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Old 07-27-2014, 09:02 AM   #41
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Choosing to go to college and selecting a major based solely on ROI frequently (although not always) results in job dissatisfaction and being unhappy all those work years until retirement. Some folks see this early enough to take their high salaries and start LBYM so they can get out. It's sad that their experience results in work being a four letter word instead of something that can be enjoyable and rewarding.

I enjoyed the academic environment and eventually chose a career path that gave me a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment even though it did not include a high salary. I was fortunate to realize the need to LBYM, married a lady at 40 with similar values, and invested heavily with our small income. I had a great time getting to FI and now have enough saved to see us both through our retirement years.

A few decades ago at my 20 year high school reunion many of my friends had become doctors, lawyers, engineer, etc. because of parental pressure and the mindset of ROI. I was surprised at how many of them commented on being envious of my lifestyle and my enjoyment of career choice.

My parents were right. I'm glad I listened. If you chase the dollar instead of your love of a career path regardless of college or trade school then you may not enjoy 2/3 of you life. So what's the point?

Cheers!
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Old 07-27-2014, 09:18 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Badger View Post
Choosing to go to college and selecting a major based solely on ROI frequently (although not always) results in job dissatisfaction and being unhappy all those work years until retirement. Some folks see this early enough to take their high salaries and start LBYM so they can get out. It's sad that their experience results in work being a four letter word instead of something that can be enjoyable and rewarding.

I enjoyed the academic environment and eventually chose a career path that gave me a great deal of satisfaction and enjoyment even though it did not include a high salary. I was fortunate to realize the need to LBYM, married a lady at 40 with similar values, and invested heavily with our small income. I had a great time getting to FI and now have enough saved to see us both through our retirement years.

A few decades ago at my 20 year high school reunion many of my friends had become doctors, lawyers, engineer, etc. because of parental pressure and the mindset of ROI. I was surprised at how many of them commented on being envious of my lifestyle and my enjoyment of career choice.

My parents were right. I'm glad I listened. If you chase the dollar instead of your love of a career path regardless of college or trade school then you may not enjoy 2/3 of you life. So what's the point?

Cheers!

Fair enough. But most people don't know what they want to do with their lives until they go through many years of doing things they dislike. Trial and error seems to be the rule rather than the exception. So can you blame people for chasing money? If they LBYM (and this is a big IF) then they will have the financial resources to follow their passion. Unfortunately, high paying careers are jealous mistresses, so there is little time for self discovery. Add in a spouse and kids, and you have a recipe for golden handcuffs.

I suppose in life, everything is a trade off. The key is knowing what you're trading.


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Old 07-27-2014, 10:36 AM   #43
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Looking for a school and major with a good ROI does not mean doing something you hate for the highest paying major. Getting an AA degree or certificate in a trade can have an excellent ROI, as in the plumber example above.

It does mean not taking out 200K in loans to get a PhD in a major you love without looking at the Job Outlook handbook, only to find when you graduate the salaries are low, the competition is fierce and job openings few and far between. So instead of working in your major you find yourself over-qualified for minimum wage jobs, and end up moving back in with your parents wondering how in the world you can ever pay back all those loans that are usually non-dischargable in bankruptcy, piling up interest and late fees as times goes on and you still haven't found work.

The problem is with the inflation adjusted cost of many four year colleges being so high these days compared to the sixties or seventies, there are less and less majors and schools with a good ROI on the cost for students who have to go into debt or self fund to cover the costs.
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Old 07-27-2014, 10:47 AM   #44
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Career is like a marriage, you will not know what you got until few years elapsed. (in terms of liking what you do or not liking it) Some people luck out some not.

Now if you pick useless degree you can be pretty much guaranteed poor financial outcome....
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Old 07-27-2014, 11:02 AM   #45
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Now if you pick useless degree you can be pretty much guaranteed poor financial outcome....
Nope. Only if you insist on pursuing a "career" in that degree field. More than one way to skin a cat.
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Old 07-27-2014, 12:53 PM   #46
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Just goes to show you that the trades are still a very viable option - even if you are "college material". In fact, why not combine both? Business degree + trade school = profit?

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+1
My mom, who got a masters degree in the late 1930s, very unusual for women at that time, was big on me going to college. It fact it was just assumed that I would go, not if. But, my mother also wanted me to learn a trade, just in case. She was as happy that I was able to make money painting houses as she was when I too later got my masters degree. Having marketable skills that help people solve problems is always a good idea.
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Old 07-27-2014, 12:54 PM   #47
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The community colleges have transfer degrees where students following the program are guaranteed their CC classes will all be accepted at the 4 years and if they fulfill the transfer degree requirements, they are guaranteed to graduate in 2 more years at the public four years.
Are they guaranteed acceptable at any UC campus including Berkeley and UCLA? Or just somewhere, whether it be a UC campus or Cal State?

I assume that admission is a separate process, so if you are admitted to Berkeley and your CC course performance is, OK, then those CC credits transfer. Is this correct?

Ha
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:21 PM   #48
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Your mom must've been really smart. And not just because of her degree...

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+1
My mom, who got a masters degree in the late 1930s, very unusual for women at that time, was big on me going to college. It fact it was just assumed that I would go, not if. But, my mother also wanted me to learn a trade, just in case. She was as happy that I was able to make money painting houses as she was when I too later got my masters degree. Having marketable skills that help people solve problems is always a good idea.
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Old 07-27-2014, 01:47 PM   #49
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Are they guaranteed acceptable at any UC campus including Berkeley and UCLA? Or just somewhere, whether it be a UC campus or Cal State?

I assume that admission is a separate process, so if you are admitted to Berkeley and your CC course performance is, OK, then those CC credits transfer. Is this correct?

Ha
I'm not sure the exact guarantees but I've had 2 friends get their kids into UCSD (pretty darn competitive school for stem degrees) via the community college transfer program.

That said you have to be meticulous in your choice of classes at the CC. A few mistakes and I know it can cause problems. One former coworker's daughter was on the hairy edge. She's now graduated from UCSD in Biology and will be starting her PhD program in Sept.
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Old 07-27-2014, 02:03 PM   #50
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I'm not sure the exact guarantees but I've had 2 friends get their kids into UCSD (pretty darn competitive school for stem degrees) via the community college transfer program.

That said you have to be meticulous in your choice of classes at the CC. A few mistakes and I know it can cause problems. One former coworker's daughter was on the hairy edge. She's now graduated from UCSD in Biology and will be starting her PhD program in Sept.
Thank you.

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Old 07-27-2014, 09:11 PM   #51
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Are they guaranteed acceptable at any UC campus including Berkeley and UCLA? Or just somewhere, whether it be a UC campus or Cal State?

I assume that admission is a separate process, so if you are admitted to Berkeley and your CC course performance is, OK, then those CC credits transfer. Is this correct?

Ha
Some of the UCs have a guaranteed admissions program from the CCs:
Transfer Admission Guarantee | UC Admissions

The admission is guaranteed but UCLA and Berkeley are not in the program, and I do not think there is a time guarantee on graduation.

The state schools have transfer AA degrees:
Associate Degree for Transfer

I think all the state colleges are in the program but not all CC => state 4 years have transfer degrees in all majors. But if students meet the requirement they are guaranteed to have all their classes accepted at the 4 years and graduate in no more than 2 more years.

Our kids are not doing this, but my suggestion was transfer to San Jose State and then go to meetups and schmooze with Apple and Google employees. Apples hires many of their employees from SJS.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:39 AM   #52
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Choosing to go to college and selecting a major based solely on ROI frequently (although not always) results in job dissatisfaction and being unhappy all those work years until retirement. Some folks see this early enough to take their high salaries and start LBYM so they can get out. It's sad that their experience results in work being a four letter word instead of something that can be enjoyable and rewarding.
What if what I find enjoyable and rewarding is drinking beer and playing card games? I gotta do something that pays the bills, too, so I might as well sell my time at a decent hourly rate.
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Old 07-28-2014, 07:43 AM   #53
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One of the considerations for a promotion was that we as managers had to feel that the person being promoted had the potential for another promotion as he/she got more experience.
That doesn't make sense to me. How did this company select its CEO?

Your employer must have been choosing from a huge talent pool if you could afford to be so picky. We often struggle to find any suitable candidate, and whether or not the new Manager might make a good Director one day is totally irrelevant to us.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:19 AM   #54
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That doesn't make sense to me. How did this company select its CEO?

Your employer must have been choosing from a huge talent pool if you could afford to be so picky. We often struggle to find any suitable candidate, and whether or not the new Manager might make a good Director one day is totally irrelevant to us.
Don't you know, CEOs are selected according to the Peter Principle.

Peter Principle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:54 AM   #55
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Physicians and Surgeons : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Many interesting things have been said in this thread. I found you can search the internet and find a blog post or article to support any conclusion. My own experience through the years has been that a college degree is well worth a reasonable investment. My earnings per hour have usually been 2x's that of spouse (high school degree only). However, other factors like health care benefits, vacation, and PTO have to be captured.

My sample size is much too low to be of any benefit to someone deciding on a course of study, or not. I'd search the data at DOL, and also try the Occupation finder:

Occupation Finder : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

First child has been in a corp job and is over $100K salary. Next child is starting a job at $50K soon. If I look around for additional data points for their peers who did not graduate the outlook is not so good.

I think the comparison of Physician to Plumber is an interesting discussion, but for most of us the more meaningful comparison is network engineer to plumber's assistant, or registered nurse to waiter. In these cases the college graduate on average will outrun the high school grad in lifetime earnings.
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