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The Value of College Education?
Posted: 01 February 2013 11:43 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Several questions, looking for opinions and views on the matter.

How does a College Education add value to the economy?

Is an “education bubble” even possible?

Does anyone have general critiques/ suggestions/ improvements that they would like to put forward regarding College Education. (aside from obvious, more secular teachers)

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Posted: 01 February 2013 12:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Well, there’s this info from the BLS. It equates higher Ed. To lower unemployment and the stats are current:

http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm


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Posted: 01 February 2013 01:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Having just had one child graduate and two more currently in college I have at times wondered this myself.  I think you could make a good argument that there are many kids going to college today who probably shouldn’t. College isnt for everyone and from my own observations I have seen many kids who really dont appreciate college or are not real college material who go off to college because of peer and parental pressure. In our neighborhood its just expected. If you dont go to college you are a complete loser in the eyes of many. Its a shame because many of these kids would better futures and much less debt if they went to a trade school.

Pushing so many kids into college has caused the cost benefit calculations to get even worse. It has increased the demand for a college education and essentially given many colleges a blank check to raise tuitions at rates far exceeding the rate of inflation. The government is partly to blame as well because they have made college money too easily obtainable allowing many students to go into debt far beyond any reasonable limit. When demand continues to increase and students have an endless supply of funds available there is nothing to put the brakes on tuition costs.

I think college is still a good choice for most kids who are academically inclined especially in an ever more technological world, but we really need to stop looking at it as the only road to success for every student and we need to have reasonable limits on college loans that take into account the predicted ability of the student to pay them back someday.

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Posted: 01 February 2013 02:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Depends on what you mean by college.  Trade schools can teach skills that permit a person to be able to get along financially in life.  Liberal Arts, while important to study of society, not so much in today’s world.  Engineering schools, med schools etc. are IMO in a way advanced trade schools and produce people with useful skills.  There are decisions that have to be made here that have economic consequences for the individual.  And most of the time yes college has become much to expensive for the service it sells.

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Posted: 01 February 2013 02:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Interesting questions.

Obviously college is a necessity for some careers - Engineering, Health Care, Scientists, Teaching, and our society cannot exist without this stuff; so the value is unquestionable here.

However, as Macgyver said, it’s not for everyone.

I am a perfect example of someone that is not college material!

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Posted: 01 February 2013 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Having just had one child graduate and two more currently in college I have at times wondered this myself.  I think you could make a good argument that there are many kids going to college today who probably shouldn’t. College isnt for everyone and from my own observations I have seen many kids who really dont appreciate college or are not real college material who go off to college because of peer and parental pressure. In our neighborhood its just expected. If you dont go to college you are a complete loser in the eyes of many. Its a shame because many of these kids would better futures and much less debt if they went to a trade school.

Pushing so many kids into college has caused the cost benefit calculations to get even worse. It has increased the demand for a college education and essentially given many colleges a blank check to raise tuitions at rates far exceeding the rate of inflation. The government is partly to blame as well because they have made college money too easily obtainable allowing many students to go into debt far beyond any reasonable limit. When demand continues to increase and students have an endless supply of funds available there is nothing to put the brakes on tuition costs.


Exorbitant tuition and loans (FASFA) are two reasons to caution your kid about considering attending a college. Too often parents push their little Einsteins into a college or university without first considering the financial burden, and we’re talking thousands of dollars no matter what the career. No, college isn’t for everyone but there are, as many of you have already pointed out, alternatives to liberal arts degrees. Technical schools are on the rise and they provide associate arts and liberal arts degrees in practically every field. The key is the student’s desire, not the parents. I have seen this in every class I’ve taught for the past 20 years. students enroll in a freshman intro class and at least 5-7 drop out by the midterm. They just don’t want to put in the work and so they are left with the bill. It’s now much more difficult BTW to apply for a student loan and the gov’t (state and national) has tightened down on defaulters. Now drop outs are made to begin paying their loan debts immediately after the college notifies the loan agency whereas before you wouldn’t be hassled for at least 6 months. Also tuition is rising due to a cutback of funding by most state legislatures in an attempt to balance their own budgets. Ohio colleges and universities have seen cuts so drastic that some are laying off or forcing the early retirement of tenured professors. So, if your kid wants to delay a college career for a year and find a job, let him. A year spent as an unskilled laborer stocking shelves at Walmart is the best incentive to head for college, be it liberal or applied arts.

 

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Posted: 01 February 2013 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I am currently in the midst of an internal conflict. I am halfway through college liberal arts degree in philosophy. I am still keeping myself out of debt, aka if I quit now I am not struggling under excessive college debt. However I am currently considering changing my focus and make an attempt at the solar energy industry. I think I have learned all I need to satiate my continuing philosophical inquiries and projects on the side. I am currently worried that there is no magical job at the end my particular liberal arts rainbow.

If I did try to go into solar energy though, is there a technical education that would help me get into it or would I need to be considering switching degrees into engineering? I don’t really mind where in the solar industry I end up. I could be assembling solar panels for all I care… I am simply sick of currently working in the military industrial complex.

Send any personal advice to me in PM so we can keep this topic from veering off at odd angles.

Should we prompt more technical schooling?

Also in the same vein of suggestions of change in education, has anyone read the following article regarding research abuse and questioing the usefulness of homework?
http://www.alfiekohn.org/teaching/research.htm
His view is definitely a departure from traditional education methodology. But I wonder if there is any other research present that challenges his view, and if not, should we push for the kind of changes he is espousing?

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Posted: 01 February 2013 08:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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TheAudience - 01 February 2013 07:15 PM

If I did try to go into solar energy though, is there a technical education that would help me get into it or would I need to be considering switching degrees into engineering? I don’t really mind where in the solar industry I end up. I could be assembling solar panels for all I care… I am simply sick of currently working in the military industrial complex.

 

An Engineering degree is probably the main path for the solar industry, but majoring in the earth sciences, like Geology or Geography would be very useful too.

Or look around online for solar equipment manufacturers; take any employment opportunity they offer.

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Posted: 01 February 2013 11:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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TheAudience - 01 February 2013 11:43 AM

How does a College Education add value to the economy?

Is an “education bubble” even possible?

If we really wanted to educate all children inexpensively then a National Recommended Reading List would make a lot of sense.  But our educational system is part of the process of creating and maintaining a class structured society.  People with more money can pay for more expensive education for their children who then tend to become more economically more successful than the poorly educated.

But now we have these cheap computers.  A two hundred dollar tablet has more processing power than the mainframe at the engineering school I attended way back when.

But still if we really wanted to educate ALL kids then the problem is what to load on the computers.

Why hasn’t double-entry accounting been mandatory for decades?

The Tyranny of Words (1938) by Stuart Chase
http://www.anxietyculture.com/tyranny.htm
http://archive.org/details/tyrannyofwords00chas
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9H1StY1nU8

A Short History of the World (1922) by H. G. Wells (not sci-fi but an SF writer’s perspective)
http://www.bartleby.com/86/

Thinking as a Science (1916) by Henry Hazlitt
http://www.scribd.com/doc/104611461/Henry-Hazlitt-Thinking-as-a-Science
http://librivox.org/thinking-as-a-science-by-henry-hazlitt/

Omnilingual (Feb 1957) by H. Beam Piper
http://www.tor.com/blogs/2012/03/scientific-language-h-beam-pipers-qomnilingualq
http://www.feedbooks.com/book/308/omnilingual
http://librivox.org/omnilingual-by-h-beam-piper/

psik

[ Edited: 02 February 2013 08:25 AM by psikeyhackr ]
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Posted: 02 February 2013 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Of course there are many ways to prepare for making a living as an adult, and college offers quite a few of them.  However, there are other facets of being an adult than making a living.  I’m often dismayed by talking with people who haven’t the slightest understanding of critical thinking and get sucked into stupid cons from many sources.  Similarly, I’m also bothered by how many people haven’t the slightest understanding of how our political system works and accept some of the silliest junk fed them by the media. 

I believe most people are quite capable of understanding those.  Just because students with lower IQs may take longer to learn, doesn’t mean they can’t learn.  However, they quickly get left behind and school becomes meaningless to them.  I’d be quite willing to reduce college attendance if we had superb elementary and secondary programs with a very low ratio of teacher to students and effective remedial systems. 

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Posted: 03 February 2013 07:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I believe most people are quite capable of understanding those.  Just because students with lower IQs may take longer to learn, doesn’t mean they can’t learn.  However, they quickly get left behind and school becomes meaningless to them.  I’d be quite willing to reduce college attendance if we had superb elementary and secondary programs with a very low ratio of teacher to students and effective remedial systems. 


That’s what we have been preaching for years, Occam. Improving the quality of learning on that level as opposed to the quantity of the students in the classroom. In reality, packing a class reduces the quality as teachers have little time to work with each student on their learning level. And yes, even the brighter kids sometimes need time to absorb the info. If done properly kids don’t need to lug home a backpack full of homework, but with time constraints (45-50 min. Periods) and 30-40 students a teacher can’t adequately cover enough material to prepare a kid for a career, any career. You hit the nail on the head. Maybe we should adopt a European system where students take an appitude test that would sort out those who are college prepared, or ready for vocational training. Sometimes I think we’re too egalitarian in that respect. We say all kids should go to college when that’s just not true.

 

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Posted: 04 February 2013 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I’ve often wondered why public education has to be age related.  I never made it to college, but I partnered with a public school teacher for 25 years and am now married to another one; so while this opinion is based on hearsay evidence, I’ve heard a lot of it.  It seems pretty clear that while some, but maybe not even most teenagers are really ready to make decisions about what they want to learn and then commit to learning it, many aren’t.  (I wasn’t).  It seems most teachers find teaching adult ed. classes very rewarding; it’s a great experience to work in a room full of people who are committed to the learning. 

If they made me God, I’d propose an education system that guaranteed access to all individuals for something like 14 years of education, (at least).  I’d have an obligatory elementary school system, teaching the basic three Rs, then the school system would be open to anyone regardless of age.  A person could take a few years to discover that sweeping floors for a career has it’s limitations and return to school as a motivated student.  Classrooms might be quite different places if 15 year old children had to interact with adults dedicated to learning.  I know I’d love to have the time to really study physics, even at an advanced high school level and my wife’s AP history classes sound fascinating.

Ah,  regrets.  Too soon old, too late smart.

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Posted: 04 February 2013 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Ah,  regrets.  Too soon old, too late smart.


Actually no, it’s not. When I started college the first class I took was a freshman level English comp. class. One of the students was retired, in her mid 60’s and wanted a four year degree just for the challenge. She was a Donavan Scholar, a program for people over 60 to attend a college or university. I believe the program is still available if you want to check. My Father, who only completed one year at a community college went back in his late 70’s and took Spanish and anthropology just out of curiosity. It’s never too late to learn or begin a new career. There are also thousands of on line courses you can take and not leave your house. So don’t sell yourself short on either mental acuity or age!

 

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Posted: 04 February 2013 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Quoting Jeciron:

I’ve often wondered why public education has to be age related.

  True.  I started college at 17 and became a very good chemist along with getting a fair amount of general scientific knowledge.  However, I didn’t take any philosophy courses since they weren’t required.  Only when I was in my late forties did I decide to check them out at a nearby University of California.  They and the ethics courses were great and quite valuable to my generalized understanding, but I’m not sure I’d have appreciated them when I was a kid.

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Posted: 30 April 2013 12:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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With this topic “How Does College Education add value to the economy?” What your mind thinking of? Well, education is very important to people. It can give us knowledge and learning. One of the best thing in taking college is that you can now choose your ideal career. And most importantly, no more work hassle than other people who will work hard just to get higher wages. Having a college diploma is now the biggest achievement in your life you must bear in mind that you can now work with your ideal company with the biggest building having your own computer and your office.

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Posted: 30 April 2013 06:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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prestonisidore - 30 April 2013 12:53 AM

With this topic “How Does College Education add value to the economy?” What your mind thinking of?

I think that is a really important point.

Is the objective to add value to THE ECONOMY or to add value to THE INDIVIDUAL.

Humans exist to serve THE ECONOMY!

Suppose the economy runs on lies but most people are not supposed to figure out the lies.  They are supposed to be suckers used by the system.

When do we hear any economists suggest that accounting be mandatory in schools?  And yet they talk about consumers being RATIONAL.  The also talk about Adam Smith being in favor of enlightened self interest.  But double-entry accounting is 700 years old and that was among the first things corporations used computers for in the 50’s.  So wouldn’t mandatory accounting enlighten children?  If it is 700 years old how hard can it be?

The Accounting Game: Basic Accounting Fresh From the Lemonade Stand
exceltip(dot)com/book-1570713960.html
fool(dot)com/personal-finance/general/2006/10/18/foolish-book-review-quotthe-accounting-gamequot.aspx

Radically Simple Accounting by Madeline Bailey
qccomputing(dot)com/radical-accounting-book.htm

Does this make sense?

I think education has changed too much since the 50s and not for the better.  It’s a source of jobs for educators, many of whom are not very good at it and it seems a lot of best ones quit.  But those that stay behind keep dishing out the same old propaganda.

The trouble with being a kid is that you think adults know what they are talking about.  The trouble with most adults is that what they say may have made some degree of sense 20 or 30 years before they say it.  Is their thinking up to date with what is happening RIGHT NOW?

This was education 20 years ago:

youtube.com/watch?v=p0wk4qG2mIg

But this is what some educators were writing 50 years ago:

onlinelibrary.wiley(dot)com/doi/10.1002/sce.3730430106/abstract

So why don’t we have a National Recommended Reading List?  I wonder how many grade schools kids, if exposed to such a list, would regard college as a waste of time by the time they were 18 years old.

Children and educators must now deal with these:

youtube.com/watch?v=D1vZRR05VNs

Will loading the RIGHT STUFF on them burst the education bubble?

A 32 gigabyte microSD can hold from 3,000 to 90,000 books depending on the size, format and amount of graphics and pictures.  That is not counting audio and video.  So is conventional education obsolete but professional educators do not want to see 90% of their industry go up in smoke?  Gimme that olde time science fiction.

users.aber.ac.uk/dgc/funtheyhad.html

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