Sunday, January 24, 2010

Are you upside down in your college education?


Kansas City Missouri --
" Being "upside down" means owning more on your house or car than it's worth.
Right now, Patricia Summers is upside-down on her college degree.

She still owes $18,000 on loans taken to get her degree in advertising from the University of Missouri. Her college time will end up costing more than $50,000, not counting what she could have earned from a full-time job had she not gone to college.

But that job probably would have been a dead-end, low-paying service job, advocates of higher education contend.

Which is exactly what Summers is doing now: serving burgers at a Sonic drive-in...."

... "Whether college is worth it depends on how much you pay for it," said Kevin Carey, the policy director at the Education Sector, a Washington-based education think tank. "It's not worth much if you pay too much for a degree that has no value in the market, or one that pays too little to pay back what you borrowed."

Is college actually worth the cost and do you need college to be a success?
And is the return on what you spent and time in college worth the reward?
Well, don't ask Bill Gates of Microsoft, Steve Jobs of Apple, Michael Dell of Dell, Larry Ellison of Oracle or Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook. They all dropped out.

So what do you do?

In this society it is highly recommended that if you want to make something of yourself, get a head and have a decent income you are encouraged to get a college education.

"people with high levels of education make more money on average." Says Carney,"A college education is no guarantee."

But a question that I would ask, is the cost worth it. When you total up the amount of tuition, room and board, expenses, books, and other costs associated with attending college, what is the actual return that you are getting on your investment?
Last summer a 27-year-old unemployed woman from the Bronx, N.Y., was so disappointed in what her degree in information technology had gotten her in the job market that she sued Monroe College for $70,000, the cost of her tuition. She claimed the school did not help her land a job in her field.

"I doubt if it will go anywhere. It is not much of a law suit," said Gary Axelbank, a spokesman for the college. "We had 3,000 graduates last June, and every one of them walked out thrilled."...

... "Without a doubt, a degree is worth having, said Anthony Carnevale of Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce."

"Graduates who say college was a rip-off probably chose the wrong school, the wrong major, or they are living in the wrong region, where jobs are hard to come by. Education can't fix those," Carnevale said.

everybody's heard it, if you'd like to make more money, have a better chance of getting hired or promoted, you need that college degree.

However, as stated in the article, a college degree is NOT for everybody and it does NOT guarantee you a better job. Additionally, the TYPE of degree that you seek is also important.

One of the students in my truck driving class was a fresh graduate from the University of Oregon with a bachelor's degree in music. He told me that he was led to believe that it could result in a teaching career. Now he is hoping to drive a truck which, unfortunately depending where he works can make you more money than his degree would ever think of.

So the question is is it worth having a college degree?

I would say yes, however it depends on how you get it.

For example, if you are going for a technical type degree... go to a technical college such as ITT in Portland or OSU in Corvallis.

Bachelors of arts, University of Oregon.

DO NOT go to a community college for anything other than just general training or education.

what I would like to see is that the standards of both community colleges and universities to be upheld to the same standards as private colleges where in order to retain their accreditation highly depends on the type of graduates and the success of the graduates that they produce.

this is why private colleges are more accountable to their students and they placed more emphasis on their graduates being qualified for the degree that they're earning and not as concerned whether or not they are producing a MORE WELL-ROUNDED INDIVIDUAL.

Most people like myself, did not go to college to be a more well-rounded person, I went to college to get training in the field of my choice. Unfortunately, three quarters of the training that I received in college was not at all related to my degree.

Am I sour on college?

Yes, based on my experiences.

I grew up when home computers were just starting to come out and I've always wanted to get into that field. I did everything I could to study them on my own, and I got good at it.

Finally, I had the opportunity to go to Lane community college in 1975.

But it wasn't in computers. NOPE! The academic adviser talked me out of it.

"The market is over saturated, you'd be better with your skills and background to go into automotive repair."

What did I know, he was an adviser. I figure he knew what he was talking about.

Admittedly, the automotive program was a good program. Compared to today, they were actually focus on the degree.

I graduated and worked on cars for about a year. However that was not my love of what I always wanted to do. I have always been a technician at heart, and did everything that I could on my own out side of college to gain skills in that area and break in to that field.

30 years later, I had the opportunity to return back to Lane community college full-time, hoping to go back into computers.

Without regurgitating everything that happened, all I will say is that it was the worst experience in my life.

Today, I'm like that University of Oregon graduate. I spent a lifetime teaching myself technology, working my way up to be in the technical field, finally made it to the position of senior technician working with robotic equipment. It was a dream come true.

Now, I'm $30,000 in debt for a college, not including the other expenses that went along with it, and I'm driving a truck.

In closing, college is not for everyone, and like it says on the left-hand side of my blog, "buyer beware".

And don't be filled with regrets like I am or as a friend of mine in Eugene who is a millionaire whose name I will withhold for privacy reasons, advised me to drop out of college and do something else.

He said "I made it without a college education, and so can you."

I wish I would've listened to him.


Anonymous Walter Antoniotti said...

Here is what economists say.

In summary, we are graduating way more people than we need and many are poor students in majors that do not well.

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