It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


The Realities of Education During Economic Downturn

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 02:52 PM
Education is no doubt very important if you wish to have a "bright" future down a career path you really "want" to land!

Notice how I have quote those two words above.

I want to share with everyone the reality of today's economics to what I have experienced in my life since graduating university in May 2011, with a major in accounting.

Throughout my years of studying business, I have studied in university to become an accountant. During the summer when I took time off to find work, I ended up working outside trimming trees, bushes, and even cutting lawns for landscaping companies. I gained great experience to how business is run all while appreciated the beauty of nature and getting some sun...and rain too.

In my third year in business I developed and implemented a business plan to run my own hedge trimming company, which I thankfully still own and run, even though it is still a sole proprietorship.

Fast track forward to September 2011, I started working for a large window manufacturing company in the accounting division at their head office. As a junior there I learned a lot about the economy based on seasonal and consumer buying trends. I also learned that when the economy is slow, companies are looking at more ways to operate efficiently and they WILL streamline their practices to ensure this happens, even if that means laying off staff in both production plant AND junior accountants....such as myself.

The harsh reality of this is that after four months of working there I got laid off and now have to apply for unemployment insurance.

But what I wanted to bring to everyone's attention is how universities and other education institutions are pushing for education and its importance all over the tv these days. The education system has failed to inform us that there really are no safe and secure jobs once you leave. The point? It's all about making sure they keep their profits flowing (public and private sectors) while making it sound like once you graduate, the future will look bright with the career you wish to land.

I have heard of sooooo many office jobs lost (ie. accounting & management, etc...) which is where most people spend time studying. So many businesses are downsizing their employment to boost their bottom lines.

So what is the trend I see toward education? Have a look below:

For example, in British Columbia, Canada, there are commercials pushing for health care workers so meet the demands of the aging population. They make it look so bright to be a health professional that what the government doesn't tell anyone is that they are hiring people from Fiji at half the cost to work here in Canada, that a lot of students are made to fail in their health programs as part of a "weeding out/filter" system. I know this from personal experience as I went through 2 years of nursing education and the instructors were very two faced.

Again, another example of commercials saying all the right things about getting an education, but without any talk about the realities what happens once you graduate. The above commercial was from an American College.

According to the latest news about this "crisis", an article that I found stated exactly what my argument is all about:

Today’s graduates: Too few jobs, not enough pay

- National Post

For Ms. Sayed, a guilty sense of comfort lies only in the fact that hundreds of thousands of people around her age dread small talk, too: Youth unemployment in Canada is twice the national rate, these days hovering around a woeful 14%.

And while the Canadian economy gained more jobs than expected last month, driving the overall unemployment rate down to 7.4% from 7.6% in April, the unemployment rate among 15- to 24-year-olds was little changed....

The 25-year-old biological sciences graduate, who bolstered her University of Montreal degree with a certificate in community health last year, works for Bell in technical support. The $11.60 she makes per hour is barely enough to cover living expenses, let alone pay down the roughly $25,000 she owes in provincial and federal student loans.

“I always thought, ‘I’ll finish my degree and I’ll get a job,’ but then the reality hit,” she said, adding that she has applied to nursing school because that path seems more assured. “My parents think it’s easy to get a job in my field, and say things like, ‘You didn’t get a good degree to work at Bell,’ but (employers) won’t give me a chance.”....

Graph on Education Level vs Landing Employment

Graduates remain unemployed as universities churn out wads of worthless qualifications

With graduate applications rising 33% this year alone, many smaller businesses lack the time and resources to sift an ever-expanding applicant pool.

In 2010, it was estimated that Britain’s top 144 companies received an average of 5000 graduate applicants each, sending recruitment costs soaring.

The gaping mismatch between employers and graduates is only amplified by the fact that the economic downturn has compelled many Uni-leavers to apply outside their skill-set and seek stints in “stop-gap jobs.”

It is claimed by Rother that business is now moving away from a narrow focus on qualifications as barometers of candidate suitability, to a new focus on “experience”, with over half of all recruitment companies insisting on previous work within a relevant field as a pre-requisite to securing an interview.

The latest High Fliers survey found that a record 36% of this year’s graduate roles will be filled by people who have already worked for the organisation during their studies.


Student Debt Clock

If you really want to get how education system is a conspiracy, watch the video on "College Conspiracy". I HIGHLY recommend this:


The bottom line is, I have created a back up plan that if I cannot get a job as an accountant in a firm, I will run my own small business. At least education got me something....a freedom to decide what career I want...either through a system, or via of personal choice and own ideas to create my own career.

Look forward to your thoughts. Thanks.

edit on 20-1-2012 by getreadyalready because: fixed embed

edit on 20-1-2012 by getreadyalready because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 03:44 PM
I do agree with you to a large extent. The promises of a bright future and solid career are bs. It sucks people in to study and pay mega $$$ for a piece of paper with little worth. Employers look for and value industry experience over an education. But here's the dilemma, many of the jobs require an education as a step in the door, of which without, you cannot enter into any of those jobs, jobs that are often offered as graduate positions. This is what I ended up doing to get my cosy government job here in Canberra Australia.

I actually have a degree in Exercise Science and Post Grad Diploma in Physical Education. Taught casual for a number of years before moving into a full-time position in employment services for just on two years, and now in a national department. Believe me not all rosy as the cost of property here in Australia's capital is so high that buying a 1970s unit is costing me half my nett income.
But the job is easy. But here's the thing: You need to learn to adapt or be prepared to use your education as a tool to find jobs that are not in your area of expertise. I don't know what they offer in Canada, but look around for graduate positions. With an accountant degree, you could easily get a graduate position in my department as I understand we are always looking for people in finances. And those grad positions are paying over 50 k for the first year, though living here has high living costs as I mentioned.

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 03:50 PM

Cardinal Health Canada distributes products from over 400 manufacturers to hospitals, surgery centers, laboratories, long term care facilities and physician offices throughout Canada. We provide integrated supply chain and logistics solutions that help customers control costs, improve efficiencies and increase effectiveness.

Visit us at Discover how together, we can make healthcare better.

My Daughter graduated from College in 2000, she started with one of the big 4 accounting firms and from there went to Cardinal Health, where she still works. They have a division in Canada..and for her this has been a wonderful company to work for. Also lots of opportunity to move out of accounting and into other divisions of the company..I think now shes in Mergers and acquisitions.

I don't know..maybe give them a try if they are near you? just a thought and good luck..Cheers Coco

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 03:52 PM
This topic you have made has gotten to me. I already knew college was a joke but my parents insisted i go.I went to the University of Hartford for two Semesters,now on the second semester i did horrible (had my reasons) the school kicked my out, told them the reason and they didn't care.So now student loan is killing me slowly.Currently trying to get back in college but they wont take me cause of my gpa.20 years old and thousands of dollars in debt. Oh and I'm new here, just thought this should be me first post since it relates to me.

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 03:56 PM
I also have to admit that when I found my passion in learning about business at university that I found it rewarding getting the grades.

Yes, I did grad with a GPA of 3.52, which is between an A- & B+ overall. To ensure I was focused I did harness some student loans along the way. Education is expensive in both monetary & time spent reading and attending lectures without working.

So to buy into the system, which I have (can you sense the irony), I got the grades but no job once I graduated. And believe me, I have networked with sooooo many people and employers, but at the end of the day, nothing is certain.

Now my focus is to dig out of the hole I have been pushed towards. The key thing I learned from the CFO I worked under is this:

He told me "I don't see you working in that desk in the next five years, you have more strengths than that. You are not a paper pusher."

Funny thing is that their latest hire has more experience in the industry, which is another fact how organizations hire today...still at a lower wage.

Why do students fail to thrive in the real economy? The education system is simply to marketing tool for people to spend money on text books and keep current professors nicely employed, while keeping the costs high to the consumer to force them to take out loans. Think about it for a second....

The costs of tuition are increasing. The amount of money you can make working part time is peanuts! So, to finish your education in four years while working part time you are being conditioned to work at a low wage while promises of earning a lot of money in the future are all lies. The only way you can actually make the money is if you do something on the side while you work. This means finding creative ways for:

1) Using employment income to subsidize your expenses and loans
2) Creative self-employment opportunities to lower your taxable income and help save for future expenses (retirement).

Investing in stocks are a thing of the past. Investing in real estate is the wrong time. Interest is what is going to kill people's financial books. Inflation is going to drive the debt burden even higher.

Added video:

The lessons from history repeat itself, but mistakes needs to be learned from more importantly.

Einstein once said,"Every problem bears in itself its own solution." Yet the problem is the economy, yet there is no solution that is being implemented by the government - the kick backs and greed for money are what perpetuates this problem in a viscous cycle.

Are there ATS members who have or are currently going through this reflection moment? What did you do, or are currently doing, do get over this "college bubble"?
edit on 20-1-2012 by Skywatcher2011 because: added video

edit on 20-1-2012 by Skywatcher2011 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 04:04 PM

Originally posted by GrandMind
This topic you have made has gotten to me. I already knew college was a joke but my parents insisted i go.I went to the University of Hartford for two Semesters,now on the second semester i did horrible (had my reasons) the school kicked my out, told them the reason and they didn't care.So now student loan is killing me slowly.Currently trying to get back in college but they wont take me cause of my gpa.20 years old and thousands of dollars in debt. Oh and I'm new here, just thought this should be me first post since it relates to me.

The question is why did your parents push for you to get an education? I was told that it not only gets you the knowledge, but at the end of the day you can find a "secure job". Yet our parents are forgetting that their educational years are so much different than today's current circumstances. Yes, they did go through the great depression and recession like we are experiencing today. But lest we forget that there was a major economic boom BEFORE the recession and lots of job opportunities with fewer applicants. So the competition to get somewhere was less as it is today.

I hope you figure out your next move. Trust me, my first attempt at university wasn't so great. I got dropped too, but that was because I was studying something that I really wasn't passionate about, and as a result of my parents (mom) pushing me into a field of study SHE was primarily interested in

Great post *S*

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 04:11 PM
Also wanted to share this link with you from another person who understands the value of a degree these days and shares his testimonial with the world
Very methodical in his explanation:

The way firms are hiring nowadays is based on characteristics of the person rather than the education you hold. Though you have to have an education these days to get in, it is the personal attributes and skills you have that they will hire you on. It sucks that this is becoming the new reality.
edit on 20-1-2012 by Skywatcher2011 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 04:48 PM

Originally posted by Skywatcher2011
Also wanted to share this link with you from another person who understands the value of a degree these days and shares his testimonial with the world
Very methodical in his explanation:

The way firms are hiring nowadays is based on characteristics of the person rather than the education you hold. Though you have to have an education these days to get in, it is the personal attributes and skills you have that they will hire you on. It sucks that this is becoming the new reality.
edit on 20-1-2012 by Skywatcher2011 because: (no reason given)

That's not the new reality, that's how it has always been. You have to sell yourself to the interviewer to get the job. Any job is like that.

I got a degree back in the day when not everyone had a degree, and it was a door opener. It would get me the interview, but I still had to convince them to hire ME, not the other hundred applicants. Nowadays, everyone has a degree, it does not set you apart in any way. You still have to GET THE JOB.

I have never gone and applied for any type of job and not gotten the job. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I don't think so.

And don't forget, on top of that you've got it doesn't matter what you know, but WHO you know...
edit on 20-1-2012 by CaptChaos because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 04:54 PM
On top of all that, I don't know anyone other than the MBAs and the engineers that actually has a job that has anything to do with their degree. Me included.

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 04:55 PM
reply to post by CaptChaos

Though I agree with you on this, that is how I got a job working in the accounting division at my former place of employment. What I am arguing about is that nothing is guaranteed these days with the turn of events in the economy. For those who still have a job they should be lucky that their organizations have not downsized dramatically.

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 05:15 PM
Makes me glad I always pursued education on my own instead of racking up student loans. Being self-employed was the best gig ever - set your own hours, etc.
Learning arcane skills like engraving, blacksmithing and survival all proved satisfying and profitable before I became disabled. Some places don;t even charge artists local taxes as a profession.
There are ways to survive in this world without playing their games and doing it their way. Be prepared to make some sacrifices though, it will have it's hard times and you may have to listen to a few years of parents and friends prodding you to "go back to school".

14 years of my life was enough.
I consider that time almost entirely wasted

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 05:26 PM
The most destructive aspect of the old student grants was that meant that no-one bothered to apply for the tuition scholarships so everyone forgot about them.

As a result, there are hundreds of millions in bank accounts around the world that is intended to pay for scholarships for study...all utterly unclaimed... and hundreds of thousands of students who don;t know of all this cash being given away for free so they go bust trying to pay for study.

For instance, the Royal Aeronautical Society in the UK offers 100% scholarships to students, anywhere in the world, to study Aeronautical Engineering, ie building and designing aeroplanes - BUT NO-ONE EVER APPLIED! By the mid 1980's this fund and the accumulated unspent grants, had topped the equivalent of $5million generating thousands a day. By now, the interest is sending it on its way to nine figures, but STILL NO-ONE APPLIES, even though they HAVE TO GIVE IT TO THE TOP APPLICANT... and, if there is only one, you get it.

...and they can't advertise under the terms of the Trust Fund articles.

Meanwhile, kids across the USA dream of going to a good university and get nowhere without the funds to pay for tuition.

AT my old University, St Andrews, similarly, they have six 100% fully paid scholarships to study for a year at a Canadian University. One year they had only FIVE applicants for the SIX scholarships.

There are numerous examples of forgotten funds across the globe.

edit on 20-1-2012 by ballisticmousse because: Mistype

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 07:44 PM
reply to post by Skywatcher2011

It definitely matters what you choose to study. I was a history major for 3 years, in my junior year I was asked what I planned to do with my degree. No idea says I. I worked for a very large financial corporation at the time, I made good money already, I thought it was pretty stable. Then they laid off several thousand people. My own office oversaw 3 others (I managed 121 workers in 2 offices). They said our jobs were safe because there were only 15 of us overseeing several hundred. Slowly they got rid of other offices, I was down to about 20 people who reported to me and I came to realize !%!@% I'm next. All our jobs are currently in India. Which I find disturbing because we dealt with huge sums of money and very personal financial information from customers.

So I've been in the corporate World and found it's run by asshats and idiots. Cubicle life blows and office life blows harder, people would stab you in the back once but since the recession they just stab you in the face.

Sooo I'm currently working on an artistic degree that has a high demand in my region because of the presence of several very large advertising corporations and tech startups.. there are no local colleges that offer the degree so I do remote school from a university. I feel really bad for the kids graduating with degrees in Teaching, Business, anything Liberal Arts or Engineering. There's nothing out there. If it's specialized for your region you'll do good, like certain IT jobs. Nursing is hit or miss, my wife's a nurse and most hospitals have hiring freezes, and if you're not unionized you'll likely see hours cut. As for those school offering "medical careers" almost all of them are jokes. Spend $40k for an associates degree or an LPN and you find your self working your dream job cleaning # off the floor for $11/hr.

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 11:13 PM
The bottom line is: don't be an idiot. If you go to college, go to a community college unless you've got something close to a full ride. The truth is, even if you do get a better job, by the time you calculate in the debt that most people put themselves into to get that degree, you don't really have any more than you would if you just worked in your low-end job with no degree.

Also, don't fall for these people that tell you that you have to go to college for a "useful" degree. Right now, there are no useful degrees. There are plenty of people that have degrees in Engineering, Computer Science, and Nursing that are screwed.
edit on 20-1-2012 by AnIntellectualRedneck because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 11:29 PM
reply to post by AnIntellectualRedneck

Somewhat true. Without a degree you don't have to pay for school, true. But you'll also find that in a down economy you're the first to go and your options are limited. Prior to 2008 getting a job was easy, and qualifications were low. I had a good job simply because I was a college student, not that I had a degree. Today the same job requires a minimum of a Bachelors preferably a Masters. Nursing is another good example, you used to be able to get away with a 2 year degree, not today, many only consider nurses with 4 year degrees, and many are unwilling to train newgrads.

But lets say you don't have a degree yet get a decent job paying $15/hr .. $28,800 a year.
Let's say you have a 4 year degree and you get a decent job paying $25/hr .. $48,000 a year. Average cost of tuition is $15,000/yr and if you cannot pay cash you use credit and have $60,000 in student loans. Huge debt .. true.. but with a degree you're open to promotion and a job with benefits among others.. if you're diligent you pay off the interest while in school and that's all you'll have left to pay, if not it can be considerably more. So as you say .... it all comes down to making a smart decision .. did you go to school for a common degree not in demand like business, english, accounting etc? The long term benefits of a degree is worth it. Sad to say .. you have to buy a degree to compete.

posted on Jan, 20 2012 @ 11:52 PM
Education is not a bad thing, but our current educational system does not give enough respect to blue collar skill sets. The current system turns out millions of business majors from mediocre universities and few people with skilled trades.

I am a lawyer. There are millions like me. Desite my years of schooling, I can be easily replaced. On the other hand, there is an accute need for plumbers, electricians, welders, and other highly skilled trades. If you want to have job security, take a welding course instead of anthropology.

posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 02:33 AM
Benjamin Franklin
Micheal Faraday
Leonardo Da Vinci

What do these three have in common? They had scant higher education. The sad thing is there could be millions of people today with the same talents as the 3 examples I mentioned but will get zero chance because they don't have a paper er degree.

Only very few professions actually require a person to be highly educated such as doctors or lawyers who need to know extensive amounts of specific information. Most people learn far more through on the job experience than in college. Even doctors and lawyers learn far more during their actual practice than in their schooling.

With the amount of colleges cropping up, degrees have become inflated. The only worth of a degree is to get a job and in that case degrees have become some sort of commodity. If everyone needs to work, everyone will try for a degree, and we all know what happens when the rule of supply and demand hit a commodity.

The reality is that an education is needed, not because education itself is needed, but the piece of paper saying you are educated is needed. The value of education is not in learning but in the piece of paper. The way society is devolving and the way colleges are cropping up everywhere, people will need to fork out $50,000 just to get a McJob in the near future.

posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 04:59 AM

Originally posted by Rockpuck
I feel really bad for the kids graduating with degrees in Teaching, Business, anything Liberal Arts or Engineering. There's nothing out there. If it's specialized for your region you'll do good, like certain IT jobs. \

Yes and no. First of all, I don't have a whole lot of use for 90% of the liberal arts degrees. Your passion may, in fact, be underwater basketweaving or Paleolithic Handwriting Analysis... doesn't mean anyone in their right mind should pay thousands of dollars for a degree in such and have any realistic expectation of ever turning that degree into a prosperous career. Much like the menu at McDonalds, so are most liberal arts courses, just because it is offered doesn't mean you should take it. Teaching is a poor election only because of the damn teachers unions here in the states. They have essentially put a stranglehold onto the hiring practices of most districts and that's simply assinine. (I won't even go into how many absolutely CRAPPY teachers there are out there who should, by all metrics, be fired and replaced, thus creating a huge demand for new teachers, but instead are protected by the same teacher's union.) Business is a hit and miss. Personally, I think a business degree is great as a double major accompanyment to an engineering degree or any science degree which the graduate expects to carry into management. Otherwise, those degrees are very much pegged to the ebbs and flows of the overall economy.

*sigh* Engineering... It is rough right now, but there are jobs to be had and once your foot is in the door (or once you have your Professional Registration), you're all set assuming one simple thing... You have to be flexible and willing to move to where your company needs you. I've jumped around from New Mexico to Arizona to Washington to Alaska, all with the same firm, all because I was needed somewhere other than where I was at. That accompanying business degree I spoke of earlier? This last move, 2 and a half years ago, I felt like I held enough sway and had enough seniority to say "This is it." and I took the risk of informing my company that I don't have any great desire to move around anymore. I have started laying down roots, but even with that I am mentally prepared to jump on a plane and fly across the country, bringing work back home with me if asked.

Which leads me to this: Your "Specialized to their region" comment is an incorrect attitude, but is one which far too many young people grasp on to. I'm sorry, but nobody coming out of college (nontraditional students not included here) should have their own "region." Granted, you may have a list of places you flat out won't move to (my list has always included California, Detroit, Illinois, and anyplace on the Eastern Seaboard north of the Mason-Dixon), but these kids really need to learn flexibility and mobility. You may graduate from University of Arizona with a degree in Civil Engineering, but that doesn't mean you will find a job in Arizona, nor should you limit yourself to that region even in the best of times. Hell, Exxon-Mobil may offer you 3 times the money as a local firm to hit the Gulf of Mexico and work on an offshore rig as tech or EIT. Unless you're lucky enough to have them recruiting in Arizona, you'd never receive that offer without seeking jobs outside your region. Way too many kids want to stay in their hometown all their life. That's fine, but don't expect to always be able to do that AND do what you want to do for a living alongside that. You sometimes have to choose one or the other.

posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 08:34 AM
reply to post by burdman30ott6

Most people don't up and move away from family. Many do, I did myself, but most do not. Even now however, having moved from Ohio were I lived all my life to Oregon 3 years ago I won't move across the country again. Period. I'll live in Oregon or Washington. Unless the Midwest sprouts huge mountains and never sees another winter I'll never move back, and the East Coast attitude? No thanks.

That being said... there are numerous degrees in this region that are a complete and total waste of money. Business is the biggest.. followed by teaching. Soooooo many people in those programs it's crazy, yet there is no market for it. So if you're in an area that has a demand for certain jobs by all means jump on board, it's worth the investment. It doesn't mean your bound to that region or that job, it just means you expect better prospects for employment in your own home region. I didn't even move out here for a job, just to escape the Midwest. No amount of Dollars could get me back to staring at endless plains of corn fields or ramshackle cities in disrepair.

posted on Jan, 21 2012 @ 02:59 PM
Some on here may have the wrong idea.
Now that I’m in my 50’s I understand what a degree is worth. I’m not talking about those odd ball degrees. I mean the old traditional ones business etc.
It says a few things to a prospective employer. They may sound silly at first.
1 You can read and write.
2 You can speak more than jigabo jive.
3 You can figure out when to add and when to subtract.
4 You can stick to a task.
It’s a very simple way to weed out the gang bangers and trash.
Basically a bachelors degree is the modern equivalent of the 60’s high school diploma.
My mother dropped out of 7th grade to help feed her family during the depression. So she had no clue how to guide me through school.
I did get an associates degree but it’s useless for anything but an entry job in its intended field. Plus they have a shelf life. You could say they spoil after a few years.

As to all the ads for colleges:
They are trying to sell you something.
They are trying to fill their seats.
That’s why they have such stupid courses.
“Get a degree in criminal investigation!”
Stupid, stupid. It will qualify you for a rewarding career as a rent a cop.
My girlfriends son graduated from DAPP with an art degree. It was supposed to be known through out the country. Well at least he makes a good fry cook for all the good it did him.

Get a good generic business or accounting degree. Or become a teacher.
Stay away from these two year degrees unless you want to be a nurse.
My2 cents.

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in