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Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:36 AM

More And More Of America's PhDs Are On Welfare

The Great Recession and the very slow pace of subsequent recovery has sky-rocketed unemployment, as well as people on welfare and food stamps. A record high of 15 percent, or 46.37 million Americans, were on food stamps in June last year — that's almost one in every seven Americans. That number is not expected to come down much without a significant improvement in the unemployment picture.
Even worse, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education:

The number of people with graduate degrees — master's degrees and doctorates — who have had to apply for food stamps, unemployment or other assistance more than tripled between 2007 and 2010. Of the 22 million Americans with master's degrees or higher in 2010, about 360,000 were receiving some kind of public assistance, according to the latest Current Population Survey released by the U.S. Census Bureau in March 2011.


http://www.businessinsider.com/infographic-from-phd-to-food-stamps-2013-1

Welfare or post-doc -- pretty similar.

81 replies, 3908 views

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Arrow 81 replies Author Time Post
Reply More And More Of America's PhDs Are On Welfare (Original post)
FarCenter Jan 2013 OP
alcibiades_mystery Jan 2013 #1
yardwork Jan 2013 #14
datasuspect Jan 2013 #2
jody Jan 2013 #3
ebbie15644 Jan 2013 #5
HughBeaumont Jan 2013 #10
FarCenter Jan 2013 #12
yardwork Jan 2013 #16
FarCenter Jan 2013 #21
yardwork Jan 2013 #23
Orrex Jan 2013 #33
yardwork Jan 2013 #51
Orrex Jan 2013 #55
yardwork Jan 2013 #61
Orrex Jan 2013 #65
yardwork Jan 2013 #69
FarCenter Jan 2013 #74
yardwork Jan 2013 #75
FarCenter Jan 2013 #76
FarCenter Jan 2013 #48
yardwork Jan 2013 #50
KamaAina Jan 2013 #42
FarCenter Jan 2013 #47
KamaAina Jan 2013 #49
yardwork Jan 2013 #52
hedgehog Jan 2013 #53
Ed Suspicious Jan 2013 #77
ebbie15644 Jan 2013 #79
bluestate10 Jan 2013 #62
ebbie15644 Jan 2013 #78
leftstreet Jan 2013 #7
HughBeaumont Jan 2013 #9
blueclown Jan 2013 #11
yardwork Jan 2013 #15
hfojvt Jan 2013 #17
yardwork Jan 2013 #20
Orrex Jan 2013 #27
yardwork Jan 2013 #58
Orrex Jan 2013 #60
yardwork Jan 2013 #63
Orrex Jan 2013 #68
hfojvt Jan 2013 #28
Orrex Jan 2013 #26
bluestate10 Jan 2013 #59
jody Jan 2013 #67
JoePhilly Jan 2013 #4
aristocles Jan 2013 #6
FarCenter Jan 2013 #8
aristocles Jan 2013 #13
devilgrrl Jan 2013 #18
yardwork Jan 2013 #19
devilgrrl Jan 2013 #22
yardwork Jan 2013 #25
devilgrrl Jan 2013 #30
yardwork Jan 2013 #81
aristocles Jan 2013 #24
devilgrrl Jan 2013 #29
Orrex Jan 2013 #32
blueclown Jan 2013 #37
JoePhilly Jan 2013 #43
Lydia Leftcoast Jan 2013 #31
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #34
uponit7771 Jan 2013 #36
JoePhilly Jan 2013 #44
uponit7771 Jan 2013 #35
yellowcanine Jan 2013 #38
blueclown Jan 2013 #39
yellowcanine Jan 2013 #40
JPZenger Jan 2013 #41
aristocles Jan 2013 #45
yardwork Jan 2013 #54
obliviously Jan 2013 #46
redstatebluegirl Jan 2013 #56
a la izquierda Jan 2013 #57
Manifestor_of_Light Jan 2013 #64
yardwork Jan 2013 #66
jody Jan 2013 #70
yardwork Jan 2013 #73
The Second Stone Jan 2013 #71
DonRedwood Jan 2013 #72
riderinthestorm Jan 2013 #80

Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:39 AM

1. So, for the general population, it's 15%, but for advanced degrees it's less than 2%

(about 1.7%)?

Um, OK. So 98.3% of people with advanced degree don't need food stamps.

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Response to alcibiades_mystery (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:53 PM

14. And those numbers are for people with Master's degrees as well as PhDs.

A Master's degree can include an online business administration degree, for instance. In fact, I would be curious to know how many of the people with advanced degrees who are getting government assistance received their degrees from for-profit online degree mills.

The actual percentage of PhDs who obtained their degrees from accredited institutions who are on government assistance is probably extremely small.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:41 AM

2. they should have studied something useful like business or football

 

just joking.

for your enjoyment:



I go to college
That makes me so cool
I live in a dorm
And show off by the pool

I join the right clubs
Just to build an impression
I block out thinking
It won't get me ahead

My ambition in life
Is to look good on paper
All I want is a slot
In some big corporation

John Belushi's my hero
I lampoon and I ape him
My news of the world
Comes from Sports Illustrated

I'm proud of my trophies
Like my empty beer cans
Stacked in rows up the wall
To impress all my friends

No, I'm not here to learn
I just want to get drunk
And major in business
And be taught how to fuck

Win! Win!
I always play to win
Wanna fit in like a cog
In the faceless machine


I'm a terminal terminal terminal preppie
terminal terminal terminal preppie
terminal terminal terminal terminal
terminal terminal terminal terminal

I want a wife with tits
Who just smiles all the time
In my centerfold world
Filled with Springsteen and wine

Some day I'll have power
Some day I'll have boats
A tract in some suburb
With Thanksgivings to host


I'm a terminal terminal terminal preppie
terminal terminal terminal preppie
terminal terminal terminal preppie

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:42 AM

3. People sometimes make bad choices, whether buying a house they can't afford or getting a degree for

 

which there will be no demand.

That continues today particularly at the undergraduate level.

I cringe when I'm in a restaurant and engage the waiter/waitress in their college pursuits.

Too often I find out they are pursuing an undergraduate degree for which PhDs can't find a job.

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Response to jody (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:51 AM

5. I used to work for an agency counseling disabled people on employment

We also helped pay for school. I would have some of them want us to pay for them to be a "violin" player. I remember having to tell many of the high school kids I worked with that they could "minor" in something but that could not be their major because they couldn't get a job in that field. I think there is a mixture of parents and the school not preparing these kids for employment. They don't understand that the goal of going to school is to find work in order to support yourself.

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Response to ebbie15644 (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:20 PM

10. That really isn't the goal of going to school.

Universities aren't corporate farm clubs.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:29 PM

12. The Bachelor's of Arts and Sciences was orginally a finshing school for the bourgeoisie

The young gentleman or lady was expected to acquire social graces, meet socially suitable persons of the opposite sex, acquire a nodding acquaintance with culture, and then return to the family business. It would be unusual if the education was directly useful in the business.

The exception was if the young gentleman or lady were going into the professions of education, nursing, medicine, law, theology, engineering, etc., or if one attended graduate school and became a professor.

Unfortunately, the obsolete model of higher education for cultural purposes is being sold to prospective students who are not scions of the bourgeoisie and who actually need education that is solidly career oriented.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:00 PM

16. The facts don't support this right-wing talking point.

In fact, most highly paid CEOs have undergraduate degrees in Humanities like English or History. Those degrees are "solidly career oriented."

In contrast, obtaining a technical degree in a rapidly-changing field is setting oneself up for failure. Technical degrees become obsolete very quickly. People need a well-rounded education that provides skills in writing, critical thinking, logic, and and understanding of history. With that kind of background people are well-prepared for a wide range of fields, can return to school for advanced degrees as needed, and are well-prepared for the rapidly changing reality of today's job market.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:20 PM

21. English and History have been useful mainly as prereqs for the MBA or JD

The 500 executives collectively earned about 465 college degrees, which means about 35 executives didn't graduate from college. Both Ralph Lauren and Sheldon Adelson (Las Vegas Sands Corp.) are among the CEOs who dropped out of college. But the Fortune 500 executives who completed both college and graduate school collectively earned about 200 M.B.A.'s and about 140 other graduate degrees.


http://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/top-business-schools/articles/2012/05/14/where-the-fortune-500-ceos-went-to-school

Most CEOs are solidly bourgeois -- e.g. Zuckerberg grew up in Dobbs Ferry, attended Phillips Exeter Academy, majored in CS and Psych at Harvard.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #21)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:25 PM

23. That's exactly my point.

A person who wants to become a CEO would do better to major in English at an accredited college or university than to obtain a technical degree at a for-profit online diploma mill. The first approach puts the person in a good position to obtain an advanced degree in business or law or another field that is useful to their goal of becoming a leader.

Becoming a CEO requires a lot of networking and yes, people from wealthy, connected backgrounds have a lot of advantages. However, in the U.S. there are plenty of stories of people who went from rags to riches. In the U.S. you don't have to be "landed gentry" to make a lot of money, if that is your goal.

There's a whole world of opportunities other than CEP for those who have other goals. I majored in history as an undergraduate, obtained a master's degree in a science, and have a good job.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:08 PM

33. What field is your job in?

Science or history?

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Response to Orrex (Reply #33)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:09 PM

51. Both. I combined them. Love my job!

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Response to yardwork (Reply #51)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:17 PM

55. You're lucky that you had that opportunity

Most people who earn degrees aren't so fortunate despite hard work, determination and creativity.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #55)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:30 PM

61. I know that and I do feel blessed. One of the biggest problems is lack of job security.

In my lifetime this country has gone from a place where hard-working people generally could get and keep jobs to a dog-eat-dog culture where even very highly skilled, hard working people get laid off just so that the stock market can go up a couple of pennies. The rich have become obscenely wealthy and powerful and everybody else's standard of living has dropped greatly when you take into account the anxiety and pressures that 99% of us live with every day just so Mitt Romney can make a few hundred million more every year.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #61)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:34 PM

65. All true.

My wife got into an argument with some people on our town's FB page not long ago. All of the other people in the discussion, by their own admission, are retired and living on nice pensions, and they mock this "younger generation" for having it so easy.

My wife pointed out that they were able to send three or four kids through college while owning their own homes and two or more cars all while working low-tech manufacturing jobs 40 hours per week. Of course, that's nearly impossible now because such jobs are vanishingly rare, and many jobs demand college degrees even if those degrees are irrelevant to the job.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #65)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:42 PM

69. So true! My mom started in on "you boomers" the other day.

"You boomers don't have any savings because you spent it all on things like traveling around the world." I pointed out that I haven't traveled much at all, and I live in a much more modest home than the one she just sold for a 900% profit. (Yes that number is correct. My parents' house recently sold for nine times what they paid for it in 1972.) In contrast, my current home is worth considerably less than I paid for it in 2007. Nor do I have hundreds of thousands stashed away in retirement accounts. Nor have I ever owned a sailboat, as my parents did at one time. Nor do I buy a new car every couple of years, as they did. And in fact, when I think about it, my mother has done far more luxury travel than I ever will.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #69)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:44 PM

74. The inflation adjusted value of $1 in 1972 is $5.51 in 2012; So making "nine times" is actually 1.63

A history major should certainly understand inflation.

http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl?cost1=1&year1=1972&year2=2012

Making 1.63 times over 40 years is about 2% per year real return on investment.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #74)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:53 PM

75. Absolutely. But what about the loss in value of my place purchased in 2007?

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Response to yardwork (Reply #75)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:57 PM

76. Investing in real estate is no sure thing. It has done less well than other asset classes

Inflation will eventually bail you out on a nominal value basis. It will only take a few years of late '70s like stagflation.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:14 PM

48. Technical degrees are also given by accreditied colleges and universities

You need not pose the false choice of "to major in English at an accredited college or university than to obtain a technical degree at a for-profit online diploma mill."

MIT, Stanford, Cal Tech, Berkeley, Michigan, Cornell, etc. are prefectly respectable universities that offer technical degrees.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #48)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:09 PM

50. I agree, but the right-wingers who are trying to dismantle higher education don't.

My posts have been rebuttals to the right-wing talking points that U.S. higher education is useless to most students. It's the right-wingers who are forcing the issue. They want to defund public universities and push students toward the for-profit diploma mills run by their cronies.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:42 PM

42. The No. 1 undergrad major at Yale is history

has been for years.

And, of course, lots of Yalies go on to be highly paid CEOs (present company excepted ).

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #42)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:07 PM

47. Yale is more of a pre-law, foreign service, and CIA breeding ground

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #47)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:28 PM

49. That's right. In fact, Agent Mike himself was in my Psychology of Personality class.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #49)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:10 PM

52. Brava!

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #42)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:14 PM

53. Perhaps the new version of "working in the family company" is going to the right school,

then climbing the management ladder. It's not that taking history at Yale prepares someone to run a company, it's being accepted at and graduating from Yale that assures managers that the person is one of them.

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Response to KamaAina (Reply #42)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 10:43 PM

77. I thought Yale was a liberal arts school where you get a broad education and build a network.

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Response to HughBeaumont (Reply #10)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:58 PM

79. I know! I would tell some of them to FIRST train for a job

to support yourself and once you can do that, then take classes like violin or photography but don't spend THOUSANDS of dollars and come out of college to work at McDonald's because you don't have a marketable degree.

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Response to ebbie15644 (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:31 PM

62. Actually. If the goal of the violin player was to understand all aspects of the violin and

become the best violin builder possible then there would be some value to society of the person training.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #62)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 06:55 PM

78. The goal is to be able to get a job and support yourself!

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Response to jody (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:07 PM

7. Read the article. 98% of them AREN'T needing assistance

Sounds like they made Good Choices™

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Response to jody (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:19 PM

9. Siiiiiiigh. So I guess "working harder" is no longer enough; you now have to be a fortune teller.

Shouldn't people be able to make a living at what they want to do? How does this square with the laws of diminishing returns?

Keep on moving them goalposts, Mr. Friedman.

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Response to jody (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:26 PM

11. How do you know there will be no demand 4-6 years down the road?

Sounds like advice from somebody who has been extremely lucky in their career-seeking goals.

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Response to jody (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:55 PM

15. You would probably be very surprised. Most CEOs have degrees in History or English.

The conventional wisdom that undergraduate degrees in the Humanities are useless is completely wrong. In fact, they teach people critical thinking and writing skills that are essential for every kind of career, particularly high-paying leadership positions.

The fact that it is difficult for a PhD in English to find a tenure-track position at a university does not mean that an undergraduate degree in English is useless. Those two things are completely different.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:03 PM

17. my degrees in math an economics have sure been useless

except for the one job I had with the military.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:20 PM

20. Both math and economics are part of a liberal arts education.

Do you really think that they are useless to you? If you had it to do over, would you have chosen different majors?

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Response to yardwork (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:32 PM

27. What definition of liberal arts education are you using?

Most universities certainly distinguish math from art history, for instance.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #27)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:26 PM

58. BOTH math and art history are part of a liberal arts curriculum.

Definition here:

In modern times liberal arts is a term which can be interpreted in different ways. It can refer to certain areas of literature, languages, philosophy, history, mathematics, psychology, and science. It can also refer to studies on a liberal arts degree program. For example, Harvard University offers a Master of Liberal Arts degree, which covers biological and social sciences as well as the humanities. For both interpretations, the term generally refers to matters not relating to the professional, vocational, or technical curricula.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberal_arts_education

A lot of people think that "liberal arts" has something to do with being politically "liberal" or is reserved only for study of the humanities like literature and art. In fact, the liberal arts include math and science. It's the traditional undergraduate course of study in a four year college.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #58)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:29 PM

60. Interesting. Penn State certainly didn't define it that way

But I won't dispute your citation.

Of course, that means that it's so broad a term that it means just about anything and therefore just about nothing, so that's a problem in its own right...

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Response to Orrex (Reply #60)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:31 PM

63. Very few people major in "liberal arts." They choose a major from within liberal arts.

This definition has been around for several thousand years so it seems to be working ok.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #63)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:36 PM

68. You're messing with my brain

My degree is in English, which PSU itself describes as a liberal arts degree, even if it's not a degree in Liberal Arts.

But now that you've pointed it out, I want to re-check my own recollection. Maybe they do group Math under liberal arts, though that's not how I remember it.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:34 PM

28. well if either of my alma maters would send me my degree in cloth

then I could at least use them at my job to wipe down urinals.

Yes, if I had to do it over again, I would have majored in accounting.

Or I should have gotten a PhD in economics.

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Response to jody (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:30 PM

26. Deriding someone's bad choices is a convenient way to blame the victim

In my experience, most people who suffer misfortune are the victims of circumstances wholly beyond their control. In every case, a diagnosis of "they made bad choices" is entirely unhelpful and is intended to make the victim feel like an irresponsible fuck-up in addition to feeling helpless and overwhelmed.

Bravo to you.

Rather than kicking the victim in the face, perhaps you might offer actual, concrete steps to overcome the problems that they're confronting? A person with a leaky roof and a broken furnace and a dead transmission doesn't really benefit from being told that they should have made different college choices 20 years ago, yet a distressingly large contingent of DUers seems gleefully eager to step right up and tell them how foolish they are.

Bravo to you.

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Response to jody (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:26 PM

59. A PhD in a field should be at such a high level that he or she can create new lines of thought

or application in that field. Unfortunately, too many people get into fields without thinking about or caring about what they plan to accomplish. A person that studied ancient civilizations will contribute more to society than an average engineer if the ancient civ person has a vision and passion for what she or he wants to accomplish.

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Response to bluestate10 (Reply #59)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:35 PM

67. Sounds great but that's not how the market for PhDs works. Agree they followed a dream but there was

 

no reward at the end.

Bad choice for whatever reason.

A few decades ago, a PhD had value in the marketplace but today there are too many diploma mills for doctorates and in fields that have little market value.

IMO things are going to get worse.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 11:47 AM

4. So that's 1.6% of all of those holding advanced degrees is receiving assistance?

Did I miss something in the math there?

The article says about 1 in 7 Americans is on assistance, and if my math is correct, its less than 2 in 100 for those holding advanced degrees.

Again, am I missing something?

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:03 PM

6. Initiative, creativity, and flexibility matter; degrees do not

 

I have a master's degree and a doctorate in Classical Languages. I had intended to teach Classics at a university. At the time there were very very few university-level positions that would last for more than a year or two. I started to take computer science courses. I became an programmer, entry level. I moved on to software sales and made more that $100,000 per year for over ten years. I started and sold two computer-related businesses. I retired at 55. Now I occasionally work as a consultant.

My brother earned a master's degree and a doctorate, also in Classics. He obtained a non-tenure-track lecturer position at a major East coast university. That lasted 3 years. He then obtained certification in project management and worked for a defense contractor for several years. He now runs a publishing firm.

I have never regretted the years I spent studying Classics. I have been working since I was 16. On my 16th birthday, a Saturday, my father took me out to find a job. I did. As a stock boy at a department store. I've been a soda jerk. A truck driver. During grad school I worked as a security guard.

Good employment depends on initiative, creativity, and flexibility.

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Response to aristocles (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:11 PM

8. Would your life have been better had you chosen different degrees?

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 12:49 PM

13. No. It's a wonderful life n/t

 

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Response to aristocles (Reply #6)


Response to devilgrrl (Reply #18)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:19 PM

19. Wow. I didn't get that from that post at all.

I read post #6 as a refutation of right-wing talking points. Here's a person describing their experience with how a degree in the Humanities has been useful to them. How is that deserving of scorn?

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Response to yardwork (Reply #19)


Response to devilgrrl (Reply #22)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:27 PM

25. I didn't read it that way at all.

He or she has probably been told all their life that their degree in Classics was going to be useless. They may be a little defensive about it by now.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #25)


Response to devilgrrl (Reply #30)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:29 PM

81. It's ok. I know you to be a very reasonable poster so I guessed that you were interpreting

the post differently than I was.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:27 PM

24. The value of humanities degrees

 

The first company I worked for as a programmer preferred to hire music and philosophy graduates as programmers.

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Response to aristocles (Reply #24)


Response to aristocles (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:56 PM

32. "Good employment depends on initiative, creativity, and flexibility."

Maybe, but in my experience not nearly as much as upon blind luck, office politics, and the bottom line decisions made by people who have no idea who you are.

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Response to aristocles (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:53 PM

37. "initiative, creativity, and flexibility" - You forgot about luck...

Luck is 95% of the equation.

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Response to aristocles (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:51 PM

43. Based on the data in the OP, less then 2% of those with advanced degrees are on assistance.

Well below the rate for those without such degrees.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 01:39 PM

31. Some of you younger people may not know that companies used to hire liberal arts majors

But that all fell apart with the Reagan revolution.

You see, liberal arts majors haven't been indoctrinated into the Religion of the Bottom Line Above All Else. They ask questions. They take things other than the numbers into consideration.

Bad, bad liberal arts majors.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:09 PM

34. Exactly right. Thinking people need not apply. Obedient drones with the capacity

 

to regurgitate slogans are what is marketable in America. Keep your eyes down, do as you're told, and above all, never, ever complain or question the decisions made by your betters.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:12 PM

36. Makes sense, I work in IT which is mostly L1\H1s they say they don't get a rounded eduction...

...mostly a vocational education

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:53 PM

44. Based on the data in the OP, less then 2% of those with advanced degrees are on assistance.

Not sure the level of concern presented matches the data presented.

As one who holds an MA and a PhD, received in the late 80s, I have trouble accepting the conclusions being drawn in this thread.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:10 PM

35. More proof the MIC is a welfare program, if we REALLY needed to spend that much money on the MIC

... these guys would be millionaires cause we'd really have an adversary

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 02:53 PM

38. Misleading title - food stamps and unemployment are not "welfare"

Many people on SNAP are actually employed, just not making enough money to feed their children. And unemployment is actually an insurance payment. Since when are insurance payments "welfare?"

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Response to yellowcanine (Reply #38)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:16 PM

39. What is your definition of welfare?

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Response to blueclown (Reply #39)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:29 PM

40. What is today known as Temporary Cash Assistance.

And what used to be known as Welfare - direct cash assistance to individuals based on need.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 03:36 PM

41. Many people working as adjunct professors are eligible for food stamps

Way too many PhDs have been produced in the humanities.

Most colleges have switched to using adjuncts instead of hiring tenure-track professors. Many of these adjunct positions pay very poorly, and offer no benefits. Many of these adjuncts are running between 3 different colleges every day trying to earn enough money to make a living and pay off their student loan debts.

Many of these adjuncts probably earn incomes that make them eligible for public food assistance.

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Response to JPZenger (Reply #41)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:04 PM

45. Itinerant scholars

 

I had a friend who obtained his Classics PhD when I did.

He spent 12 years teaching Classics at California universities. Low pay, and each year at a different school. He persevered nevertheless.

He's now president of a university.

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Response to JPZenger (Reply #41)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:15 PM

54. That's because the universities are saving money by shifting teaching to adjuncts,

It's a crime how fixed term faculty are being treated. Another reason why we need a labor movement in this country.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 04:07 PM

46. Okay so I admit I was taking a chance

When I got my Doctorate in rodent psychology.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:18 PM

56. I can believe this even in things like hard science

due to student loans. My husband's are horrible, I don't know how we pay them but we do, it is a house payment. To teach at a major school you need a Ph.D. from a major school, very pricey.....

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:18 PM

57. Thankfully, I will not be one of them...

as I just received a job offer. Thank god.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:32 PM

64. I have two of those allegedly good-to-get-jobs degrees.

BS Biology 1979,
Juris Doctor, 1985.

Neither of those degrees have enabled me to obtain a single job in either law or biology.

And the sad part is that my parents made me major in them, so I could get a "good job".

They made the false assumption that certain degrees make you employable, and others do not.

What I really wanted to do was get a BFA in Painting. It would have been just as useful.



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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #64)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:35 PM

66. Think of the people who majored in Computer Science in the 1980s

I know a number of people who majored in Computer Science because they thought it would guarantee them job security. Now they are all being laid off from jobs they hate anyway.

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Response to yardwork (Reply #66)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 07:54 PM

70. And replaced with card holders from Asia. nt

 

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Response to jody (Reply #70)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 09:32 PM

73. Exactly.

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:03 PM

71. Piled High Debt

very sad

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2013, 08:09 PM

72. 360,ooo out of 22,000,000 doesn't seem all that many

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Response to FarCenter (Original post)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 07:00 PM

80. NONE of our best and brightest should be struggling to find work. THAT'S what's wrong with these ##s

That's why this stat irks me (and others). These are presumably some of the most intelligent people on the planet and even they have unemployment.

That sucks.

And don't tell me they simply studied the "wrong" things. Sorry but at the PhD level, its not wrong. We need people to be educated in all of these areas. ALL of them.

How shortsighted we are that we're quibbling whether this number is too high or not, or whether they were "wrong" to get these degrees.

Its just wrong that we can't employ them. Anywhere. For anything.

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