Moneymoney

Thu Sep 1, 2016, 08:08 PM

College degree – worthwhile or just a piece of paper?

South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

Mass inflation’s headlong “race to the bottom” occurs when – seemingly without warning – the general public realises that the over-issued, poorly backed currency they possess is, ultimately, just coloured paper.

Recent news reports that local asso­ciate degree holders earn – after two years of self-funded study – about the same as secondary-school leavers have caused academic soul-searching. A senior official from one leading institutional provider of these courses opined – with unintended irony – that Hong Kong’s employment market has readjusted itself to the large number of sub-degree graduates.

Let’s face it, everyone involved in Hong Kong’s higher education sector is complicit; students know when course materials, lecturers and examinations are unchalleng­ing; academics wilfully look the other way at collapsing standards; admin­istrators remain obsessed with ex­panding their particular college’s league table rank­ings; and institu­tional bean-counters nickel-and-dime everything in sight. As ever, nothing makes people less likely to “know” some­thing than when their jobs and promotions depend on not knowing it. And so it is with this particular local Ponzi scheme.

Historically, social mobility in Chinese society devolved from educa­tion; the liter­ate seldom starved, which was why poor families readily sacrificed themselves to provide educational opportunities. In mod­ern times, qualifications could be readily monetised. Primary level was required for all but the most menial jobs by the 1970s while secondary graduates were paid more depending on whe­ther they had achieved Form One, Form Three or Form Six stand­ard. Specific technical qualifications added extra pay; post-graduates earned more than undergraduate-degree holders, and so it went on.

Individuals, therefore, can track quite closely what they feel they should earn from their alleged educational attainments. When this particular currency becomes widely devalued, youth unrest is an inevitable consequence. And when the job inter­view question “Did you go to univ­er­sity?” becomes “Which university did you go to?”, grade inflation problems are starkly apparent. Britain, Australia and the United States have similar problems.

http://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/article/2012138/college-degree-worthwhile-or-just-piece-paper

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Reply College degree – worthwhile or just a piece of paper? (Original post)
Troll2 Sep 2016 OP
the_frito Sep 2016 #1
Lil Marky Sep 2016 #2
Big Kahunna Sep 2016 #3
Lil Marky Sep 2016 #4
TexMex Sep 2016 #5
Cu13 Oct 2016 #6
exindy Oct 2016 #7
Big Kahunna Oct 2016 #8
exindy Oct 2016 #9
Big Kahunna Oct 2016 #10

Response to Troll2 (Original post)

Thu Sep 1, 2016, 09:38 PM

1. Some degrees are worth it

Others not so much.

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Response to the_frito (Reply #1)

Sat Sep 10, 2016, 05:47 PM

2. There's also the whole "you get what you put into" thing.

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Response to Lil Marky (Reply #2)

Sun Sep 11, 2016, 05:47 PM

3. There are no guarentees just because someone has a degree.

As with most worthwhile things in life "you get what you put into it.

Too many expect big money right out of school

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Response to Big Kahunna (Reply #3)

Sun Sep 11, 2016, 06:09 PM

4. Oh yeah, I've known my fair share of those people...

I've also worked with a fair share of people who somehow had degrees, but didn't seem to know anything. No passion for the field they studied.

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Response to Troll2 (Original post)

Tue Sep 13, 2016, 07:13 AM

5. Worthwhile

 

Last edited Tue Sep 13, 2016, 07:44 AM - Edit history (1)

Career implications aside, I spend a good deal of time with blue collar, high school grads. Maybe 1 in 20 has spent time increasing their knowledge base through independent learning. They are nice simple folks who have intellectually handicapped themselves. I simply can't imagine living life with an under-educated spouse.

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Response to Troll2 (Original post)

Wed Oct 12, 2016, 04:26 PM

6. depends on the degree

I worked a dozen shitty, hard, dead end, low paying jobs from age 16 to 22, a real eye opener for me. Got my act together and headed back to college and earned my BSEE. Landed in San Francisco at age 26 with nothing but that piece of paper and the clothes on my back (and no DEBT!!)

Retired at age 56 after a great 30 year engineering career. Present net worth is approx. 3.5 million.

Was it worth it? Fuck Yeah....

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Response to Troll2 (Original post)

Wed Oct 12, 2016, 07:23 PM

7. I don't think race to the bottom means what they say.

The race to the bottom is a socio-economic phrase which is used to describe government deregulation of the business environment or taxes in order to attract or retain economic activity in their jurisdictions. An outcome of globalization and free trade, the phenomenon may occur when competition increases between geographic areas over a particular sector of trade and production.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_to_the_bottom

IOW, it is a deliberate devaluation of the value of labor. It is the underbidding of the cost of labor in one area to attract economic activity.

The net result is that eventually the value of labor is reduced to an unsustainable level.

This crap article is an attempt to marginalize the value of education. Ie, why should I pay a college grad more than a high school grad? Why should I pay a high school grad more than a totally unskilled laborer.

This is just another fake justification for society not investing in its people. It was our education system that got us to the moon. Lack of it will put us back on the plantations.

More globalization neoliberal BS.

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Response to exindy (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 13, 2016, 11:07 AM

8. What part of our education system that got us to the moon is no longer there?

The only thing I see that is missing is the initiative in some to go out and get it.

Too many expect too much for free.

"Society".. doesn't invest in those who don't invest in themselves

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Response to Big Kahunna (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 13, 2016, 11:46 AM

9. Case in point.

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Response to exindy (Reply #9)

Thu Oct 13, 2016, 04:23 PM

10. Yes you are..

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