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Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:26 PM

3.8 GPA, high SATs, 4 year degree and living with Mom at age 25...

Got a Christmas card from a friend and she included a tidbit that both of her sons have returned to live in her house.

I don't know what to say to her. I feel bad. She did all she could to prepare them for careers; from over-seeing homework to guiding them toward scholarships. The older one got into a great college, sailed through and is now pouring coffee at an in-store cafe'. It breaks my heart to see her son spend the prime years of starting his career in a part-time minimum wage job. There are opportunities for 20-somethings that you don't get again later in life.

When I got out of college the country was in the middle of the Reagan recession. Jobs being lost at a high rate. We all thought we were going to starve but those conditions look good compared to now. I was lucky enough to start a job the Monday after I finished my last exam -- a real estate firm, doing database work, I got some on job related training and a promotion to supervisor within the first year. Within 18 months I was working in the industry I wanted to be in (which is not real estate).

I can't imagine what it would have been like to bounce back into my mother's home 3 years after college. On some level I just think I would never have done it but you never know what you can do until you HAVE to do it. I went broke a couple times in my life and never asked my parents for help.

I'm at a very different stage of my career so I ask -- Is the economy so bad that newly minted, work-for-next-to-nothing college grads can't get a start? And if so, why are we blindly filling colleges with teens who come out the other end with debt and no job?

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Reply 3.8 GPA, high SATs, 4 year degree and living with Mom at age 25... (Original post)
KurtNYC Jan 2013 OP
randome Jan 2013 #1
devilgrrl Jan 2013 #2
sagat Jan 2013 #7
CreekDog Jan 2013 #8
southernyankeebelle Jan 2013 #30
dmallind Jan 2013 #35
Yavin4 Jan 2013 #56
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #71
Dems2002 Jan 2013 #100
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #112
Art_from_Ark Jan 2013 #129
Dems2002 Jan 2013 #131
Art_from_Ark Jan 2013 #132
davidpdx Jan 2013 #135
davidpdx Jan 2013 #134
KurtNYC Jan 2013 #10
treestar Jan 2013 #140
Liberal_in_LA Jan 2013 #3
JaneyVee Jan 2013 #4
sinkingfeeling Jan 2013 #5
Victor_c3 Jan 2013 #12
abelenkpe Jan 2013 #22
datasuspect Jan 2013 #28
LanternWaste Jan 2013 #43
sweetapogee Jan 2013 #76
Xithras Jan 2013 #41
abelenkpe Jan 2013 #49
dixiegrrrrl Jan 2013 #146
Victor_c3 Jan 2013 #47
abelenkpe Jan 2013 #53
Victor_c3 Jan 2013 #88
marions ghost Jan 2013 #65
abelenkpe Jan 2013 #84
marions ghost Jan 2013 #152
stopbush Jan 2013 #85
marions ghost Jan 2013 #150
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Michigan Alum Jan 2013 #118
marions ghost Jan 2013 #151
theglammistress Jan 2013 #109
Sen. Walter Sobchak Jan 2013 #127
KurtNYC Jan 2013 #68
KurtNYC Jan 2013 #15
sinkingfeeling Jan 2013 #26
KurtNYC Jan 2013 #31
raccoon Jan 2013 #48
1983law Jan 2013 #123
coalition_unwilling Jan 2013 #61
shanti Jan 2013 #96
liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #113
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ProgressiveProfessor Jan 2013 #39
bluestate10 Jan 2013 #40
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KurtNYC Jan 2013 #80
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Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #75
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Nay Jan 2013 #137
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slackmaster Jan 2013 #97
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mythology Jan 2013 #119
Dems2002 Jan 2013 #99
KurtNYC Jan 2013 #103
Dems2002 Jan 2013 #116
fujiyama Jan 2013 #107
davidn3600 Jan 2013 #111
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peace13 Jan 2013 #128
Iris Jan 2013 #133
raccoon Jan 2013 #139
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liberal_at_heart Jan 2013 #148
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #149

Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:28 PM

1. Are the kids trying to stay close to home?

It's a big world out there. It's a big country. The best prospect for jobs is to be willing to relocate. I wish it wasn't like that but there it is.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)


Response to randome (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:34 PM

7. Landing a job in a different state is next to impossible.

Especially for an inexperienced college graduate.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:35 PM

8. why should people move away from their famlies and friends?

they are part of a community. they have a role to play if they want to play it, by serving and helping their friends and family and being helped by those same people.

if they get married and/or have kids, that community can be there for them and they for it.

i hate the idea that community is less important than a freaking paycheck. that it's so blithely dismissed.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:11 PM

30. Your right. I guess I grew up in a different time. My sister and I moved out around 19.

 

Yet our dad would come over on the weekend to take us to the grocery store and to do our laundry. We lasted about a year. I missed my mom and dad and we moved back home. I loved living at home. Of course my dad died at 50 and left 2 small kids at home. My parents had another unplanned family and 10 yrs of no kids. So my mother didn't drive. She depended on our dad. She came from another country. All my cousins stayed home til they got married. That is what Italian young people do and I guess that was the way I was raised. I wouldn't trade it. Nothing wrong with it if your kids contribute to the household. We did. At the time $200.00 a month. I glady paid. My momma took good care of us. I hated leaving home when I got married. My husband loved my momma also. He was closer to my mother then his own adopted parents. I see nothing wrong with your kids living with their parents.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #8)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:22 PM

35. So... every area needs every industry and profession? No mismatch between need and supply?

Hell I'm a generalist Mfg Operations guy and I'm on my 6th state. It's far more specific for geologists or biochemists or commodities traders etc etc.

If people limit their job search geographically, they are by unavoidable consequence limiting themselves to employers within that area. What if none of them need your skillset/education right now? Because hey maybe other members of that community already established in it are supplying them? Will they not move to establish themselves in another community? At 25? If not, then how can their job options NOT be severely limited? Should employers hire thousands of food science techs in Lafayette IN just because Purdue churns out a lot of grads there? Even though the plants may be in Nebraska or Georgia?

Community may be important as a concept, but one 25 yr old is unlikely to be important to the community, and very likely to be able to integrate effectively into a different community. Parochialism is limiting. Just because a person is born in Anytown WA does not make it a terrible thing to become part of Anyplace NY. Certainly being unwilling to leave Anytown means you can't complain about only having their employers to apply to.

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Response to dmallind (Reply #35)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:01 PM

56. The Better Opportunities May Be Overseas

We're in a global economy now, so the better opportunities for one's career may not even be in the U.S. We complain about globalization, but without it, your smart phone would cost $3000, not $250.

My advice to a young person today is learn a foreign language, Portugese, Spanish, German, Mandarin, whatever. Once you've mastered a language, you become that much more employable.

Imagine starting off your career in Brazil.

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Response to Yavin4 (Reply #56)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:47 PM

71. Or, go overseas and teach English

In Japan at least, there are people who started at the commercial English schools working for peanuts who now have good jobs in various fields over there. America isn't the only livable country. (Europe is very hard to get into unless you have immediate ancestors or a spouse from one of those countries or a specific job offer.)

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #71)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:23 PM

100. Korea pays a lot better to start

I'd probably start in Korea, gain experience, and then jump over to Japan. I taught in Korea for The Princeton Review ten years ago and did really well.

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Response to Dems2002 (Reply #100)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:13 PM

112. Yes, Korea is "hot" right now, sort of like Japan was thirty and forty years ago

Other Asian countries have jobs, too, but they pair low pay with a low cost of living (e.g. Thailand, Vietnam).

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Response to Dems2002 (Reply #100)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:33 AM

129. I'm pretty sure that the starting wage in Japan is higher

for a basic full-time English teacher:

In South Korea, basic starting salary ranges from 1.9 million to 2.3 million won per month, according to this web site:

http://www.asia-pacific-connections.com/salaries_benefits.html

That is the equivalent of 156,000 to 190,000 yen per month.

However, full-time English-teaching positions in Japan usually pay 230,000 yen or more per month.

For example,
http://www.es-primary.co.jp/common/recruit.html
https://jobs.gaijinpot.com/digitalworldtokyo/job/view/job_id/54539/lang/en
https://jobs.gaijinpot.com/job/index/lang/en?keywords=&category=13®ion=&english_ability=&language=&other_language=&career_level=&contract_type=1&overseas_application=0&submit=Search

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #129)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 02:23 AM

131. Japan doesn't usually pay all housing costs

The cost of living in Korea is extremely inexpensive and I lived in Ap ku jung, the Beverly Hills of Seoul for part of my time there. Also, If you read those listings, they require that you already reside in Japan and don't offer a housing allowance. While some Hogwans don't simply rent you an apartment, as mine did, all that I experienced through my friends provided a housing allowance of at least 500,000-750,000 a month and the key money. (I believe it's mandatory from the Korean government).

Of course, when I worked in the summer for the princeton review, i made a lot more money than typical, and side jobs, tutoring and business english, augmented the 2 million won I was paid in 2001-02 during the year, With low cost of living (a pint for 2,500 won) I think it's a lot more bang for your buck than Japan.

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Response to Dems2002 (Reply #131)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 02:49 AM

132. In the past, at least, people who were invited to teach English in Japan

were provided with a housing allowance-- it could still be the case with people hired from the US, etc., through JET and similar programs. Of course, most of the accommodations would probably not have approached "Beverly Hills" levels. Today with the current buyer's market, a lot of private English schools in Japan prefer residents because of past problems (with, for example, obtaining visas, or seeing teachers leave before their contract expired or even canceling out at the last minute) and because long-term residents have demonstrated that they can adapt to life in Japan and have already jumped through the visa hoops.

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Response to Dems2002 (Reply #100)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 05:54 AM

135. Actually no it's not

I live here and the economy is not good. Another conservative ass was just elected president and tensions with North Korea have gotten worse again. The housing market is not good either. Companies built too many apartments over the last 5 years and they are too expensive for most Koreans to buy. The lowest deposit you can get on a house is $10,000 USD and most likely it will run higher than that depending on the size and location (we rented our last apartment for a year and a half and paid $20,000. You of course get that back at the end). My guess is late this year or early next year we are due for a recession.

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Response to Yavin4 (Reply #56)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 05:50 AM

134. Not in Korea, the economy here is struggling

and they just elected the second conservative president in a row. That along with tensions with North Korea is not good.

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:41 PM

10. The older one was living and working 300 miles away,

near the college he went to so I guess that answer is "no" but perhaps he needs to keep expenses low while getting into a job that can pay the rent(?)

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Response to randome (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:58 AM

140. So where should they go?

Is this really the case?

Most of the country has a bad economy. It's not the 19th century where people could flee poverty in Europe or Asia by migrating to America. And even so, that was cruel, and this is the 21st century, so we'd think it would have improved.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:30 PM

3. I know a mother with 2 "kids" who finished grad school - big debt and neither work

in their fields.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:30 PM

4. Depending on where the grad lives, today grads find themselves having to relocate to where the jobs

are. I literally moved 20 blocks away from my job.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:32 PM

5. What kind of degrees are we talking about? Just curious.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:43 PM

12. I'm wondering that too

I know the job market sucks out there and it is hard trying to get started, but I suspect a lot of it has to do with the chosen field of study. A film major is going to have a much harder time finding a job where they can support themselves than someone with a degree in engineering or science.

---- edit----

And I do realize that not everyone is cut out to be a scientist or an engineer...

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:55 PM

22. Why do you even go there?

I hate this line of thinking. My parents thought I'd never make any money since I went for degrees in fine arts but today I am the only one of their kids who is independent and making good money. If one has talent and goes for a film degree there is no reason to expect they would not succeed at finding a good paying job just as much as one with talent in engineering can expect to find a good paying job in engineering. We do still make movies in this county. Why do people think a degree in the arts is a mistake and that only science and business is worth pursuing?

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:04 PM

28. uneducated people usually throw the "what type of degree" canard out there

 

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:34 PM

43. Do they really....?

Do they really....?

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Response to datasuspect (Reply #28)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:03 PM

76. translation:

A dumb BS degree. This reminds me of the time I took my daughter for her final interview for acceptance to The Macaulay Honors college at CUNY Lehman. I was waiting for her to complete the interview in the Lehman Library and was reading the "art work" on one of the carols. A question posted went like this "4 years of college and nothing to show for it but a diploma". Someone responded "this is what you get when you major in dumbass".

I thought it was funny. Anyway, hope jobs are coming soon. The unemployment rate is dropping.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:27 PM

41. The problem tends to come up when students pursue degrees without any analysis of job opportunities.

Yes, you CAN get a job with nearly any degree. The question is typically a matter of "how many" and "where". A degree in Forestry can land you a lot of jobs in California, the northwest, or many other greener states, but forestry jobs are going to be scarce in Iowa or Arizona. You can probably find a good paying job with a fine art degree in a major urban center or university town, but not in small town Alabama or some flyspeck town in the Mojave.

I was an adjunct CS prof for years and truly don't believe that any degree is "useless", and I don't even believe that the pursuit of a job should be the goal of higher education. But if you DO plan to get a job based on your degree, students really need to do their research to find out what kind of potential returns or job opportunities exist for a particular degree. Some degrees qualify you for good paying jobs. Some don't. Some degrees lead to fields with a large number of openings. Some don't. Some degrees can get you jobs anywhere. Most will not.

It's not just a matter of determining whether jobs exist, but whether they exist in enough numbers that they can have a chance of competing for one, in an area they're interested in living in, and at a pay scale they are willing to accept.

I live in, and used to teach Computer Science in, the California Central Valley. I regularly had to explain a simple reality with my students. They could stay in the Valley and compete for a limited number of low paying programming jobs with poor career prospects, they could commute several hours a day to the Bay Area where the better jobs are, or they could move out of the Valley and relocate to an area with better job prospects. There are still countless jobs for software developers in California, but there are very few in our area. In spite of that, I couldn't tell you how many students I dealt with who still believed that they could stay in their hometowns (typically one of the Valley or foothill towns between Stockton and Fresno) and pull in a six figure position as a programmer. I'm sure that a few have, but the overwhelming majority have not. I know for a FACT that a number of my former students are working outside the field now, because they didn't want to move or commute and couldn't find employment around their hometowns. It's tragic that they didn't do a bit of homework beforehand.

All degrees have value, but all students should determine whether their particular degree has any realistic chance of helping them to achieve their life goals.

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Response to Xithras (Reply #41)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:52 PM

49. That is good advice!

I did move far from home for my job. But that was the plan all along

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Response to Xithras (Reply #41)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:25 PM

146. You are absolutely correct.

I got my Master's Degree in Seattle in '79.
Just as the recession hit.
EVERYBODY had Master Degrees....the chimney sweep I hired, the clerk in the bookstore, etc.
Only way I got a job was a fortunate move to a rural town in the South, where there was a need and no competition.
Laughable pay level, compared to Seattle.
But after a few years and a sucession of better paying jobs, I was doing just fine for this area.Having a strong work ethic was very helpful.

Had to leave friends and family behind, of course. And it was not easy to make the transition, to get started in an unknown area.
don't know if even that is a doable plan in today's brave new world.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:49 PM

47. I agree with most of what you said

There is more to life than making tons of money, however you can hardly blame anyone else or the economy for your lack of ability to earn an income if you make a poor choice in a selecting a field of study that lacks an abundance of decent paying jobs.

I would hardly call a degree in arts (and many other fields) a mistake, but I wouldn't get a degree in a field like that and expect to find a lucrative job. I'd expect that a well paying job in some fields would be an exception rather than a rule, however that may just be my (mis)conception...

I have two kids and my oldest daughter says over and over again that she wants to grow up to be an artist. I'll never push her not to pursue that direction as I know that waking up and going to a job that you love is a lot more full and rewarding than just getting a jobbie-job that pays well but sucks the life out of you. I also make sure that she hears over and over again that I'd be proud of her if she grew up to be an artist. However, I'll make sure that she knows that there are a lot of starving artists out there.

By the way, I'd consider a degree in business a mistake. However that isn't relevant to anything that I mentioned above.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #47)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:59 PM

53. Awwwww, you're a good parent!

It is important to do a job that one loves. If she wants to be an animator lemmeno...I'll letcha know if it's still a good idea.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #53)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:37 PM

88. I will, but my daughter is a little young at the moment

she is 4 years old!

Not at all relevant to this topic, but in my opinion supporting your kids ideas and dreams and giving them some of your undivided attention are the two most important things that a parent can do in order to be a "good" parent.

Thanks.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:25 PM

65. Wrong

You were very lucky if you can say that. A degree in the arts today is only OK if you are independently wealthy. America puts very little emphasis on the arts, especially those that take a Fine Arts degree.

-----------comparison:

Social work. As far as selfless careers go, social work takes the cake. The good news is that job opportunities in this field numerous. According to the National Association of Social Workers and the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, social work is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. The profession is expected to grow by 30% this year. And while social work can improve the quality of life for countless individuals, it won't line your pocket. Average starting salary: $33,400. Average mid-career salary: $41,600.

2. Elementary education. Let's imagine a world without elementary school teachers, and we've got a world where no one even learns the fundamental math or science necessary to ever take up a degree in engineering or physics. Sounds like a scary (and unprofitable) place. Average starting salary: $33,000. Average mid-career salary: $42,400

3. Theology. Spirituality goes hand-in-hand with self-sacrifice. Theology and religious study majors learn that money is connected with worldly pleasures; they also learn that money can be used for good -- it all depends on how it's spent. Is it selfishly hoarded, or is it used to help people in some way? And apparently, the Pope doesn't make a salary. But neither does he have any expenses. Average starting salary: $34,800. Average mid-career salary: $51,500.

4. Music. My dad bought me a shirt when I graduated college (with an English degree) that said, "I don't own a car, I can't afford my rent, but I'm in a band!" I don't know where the shirt is now, I probably sold it on eBay to pay my gas bill. Average starting salary: $34,000. Average mid-career salary: $52,000.

5. Spanish. I wouldn't take the inclusion of Spanish on this list as a reason not to major -- or better yet, double major -- in the language. Knowledge of Spanish may help you land business or government jobs. Learning a second language also opens up an entire universe of literature, music, and art. Besides, 21 countries list Spanish as an official language. Average starting salary: $35,600. Average mid-career salary: $52,600.

6. Horticulture. If greenbacks make you green with envy you may want to reconsider your commitment to horticulture -- because you may not make much in this field, though the perspectives don't seem too unsatisfying to me. But as a horticulturist might say, "If your knees aren't green by the end of the day, you ought to seriously re-examine your life." Average starting salary: $37,200. Average mid-career salary: $53,400.

7. Education. A degree in education rakes in more than a degree in elementary education -- and, it makes sense. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment opportunities for primary, secondary, and special ed teachers are expected to grow by an average of 14% over the next decade.
Average starting salary: $36,200. Average mid-career salary: $54,100.

8. Hospitality and tourism. I wouldn't say taking a job in hospitality and tourism is a bad idea. The benefits of a career such as this may surpass the disadvantages -- you likely receive tips (which aren't added into the average salaries present in this data) and discounts on travel expenses. Not bad, considering an average mid-career salary still allows for a comfortable lifestyle. Average starting salary: $37,000. Average mid-career salary: $54,300.

9. Fine arts. Often degrees in fine arts are pursued for personal growth and development. If life is an art, why not study it? Except for the fact it doesn't pay much. Average starting salary: $35,800. Average mid-career salary: $56,300.

10. Drama. OK, so you probably won't make it to Hollywood and among the ranks of multi-millionaire stars like Nicolas Cage or Meryl Streep. But maybe you'll invest in your love for the stage -- and you'll likely take away some good acting tips for job interviews. And just by reading WalletPop and Money College, you're less likely to actually end up like Nic Cage -- financially over extended and foreclosed on. Average starting salary: $35,600. Average mid-career salary: $56,600.

http://www.dailyfinance.com/2010/05/13/10-lowest-paying-college-majors/

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #65)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:23 PM

84. Guess I and my husband and all my friends and co workers are just very lucky then

I like how you say it was luck and not talent and hard work. Yeah, the arts are unappreciated in the US. I wonder why? So it's probably best to go ahead and encourage any young artists you know to give up their love and instead choose a life of drudgery doing something they hate instead.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #84)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 02:07 PM

152. yes you are lucky

--look at the statistics of MFA grads relative to the job market. Lots of people with a talent and willingness to work never get a chance in the arts in America. In these economic times, it is a luxury to be in it at all. Count your blessings.

I could not encourage anyone to get an MFA in the current times (having gotten one myself). Only if it led to a job in an APPLIED form of art--graphic design, architecture, applied photography. But even these fields are very limited.

I don't advocate a life of drudgery. I advocate some realism with respect to the state of the Arts in America today. The picture is NOT good.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #65)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:26 PM

85. Any person pursuing a major in the arts these days

would do well to take a minor in Arts Administration.

There are thousands of jobs for marketers, fund raisers and administrators in the arts. Yes, there's not much movement among the senior positions, but there are plenty of entry-level jobs, and one can work their way up the ladder in short order.

Best of all, the people who do best in arts administration are the people who have a knowledge of and a passion for their art. That's what reads to potential donors and audiences.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #85)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:49 PM

150. That is about the only way to go other than teaching

which is extremely competitive for relatively few positions. Arts administration is low paying and often subject to the whims of the economy. In these hard times especially, arts suffer. I don't see it as a good long term career for the new college graduate. With so little community or government support, public art support will only last because of the volunteerism of those who do have enough money to get behind it without worry about generating an income--usually such people have a high-earning spouse. IMO it is a Dark Ages with regard to the creative arts in America.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #150)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:09 AM

155. I've moved from being a performing musician to arts administration

and have held a couple of jobs that paid in the six figures. And I did that without a degree!

The big problem with arts administration is the lack of job security. The average job length as a development officer at an arts organization is 18 months, usually because the organization is never happy with the results (ie: it's nearly impossible to meet fund raising goals). You get no real help from the board, and no real autonomy, either.

At least with teaching you can get tenure and have a bit more security, though even that is getting tough to achieve these days.

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #65)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:33 PM

118. Thanks for that - I'm getting a Master's in social work. I also live in an area where there are many

seniors who tend to need social services. Glad to hear see your article!

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Response to Michigan Alum (Reply #118)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 01:59 PM

151. This world will need social workers

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #22)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:30 PM

109. Thank you

I am so damned sick and tired of people slamming the soft sciences. I have a BA and MA in English (rhetoric). I've ALWAYS been employed since college. In fact, I was smart enough to set up a side freelance writing business to make more money when I want/need. The talking point that STEM jobs are the only worthy ones in this country is straight out of the Republican playbook.

I was (am) plenty smart and could have studied whatever I wanted. I chose to degree in what makes me happy. It's been my experience that people excel when they are happy.

Oh, and if everyone studied math and engineering, it would be a boring country. We need painters, writers, film makers, teachers, social workers...

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #22)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:14 AM

127. It is a matter of barriers to entry

Two of my high school classmates are superstars in their respective arts, one is a film editor and the other is a fashion photographer. Neither went to university and nobody in their field cares that they didn't go to university. Meanwhile the days of the "non-degreed engineer" attaining any sort of equivalent employment passed along time ago.

I would say my arts degree set my career back a minimum of five years.

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Response to Victor_c3 (Reply #12)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:41 PM

68. Choice of a Major may also indicate whether a person is a risk taker / Life-liver

versus one who will accept what is given. Statistics ignore the individual, especially the individual who demands to write their own script for Life.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #5)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:44 PM

15. I know he was a psych major at one point but not sure if he finished in Psych or something else.

He is empathetic AND logical so might make a good therapist (but I believe that is psychiatry, not psychology, and grad or Phd).

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:59 PM

26. Psychology isn't a great choice according to this list. 5 of the jobs with

the least prospects involve psychology.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505145_162-57325132/25-college-majors-with-the-highest-unemployment-rates/

College majors with the highest unemployment

1. Clinical psychology 19.5%
2. Miscellaneous fine arts 16.2%
3. United States history 15.1%
4. Library science 15.0%
5. (tie) Military technologies; educational psychology 10.9%
6. Architecture 10.6%
7. Industrial & organizational psychology 10.4%
8. Miscellaneous psychology 10.3%
9. Linguistics & comparative literature 10.2%
10. (tie) Visual & performing arts; engineering & industrial management 9.2%
11. Engineering & industrial management 9.2%
12. Social psychology 8.8%
13. International business 8.5%
14. Humanities 8.4%
15. General social sciences 8.2%
16. Commercial art & graphic design 8.1%
17. Studio art 8.0%
18. Pre-law & legal studies 7.9%
19. Materials engineering and materials science and composition & speech (tie) 7.7%
20. Liberal arts 7.6%
21. (tie) Fine arts and genetics 7.4%
22. Film video & photography arts and cosmetology services & culinary arts (tie) 7.3%
23. Philosophy & religious studies and neuroscience (tie) 7.2%
24. Biochemical sciences 7.1%
25. (tie) Journalism and sociology 7.0%



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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:18 PM

31. I know he did a concentration in Anime and Japanese studies also

Undergrad psych is pretty worthless by itself.

Degree aside, he is a sober, hard working guy with a good personality. Gets along very well with almost everyone. He worked in a water park during high school and I recommended that he try to get a PT gig in a Law office -- filing and such -- to get a taste of white collar life before college. It would have helped me sort out what I wanted from college if I had done something like that. I was a line cook and had a mobile DJ business before college so I had no firsthand knowledge of what it is like to work in an office environment for "the Man."

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:51 PM

48. Interesting! "4. Library science 15.0% " IME, it's been hard to get a job in that field for about


20 years.

There was a time, before about the early '70's, when if you had a library degree, and could breathe and walk, libraries
would beat your door down trying to hire you. (I didn't experience that, but that is the way it was in my area.)

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Response to raccoon (Reply #48)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:52 PM

123. What is this "library" thing you speak of?

 

Smiling...

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:09 PM

61. And we wonder why this country experiences massacres like Newtown. - n/t

 

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:45 PM

96. psychology degree

my degree was in psychology, but my great career working for the state (i'm now retired) only required "a college degree". so it is possible to obtain a well-paying job with a psych degree, just saying...

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #26)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:19 PM

113. I don't understand that

When my husband was first going through his clinical depression he tried setting up appointments but everyone said it would be two months before they could see him. He was nearly suicidal and they wanted him to wait two months. Finally after basically pleading for his life, someone agreed to fit him into their schedule. It seems to me there is a psychiatrist shortage especially given today's mental health state of most people in this country. I would think it would be a booming field.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #113)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:40 PM

121. There's a shortage of psychiatrists (who are M.D.'s and can prescribe meds) but not psychologists.

I know of 2 psychologists who are in my Master's of social work classes working on getting their masters (MSW's). Master's degrees in social work are much more marketable than the Phd's. it's all about reimbursement from insurance and Medicare/Medicaid.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:58 PM

52. You can't do much with a bachelors in Psychology anyway.

 

You need at least a Masters or more.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #15)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:00 PM

54. Applied Behavior Analysis is a nice skill set these days


If the recent graduate is interested in working with kids or people with behavior disabilities, a fairly short sequence of courses and passing the certification exam can lead to decent (40K) entry level jobs. He'd have to work with an organization and be supervised, but its good work.

Applied Behavior Analysis is big with autistic treatment.

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #54)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:32 PM

117. yes it is

My son had applied behavior analysis as a treatment through our school district while he was in pre-school. Unfortunately the next year they lost their funding for that so my son just went into special education. We could never afford applied behavior analysis on our own. It is a fantastic treatment. Autistic kids who receive that treatment typically make great progress. It is a good skill to have though and if he gets a masters or PhD he could make good money. It's just too bad there are those of us out there that can't afford the treatment.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #117)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:51 PM

122. I hope your son continues to make progress.


I know its difficult to get the help our children need.

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Response to aikoaiko (Reply #122)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:00 AM

124. I am frustrated with the whole thing but he has continued to make progress

With the 20% copay we have with our insurance we could never afford treatment for him. He has seen speech and occupational therapists in the special education program through the school district, but resources are thin and they have too many special education children and not enough teachers to go around. It doesn't help that their special education curriculum stinks. Next year in high school, I am hoping they will increase his adaptive learning time in class so he can start learning independent living and working skills. He has made progress through the years. I wish they could go back and put him in a math class that fits him. He is at a 5th to 6th grade math level but in an 8th grade math class. He has never caught up and he never will unless we can go back and fill in the holes. Thank you for your well wishes. It is tough to get any student a decent education right now and especially difficult to get a special education child a decent education.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:34 PM

6. I didn't get a real job till 38, turned out okay

I came out of college in the late '60s, and did whatever interested me, including backpack international travel, had a child, worked in a restaurant, real estate, etc. I finally got a real job with real money at 38 and the career started there. I have no regrets at all for the experiences I would never have had if I had locked into harness so early. Lives should be lived as more than financial enterprises.

I feel bad for Mom if she'd been happy to have them gone, though!

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Response to splat (Reply #6)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:47 PM

17. restaurant workers suffer under the stereotype that their job isn't "real".

Customers ask them "what do you want to do?" Is there any other profession where that occurs?

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #17)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:25 PM

106. Retail management...

But as I have been balding that has happened less and less. Double whammy I know.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:40 PM

9. Well, executives need glass bottom nooks overlooking LED wine cellars.



. . . and if the average wage-to-CEO-income ratio has to be so unequal and America's future has to be this hopeless in order for them to have that, who are WE to question it??



Bean counters were the worst thing to happen to America's economy, finances and industry. In their quest for continuing and ginormous profit, they kind of forgot about the need for additional business in order for that to happen. If you don't pay your workers, they can't buy shit. We only cared about one portion of society for 32 years running now. Their needs became first, foremost and ONLY. I don't even get how no one saw this coming or how anyone thinks or ever thought that this is any kind of feasible economic model.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:47 PM

18. omg

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #9)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:07 PM

60. They did see it coming...that's why

we have "globalization"

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #60)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 03:26 PM

153. +1

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:42 PM

11. Getting a job quickly is major related...what were their majors? tia

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:43 PM

13. My oldest is back. I had to tell him straight to his face this is NOT his fault.

he felt like a failure because he couldn't make it on his own. Straight from DU I read him the statistics. He now understands it's not just him, it's his whole generation.
Since I've never been enamored with the whole 'push em out as soon as they're 18, ready or not' culture we live in, I'm glad to have him back for awhile.

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Response to Viva_La_Revolution (Reply #13)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:48 PM

19. I know the feeling.

I haven't been able to find a job myself since being laid off in '08. And given certain limitations that I have to deal with(no, not mental, but physical), that really complicates things......I too, felt like a failure for a while. But it's good to hear that you're there for him.

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Response to AverageJoe90 (Reply #19)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:56 PM

23. We stronger together than if we are separate

I've always told the boys that (usually when they were fighting amongst themselves) but he finally gets that it applies to life in general too.

Hang in there, Joe. at least we're all in it together

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:44 PM

14. My daughter will graduate and then move back in this April.

She expects to spend the next year working and pursuing graduate fellowships. On edit - I am fine with this.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:46 PM

16. Yes it is that bad

It didn't happen overnight either. It has been getting steadily worse for the past 15 years but is finally getting noticed now. All the younger workers at my work don't make as much, don't have as many benefits and anyone without a mortgage or family has been forced to move overseas to continue employment (as freelance) in their field. A field that 20 years ago was hiring kids straight out of college into good paying jobs. Older workers with benefits have seen their pay stagnate, their benefits reduced and live in perpetual fear that they will be cut and unable to ever find work in their field in the US again. I don't think it's different for other occupations.

Why is it that students who do well in school receive financial aid in the form of loans and not scholarships? The scholarships that do still exist are never enough to give students who excel a completely free ride. And those loans cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. So many do everything right and their reward is debt? It's so messed up.

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #16)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:51 PM

20. I feel like if the only jobs left are MRI technician, electrician

and other hands-on tech then high schools should be aligning their graduates with those careers and we can stop telling kids that "you can be whatever you want as long as you go to college." In the 1950s, college was a guarantee of middle class income. It seems now it is no guarantee of anything except a large unpaid bill.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #20)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:01 PM

27. So true

We could lower expectations and have our children fight over those few remaining jobs that are tough to offshore. Won't employ everyone or take advantage of everyone strengths or talents though.

Maybe our government should do more to encourage work to stay in the country so that we can recreate the conditions students graduated into during the 1950s?

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #27)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:24 PM

37. Part of what made the 1950s a boom for the USA was the devastation of europe

and our population was one half of what it is now -- I don't think we can go back to that.

I do think we could do more to align education with the jobs of today and the future.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #37)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:22 AM

142. I'd say it has more to do with the rise of modular container cargo shipping.

Lot easier to employ your citizens if it's harder to ship stuff overseas.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:03 AM

136. You can forget electrician. Sonny Nay is a 5-yr union electrician, and has been out of that work

since the depression started in 2008. There are 800 electricians on the union books, all looking for work, and we live in an area that did not get hit as badly as others. Luckily, he started an unrelated side business and is doing fairly well, but he works 7 days a week and his family has no health insurance because it's unaffordable.

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Response to Nay (Reply #136)

Wed Jan 9, 2013, 03:29 PM

154. All of the trades require construction growth...

...and that has stagnated dramatically and shows no signs of wholesale recovery.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:53 PM

21. It's pretty darn bad.

My 41 year old daughter was forced to move back home when she lost her job half-way across the state from us. She has a BBA/Marketing (Summa Cum Laude) and a master's in integrated marketing communication and can't find a job in her field. She's had a few nibbles and some positive interviews that went nowhere because of all the candidates applying for the jobs. She's willing to relocate anywhere but, for now, she's stuck here. Yeah, it's that bad.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:57 PM

24. Meh. Write a book and learn to play music...most "real jobs" these days treat you like shit.

Many, if not most, companies and other "career-oriented institutions" only want to access and exploit your resources and skills as much as possible while compensating as little as possible. The social contract between labor and capital is shredded. Workers are treated much like other natural resources of the earth: with little regard to anything but short term profit.

There is peace, at least for me, in appreciating these conditions today.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 02:58 PM

25. The paradox of capitalism

 

It is imploding. WWII slowed down the implosion that started once mass production really got perfected in the early 20th century.

But it didn't stop the eventual collapse, just slowed it down.

There have been other holding actions, like the development of personal computers creating lotsa money velocity (which is what keeps an economy afloat).

But now the rich want every last crumb, and have consolidated their power to get it, and thus we are headed back to a feudal-type economy.

I feel very sorry for your friend's kids. They had the unfortunate luck to be born at the wrong time...

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Response to bongbong (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:08 PM

29. that doesn't explain how communism imploded first

It died in 1991.

Products are now engineered to fail within a certain time frame -- for refrigerators the frame is 26 to 36 months, for cars about 80,000 miles. And the product lives are getting shorter. They perfected the manufacture of demand (advertising and out right brain washing) and now we live in a world which makes us sick and keeps us in debt by design. I agree that the system seems broken and at times I feel we are like Wiley Coyote, 20 feet off the cliff and afraid to look down (Yipes!).

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #29)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:22 PM

34. Really?

 

> that doesn't explain how communism imploded first

Tell that to China.


> Products are now engineered to fail within a certain time frame -- for refrigerators the frame is 26 to 36 months, for cars about 80,000

Not really. There used to be certain standards in product engineering (i.e, the 2K/5K/10K/25K hour lifetimes), but those are becoming obsolete as materials improve. Items are still made to a price-point, but the variability of the supply chain seems to be a moving goalpost.

I'm not sure what you mean by cars being engineered to fail at 80K miles. Perhaps that was true in 1930. I haven't heard of anybody getting less than 120K or more from their car since the 1950s. Is there a specific component on the car that you're talking about?

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Response to bongbong (Reply #34)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:44 PM

46. ink jet printers, ipods with no option for battery replacement,

disposable razors that last 3 shaves, clothing designed to fall part after 50 washing cycles. Corporations use patents and lawsuits to stop high quality products from coming to market. They have mastered this stuff.

It varies by make and model but most consumer vehicles are now designed to be more expensive to maintain than replace at around 80K+

China never really was Communist in the Marxist Western sense and they are now ruthlessly capitalistic in their practices. And if we want to say that China IS communist then 'who needs a collapse when the per capita income is <$5K' It is like saying the drunk guy on the floor hasn't fallen down yet.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #46)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:14 PM

93. Well.....

 

I think we agree on several things, but comparing cheap electronics and small consumer gadgets to cars is just, well, not correct!

> It varies by make and model but most consumer vehicles are now designed to be more expensive to maintain than replace at around 80K+

If an engineer could design something to fail right at 80K miles, or whatever tolerance band you want to add to that, it would be like a flock of Leonardo Da Vincis were working on the design. It ain't possible. Too many variables. Again, if you know of a specific component or system that is engineered to fail at 80K +/- miles, let me have more info. I would love to know it!

> China never really was Communist in the Marxist Western sense

That might be an example of the No True Scotsman fallacy.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #29)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 08:19 AM

138. Communism/Socialism and Capitalism

are two sides of the same coin. They both require dependency and therefore both are supceptable to crashing when one participant or another within their system can't be depended on. Capitalism was on the scene first and basically evolved naturally out of feudalism. So it was not resisted to the extent Communism was resisted by the Western capitalist powers.
Modern Communism/Socialism did not have that advantage. It was/is faced with tremendous resistance from the entrenched and older system of Capitalism. Capitalism sort of grew naturally, whereas, Socialism/Communism were ideas that developed when people started to actually think and plan economies in the modern sense.

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Response to bongbong (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:20 PM

32. It's always the wrong time to be born in some fashion or other.

And always the right time.

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Response to randome (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:26 PM

38. True

 

If you wanted to have a prosperous, comfortable life you needed to be born in the USA in, say, 1940.

If you wanted to scrape by, barely keeping alive, you needed to be born in a third-world country, for pretty much any time in history (except now, if you're lucky enough to be somewhere that is getting outsourced jobs from the USA)

As long as expectation and realization matches, not much of a problem. You expect nothing, and get it, you may not be so unhappy.

But if you expect the world, and get nothing or very little, it's a problem. That's what we got now....

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Response to randome (Reply #32)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:39 PM

44. Great words of wisdom from you.

I view these times as an opportunity to rebuild capitalism. There are people out there running small companies that are making products right here in the USA. Those have no intention of doing anything else, they have seen the damage that outsourcing has done to this country and they are deeply affected by that.

Banks are screwing us? Join a Credit Union and get on the board to help guide it to make investments in it's community. Or get a banking license and start a small community bank that focuses on loans to local businesses and homeowners.

It is always easy to sit and complain that times are hard. That complain has been delivered over the ages and it was just as wrong at any past time as it is now. People can either reshape their time or become a victim of it.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #44)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:23 PM

94. I don't disagree with your sentiments

 

But sometimes reality gets in the way. Not to say it shouldn't be tried....

But there HAVE been fundamental changes in the world. It may NOT be the same as every other time.

What changed? Globalization, and one thing especially/specifically - the costs of shipping boatloads (literally ) of widgets from the lowest-cost-producer country to anywhere else. Another factor is the speed with which successful designs are copied by cheaper producers overseas.

There is a big gap now in America between the cost of living versus the wages you can pay and stay competitive globally.

I hate to be a Debbie Downer. Maybe we will have some new breakthroughs that aren't cloned by an overseas company within a month. Maybe shipping and other costs, as well as a myriad of other variables like tariffs, will change in our favor. Things can change on a dime.

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Response to bongbong (Reply #25)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:59 PM

92. Welcome to the global economy eh? It was always a race to the bottom for the world..

Communism is defeated, socialism is being dismantled in Europe and here.

The capitalists rule all.

They buy the politicians up, left and right. What works best for their frightening, vicious greed is what is going to happen until they totally destroy this society our citizens fought and died for and earth we all live on.

Who's going to stop them?

Sometimes I wonder why I get out of bed everyday and go through the motions, pretending life will get better because the way things are now it most assuredly will not get better ever except for the one percenters who will destroy us all in the name of their god, Ayn Rand.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:21 PM

33. RENTS are high enough that newly minted, work-for-next-to-nothing grads

can't afford to live anywhere except with their parents.

When the housing market plummeted, more people flooded the rental market, which has kept prices there high despite the general downturn.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:24 PM

36. My 25 yr. old is still at home, as is my 20 yr old -

- Yes, the economy is that bad. Daughter has a decent job but rent is insane. Son was laid off 3 times. He now has a promising job which could turn into a fantastic career but hasn't had any work since Christmas. It's "supply and demand" and there's no demand right now.

Tell your friend she's not alone.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:27 PM

39. The major is the key

You may not be able to stay near home, but STEM majors are doing pretty well overall

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:27 PM

40. The next time you or any one reading this OP or responding to it buy something, think

about what you wrote. People buying imported stuff because it is cheaper are responsible for their children or family not having good job opportunities. Start by looking at yourselves as the main source of the problem. I am sure that I will get struck with the evil 1% capitalists reply posts, if my post isn't outright ignored. But when each of you buy imported goods, you empower the 1% even more while destroying or making impossible good paying jobs for your fellow americans. There are patriots out there running businesses, those people have the duo purpose of making money AND hiring their fellow americans. Many of those companies are suffering because most americans, including the majority here on DU, don't stop and think once when buying a product about whether that product is made in the USA. Their only concern is that they pay fewer dollars to have the product, although USA made products often last two to three times longer.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #40)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:55 PM

51. I wish it was that easy

The economy relies on all of us to buy disposable stuff and the cycles are getting shorter. A big part of the reason that there has been ZERO action on global warming is that the PTB wanted a world that consumes massive amounts of oil.

Products that last forever (again) would destroy future demand. At least that is the thinking behind engineered obsolescence. Almost every product is designed with a finite lifespan. Walk through Staples and try to find a metal stapler or scissors with metal handles -- they aren't there by design. The design is for you to come back in 18 months and buy another pair of metal bladed scissor with cheap plastic grips that break, over and over and over.

The system is perhaps not broken enough yet to prompt the changes which are needed -- back to a labor intensive economy and one which shuns the disposable in favor of the long lasting.

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #51)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:05 PM

59. It is that easy. The problem is just what you have shown, excuse making and a lack of will. nt

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #59)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:43 PM

70. Why the Blame Game?

I'm all for buy American and make every effort. But it is really hard. Many commodities are not made here anymore.

Everything we buy is mostly low quality these days. Unless you can pay a fortune.

We are pigs at the end of the trough--and it's OUR fault?

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #59)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:59 PM

74. In your first post the problem was outsourcing manufacturing jobs, now you say

it is my "excuse making (aka "analysis of market forces in the real world") and (alleged) lack of will (to do what?)."

I am just not following your argument because 1) manufacturing jobs aren't post-college jobs and 2) manufacturing jobs rely on high turn over of the product being manufactured and you want high quality, long life span and a higher price but that is a whole other tangent.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:32 PM

42. I guess a large part of it is that people aren't picking useful majors.

I read a statistic a while back that said that for every 100 math, science, engineering, and accounting majors - there's 1,000 people who major in theater arts or business graphics - how many of those types of jobs are out there?

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Response to Initech (Reply #42)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:03 PM

58. That is a minor part of the problem. The larger problem is a lack of imagination.

Too many people look around and see a world they don't like, but are so pigeon holed in a limited viewpoint that makes them incapable of seeing alternative methods. The issue of the current taxing, budget and spending fight is a perfect example. Progressives refuse to entertain the reality that there is waste in social programs that can and should be squeezed out. Conservatives refuse to accept that we spend hundreds of billions on defense that we don't have to spend and should not be spending. Conservatives refuse to accept that our banking system is in dire need of reform and large banks should be broken up.

I read an article recently while traveling about a 26 year old woman who is now hosting a cooking show and is in the process of writing a cookbook that she already has a contract with a major USA publisher to write. She is doing well now. But out of college she got a job as a hostess at a restaurant. Her job led her to develop a curiosity on preparing food, an interest that became a passion for her. She worked with a friend to develop free web movies about food topics. Her passion and the quality of her videos caught the attention of a person that produced cooking shows, she won a small spot and excelled at what she did. She is now where she is. She did a lot of work for free and got her name out.

Many towns and inner cities could use people with imagination to reform them. A young person that creates an ethical public survive corporation to buy up abandoned land in inner cities or towns and turn that property into parks and playing fields will find donors and government officials that will listen to their plans and get caught up in their passion for making use of land that is now a blight. Or, those young people can sit around and take whatever job happens to open up.

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Response to Initech (Reply #42)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:41 PM

69. not everyone is cut out to be an engineer

Math and science were my *worst* subject in high school. If I had to major in them in college, I probably would have turned to suicide. I seriously needed a tutor to pass them, and to this day I could barely understand concepts beyond the middle school level.

I've been in a position to hire people before in my field. I had 5 staffers and their degrees were in political science, international relations (2), religion, and acting. I didn't care what their major was as long as they were willing to do the job to my expectations. The only one who failed was the one with the acting degree.

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Response to tabbycat31 (Reply #69)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:45 PM

89. Yep. Most students need a strong foundation in math / science well before college for engineering

it's not for everyone.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #89)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 10:04 AM

141. they also have to want to study math/science

I hear it a lot here about other majors being fluff, etc, but people have different strengths and weaknesses. If you do something that you're not cut out for, then it sets you up for a lifetime of misery.

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Response to Initech (Reply #42)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:51 PM

72. No, it's that companies that used to hire liberal arts majors (until the early 1980s)

stopped doing so because training them was considered an "expense" rather than an investment. The other "disadvantage" of liberal arts majors was that they tended to look at things other than a single-minded focus on the Bottom Line.

I did informational interviews with the major companies in the Twin Cities after coming out of grad school. At all of them, I talked to middle managers in marketing, and all of them said that their employer had stopped hiring liberal arts majors, even though they themselves were liberal arts majors and had obviously been promoted just fine.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #72)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:56 PM

73. True there's always that.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:42 PM

45. Coming from the other end - the refrain I keep hearing is -

"I'm going to retire in a few years, and there is no one in the pipeline behind me!"

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #45)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:01 PM

55. I know people in their 60s and older who keep working because their 401ks took a hit

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #45)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:07 PM

78. Lots of that out there. I have heard similar from doctors, farmers and

many trades. Something is broken.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #45)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:34 AM

143. I hear a lot of the older machinists saying the same thing.

Meanwhile the SF bay area has smashed most of the local schools that actually teach machining. Either for liability reasons, lack of teachers to replace retiring staff, or budget cuts. I'm in one of the last programs left, and we had FOUR people in the advanced class last semester. 4/year is not enough through put to replace the demand for machinists in the bay area. But hey, it's all about computers now right, no need to actually MAKE the machines that make everything...

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 03:53 PM

50. It could be worse.

There is nothing wrong with living with your parents. After all you are their child and responsibility.

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Response to stumpremover462 (Reply #50)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:02 PM

57. An adult is still their parents responsibility?

Really? When does it stop?

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Response to LisaL (Reply #57)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:25 PM

67. When one of them dies. Responsibility gets redefined at each age, circumstance and passage of life.

Coming to full circle or spiral because at some point it comes around to the child's responsibility for the parent. The Nuclear Family is somewhat an aberration in the sociological model.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #57)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:25 PM

101. Why?

Why would you want them to leave home? After all I feel a lot better being taken care of by my parents. If/when (hoping soon ) my boyfriend and I get married I want him to move in with me.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #57)


Response to stumpremover462 (Reply #50)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:13 PM

80. No 25-year-old is a "child" -- Offspring yes, child no.

I think it is great that she can help when/if needed. Nothing wrong with that, true.

The heartbreak for me is more around seeing someone with great promise and energy just put on a shelf at 25, repeating childhood experiences and limiting their growth. I have seen statistics and heard the stories of others but knowing the people involved really brings it home this time.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:09 PM

62. It's actually stretching into the 30s now...and it's delaying marriage and family

Jobs are scarce and wages are not high enough. College grads get out of school, have a lot of debt, and can't find any real jobs that pay well. Meanwhile cost of living continues to go up. Rent is very high in many parts of the country. Forget about getting a mortgage. So many end up back home.

It's why this is being called the "Boomerang Generation."

Student loan debt is part of the problem. But the biggest factor is the lack of well-paying jobs. The economy is creating a lot of low-skilled and low-paying service jobs. That's basically what you are seeing as "job creation" right now. The middle income jobs (30k-60k) which were gutted during the recession are not bouncing back. And these were the type of jobs that young grads would have typically gone into after college. Even when jobs do open up, many employers are also not interested in training much anymore. They want a lot of experience.

Italy and Spain have this same problem, but it's much worse there.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:23 PM

63. Trades

Encourage young people to learn a trade, i.e., plumbers, electricians, mechanics, etc. Yes, young WOMEN too. My nephew is a plumber and makes more money than my IT husband. You cannot offshore fixing somebody's toilet or shower.

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Response to HockeyMom (Reply #63)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:16 PM

82. +1 Good and (mostly) honest professions that got eclipsed years ago by high tech buzz

and a lemming rush to send EVERY kid to college. Can't outsource a plumber indeed.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:24 PM

64. And some mouth breathing moron made millions off of Fifty Shades of Grey

It is an upside down world when someone can write an unintelligent, insulting piece of crap like that and make millions off of tens of millions of ignorant sheople, but intelligent people like this struggle to get by.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:25 PM

66. Most of my friends were forced to relocate after college

Last edited Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:08 PM - Edit history (1)

I'm not an authority on this, but based on the experiences of my college graduate friends, the time it takes to gain employment depends on several things, like your major, proficiency (because a lot of employers do pop quizzes during interviews), and willingness to relocate. Depending on your field, the university you attended may play a role as well. The IT/computer *whizzes* I know never have a problem finding work, and they're not forced to move anywhere to find work. The mediocre IT/computer science graduates have a much harder time. New graduates need to be creative in where they're looking--try smaller companies, look into federal jobs, or work in a completely different field from what they majored in. If they majored in something like psychology, they won't find decent work in their field until they complete graduate school.

ETA: Also, there are so many freelance jobs a recent grad can do while waiting for that dream job with benefits (Google "freelance jobs"). Actually, now that the exchanges are coming, self employment will become even easier since you won't have to be glued to employers to get decent health insurance. There are millions of businesses that need services, such as company websites, logos, corporate stationary, press release articles, product descriptions, the list goes on and on. If you have photoshop skills, guess what, you're needed! There are also universities that need adjunct staff to administer e-courses (and some even hire people with bachelor's degrees).

Also, a quick browse through youtube reveals hundreds if not thousands of people who are actually making money through blogging and vlogging. Combining passion about a topic (like a personal weight loss journey or favorite products) with some affiliate networking can be a decent income stream as well. Several years ago, I gained weight and I kept a journal and pictures of my weight loss progress. So many people asked me about how I lost weight that I did a tiny amount of affiliate marketing in the form of a youtube video and made a few thousands). I'd imagine that people putting more effort in would make a lot more. When friends of mine complain about being broke, etc., I tell them about all these opportunities for extra income and they look at me like I'm speaking a foreign language.

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Response to ecstatic (Reply #66)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 04:59 PM

75. And don't let your major define your work

I know one man who trained as an electrical engineer, moved overseas to avoid the draft, worked as an English teacher, a writer, and a gem wholesaler to jewelry companies in his adopted country, came back to the States after Carter's amnesty, and founded a magazine.

I had a college friend who majored in sociology. She went on study abroad to Norway, decided to stay (much easier for a young person than an older person), worked as an English teacher until she heard that Norway needed computer professionals, retrained in IT, and has now worked for various private and public agencies in Norway.

Also, don't be afraid to let everyone know that you're looking for work. Personal recommendations mean a lot. I got my first (admittedly part-time, but it was a foot in the door) teaching job because I knew someone.

Work for temp agencies if you have to. They're exploiters, and the work is usually boring, but you get to see a lot of different industries and talk to a lot of different people.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #75)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 01:04 AM

130. I earned both BA and MA in History, but worked 32 years as a painter.

Did very well in school, too (3.97 GPA in my undergrad work, 4.0 in my grad work); however, I have always really enjoyed working with my hands.

Pick a good shop that does a broad array of work, pay attention and apply yourself, and in a few years you'll develop a skill set that can lead to a very lucrative career.

I've never really regretted the time and energy I put into the History degrees because they fed my desire to understand something about how this world came to be the way it is.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:04 PM

77. What about grad school?

My nephew would have been in that position except that he took out a huge loan and got a masters degree in a topnotch school which eventually got him a good job in his field just because of the name of the school, partly. He lives in Brooklyn and works in Manhatten.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:07 PM

79. Looks like a great racket to me

The kid goes through college racking up life-destroying debt and comes out the other end to low paid jobs or no jobs (unless his family has contacts). He's left with grad school of some description, teaching at the university and living on beans and ramen on a miserly stipend while trying to avoid piling onto his mountain of debt. It's a win-win. The university charges new students through the nose while getting nearly slave labor prices for their undergrad instructors.

There is no shortage of new meat, either, since most families are still buying into the fiction that a college degree is the entry ticket to the good life afforded by corporate management.

Even if the economy turns around, one wonders what a ten year old baccalaureate degree followed by ten years of low wage, dead end retail or food service work will mean on the job market.

What's being done to kids right now is obscene. I hope they rise up against this the way we did against the war.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:15 PM

81. I come from a culture where living in an extended family isn't a bad thing--in fact, it's pretty

normal, particularly if the children are single, they have bills to pay, and they are first starting out. In my family, if a relative turns up at the door, you let them in.

As for kids, they go off and get their own apartments when their work is too far from home, and they are pitied!

You have to have a family unit that REALLY understands boundaries, though--parents can't treat a twenty five or thirty year old bachelor like a fifteen year old. They have to be uncurious in some regards, they have to offer a lot of space, to the extent they have it, both physical and emotional, and they have to respect the integrity of the individual. If a family can do that, though, the extended family paradigm can work well.

This is the way we worked it even in the economy's robust years. It does help if there's a history of the practice, though--that way, the "rules" are learned from an early age.

As for the economy, what goes up comes down and what goes down will come back up. It may take awhile, but it's better to be working at ANYTHING rather than doing nothing. When times get better, an employer is going to see more potential in the applicant who got off his ass and did something, as opposed to the person who sits home because he or she can't find something in his/her 'field.'

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 05:20 PM

83. Ha! I know people in their 50s who are living with their kids because the parents got laid off.

One of my old friends from college is living with his 20-something year old son now because his business failed.

I read that there are lots more multi-generational households in the U.S. now. Just like in the old days. It's only recently that we all expected to be able to live independently in our own homes. It used to be routine for young people to begin their working lives and even married lives living with their parents. And it was not uncommon for the grandparents to be in the same house as well.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #83)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:32 PM

86. sad and pathetic to hear some of these responses

 

Stigmatizing adults because of living arrangements for whatever reason is an elitist American trait.Plenty of that in this thread,along with a strong odor of bootstrap incense,work ethic bullshit,and blame the victim mentality,wrapped up in condescending "caring".Arrogance and intolerance of differing life views doesn't even begin to describe some of the responses in this thread.Unbelievable.

Are you a economic Patriot? No? Then just change locations and you can become one...I had no idea.All is good,free market "economic Patriotism" will eliminate poverty and improve people's lives.What was I thinking?Many just need to be re-trained for the new economy,quit their bitching,and pull,pull,pull, on those bootstraps.

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Response to Kingwithnothrone (Reply #86)


Response to Kingwithnothrone (Reply #86)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:24 PM

114. Exactly my thoughts.

I thought I was on FreeRepublic while reading this thread. We have a lot of victim-blaming in this thread, rather than system-blaming. I.e you picked the wrong major, you are unwilling to relocate, you can't find a temp job, you don't have what it takes, etc.

It's shameful coming from a supposed liberal message board. I guess I expected better.

Many of the people in this thread who offer these "suggestions" have ZERO idea about the current economic environment out there. Speaking from experience, I am a 25-year old grad student who graduated with a 3.8 GPA in Business Management a few years ago as an undergrad, and I am still working a dead-end, $10 an hour retail job.

Some of the people in this thread are really fucking offensive with their "suggestions". Shame on them. Living in a bubble all their life, unwilling to venture out and understand what the current economic situation is.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #83)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:27 PM

108. Yes! We're moving back to intergenerational living and that, in and of itself,

is not a bad thing.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:37 PM

87. because they are helpless

I have tried hiring many grads outside of there field, and a few within there field for my company. They almost never work out. Hired 9 differant kids to work in the marketing department in 2 years. I am looking for a young one to train as my marketing director is 60 years old. These kids don't want to work. They think I owe them he world.

The best was the agronomist we hired just out of college. He went out to the field to pull some samples. He parked his brand new car right in the track of an oncoming irrigation rig. Then walks off into the field. When he comes back the rig is climbing over his car. So what's he do. He calls the office, lol. But it is closed. He calls me, I am in a meeting so I don't answer. Meanwhile this irrigation rig is climbing over his car at about 1inch a min. So then the retard calls 911. Omg. Then I get out of my meeting and call him back. He picks up on the last ring because he was talking to his mother. He is really freaking out, I am trying to get him to calm down. Finally I tell him, go shut the switch off. He goes, "oh yeah"

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Response to needreallibs (Reply #87)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:46 PM

90. Just so you know...

referring to anyone as a "retard" is considered bad form on DU. You might want to edit that.

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Response to bluesbassman (Reply #90)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:01 AM

125. +1 Thanks for that.

I did not alert since they are new and well maybe they don't get it... but I do not support the use of that word.

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Response to needreallibs (Reply #87)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:32 PM

95. Don't mistake lack of experience for helplessness

One could just as easily take your inability to spell and construct proper sentences as a sign that you're not in charge of anything more complex than an eggtimer, but I'm sure you'd disagree. And with adequate instruction, you would likely improve.

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Response to magellan (Reply #95)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:24 PM

115. OK That Just Made Me LAUGH SO FUCKING HARD!

The use of there, instead of their is such comedy gold! Those aren't typos, especially when repeated twice. The egg-timer is a classic, I MUST steal that.

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Response to HangOnKids (Reply #115)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:02 AM

126. Oh snap. n/t

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Response to needreallibs (Reply #87)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:23 PM

105. you should hire one as a proofreader, and not just for typos. eom

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Response to needreallibs (Reply #87)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 10:46 PM

110. If you were really a hiring manager, you wouldn't be making your post in teenage texting lingo.

I'd say you're just a poser.

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Response to needreallibs (Reply #87)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 07:22 AM

137. Ah, yes. Here we have a 'manager' who can't spell and uses textspeak, complaining about

the helpless college grad. Right. As someone else said, hire one to straighten out your lack of proficiency in English.

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Response to needreallibs (Reply #87)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:29 PM

147. It's about 50/50 in my experience

My biggest peeve these days with younger employees is smart phones. Texting, Internet surfing, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, forums, etc seem to be more important than work. (No I'm not on the clock right now)

Had a recent college grad quit because he spent about 50% of time on his IPhone, we told him if he was seen on his personal phone again during non-break times he was fired, he quit a couple of days later.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:48 PM

91. Are you friends with my mom?

Seriously, though, my peers who are actually on their own with hopeful career beginnings are definitely the exception.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:49 PM

97. It sucks walking out of your commencement ceremony into a bad recession. That happened to me.

 

I didn't have even a halfway decent job until January of the following year.

My dad told me to tough it out and keep my spirits up.

He had it a whole lot worse than I did BTW - Joined the Navy in 1934 before finishing 8th grade and got caught up in World War II.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 07:50 PM

98. my daughter is about to enter college and I wouldn't have it any other way

College graduates have a lower unemployment rate than non college graduates during recession and make more once recessions are over. College costs are out of control, but still worth the investment. Plus there are many careers out there that you simply can't get without a college education. My daughter wants to be a veterinarian. That's not exactly something you can learn on the job. You kind of have to have a college education for that. My son wants to own his own ice cream store. I'm thinking he can probably learn how to do that in community college. It's not like he wants to be a CEO of a fortune 500 company, so I don't think he needs to go to a four year college unless he wants to. If he decides he wants to go to a four year college so he can get a business degree in case owning his own business doesn't work out then I would support him in doing that as well. I just want to support my kids in whatever they want to do.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #98)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:34 PM

119. This is correct

Yes it sucks that the economy is bad, but it's getting better and it was always better for those with a college degree than those without.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:21 PM

99. Tell him to run, don't walk to Dave's ESL Cafe for a true adventure

So, a few years after college, I taught for a summer in Seoul, Korea. Then I went back again for an entire year from 2001-2002. The pay is good and usually includes a round trip plane ticket from the states, a place to live for the year, and a month's paid salary after contract has been completed. If you have a Bachelor's degree and an American accent you're in. If you have a degree from a fairly elite college, I recommend trying to teach at The Princeton Review (where I taught). They pay slightly better and I made about $10,000 in 2 1/2 months the summer of 2002 teaching for them. (6 days a week, 10-12 hours a day, but I was 26 and wanted to travel)

http://www.eslcafe.com

I honestly wish I had stayed a bit longer, but I was afraid I'd 'waste' my life an an ExPat. While I have a great job now, hindsight suggests I would have had a hell of a lot of fun!

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Response to Dems2002 (Reply #99)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 08:37 PM

103. I'm putting that on my list

That could be a good fit. Thanks!

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Response to KurtNYC (Reply #103)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:26 PM

116. Happy to help

No problem. There are a few shady operators, but I had good luck with my employers. I believe Dave's site has a link to another site that rates the various hogwans and gives warnings about shady operators. One thing to avoid are the schools that make you do split shift, morning and evening hours. I started at 2:30pm and worked until 8:00 during the school year and then more normal hours in the summer. I also taught business english for extra money. But the pay is around 2-2.5 thousand a month with rent also paid and that's for a 32 hour work week. (tutoring pays about 30-50 an hour and those who stay often end up as tutors)

You can shoot me an email if you want more info. It's a great experience. I'd also pick China over Japan because it's a lot cheaper and you're close to so many amazing places. I took a 4-day, all inclusive vacation to China with a private tour guide for $500 while I lived there.

Other considerations since he's a guy are some of the jobs in the middle east.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 09:37 PM

107. We need to start being realistic in this country and redefine "success".

What is it? Is it individual ownership of all goods? In most of the world, the boundaries of ownership are much vaguer, especially within a family.

It's not unusual in most of the world for children to stay at home well into adulthood. Tough economic times often bring families together.

When my dad had trouble paying his mortgage a few years ago, I paid for a few months - no questions asked. I didn't think they made a good decision purchasing the home they did, but I wanted them to keep their home. It wasn't a loan. They raised me and helped me with college as well (for which I'm very lucky and thankful for). When I lost my job, I moved in for about a year. My parents had no problem with me staying. They were happy to have me back. But at the same time, my own sense of independence and adventure had me taking jobs throughout the country. But I'll admit, I'm lucky in that my dad did eventually find work and I have been fortunate enough to find well paying jobs as well. But I have been flexible and have been willing to leave home as well.

We need to worry less about meeting artificial milestones and stop treating it like it's a crisis. So what if people are getting married later, if at all? I understand that having children later can lead to other complications, but that's another issue altogether. People are living longer now anyways.

I think the current pedagogy of the college curriculum is not well suited for our rapidly changing globalized world. We need to be stressing creativity and entrepreneurship, rather than rote as well as endless examination. But before any of that means anything, we need to get the cost of higher education under control, because as it is we have a generation shackled to outrageous amounts of debt and many don't have the skills that are in demand.

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #107)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:12 PM

111. That's also an important point that should be made

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #107)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:34 PM

120. well said

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:31 AM

128. Businesses are low balling the starting salaries and increasing the minimum work experience.

My son has been out of college seven years. Deans list every quarter with a degree in Tech / Engineering. His fist job paid 29k and he could not afford to pay his school loans and rent. The second job paid slightly more with the promise of more money if he moved 700 miles away. Two years went by and no raise. Finally he went in and said he needed more money, that his goal had been to earn 40k when he got out of school and here it was six years out and still could not pay the rent and his loans. We have been paying the loans for the past four years. His boss said ,'How about 39,995.00.' My son said if you slap a five dollar bill on the table at the end of the year, OK.

Long story short, he just moved back home and will start a new job on the 14 th. 33percent increase which was more than my son said he would need to take the position. Things are looking up. He will be able to move forward and that is a good feeling. I hope that things continue to look up so that more young people can be paid what they are worth.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 03:07 AM

133. Sorry. I graduated during the Reality Bites era and with far less supportive parents.

This is neither new nor shocking to me. It will work out eventually. How is left to be seen and in many ways is up to the individual.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 09:56 AM

139. I think it's great that parents allow adult children to come back to the homeplace when they


can't make a decent living. My mother wasn't like that. She wanted me and my sibs GONE.


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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:45 AM

144. At the rate the housing crash is going my mother will be moving in with me.

I love her, but I also really love sitting around the house naked, so I would very much prefer she not get tossed out of her home because the real estate market tanked and destroyed what she wanted to do for a living.

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Response to KurtNYC (Original post)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 11:59 AM

145. My experience and opinions

I have two undergrad degrees from a solid state institution known for STEM degrees with two minors, one grad degree from a top 10 elite non-Ivy institution, and a two-year degree in Paralegal studies from the hometown community college. Guess which one has proven to be most useful to me? Yep, the two-year associate's degree...

I finished my studies in 1999 and found a job almost immediately, but my career happened by chance. I had applied for an employment paralegal job. I was interviewed and during the interview it came out I was fluent in a few languages and had some personal experience with the U.S. immigration process.

Thus, they hired me as an immigration paralegal and so my journey began. I wasn't earning much at first and I still lived with my parents then. I am originally from Italy and we see nothing wrong with multi-generational families living together.

But as I gained more experience and professional reputation, I started earning more. Soon, I found myself in New York City where I was commanding a six-figure salary. Then, I moved on to work in corporate HR departments for large multinationals and I'm doing well.

However, my field is geographically limited to urban areas on either coast or the once-in-a-while opportunity elsewhere (such as Las Vegas, where I am now).

My tips to present and future students - find out what your passion is. But also find out where your talents lie. I love college basketball to death but I'm not a talented basketball player Therefore, majoring in underwater fire prevention or basket weaving would not be wise for me.

Don't just major in something because it will bring money or a job unless you actually like what you're doing and you have the knack for it.

Not everyone is cut out for engineering or science or music or drama etc. Watching "American Idol" is proof that too many people think they are good singers. Well, not everyone is cut out to sing professionally.

Don't think that a four-year degree is the only way to a good career. As I said, in my case my two-year degree has been much more useful than all the other stuff.

Don't be afraid of relocating. If my dad had not relocated from Italy to the U.S., I would not have had the chance to become fluent in English or live in another country. Even NYC - I loved living there. It was an awesome experience, even if most of my income went to rent. I love Las Vegas and I can't imagine living anywhere else; in fact, I can't wait for 118 degree heat again. I love North Carolina and especially where I went to school.

Don't be afraid of learning something all the time - from foreign languages to reading books or learning new skills, it's never too late. I am obviously a big proponent of multilingual skills. However, try to gain fluency in one language, instead of learning touristy phrases in several. Lots of people say they speak Spanish, when all they can actually say is cerveza.

Try online courses on Coursera. They are free and fantastic ways to learn from top institutions. I can't speak highly enough of the class on Arguments

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Response to WilmywoodNCparalegal (Reply #145)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:32 PM

148. "don't be afraid of learning something all the time"

A byproduct of our completely broken public school system is that along with an almost non excistent K-12 and college public school system there really is no continuing education in this country. There are a few professions where the company will send you for additional training and if they do offer it employees should never turn it down. But for the most part we seem to stop learning the moment we stop going to school and that is a real problem.

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Response to liberal_at_heart (Reply #148)

Tue Jan 8, 2013, 12:48 PM

149. Yes, there is nothing to prevent a person from reading on their own

or watching documentaries instead of playing video games or keeping up with the Kardashians. But even some college students act as if they're afraid they might learn something outside of class, and they refuse to take part in the enriching extra-curricular activities (theater, music, dance, visiting lecturers, film series, art exhibits) that are found on any college campus. They think there's "nothing to do" on campus because there aren't enough parties or sports events. What a waste of tuition.

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