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GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
8/8/18 7:55 a.m.
NickD said:

The problem is that it seems like a lot of places are getting so that they won't hire you if you have a college degree. A good example was my father. Right out of high school he was basically told he could either get a job or join the service, but his family couldn't put him through college. At 19 he started as a machinist for Bendix Aerospace. He then worked as a machine operator for over 10 years, then got bumped to a CNC programmer for another 10 years, essentially functioning as a manufacturing engineer. Then the company he was working for at the time started going downhill, so he started hunting around for jobs. He applied at 4 or 5 different outfits and every one of them told him the same thing "Wow, you've got a ton of experience, more than anyone else who has applied, and seem very knowledgeable. But we won't hire anyone without a college degree."

From what I've seen in recent job hunts this tendency seems to be fading now, I see a lot more senior-level jobs where they ask for either a degree or some number of years experience in the field, while in previous years you'd be lucky to even find an entry-level job that didn't ask for a degree.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
8/8/18 8:00 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:

I'm not suggesting that college be free.  Anything 'free' essentially has zero value. 

Not if its cost is extreme difficulty.

 

 

On topic: 

I graduated with ~40k in loans like 12 years ago.  I think I paid them off in 2ish years?  My total schooling cost was around 120k, and the difference in my earnings vs. if I went into a trade is many times more than that over the past decade.

I was a little bit on the uncomfortable side paying another $50k out of pocket for my wifes 2nd masters degree, but in a couple years it paid for itself quite easily.

 

College is expensive, but in most cases, its worth it.

docwyte
docwyte SuperDork
8/8/18 8:27 a.m.

I started my kids 529's the day they were born.  I'm not putting a ton a month away in them, but a reasonable amount, that goes in every single month automatically.  I also didn't use my Post 9/11 GI Bill, so that's split equally to both my kids.  Then the grandparents on both sides also have 529's for them.

They'll be fine.  My perspective is a private school isn't worth it unless it's the Ivy League schools or Stanford.  Otherwise go to a good state school and there's nothing wrong with knocking out the first few years at the local community college.  ROTC is a great option, as is getting a military scholarship.

There are options out there to make higher education affordable...

02Pilot
02Pilot Dork
8/8/18 8:28 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse said:
02Pilot said:

The larger issue, however, and the one we struggle with as instructors, is that a liberal arts education was never intended to be about economic advancement. The point, in theory anyway, is to allow students the opportunity to develop as people, to be exposed to a wide variety of knowledge and the objective reasoning process used to achieve it, and to thus become active, informed participants in a free society. While there is some overlap, the objectives of most students have coming in and the purposes of the curriculum to which they are exposed are frequently widely divergent. Making clear to students the purposes of what they are being asked to learn helps them to clarify their decision to attend, though in my case at least I am only able to do so after they have made that choice.

Aye, but there's the rub.  How can something that's not ostensibly about economic advancement only be available with those with the means to pay for it?  

I'm not suggesting that college be free.  Anything 'free' essentially has zero value.  More to the point, I think the universities, if they truly believe what you've written above, have an obligation to keep said education as affordable as possible.  The exorbitant spending lately on largely fluff projects (not to mention all the extra and largely unnecessary overhead and staff expenditures) is borderline immoral.  Case in point- my college recently spent $140 Million on an media and arts center.  Was that the best use of that money, while tuition was more than doubling in the last 20 years?

I don't make decisions about how money is spent, but I've certainly seen skewed priorities in both faculty and administration, often justified with borderline delusional predictions of expected outcomes.

The simple explanation to your first question goes back to my earlier point that college isn't the best fit for everyone, which includes factoring in the means to pay for it. Is that exclusionary? Sure. But it always was. What's changed is the assumption that everyone will attend college. This has led to the need to expand facilities and programs to accommodate the influx of students over the last several decades, which in turn has driven up costs. Administrations now feel pressure to keep their expensive facilities full in order to pay for them, driving up competition for students and retention, which often leads to yet more spending.

When college was available to those who could pay for it, you ended up with a sharp division in society between those relatively few who had a degree and the mass who did not, but you did not see the impact of undue economic burdens because for the most part those who had attended could afford to do so without incurring them. Now the numbers have swung the other way, or are at least moving in that direction, making for an ostensibly more equally educated society (this is hardly the reality, but that's another topic). But because the economic circumstances of college students are still widely divergent, many of those who attend today are saddled with large debts that ironically work against their primary (and incorrect) expectation that a college education will bring them prosperity.

 

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/8/18 8:31 a.m.
Adrian_Thompson said:

Paying room and board on top of tuition is to me, plain dumb.  Stay at home, work and pay as you go.

I agree with everything else you said, but not necessarily this part. It varies by the kid. At some point, they all have to leave the nest, and going off to college and living in a dorm is a good way to do it with training wheels, so to speak. You're away from Mom and Dad, but you're still in a semi-supervised environment where you don't have to pay utility bills or go grocery shopping. After a year or two of dorm living, most kids move into apartments with roommates, which is another step toward independence. As I said, it varies by the kid, though. I stayed at home throughout my bachelors degree and didn't move out until my wife and I got engaged and got a place together. It worked for us, but part of me wishes I'd had more independence at a younger age. College is about more than going to classes and getting a piece of paper, you are learning to learn, and how to do adult things for the first time, too.

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
8/8/18 8:38 a.m.

I don't know about the whole trades vs. college deal.  I understand you can make good scratch working trades.  I used to see the cars the guys at Pratt and Whitney drove vs. what management drove....  but..  You give up a certain ammount of freedom.  Want to move your established plumbing business to a new state..  Good luck.... No such thing as a free lunch either way.. 

 

At nearly 40 I still have nearly $70k in student loans left, but that's between my wife and myself and three masters degrees.  We did pretty good there, but agree it would be nicer to be debt free earlier.. Though.. I see people my age who are debt free and they're efficiently no better or no worse off than me.  Usually they're all at lower levels in the company than myself..   no such thing as a free lunch and you need to determine in life how much you are willing to sacrifice to get where you want to go...   It's all a personal choice.

 

 

 

 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
8/8/18 8:38 a.m.

A few points I want to touch on: 

1: I've met very few tradesmen who aren't physically broken at age 50. 

2: Debt free vs taking on student loans is one thing--but we're talking about a flipping mortgage payment here. Not a 5 year 0% note on a Nissan Versa. 

3: I think it was Adrian that mentioned this, but there are often cheaper options. In Illinois, you can probably commute to a state school just about anywhere you live which will knock down R&B significantly. Otherwise, there are schools like Northern Michigan, Southern Illinois, Western Michigan, Wright State, South Dakota, etc., that you'll get a fine education and not get bent over--I think all of them are less than $20k annually for TR&B. 

 

My biggest problem with all of it is that the kids have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what they are doing when they're signing the loans. An 18 year old has no concept of what a 10, 20, or 30 year commitment is. They have no clue what a student loans means for their wealth building power, or how it is going to impact their life. 

Our story: I worked my ass off through middle school, high school, and college. My parents picked up what I couldn't, but I still made up 75% of the cost (in reality it was more than that as mom and dad paid for my car and insurance), but I would have still had about $25k in student loans. My wife had a parental help, 2 years paid scholarship, and at one point was working 4 jobs at once. Between the two of us, at a low-cost state school, we have 2 B.S.'s and one M.S., and 6 years later we still have $15k left in student loans. Think about that--it is insane. 

Obviously we've made some life choices that have kept the loans with us this long, but we probably couldn't have gotten rid of them until two years ago anyways even if we prioritized getting rid of them. And we make good money (I wouldn't be able to make the money I do if I was in the trades without significant overtime).

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/8/18 8:41 a.m.

In reply to ProDarwin :

I agree that college is almost always worth it (for smart hardworking middle class folks). If you aren't already smart, it won't make you smart, if you aren't already hardworking, it won't improve your work ethic. If you are, however, it will prove to employers that you have those traits, and that is valuable.

Sorta like owning a house is almost always worth it (to a specific group of folks).

I don't know what to do about the problem of colleges charging crazy amounts of money to anyone because anyone can get the loan. That sounds like the housing crisis in 2005-2007.

mtn
mtn MegaDork
8/8/18 8:43 a.m.
Fueled by Caffeine said:

I don't know about the whole trades vs. college deal.  I understand you can make good scratch working trades.  I used to see the cars the guys at Pratt and Whitney drove vs. what management drove....  but..  You give up a certain ammount of freedom.  Want to move your established plumbing business to a new state..  Good luck.... No such thing as a free lunch either way.. 

 

At nearly 40 I still have nearly $70k in student loans left, but that's between my wife and myself and three masters degrees.  We did pretty good there, but agree it would be nicer to be debt free earlier.. Though.. I see people my age who are debt free and they're efficiently no better or no worse off than me.  Usually they're all at lower levels in the company than myself..   no such thing as a free lunch.

This is where you have to look at the time-value of money and how much they save to make a good comparison. 

I keep trying to figure out when/where/how/if I'm going to get my MBA (or masters in Statistics or similar), but I just can't quite figure out how I'm going to make it work right now while managing the mortgage, existing [small] student loans, not to mention the full time job (not an option to go full time student again).

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
8/8/18 8:50 a.m.

In reply to mtn :

I took on a boat load of loans to get my MBA...  Within 5 years of getting it I had tripled my salary... but no such thing as a free lunch.  My rough calculations are that it will be worth around $1.5 - 2M in lifetime earnings for me...  

Duke
Duke MegaDork
8/8/18 8:50 a.m.
Tom_Spangler said:
Adrian_Thompson said:

Paying room and board on top of tuition is to me, plain dumb.  Stay at home, work and pay as you go.

College is about more than going to classes and getting a piece of paper, you are learning to learn, and how to do adult things for the first time, too.

THIS.  Both DDs went to our state university.  Campus is a 5 minute drive / 20 minute walk from our house.  DW and I both felt it was critical that the fledglings make that transition from kids to adults by living away from home, even though it cost us at least $6,000 a year for each kid.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UberDork
8/8/18 9:03 a.m.

In reply to 02Pilot :

This is a good discussion to be having; it drives to the heart of WHY college is expensive, rather than simply complaining about it or figuring out band-aids to deal with it.  

Agreed that the demand for a bachelor's degree has gone up.  Demand goes up, supply goes up more slowly so price goes up.  

It used to be that houses (or land, property, whatever) was only available to those who could pay for it.  The 30 year mortgage wasn't always a thing.  But, when it became available, guess what happened to the cost of real estate?  As my grandfather used to say, they aren't making any more land.  

Back to education....it's an interesting spot that we're in.  The original intent of higher education, as you point out, was not necessarily economic advancement.  It was education.  But now with the "democratization" of higher education - availability of funds to pay for it, at whatever cost - I think the natural demand now is that the "consumer" get something for their money. 

On a GRM level, it's sort of like someone having money to throw at a project car, which provides enjoyment beyond the basic purpose of a car as a transportation tool, versus someone shelling our $400 per month for 4 wheels and a seat that has to start and run Every Single Time to get them to their job 20 miles away or they'll get fired.  So, everyone's got a car now...but what's happened to cars?  

I've read articles (usually written by professors or others in academia) about how the "purity" of higher education is suffering at the hands of the beancounters.  Sound familiar?  We need to be realistic.  Higher education serves a purpose.  What that purpose might be varies from person to person, and is dependent upon how much they're willing to pay for it.  The problem is we've got a bunch of 18 year olds being shuffled into the equivalent of buying a 1980's supercar project when what they really need is a 2018 Corolla.  The supercar projects will still be out there for those with the desire for them and the ability to pay for them.  

EDIT:

You wrote: "Now the numbers have swung the other way, or are at least moving in that direction, making for an ostensibly more equally educated society (this is hardly the reality, but that's another topic). But because the economic circumstances of college students are still widely divergent, many of those who attend today are saddled with large debts that ironically work against their primary (and incorrect) expectation that a college education will bring them prosperity."

The reality, it seems to me, _is_ this topic- as you stated, the cost of the education, the debts, all of that- works against the ACTUAL primary goal of the education.  Someone staring down the barrel of 20 years of debt payments is thinking, I damn well better get something out of this that will get me a damn good job, and is focusing on that.  Meanwhile, the kid with the free ride or the means to pay for the education up front with little worry about the money has the luxury of education for education's sake.  

Tom_Spangler
Tom_Spangler GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
8/8/18 9:03 a.m.
mtn said:

A few points I want to touch on: 

1: I've met very few tradesmen who aren't physically broken at age 50. 

Yeah, that too. Now that I'm pushing 50 myself, I'm very glad that I earn a living in front of a keyboard and not crawling under sinks or breathing welding fumes or being outside in the heat and cold. I worked on a survey crew when I was in college, so I dug enough holes and pounded enough stakes to know that I really wanted to get that degree so I could have an office job. smiley

Having said that, the trades are absolutely a great career path for a lot of people. And the high schools are starting to realize it, too. We started going to the "college planning nights" that our high school puts on when our kids were freshmen. One of the things they emphasized is that they aren't actually advocating for every kid to go to a four-year university, they are simply advocating for some kind of post-HS education, which could be traditional college, it could be community college, or it could be a trade school. There are way more options out there than a lot of people think.

The0retical
The0retical UltraDork
8/8/18 9:05 a.m.
Fueled by Caffeine said:

I don't know about the whole trades vs. college deal.  I understand you can make good scratch working trades.  I used to see the cars the guys at Pratt and Whitney drove vs. what management drove....  but..  You give up a certain ammount of freedom.  Want to move your established plumbing business to a new state..  Good luck.... No such thing as a free lunch either way.. 

 

At nearly 40 I still have nearly $70k in student loans left, but that's between my wife and myself and three masters degrees.  We did pretty good there, but agree it would be nicer to be debt free earlier.. Though.. I see people my age who are debt free and they're efficiently no better or no worse off than me.  Usually they're all at lower levels in the company than myself..   no such thing as a free lunch and you need to determine in life how much you are willing to sacrifice to get where you want to go...   It's all a personal choice.

I can actually speak directly to this as I have both a MS in Project Management, a BS in Information Technology, and an A&P.

Both the degrees and the trade certification have been valuable to me but, the degrees have really only valuable in a strong economy. The reason for this is because I'm still young turning 34 this year. I came out of school in 2008 right as the bottom fell out of the US economy. No one wanted an employee that just graduated school when the labor market was flooded with experienced people willing to work for the the same amount of money. After a year of looking for an IT position as a network admin, code monkey, or anything above a technical support rep position (with 500+ resumes out there), I ended up going to work for a regional airline for $40k ish a year with open overtime. I kept applying elsewhere and landed a position working for a DoD contractor as a field maintenance tech for their products making low six digits.

Now that economy has turned around I was able to get a management position consulting on ERP/Accounting/MES software. That allowed me to be home, despite making less than I did as a field service rep, and permit SWMBO to be a stay at home mom like she wanted.

Trades may not be something you want to do forever but, from my experience, they seem to be more insulated for massive economic down turns if you choose wisely. The other advantage of choosing wisely is that you can get your white collar education from your employer as a benefit if you look carefully. Other employers offer student loan assistance, again if you look carefully.

You won't be able to move your plumbing business but there's a lot of call for boilermakers, pipe fitters, and A&P's.

 

STM317
STM317 SuperDork
8/8/18 9:07 a.m.
Fueled by Caffeine said:

In reply to mtn :

I took on a boat load of loans to get my MBA...  Within 5 years of getting it I had tripled my salary... but no such thing as a free lunch.  My rough calculations are that it will be worth around $1.5 - 2M in lifetime earnings for me... 

Can I ask why maximizing your lifetime earnings is such a priority? I'm younger than you, and could retire today on that "extra" amount. Why are you so driven to continue to work longer than you have to, just to earn money you probably won't need?

Fueled by Caffeine
Fueled by Caffeine MegaDork
8/8/18 9:11 a.m.

In reply to STM317 :

who says I won't need it.  The discussion was about wether an MBA was "worth it"..  My argument is that it's a good ROI even with all the negative press.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UberDork
8/8/18 9:13 a.m.

In reply to STM317 :

Ever play Monopoly?  You can keep going around and around, collecting your $200 and a few odd rents here and there, but once you start amassing properties and building houses, IT'S ON MOTHERberkeleyER!

STM317
STM317 SuperDork
8/8/18 9:17 a.m.

In reply to Fueled by Caffeine :

Needs and wants are different things right? Nobody really needs "extra" millions of dollars on top of a couple of decades of healthy earnings.

But I understand that your plan is based on your goals, and yours alone. Everybody has different goals. I just know that my outlook is very different, and so I wanted to try to understand a differing viewpoint. I'm checking out and doing whatever I want as soon as it's reasonable. I want to enjoy my time while I'm still fairly young/healthy rather than work for The Man until I'm 65ish chasing a few more bucks. Plans could change of course (We'll see what Healthcare and college costs look like in 20 years) but early to mid 50s is looking good right now. Decent market returns could push that up too.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
8/8/18 9:28 a.m.
Tom_Spangler said:
mtn said:

A few points I want to touch on: 

1: I've met very few tradesmen who aren't physically broken at age 50. 

Yeah, that too. Now that I'm pushing 50 myself, I'm very glad that I earn a living in front of a keyboard and not crawling under sinks or breathing welding fumes or being outside in the heat and cold. I worked on a survey crew when I was in college, so I dug enough holes and pounded enough stakes to know that I really wanted to get that degree so I could have an office job. smiley

Having said that, the trades are absolutely a great career path for a lot of people. And the high schools are starting to realize it, too. We started going to the "college planning nights" that our high school puts on when our kids were freshmen. One of the things they emphasized is that they aren't actually advocating for every kid to go to a four-year university, they are simply advocating for some kind of post-HS education, which could be traditional college, it could be community college, or it could be a trade school. There are way more options out there than a lot of people think.

I have a college degree, but made most of my career in the trades. 

Its true that many tradespeople have busted up bodies by the time they are 50, but I would suggest it has very little to do with their work or their lack of a degree, and a whole lot to do with their lifestyle choices. 

Less booze, less carousing, and less bad decisions in their off-time might lead to better health.  I’m 56, and am in much better physical shape than many of my 30 year old counterparts. Iplay adult rec sports, am over twice the average age in the league, and can run rings around 75% of them. 

I don’t think there is a direct correlation connecting trades work to poor health. There is no question that it made me healthier. 

I know a lot of desk jockies who are under such stress that they are nothing more than a heart attack waiting to happen. 

02Pilot
02Pilot Dork
8/8/18 9:30 a.m.

Agreed that there is a disconnect between what students are being pushed toward and what would best serve their goals. The AA degree is usually seen as a stepping stone toward a BA, but I think a lot of employers would be well-served by considering it rather than a BA/BS as a minimum level of educational accomplishment. Even with obvious variances from institution to institution, the widespread availability and general affordability of community colleges would seem to provide a sweet spot between an expensive four-year degree and none at all. Sadly, many community colleges have their own issues that limit the utility of the standalone degree they offer.

volvoclearinghouse said:

In reply to 02Pilot :

You wrote: "Now the numbers have swung the other way, or are at least moving in that direction, making for an ostensibly more equally educated society (this is hardly the reality, but that's another topic). But because the economic circumstances of college students are still widely divergent, many of those who attend today are saddled with large debts that ironically work against their primary (and incorrect) expectation that a college education will bring them prosperity."

The reality, it seems to me, _is_ this topic- as you stated, the cost of the education, the debts, all of that- works against the ACTUAL primary goal of the education.  Someone staring down the barrel of 20 years of debt payments is thinking, I damn well better get something out of this that will get me a damn good job, and is focusing on that.  Meanwhile, the kid with the free ride or the means to pay for the education up front with little worry about the money has the luxury of education for education's sake.  

To be clear, it works against the "actual primary goal" of most students, which is to insure their future prosperity, rather than the "actual primary goal" of a traditional liberal arts education, which is something rather different.

KyAllroad (Jeremy)
KyAllroad (Jeremy) PowerDork
8/8/18 9:32 a.m.

I fail to understand why more young people aren't scrambling to get into the military.  If I could have a do-over and go back to 18 year old me it'd be Air Force for 20-25 years.  Earn my degree while in, maybe take a commission along the way.  Get out with a decent retirement in my 40's and continue using that degree and experience in the civilian world.  Nursing, biomedical engineering, radiology, and many many more fields are available for someone willing to don the uniform. 

Life happens, some people have it happen to them but the smart ones make things happen and they end up in a much better situation.

The0retical
The0retical UltraDork
8/8/18 9:40 a.m.

In reply to KyAllroad (Jeremy) :

I dealt with this a lot while working as the lead mechanic in Afghanistan. I had a good relationship with a number of the younger guys who were just about done with their stint and were looking for some advice for if they were to reenlist or if they were get out. I also spoke with a number of students coming out of high school at the behest of some of my friends and acquaintances.

You still have to be careful of what you choose as a career path in the military. It's macho to be a door kicker but how many small arms experts does the world really need? Sure you can be a cook for a stint but how are you planning to leverage that when you get out? Are you planning on leveraging your education benefits while you're in or just when you get out? (The answer to this should be yes because it doesn't affect from your GI bill most of the time.)

Career paths like communications, supply chain, most segments of aviation, or vehicle maintenance easily can be parlayed into a good career outside of the military.

Security forces, infantry, EOD, cooks, or fuel pit experience tends to be less relevant when searching for good paying jobs.

There's potentially a lot of advantages to going down the military track but it's also possible to get very little out of it. You need more guidance than recruiters are willing to give you sometimes.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
8/8/18 9:50 a.m.
Tom_Spangler said:
Adrian_Thompson said:

Paying room and board on top of tuition is to me, plain dumb.  Stay at home, work and pay as you go.

I agree with everything else you said, but not necessarily this part. It varies by the kid. At some point, they all have to leave the nest, and going off to college and living in a dorm is a good way to do it with training wheels, so to speak. You're away from Mom and Dad, but you're still in a semi-supervised environment where you don't have to pay utility bills or go grocery shopping. After a year or two of dorm living, most kids move into apartments with roommates, which is another step toward independence. As I said, it varies by the kid, though. I stayed at home throughout my bachelors degree and didn't move out until my wife and I got engaged and got a place together. It worked for us, but part of me wishes I'd had more independence at a younger age. College is about more than going to classes and getting a piece of paper, you are learning to learn, and how to do adult things for the first time, too.

I actually agree with you, but my point is based on the current 'unaffordable' model of college.  Yes, it's far better to get out and stand on your own, at least part way.  But then I'm a proponent of 100% free higher education.  Look at what the country got out of the GI Bill, I'm not talking about the current watered down version, but post WWII when it really paid for an education.  I"ve seen various figures over the years from the return being five to ten times what it cost the US government to send all thought hundreds of thousands of returning GI"s to various higher education, but to me it's hard to argue with.  In that case, or if your family can afford it, head out, move away.  What I'm really railing against is (and I've seen it) an 18 year old going away to college for four years and coming away with $50-$70K in debt for a Liberal Arts degree (and I am NOT dissing liberal arts) and being stuck in a $10-15/hr job with essentially no chance of paying it back.  These people then spend their lfe paying student debt and not being able to afford cars, houses, vacations that directly help the economy grow.  I didn't want to go down this road as I feel it's awfully close to political flounder territory, but felt I needed to clear up a misconception I may have portrayed.

 

Personal note.  I did move away, but as I say being a Brit meant my tuition and living expenses were 100% paid for by the State, I graduated with no debt.  As a result of school I moved out of my parents house at age 18 and have never been back or asked for money from them.

WonkoTheSane
WonkoTheSane GRM+ Memberand Dork
8/8/18 9:56 a.m.

I think the people arguing against the trades because "50 year olds are worn out" are also overlooking the fact that when you pick up an AS or cert in something for < $20k, you can change direction pretty easy.   Get into welding and decide you really want a philosophy degree?  Okay, at least you have a job pulling down good money while you get it, for example.   If you go into plumbing, open your own business, etc, etc, the different state certification test isn't going to be a deterrent to opening a branch business in a different town.

I agree with those who argue that many (most?) 18 year olds aren't really in a position to bet 60-100k on "what they want to do with the rest of their life."   Getting into the trades affords a whole lotta flexibility at a low cost of entry if you don't have your heart set on being X.

I'm always beating the machining drum, since that's my industry, but right now if you go to our local tech schools, pick up an 18 month certificate in entry level machine operation, they've got a 98% hire rate RIGHT OUT OF THE PROGRAM and it costs less than 8k.  Go pick up 50k base per year.   Yes, the entry level job might be boring sometimes, it might be hard occasionally, but whatever.  Keep working around equipment and learning how it works and how to program the machines either by experience or further schooling, now you're looking at the ability to do anything from programming to applications engineering for OEMs, to rigging and machine setup/testing/cert, etc.   All of those paths can lead to over 100k/yr easily. 

If you're into it, by the time you're 35 you can be at a desk, out in the shop, whatever you choose to do if you're motivated.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse UberDork
8/8/18 10:05 a.m.
02Pilot said:

Agreed that there is a disconnect between what students are being pushed toward and what would best serve their goals. The AA degree is usually seen as a stepping stone toward a BA, but I think a lot of employers would be well-served by considering it rather than a BA/BS as a minimum level of educational accomplishment. Even with obvious variances from institution to institution, the widespread availability and general affordability of community colleges would seem to provide a sweet spot between an expensive four-year degree and none at all. Sadly, many community colleges have their own issues that limit the utility of the standalone degree they offer.

volvoclearinghouse said:

In reply to 02Pilot :

You wrote: "Now the numbers have swung the other way, or are at least moving in that direction, making for an ostensibly more equally educated society (this is hardly the reality, but that's another topic). But because the economic circumstances of college students are still widely divergent, many of those who attend today are saddled with large debts that ironically work against their primary (and incorrect) expectation that a college education will bring them prosperity."

The reality, it seems to me, _is_ this topic- as you stated, the cost of the education, the debts, all of that- works against the ACTUAL primary goal of the education.  Someone staring down the barrel of 20 years of debt payments is thinking, I damn well better get something out of this that will get me a damn good job, and is focusing on that.  Meanwhile, the kid with the free ride or the means to pay for the education up front with little worry about the money has the luxury of education for education's sake.  

To be clear, it works against the "actual primary goal" of most students, which is to insure their future prosperity, rather than the "actual primary goal" of a traditional liberal arts education, which is something rather different.

I can see how it could work against both goals, in a way.  The actual primary goal if the traditional liberal arts education could be affected if the demands of the consumers (the students) are to get jobs so they can pay off their loans.  

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