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Do you think an education bubble exists in the US?


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#21 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8188

Posted 03 July 2014 - 07:21 PM

Are we talking about the US?

 

 

I think its probably true that we're producing too many young adults with high amounts of student debt for the economy in its current shape to support. That's a complex issue that touches on the workforce as a whole, the state of K-12 education, the loss of the manufacturing sector and others to outsourcing, and other things.

 

On the K-12 part of the equation, I believe there's been a handful of problems there -- First is basic reading literacy, second is the trend of standardized testing and the ways that has come to shape school curriculum for the worse, third is scientific literacy (STEM), fourth is the utter concentration of education to produce college entrants rather than capable young-adults/workers, and fifth -- related to the last and second -- is the gutting of art, music, and vocational education opportunities. On the last point, I think its a critical failure of K-12 education to not recognize or value those who aren't college-bound or entering a traditional career-field -- it used to be that high schools prepared individuals to enter into vocational apprentice-ships as plumbers, builders, mechanics -- and while I would tend to agree that those fields don't necessarily make for a comfortable life -- there will always be a local need for those services that can't be outsourced. Likewise in the arts -- some people are simply painters and dancers -- far be it from us to tell them otherwise -- yet our K-12 system gives them no quarter. Likewise, for those on a path to entrepreneurship. I value the college education I have, it gives me a comfortable life, debt-and-all, but I think it does us all a disservice to effectively make it a requirement for everyone. At the same time, I also believe that the reliance on college to be the final source of education in some ways has allowed K-12 to be so staggeringly ineffective -- they can fail and pass the buck onto colleges; when a high-school graduate can't find work, its no longer because they were failed by K-12, its because of their personal failure to go to college.

 

As a secondary backdrop to what I think about K-12 and how it relates to this, I also believe strongly that kids are far more capable of what we ask them to do, and we get such poor results because we're asking them to grow in the wrong way -- its not always apples-to-apples to compare to other countries, but its interesting how much lip service we pay to K-12 education despite our poor results, and even more interesting when you realize that many of the countries outperforming us on reading and STEM literacy are doing it while spending less, assigning less homework, and many of them having more vacations, shorter school years, and shorter school days. Yes, you hear a lot about Japan's education culture and their cram-schools running late into the evening, but on the opposite end of the spectrum you have Sweden (I think, or maybe Finland) which operates as I describe.

Why is it this way? The basic problem is that the American system is essentially an industrial version of education. We try to turn out students shaped like cogs, ready-fit for the college machine. When standards aren't being met, we introduce *more process* and *less care* -- like so many maligned middle-managers. We're so focused on feeding the machine, that the adults in charge can't recognize and don't value those that would be instrumental in different and possibly new machines -- Instead, they're discouraged and malnourished from growing into full form, so that they can better fit into the approved machines. The result if an over-abundance of young adults with very little in the way of discernible skills, let along distinguishing ones, and a stark lack of real confidence to do their own thing. When I was in K-12, only the exceedingly bright students -- those smart enough to challenge an adult on intellect -- were ever given any real special opportunities as far as education goes. In high-school this changes a bit, where a reasonably bright student to elect to take college-level courses for credit, but even those were not especially challenging. In my senior year I even repeated one of those college math classes *voluntarily* because there was nothing else worthwhile to take, and my school, because of the state, wouldn't let me take any more study hall, TA-gigs, or independent study hours. K-12 as it is produces minimal quality goods en mass, that is their focus -- and as they succeed at hitting that incredibly low bar, we should find it unsurprising that it leads to the kind of "bubble" OP describes.



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#22 Buster2000   Members   -  Reputation: 1783

Posted 04 July 2014 - 08:13 AM


It should be common sense that it's a good idea™ to have an educated population simply for the sake of it. Not for jobs specifically, and not for academia specifically, but just because education makes the world better. Can you imagine living in Somalia where they have to use illustrations on street signs because 80% of people can't even read? We've decided that our society would be much worse off if reading was only for the rich, so we ensure everyone has this capability.

 

You are taking things to a complete extreme.  Being able to read a street sign doesn't require a Batchelors degree.  Neither does being a Mechanic, a builder, a painter and decorator, an electrician, a gas fitter, an accountant and many other vital careers.   You are in Australia and for me to emigrate there, there are only two jobs on the list of required trades that actually need a degree.



#23 TheChubu   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4849

Posted 04 July 2014 - 10:09 AM


You are taking things to a complete extreme.  Being able to read a street sign doesn't require a Batchelors degree.
Imagine if everyone you meet had a degree in something. That guy you bought a chocolate from? Expert in biochemistry. That taxi driver? Psychologist. The woman selling hot dogs on the street? She's a mechanical engineer.

 

It would be much more interesting...


"I AM ZE EMPRAH OPENGL 3.3 THE CORE, I DEMAND FROM THEE ZE SHADERZ AND MATRIXEZ"

 

My journals: dustArtemis ECS framework and Making a Terrain Generator


#24 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8188

Posted 04 July 2014 - 02:14 PM

Imagine if everyone you meet had a degree in something. That guy you bought a chocolate from? Expert in biochemistry. That taxi driver? Psychologist. The woman selling hot dogs on the street? She's a mechanical engineer.


It would be much more interesting...


Hah! If you think it'd be interesting for you, try being the poor schmuck trying to service his crushing student debt by slinging hot dogs on the street corner.

Sadder still is that this is *already* the reality for many people.

Being educated is great, everyone should do it... But "having an education" isn't for everyone, not in the US anyways. We have a free and widespread K-12 system that could and should do so much more to produce educated, world-ready young adults who either have valuable skills, or are on a track for higher education/non-traditional career paths. My personal belief is that if we start there, the rest will come more easily, of not as a natural consequence.

#25 SeraphLance   Members   -  Reputation: 1457

Posted 04 July 2014 - 02:23 PM

Everyone should have an education, but that's a moving target.  College, by definition, is supposed to be education at a level beyond what contemporary society can hold for everyone.  As general education requirements grow, K-12 are supposed to service that., not "higher" education.



#26 Code Fox   Members   -  Reputation: 1812

Posted 05 July 2014 - 09:05 PM

 


You are taking things to a complete extreme.  Being able to read a street sign doesn't require a Batchelors degree.
Imagine if everyone you meet had a degree in something. That guy you bought a chocolate from? Expert in biochemistry. That taxi driver? Psychologist. The woman selling hot dogs on the street? She's a mechanical engineer.

 

It would be much more interesting...

 

.

Learning useless information to "enrich your life" ( learning for the sake of learning ) is a big waste of time and money ...

.

 Information in the human brain degrades after a while when it is not being used.

 After 1 year you start to forget the fine details.

 After 5 years you still remember the basics, but specifics are getting very "fuzzy".

 After 10 years, it is almost like you never learned the information in the first place.


Edited by Shippou, 05 July 2014 - 09:07 PM.

Does Anyone Actually Read This ?
 


#27 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2133

Posted 06 July 2014 - 10:22 AM

 


jobs that required a high-school diploma 25 years ago require a bachelor's now

 

Is that really the case in the US?

 

Because I haven't really seen it anywhere else. There are certainly more jobs that require a degree now, but those are generally jobs that either didn't exist 25 years ago or weren't that common. I have yet to see anyone require higher qualifications for trade jobs (plumber, electrician, etc) or low skilled work.

 

Do you have any evidence of this (aside from your mexican fast food anecdote)?

 

 

Yes, it's getting common.  A Bachelor degree is the minimum.  Master is the norm.  PhD graduates are starting to become the norm.  There are more trade schools now.  All you need is a high school diploma/GED (high-school equivalent), and two years of trade schools, then you can become a nurse assistant, a dental assistant, security personnel, data entry specialist, etc.

 

Education is certainly a problem that's been developing in the past decade or two.  As students graduate from their undergrad, if they cannot find a job immediately, the next path they would take is getting their masters.  Why wouldn't they?  If they don't have a job, they can't pay student loans.  If they are coming from the undergrad program, Universities sometimes offer master programs at a discounted rate.  Graduated from masters and still can't find a job?  Then might as well take the PhD, better than unemployed.

 

After they graduated from PhD, if they still can't find a job, then they are screwed, but at this time they have already accumulated so much debt, at the price of a house.  They either become unemployed, or work for the university as a researcher.  If they do get a job as a PhD, it would be at the same rate as a Bachelor who were able to get a job earlier with 5-6 years of experience.

 

The industries, at least the tech industry, are not rewarding people with educational credentials, for a good reason.  Practical experience amounts to a lot more than homeworks.  Universities do not equip their students with practical real-life experience.  A homework project that connects to a MySql backend hardly counts as a real life project.  That's something a smart person can do over a weekend.  Unfortunately, that's the kind of stuff Master graduates equip their resume with.  That stuff should've been on a Bachelor's resume.


Edited by alnite, 06 July 2014 - 10:41 AM.


#28 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1444

Posted 06 July 2014 - 02:11 PM

I think we all will need PHDs just to get a basic job soon. When will McDs make the bachelors a requirement for flipping burgers? 



#29 kryotech   Members   -  Reputation: 943

Posted 06 July 2014 - 10:09 PM

I think we all will need PHDs just to get a basic job soon. When will McDs make the bachelors a requirement for flipping burgers? 

 

I'd hope not. That's a ridiculous requirement to have for something that requires basically no knowledge.

 

On the OP though, it's a really confusing situation in the US, largely because it's hard to tell what the real picture is. Politics cloud the real picture. Americans believe that a higher education leads to a higher income. The data does seem to support this. The data also seems to support that there is less unemployment amongst those who have college degrees. It's a question of the return on investment, the degree being the investment, and the return being the income earned after graduating. The data does support the theory that there is a higher return on investment, one that is actually increasing.


Kryotech

#30 Code Fox   Members   -  Reputation: 1812

Posted 06 July 2014 - 10:20 PM


On the OP though, it's a really confusing situation in the US, largely because it's hard to tell what the real picture is. Politics cloud the real picture. Americans believe that a higher education leads to a higher income. The data does seem to support this. The data also seems to support that there is less unemployment amongst those who have college degrees. It's a question of the return on investment, the degree being the investment, and the return being the income earned after graduating. The data does support the theory that there is a higher return on investment, one that is actually increasing.

 

 

I'm going to refer you to an earlier post

 

 

Any way, in the modern day US there is a real problem of kids taking courses that have a very slim chance of landing a real job in the same field.

 

41% of kids will drop out of college their first time around . Some states are better than others.

 

After 6 months of graduating, 40% of kids will not have a job, 16% will be working in a job with less than 30 hours a week.

27% of the kids that have a full time job will be working in the field they studied in.


Does Anyone Actually Read This ?
 


#31 kryotech   Members   -  Reputation: 943

Posted 06 July 2014 - 10:26 PM

 


On the OP though, it's a really confusing situation in the US, largely because it's hard to tell what the real picture is. Politics cloud the real picture. Americans believe that a higher education leads to a higher income. The data does seem to support this. The data also seems to support that there is less unemployment amongst those who have college degrees. It's a question of the return on investment, the degree being the investment, and the return being the income earned after graduating. The data does support the theory that there is a higher return on investment, one that is actually increasing.

 

 

I'm going to refer you to an earlier post

 

 

Any way, in the modern day US there is a real problem of kids taking courses that have a very slim chance of landing a real job in the same field.

 

41% of kids will drop out of college their first time around . Some states are better than others.

 

After 6 months of graduating, 40% of kids will not have a job, 16% will be working in a job with less than 30 hours a week.

27% of the kids that have a full time job will be working in the field they studied in.

 

 

Like I said, lots of conflicting data out there. Some support one thing, others support another.


Kryotech

#32 cadjunkie   Members   -  Reputation: 1354

Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:23 AM

Do you have any evidence of this (aside from your mexican fast food anecdote)?

 

 

I've seen an inbound product support position for a supplement company require a master's degree in biology or related field. The main duty was to field calls from people saying they had allergic reactions from the supplements, open tickets in the system, and forward the calls to the higher-ups. In no way did the job require any real application of a master's level knowledge. I've seen several secretarial jobs require a bachelor's degree in English and I don't think aside from grammar and spelling that this really needs a bachelor's degree. I've seen machinist jobs require a bachelor's degree (why??). In fact, a lot of blue-collar or service industry jobs I come across state "bachelor's degree" of some sort required. I don't think I'm too far off the mark in saying that things in that regard have gotten out of hand.

 

I do agree, however, that there are jobs today that didn't really exist 25 years ago (for instance practically the entire job sector of IT) so some comparisons are apples to oranges.

 

 

I believe experience is still THE thing in SOME companies, but from my personal experience, it seems that society tries to pays back college students first, for the money (not time and hard work) they invested for that degree.

 

I think experience is really THE thing in practically *all* companies. In the end, they really don't care what you know more than what you can do with it. The underlying assumption is that a college degree means "I don't have to teach you how to do this job" when it really only means "I don't have to teach you the basics or the theory". Some companies require the degree to be able to pay what that person is really worth or to maintain some internal (or external) standard. The standard is really about proving to a third-party that "Yes, we as a company are competent and our products are quality because all our engineers/scientists/designers/workers/whatever are educated", which is a terrible thing. Some people that can do the work don't have the degree and some people with a degree can't do the work. That's why I applaud programmers without a degree that get high paying or really rewarding jobs. They have to show off their portfolio/experience and it has to be good enough to earn that kind of compensation.



#33 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8188

Posted 07 July 2014 - 02:01 PM

Well, here's the thing -- if you're a company looking to hire, and you've got Phd and Master's graduates willing to accept similar pay and similar jobs due to market conditions, as those with a Bachelors, Associates, or Technical certification, all else being equal, why wouldn't you hire those more-educated people?

 

The end result actually has a similar parallel to one of the ways an ecology can collapse -- If alpha-species (those at the top of the food-chain) become overpopulated, they feed too much on those species in the middle of the food-chain, and when they've eaten all those species, the species even lower on the food chain explode in population because they face fewer natural predators. Then those species begin eating themselves out of house and home due to overpopulation, but meanwhile those alpha predictors may not be able to eat enough smaller species to sustain themselves, and begin to die off too. So you're left with just those at the bottom and a few lucky alpha-predators that won't allow a population of mid-food-chain species to ever establish itself again. And probably those alpha predators have dwindled below a viable breeding pool too, so they eventually die off as well. This scenario is the specific worry over the Tuna population and its effect on the ocean ecology, for example.



#34 Tutorial Doctor   Members   -  Reputation: 1697

Posted 07 July 2014 - 06:09 PM

I'd say perhaps some of those final alpha predators become part of the bottom chain.

And perhaps that is the effect on the American Econmoy too, where the middle class is being eaten, and you just have the Rich and the Poor. Those above or below a certain threshold become one or the other.

And by the way Ravyne, what are your credentials, because you have some very intriguing posts. Poet? Writer? Pyschiatry?

haha.

They call me the Tutorial Doctor.


#35 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8188

Posted 07 July 2014 - 07:08 PM

I have to admit, I actually mistated that parallel to a form of ecological collapse by a bit, and I'll have to correct it when I have a bit more time to compare facts.

 

I think to your point about reducing to either the rich and the poor, its not so much that you split down the middle and the chips fall where they will, its more that a wedge is driven in somewhere, and then things on the lower end drive towards the bottom (oversupply of workforce from a hiring perspective), and then you have things on the higher end where wealth generally is able to continue capitalizing on itself (The old adage: It takes money to make money). Its not quite that simple, but those trends grow more and more exacerbated the wider the gulf created by that wedge grows.

 

As far as credentials, I'm mostly just a guy who reads a lot about a variety of things, thinks about them, and tries to see the truth of the matter, the connections and the parallels. I'm a technical writer by profession (Microsoft, Visual Studio / C++ documentation team), and a game developer by education (DigiPen RTIS). I know a lot about a few things, and a little about many things -- and I've always been served well by being able to relate between them all. I've just been the curious type all my life.



#36 Buster2000   Members   -  Reputation: 1783

Posted 14 July 2014 - 01:58 AM


Well, here's the thing -- if you're a company looking to hire, and you've got Phd and Master's graduates willing to accept similar pay and similar jobs due to market conditions, as those with a Bachelors, Associates, or Technical certification, all else being equal, why wouldn't you hire those more-educated people?

 

Educated doesn't neccasarily mean smart or capeable of doing the job.  A Phd is a research degree and is mostly theretical with the purpose of expanding global knowledge on a particular subject.
I have intervied people who have been self taught and also people up to Phd level and the truth is there are some people with excellent academic achievments but, in the real world I wonder how they manged to get to the interview without killing themselves because they really have been that dumb.  That isn't to say that everybody with a phd is dumb there are just as many idiots without academic smarts who are dumb too.


 



#37 Ravyne   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 8188

Posted 14 July 2014 - 08:44 PM


Educated doesn't neccasarily mean smart or capeable of doing the job. 

 

Well, of course, there are no universal truths. But in general its a better start than most others to cull the herd of applicants -- the question isn't whether all Phds are better suited to the role than all non-Phds, its whether at least one of the 5 Phd applicants will, statistically, prove to be more capable than the 10 top non-Phds that you spent a man-week separating from the stack of 300 non-Phd applicants you received, to fill in the 15 interview slots you have time for.

 

As a holder of 'only' an associates degree, from what is technically a trade-school (though accredited and generally respected) no less, I'm exposed to this bias more than most, but it is what it is. I'm lucky to be clever enough to punch above my weight-class and have been fortunate enough to interview with people who had the time, interest, and authority to look past those few letters. The reality is not ideal, but everyone's got their own definition of 'fair' that looks an awful lot like 'tractable' if you squint at it a bit.



#38 JohnnyCode   Members   -  Reputation: 339

Posted 16 July 2014 - 02:47 PM

 

Well, of course, there are no universal truths. But in general its a better start than most others to cull the herd of applicants -- the question isn't whether all Phds are better suited to the role than all non-Phds, its whether at least one of the 5 Phd applicants will, statistically, prove to be more capable than the 10 top non-Phds that you spent a man-week separating from the stack of 300

And this gets less and less true. It turns out lately, that first prefered apliciants are those of experience and no education , then those of experience and education, and then those of only education, and then those of no education and no experience (for multiple of industries, especialy IT one).

 

I believe its due to the education bubble, that simply forces people to study university to have possibility to get any job, not a targeting job, and thus employers seeking working power considering further facts of an apliciant than an education much more prior like.

 

Even when picking apliciants that needs to yet only get "the ability" to work at a certain position (picking a junior technologist in an amonium factory), the picked "boy" will be the one with fast learning skills, not the one with degree promising the knowledge of it, even if the boy without degree in the field would outperform degree proven apliciant in a small extent over seeked skill.

 

But what a degree can prove, is discipline and dedication, but forcing people to spend piles of money to do so, thus getting possibly to gain any of the jobs - is mad.

 

 

 



#39 JohnnyCode   Members   -  Reputation: 339

Posted 16 July 2014 - 07:09 PM

for example, If in a town was a very capable surgeon, His assisting a terible nun .... I would preferably pick a leather and fur producing modeling mastress productres !. She would create a very comforatble sealing wounds upon patients. The best possible possible. Even if she was a retarder sick little affected girl society would like to protect from... she would be the best!

 

like (mister pudlik, there sems to be ill skin here!) (pudlik - what?!) (look!) (this is inproper skin! he is sick!) (now wait)

......... ok sister, deal with it...... it ends like this, and sis will save your ass, just becouse she is experienced fur and leather producer

 

Now show me a silly who can do this out of an university?

 

Surgeon pudlik will be desperate of not kjnowing how to help his patient, and his health terrible mosntrous sister will be the last to save you!

 

 



#40 JohnnyCode   Members   -  Reputation: 339

Posted 16 July 2014 - 07:13 PM

I am tryin'to explain that inspite of a lot of a professional like  education, kids canot learn just like that. And they examine further trials for no matter of a job.......

 

 






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