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Anyone esle NOT plan on pushing their kids to go to college? - Page 6

post #101 of 179
I have to ask if people actually believe the following points:

1) Higher (post-secondary) education teaches people to think critically.
2) Higher education broadens people's worldviews.
3) A degree proves that you finish what you start.

I see these things all the time, and I just wonder if the people saying them actually believe them. I don't. I've seen far too many narrow-minded, gullible, unmotivated people with degrees and far too many open-minded, determined people with excellent critical thinking skills without degrees to find much, if any, validity in those statements.

The last one drives me especially crazy. Sure - finishing a degree could show that. It often shows no such thing. IME, it often shows that a person was convinced in high school that if they got their degree, the rest of their lives would be easy street, so they were willing to put in the 4-5 years of hard work in the belief it meant they'd never have to work hard again. Sometimes, it also means that mom and dad are willing to support said person for the time it takes to get a degree, and they find the idea of doing research and writing papers more appealing than having to worry about whether their utilities get turned off or there's no food in the house.

I'm just boggled by the amount of hype our society creates about people who hold degrees. Get one if you want one, but it doesn't prove anything about you, as people don't all get through the same way or through the same effort, ability, sacrifices, etc.
post #102 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I have to ask if people actually believe the following points:

1) Higher (post-secondary) education teaches people to think critically.
2) Higher education broadens people's worldviews.
3) A degree proves that you finish what you start.
.
I strongly believe #1 and #2. Not so much #3.
post #103 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I have to ask if people actually believe the following points:

1) Higher (post-secondary) education teaches people to think critically.
2) Higher education broadens people's worldviews.
3) A degree proves that you finish what you start.
I don't believe any of those three things are true. In fact, I agree with your entire post.

I hope my child(ren) will have choices and opportunities in life and if college is the way then I will support that. But I disagree that having a degree is any kind of indicator that you value thinking or learning. A lot of people do a lot of learning and thinking without going to college. Some of the smartest and most successful people I know actually.
post #104 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A View Post
I strongly believe #1 and #2. Not so much #3.
My partner's friend has a masters in business management. He's never left the country, he's totally closed to new ideas/beliefs, and he has no job.

Of course, there are examples of just the opposite - I don't deny that.

I actually think it's less about college and more about the individual in terms of broadening ideas, learning new things, thinking critically, etc. College won't force anyone to think critically or to broaden their horizons. The person involved has to want to do this, and has to play an active role. I see many college students in CA using college as an excuse to party and get drunk. I doubt they're broadening any of their world views.

It all comes down to the individual. If a person wants to learn - they will. Whether that's through college or another path.

After all, college is not the only path towards learning. I'm constantly reading philosophy, science, biology, mathematics, history, etc., texts. I love to learn and I love to travel often. I'm also extremely logical, and am always looking at news things in a critical way (I mean that not in the negative sense but the analytical sense).
post #105 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I have to ask if people actually believe the following points:

1) Higher (post-secondary) education teaches people to think critically.
2) Higher education broadens people's worldviews.
3) A degree proves that you finish what you start.

I see these things all the time, and I just wonder if the people saying them actually believe them. I don't. I've seen far too many narrow-minded, gullible, unmotivated people with degrees and far too many open-minded, determined people with excellent critical thinking skills without degrees to find much, if any, validity in those statements.

The last one drives me especially crazy. Sure - finishing a degree could show that. It often shows no such thing. IME, it often shows that a person was convinced in high school that if they got their degree, the rest of their lives would be easy street, so they were willing to put in the 4-5 years of hard work in the belief it meant they'd never have to work hard again. Sometimes, it also means that mom and dad are willing to support said person for the time it takes to get a degree, and they find the idea of doing research and writing papers more appealing than having to worry about whether their utilities get turned off or there's no food in the house.

I'm just boggled by the amount of hype our society creates about people who hold degrees. Get one if you want one, but it doesn't prove anything about you, as people don't all get through the same way or through the same effort, ability, sacrifices, etc.
Eh, I agree that it's not anywhere near so black and white.

But, a university education certainly does (or should, although in the last few years I do think there's been a watering down in some ways) put #1 and #2 on the table for the taking - not that travel and other experiences don't, but they are also dependent on the individual and his or her effort/taste/time/energy.

What I do think, though, is that when it comes to the job market, a degree does become a shorthand. I've hired people. I base it partly on portfolio work, for sure. And when I see a degree on a resume, I'm fully aware that it's not a guarantee - but on a resume, there are no guarantees.

I'm still more likely to put that resume in the "interview" pile, all other things being equal, because even though I know there are exceptional people who can get through school without being able to read, think critically, or write, it's still more likely that they will have picked those things up because they've been in an environment for four years that is supposed to support that.

So it's a good way to make a rough cut. I don't have time to drag everyone in to assess their critical thinking skills. I do, however, have time to drag in 8-10 people. If someone has the exact right experience or a fantastic professional portfolio, the education doesn't matter so much. But if we're talking entry level or lateral change or anything like that - it sure as heck does matter.

No one can ever measure someone's success or worth by a degree, for sure, nor their intellectual development. But measuring all those things is expensive and takes time.

That's why if my son were reasonably motivated to continue, I'd encourage him to do so, yes. It's lousy to be the 11th resume over and over.
post #106 of 179
My hubby was a national purchasing director for years w/o a degree. Then he got laid off when the company was sold. He could not find another job because he did not have a degree. Thanksfully it ended up working out but not having a degree cost us months of hardship and stress while I was pregnant.

I will strongly encourage my children to seek higher education as I do not want them handicapped like my husband was. In this day and age and economic climate a college degree is critical. I know many many companies where you won't even get in the door without one.

I know many people who worked themselves to the bone to put themselves through college. It is hardly simply writing papaers and doing research.
post #107 of 179
I expect my child to pursue some form of training or degree after high school, but it could be college or trade school. I don't think success has much to do with a specific degree but more to do with getting a broad educational experience and learning how to learn. The degree just gives employers a little more to go on in regards to hiring you, but someone who is intelligent and hard working is capable of doing much more than just what they get a degree in. My DH never finished college, it just wasn't for him. He started a car repair business out of his garage and then built from there. But he knows how to learn and keep up with technology.

I have a 4 year college degree, but my degree is in a field in which I will never work. But what I did get out of that experience is a liberal arts education which has served me very well. I am able to learn new skills very quickly and I gained a self confidence that I would never have gotten if I had not gone through some very important experiences in college. I have been able to transition seamlessly between careers whereas my DH lacks the confidence to ever switch from what he is doing now. Fortunately he is very talented at what he does and been able to make the business work for him.

My DH and I now work together in the business and I do the hiring. I will not even consider hiring an automotive technician who has not completed training beyond high school. The field has become much too technical these days and requires the discipline of a continuous desire to learn and a recognition that nobody knows everything. I get sooooo many guys who have never taken school seriously and come into an interview having worked on a few cars in their backyard and think they know it all. They might become a good mechanic someday but as small business owners, we can't take a chance on them. The odds are not in their favor.

Careers these days are ever changing and thinking that a person can train for a single career for their lifetime is a mistake in my mind. People need to remain lifetime learners and be ready to adapt to a changing economy.
post #108 of 179
My kids are 4 and almost 2. By the time they go to college, I believe that the job market will be so competitive, they will have to hold some sort of degree. For me, getting my degree was important because it was a goal that I set for myself. I was the first woman in my family to graduate from college. I also knew that having a degree would help me in future job searches, even if they were not necessarily in my field of study. I went to a local community college for two years, than a campus for a state college located in my hometown. I lived at home all the way through college and received several grants/scholarships. After 5 years of working part-time and going to school full-time, I came away with a degree and only $5,000 worth of debt. It just so happens that I have a degree in Family Relations and Child Development, so as a SAHM I am using my degree more than I ever have in the field! I am already talking to my kids about the importance of education and even though I know it does not bring any guarantees, I still feel it should be a priority.
post #109 of 179
My father (a lawyer) always said that a college degree will give you knowledge, but for a job, you need a trade. I think I'll have the same attitude with our boys--education is good for its own sake and is worth pursuing, but it's no guarantee to anything other than knowledge.
post #110 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by BunnySlippers View Post
I wont be pushing her for anything. Ill support dd in whatever she choses to do.
:
post #111 of 179
However, I will say that while I would never push my children to college, I do warn my children of the dangers of going to college. There will be less earnings financially, the work they do will be of a nature they might not like as much, and there will be less job security with no education. It is true that having a degree does not guarantee job security, but it certainly increases it. The average earnings of someone with a college degree is higher as well as benefits and healthy insurance and so on.
post #112 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by betsyj View Post
I know many people who worked themselves to the bone to put themselves through college. It is hardly simply writing papaers and doing research.
Of course many people have worked hard to put themselves through college (in addition to the course work, I mean). I never said they didn't. What I'm saying is that you can't tell that from the fact that they have a degree. When my mom went back and got her degree, she was raising three kids (all juvenile delinquents of one kind or another, although I think we all managed to avoid actually getting a record), looking after her invalid parents (alone - her brother lived out of town), and coping with an alcoholic husband. She also worked a full-time job 2-3 months a year (tax season). She finished her degree by working through tremendous obstacles. I think that's awesome. However, the fact that she has the degree doesn't tell anybody anything about any of that. My stepbrother earned his degree while living with his dad and stepmom, and having his meals cooked for him, at least some of his laundry done, and all his essential bills covered for him. His degree doesn't tell anyone that, either.

Cases like your husband are one of the reasons I'm so annoyed by the cult of the degree that's sprung up in our culture. Of the three most competent managers I've ever worked under, only one had a degree. The three most incompetent managers I've worked under all had one. The degree litmus test is really, really flawed, except in a very specific areas. People have just accepted that you have to have that piece of paper to prove something...and nobody seems to stop and question just what it actually does prove.
post #113 of 179
I'm not going to force or push my kids to do anything. DH went to college and it helped him get a job in his field (IT), I didn't go to college because an art degree would have been worthless and done nothing be wrack up needless debt. I wanted to be a SAHM anyway.

So if my DD has an interest and needs college for her chosen field, sure, I'll be supportive...but I will never force her to go to college if that is not what she wants. Going to college for the sake of going to college alone is pointless and only creates a lifetime of debt. I do not believe college is the be-all and end-all. I've known many people who have done well without it.
post #114 of 179
Nope, I wont push my kids to go. I have 25k in student loans i havet even started to pay, and I never could find a job. If i had it to do over again, I'd go to community college and find a full time job. The only thing I got out of college was my best friends, and I love them, but if we were meant to be friends, we would have met anyways, IMO. lol.
post #115 of 179
Quote:
However, the fact that she has the degree doesn't tell anybody anything about any of that.
You are correct, Storm Bride. Your mother got an education in and out of college.

I have known many very young people under thirty with a masters degree or PhD whose parents put them through school and they have little or no broadening of their character, just book learning. Yet, they work over me because of an opportunity I did not have.

I recall being a substitute teacher waiting over a half an hour for a young administrator 25 years old to direct me to my classroom. He sat on the phone with personal calls for the half hour as if I were not there, arrogantly carrying on as if time were no matter. No wonder public schools are dysfunctional. The same school employed a young substitute simply for the band director because he was someone's son.
post #116 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by aprons_and_acorns View Post
I just wanted to add that if DS wants to go to college I will support him fully in that! I am definitely not anti-college, but going there straight out of high school was a mistake for me.
Me too.
post #117 of 179
haven't read all the replies

my degree has been practically useless. my husband's has been critical. i say let the kid choose.

i would encourage my child to get a social experience like college. out on their own but without being completely without a safety net. travelling would work. or working with an americorps program or something like that. my social experiences in college are what made me who i am today. that includes having professors who i respected and learned from...but it doesn't necessarily mean the classroom experience.

otherwise...whatever they decide to do to train themselves for a job is their decision.
post #118 of 179
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
Cases like your husband are one of the reasons I'm so annoyed by the cult of the degree that's sprung up in our culture. Of the three most competent managers I've ever worked under, only one had a degree. The three most incompetent managers I've worked under all had one. The degree litmus test is really, really flawed, except in a very specific areas. People have just accepted that you have to have that piece of paper to prove something...and nobody seems to stop and question just what it actually does prove.
Slightly OT, but I don't think that's entirely true. People who hire (like me) have had all the same experiences with really smart/educated/competent people who don't have degrees and incompetent people who do.

The thing is, when you get 150+ resumes for one job, you do start cutting people on that kind of surface level thing. Not only that but many companies' HR departments require them, in part to ensure people can be promoted equally later on.

It's a pain but it is the reality, in many areas and jobs and fields. In others, of course, it doesn't matter a whit.
post #119 of 179
I think I am going to push it, because I don't think there is a job in my city that pays more than 8$ an hour, that doesn't require a degree.... well I guess the call centres pay 12$ an hour. I don't have a college education and neither does my husband and we both regretted it and still do, I'm thinking about going back to school, I just really wish I would've done it years ago and the same goes for most of the people I know who don't have a degree, I dont want my kids to live a life of regrets like us.
post #120 of 179
FACT: People with degrees tend to have more favorable job opportunities than non-degreed individuals, regardless of actual school or degree.

FACT: lifetime salaries for degreed people are on average higher than lifetime salaries for people without a degree, even taking the debt created into account.

FACT: many many jobs, especially those with more flexibility, job security, benefits, and portability, are exclusively for those with degrees.

FACT: in economic downturns, folks without degrees are more at risk for job loss/under employment and are generally more adversely affected than folks with degrees.

FACT: most job placement is about who you know, and who knows you. College networks of alumni can be very powerful in finding out about jobs or getting a good shot at an interview.

FACT: Many standard rates and salary calculations are based on experience and degree. A lack of a bachelors degree for many positions can automatically knock four years off of someone's experience - regardless of the degree or field. For example, someone with a HS degree and 10 years HTML coding can only charge the same as someone with a bachelors and 6 years of experience - REGARDLESS of what the degree is in.

FACT: in some industries, there is significant degree inflation - a BS is now required where a HS degree used to be sufficient. An MA or MBA is now required where a BA used to be sufficient. I have worked at several places -non-profits - where they only promote people with master's degrees.

Now, regardless of whether this is right, fair, etc. it is the current state of the US economy/society. And one of my primary responsibilities is to make sure my kids have the skills they need to have as many choices in their lives as possible - and a degree will make their lives easier.

So not only will I be expecting my kids to go to college, unless there is a damned good reason why they are unsuited, I will also push them to go to the best college they can get into. Yes, there are many other ways to get similar experience and skills - and we all know people with degrees who do not have these skills - but college in many ways can be both a short cut to get them, and is easily recognizable credential.

'Course, there is no reason why someone can't take time off, can't do the AA -> BA route, or pay for their education themselves, which I think can make the experience more valuable.

My background/biases
-------
Both dh and I have degrees - he has a degree in computer science and I have a BS in International Affairs and an MA in Anthropology. Both are 100% required and used by us in our work, even though my current job is a departure (web development) from what I originally thought I would do. But we see our degrees not as job training, but rather as ways to train us in how to think.

My dad and mom both had degrees - my dad had presigious education (Cambridge and Harvard MBA), my mom put herself through Pasadena City College, UCLA, and then Baruch college for her Masters (she paid for it all herself, and supported her mother at the same time). Daughter of a farm hand and a nurse from small town, Il., without these degrees, she never would have had the positions or opportunities she had in her life.

DH's parents do not have degrees, and DH's dad found this was significantly held against him when he was 55 years old and looking for a job - even though he had owned/run companies, no one wanted to hire him without a degree (they even said that to him on a couple of occasions). He topped out far before he was ready to retire.

And the friends and connections I and dh both made at our respective colleges have had defining impacts on our lives. I don't really keep in close contact with HS friends, but my college friends are my closest ones.
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