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China to cancel college majors that don't pay

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posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 06:47 PM
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This is an interesting item with relevance to social issues in China...and in the West.

China, like other places in the world, has a glut of grads who can't find jobs. One proposed solution: change the curriculum to make college grads more marketable.

China to cancel college majors that don't pay


Much like the U.S., China is aiming to address a problematic demographic that has recently emerged: a generation of jobless graduates. China’s solution to that problem, however, has some in the country scratching their heads.

China’s Ministry of Education announced this week plans to phase out majors producing unemployable graduates, according to state-run media Xinhua. The government will soon start evaluating college majors by their employment rates, downsizing or cutting those studies in which less than 60% of graduates fail for two consecutive years to find work.

The move is meant to solve a problem that has surfaced as the number of China’s university educated have jumped to 8,930 people per every 100,000 in 2010, up nearly 150% from 2000, according to China’s 2010 Census. The surge of collge grads, while an accomplishment for the country, has contributed to an overflow of workers whose skillsets don’t match with the needs of the export-led, manufacturing-based economy.

More at link above.

The article goes on to note that there is some resistence to this for various reasons. Some worry that areas such as biology will be cut because they aren7t currently profitable...even though in the long term biology may be necessary for bioscience jobs of the future.

China's curriculm is already very practical, from what I understand. You don't have as many students studying liberal arts like in the US or Europe...much more science-and-engineering-oriented as it is. But they want to tie it even more closely into the market.

A lot of people will think this is bad, but actually I think its a great idea. Look at all the people who are at OWS because they went deep into debt to earn a degree that turns out to be usless. Lots of people say "college should be about learning purely, not about jobs," but that's an unrealistic attitude. In the end, not everyone in society can be poets and historians and interpretive dance masters. There need to be young adults prepared for actual business conditions, with skills that bring prosperity and security to them, their familes, and society as a whole. I wish the US univeristies would take steps to make the curricula more practical! Then we wouldn't have people six figures in debt for useless degrees they really thought would be able to provide them with a living! The universities are supposed to prepare practical adults who can operate effectively in society, not only a bunch of dreamers and basket-weavers.



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 06:57 PM
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I don't, I think kids go into subjects that they are not qualified for (Like me and my disabilities) and go in with high expectations. I'm still trying and I'm not going let it stop me from what I want achieve, but I don't think my degree will get me a job either. I'm just really interested in the subject. If anything I might change it to Biotechnology.

Right now,

I'm in Forensic Science with a minor in Intelligence Studies.


Before you laugh...
I know...I know...
I'm still a ditzy blonde.




Hopefully if I pass Intelligence Studies, I can finally tell my dad "See, I'm intelligent now!"


edit on 27-11-2011 by Manhater because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 07:06 PM
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Originally posted by Manhater
.. I don't think my degree will get me a job either. I'm just really interested in the subject.


But somebody is paying for the education. If not you, then your parents, right?

That's a lot of money to spend for something that won't pay off.

Maybe it's just me, but when I'm "just really interested" in something, makes more sense to read a book on it by myself, do research on the net, and/or find other people on the net to discus it with...rather than to go six figures into debt.
edit on 11/27/2011 by Partygirl because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 07:10 PM
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I'm not giving up.

I want to be in that field.

Only thing I can pretty much go into is a desk job.

I don't want to do that.



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 07:25 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


It's their country....

The Communist collective have spoken. So much for freedom of choice. What happens when they flood the job market with too many engineers etc?

Practical?
Meh.

I know people who attend school just for the pure pleasure of learning something new.

Oh well.


edit on 27-11-2011 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 07:35 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


Maybe the problem goes much deeper. Maybe the problem is in societies that don't value knowledge for the contribution it can make. Maybe when learning, knowledge and wisdom are reduced to their cash equivalents we have an even bigger problem than school loans.

Just maybe.



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 07:47 PM
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Yah, we should all just study what we like for the heck of it, why not, who cares if it ever bears fruit...here, go six figures into debt to follow your bliss.

Do you people live on the same planet as me?

Most people in the world don't have the luxury of affording to take four years off of their life to go study something "purely because they are interested in it." Maybe you guys can, but for the rest of us food needs to get put on the table, rent needs to be paid, and investments (whether in education or anything else) need to have a resonable chance of yeilding more money than was put in.

I don't want my kids to grow up in a cardboard box someday because "mommy followed her heart and took on a bunch of debt to study upper-Amazonian anthropology when she knew it could never lead to a job."



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 07:51 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


It's a stupid system for stupid people. They get what they deserve.

There's no good reason for people to believe in a government run education these days. You can self learn anything for free if you're curious enough. This is the information age for crying out loud!



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 07:57 PM
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reply to post by Manhater
 



I'm in Forensic Science with a minor in Intelligence Studies.

Actually that field of study can lead to an excellent (and profitable) career working for the County Coroner. The only problem is that you will need not only the undergrad, but also graduate degree(s) in order to meet the requirements for most of those jobs. Here is the FAQs page for the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's office - about the third one down describes the education requirments. If you want to be in that field, and understand the work involved to get there, then go for it! Study hard and follow your dream. You can be anything you want, as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort, barring some organic or physical problem that would prevent the possibility of fulfilling the job duties.

Regarding the OP, I think that ending degree programs that do not result in immediate employment may not have the intended effect. Let's say that kids graduating with business degrees today are getting jobs in Insurance Underwriting, and kids graduating with degrees in mycology (study of mold) are not able to quickly find work related to their field of study, and are having to work unskilled jobs for a time, or go on for undergrad work before they can find a job in a lab. I think this is a fairly realistic scenario, from stories I have heard recently. If universities dropped mycology and increased enrollment in business degrees, does it necessarily follow that more kids who graduate will be able to get jobs right away? I don't think so.

I think that initially, there would be a larger pool of graduates for Insurance companies to draw from, so for the first few years, more kids would be employed. Then, I would expect a slowdown as the field becomes saturated. Later, now that more people have the needed degree, I think the companies would fine-tune their requirements, since they now have many more qualified candidates to choose from. They might require a graduate degree or ten years of hands-on experience, to narrow the piles of resumes on their desks when a position opens up.

Next, the candidates would begin to negotiate higher salaries - after all, they have invested in more education and paid their dues in terms of experience in order to qualify for the job, so they will want to be paid more. Around this time, companies start to look for cheaper alternatives, and will outsource the jobs to other countries where such expertise is available for a lower price. Meanwhile, mycology research assistants are now in very short supply, and so labs are also having to look outside the country to fill their positions.... In the end fewer graduates with either degree are getting hired.

Maybe I am wrong, about how it would all go down, but I can tell you that kids graduating now with IT degrees are having a much harder time of it than I did, for the very reasons described in my example above.



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 08:04 PM
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maybe the amount of work needed to be done isn't enough to satisfy the hours all these people need.



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 08:06 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


I can agree with what China is doing. There are a lot of dead-end degrees that colleges in the United States have to offer. If I had a dollar for every college graduate who couldn't find a job because their degree was too broad, I would be a rich man.

The majority of high school students are not prepared to decide on a career after they graduate. High Schools and middle schools across this country fail to help students find their strong points and choosing a career path.

Colleges in the U.S. should evaluate their degrees and award them based upon a specialized area. For example, instead of receiving a Marketing Degree, the degree should be Sales Marketing degree, or Advertising & Promotion degree, Market Research degree etc.... It would clearly identify the specialized skill the student has learned and the particular job they could target. Colleges also need to introduce students to more hands on training.



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 08:06 PM
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So...

"You can only learn what we allow you to learn."

I can see the US adopting this as soon as it becomes the norm in China and people have given up yet another human right...mainly, the right to decide one's future.

Peace



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 08:08 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 



Most people in the world don't have the luxury of affording to take four years off of their life to go study something "purely because they are interested in it." Maybe you guys can, but for the rest of us food needs to get put on the table, rent needs to be paid, and investments (whether in education or anything else) need to have a resonable chance of yeilding more money than was put in. I don't want my kids to grow up in a cardboard box someday because "mommy followed her heart and took on a bunch of debt to study upper-Amazonian anthropology when she knew it could never lead to a job."

Well, in this, I completely agree with you. It is unpractical to take on debt you can't afford, in order to do what you want. What needs to happen instead, is to do something you can deal with in order to fund your ability to learn about what you are passionate about. That works out generally for about as long as nobody gets pregnant, and then the need to care for children takes over and the dream never gets followed.

I counsel my kids that they can do anything they want, as long as they understand going in what will be required to reach that goal and are able to stick to it.

I think that the education bubble will burst soon, as it is unsustainable. How can businesses operate on a model of charging extremely high costs for services to a consumer base that is largely unemployed? The only reason it has gone as far as it has is due to student loans and the inability to default on them. Soon, even that will no longer hold together and the government will stop handing them out, at which point I think schools will have to lower tuition or else they will lose their entire consumer base.



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 08:12 PM
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I am going to disagree with you... and here is why.

A college or university by it's very nature is a place of higher learning. These institutions teach something far more important than a marketable skill,... they teach you to think.

If all you want is a degree and a job, go to tech school or a school specializing in your particular skills that prep you for a job and industry. Most will not only provide loans and scholarships, they help you find a job so they can get their money back.

If you plan on going to a university, it behooves the student and eventual job applicant to do some research and major in a field in which they can find a job. And try to do it smart. Take the basic and mandatory credits at a local community college for a few hundred dollars a semester. Then transfer to a major state university and take those credits/ courses peculiar to your major. Along the way, you will find out if college is really for you at a fraction of the costs of making that realization in your sophomore year at a major institution.

Lastly, what about the individual that aspires to a higher calling and wants a major in Liberal Arts... or wants an accompanying Arts degree in addition to a BS in Business... are they out of luck? The most basic function of a university is to preserve knowledge, critical thinking, and Liberal Arts. In the age of text messaging and the internet where people wonder why the sun isn't where it was a month ago.... or claim that NZ and Australia are moving out of place.... these goals could be critical.

Remember, it was the universities that preserved knowledge in the "Dark Ages"... and as we approach an age where upheaval is a daily possibility, the university's function is as important as ever.



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 08:17 PM
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Originally posted by AlreadyGone
I am going to disagree with you... and here is why.

A college or university by it's very nature is a place of higher learning. These institutions teach something far more important than a marketable skill,... they teach you to think.


Don't agree based on what I've seen.

Looks to me more like colleges teach people to party.

Maybe if you are going for the hard sciences. Otherwise...waste of money plain and simple, IMHO.
edit on 11/27/2011 by Partygirl because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by Partygirl
 


A gym offers up equipment, trainers, advice and motivation on getting in shape... all you have to do when you enter is participate and use the tools given you.

Likewise, a college or university offers up libraries, computers, tutors, advisors, study rooms, social, fraternal, and academic groups, arts, critical thoughts, and great minds... all you have to do is participate and use the tools given you.

In both cases, it involves individual initiative and effort... if you sleep late,go in with a poor attitude, make no effort outside and do some homework... you will fail at both the gym and university.



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 08:55 PM
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Originally posted by Partygirl

A lot of people will think this is bad, but actually I think its a great idea. Look at all the people who are at OWS because they went deep into debt to earn a degree that turns out to be usless. Lots of people say "college should be about learning purely, not about jobs," but that's an unrealistic attitude. In the end, not everyone in society can be poets and historians and interpretive dance masters. There need to be young adults prepared for actual business conditions, with skills that bring prosperity and security to them, their familes, and society as a whole. I wish the US univeristies would take steps to make the curricula more practical! Then we wouldn't have people six figures in debt for useless degrees they really thought would be able to provide them with a living! The universities are supposed to prepare practical adults who can operate effectively in society, not only a bunch of dreamers and basket-weavers.



You've got to be kidding me. You advocate for "society" to decide for me where I need to be and what I need to be doing? It's attitudes like that that caused me to turn my back on society to begin with. I'm not a cog in their machine, to be specced out and replaced as they see fit.

I've got one of those "useless" educations - in physics and astronomy. Wouldn't trade it for anything, even though I'm not making any money with it. It's not society's place to figure out where I need to be or what I need to be doing - that's MY place. If I want to help your society, I will, and if I'm FORCED to help your society, I'll be throwing sand in the gears by the handsful.

From inside, where they forced me to be.

While it's true enough that "not everyone in society can be poets and historians and interpretive dance masters", where will your society be WITHOUT any of those?

Dead, in the dustbin of history, that's where.



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 09:00 PM
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It's not just about working hard in school, it's also about working smart and choosing your majors wisely.
If people choose to major in subjects knowing full well may not be career friendly, they don't have a right to gripe, complain and blame others for their bad decisions.


But it's not about what you learn in school, it's more about how you apply yourself afterwards.
Somewhere out there, there is a Harvard grad working for Community College grad boss.



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 09:26 PM
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As someone who has a "useless degree" as you put it... I don't really see where you're coming from.

I've noticed that it doesn't really matter what you major in at college. You either get a BA or a BS... depending on what specific area you studied. It's not as though if you majored in biology, you have a degree in biology... you have a Bachelors of the Sciences. One's specific concentration only becomes important once they've gone to graduate school. And most higher-end jobs require at least a masters degree. It's as if a college degree is now the new high school diploma.

Also, not everyone who goes to college racks up debt... there is such a thing as a scholarship. And often, those who worked hard enough in high school end up getting a free ride at a university. So why not major in philosophy or astronomy or theology or gender studies or whatever if you've been given the option to study at no cost?

I agree with a previous poster who said that colleges are there to teach you to think, not to teach you to go out into the world and make money... that's what technical and business schools are for. If you go to a liberal arts college, shelling out $150,000+, and you expect to automatically be accepted into the workforce... you're deluded. Most of us who've gone to a college like that realize that we need to continue our education in order to get anywhere with our careers.

In my case, I majored in philosophy and Catholic theology. Right now I just refer to it as my "degree in competence" because I know there is nothing I can do with it until I go to graduate school. Although I can't decide whether to continue my studies in philosophy and theology and then stay in academia to teach (this would be moreso the passionate route, rather than practical), or to go to law school and then ensure that I'll have a career to fall back on. Either way, my formal education isn't over, and I have no qualms about it.

Everyone who graduates a liberal arts college with what you refer to as a "useless major" has similar questions about their futures, but most of us know that college is just the beginning of our experience in higher education. After all, you don't major in something vague unless you're planning on specifying it in the future.



posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 09:33 PM
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Originally posted by gwynnhwyfar
reply to post by Manhater
 



I'm in Forensic Science with a minor in Intelligence Studies.

Actually that field of study can lead to an excellent (and profitable) career working for the County Coroner.


That's my goal. To work in coroner's office.
edit on 27-11-2011 by Manhater because: (no reason given)




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