Adult Content Warning

This community may contain adult content that is not suitable for minors. By closing this dialog box or continuing to navigate this site, you certify that you are 18 years of age and consent to view adult content.

I gotz me an Edumacation.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Nettdata, Oct 24, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Sicnevol

    Sicnevol
    Expand Collapse
    Disturbed

    Reputation:
    6
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    317
    Location:
    Indiana
    Well, I get my BA paid for by the State. After I fill out my federal aid form, they pay what ever the the Expected Family Contribution doesn't cover. I get under $600a month, so my EFC is $0. They didn't put me into the program until last year though, so I'll have about $15K in debt when I graduate, if i don't start paying on it now.


    If I start putting all my extra cash on my loans, I'll have no debt when I start grad school.


    My BA is in English and I want to study historical linguistics in grad school. I've got an interdisciplinary anthropology minor, with a specialization in archeology.

    Yes, I know I'm a fucking nerd.
     
  2. Senna Vs. Prost

    Senna Vs. Prost
    Expand Collapse
    Experienced Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    160
    I am about to get a B.J. (snigger) in Journalism from a well known school here. I still stand by the fact that I've learned more from certain blogs, and the RMMB, than I have in four years of school. I'm fortunate that my folks agreed to foot the bill for college. I live at home and everything else is on me, but I think I'd shoot myself if I had to pay for all of that, knowing that I most likely won't use my degree to pursue a career in Journalism.
     
  3. nate84405

    nate84405
    Expand Collapse
    Village Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Ogden,Utah
    I have not gone to any school at all. I dropped out of high school and ended up getting a diploma a couple years later. Do I regret not going to school? Not really, I have worked at the same place for nearly 4 years and I advance every year. With the skill set i have learned here I can pretty much move onto anything. I have experience in mid level management, purchasing, accounting, and inventory control. I personally think that I learn much better from real life experience that learning stuff in a class room.
     
  4. Misanthropic

    Misanthropic
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    305
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,590
    My profession absolutely requires a science or engineering degree ( I have undergrad and grad degrees in Biology). But it is incorrect to assume that the cost of such an education has to be expensive. I went to a community college for 2 years, and a medium sized local school to complete my undergraduate and graduate degrees. I finished my undergraduate studies owing nothing. I completed my Masters' while working (including researching, writing and successfully defending a thesis), and my employers picked up most of the tab during this time.

    None of you would recognize the name of my alma mater, but I work with people from MIT, Penn State, and NotreDame, to name a few, and both my position and pay (north of are as high, or higher, than people from the far more expensive schools. The costs of an education doesn't have to be crippling.
     
  5. toddus

    toddus
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    621
    Fixed that for you.
     
  6. dambee

    dambee
    Expand Collapse
    Should still be lurking

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN.
    I am also in the field of Architecture and the quoted is a pretty accurate post if you want to study this profession.

    Although, I'm no longer practicing or working for a firm, I've taken my 10 years plus of experience and now work for a large Real Estate Investment Trust which owns/operates and develops shopping malls. My job entails, travelling quite a bit to our sites, hiring and managing "consulting architects" to design/build our shopping centers as well as doing a lot of the front end due dilligence land/site planning for our development arm. In short I basically manage the design process from front to end without enduring the countless "billable hours" it takes to draw construction plans etc.

    I will say it was the best decision I ever made as I work 1/2 the hours and get paid 3 times as much as I did while in practice in Chicago. I would think long and hard about getting into this particular field as I read quote from the AIA that amost 45% of all licensed architects are now out of work or laid off.
     
  7. Noland

    Noland
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    41
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    2,237
    Location:
    New Orleans
    I attended The University of the South. Walker Percy, one of our more celebrated alums, once described Sewanee, as it is known, as "A school that will prepare you for nothing except living the good life". (Paraphrased) Was it the right decision? For me? Absolutely. An undergrad education, with the exception of scientists and engineers and those looking to be academics, is not a trade school. You're not learning a profession. You are learning how to think, how to study, and how to solve problems.

    I worked at a summer camp between my freshman and sophomore years in college and the head cook at camp was a chemistry professor at LSU. His comment on public versus private colleges and universities was it wasn't the professors that made a real difference, rather it was the caliber of the students that mattered.

    There's no doubt that if you sit in a freshman history class at LSU you are going to be surrounded by 300 other students with a wide divergence in brains, motivation, and interest. Whereas, at a school like Sewanee, (in my experience) I had a class of about 30, everyone of whom reached a minimum IQ level that was pretty high and had a fairly high desire to succeed. Competition is good.

    That being said, I read an article online not long ago that gave the highest tuition in the US, at some college in New England whose name I don't recall, as just over 50K a year. Is that worth it? Unless you can resurrect Socrates, Newton, Einstein, and figure out a way to cure ALS so Hawking can participate, the answer is, hell no.
     
  8. Kittie

    Kittie
    Expand Collapse
    Average Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    85
    I'm back in school trying to get my master's degree before I enroll in law school. I quit (I'm an English major....sooooo useful) for a sales job with a Fortune 50 company where I made A LOT of money for doing relatively nothing. However, the economy nipped many of those jobs in the bud, so back to school I am since there is not a demand for people who have a vast knowledge of Faulkner in the real world.

    If I had to do it over, this time I would have gone straight through to get my JD. While I gained a lot of life experience in my hiatus, I'd be finished now doing what I really want to do. Instead, I wasted so much investing time in a company that could have cared less and saw me as an expendable number.

    Always, ALWAYS, have a back-up plan.
     
  9. DannyMac

    DannyMac
    Expand Collapse
    Disturbed

    Reputation:
    23
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    340
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    My wife is an intern Architect and it is a tough racket out right now. The really sad part is that she busted her ass in undergrad, while I merely worked hard, and she has a Masters in Architecture from a premier program. All that being said, my Q4 bonus is currently on track to be close to 150% of her annual salary (now I'm in sales so I'm pretty leveraged, but still.)

    The entire industry of Architecture from the outside looking in is pretty fundamentally broken right now. You have small boutique firms filled with brilliant designers that have absolutely no business running a company or managing people. There is no real incentive to have more than one or two people registered other than minor marketing reasons. The benefits and employee privileges are absolutely fucking shameful and if you're a woman in the field then you still have a lot of managers wondering why you aren't staying home and popping out a kid every few months.

    Focus: I on the other hand, got a degree in Industrial and Systems Engineering which required a good degree of hard work, but was easier than the Mechanical, Electrical, yadda yadda's and allows for a lot of flexibility in where you can take the work. For all intents now, I am just a business guy with some really in depth logistics knowledge and enhanced problem solving skills. The engineering approach to problem solving has been invaluable in allowing me to move my career in places that I want it to go and since I didn't spend 6 years learning to do a single thing I don't feel as trapped as others I know . . . cough . . . the wife . . . cough.
     
  10. ibwip

    ibwip
    Expand Collapse
    Lurker

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1
    Tuition costs in Wisconsin are a little different for in state residents. It’s essentially nothing, (tuition cost about 8K a year, easily payable if you work part time during the school year) I graduated undergrad with a dual degree in Economics and Political Science in 2008. The only debt I incurred was a loan I took out to study abroad (15K). I was planning on getting my doctorate in Political Science and becoming a professor and had a full ride to a reasonable university to do it., but then a string of bad luck happened. The school I chose had offered seven scholarships but due to budget cuts had to rescind three of them. I was one of the three. By the time they let me know I had already told my safety schools no thanks, so I was pretty shit out of luck. There was no way in hell I was going to go into debt to get a social science phd so I deciced to change career paths and am now getting my Masters in International Economic Development.

    Looking back I sometimes wish I would have majored in Chemistry and perhaps gone down the medical route simply for the job security, but all in all I’m pretty happy with my choice. Hopefully it works out.
     
  11. breakylegg

    breakylegg
    Expand Collapse
    Experienced Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    The Devil's Elevator
    I am planning on going back to school. This economy begs for self-reinvention if you got caught unawares and are now broke. A degree is always a good long-term investment, though the pessimistic and associative part of me will always tell me that a degree is a piece of paper, a receipt, a scalp and ultimately a puddle of Simian pee.
     
  12. Ryan Leaf

    Ryan Leaf
    Expand Collapse
    Average Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    82
    I am extremely lucky in that I have received my education basically for free. I got an athletic scholarship to a good school, then after working my ass off for two years, transferred to a phenomenal school for the final two years with an academic scholarship. I then went to law school, where I got plenty of financial aid and my grandfather covered living expenses. If I had to pay for it all; Around $50,000 for my first two years, about $65,000 for my final two years, and about $90,000 for law school.

    I'm now working as a dive instructor on the other side of the world, after finishing a course that cost me about $3000. My elitist undergrad and my JD don't really help me day to day to say the least. I do plan on using it eventually, but for now I'm happy showing Swedish backpackers how deep I can go, and also teaching them to Scuba dive.
     
  13. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
    Expand Collapse
    The White

    Reputation:
    23
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,578
    I have about as much formal education as you can get without people accusing you of just hiding in school. Right on the cusp, there.

    Was it worth it? Everyone has confirmation bias about this sort of thing. If you're doing great and you had a lot of formal education, then you will probably say it was definitely worth it. If you're doing great and dropped out of high school at 16, then formal education is for suckers.

    Also, I don't know what the alternatives would have been. What if I had just gotten a job after college instead of going to grad school? I might be making more money. I might own my own home. I might have met the girl of my dreams. Who knows?

    So I can't tell you whether it was "worth it," but I can tell you what has been good and bad about having so much education.

    The Good: I get much more latitude to decide what I want to work on, while still having the stability of an ordinary salaried job. I probably get to work on a much wider variety of projects than the average person. I do not have to worry about unemployment; statistically the most I have to worry about is underemployment. (Compared to unemployment, underemployment is just sort of a minor bummer). I work for a company that places an almost preternatural value on advanced degrees (management and peer pressure has driven some 50+ year olds I work with back to school to get PhDs). As such, I get to operate (at work) at a level about 10-20 years beyond my chronological age and position. In meetings full of senior people, I can speak up and they will not only let me finish, but listen. The people I work with are very smart and dedicated to their work, which makes them exceptionally pleasant conversation partners. Additionally, many of them have wicked senses of humor, and I regularly get to witness exchanges with dialogue as good as any written for TV.

    The Bad: I could have been making more money, probably on a year-over-year basis and over my lifetime, if I had dropped out and gone to work earlier. If I found myself working for a company that didn't place so much emphasis on degrees, I would be far behind others of my age in terms of climbing the corporate ladder. It is difficult to maintain a "normal" work-life balance.

    On the Cost of Education: Thanks to generous scholarship programs and the donors that make them possible, I did not have to pay for my education, nor did my parents. Nonetheless, I maintained part-time employment throughout both my undergraduate and graduate school days, first in barely-above-minimum-wage campus jobs, and ultimately doing a small bit of lucrative consulting. I got a very good education at a good state school, with in-state tuition. My entire undergraduate education cost less than a year's tuition at any private school, and I don't think that my education was 75% worse than a private school's. I think that the "error bars" on the value of a college or postgraduate education are quite big - a student that makes the most of a state school education will end up getting far more out of it than a student that just goes through the motions at a private school costing many times as much. In my case, all the part-time jobs I did throughout were in my chosen profession, so by the time I finished school my work history was just as long as my educational history. Had I gone to some gonzo super-technical school that dominates 100% of your life with classwork and homework, I likely would have learned a little more in the classroom, but nothing at all in the workplace. I like the choice I made.

    On Autodidacts: These days, it is fashionable to point out that you don't need a formal education to succeed. Everyone knows that guy who was a High School dropout and now is one of: a technical wizard, a self-made multimillionaire, a world-traveling nomad who is happier than any fuck in a cubicle, etc. Everyone knows many more people who went to college, got fancy degrees (including advanced ones), and are still dumb and useless. The natural conclusion, then, is that education is some kind of big conspiracy or scam, or at least a monumental failure. As I noted above, there are huge error bars on the value of education: if a student works very hard to take the absolute minimum acceptable advantage of their educational opportunities, they will still get the degree and still be mostly useless.

    My take on autodidacts is that while it's relatively easy to learn the particulars of a field on the job (as most of us inevitably do, education or not), it's much, much harder to learn the fundamentals. Some people manage to learn them anyway. Some people manage to succeed wildly without ever learning them. I think that working without them can be dangerous, or at least counterproductive, because knowledge of a field's fundamentals is what lets you move easily between tools and techniques as they come in and out of fashion. Autodidacts with a real grasp of fundamentals are rare indeed.
     
  14. carpenter

    carpenter
    Expand Collapse
    Disturbed

    Reputation:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    306
    Location:
    Fairbanks
    High school education was about it for me. I hated school, love learning.
    It's ok for me, I get to work with my hands, use my head for something other than catching bird-shit.
    I started as a Marine, drove forklifts, bulldozers and back-hoes. I've cooked in kitchens, delivered food etc.
    I've built houses and hi-rises. I wouldn't change a thing.
    I guess the world does need ditch-diggers too.
     
  15. johnnychase

    johnnychase
    Expand Collapse
    Village Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    10
    I'm about to go back to school, probably early next year. It makes sense from just about every angle I can see. The new GI Bill for post 9/11 veterans covers every penny of tuition as well as books and fees. On top of that, you'll get the housing allowance that an E-5 would get, depending on the location of your school.

    So if I go to say a film school in southern California, besides the free schooling I will also get over $2k a month to pay my rent, groceries, or whatever. Due to certain disabilities I get even more on top of that. So, it's a no brainer. It's time to go back to school.
     
  16. big B

    big B
    Expand Collapse
    Average Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Right near the beach, NC
    I went to school in North Carolina, which has traditionally been one of the least expensive states to get a four year degree. Hell, depending on which school you went to, in '97-'01 it was about $1700 a semester to go to a state school as a resident. I graduated in Poly Sci, and worked at the General Assembly for a couple years right out of school. I loved it. However I switched out of the GA for a job (out of my field) that paid more money. That job lead me to move to another city, and by proxy met up with my current employer. I now work as an estimator for a large construction company. It was all on-the-job training, so my Poly Sci degree got thrown out of the window when I came here. On the other hand, I will say that if I did not have that degree I definitely wouldn't have this job. It's opened alot of doors for me and I couldn't be happier with the way things have turned out, but without that degree, I wouldn't be shit.
    If I were to do it again I would have studied Civil Engineering.
    I want half-day Fridays dammit!
     
  17. anjelik

    anjelik
    Expand Collapse
    Should still be lurking

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    New York, NY
    I'm a headhunter, so I would say that you really do not need a college education in order to do this job. You just need to have people skills and be able to react/adapt to situations quickly. The best people in my business (and when I say best, I really just mean the people making a shitload of money) didn't necessarily go to a top school, or even finish school. You obviously can't be a moron, but street smarts are more helpful in this business.

    However, I do see how certain schools open doors more than others. If you go to Columbia vs SUNY Albany you will more than likely have more success in securing a job quickly out of college. Also, if you want to work for some of the more prestigious firms, top schools matter, even if you're 45.
     
  18. Silly_wabbit

    Silly_wabbit
    Expand Collapse
    Village Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Location:
    The taint of the South
    I majored in English and public relations at a small private liberal arts college in Missouri. I currently work as a contractor on anti-gang issues for the feds. The correlation between my education and my career? Zero, except for having a piece of paper saying I graduated from college.

    Having said that, though, college taught me to research, think critically, use logic, and present information in a user-friendly way. Working in sales after my education for a couple of years taught me to be unafraid of cold calls and talking to strangers. Both have been equally helpful in doing the work I do. I was not formally trained to do it, but it's worked out relatively okay. I do a ton of writing and training in my job, and my college definitely had rigorous requirements in both, so that was useful. Many adults simply can't write, even those with advanced degrees, so those of us that can will always be somewhat in demand.

    If I had it to do over again, the only thing I'd do differently is to have stayed in my original major and studied at Oxford for a year. I had that on a silver platter and walked away from the opportunity because of a stupid boyfriend. That was freaking idiotic. Oh, well. Que sera sera and all.
     
  19. lust4life

    lust4life
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    2,562
    Location:
    Deepinthehearta, TX
    I started out as a journalism major, but got sick of hearing from every damn professor how we weren't going to get jobs when we graduated, so I moved into communications and partied my ass off for 4 years, accumulating about $25k in loans (graduated in '84). I ended up in advertising in NYC and eventually moved into magazine publishing on the sales side and had a very lucrative career, but for the last 10 years of it, I was miserable and eventually burned out

    Not going to college was never really a consideration--it was expected. Neither of my parents went, but it was their dream that the three of us get college educations. There have been times when I've reflected on it and thought I may have been better off going the HS tech route, learning a trade and eventually have my own business, but this was all in hindsight. I don't regret going to college--I did learn a lot and had a good time doing it, and never would have landed on Madison Ave. without the sheepskin (and I never bitched about my loan payments--they were less than my car payment and I still have the sheepskin).

    I'm back in school now, fulfilling the academic requirements for my chemical dependency counseling license and I'm considering continuing on for an MS in rehabilitation counseling which would open the door to higher levels of licensure and a larger scope of practice. So, for my new career path, formal education is a must, and an advanced degree, like for any of the social sciences, is necessary if I want a CRC or LPC. Fortunately, we're in a strong enough financial position (save and invest, people!) that I can pay cash for my graduate studies, but should I choose to continue on, I'll probably pick up a part time job at Home Depot or Lowe's to defray some of the expenses and minimize tapping into cash reserves. My oldest is a few years away from college and we bought a 4-year private school contract via the Texas Tomorrow Fund, so tuition is covered (private schools we've been looking at are currently in the neighborhood of $45-55k/year--ouch). Also, it's timed so that they won't be in college at the same time, and the year the youngest should graduate is the last year on our mortgage.

    If you're in HS or college and still don't know what you want to do with your life, go talk to a career counselor and take an interest inventory or some other recommended career assessment instrument that can help you get a better focus on a career path.
     
  20. Loki

    Loki
    Expand Collapse
    Should still be lurking

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    North burbs, MN
    I just finished my PhD in Medicinal Chemistry, and am now looking toward law school to get involved in patent prosecution. Once upon a time as an undergrad, I was premed, but wasn't able to get into med school straight away and kind of panicked when graduation came about, so I looked into grad school. Now, I couldn't be happier I didn't go the med school route. It's not that I don't sill have interest in it, but I've found that 6 years of post-graduate work have taught me to think a little more critically about the path I want to follow. Would I do it again? I think so. Grad school is definitely one of the most challenging things I have completed, and has taught me heaps about performing at the edge of technology in a self-sufficient manner. The notion of advancing the field in ways no one has before is quite satisfying. Also, it was nice to have school and beer money paid for by the NIH (thanks taxpayers!).

    There are definitely drawbacks to consider, though. With a PhD in a hard science, it is a seller's market in this economy when it comes to job opportunities, and universities don't mind worsening the situation by flooding the market with freshly-minted PhDs. One is far more employable as a Master's level scientist when R&D is cut and manufacturing increases. Don't even get me started on the racket that is the postdoctoral researcher process. 5-6 years to complete a PhD and my reward is working the same crazy hours for only slightly more pay, all the while decreasing my chances of landing a cushy industry job? No thank you. This is pretty much the sole reason I'm aggressively applying to industry while planning on part-time law school to get into the patent business. Still crazy hours, but at least the compensation is closer to what I'd expect someone with so much education to make.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.