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College...a ripoff?

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posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 12:48 PM
Hi! I'm a new reader of the boards and I thought I'd ask everyone a question. I have been out of high school for about 4 years and I finally decided to go back. I've taken some course at my local Community College and a few at ITT tech. But I would really like to go to a regular four-year. I discussed this with my firends and here's what they think:

->Friend A thinks that 4 year colleges are a big rip-off. You pay thousands of dollars and most likely get yourself in debt. Then in the end, it may take you forever to get a job. And when you do, it not even be in your chosen field. The catch usually is, you are fresh out of school and you have no experience. The only way to get a job is to have experience, but you need a job for that experience. What you do have is a fancy $20,000 degree, though! Here's an appilcation to McDonalds...

->Friend B thinks that college is good. But, its just too expensive, plus you are taking alot of fluff. Your courses are about 25% your chosen major, 15% major supporting classes, 10% minor satifying courses/courses you'd thought were interesting and the last 50% is just stuff that has nothing to do with what you'd like to do. Classes that supposedly "round out' your education.

->Friend C just thinks college is just a waste of time and money. There are many certifications (A+, Cisco, etc) and trade schools, and learn-on-the-jobs that are availible. Some high schools are even working vocational courses into the students' 11th and 12th grade years. Why go school for an addition 4-8 years, get yourself in debt, when you might not even get a job.

I'm just curious, what do you guys think? Is college just an expensive rip-off? For the most part, I'd like to go just for personal enrichment. But I would like a nice job in the end for all of my hard work - and to pay off my student loans!

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 12:53 PM
I will walk away from ITT tech with an Associates degree in Computer Electronic Engineering Technologies in November. It cost an arm and a leg, but I will have done it in 2 years rather than 6 at UofL or 4 at UofK. I also maintain a 3.7 GPA because I have at the most, 5 people in my class. That equates to about 1 hour and 12 minutes of one on one time with my professors. You cant get that in a University setting. Overall, I am very happy with my choice of education.

Edit to add:

I am also considering going an extra year just to get my Bachlors overwith. # years for a Bachlors...... You cant beat that time scale.

[edit on 2/16/05 by Kidfinger]

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 04:42 PM
Getting a degree is worthy investment, becasue companies these days don't care about experaince, they want a peice of paper that says you can do it.

The problem is that Colleges dont have any bottom line per se, and typcailly the rate of tuition increase has been 5 times the inflation reate over the last 20 years.

It also depends on what your trying to get. Some things are better to get at Tech schools others at colleges

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 05:53 PM
If you want to go to a 4 year college but also want to keep your cost down, get the general education (first two years) done at a community college. Then transfer to a State School and get your Bachelors.

IMHO everyone should have a minimum of a 4 year college education but it's almost imperative in this day and age to go beyond that and get a Masters degree.

Of course you can always go to a trade school of some sort and that is just as good as getting a Bachelors in some fields.

I was fortunate enough that my parents supported me through my 10 years of education (I went to 13 different schools and took 8 years just to get my bachelors!) but I know that my husband was bogged down with student loans just from getting his bachelors and it was really stressful for him. Thankfully he married me and because of the way my family values education, my Dad paid off his loans as a wedding gift.

An education is something that NO ONE can ever take away from you and is well worth the financial cost!


posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 06:08 PM
College the 4 year kind at a university is a waste of time. Pretty much of left wing factory for corupting young minds. I wasted over 50 000 dollars, to become a geologist. In school the proffs spent more time bragging about themselves, their families, their papers they published, must see T.V., their favorite sports team, etc. then actually teaching. I got a job on the oil rigs as a roughneck, then motor hand, then derrick hand. Then eventually became a wellsite geologist. I could teach a monkey how to do my job. Maybe 10% of what I learned in University actually helps my job. Although a degree is required, it shouldn't be. I will make at least a quarter million dollars this year but I still think that University is a political money making scam to brainwash young adults. I used to agree with my proffs but these teachers don't actually live in the real world. Once your out in the real world, paying taxes you will take a different perspective on life.
You still can make 300 000 dollars a year with a grade nine eduaction. Work the oil rigs a couple of years, then become a directional driller and travel the world.

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 06:50 PM
Well I can tell you I'm glad I went to college because it opened up my mind to many things, but the whole current concept of "school of education" to become a teacher did me very little good. There was a lot of theory that hasn't amounted to a hill of beans and beyond the like 2 clases that actually taught me how to do lesson plans, design a classroom, and do disciplime, the rest I honestly can't even recall. Essentually about a semester's worth of information was crammed into 2 years worth of classes. So, I guess it all depends. There are definetely colleges that have wonderful programs that teach practical experience, you just have to shop around and do your research. I will stick to what I said earlier though, the "college experience" is ultimately worth the price of admission in itself. Let me qualify this however by saying that the "college experience" can be a state school like in NC where it costs $3000 a year to go to school just as well as an ivy league when you leave you'll have more debt then some small countries type university.

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 07:22 PM
Well, I think I am a pretty good expert on this type of thing. I have worked in a University for 6 years, 5 of which have been as an Academic Counselor. So I am fairly qualified to attack this one.
The answer to the question is this" It depends on what you want to do.
Most students come into the University thinking they are training for a job. You aren't really. The University experience is a way for students to explore the limits of their own intellectual ability. To study things you find curious and to investigate things you never had the chance to study (and most likely did not know even existed!) in Hisgh School.
The "fluff" your friends refer to has a point. If your cirriculum consisted of only courses in your chosen major you wuld not see the connection between your major and the rest of the world. All the coursework you take early on (all the courses everyone complains about, English Comp, History, Math, etc.) connect to your major. Without the foundational courses you have no context in which to really understand your chosen area. Without being able to effectively communicate through written and oral mediums you can't succeed in you chosen field.
Most people in university really don't ever get jobs in their major fields, but that is ok, the 4 year degree is a vehicle to get you on top of the resume pile, to broaden your own horizons and most importantly, to teach you critically analyze the world around you so it makes sense.

All that being said, college is not for everyone, and that is good too. People have to follow what their hearts and minds want them to do. If that means getting certified in automotive tech, great (they make a ton o dough too
) if it is to go to ITT and get C++ certified or learn the intricate details of how to repair electronics.. that is great as well.

Ultimately, you need to do what you think is best. If you are looking to get a degree that will make you a lock for a job in what you study you really do need to look into tech schools because that ultimatley is not the point of University.
Hope this helps and feel free to u2u me if you want more info. I can get my hands on some good essays dealing with this kind of thing that I make my students in my classes read. OH HOHO I love giving homework!!

edited because the guy at the university (me) can't spell.

[edit on 16-2-2005 by observer]

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 07:25 PM
Yes giving homework is quite fun. However, above the complaints I get about it I always remind them, you are doing this assignment once, I have to see it 132 times

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 07:30 PM

Originally posted by jukyu
Yes giving homework is quite fun. However, above the complaints I get about it I always remind them, you are doing this assignment once, I have to see it 132 times

LOL!!!! True, true.

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 07:55 PM
I wanted to chime in and tell you that it depends on what you want to study, but Observer has taken care of that. Yes, there is A LOT of BS when you go to college. That is something that makes a B.A. or B.S. so coveted, you can take all the BS and make it through. Personally, I am so happy I decided to go back to college at the age of 23, and years later about to graduate. It definately depends on you field/major. My chosen field requires me to go to grad school to be successful
Do what you want: in the future, if you think you might regret not going to school now...then go. The worst thing that can happen is that you might find out it wasn't for you. Be wise about the money it costs, there seems to be a lot of rip-off schools out there, but you can still get a great education at a great price (hint:stay away from expensive private schools). You seem like you've got a head on your shoulders...
best of luck

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 08:09 PM
Also, the people you know. Networking with people can get you a job. But yes, Big colleges are not for everyone. It wasn't for me, I am currently looking into ITT tech though.

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 08:56 PM
Im in college now, only 2 years left for me. In reality every job sucks. You'll never get rich working for someone else. You must start your own business. Start off and buy a franchise. Many are profitable. THe only thing is that a college degree will help me get a job to raise capital enough for my businesses. Working is for dummies
. better to employ than to be employed remember that.

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 09:04 PM
Hey, thanks for the responses. Its making me think a little bit more about what I want to do. Good thing is, I'm a few courses away from my AA in general education. Bad thing is, I have no clue what I want to do in life. I wanted to be a Veterinarian (is that even spelled right
), but I changed my mind because I didn't want to stay in school for about 7-8years. Changed to computer science, then back to general ed. I'm 22 now by the way.

I as I said earilier, I love to learn. I might not be the brightest crayon in the box, but I love to learn stuff. And I'm thinking about taking up Zoology and going into research. But I say that today, then next week I'll have a whole new plan.

Anyway, thanks again for reading my babbling and replying.

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 09:59 PM
Its very worth it. The whole "you'll never get a job after university because of no experience" argument os bologna. Internships are the key. You could have a flat 3.0 gpa, good, but not great, and have one or two internships under your belt, and you WILL be selected for a job over someone from possibly a better school with a 3.7 or perfect gpa. Internships, internships, internships!!! Not to mention they give you a sense of what you like and what you don't. Meaning there is less of a chance youll be stuck doing something you hate.

My friend put it best i think. "The point of college is to learn in 4 years, what someone would learn in 10-12 if they just jumped into the work force"

Also there is little chance that you'd be able to attend a graduate school of worth without a prior university background. Graduate schools are expensive, but companies usually offer to pay for you to go to grad school. FOr instance, my friend after college went to work as a financial advisor for janus mutual funds. Had a finance degree. He expressed interest in going to grad school since joining the company. Since most grad schools wont accept people with less than 2 years job experience, he waited. When he applied, his company offered to pay for his expenses, and double his salary when he returned to a nice entry level strategic management position.

Hes 28 now, makes 110 a year, paid off his college loans a year ago, and has a really nice flat in downtown dallas.

That my friends is what university is for. It separates the sheep from the winners. All you have to do is put forth the effort. Considering its worth it, I dont know why anyone wouldnt.

[edit on 16-2-2005 by Galvatron]

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 10:06 PM
College is worth it if you choose the right major. No philosophy or anything unless you want to get your masters.

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 10:06 PM
If I had the choice to re-live 1997-1999, I would have chosen to go a different route. I was trying to get this piece of paper that would tell my future employer that I exceed in electronics. So, with some capitol, I went to one of the local colleges and hitched up for 2 years. The GI Bill helped (a lot), but the loans that were accumulating started to drag me down.

Long story short - I graduated in '99 and went to several different job placement services and I could not believe my ears. I just got my degree and those new employers were giving me job offers that were about 25% less than the last job I had. Come on, give me a break here. I don't work for peanuts.

Anyway, I scoured through the local job ads and found a place where I was employed for over 3 years as an IT dude. From NT 4.0 all the way up to Windows 2000 server. I learned Pervasive SQL 2000, replication, some VB, Crystal Reports, not to mention the odds and ends of configuring new computers, beta testing new software, etc. Remember, the degree I earned was in electronics.

The pay was good but I was soon getting burnt out and decided to move on to greener pastures.

So, with the money I saved, I bought a new Bobcat, dump trailer, flatbed trailer, several attachments and started my own business.

Being self employed is the way to go. Budget your money (ie. taxes every quarter) and don't go overboard. I tried living well in advance of my paychecks, but I've done some major plastic surgery since 2000. If I can't pay cash for it, I'm not buying it.

So, would I do it again. My answer, "No." College in my case was like adult daycare. Sure, I had a great math instructor, but as for the other classes, I could've taught them. Waste of time, in my opinion. No challenges for me.

Did anyone ever ask for my degree prior to hiring? Again, the answer is no. That piece of paper is now stored somewhere in my archives out in the ConEx box.

With the money I had spent on education, I would have rather invested it in real estate.

That's my opinion of college.


posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 10:10 PM
Good point NVBadboy, I could have taken that twenty thousand dollars and bought some realastate and be doing better now, instead of oweing twenty thousand, while making 16 dollars an hour.

[edit on 16-2-2005 by Snowman9]

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 10:14 PM
there is a difference between a 2 year college and a proper one. When in highschool i took some classes at a local college... they were easier than the highschool classes. If its a decent 4 year college, and your degree is something other than liberal arts, youll be fine and think its worth it. Not to mention scholarships are easy as sin to get. Just apply to around 80 or so, you're bound to get 5 or 6, write an essay, do some research, meet certain requirements ect. Its all easy stuff. Those 5 or 6 will add up to a couple grand, which usually covers room and board.

Just make the effort.

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 11:03 PM
Son of the lost maji your right.......

If you want to work for someone else have your house as your greatest "assest"(the banks) and spend your life being an employee the feds education system is perfect 4u. Go to college.

If you want to actually have the potential to make money & be the one in charge build a business, buy a franchise.

I determine my worth. oh ya I went to college and I am glad I did but it will have nothing to do with how much I make.

[edit on 16-2-2005 by Lking4]

posted on Feb, 16 2005 @ 11:22 PM
I am currently at my second college, and I have to say that it is worth it. I started out as a CSE major at ASU and after a year, decided it (CSE) wasn’t for me. I then moved back to Washington where I am now working through my international business degree. Personally, I think the "fluff" courses are even worth it, as I have learned a lot of things that I find interesting (as well as picked up on what I want to minor in) that are in no way related to my major.

On the downside, it is expensive. There really isn’t a way around that. Just a week ago I had to pick up an accounting book that cost me $125, and I will be luck to sell it back for in four months for $20.

My only advice, stemming from personal experience would be to live in the dorms for a semester or two. I lived 30 minuets away from ASU when I attended, and I feel like I would have done a lot more socially if I lived in the dorms for at least a semester. Same thing here in Washington, got started straight away in an apartment and feel like there is a lot more to do closer to school. This may not be an issue for you if the college is in your home town, but that’s my two cents. Other than that, just apply yourself, you’ll get out what you put in.

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