studied money and found out that the path that my parents advocated was one of the absolute slowest and most painful way to build wealth. Not their fault. They didn’t know any better

Today I make sure that my child realizes that school is just a made-up game and to not stress about school. 99% useless

My child is more interested in our properties and how to acquire, manage, and cash flow them because this knowledge is more useful to wealth-building than anything she will ever get from sitting in class. Later we can discuss stocks, dividends, and taxes. School is for meeting friends, hanging out and having fun
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:26 AM   #65
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Glad everyone doesn't feel that way! Yes, wife & I own paid-off properties in Hawaii, but we also went to college to get the basics of our trade, which is using our minds in the engineering field.


College taught us to think logically, solving complex problems that, even now, more than 50 years later, is paying off with extra income in our retirement.
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:43 AM   #66
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Originally Posted by nancyfrank232 View Post
I was somewhat logical as a child

After getting tired of school, I asked my parents why I was going

They said to get an education to get into university

Then what?

To get a degree and work for a good company

Then what?

To make money

I asked if I could skip the years of pointless classes and study money. Just take a shortcut

They said it didn’t work that way

I thought this method was BS. My rationale was that, if this path was so great why did people who followed this path complain about not having enough money? Why weren’t all my parents friends rich?

They were all penny-pinching old people with very little money. Often their biggest “investment” was their primary residence. No thanks

My parents were wrong. It did work that way. I studied money and found out that the path that my parents advocated was one of the absolute slowest and most painful way to build wealth. Not their fault. They didn’t know any better

Today I make sure that my child realizes that school is just a made-up game and to not stress about school. 99% useless

My child is more interested in our properties and how to acquire, manage, and cash flow them because this knowledge is more useful to wealth-building than anything she will ever get from sitting in class. Later we can discuss stocks, dividends, and taxes. School is for meeting friends, hanging out and having fun


Well put. For me, the value of college was being introduced to a company that trained entrepreneurs by teaching us to run a summer house-painting business. From there I got networked with many successful entrepreneurs and a host of opportunities. I could have skipped all classes and likely had a similar outcome. The difference with today’s college students, however, is that my school was relatively cheap and left me debt free at graduation. For today’s kids, it’s a legitimate financial burden that deserves deeper thinking than it did 30 years ago.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:11 AM   #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nancyfrank232 View Post
I was somewhat logical as a child

After getting tired of school, I asked my parents why I was going

They said to get an education to get into university

Then what?

To get a degree and work for a good company

Then what?

To make money

I asked if I could skip the years of pointless classes and study money. Just take a shortcut

They said it didn’t work that way

I thought this method was BS. My rationale was that, if this path was so great why did people who followed this path complain about not having enough money? Why weren’t all my parents friends rich?

They were all penny-pinching old people with very little money. Often their biggest “investment” was their primary residence. No thanks

My parents were wrong. It did work that way. I studied money and found out that the path that my parents advocated was one of the absolute slowest and most painful way to build wealth. Not their fault. They didn’t know any better

Today I make sure that my child realizes that school is just a made-up game and to not stress about school. 99% useless

My child is more interested in our properties and how to acquire, manage, and cash flow them because this knowledge is more useful to wealth-building than anything she will ever get from sitting in class. Later we can discuss stocks, dividends, and taxes. School is for meeting friends, hanging out and having fun
Reminds me of a favorite cartoon I send my working friends in Mondays.46264ec46cea5aa1e3ae27db6c03b503--funny-pigs-its-funny.jpeg
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College Math is Fuzzy Math
Old 11-10-2019, 12:15 PM   #68
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College Math is Fuzzy Math

^ +1

What a great cartoon. Thanks for sharing!

I pray my child enjoys life like this
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College Math is Fuzzy Math
Old 11-10-2019, 12:24 PM   #69
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College Math is Fuzzy Math

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Originally Posted by RenoJay View Post
For today’s kids, it’s a legitimate financial burden that deserves deeper thinking than it did 30 years ago.

+1 completely agree

If the goal is money, going into big debt to graduate with a diploma makes no sense

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/unemp...184228832.html

The lack of financial knowledge is a contributing factor as to why students take on massive loans for such poor outcomes
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:57 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by nancyfrank232 View Post
+1 completely agree

If the goal is money, going into big debt to graduate with a diploma makes no sense

The lack of financial knowledge is a contributing factor as to why students take on massive loans for such poor outcomes

And where are the parents, school counselors, admission’s staff when Junior decides to spend $80k for a degree in basketry?
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:14 PM   #71
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I am an engineer and all the general education type courses (i.e some of the liberal arts courses) I took in college were IMHO just a waste of time. They did not provide any direct benefit that I have been able to credit with helping my career. I do feel that college is about more than just the book smarts you learn. It is also about maturing as a person, and being exposed to new things that your small world as a kid in hometown you likely did not get. Especially for STEM, you learn problem solving techniques that you then apply on the job. Sure the first job out of college is required to have that STEM degree and educational knowledge. You have the toolbox, but how you learn to use those tools are what determines your career path and success. I feel very little of my success was attributable to the liberal arts courses. Or maybe some would argue I am too much of a logical engineer to see the value of liberal arts
Yes, I would have to largely attribute my business success, business ownership, early retirement and wealth to anything BUT my technical engineering courses.
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:54 PM   #72
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We could get rid of universities altogether, and anyone who wants more education or training can just join the military.
I'm sure you meant that tongue-in-cheek but...

About 70% of the target population (17-24) for military recruitment is ineligible for military service by reason of inadequate education, legal issues (including drug use) or physical condition.

https://www.heritage.org/defense/rep...e-the-military
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:23 PM   #73
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Rich kids study English because they can

Poor kids study things that they hope will help them not be poor

https://www.theatlantic.com/business...l-arts/397439/
I started as an English major (back in the '60s) but switched to Economics because of concerns about the practicality of English in the job market. Most of us back then were given the "opportunity" to serve in the military immediately after graduation; I opted for the Navy and ended up making it a career for almost 30 years. So, in my case the specific major didn't really matter as it pertained to a career. Two of the best admirals I worked for had been English majors - didn't seem to hurt them at all and both were plenty proficient in the technical aspects of their jobs.
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