Is Getting a College Degree worth it? - Page 5 - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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Polls on politics, news, current affairs and history.

Is it worth going into debt to get a four year degree?

Yes, it is worth it.
7
23%
No, it is not.
3
10%
Maybe depending on the major or field.
17
57%
Other.
3
10%
#15176269
A lot of tech companies have a lot of job vacancies to fill very soon. They do not have time to wait for a four year degree program to trickle out a few grads each year.

Many are simply hiring good candidates who have simply finished a three or six month course on whatever software and specific skill set are needed to do the job.
#15176273
Pants-of-dog wrote:A lot of tech companies have a lot of job vacancies to fill very soon. They do not have time to wait for a four year degree program to trickle out a few grads each year.

Many are simply hiring good candidates who have simply finished a three or six month course on whatever software and specific skill set are needed to do the job.


I agree POD!

I know theology majors that have learned coding on their own. Jobs seem to be available by word of mouth which is not exactly a strict meritocracy. My daughter is always receiving offers to work.
#15176276
Pants-of-dog wrote:So people who are arguing that only STEM degrees are important enough for college degrees are not looking at it realistically.


POD

You can have a major in political bullshit and do well in life if you are smart, hard worker, motivated, and conscientious. Nevertheless, most mothers want their kids to study a STEM profession.
#15176285
For many degrees you can get the same education for $20 in late fees and the local library. You can even walk into most university libraries and sit and read anything you want for as long as you want for free. So unless your career is helped somehow by your degree, it's usually a financial ripoff.
#15176289
Unthinking Majority wrote:For many degrees you can get the same education for $20 in late fees and the local library. You can even walk into most university libraries and sit and read anything you want for as long as you want for free. So unless your career is helped somehow by your degree, it's usually a financial ripoff.

Some professions require formal education such as physicians, lawyers, engineers, etc. OTOH, the best physics teacher my daughter had in High School was a retired man that never taught anything in his whole life. This could only happen in a private school that is not under the NEA.
#15176293
@Cartertonian

You mentioned peer review in one of your posts. I am having to peer review some of my fellow classmates work right now. It feels like I am a teacher, grading papers. At least in this particular assignment I have to complete.
#15176312
Unthinking Majority wrote:For many degrees you can get the same education for $20 in late fees and the local library. You can even walk into most university libraries and sit and read anything you want for as long as you want for free. So unless your career is helped somehow by your degree, it's usually a financial ripoff.

This is certainly true for any liberal arts degree; for example, history, Eng lit, and the like. In fact, almost all of your learning will take place while you're sitting in front of a book. Your lecturer or professor is just there to give some advice now and then as to what you should be reading and to smooth over any difficulties you may have with the damn university bureaucracy. But if you rely on them to 'teach' you everything you need to know, then you're likely going to fail the course.

STEM courses are somewhat different, however - they operate more like apprenticeships, in which practical skills have to be conveyed to the student. In those courses, lectures and lab work are much more important.
#15176313
Pants-of-dog wrote:So people who are arguing that only STEM degrees are important enough for college degrees are not looking at it realistically.


Julian658 wrote:POD

You can have a major in political bullshit and do well in life if you are smart, hard worker, motivated, and conscientious. Nevertheless, most mothers want their kids to study a STEM profession.


I should caveat what I'm about to say by stating that I'm not anti-STEM subjects by any stretch of the imagination, indeed I watch a lot of science and engineering programmes on TV and online and despite my core professional skill-set as a nurse and educator, I have some modest talents in automotive engineering (cars and motorcycles), that has saved me thousands in garage fees over the years.

In a wider socio-political context therefore, the issue I have is not with STEM subjects themselves, but with the notion that they are, 'the only game in town'.

Acknowledging the generalisation, most people who take a STEM focus at school and progress onto a STEM subject at university unconsciously develop a very logical, rigid, right/wrong, black/white, binary thinking process that fits with their subject matter expertise, but fits less effectively with the subtleties and nuances of human experience and the governance of societies.

Thus a society whose ruling elites are STEM-orientated by educational default (i.e. by prioritising STEM education over everything else) risks becoming one in which 'machine logic' rather than the very human blend of reason, emotion and instinct governs our collective decision-making. In such a potential society, the meeting of human emotional and psychological needs could be ruthlessly subordinated to physical priorities and, to some extent, that already happens. Look, for example, at the number of people taking a 'machine logic' approach to the COVID pandemic. I can only comment on the UK, but here there are people insisting that COVID only kills old people, who were going to die anyway, so why bother with all these restrictive, authoritarian control measures? But old people are usually someone's life partner, parent, grandparent, brother or sister and so their premature (even if only by months or a year or two) death doesn't only affect them, but potentially dozens of other people whose contribution to feeding the socio-economic machine would be impacted by their grief and their anger at society's apparent callous disdain for their mental wellbeing. "Never mind bleating about grandma dying - get back to f**king work!!" :roll:

That doesn't look like the recipe for a healthy, happy and productive society to me but it seems to be what many people want, hence the perennial denigration of social sciences, psychology and even subjects like literature and the arts. All derided as worthless by the more ardent STEM advocates because they don't overtly make money and feed the machine.
#15176317
No education is "worth" the price if it crushes you financially forever. However, learning should be free and everybody regardless of their occupation should be able to learn under someone who knows about whatever the fuck they want to learn about. Every Liu Bei deserves a Zhuge Liang.
#15176318
Cartertonian wrote:

That doesn't look like the recipe for a healthy, happy and productive society to me but it seems to be what many people want, hence the perennial denigration of social sciences, psychology and even subjects like literature and the arts. All derided as worthless by the more ardent STEM advocates because they don't overtly make money and feed the machine.



Public funds should serve the public. We need more STEM grads, so putting money there just makes sense.
#15176358
Cartertonian wrote:I should caveat what I'm about to say by stating that I'm not anti-STEM subjects by any stretch of the imagination, indeed I watch a lot of science and engineering programmes on TV and online and despite my core professional skill-set as a nurse and educator, I have some modest talents in automotive engineering (cars and motorcycles), that has saved me thousands in garage fees over the years.

In a wider socio-political context therefore, the issue I have is not with STEM subjects themselves, but with the notion that they are, 'the only game in town'.

Acknowledging the generalisation, most people who take a STEM focus at school and progress onto a STEM subject at university unconsciously develop a very logical, rigid, right/wrong, black/white, binary thinking process that fits with their subject matter expertise, but fits less effectively with the subtleties and nuances of human experience and the governance of societies.

Thus a society whose ruling elites are STEM-orientated by educational default (i.e. by prioritising STEM education over everything else) risks becoming one in which 'machine logic' rather than the very human blend of reason, emotion and instinct governs our collective decision-making. In such a potential society, the meeting of human emotional and psychological needs could be ruthlessly subordinated to physical priorities and, to some extent, that already happens. Look, for example, at the number of people taking a 'machine logic' approach to the COVID pandemic. I can only comment on the UK, but here there are people insisting that COVID only kills old people, who were going to die anyway, so why bother with all these restrictive, authoritarian control measures? But old people are usually someone's life partner, parent, grandparent, brother or sister and so their premature (even if only by months or a year or two) death doesn't only affect them, but potentially dozens of other people whose contribution to feeding the socio-economic machine would be impacted by their grief and their anger at society's apparent callous disdain for their mental wellbeing. "Never mind bleating about grandma dying - get back to f**king work!!" :roll:

That doesn't look like the recipe for a healthy, happy and productive society to me but it seems to be what many people want, hence the perennial denigration of social sciences, psychology and even subjects like literature and the arts. All derided as worthless by the more ardent STEM advocates because they don't overtly make money and feed the machine.


STEM graduates do useful things such as coming up with a COVID-19 vaccine or find an effective treatment for AIDS. They also give you the computer and i-pad you use to post here. Social worker types and useless politicians have done very little to advance the well being of humans.

“Most people living in officially defined poverty in the 21st century have things like cable television, microwave ovens and air-conditioning. Most Americans did not have such things, as late as the 1980s. People whom the intelligentsia continue to call the ‘have-nots’ today have things that the ‘haves’ did not have, just a generation ago.”

Thomas Sowell
#15176362
Considering how we are getting through the pandemic by reading a lot of books, watching a lot of movies and listening to a lot of music, as well as homeschooling, it is difficult to argue that arts are not important.

I have gone years without watching a TV show, months without watching movies, weeks without a book (not fun) but I doubt I could go more than a day or two without music.

Also, I doubt Sowell has a STEM education.
#15176364
Pants-of-dog wrote:A lot of tech companies have a lot of job vacancies to fill very soon. They do not have time to wait for a four year degree program to trickle out a few grads each year.

Many are simply hiring good candidates who have simply finished a three or six month course on whatever software and specific skill set are needed to do the job.


They end up hitting a ceiling at some point though. At some point tech companies need some very qualified workers to do their own thing, which also go well beyond an undergraduate degree.
#15176366
To me, it seems more like degrees are necessary for people who are going to be doing complicated and non-specialised stuff.

So, an architect would need a PSE, but a person doing, for example, IT security for retail stores would not need this braodness of education.

Consequently, the architect would need a long and varied course of study while the retail IT security person would need a few months taking specialised courses.
#15176375
I went to school when it was a lot cheaper.

So this comment isn't about worth, in the financial sense...

I loved college. I was taking a year long History of Ideas class, and was supposed to be writing about something, I forget what. Halfway through the paper, I stumbled across the Philosophy of Science, and the second half was about that. :D

Yeah, the paper got knocked down a grade, but that freedom is part of what makes civilisation tick.
#15176440
Potemkin wrote:This is certainly true for any liberal arts degree; for example, history, Eng lit, and the like. In fact, almost all of your learning will take place while you're sitting in front of a book. Your lecturer or professor is just there to give some advice now and then as to what you should be reading and to smooth over any difficulties you may have with the damn university bureaucracy. But if you rely on them to 'teach' you everything you need to know, then you're likely going to fail the course.

STEM courses are somewhat different, however - they operate more like apprenticeships, in which practical skills have to be conveyed to the student. In those courses, lectures and lab work are much more important.

Yes exactly. I read textbooks in my spare time on university subjects (arts/humanities/social science) I never took. Sometimes i walk into a student bookstore and buy some of the used books on discount. Sometimes I listen to lectures online. Many faculties will post their course outlines online so you can grab some interesting readings. Arts education is basically free, you're paying for the diploma and a small bit of instruction and support facilities.
#15176755
@late Public funds should serve the public. We need more STEM grads, so putting money there just makes sense.


You mean except the "public" that enjoys performing or listening to music? Except the public that enjoys a good book? You mean except the public that goes to movies? And STEM is good for the public because it benefits from astronomers because....wait.....how does the public benefit from astronomers again?
#15177392
Drlee wrote:
You mean except the "public" that enjoys performing or listening to music? Except the public that enjoys a good book? You mean except the public that goes to movies? And STEM is good for the public because it benefits from astronomers because....wait.....how does the public benefit from astronomers again?



What we do now is terrible, thanks largely to Republicans.

My top priority would be to kill things like denying kids the ability to declare bankruptcy over college debt. That's insane, a sadistic throwback to the age of debtors prisons.

Anyway, also not terribly relevant to your question.

It always comes down to money, most of the time, anyway. If we don't massively increase support for kids going to school, it makes sense to put the money where it will do the most good: STEM.

The way to do it is to increase funding per student, maybe a few grand per semester.
Last edited by late on 19 Jun 2021 16:02, edited 1 time in total.
#15177394
But that is my point. I do not agree that STEM is "doing the most good". I do not agree that we benefit from astronomers any more than we benefit from singers.

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