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  • 6
  • Arnold B.
    8:16pm - Wed Sep 14th, 2011
    Take my advice - TRUST ME!
    Chris, take my word... The whole secondary education system is, for lack of a better word, a SCAM. I've just been through it; I shouldn't say just "I"... my son has just been through it first hand (aka the "system" - go to college, further your education, get a good job, carve out a good living for yourself, etc.). And now that I'm $60,000 dollars poorer, and he's working dead-end jobs in the name of "figuring it out", the co$t of this education experience continues to rise. He can't make ends meet. He's still living at home. Fortunately he didn't go to an "expensive" school, although it's hard for me to consider $60 grand disposable income in these times.

    From the SAT to the ACT to text books (oh boy, there's another hot button - text books); it's all a SCAM.

    Save yourself, and MORE IMPORTANTLY your daughter from educational overload. Encourage her to pursue her passion, and if she's not passionate about something, devote EVERY resource she can to figuring out what that is. Don't let her go to college just because everyone else is doing it. It truly is NOT the right thing to do anymore; plus it's bad advice even under good economical conditions. The name of the game is find a career that you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.

    Find your passion and figure out the most direct and economical path towards achieving it. If the shortest and most economical route is working at Costco stocking shelves during the day and burning the midnight oil at the library learning about your passion, then so be it.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Robert M.
    11:15pm - Wed Sep 14th, 2011
    learn a trade
    Serve an apprenticeship, learn a trade. Earn As You Learn. An apprentice that goes to work, on time, every day usually earns 20K to 25K in the first year. Most of your training material is paid for through your union. After serving a 3 or 4 year apprenticeship, most earn 50K per year(or more). You also get health care, pension and/or an annuity. Show some major initiative, and you will be a foreman, superintendent or company owner before you know it. A trade is not for everyone, but don't count it out either. In addition, many union apprenticeship offer college credits.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • BobSmith17
    8:46am - Thu Sep 15th, 2011
    To Degree or Not To Degree..
    What a timely topic, Chris! I left school 10 years ago, since I was not really sure what I wanted to do when I was an adult. I have been working in the banking field and have done very well without a degree. Throughout my career, I have noticed that having a degree doesn't necessarily help, but by not having one, the doors are harder to open. During my employment, I have seen many people come and go through my office, young, old, degreed and non-degreed and I think we have an over saturation of well-rounded students with degrees. It really doesn't matter where you got a degree from and from what I can gather, recruiters and employers are looking for candidates that have proven themselves and can hit the ground running. (Ie: be really good at what you do and show results!)

    I seem to remember some advice from a teacher, that the degree shows that you are able to stick with something and carry it through, dedication and will power. I agree, I'm not sure what I am learning is really going to help me in the future, except to hang a piece of paper on my wall. It's hard being an older student and dealing with the idiosyncrasies of professors. Don't get me wrong, I love to learn, but the educational institution isn't really working for me. Not to mention, there are many companies out there that will take your money in turn for a degree. There are several very good documentaries available on the education system - what a mess!

    After pushing paper all these years, I like your idea.. I want to learn a trade so I can go out and say, that building, I helped build it!
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • drjai
    9:37am - Thu Sep 15th, 2011
    As a parent who has put two children through college, yes it's expensive, but the education and social skills learned are invaluable. In order to succeed in the global market, one not only needs to have a skill, but to understand the principles behind it. Education has no substitute.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • David C
    9:38am - Thu Sep 15th, 2011
    Maybe yes, maybe no
    I think all college education should be career oriented. If the degree isn't going to be useful for your career goal, then it's a waste of money. While some rich people may be willing to waste the money, the rest of us should think twice.

    I think a typical liberal arts degree is only good if you want to work in academia. A degree in English is essential if you want to teach English, but useless for anything else.

    For those who want a job in technology, a degree in engineering or computer science is critical. You won't get a job without one, and the schools do tech essential information. Ditto for people who want to go in to law or medicine - degrees (and sometimes degrees from the right schools) are mandatory for those fields.

    But this is not the case for all fields. If, for example, you are more inclined to work in a blue-collar field, like manufacturing or construction, then you're far far better off going to a trade school and enter into an apprenticeship, where you can get the skills that will give you an edge in those jobs.

    Parents should realize that there's really good money to be made as a plumber, electrician, carpenter or auto mechanic. You still have to work hard, because the good money is going to be paid to the best, not to everybody, and a high school degree won't be sufficient, but the necessary education for these fields is probably best attained via trade schools and not through colleges.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }
  • Sierra Hotel
    12:23pm - Thu Sep 15th, 2011
    Learn a trade
    I know of a family who during the great dot com era sent their son to Cisco school and got him the highest Cisco certification available. It took him about two years to complete and when he got out he immediately landed a 120k/year job. Today I would be willing to bet that given the same circumstances you could get at least 140k/year. What I have found is that high tech certifications will get you much farther than a 4 year degree.
    { "Agree":"1","Funny":"1","Insightful":"1","Disagree":"-1","Offensive":"-1","Troll":"-1" }