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Has college become worthless?

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Re: Has college become worthless?

Postby Pogotheostrich » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:48 pm

Talking to my Dad last night, he said my cousin was upset because the bank would only give him a $1000 student loan. He could only get that much because he is a part-time student. When I asked why he needed the loan the answer was because he doesn't have a job and doesn't want to live at home. :-t :-t
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Re: Has college become worthless?

Postby StlSluggers » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:56 pm

Pogotheostrich wrote:Talking to my Dad last night, he said my cousin was upset because the bank would only give him a $1000 student loan. He could only get that much because he is a part-time student. When I asked why he needed the loan the answer was because he doesn't have a job and doesn't want to live at home. :-t :-t

I hate Illinois. That was about 50% of the people I knew over there (and 75% of my extended family).
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Re: Has college become worthless?

Postby The Artful Dodger » Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:57 pm

lastingsgriller wrote:All depends on how you use college and what degree you get. if you spend 20K a year to go get an Art history degree... well, good luck. It will never pay you back. (but if thats your degree, you probably aren't too concerned with getting paid back. And you probably got the knowlede you were looking for.)


That's not really true. I know a number of people who wind up doing something other than the degree they studied in. For example, as I mentioned in the Prop 8 thread, one of my good friends has a political science degree and jumped into software development straight away. He's been doing that for 10 years since he graduated and he's an excellent engineer. That's perhaps the exception to the rule. However, most folks now are likely to switch not just from job to job, but also their careers in an instant.

lastingsgriller wrote:I currently am in debt up to my nostrils.. but then again, this spring I will be graduating with a double major in Accounting and Management, spend 6 months studying after that and pass the CPA. Those are the kind of credentials that kick down doors in a career path. Most likey, because of my personality, I will probably go back for an MBA after that. by the time it's all said and done, I'm sure that I'll be 50k-80k in debt, but in all honesty, thats chump change in comparison to how much extra money those qualifications will earn me.


Personally, I don't believe an MBA is worth the money, but it depends on your circumstances. People go back for an MBA to either change their careers, advance their careers, build skills they think they're lacking in, or simply to network with other people. If you're going into accounting/finance, you'll probably need to go for your MBA especially if you're working in a big company or going into corporate finance because career advancement can be a bit slow (depends on your expectations, however). You're probably not going to learn anything more than you do now (or from your work experience) when you go for your MBA. If anything, the material is like a refresher course, unless you find the more in-depth specialties, such as M&A or global accounting, to be more detailed.

My rule of thumb is if you feel like you have the experience, as well as the support net, to carry your career on your own, you don't need an MBA. I will also say that getting a Master's doesn't give you a guarantee for that prized entry-level six-digit graduate job that the Whartons of the world will promise. Most of those folks come out with a $65-70k starting salary and given the time to earn it (2-3 years), you could work your way to that salary range without putting yourself in debt. Also, where you get your MBA carries more importance than it does with your Bachelor's degree. If you went to Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, etc., employers are likely to pay good money for just the name of the school on your degree. Likewise, if you attend a good school albeit not nationally renowned, it's harder to command a $90-100k starting salary straight out of the chute.
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Re: Has college become worthless?

Postby Pogotheostrich » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:10 pm

StlSluggers wrote:
Pogotheostrich wrote:Talking to my Dad last night, he said my cousin was upset because the bank would only give him a $1000 student loan. He could only get that much because he is a part-time student. When I asked why he needed the loan the answer was because he doesn't have a job and doesn't want to live at home. :-t :-t

I hate Illinois. That was about 50% of the people I knew over there (and 75% of my extended family).


Sounds like you lived in Granite City. :-D

It really depends how you choose to go to school. I went to a JuCo for 2 years and then a local University for the last 2 working 30 hours a week and living a home the whole time. When I got out of school I didn't have any debt.
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Re: Has college become worthless?

Postby lastingsgriller » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:33 pm

The Artful Dodger wrote:
lastingsgriller wrote:All depends on how you use college and what degree you get. if you spend 20K a year to go get an Art history degree... well, good luck. It will never pay you back. (but if thats your degree, you probably aren't too concerned with getting paid back. And you probably got the knowlede you were looking for.)


That's not really true. I know a number of people who wind up doing something other than the degree they studied in. For example, as I mentioned in the Prop 8 thread, one of my good friends has a political science degree and jumped into software development straight away. He's been doing that for 10 years since he graduated and he's an excellent engineer. That's perhaps the exception to the rule. However, most folks now are likely to switch not just from job to job, but also their careers in an instant.

lastingsgriller wrote:I currently am in debt up to my nostrils.. but then again, this spring I will be graduating with a double major in Accounting and Management, spend 6 months studying after that and pass the CPA. Those are the kind of credentials that kick down doors in a career path. Most likey, because of my personality, I will probably go back for an MBA after that. by the time it's all said and done, I'm sure that I'll be 50k-80k in debt, but in all honesty, thats chump change in comparison to how much extra money those qualifications will earn me.


Personally, I don't believe an MBA is worth the money, but it depends on your circumstances. People go back for an MBA to either change their careers, advance their careers, build skills they think they're lacking in, or simply to network with other people. If you're going into accounting/finance, you'll probably need to go for your MBA especially if you're working in a big company or going into corporate finance because career advancement can be a bit slow (depends on your expectations, however). You're probably not going to learn anything more than you do now (or from your work experience) when you go for your MBA. If anything, the material is like a refresher course, unless you find the more in-depth specialties, such as M&A or global accounting, to be more detailed.

My rule of thumb is if you feel like you have the experience, as well as the support net, to carry your career on your own, you don't need an MBA. I will also say that getting a Master's doesn't give you a guarantee for that prized entry-level six-digit graduate job that the Whartons of the world will promise. Most of those folks come out with a $65-70k starting salary and given the time to earn it (2-3 years), you could work your way to that salary range without putting yourself in debt. Also, where you get your MBA carries more importance than it does with your Bachelor's degree. If you went to Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, etc., employers are likely to pay good money for just the name of the school on your degree. Likewise, if you attend a good school albeit not nationally renowned, it's harder to command a $90-100k starting salary straight out of the chute.


I hear what you are saying.. I haven't thought too much about whether or not I will go for an MBA or not. I just mention it because I have been working full time and going to school for the past 4 years and I just know that without school, I may get a bit restless.

who knows.. maybe I'll land a job with a good consulting firm and they may be interested in picking up the tab for the MBA.. cross that road when I get there, I guess..
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Re: Has college become worthless?

Postby knapplc » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:36 pm

You can educate yourself at the library all you want (and I have, believe me) but all the knowledge in the world doesn't get you the job you want when you don't have that degree to certify your knowledge. And the degree isn't just certifying knowledge, it's saying that you have the discipline to sit through the rigors of a four- or five-year education process, and succeed. That's what companies are looking for with these degrees, not just a skill set.
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Re: Has college become worthless?

Postby The Artful Dodger » Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:44 pm

lastingsgriller wrote:who knows.. maybe I'll land a job with a good consulting firm and they may be interested in picking up the tab for the MBA.. cross that road when I get there, I guess..


I got into management consulting straight out of college. The pay is nice, the benefits are too. If you can handle 60 hour work weeks on occasion and some travel, it's a pretty sweet gig. It also diversifies your career path such that you're exposed to different kinds of assignments and you have another path besides accounting. Aside from landing an accounting job for a big 5 firm, management consulting is perhaps the best entry-level field you can get into.
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Re: Has college become worthless?

Postby kab21 » Fri Aug 13, 2010 12:35 pm

dAnzac wrote:If I could do it all over again, I'd have applied myself in Japanese class and become an English teacher in Tokyo.

Either that or an assassin :-?


Not sure if this makes sense but you don't need to know any Japanese to teach English. :-D

I've been teaching English in Taiwan and you don't use the native language in the classroom and it's not that hard to navigate around without knowing Chinese. But I am learning and there isn't a better place to do it. The longer term plan is to get a teaching degree in math (BS in engineering) and teach in the international HS's around the world. Pretty good money and pretty cheap living.
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Re: Has college become worthless?

Postby The Artful Dodger » Tue Sep 28, 2010 12:29 am

I thought of this thread when reading about the merits of staying in college. It's a bit slanted to those interested in the entrepreneurship and startup scenes in general and I found the comments more insightful than the article itself. Regardless, it is an interesting talking point in the discussion of college losing its worth.
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