Why Go To College If You Have No Intentions Of Using Your Degree?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by MainerMikeBrown, Jan 7, 2015.

  1. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    ??? So when someone makes an unsupported statement, it's MY job to research it for them? Anybody can say any nonsense they want, and that's fine, but the person who asks for proof, isn't fine?

    No. Just, no.
     
  2. Megalith

    Megalith Contributor Contributor

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    I'll defend myself by quoting you...

    Anyways what I am saying, is that you, who is not anymore qualified, spent plenty of time bashing this guy over here, for his lack of evidence, which only takes minutes to find, and a few more to read, which tells me that you are more concerned with winning than being right. And that concerns me a little, and why I have to say it isn't' very nice or even justified. And to say you were trying to be constructive is an affront to what transpired these last few pages.

    Next time you quote me I hope you have something more to add than just "no..." Because delusions of righteousness will not help you here.
     
  3. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    No, asking for proof makes you look like someone who wants to debate based on supported arguments rather than grand claims.

    In terms of the rest of your post - was there anything in there about the relative difficulty of 'hard science' degrees vs. social sciences or liberal arts? If there was, I missed it. Maybe you could highlight that portion?

    Or possibly you're responding to some other point... Maybe the OP! Okay, that makes sense, although it makes your reference to the burden of proof a little harder to follow.

    But, okay, if you're referring to the OP - do you want to address the idea that university is about more than job preparation? Because I don't think you've looked at that yet.

    Who was this philosopher? I understand that sometimes names are lost in time, but if s/he was talking about staring at a screen, s/he must be fairly modern. Name?

    If you don't want to go, don't go. But if you haven't gone, you don't really know what it's like, right? So... fair enough, speak for yourself, but, really... you don't know what you're missing!
     
  4. Megalith

    Megalith Contributor Contributor

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    Okay, but why didn't anyone else quote somebody, or whip some data out? I can argue about the philosophy of burden of proof all day, but there is a bigger point here...

    Let me pull that quote for you again... "Look back at the oldest of the data. In the mid-60s, prior to the great push to increase the number of people going to college with federal student aid, the average earnings gap was quite small. Up until that time, very few good careers were foreclosed to Americans who didn’t have college credentials. For reasons of professional licensure, some fields required college degrees—law and medicine for example—but otherwise young people who had good high school educations could get into entry level jobs in finance, insurance, manufacturing, hospitality, and most other businesses" -Forbes



    I actually did that already. I'll just re-quote myself... "But I do agree with Charisma in that it is a unique experience which can expand world views. A conglomeration of races is a good environment for that sort of thing. But college isn't the only way to get it. Here we are, from all over the World, arguing about this subject over the interbutts. That is really all I needed to expand my world view ten fold and growing."

    Now if you were talking about the sex and drugs, then hookers and dealers are still cheaper.

    They are fairly modern. Information like that is much harder to find, unfortunately. the awesome thing about philosophy is that the proof is in the pudding. And I can describe to you in detail the conversation which leads to the idea of experience and qualia.

    I never said I didn't go to college. I only went for 1 semester and immediately I knew that it was not for me. I just want people to not have any regrets and to make sure they know what they are walking into with decision like college. If I can make one person not make the mistake that hundred of thousands have already done, than it was worth expressing myself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  5. Megalith

    Megalith Contributor Contributor

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    I found it! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_argument Sorry for the double-post but I did look before with no luck, sometimes it just takes some key word refinery :) his name was Frank Jackson

    EDIT: And just for the TL;DR of my posts, and back and forth's since...

    College was only for hard sciences. And back then the financial gap between those with degrees and those without was much smaller. once they added the college incentive and more courses to appeal to a wider audience did everything start going downhill. From: higher requirements for jobs that don't need them, To: taking high interest loans for having a 4 year not-so-educational party that ends with an expensive and mostly useless piece of paper.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
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  6. DeadMoon

    DeadMoon The light side of the dark side Contributor

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    I went to school for Graphic Design and have never worked in the field except for some free lance work. Still own a good deal on the loans. I could say something like, it a bad market where I live for design jobs but deep down I know it was my own laziness that doomed me to waste my degree
     
  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Er...He argued about the relative value of different degrees. You argued about the value of college in general. Even if I accepted that your argument is irrefutable, which I certainly don't, what does your argument have to do with my wanting him to back up his completely different argument?

    You say that evidence "takes only minutes to find." So why haven't you, or he, found any evidence for his argument?

    I'm finding it very disconcerting that more than one person finds it to be an affront to expect a person who makes a controversial statement of fact to back up that statement. Is this a new element of our culture that I was previously unaware of? It seems to go beyond a tolerance for sloppy thinking, all the way to demanding it.

    Fuzzy-wuzzy shift to nightmare Twilight Zone conversation:

    "I don't want little Janie going over to little Bobbie's house. Bobbie's parents teach him logic and critical thinking."
    "Really? Who said so? What happened?"
    "Are you asking me to back up my statement with evidence?"
    "Oh, God, no! I didn't mean it that way. I'm so sorry."
     
  8. Megalith

    Megalith Contributor Contributor

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    Well this is why I don't like arguing with the blind. My argument does in fact include the relative value of different degrees. And I don't believe college is unnecessary. That goes to show how little you understood of my post and points. Thanks again for proving my point about yourself.
     
  9. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Funny. :)
     
  10. Ben414

    Ben414 Contributor Contributor

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    I disagree. More education does not "hurt our employment market." What can hurt it, though, is when people don't analyze the cost and opportunity cost of no college v. technical college v. 4 yr college. Going a hundred thousand dollars in debt is a poor decision for most. Saying "college is dumb because you are likely to not learn technical skills necessary for my long-term career" is just as poor of a decision.

    Directly applicable skills =/= all of its usefulness

    You can argue this is morally wrong, but all it does is give more reason to go for college.

    Maybe instead of blaming people for trying to improve their own economic opportunity (as you pointed out above), you could look at the skyrocketing cost of college. People who take out ridiculous amounts of debt are doing themselves a disservice, but people who say, "I'm not going to learn enough to justify the cost, but I can still afford it and I still want its benefits" are not ruining the economy. It's people who say we need less education who ruin the economy, and people who work in their own self interest to make said education too costly for most.

    :rolleyes:
     
  11. Megalith

    Megalith Contributor Contributor

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    It does, and you can't refute the numbers. The financial earning gap between non-degree and degree is widening making college seem like it is more worth it. But that is like believing the poor are deserving of their position, and nothing can be done about it. and I don't believe that someone who wishes to be a scientist shouldn't go to college. What I'm saying is that most of us don't want to be scientist. and this worldview that college is better than not has transformed and corrupted the employment market.


    did you know that 10% of all college degrees in use are fake?(FBI SPECIAL AGENT ALLEN EZELL (ret'd) & JOHN BEAR, Ph.D. in their book Degree Mills) That is one in ten good sir. Do you think that kind of strong incentive would exist if you could earn as much without a degree? Just because jobs require a degree doesn't mean you need a degree to work it. The normal process would be to join a lower level part of the company and then through an expression of your ability you could be promoted to any other part of that company which you have proven to be cable of doing. You can do it in less than the 4 years it would take to get your bachelor if you can prove yourself. It's not that these jobs suddenly require a degree, it's that people thought they needed them and now so many people arbitrarily have them, that employers are at a loss. So yes, it greatly skews the employment market leaving more than necessary unemployed. Do I need to pull up unemployment rates for you to? HINT: The standard for measuring this has become obsolete, as have many standards which have been in use for fifty years, and have no sign of being stopped.

    I mean the problems of the World are hefty, complicated, and intertwined. There are a lot of reasons for the mess, but lets take it one topic at a time :)

    There are reasons for going to college. Most of us don't fall into that category. Greed and corruption will destroy good things. And I am in no way implying that a doctor shouldn't go to college. but your mistake is tying education to college and I am a great propagator of education. I believe that to be obvious



    Rather than rely on voting, if we take matter into our hands, we can change the world. It's an idealistic and fantastical dream i'll admit. But when our last hopes are reliant on it, I don't see what you can possibly role your eyes at.
     
  12. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    "College was only for hard sciences." - What? When? Is this some American thing? Most of the world talks about university, with college meaning something different, but Americans use "college" and "university" as pretty much synonyms, right? So, what possible time period are you referring to when university was only for hard sciences? When you say "back then", when the hell are you referring to?

    Well, maybe you should argue the philosophy of burden of proof at least a little longer, because you seem to have missed the main point of it. The idea is that the person who makes a claim is supposed to be the one who supports it. So someone else whipping some data out would... not be an application of the burden of proof. At all.

    - Do you think there's something in there about the relative value of hard science degrees vs. liberal arts degrees? Maybe you could put it in your own words, b/c I'm really not seeing it in the quotation.

    This, I think, is completely valid. Higher education isn't for everyone. Absolutely. If it didn't work for you, that's fine. But it doesn't really reflect on the value of formal education in general, does it?


    ETA: I skimmed the Wikipedia article you linked to, and I think the philosopher in question was arguing the exact opposite of your interpretation. He's saying that there's more to learning than staring at a screen.

    I agree with him, at least based on my superficial reading.
     
  13. chicagoliz

    chicagoliz Contributor Contributor

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    What makes you think we haven't? I know there are at least 3 of us who have not only applied to, but graduated from law school and I know at least one other is in law school.
     
  14. Megalith

    Megalith Contributor Contributor

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    The burden of proof was a rule meant for the set up of a proper debate. In that setting it is very important, I will concede this. But this is anything but that. If I should sit here and point out all the straw-man's, ad hominem's, arguments from ignorance, and anything that begs the questions, than I might never leave this thread, but I'm not. If you feel like burden of proof is the most important, overshadowing the rest of all critical thinking flaws which exists in most arguments than by all means explain your reasoning. But to be on point, if you wish, I'll make a thread so we can hash this out, because this argument goes further still.

    Fifty years ago now. I think part of the confusion is that I said only. I will try that quote one more time, this time highlighting the things you want to know "Look back at the oldest of the data. In the mid-60s, prior to the great push to increase the number of people going to college with federal student aid, the average earnings gap was quite small. Up until that time, very few good careers were foreclosed to Americans who didn’t have college credentials. For reasons of professional licensure, some fields required college degrees—law and medicine for example—but otherwise young people who had good high school educations could get into entry level jobs in finance, insurance, manufacturing, hospitality, and most other businesses." -Forbes

    The bolded parts answers your questions in full... But I'll use those parts I've highlighted to answer your questions...

    if very few careers were foreclosed to Americans who didn't have college credentials, and young people with only a high school diploma made just about the same as people with degrees than it comes to conclude that regardless of a degree, one could earn good money. So going to college was only necessary if you were studying hard subjects like law and medicine. So yes I said only, when I really meant mostly. Most of the time when you use words or statements like 'all of', 'impossible', etc. You are digging a hole. Which like I said, since this is a forum and not a formal debate, this problem is all too common. But besides all that, the point stands, and that is that licensed practitioners need to go to college, and anyone else can learn the job on the field. So to that extent the value between hard science degrees and everything else becomes apparent.

    It's when you add the factor of many jobs requiring a degree not in their field that these other degrees gain a value. A value which is comparable to fiat money, because it's faceless; which continues to lose as academia continues to decline in quality, and financial aid becomes an option for more people.

    I don't like how you immediately refer to college as a 'higher education.' And your right it doesn't. But everything else I said does. I don't want you judging my whole argument on the last line of my statement, ad hominem btw. It wasn't even part of the main point, simply talking about your assumptions of me.

    yes, well I agree with everything there and I studied it. The point is that the one thing you can't gleam is the unique quality of experience, or Qualia. Which is an metaphysical trait that exists in our consciousness, and that of all animals, presumably. To say that is somehow related to our argument now is nonsense. I was using part of the thought experiment to make a point about valuing a college education on the information learned only.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  15. Jack Asher

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    @Megalith I don't have the slightest clue what the fuck you are talking about. Nothing you are saying makes any sense, and in the cases where it's not immediately demonstrably wrong--
    --you are completely senseless--
    --or just quote the same thing that is completely irrelevant to the point.

    It's just a huge mess here, please go back and try it again.
     
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  16. Megalith

    Megalith Contributor Contributor

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    Uhh... Okay, well if you maybe pointed out what part didn't make sense to you I could give you something here.

    But honestly I've explained this too many times now. At this point either you don't want to understand or your incapable. (Or you skimmed rather than read)I will admit that my point is long, references much information, and if you want to look over that information to see whether i'm full of crap or not, then be my guest. I guarantee it will be a fruitless endeavor though.

    What I think, is you are following what other people pointed out because you can't make your own opinion on the matter, or don't care to. Your satisfied with simply stating something that will be accepted by the rest for that very reason. Not motivations for truth or consistency. Not worth my time. Why even post under those types of pretenses?

    So go back and try again, maybe you'll get something from another read, but for some reason I doubt you care enough about reality to do so.
     
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  17. Ben414

    Ben414 Contributor Contributor

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    [in regards to my response to your quote: "People believing that college is better than not is dangerous belief which is hurting our employment market.']
    You literally cannot use data to prove your above quote about it being a dangerous belief. It is your opinion. In addition, I have seen not any evidence from you that college has corrupted the employment market. The fact that you disregard the debt problem among education is even more baffling.


    How much experience do you have in trying this? Honestly, your view on this sounds naive. Many places require a degree, or at least give great preference to those who have it.

    Clearly, education levels are not the sole determinant of employment rate. That should be blatantly obvious.

    So your argument is: there are too many degrees so employers are not employing less people? Otherwise, you need to show some strong evidence to back a claim such as that when there are so many potentially confounding variables.



    It's very possible for a person to both value education and go to college solely for employment. Calling going to college greed and corruption is ridiculous. It's basically victim-blaming. If you think college isn't for you and that people should really think about why they want to go, I'm all for that. But to say that going to college is a morally wrong behavior that perpetuates the system... :rolleyes:

    EDIT: I don't want to waste my time here, so I'm done with this "debate."
     
  18. Jack Asher

    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Actually I quoted you directly. And your explanations, as have been explained, are either wrong, cite completely irrelevant information, or are mired in strangely backward and inappropriate turn of phrase.

    I'm really not sure what point you think you are making, but from what I understand "More college students are causing economic collapse" would be difficult to prove. This is especially true because the economy has been growing for the past nine months despite continued upticks in enrollment and graduation.
     
  19. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I do have to say that my impression--my impression, my un-backed-up opinion, for which I have no evidence and am too lazy right now to dig any up--is that American society to some extent uses a college education as a deliberate class differentiator. This was never acceptable, and as the cost of a college education goes up, and the availability of loans and scholarship goes down, that becomes less and less acceptable. And my similarly evidence-free impression is that education below the college level is increasingly being treated as a luxury. I feel that our society has an obligation to make education available based on talent, rather than economic privilege, and I feel that we are increasingly falling down on that job.

    However, the solution that I'd recommend wouldn't be fewer college degrees, but instead making a college education available to anyone capable of doing the work, and to improve the funding of schools from preschool on up so that "capable of doing the work" is nurtured from the very beginning. And, yes, please DO raise my taxes, and the taxes of everyone in my income bracket or above, to make that possible. Please do that right now. I'm not joking.
     
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  20. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

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    These deans and whoever else are making near a million dollars a year if not more. They are the problem. College is a business. Want to go to a big university? Enjoy paying how many thousands of dollars a year just so graduate students can teach you. It's a messed up system.

    My vote is to cut the police force by 75%. Most of them suck, anyway, and if you believe the news in NY, they provoke crime. Let's spend those taxes on better schooling and for more people.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  21. Amanda_Geisler

    Amanda_Geisler Member Reviewer

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    This is one of the reasons I like Australia. We don't have to pay anything while we are studying, and we don't have to start paying it back until we're earning over $40k.

    I intend to use what I'm studying at uni/college I am studying my bachelor of arts (professional writing and publishing). I have two years left on that. Then since I've found myself in a business job its probably a good idea to do a business degree.
     
  22. Megalith

    Megalith Contributor Contributor

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    Lets get something straight. Credential Inflation and Academic Inflation are real things with real consequences. This isn't even the first time this has happened.

    "It just keeps getting harder for Americans to get into the middle class and stay there. New research finds that a trend toward “credentials inflation” is keeping otherwise qualified people out of good jobs simply because the potential applicants do not have bachelor’s degrees." - Daily Kos

    "...Currently, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, 260,000 people with college or even professional degrees are so employed. Moreover, the percentage of college graduates who work in jobs that don’t require any advanced academic preparation (the “mal-employed”) has been rising for years, and now stands at 36 percent. If college degrees are becoming more valuable, why are so many graduates either unemployed or employed at low-paying jobs?" - The same damn article I've been quoting all night.

    "This paper by Bryan O’Keefe and Richard Vedder shows that Griggs v. Duke Power may have enormously boosted the number of students in college and may have increased the differential in income between high school and college graduates. It may have led to higher tuition, without providing commensurate additional value." - Pope Center

    So credential inflation has negative consequences of both sides of the fence economically. From tuition fees, overcrowded schooling, underpaid teachers, to those with only high school diplomas. But these are just numbers. Number don't mean anything if you can't tie them together. If you can gleam some value about how things work from them. Going to college shouldn't be 'the plan for everybody until they try it at least.' Because then we have to many people with degrees which devalues them. And that is what is currently propagated by, I don't know, EVERYBODY. And getting a degree for employments sake doesn't guarantee a good paying job. It is a self defeating notion which only continues to add to the same problem. That problem being, credential inflation. So yes it damages the economy when people decide to go to college for no good reason. And following the herd because you don't see an alternative is running away from the issue.

    Economical collapse is a bit dramatic but it is an important factor. So I referenced the past to compare it to the present. A common strategy to prove a point. And the information was relevant and so were my points. I just try and squeeze too much into too little sometimes because people don't like to read a lot. And I understand that gets confusing, so sometimes I just got to step back and try again. So hope you get it now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015
  23. Shadowfax

    Shadowfax Contributor Contributor

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    Which one?
     
  24. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    Feel free to point out strawmen and ad hominems all you like, but you should learn what they are, first. The one you 'point out' below? Isn't an ad hominem.

    You think the confusion is from the word 'only'? I think the confusion is from you thinking that "hard sciences" is a synonym for "hard subjects". The phrase you're actually looking for is "professional degrees". And even that is ridiculous... I can't think of a time when universities were composed only or even mainly of professional schools, under our current definitions. Most professional schools in North America require undergraduate degrees before they even admit most students.

    Okay, you're starting to move in a direction that's at least recognizable. But you're still seeing education as only an employment tool, which isn't how I see it, at all - so we'll have to disagree on that one. I also disagree about academia declining in quality, but again, I don't think it's worth trying to find evidence on.

    This wasn't an ad hominem. You used your own experience as evidence, I accepted that evidence (with limited value, but still, I accepted it...) so how am I making an ad hominem argument? Even if I'd said "I can tell you didn't go to a good school because you have problems with grammar and structuring your arguments" it still wouldn't have been an ad hominem argument, because it's relevant to the topic under discussion and because you've already raised your personal experience as a point in the argument. (It would have been mildly dickish, which is why I didn't do it, but not an ad hominem)

    "To say that is somehow related to our argument now is nonsense." - Seriously? I agree. I have no idea why you brought it up! But given that you did - I further agree that it makes no sense to try "valuing a college education on the information learned only." That's a big part of my point. So...?
     
  25. Megalith

    Megalith Contributor Contributor

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    Now this is true, I don't always use the correct phrasing when I'm typing on a forum. I have enough editing to do with my writing. Some people don't bother to research, I have a problem compacting too much information which makes it easy for my to gloss over these small details. In the same paragraph I used to term 'licensed practitioners' which might not be totally correct either, but it is definitely closer than 'hard subjects.'

    My point is not about what schools offer what courses, but about the value of degrees ('professional degrees' vs. anything else.) Their evolution through time, and the effects it has on our economy... A big part of this cause is the wrong viewpoint people have about college. Another is a court ruling which gives people the incentive to get a degree for the sake of it.

    Guess so, even though I have brought some evidence already. Maybe not everywhere, but in general, all around the numbers don't lie. Maybe you see reasons why it has improved, but then you are overlooking the parts which haven't, and the parts which have declined.

    I believe you originally said, "If it didn't work for you, that's fine. But it doesn't really reflect on the value of formal education in general, does it?"

    I didn't use my own experience as evidence. You were devaluing my point about my opinion on a formal education by referencing something I said which was unrelated to the argument. (that being that I didn't like college) I believe that to be the very definition of an ad hominem. If you remember I only said that because you said I've never been to college. I was simply stating something about myself which you turned around and used to too question the relevance of my argument. all be it unintentional, or so it seems anyway.

    Well I understand now that you didn't get the reason why I referenced that thought experiment. You don't have to go to college to learn everything you learn in college. You don't even have to leave your house. That's all really. I just thought those points tied in nicely to Wreybies examples which helped prove my point. which was, people need to seriously think about why they want to go to college, not only for themselves but for the rest of us as well.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2015

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