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Is College a Ripoff and Scam? 20/20 ABC News

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Postby S_Parc » Mon May 02, 2011 6:53 pm

Folks, it's almost an open secret that college is predominantly a white collar stamp of approval. This is the really the legacy of having entrenched HR depts where applicants are expected to show a degree, to pass the pre-screens. With the exception of a few highly technical subspecialities, like cell biology at a biotech company or signal processing for medical devices, the average white collar type uses almost none of his college education. And even at biotech companies, a lot of the time, the work is picked up by simply following the seniors at the facility. Sorry, but a high schooler can do that.

And then, for the brand name schools like Duke, Harvard, Wharton/Penn, etc, what's their purpose? Really, for the most part, they're recruiting grounds for management consulting (Mercer, McKinsey, BAH, etc) or financial companies (Goldman, Citigroup, etc) or a place where a lot of prelaws &/or premed types hang around.

The above is known by pretty much the average worker bee, however, so many new parents try to buy houses in the best schools districts with some vain hope that it gives their kids the best shot of getting into Harvard or Yale. That's basically signing up to be a wage slave with almost no guarantee of changing one's socioeconomic bracket as a result.

The rich kids, however, who attend the Ivies, almost always do better than their middle class counterparts because a job (plus executive career track) is already awaiting them. The middle classers struggle to make partner at some MC firm &/or try to become weasels themselves to ingratiate themselves upon pump 'n dump type of executives.

Thus, in summary, if you feel that you need to be 'white collar', drop of high school early. Get a GED, take courses at a community college, while interning in your career path whether it be paralegal support or even spreadsheet work for a bookkeeping business. Then, transfer your CC credits to a four year BS program (look for the cheapest program like distance learning/in-state tuition) which you can now complete in two years and shave 1/2 the costs. And finally, if you need to work for a management consulting firm, make sure you have your experience base covered (with verifiable references, etc) and try to get into 1 year masters programs at a name school, see London School of Economics, MIT, Chicago, Columbia, etc. Yes, they don't interview outsiders in that clubhouse.
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Postby Sexter » Mon May 02, 2011 7:12 pm

not all college degrees are worthless

College degrees such as Nursing, engineering, management, finance, accounting have a lot of job openings

College degrees such as psychology, sociology, english, etc are worthless

my sister is a registered nurse, she got her bachelor's degree in nursing, makes 80k+ a year
My brother is a financial analyst, he interned for a couple of months and makes over 100k a year

not every college degree is worthless. The people that complain about how college is "a ripoff" are probably too lazy to go to school. Fact is, the average college graduate makes 1,000,000 more dollars in his lifetime than a high school graduate.

sure, there are exceptions (bill gates, etc) however, not everyone can become a famous pop singer, a famous computer entrepreneur, etc. Not many people "make it" in those fields. The guaranteed way to have a steady life style is to go to college and have a relevant degree (nursing, engineering, business).
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Postby S_Parc » Mon May 02, 2011 7:39 pm

Sexter wrote:not all college degrees are worthless

College degrees such as Nursing, engineering, management, finance, accounting have a lot of job openings



Of the degrees above, only nursing is a professional program. And yes, any of those types of programs, which include pharmacy & physician's assistant, has a career pipeline, directly attached to the training/internships of the school in question.

Many persons with a strong college background in biochemistry could probably hang out at a pharmacy but w/o a degree from a licensed PharmD program, all that extraneous knowledge isn't marketable. So once again, perhaps a person should start at a community college, take courses in biochem, and then apply for a PharmD w/o traditional college or even completing a formal high school.

And engineering is not what it was only 15 years ago. Lack of investment in core R&D, vis-a-vis offshoring, is killing engineering work stateside.

Accounting, etc, can start with the GED plus community college classes, plus transfer to cheaper 4 yr (cut to 2 yr now) program path w/ minimal loans.

And as for management/finance, see my post on the 1yr masters at Ivy to management consulting firm. Otherwise, you could end up like all the dime-a-dozen business graduates out there.
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Postby Sexter » Sun May 08, 2011 7:57 am

S_Parc wrote:
Sexter wrote:not all college degrees are worthless

College degrees such as Nursing, engineering, management, finance, accounting have a lot of job openings



Of the degrees above, only nursing is a professional program. And yes, any of those types of programs, which include pharmacy & physician's assistant, has a career pipeline, directly attached to the training/internships of the school in question.

Many persons with a strong college background in biochemistry could probably hang out at a pharmacy but w/o a degree from a licensed PharmD program, all that extraneous knowledge isn't marketable. So once again, perhaps a person should start at a community college, take courses in biochem, and then apply for a PharmD w/o traditional college or even completing a formal high school.

And engineering is not what it was only 15 years ago. Lack of investment in core R&D, vis-a-vis offshoring, is killing engineering work stateside.

Accounting, etc, can start with the GED plus community college classes, plus transfer to cheaper 4 yr (cut to 2 yr now) program path w/ minimal loans.

And as for management/finance, see my post on the 1yr masters at Ivy to management consulting firm. Otherwise, you could end up like all the dime-a-dozen business graduates out there.


yeah, it's true that there are plenty of business graduates out there. THat's why you have to put your best self forward.

1. apply for internships
2. network a lot
3. go to grad school and get a degree (this will give you an edge over the person with just a bachelors degree)

listen, i'm not saying it's impossible to get a decent job with a business degree, but it sure is way better than not having a degree at all. IF you are persistent enough, you will eventually get a decent paying job, moreso than a person without a college degree.

Like I said, it TOTALLY depends on what degree you have. Degrees such as (nursing, engineering, finance, accounting, etc) have a decent job market. SUre, it's very competitive now(due to the economy) but if you are persistent enough or go to internships, it opens more doors for you to succeed

the person who's anti-college are probably too stupid or too lazy to go to college themselves. Thus, they berate people who are educated.

They don't know that a person with a "relevant" college degree opens a lot more doors
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Postby odbo » Sun May 08, 2011 8:17 am

Sexter wrote:the person who's anti-college are probably too stupid or too lazy to go to college themselves. Thus, they berate people who are educated.

They don't know that a person with a "relevant" college degree opens a lot more doors

People with degrees and fancy titles berate those "below" them much more than poor, stupid, or lazy people berate those who go to college. They do this out of insecurity of their self-worth. Most people spend the first ~25 years of their life getting brainwashed. Then they spend the next 50 years working. Then they retire and die, having accomplished nothing of worth and having long forgotten what it means to really live.

I don't have a problem with higher education. I have a problem with the current form of schooling, which was built to not only further control society, but to dumb it down.
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Postby Sexter » Sun May 08, 2011 5:31 pm

People with degrees and fancy titles berate those "below" them much more than poor, stupid, or lazy people berate those who go to college. They do this out of insecurity of their self-worth. Most people spend the first ~25 years of their life getting brainwashed. Then they spend the next 50 years working. Then they retire and die, having accomplished nothing of worth and having long forgotten what it means to really live.

I don't have a problem with higher education. I have a problem with the current form of schooling, which was built to not only further control society, but to dumb it down.


I totally disagree with this

Take 2 people. One person has a college degree, the other person doesn't have a degree, when all things are equal, the person with a college degree will probably have a higher chance getting the job(hell, he might even get paid a higher salary)

Most people who go to college aim to get a better paying job, it's not because we are "brainwashing" ourselves.

When I got my business degree, most of what I learned in those classes I could of easily read on my own; however, without the degree itself, I wouldn't have more qualified than the guy without a degree.

btw, as a college graduate in business, I find that people who are less educated or have less $$ tend to be envious. I work with guys wwho have MBAs or have good bachelor degrees and none of them "hate" on me or feel "envious" at all because they know what it takes to be educated."

Also, the argument that says "go to trade school" or "learn a craft" this mentality only works for blue collar people. If you have a relevant degree(accounting, finance, nursing, etc) white collar jobs tend to pay more and have better benefits

getting a college degree isn't completely useless
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Postby S_Parc » Sun May 08, 2011 9:33 pm

Sexter wrote:btw, as a college graduate in business, I find that people who are less educated or have less $$ tend to be envious. I work with guys wwho have MBAs or have good bachelor degrees and none of them "hate" on me or feel "envious" at all because they know what it takes to be educated."

Also, the argument that says "go to trade school" or "learn a craft" this mentality only works for blue collar people. If you have a relevant degree(accounting, finance, nursing, etc) white collar jobs tend to pay more and have better benefits

getting a college degree isn't completely useless


Well Sexter, I knew someone, who got an M.S. in electrical engineering (yes, a tough hard sciences major), who later became an electrician. He was quite happy, upon leaving graduate school, to do people's wiring. Today, while many of his friends in communications theory are out of a job, he's happily fixing the wiring facilities, in and around New England. I'm not sure if the whole 'trade thing' is of the past. Another PhD EE, reported the same story except that he'd gotten a 37-38 on the MCAT and later, became a surgeon while his former colleagues were out of a job.

I mean how many college grads can work for a management consulting firm or a have an office type of track for a long period of time. True, accountants have CPAs, nurses have RN licenses, etc, however, outside of those license limited regions, are many college degrees are of value?
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Postby Sexter » Mon May 09, 2011 12:34 am

Well Sexter, I knew someone, who got an M.S. in electrical engineering (yes, a tough hard sciences major), who later became an electrician.


I get your point, not all people who have good college degrees become white collar workers, some become blue collar (like your friend, who's an electrician). Fact is, majority proves the rule, not the exception. Although your friend became an electrician with a masters in electrical engineering, MANY people with masters in engineering have "ENGINEER jobs" especialy in the USA.



I mean how many college grads can work for a management consulting firm or a have an office type of track for a long period of time. True, accountants have CPAs, nurses have RN licenses, etc, however, outside of those license limited regions, are many college degrees are of value?


if you network enough or is persistent enough, you will get a good white collar job. I know many people who are strugglign to find work, and they are doing it the wrong way. instead of sending in 400 resumes, try iinterning or Networking with someone inside the field. Or ask family/friends to help him look for a job.

Majority of people who have jobs already "KNEW" someone in the field. This is called the "hidden job market" for every person that got fired, another person got hired.

When all things are equal, the person with a college degree will have a higher chance of getting a job than a person without a degree. The people who complains how college is a ripoff is either too lazy or too ignorant to get a degree themselves

the argument people use such as "bill gates dropped otu of college he's a billionaire" or "EMINEM dropped out of high school and he's a millionaire" fail to understand that not EVERYONE can be bill gates, not everyone can be eminem, not everyone can become famous or Rich.

The safest way to land yourself a decent living is to go to college and get a decent paying job. NOT everyone can strike it rich fast like eminem or bill gates. So what do you do? GO TO COLLEGE! if you don't want to go to college, then learn a trade or a skill.

the problem with trade schools or a skills job is that it's a "BLUE COLLAR" which usuallly pays less than white collar jobs
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Postby S_Parc » Mon May 09, 2011 12:54 am

Sexter wrote:
Well Sexter, I knew someone, who got an M.S. in electrical engineering (yes, a tough hard sciences major), who later became an electrician.


I get your point, not all people who have good college degrees become white collar workers, some become blue collar (like your friend, who's an electrician). Fact is, majority proves the rule, not the exception. Although your friend became an electrician with a masters in electrical engineering, MANY people with masters in engineering have "ENGINEER jobs" especialy in the USA.


Many of his EE counterparts either went into business IT programming (see Oracle, Siebel, Peoplesoft) or some other sales/consulting type of role. All and all, the real purpose of their 'degree' was the HR barrier of entry into the white collar world.

But you're correct about this aspect, if my EE friend could develop some experience base, in modelling systems, etc, during his free time, he could re-enter the white collar world as an engineer.


Sexter wrote:if you network enough or is persistent enough, you will get a good white collar job. I know many people who are strugglign to find work, and they are doing it the wrong way. instead of sending in 400 resumes, try iinterning or Networking with someone inside the field. Or ask family/friends to help him look for a job.

Majority of people who have jobs already "KNEW" someone in the field. This is called the "hidden job market" for every person that got fired, another person got hired.

When all things are equal, the person with a college degree will have a higher chance of getting a job than a person without a degree. The people who complains how college is a ripoff is either too lazy or too ignorant to get a degree themselves

the argument people use such as "bill gates dropped otu of college he's a billionaire" or "EMINEM dropped out of high school and he's a millionaire" fail to understand that not EVERYONE can be bill gates, not everyone can be eminem, not everyone can become famous or Rich.

The safest way to land yourself a decent living is to go to college and get a decent paying job. NOT everyone can strike it rich fast like eminem or bill gates. So what do you do? GO TO COLLEGE! if you don't want to go to college, then learn a trade or a skill.

the problem with trade schools or a skills job is that it's a "BLUE COLLAR" which usuallly pays less than white collar jobs


I agree with everything you said. My main concern is that this shouldn't be double the costs of when I did it, only some 14 years ago. There has to be a cheaper way of getting that BA paper.
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Postby MarkDY » Mon May 16, 2011 1:48 am

The College Conspiracy
http://inflation.us/videos.html
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Postby jamesbond » Mon May 16, 2011 1:12 pm

Awesome video, college really is worthless for most people. A total scam, unless you want to be a doctor, attorney, engineer, accountant or nurse. Work experience trumps a college degree just about every time.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VpZtX32sKVE[/youtube]
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Postby momopi » Tue May 17, 2011 3:19 pm

Commenting on the video above, my buddy's wife (from Philippines) is a pharmacist and I can comment on her experience. If you're willing willing to work in less-desirable locations such as Lancaster, you can easily get a 6-figure contract plus sign-up bonus. However, if you want to get a job in desirable and competitive locations, such as South Orange County, there's a long wait list and you'd be lucky to find anything. Location is everything. She ended up taking a position with a mail order pharmacy in City of Industry for $86k/year to be closer to Irvine, compared with her prior retail position in Lancaster that paid $110k-120k/year. She did not want to send her kids to school in Lancaster. She was also offered a 6 figure contract for Hemet, but that was too far for her.

If a licensed pharmacist complain that he or she cannot find a job (or a good paying job), that is because he/she is unwilling to relocate or travel for work, or there's something else that they're not telling you. Location & supply and demand is everything. Also, some people confuse pharmacist with pharmacy tech. A licensed pharmacist gets paid 6 figures, while a pharmacy tech gets paid $14-$16/hr. My Jewish Korean cousin-in-law (she was adopted by Jewish family) is a pharmacy tech and she makes maybe $30k/year working in the Northern California Bay area. If and when she finish her school and pass the exam, she'd be on her way to making 6 figures, but only if she's willing to relocate or travel to a job.

A licensed pharmacist who is willing to relocate for work, and cannot find work (or decent paying work), is likely to have some other reasons, such as not having a clean record. Because they work with controlled substances every day, the employer is very careful about who they hire. If you have any history of substance abuse, you're pretty much screwed. Also, like it or not, looks and age matter, so if you're young it's easily to get a contract, and if you're old, it's much harder.

Demand for pharmacists in any given area will fluctuate with economic condition and demographic change. In Irvine (where I live) we lost a lot of jobs from the mortgage industry crash. Consequently some of the local pharmacies that used to open 24 hours, now have reduced hours, and consolidated their 24 hour operation to fewer locations. This means if you're a pharmacist looking for work here, the number of jobs actually declined over the past 5 years. In time when the economy recovers and new communities are built (increasing population), there will will be more job openings, but there's already a long wait list so if you're new, you're pretty much screwed. Many new pharmacists take positions in BFE areas with large sign-on bonuses, and just wait for their name to go up on the wait list for a more desirable post.

Is college worth it? Back in 1950s only 50% of the American adult population had a HS diploma. Being a HS graduate puts you above the other 1/2 of society and you can get a job and raise a family. Today ~88% of the adult population in US are HS graduates and the value of HS education declined. The more successful you are at educating the population, the less education is valued on the supply/demand curve. Right now only about 27% of US adult population holds 4-year BA degrees or better, so it's still worth something. As the % of population with college degrees increase, the diploma's value will drop. By making college education more expensive and harder to attain, you're actually preserving the value of college education in the marketplace. That is, of course, not a nice thing to say. But it is what it is.
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Postby S_Parc » Tue May 17, 2011 8:37 pm

momopi wrote:If a licensed pharmacist complain that he or she cannot find a job (or a good paying job), that is because he/she is unwilling to relocate or travel for work, or there's something else that they're not telling you. Location & supply and demand is everything. Also, some people confuse pharmacist with pharmacy tech. A licensed pharmacist gets paid 6 figures, while a pharmacy tech gets paid $14-$16/hr. My Jewish Korean cousin-in-law (she was adopted by Jewish family) is a pharmacy tech and she makes maybe $30k/year working in the Northern California Bay area. If and when she finish her school and pass the exam, she'd be on her way to making 6 figures, but only if she's willing to relocate or travel to a job.


I'd say you're making an apples to pears comparison. A PharmD program is a licensed profession with a limited number of seats per entering class cohort.

There are many BS, MS, & PhD graduates in biochemistry/molecular biology, immunology/physiology, etc, who're working as research assistants a/o postdocs, earning from $35-45K/yr. I'm quite sure many of these persons could sit for a PharmD final exam, get a passing score, and work as a pharmacist. The problem is the color of the parachute ... they're in the wrong program, despite many of the courses (minus toxicology electives) being the same.

Thus, for many college (& grad school) persons, it isn't worth it economically. Granted, a science graduate can take the Patent Agent exam (& be in a licensed field) but that's a type of special case scenario. And many of these are also kinda pre-law school bound anyways.

For licensed programs like pharmacy, nurse anesthesiology, physician's assistant, etc, the schooling is the way into the field/profession.
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Postby momopi » Tue May 17, 2011 9:04 pm

S_Parc wrote:I'd say you're making an apples to pears comparison. A PharmD program is a licensed profession with a limited number of seats per entering class cohort.
There are many BS, MS, & PhD graduates in biochemistry/molecular biology, immunology/physiology, etc, who're working as research assistants a/o postdocs, earning from $35-45K/yr. I'm quite sure many of these persons could sit for a PharmD final exam, get a passing score, and work as a pharmacist. The problem is the color of the parachute ... they're in the wrong program, despite many of the courses (minus toxicology electives) being the same.
Thus, for many college (& grad school) persons, it isn't worth it economically. Granted, a science graduate can take the Patent Agent exam (& be in a licensed field) but that's a type of special case scenario. And many of these are also kinda pre-law school bound anyways.
For licensed programs like pharmacy, nurse anesthesiology, physician's assistant, etc, the schooling is the way into the field/profession.


No, I'm comment on the "college conspiracy" video (segment from 42:30 or so), specifically the part claiming that some pharmacists have difficulty finding jobs, or having to move to Alabama for a job that paid only $18/hr. If the person was really a certified pharmacist and willing to relocate, there are positions avail in places like Hemet that pays 6 figures. But I suspect that there's some other complications that were unmentioned.

I have a Taiwanese friend who works as a nurse anesthetist at Kaiser. I was told that he makes almost as much as some doctors. @_@!
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Postby S_Parc » Tue May 17, 2011 9:14 pm

momopi wrote:No, I'm comment on the "college conspiracy" video (segment from 42:30 or so), specifically the part claiming that some pharmacists have difficulty finding jobs, or having to move to Alabama for a job that paid only $18/hr. If the person was really a certified pharmacist and willing to relocate, there are positions avail in places like Hemet that pays 6 figures. But I suspect that there's some other complications that were unmentioned.


Ah, nevermind then.

momopi wrote:I have a Taiwanese friend who works as a nurse anesthetist at Kaiser. I was told that he makes almost as much as some doctors. @_@!


Well, they make about half of an MD Anesthesiologist, which is already some $350-400K+/yr, so yeah, $170-200K/yr is higher than many internal medicine physicians.
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