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. Riggins

    Riggins
    Expand Collapse
    Disturbed

    Reputation:
    24
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    297
    Location:
    The Texas Bubble
    I've known I was going to be a lowly high school coach since I was a little kid, so I got my degree from UT-Austin in Kinesiology (aka glorified PE). Once I graduated, I realized I wasn't ready to join "the real world" so I said fuck it, and went and got my Masters from a D2 school. I was lucky enough to work as a grad-assistant, and got it paid for. It was a joke, however, since I was always on the road scouting/recruiting/coaching I had to miss a lot of classes, so my professors basically gave me A's since they knew I was part of the basketball team. I'd just meet up with them when I could, bring a bottle of whiskey/gin/wine depending on their taste and bullshit with them over what I allegedly missed in class. Now that I'm working in the public school system, my Master's is earning me a whopping $1500 extra a year.

    I'm in the slow process of working to get my PhD because eventually I want to work my way up to being a Superintendent, but it looks like I'll actually have to go to these classes and earn my grade. Fuck that noise. For now, at least.
     
  2. atavistic

    atavistic
    Expand Collapse
    Should still be lurking

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    I've got a BS in engineering and I'm in the 4th year of a Biochemistry PhD program. The BS was reasonable with in-state tuition at a UC school. My PhD program covers tuition and a stipend that supports me reasonably well.

    Graduate school, despite its frustrations, has been a tremendous experience. When I got to graduate school I "knew" not to cut corners and I "knew" the importance of planning/preparation to the ultimate success of a project. Six months of humiliating failures removed the quotation marks from the previous sentence. Learning how to manage a project and how to react to failures in a constructive way have been the most valuable experiences that I've had so far.

    One thing that graduate school can't teach you, and in fact will try to drum out of you, is any kind of creativity. This comes from constant critical reading of the literature. By the time you've been in school for a few years you are a flaw-sniffing machine and will gladly disparage and/or discredit other peoples' work over the most trivial of concerns - usually to the approval of your peers. Constant criticism builds a tremendous sense of authority in a community that can dissuade original thought in favor of safe, boring model testing*. When I first arrived in graduate school, I asked a faculty member about a former student who went on to be hugely successful. Part of her response was: "oh, he was so great, he never bothered to think about anything, he just did it." I walked away from the conversation thinking that my friend had just been insulted. Now I see it for the compliment that it was; in an environment where everyone dismisses ideas because they disagree with this model or that model, someone who does can be hugely successful. I hope to incorporate that final lesson before I graduate.

    Having just said all that: if I had to enroll all over again, I would. It's been a sobering, maturing process that's left me vastly more capable than I was at the outset.

    For those of you who deal with snooty PhD's: where do you find these assholes? I've never come across it in my field. Even the distinguished faculty are incredibly humble. I assume this comes from working in an environment that ruthlessly exposes ignorance. Usually in front of a large audience.

    *- This mechanism is in place to dissuade the cranks and it does its job well. It's also incredibly frustrating to deal with. If anyone wants to discuss this further, PM me.
     
  3. Arms Akimbo

    Arms Akimbo
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    2
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    717
    I have BAs in philosophy and political science. My original plan was to get a PhD in philosophy, but the tough job market scared me away. I subsequently realized that my degrees are pretty worthless for finding work in the real world. I wound up going to law school because it was the path of least resistance. The legal market isn't exactly booming right now either, and I consider law school to be the biggest mistake of my life. Now I'm saddled with over $150k in loans with a degree that doesn't make me any more qualified to do anything except one thing, being a lawyer.

    I'm actually lucky in that I went to a well respected state school for undergrad, and I don't have any undergrad loans. That brings me to my overarching point, education is only worth it to a certain extent. I grew up in Pennsylvania and we have a number of expensive private schools, but the reputation of your degree isn't commensurate with what you pay. In Pittsburgh you have Duquesne University and the University of Pittsburgh. DU is $24k a year while Pitt is $14k. They are both in the city and provide similar living experiences. Unless you're going for one of the programs DU is known for, I don't see why you'd invest an extra $40k to go there. Plenty of people do though.

    The whole state and the whole country has these high priced institutions where you pay too much for the same degree. I'm fine with paying more for even a degree from Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, etc because at least the name has some cache that will impress prospective employers. If you're looking for a basic degree and plan on staying in the area, go to one of the true state schools where you only pay $5k a year.

    As for just how necessary a degree is I think depends on your area. I know plenty of people who work with computers in some facet and have minimal/incomplete formal educations. That industry seems to be much more focused on end-result work product though. I'm just an outsider looking in, so I really don't know however. Meanwhile you have people looking to hire personal assistants and require a bachelors for some reason. I just don't get why sitting at a desk outside your office, answering your phone, and typing your reports requires 4 years of school. I don't mean this is what people plan to do when they get a degree, it's just an example of the "You have to go to college" dogma that seems so prevalent nowadays.
     
  4. Slambrarian

    Slambrarian
    Expand Collapse
    Experienced Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2009
    Messages:
    135
    I have a BA in History (2 years community college and 2 years in a small liberal arts college) and after graduation got a job as a tech in a federal court law library. I moved into a librarian position due to the current librarian getting pregnant and leaving. To get this position I had to promise to get my Master's in Library Science. I spent 2 years (and $40,000) getting this degree and while I had to have it to keep my job, I learned 10 times more by actually working in a library - not in class. I never purchased nor read any of the required books or readings - I would just wing it.

    On one hand I feel that the schooling was a waste of time and money, but on the other hand, I got a raise and (eventually) a promotion because of it. I am now making almost double what I made before I went to grad school. If I want to move up much higher in my library system I have to go to law school. That won't happen - I am quite happy where I am.

    And I wouldn't change a thing - I love my job and even though I hate the loans, I had to do it to get where I am.
     
  5. ghettoastronaut

    ghettoastronaut
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    70
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    4,917
    True story:

    My buddy had gone to look over an exam (biochemistry, no less) which he didn't do very well on. To add insult to injury, we all thought the exam went very well, only to discover that the level of detail required was, well, pretty far beyond what was expected, and some answers were wrong when, although "right" in the technical sense, not what the professor wanted, and relied on details of cells that were left out of lectures, but we were somehow supposed to know on our own. Anyways.

    So, he's talking to the prof about the answers, and trying to add up his exam to make sure there weren't any addition errors. As the prof kept on talking, my buddy was a bit distracted between conversation and addition. So, he mistakenly says, "Okay, Mr. [professor]."

    Normal people would let this slide, or maybe politely pretend not to notice. Not this hero.

    "Actually, that's Doctor [professor]. Two times over."
     
  6. ow3n

    ow3n
    Expand Collapse
    Village Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    MSc Materials and Metallurgy - From concrete to carbon fibre and nano-pubes, via PNP Transistors and shit, we did a bit of everything. Including fab and future fab. Bunch of interesting stuff. However...None of it actually contributed to where I am except for one concept bike which I got built. It got my foot in the door of my current job, but I haven't used anything I learned at uni since the exams at the end of my degree. I now work as a consultant for inspection and repair of nuclear reactors. It's one of those jobs where it's an advantage to be aware of a lot of stuff at a low level, with the option to explore in more depth at your leisre.

    If I could take it all again, I probably would, but spent more time learning how to work lathes and mills, and learning how to weld. A lot of front line guys are now getting too old to keep working, and there aren't many replacements.
     
  7. Czechvodkabaron

    Czechvodkabaron
    Expand Collapse
    Emotionally Jaded

    Reputation:
    93
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    557
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    I am currently in my last semester of college and will be graduating in December with a B.S. in Geography. My focus has been in GIS and I would like to get an entry level job in that field. But with this economy the outlook does not look good. I'm looking into joining the Air Force or Navy and trying to become an officer.
     
  8. Rising Sun

    Rising Sun
    Expand Collapse
    Village Idiot

    Reputation:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Messages:
    44
    I did not graduate high school, and found a job making 32k a year right after "graduating" (*air quotes, wink wink*), which for an 18 year old was amazing.

    This is great, until I realized that my salary hasn't changed at all since then, that I hate working at a bank, and that my position has absolutely no cross over into more fulfilling careers.

    I would give anything to go back in time and get a 2 year degree. Can't afford to now...
     
  9. Toweliekp28

    Toweliekp28
    Expand Collapse
    Should still be lurking

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    I'm a junior majoring in Economics at a state school in Florida. I've got about $14,000 in loans right now, and will probably have about $18,000 when I finish undergrad. I've worked through school as a freelance sportswriter, and an assortment of retail jobs.

    The frustrating thing for me, is that there isn't really much for an econ major in my area. The area I live in is tourism heavy, and, being one of the top counties for foreclosures, there's nothing much for anyone here. I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that I'm gonna have to move to find work, so that's really the toughest thing that I'm dealing with.

    Would I say that it's been worth it to this point? Absolutely.
     
  10. JohnQ

    JohnQ
    Expand Collapse
    Average Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    55
    I have a friend in the computer field that has done many different jobs and was fairly successful at it, but has never completed his degree. He has expressed to me multiple times how much he loves NOT hiring candidates at his work that have a degree...until he is drunk. Then all you hear about is how much he wished he'd finished and how much it has hindered his job prospects(Particularly now since he is unemployed) and can't qualify for this and that because of the lack of degree.
     
  11. JohnQ

    JohnQ
    Expand Collapse
    Average Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Messages:
    55
    I went to a local community college for a few years while I was still in high school. It had an excellent robotics program and I managed to convince the teachers I could take it. For those of you into Krystal, we built a robot to cook these tasty hamburgers. This led me to the idea of mechanical engineering when I graduated. In the middle of my second year of engineering, a bunch of professional engineers were brought in to discuss what our jobs were like. After being told that I would in fact probably spend my days calculating spring compression rates, I transferred out of the program and got into computer science.

    After getting a BSCS degree(computer engineering was part of the computer science program at my school) I went through 4 different computer jobs, hating them all. I decided to complete redo my focus and try something else I thought might be interesting. This culminated in a MSCJ(Masters of Criminal Justice). I'm not entirely sure what i'll do with it, but its led to some very interesting interviews with a few of the top federal law enforcement agencies so far.

    I too managed to get out with no debt as my parents were willing to pay for my undergrad, and were actually thrilled when I chose a reasonably priced state school. My masters was paid for by my grandparents as they said they would pay for any graduate studies I chose to do since no one in my family had ever gone that far in school.

    Like others have said, I believe you get out of college what you put into it. I've supported myself by months by writing papers for engineer friends, who, quite honestly have to be the least knowledgeable and incompetent engineers I've met. Engineering taught me how to handle large technical tasks, and how to understand the fundamentals of computer systems. The CJ degree taught me to perform research, write, speak "Grad Speak" as I call it, and just gave me a much better understanding of basic human nature.

    Only thing I'd do differently would've been to stick out that mechanical engineering degree or find a school that a specific robotics program.
     
  12. stcmllr

    stcmllr
    Expand Collapse
    Should still be lurking

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Messages:
    6
    After High School, I fucked around at a community college and ended up working full time as a Pharmacy Technician for 3 years. The fun level was high, but the pay was low. I decided I needed to make some changes.

    After hardly any consideration, I joined the Air Force to do still photography. Two years later, I get paid to live in Germany and take pictures. I'm three classes away from my associates, all on the AF's dime. My current unit is a Public Affairs position, so I've done quite a bit of journalism and media relations. My next unit is Combat Camera, so that should way different and interesting.

    My life is awesome right now and I am incredibility happy. Do I make a lot of money? No. However, I don't really need a lot of money.
     
  13. Blackbeard

    Blackbeard
    Expand Collapse
    Village Idiot

    Reputation:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Location:
    The Anus of Africa
    As a South African, things are a little different. I would say we are more closely related to the Australian / New Zealand systems.

    I hold a B.Sc Engineering (Mechanical) and a Msc.Eng (Aeromechanics) from a respected university. I went to college with good high-school grades and performed well over the course of both my pre-grad and post-grad degrees. I ended up leaving 'varsity with a positive bank balance.

    I have worked in a variety of fields and currently working exactly the job I wanted. I feel that I would benefit from having a PhD and have been eyeing American schools. But as someone said, the cost might be prohibitive.

    Having a Master's Degree so far has lifted me above other candidates in my field of similar or slightly more experience and has aided me in registering with professional organisations. Due to the nature of my work, a qualification is essential.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.