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Once a Leader, U.S. Lags in College Degrees

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posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 12:45 PM
I have to agree with some of the other posts that college is a scam in the US. I work with many poeple with 4 years degrees in specific fields, a couple with doctorates, and the degree does not guarantee an understanding of that particular field.

That is one reason why I support tech schools or trade schools that educate people in certain professions. Construction, programming, mechanics, etc..... What we need is people with a true understanding of their chosen career.

Most 4 year schools can only guarantee that their students will learn the mechanics of beer bongs. So I am not surprised at these stats.

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 12:47 PM
The "Higher Education System" is little more than a cash cow for financial interests, and a social club for elitists. The main effort of nearly every major university chancellor, board, and president is to increase the institutions' political relevance.

Those hired because of their lofty accomplishments, credentials, or 'potential' use their appointments and tenor to advance their own business agendas and improve their personal lives.

The exceptions to this are noteworthy, but far too few.

The requirement for a degree is nothing more than an arbitrary standard adopted by the institutions and corporate world to bolster the revenue flow of those on whom they depend as a means to network, get access to grant opportunities, secure patents and research for investments, etc.

None of it is about 'teaching' ANYTHING.

It is social currency disguised as "proof" of something. But it proves nothing. It merely reinforces the meme that people cannot judge the character and quality of a person without them having indebted themselves into a state of utter submission by the time they seek gainful employment.

Cynical enough for ya?

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 12:58 PM

First tell our kids they aren't good enough.

Then cut funding to our schools (K-12 and universities and colleges).

Then start importing workers on work visas with the excuse that we don't have the "skills" here.

Then have our corporations and government invest billions in building skills and education in other countries.

It's so clear if you step back and take a real look. Just one of the plans in the systematic disassembly of a nation perpetrated on us in small chunks so that no one would see the big picture until it was too late.

[edit on 7/23/2010 by ~Lucidity]

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 01:22 PM
Fifty years ago, there was a national effort to help more students attain the educational levels (secondary and post secondary) necessary to make the US to outdo the USSR in the "space race". Then, returning VietNam vets used their GI Bill benefits to attend college. Plus, corporations used to be highly supportive of higher education, offering their own training or helping the employee with their education.

As the loan industry got the govt to privatize and not forgive college loans (with bankers calling in favors as far back as 1980), the results have been what other posters observe. The home mortgage industry entered the fleece of middle class families by advertising how easy it would be to get money for education by refinancing their home.

Now we have the perfect storm of less middle class wealth to draw upon, lack of jobs to create wealth, wages forced downward taking longer to pay off ed indebtedness, and lack of enough college space even if the other conditions didn't exist. In fact, colleges have drastically CUT BACK on classes for budgetary concerns, which makes the 4 year degree now a 6+ year deg for many.

And, a student may be given a free ride for tuition and books, but there still are living expenses to contend with, with families less able to help out, and less jobs provided for the student to earn $ for those expenses.

So, no, duh, less students are attending college. And, yes, where are the jobs that REQUIRE a degree? And what jobs will be out there in the (near) future? Unless these questions are answered soon, I'm afraid more students will not want or be able to afford the personal investment of time and money.

With that said, education is the one thing in Life that cannot be taken away. And holding even a 2 yr degree says that you are able to stick with and complete a program.

Also, and this is rather laughable, compared to China or India, they'll ALWAYS have greater numbers of college grads, based solely on population.
Now, percentages are different.

OTOH Americans won't be able to go toe to toe with foreign corporate/entrepreneurs degree holders, unless we produce our own degree holders. And those degrees are in the sciences, engineering and technology (for example, NEW energy technology), so we have to reassess the global market for degrees in Bible/religious studies, which have been favored by many in the recent past).

America will be hard pressed to produce science degrees in a culture that promotes a lack of science knowledge as a good thing. Believing in a Biblical Earth age and urging science to promote religion, plus downplaying industry offenses on the environment by either keeping citizens ignorant of science or continuing with 20th century technology are also a sure fire means of making sure we can't keep up.

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 01:40 PM
Americans often ridicule Europe for being socialist, but most of us at least have affordable schooling. Tuition fee for university in the Netherlands is for instance €1500,- per two semesters, in Austria approximately €300 and in Denmark, where I'll be doing my master study this fall, it's €0,-.

Friends of mine who have been on exchange to the US have told me how ridiculously low the level of exams is in comparison to their home universities here in Europe, meaning that Americans don't only pay much, many universities offer inferior quality.

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:10 PM
Edjumacation smedjumacation what you need is money and a dam job that pays good. Then you can learn stuff..........the elite way of schooling is better. First get job that pays well, then go hang around education facilities.
But in all seriousness for those listening, stay in school kids......more hot chicks in there then out.
ok now im serious but I forgot what I was going to say. #, brain fart. I knew I should of gone to school.

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 10:50 PM
College degrees are far from worthless in the US.

The problem we are seeing with people that have college degrees not finding jobs is mostly due to people having no clue of what they are doing. Today, it is almost expected that you should go to college in most families, so that's what kids do. The problem is that there are many fields of study which are going to be difficult to find a job in after graduation. Nobody tells students to pick a field which they will find a job in after graduation; they tell them to do whatever their heart desires.

Another problem is that college is so easy to get into these days, that it's just seen as moving on to the next part of life. Students literally float through college and think they will be able to float their unmotivated behinds to a job afterwords. Some are going to get lucky and find a job, while others are going to get a wake up call.

I am by no means saying that everyone who graduates with a college degree and cant find a job is unmotivated or floating through life. Let's face the facts, we are in a recession; there are going to be highly motivated people who can't find a job. On the other hand there are those who will never have to truly strive to work towards a goal, that will get a wake up call upon graduation.

[edit on 23-7-2010 by Styki]

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:03 PM
reply to post by airspoon

The college graduates of India is the US population. What do you expect?

Live and learn. Doesn't matter that much.

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:17 PM
reply to post by Styki

Not to mention some people just don't know when to freaking stop. There's a guy my age who is getting ready to get a doctorate in Guitar Performance. Insanity! The statistics actually show it's harder to get a job once you get a Masters degree in many fields
(I told him to move if he really wanted a job...I happened to see three openings on monster)

Most students don't get a job in their field of study to begin with. I personally think the way we fund college in this country is just backwards. Our education system period is sub-par. We'd rather invest in blowing things up than education. Hey, at least we'll be able to destroy the world three times over even if we are raging idiots.

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:19 PM
Let me provide some additional insight into the college scam. I have a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and two masters degrees from a prestigious university. I make a good salary, but I do not make as much as the plumber who's small private business allows him to own two homes and take vacations in the Bahamas every year, and who missed almost 2 years of work due to a battle with cancer, but is still doing just fine financially.

My point is that the trades are where most high school graduates should be looking to. We need skilled mechanics technicians, plumbers, electricians etc. Americans used to be good at building things, now all we do is push paper. Most people are not scholars, or bored in college and are wasting everyone's time and money being there.

If your dream is to get a liberal arts education, please don't. It's a complete waste and you will be nothing but a parasite in this society, with dim job prospects and huge debt.

If however you have good analytical skills, found calculus a breeze, and are obsessed with solving math puzzles, then please please go into a hard science or engineering and contribute your much needed skills to bettering America. Graduate schools have very few American born students. Most PhDs in American schools are not awarded to Americans. Americans are more interested in Paris Hilton, than solving Schrodingers equation. Please don't go into law school, you will just become a highly educated parasite, helping to destroy America. Please avoid some of the pseudo sciences like psychology and most of the liberal arts curricula, with perhaps art and music being some exceptions.

This thread already has excellent advice about how to get through college in an affordable fashion. Many community colleges are feeder schools to the 4 year university system and they allow you to transfer as sophmores or even as juniors in some cases. The ranking of a school primarily matters at the graduate school level and far less so at the undergraduate level. It just has to be good enough to get you a job or into grad. school. Many large engineering firms will pay your way through grad., school. Pick one that is near a top school if you are ambitious.

It's just one man's opinion.

posted on Jul, 23 2010 @ 11:32 PM

Originally posted by DerekJR321
I think the lower numbers of people getting degrees directly relates to the fact that degrees are worthless.

I know friends with 4 year degrees who can't even get jobs at McDonalds. They were told the same old story of "get a degree and you'll make a fortune". But instead they end up tens of thousands of dollars in debt, just for a piece of paper. Frankly, in todays economy, I just don't see it being worth it.

Of my high school friends, 5 went to college for baccalaureate or onto advanced degrees, 6 if you include myself. Each of us went into natural science, engineering, or computer science. All of us remain gainfully employed 10 years later, and 3 of that 6 are doing very well 80k+/annum.

I would argue you are generally wrong based on my experience and the research data supports this:

Just don't expect to be highly paid or highly in demand with a 3 year humanities degree. Although the degree may be easier to obtain the end results may not be worth it.

posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 12:46 AM
reply to post by slane69

Could you let is know which degrees were doing the best financially? I am kind of interested.

posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 02:01 AM
Few jobs out there require any more skills than what most people develop in high school, unless you are working in a trade or some higher level of engineering. Accounting could be taught in high school as well.

The only thing a college degree demonstrates is that you are willing to conform at any cost.

Most technological break throughs were made by non college grads. Even the integrated circuit break through was conceived by the line foreman.

Education should be a life long pursuit. People should get jobs out of high school, and then go to universities at different times during their career, learning things they already have a solid working knowledge of, before they began higher levels of research.

Currently, the U.S. university system only serves to create class division.

posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 02:05 AM
reply to post by Gorman91

Didn't IBM spend like a billion dollars building colleges in India. I wonder if they're ever given that much for building colleges in the U.S? Maybe they have....over the course of 40 years not 5 though, I'd bet. I'm not sure I even care enough to look

And now IBM has more workers in India than it does in the U.S. Funny how that goes. But it's beginning to backfire as they are demanding higher and higher wages. I guess in the end it all evens out, eh?

posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 02:09 AM
reply to post by ~Lucidity

It will still take a while before Indians demand the same salaries as Americans and when they do, IBM will simply move to the next up and coming economy with promissing young potential academics.


posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 02:17 AM
reply to post by airspoon

Yep. Exactly. Quite the pattern.

Gee I wonder who started telling our kids they weren't "good enough" or "innovative enough" or "scientific enough" while at the same time allowing company's to invest in other countries. Who does that to kids? Not that the company's don't have every right to do this, but people should also KNOW so that they can adjust who they buy from accordingly.

IBM's also the same company who sold its PC company to the Chinese government...people and all.

posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 04:36 AM
reply to post by ~Lucidity

And software technology over the last decade has gone backwards. Hardware is far faster, yet our computers are slower and buggier.

Has digital video made any advances since compressed digital was developed twenty years ago. The best video player you can get for your computer is VLC from France.

Garbage in, garbage out seems to be the current standard.

posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 07:23 PM
reply to post by antonia

We'd rather invest in blowing things up than education. Hey, at least we'll be able to destroy the world three times over even if we are raging idiots.

I don't know about that blowing things up including the world, it is an education in itself if one is willing to see and listen. It's a pretty good investment when the schooling system is so backwards. As long as we don't take it to seriously and go unsane over it, then its hard to live in a nuclear wasteland. But over all I see nothing wrong with that. It's a byproduct of a failed land of education to provide a end game to education. There is no end to education so its transient, and in societies especially the ones that are well fed and papered, they tend to forget that societies are transient and prone to being blown up. And if we were raging idiots we would only be able to blow the world up one time over. I don't think they will be smart enough to survive to blow it up again in another age.

posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 07:35 PM
reply to post by poet1b

there are some very interesting reasons for that. I have stories about working with both India and China, but I'm not telling them here because they're off topic, and most people refuse to believe anyway, even still, so there's really no point.

Back to the education issue, did you guys see where they closed down 200+ schools in DC?

Anecdotally, everyone I know who has kids in or graduated from college (dozens) has them living at home now doing menial work not even remotely related to their degrees. I'm sure this is the norm now. Would you guys agree?

The healthcare field seems to be the most stable, and even there depending on your location, it can be rough.

posted on Jul, 24 2010 @ 10:42 PM

Originally posted by SevenThunders
We need skilled mechanics technicians, plumbers, electricians etc. Americans used to be good at building things, now all we do is push paper.

It seems that jobs that make Americans sweat or involve operating machines or "working with one's hands" are now jobs that "Americans won't do". Students have been brainwashed about a need for college, ending with a "white collar" job, while other types of work have been demeaned. I heard last year that Boeing was hard pressed to find fabricators.

The rush to make money with other people's money, and re-make America as the world's financial superpower, outsourcing manufacturing, the "dirty work", seems to have been our undoing when the money disappeared.

Your assessments re lack of Americans in those certain grad and PhD programs and re advice as to funding/school selection are correct. It seems that for about 30 years now, the popular degrees to get, at any level, were in business and law.

reply to post by ~Lucidity

Really. Tell students they suck, their schools suck, but then expect them to want to continue their education.

continuing on...

What America has done horribly as a nation is to not create the types of jobs needed for the 21st century, here. If we had had this attitude going into 1900, we'ld all still be riding in horsedrawn carriages refusing to switch over to horseless carriages.

American creativity is what made this country great, but the last quarter century creativity was turned towards creating creative financing instead, short changing us when the financial system failed. And American creativity never totally depended on college educated citizens anyway, as others pointed out.

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