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Thread: What Price a Degree?

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    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    What Price a Degree?

    Reading CITY A.M. a London business paper today, my eye fell on the following article by the editor who, if we are to believe the data given, points up a pretty bleak outlook for graduates:


    By Allister Heath

    October 24, 2013, 2:13am


    1. In the US, over 8,000 waiters have PhDs or equivalent qualifications, as have 5,057 cleaners. Roughly 317,000 waiters have university degrees, as have 80,000 bartenders and 18,000 parking attendants. These figures have been highlighted by Richard Vedder of the University of Ohio, and are based on official statistics from 2010; today’s situation is unlikely to have improved. A similar trend is becoming visible in the UK, with more graduates having to take jobs for which they are over-qualified; and many bright, hard-working graduates from around the world work in London’s sandwich and coffee shops. A mismatch between the supply and demand of university degrees is an increasingly tragic problem

    .... - See more at: http://www.cityam.com/article/138257....n1DQkmVI.dpuf
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

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    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    Problem is, there's not much useful data given at all. A breakdown of the degrees would help; I'd be willing to bet more waiters have English or Art degrees than tech degrees. Other things can factor into success also, like personality.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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    User Name is backwards :( Eman Resu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calidore View Post
    Problem is, there's not much useful data given at all. A breakdown of the degrees would help; I'd be willing to bet more waiters have English or Art degrees than tech degrees. Other things can factor into success also, like personality.

    All true. At least we all know that here in the States, it's certainly not due to the fact that 31 million jobs have been sent overseas in the past three decades - and we know this because our government tells us so.

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    Procrastinator General *Classic*Charm*'s Avatar
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    Same thing here in Canada. Lots of recent graduates end up going back to college, where a diploma will get you skills, as opposed to all the theoretical knowledge a university degree gets you.

    Every job posting wants x amount of experience, which one does not get with a degree. Lots of knowledge and no skills.
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    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    In the UK it costs £9,000 a year to study - but only if you earn enough afterwards to be able to pay it back. Anyone in a low paid job will never have to pay it back.

    On the other hand, a degree - and I don't mean all degrees lead to jobs, but to the training for jobs - are required to open doors to professional and many higher paid careers. Failing that, you have a well educated and hopefully informed population who potentially could fulfil future jobs in their field.

    I think education is good for everyone whatever career happens or doesn't.

  6. #6
    User Name is backwards :( Eman Resu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulclem View Post
    In the UK it costs £9,000 a year to study - but only if you earn enough afterwards to be able to pay it back. Anyone in a low paid job will never have to pay it back.

    One of the benefits not mentioned in the U.K. (and to a much smaller degree, in the U.S. in Ivy League settings) is that of the "old school tie." Balliol cufflinks and Merton stickpins have opened more doors than all the valets in the West End combined.

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    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulclem View Post
    In the UK it costs £9,000 a year to study - but only if you earn enough afterwards to be able to pay it back. Anyone in a low paid job will never have to pay it back.

    On the other hand, a degree - and I don't mean all degrees lead to jobs, but to the training for jobs - are required to open doors to professional and many higher paid careers. Failing that, you have a well educated and hopefully informed population who potentially could fulfil future jobs in their field.

    I think education is good for everyone whatever career happens or doesn't.
    That's true here in Oz too. If you earn less than $47000 per annum then your Higher Education Debt doesn't kick in so there are a multitude of interesting jobs out there - even career at part time level and one can thrive without ever having to pay the government back so I wouldn't be too quick to put all students in the victim basket. I have two degrees and work in the public service which in Oz is packed with benefits like double super, job security and high pay but I work part time and haven't paid my $8000 debt back yet.
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    BadWoolf JuniperWoolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Classic*Charm* View Post
    Same thing here in Canada. Lots of recent graduates end up going back to college, where a diploma will get you skills, as opposed to all the theoretical knowledge a university degree gets you.

    Every job posting wants x amount of experience, which one does not get with a degree. Lots of knowledge and no skills.
    This is absolutely true. The funny thing is, one of the most vocalized "benefits" of a university education is that it will teach students to think critically. If students actually stop doing what they think they're supposed to be doing for a hot minute and think critically about university, they'd likely come to the conclusion that they're burying themselves in debt for an education that they could pick up for the price of a library card, and which will leave them overeducated and underemployed. The university trap is one of the reasons why we're called, among other things, "generation boomerang" and "generation screwed."
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    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    I've been lucky enough with scholarships that I managed to complete 2 Bachelor degrees and a Master's without any debt.
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    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    Whether its actually a debt is a moot point. I've heard it called graduate tax, and I wonder why it would put people off trying to invest in their chosen profession/ job etc. If they don't succeed, then they don't pay it back while they are on a lower wage.

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    BadWoolf JuniperWoolf's Avatar
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    That's not how it works in North America.
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    "Personal note: When I was a little kid my mother told me not to stare into the sun. So once when I was six, I did. At first the brightness was overwhelming, but I had seen that before. I kept looking, forcing myself not to blink, and then the brightness began to dissolve. My pupils shrunk to pinholes and everything came into focus and for a moment I understood. The doctors didn't know if my eyes would ever heal."
    -Pi


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    I'm old enough to have received free tuition, and a full grant for living expenses, in the UK. I actually saved money from it, which was very useful immediately after College. I was never in debt until I took out a mortgage, and even that was at a reasonable level, not the insane levels young people are faced with today. It seems very unfair that younger people have to get into so much debt. Why aren't older people forced to pay a "graduate tax"? Why isn't there more affordable housing? Why should should so much debt be imposed on the young?

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    Procrastinator General *Classic*Charm*'s Avatar
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    That is absolutely not how it works here in North America. There are some scholarships to be had, if you dig them up, qualify, and apply for them. Very few people are able to get through without debt, especially students who pay their own way (without help from parents). A lot of graduate-level programs come with a stipend to lessen the blow. Government aid will allow you to put off payment until after the end of your program, but it must always be paid back in full, and many don't qualify for it in the first place (ie, if your parents make too much money, even if they aren't contributing).
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    TobeFrank Paulclem's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mal4mac View Post
    I'm old enough to have received free tuition, and a full grant for living expenses, in the UK. I actually saved money from it, which was very useful immediately after College. I was never in debt until I took out a mortgage, and even that was at a reasonable level, not the insane levels young people are faced with today. It seems very unfair that younger people have to get into so much debt. Why aren't older people forced to pay a "graduate tax"? Why isn't there more affordable housing? Why should should so much debt be imposed on the young?
    I reckon it's because they have no voice. I agree with the sentiments, but mention money and taxation and the arms fly. As it is, I hope kids aren't put off as it's an investment that could lead to a good career. If it doesn't, then I don't think education is wasted.

    Quote Originally Posted by JuniperWoolf View Post
    That's not how it works in North America.
    Yes - the inequalities are really pronounced just from a way outsider view.

    Currently our Tory party is trying to develop the "work hard, do well" myth here as if the lack of a strong work ethic and the desire to do well is the only thing that holds people back.

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    Registered User Delta40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paulclem View Post
    Yes - the inequalities are really pronounced just from a way outsider view.

    Currently our Tory party is trying to develop the "work hard, do well" myth here as if the lack of a strong work ethic and the desire to do well is the only thing that holds people back.
    Sort of like Arbeit macht frei...
    Before sunlight can shine through a window, the blinds must be raised - American Proverb

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