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Sun Apr 22, 2012, 07:27 PM

1 in 2 new graduates are jobless or underemployed

Source: AP-Excite

By HOPE YEN

WASHINGTON (AP) - The college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work.

A weak labor market already has left half of young college graduates either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge.

Young adults with bachelor's degrees are increasingly scraping by in lower-wage jobs - waiter or waitress, bartender, retail clerk or receptionist, for example - and that's confounding their hopes a degree would pay off despite higher tuition and mounting student loans.

An analysis of government data conducted for The Associated Press lays bare the highly uneven prospects for holders of bachelor's degrees.

Read more: http://apnews.excite.com/article/20120422/D9UA7BKO1.html




In this photo taken Thursday, April 19, 2012, barista Michael Bledsoe smiles as he chats with a visitor in the coffee shop where he works in Seattle. The college class of 2012 is in for a rude welcome to the world of work. A weak labor market already has left half of young college grads either jobless or underemployed in positions that don't fully use their skills and knowledge. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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Reply 1 in 2 new graduates are jobless or underemployed (Original post)
Omaha Steve Apr 2012 OP
90-percent Apr 2012 #1
ag_dude Apr 2012 #3
Posteritatis Apr 2012 #4
ag_dude Apr 2012 #5
riderinthestorm Apr 2012 #14
ag_dude Apr 2012 #29
riderinthestorm Apr 2012 #31
AnneD Apr 2012 #78
Ash_F Apr 2012 #132
Quantess Apr 2012 #157
Flatulo Apr 2012 #9
pnwmom Apr 2012 #20
Bigmack Apr 2012 #48
provis99 Apr 2012 #67
fujiyama Apr 2012 #136
fujiyama Apr 2012 #135
pstokely Apr 2012 #55
Hippo_Tron Apr 2012 #68
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #75
Hippo_Tron Apr 2012 #130
fujiyama Apr 2012 #138
AnneD Apr 2012 #79
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #11
JDPriestly Apr 2012 #24
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #36
JDPriestly Apr 2012 #42
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #44
riderinthestorm Apr 2012 #49
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #84
FarCenter Apr 2012 #92
fujiyama Apr 2012 #140
FarCenter Apr 2012 #141
fujiyama Apr 2012 #148
rayofreason May 2012 #166
fujiyama Apr 2012 #139
JDPriestly Apr 2012 #81
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #85
JDPriestly May 2012 #161
4th law of robotics May 2012 #162
JDPriestly May 2012 #163
Nikia May 2012 #171
fujiyama Apr 2012 #142
JDPriestly May 2012 #164
fujiyama May 2012 #172
JDPriestly May 2012 #173
pnwmom Apr 2012 #28
Flatulo Apr 2012 #30
AnneD Apr 2012 #80
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #37
fujiyama Apr 2012 #147
pnwmom Apr 2012 #16
fujiyama Apr 2012 #150
pnwmom Apr 2012 #155
DonCoquixote Apr 2012 #21
Nikia Apr 2012 #22
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #62
fujiyama Apr 2012 #160
Ulcer Apr 2012 #100
ag_dude Apr 2012 #2
pstokely Apr 2012 #57
fujiyama Apr 2012 #6
JDPriestly Apr 2012 #25
fujiyama Apr 2012 #134
pstokely Apr 2012 #56
fujiyama Apr 2012 #133
JI7 Apr 2012 #137
jeff47 May 2012 #170
Serve The Servants Apr 2012 #7
pstokely Apr 2012 #54
Iris Apr 2012 #105
prdel May 2012 #174
BadtotheboneBob Apr 2012 #8
Serve The Servants Apr 2012 #10
Iris Apr 2012 #106
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #12
pstokely Apr 2012 #23
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #33
pstokely Apr 2012 #53
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #90
pstokely Apr 2012 #96
fujiyama Apr 2012 #151
ingac70 Apr 2012 #13
pnwmom Apr 2012 #18
ingac70 Apr 2012 #32
pnwmom Apr 2012 #38
Iris Apr 2012 #107
pnwmom Apr 2012 #116
alp227 Apr 2012 #61
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #64
ingac70 Apr 2012 #76
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #97
ingac70 Apr 2012 #104
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #113
ingac70 Apr 2012 #114
Post removed Apr 2012 #117
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #122
ingac70 Apr 2012 #128
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #34
pnwmom Apr 2012 #39
ingac70 Apr 2012 #41
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #65
Taylor Smite Apr 2012 #91
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #43
pnwmom Apr 2012 #45
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #46
pnwmom Apr 2012 #47
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #69
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #88
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #98
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #102
Taylor Smite Apr 2012 #93
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #121
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #66
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #89
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #99
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #101
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #103
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #119
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #120
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #124
ingac70 Apr 2012 #40
fujiyama Apr 2012 #152
ProgressiveProfessor Apr 2012 #15
pnwmom Apr 2012 #19
Iris Apr 2012 #108
pnwmom Apr 2012 #115
Iris Apr 2012 #127
steve2470 Apr 2012 #17
happerbolic Apr 2012 #26
Taylor Smite Apr 2012 #94
AdHocSolver Apr 2012 #27
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #35
AdHocSolver Apr 2012 #51
Taylor Smite Apr 2012 #95
provis99 Apr 2012 #70
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #72
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #86
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #87
Nikia Apr 2012 #149
fujiyama Apr 2012 #153
4th law of robotics Apr 2012 #158
sweetapogee Apr 2012 #50
AdHocSolver Apr 2012 #52
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #63
fujiyama Apr 2012 #154
Iris Apr 2012 #109
treestar Apr 2012 #58
Iris Apr 2012 #110
joshcryer Apr 2012 #59
Psephos Apr 2012 #73
joshcryer Apr 2012 #74
unkachuck Apr 2012 #60
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #71
SomeGuyInEagan Apr 2012 #82
CountAllVotes Apr 2012 #83
Iris Apr 2012 #112
Lost-in-FL Apr 2012 #118
Iris Apr 2012 #125
CountAllVotes Apr 2012 #123
Iris Apr 2012 #126
Posteritatis Apr 2012 #144
Iris Apr 2012 #145
Iris Apr 2012 #111
Posteritatis Apr 2012 #143
coalition_unwilling Apr 2012 #77
madville Apr 2012 #129
Posteritatis Apr 2012 #146
may3rd May 2012 #169
U4ikLefty Apr 2012 #131
fujiyama Apr 2012 #156
tawadi Apr 2012 #159
Manifestor_of_Light May 2012 #165
proverbialwisdom May 2012 #167
proverbialwisdom May 2012 #168

Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 07:34 PM

1. Look on the bright side

At least they have menial jobs that can help pay back the crushing debt of a modern college education.

Really nice they way young people are treated these days. huh? Graduate with the debt burden as big as a home mortgage and then work minimum wage jobs. Nice.

What a horrible future my generation* has wrought on today's young people. It simply is not right.

-90% Jimmy

*Lloyd Blankfein and I are about the same age.

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Response to 90-percent (Reply #1)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 07:41 PM

3. At some point, the major has to be considered...

...by the student, the family, and yes, the government that stands behind the loan.

Why are we allowing kids majoring in programs with little to no hope of earning enough to pay back the loans to keep piling on more and more debt?

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Response to ag_dude (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 07:43 PM

4. Because it's not up to you what a student's "allowed" to major in, full stop. (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 07:49 PM

5. Who in the world said don't allow them to major in it?

It's absolutely irresponsible to strap $60k+ in student loans on kids that are pursuing degrees that don't have much hope at all of earning enough to pay them back.

That's just about as good a modern day example of share cropping as you can get.

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Response to ag_dude (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 10:12 PM

14. But its impossible in this shifting economy to say which majors may hold the key to $$$

 

My daughter graduated with a masters degree in archaeology. She started in 2008 when arch majors were in hot demand because building laws required an arch survey to be performed before any construction began (she's an EU passport holder so she could get a job anywhere).

2008 to now? The construction trade has collapsed and arch masters can't find work anywhere. She's an asst book shop manager.

Sometimes it's not so easy to point fingers. A student can go into a field with great intentions and within 5 years their field is decimated so stop being so judgmental.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #14)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 07:42 AM

29. Archaeology is your example...

...of an industry that has been thriving for a long time and then just suddenly dried up?

Really?

The older I get the more I wonder what reality it is some of you live in.

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Response to ag_dude (Reply #29)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 09:31 AM

31. In virtually every country, an archaeology survey is legally required before ANY construction

 

so archaeology majors usually easily landed jobs (like engineers) as field techs (and don't forget my daughter holds an EU passport as well as American citizenship). Master's degrees usually landed you with a supervisory role depending on your area of expertise. So yup, it actually was a pretty good gig until the construction industry tanked.

IT suffered a similar boom/bust cycle within the number of years a new grad would have started on that degree until completion. I'd venture to guess that architecture was the same etc. etc.

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #31)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 10:20 AM

78. My daughter and I had this discussion.....

when she was selecting a college. She was interested in going to a fairly pricey school in California and majoring in sound technology and engineering. I just did not want her to come out of school owing 80K with a bachelor's in Social Work.

We did much soul searching because she could have gone to school in state and emerged with a degree and debt free. All that we saved would have paid for 1yr in California. Since she was one of 10 out of over 300 she agreed to go for 1 year. If she scrubbed out, she would return home to Texas and work her way through.

She graduates from the college in Ca. next month. The school is a think tank for the entertainment industry. She has distinguished herself and has job offers lined up. She has debt but the school has been so good to her. She is financially literate and we will help her as best we can to get out of debt as soon as she can. As the mom, I will sleep better when she has job and pays off the loans off.

Some is knowing what your gifts are, some is developing those gifts, and some is just dumb luck.

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Response to ag_dude (Reply #29)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 05:32 AM

132. What should we ALL study then?

Oh wise one, enlighten me.

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Response to ag_dude (Reply #29)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 04:56 AM

157. Technical writing is another example

It was touted as a good choice of major with a good employment prospect. Not so much, now.

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 08:20 PM

9. Of course not, but students should choose their majors with their eyes open.

 

My son majored in Political Science, against my better judgement, $160,000 and a full year after graduation, and he can't even get a job at GameStop. My nephew, on the other hand, majored in bio mechanical engineering and had a half-dozen job offers, all starting at over $60,000.

The difference? My son did less homework than he did in high school, while my nephew was hitting the books for 12 hours per day.

There are jobs for the hard sciences. For gender studies and art history, not so much.

Kids have to be realistic about the job market. While they have every right to study what they want, they have no right to expect a job in a field for which there is absolutely no demand.

I've squandered my life savings learning this lesson.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 10:40 PM

20. My nephew got an engineering degree from an excellent school, where he'd had

two internships and had a very good GPA, but it took him more than a year to find a job, and his salary was only in the low 40's (average at his college the year before was in the 60's.) Many of his friends found themselves in similar situations. So there's no magic solution to this problem.

Also, I know someone who majored in Poli Sci because he couldn't get accepted into his first choice major -- the University only had a handful of slots. But he took one sales job after another, and now he has an excellent job in marketing at a top tech company.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 03:02 PM

48. What about architects? ...

 

Wasn't that supposed to be a good gig? Superhigh unemployment now.

Even computer science majors have a 6% unemployment rate.

Tell me... what happens if China and India go big on bio-mechanical engineering students.

Mr. Bio Engineering gets hosed!

Thus is the world market.

Don't you just love it?

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Response to Bigmack (Reply #48)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:46 PM

67. computer science majors are pretty much screwed once they hit 40.

 

it's a dead end career; you start with a reasonable salary, but it never increases, and they get rid of you when you turn middle aged to replace you with a new guy or an H1-B hire.

as for engineers, most drop out of the field after a few years; it's a dead end job, and apparently boring. More engineers work in sales and marketing in the United States than in an engineering career.

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Response to provis99 (Reply #67)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 06:17 PM

136. It's true that at a certain point

if you don't get certain promotions, you will may find yourself limited career-wise.

But that's pretty much true of any field. Engineering and technology related careers require the person to keep up with industry trends and the latest tool or software (whether it's a particular programming language, engineering software package, or other tool). At my work place, I see several coworkers, degreed and non-degreed that are still making good money in their 40s and 50s. But they do have skills in relative demand, with an expertise in a particular CAD software. And these people are not the managers, who as they go up the ladder, deal with fewer technical tasks.



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Response to Bigmack (Reply #48)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 06:06 PM

135. India and China are ALREADY making huge investments in those areas

One of my annoyances on this board is that posters don't give credit to those countries that are willing to make the investment - socially, culturally, politically, and ultimately financially in education - especially in the sciences. We still have the edge and will have it for a little while. We still have the resources and our best institutions do encourage free and independent thought and research, which has proven to be a magnet for brilliant people worldwide. But in the long run, we may not keep that edge. Many on here complain about how we've "given" them technology and jobs. While this is true to some extent, it fails to acknowledge the sheer importance academic achievement plays in those countries.

Here we're still fighting the fucking Scopes monkey trial over a century later. In one of our major political parties, it is expected for their candidates to reject science. It's telling when Rick Santorum makes it as far as he did in their primaries. The only scientific research republicans support is military related.

And we then wonder how we're falling behind in science and technology.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 10:19 PM

55. Don't Koch brothers have some kind of lobbyist training program?

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #9)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:49 PM

68. What career does your son want?

If it's politically related, does he have any volunteer or internship experience? If not, that's his first problem. He could've spent much of that time he wasn't doing homework getting some practical experience that employers like to see. Of course it's certainly not too late to start doing that.

IMO, the fact that he did less homework than he did in high school may also be part of the issue. I majored in political science (one of my majors) and I worked my butt off to keep my grades pretty high, particularly in my final two years of college. Just because the workload to get a 3.0 in a social science degree is less than the workload to get a 3.0 in engineering, doesn't mean that you should do less work. It means you should study just as they do to get your grades up so you will stand out over all of those other social science majors that didn't.

The job market is tough out there for everyone, but there are definitely employed political science majors. Society doesn't need every single one of us to be a bio mechanical engineer and there are even some engineers who are unemployed. Pretty much the only schooling that guarantees you a job is medical school (dental or vet school as well). The weeding out in those fields is done before you enter school, rather than after.

BTW, if your son does want to work in a politically related field, PM me. I might be able to offer some helpful advice.

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Response to Hippo_Tron (Reply #68)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 12:33 AM

75. I keep asking myself that question...

With all the money going into politics and the art of influencing others, etc. how can it be possible that so many Political Science students can't find a job? Seriously, I have been considering a switch to a 'behind the scenes' career in politics because it seems the only thing I love more than anything is politics.

Don't get me wrong, I earn a good salary but I don't exactly like working in my field, it is getting very frustrating in my career and I have been tempted into combining my current profession and politics. I am open to the idea of working from the political side within my career as a way to improve conditions for workers and people. It would actually be a very rewarding thing to do if I knew how to go about this. Attempting to 'change careers', I decided enter a Masters of Liberal Studies degree program to try to combine my current career with something that would be rewarding and challenging. I might sound like a dreamer but I least I have goals in life... even in my 40's.

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #75)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 12:41 AM

130. Out of curiosity, what do you do now?

I know someone who made the transition to a political career in their 30's. The ground level if politics is filled with 20-somethings because we can and will work long hours for not much pay, with the understanding that eventually we will move up. If you're willing to do the same, there's no reason you can't break into it. Odds are that if you have some experience, you can start a little higher in the game than us 20-somethings, especially if your current career is somewhat related.

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #75)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 06:39 PM

138. There's a lot of money going into the political system

but the money is from the top 1%. It's from the lobbyists at major investment banks, hedge funds, pharmaceuticals, and oil and gas companies. It's used to buy this government. I guess, if you want to actually make money in something politically related, you need to get paid by those hacks. That of course requires connections through one of a few elite institutions (usually Harvard or Yale). Those that work in lower levels (say local races or government) don't make much. After all, we know that local and state governments are having a tough time financially. And those that work for causes that are worth working for, are likely making even less, if anything (much of the work being done by volunteers).

I was once interested in majoring in political science and then pursuing law. I used to regret it, but now I really don't. I have a job now that pays well, I have low debt, and while my work isn't exciting, it's low stress.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #9)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 10:34 AM

79. I was the first on in my family ......

to go to college. I overpaid, and took forever to pay it off, but I learned more than my 'degree' would indicate. I also learned from the school of hard knocks too. I paved the way for my daughter. She has had an easier go because I was willing to ask the hard questions and did not buy into the sales pitch.

I told her when she was 13 that I had only saved a certain amount and she was taking out loans if it ran over that.

You can take a loan out for college but you can't take a loan out for retirement.

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 09:13 PM

11. No, but perhaps it is up to us to determine how federal loans are handed out

 

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 12:38 AM

24. It's a loan, not a grant.

In my opinion, we need lots of people with liberal arts backgrounds. The tech degrees are great, but the students who get them sometimes lack the skills in communication and critical thinking and the human values that we need in the leaders of our country.

I believe that all students, even those in math and technical fields, should be required to get a strong background in liberal arts including the knowledge of the language and literature of at least one foreign language. Not just two years of high school Spanish, but enough language background to be able to read the literature of another country in the original.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #24)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 12:16 PM

36. That's a lie liberal arts students tell themselves to feel better about their degrees

 

I've heard this canard so many times: scientists don't know how to communicate. Engineers can't think creatively.

Entirely not supported by the facts.

And science majors get far more liberal arts education than liberal arts majors get science and math.

Since we do give out loans based on various *other* factors why not include the utility of the degree as well?

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #36)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 02:45 PM

42. Because you cannot know the utility of the degree.

Your proposal is based on the hypothesis that we can see into the future. We can't. We cannot know for sure that we will want or need more scientists than linguists and teachers in the future.

In fact, in my opinion, one of the reasons that so few Americans go into science, math and engineering is that those subjects are so poorly presented to our children.

And those subjects are poorly presented because many of the scientists and mathematicians in our society do not communicate well. They don't know how to tell a story. They don't know how to make science into a story that relates to the life of the child, to the child's imagination.

When science is presented to children through communication that is child-friendly, a child likes science. I know children for whom that was the case.

My science teachers were droning bores. No wonder I did not choose to study science.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #42)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 02:56 PM

44. "Your proposal is based on the hypothesis that we can see into the future"

 

Some trends remain pretty constant.

And I never advocated for banning all other kinds of education, merely encouraging people to enter fields that we find more useful than fields that are less useful. Don't worry, we'll always have liberal arts degrees and graduates.

Taking this reasoning to an extreme would mean we shouldn't involve ourselves in job training (who knows if we'll need electricians in the future?) or really any kind of education (will kids in the future really need english? What if we all have switched over to esperanto by then).

No, you can't predict exactly how many of any given kind of graduates we will need in the distant future. However you can with some reasonable accuracy approximate about how many we will need in the near future.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #44)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 04:41 PM

49. Experts predict that 60% of the best jobs in the next 10 years haven't even been invented yet

 

Imagine describing some of today’s hot jobs to someone in 1991.

“It’s called an ‘app developer’. You create helpful programs and games for people to use on their mobile phones.”

“It’s a ‘computer forensics specialist’. It’s like a forensics expert for regular crime, but they investigate crimes committed on the internet and computer systems.”

These concepts would have been nearly impossible to understand 20 years ago. As technology advances at a galloping pace, the exciting jobs of 2020 are probably equally difficult for us to wrap our minds around today. Thomas Frey, executive director and senior futurist at the DaVinci Institute, wrote a very interesting article about what these jobs might look like. His research indicates that 60 percent of the jobs available 10 years from now haven’t been invented yet.

http://www.cobizmag.com/articles/fifty-five-jobs-of-the-future/

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #49)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:26 AM

84. Not one single person who currently makes a living as an app developer for an i-phone

 

majored in "app development for i-phones" in college. That degree doesn't exist.

They took computer science or something similar.

You're taking a general degree and requiring it be so specific as to be ridiculous. People don't go to a 4 year college only to get one very narrow degree. They do it to open up economic opportunities (among other reasons).

So don't look around and see "ah we need 300 new app developers, and 500 new flashsite designers, and 200 new drones for google" instead it's "ah we need about a 1,000 people who know basic computer science".

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #84)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 12:14 PM

92. There used to be a "core curriculum" for engineering -- stuff that prepared you for change

 

One year each of:
- Calculus
- Probability/Statistics and Linear and Modern Algebra
- Physics
- Chemistry
- Biology or Physiology (Chemistry, Physics and math courses are a prereq)
- English

Today, I'd modify it with:
- Writing/Presenting (essays, reports, presentations, instructions - instead of English)
- Computer Programming
- Information Systems
- Complex Systems (including ecology, earth sciences - math courses are a prereq for analysis and simulations)
- Politics, Law and Regulation
- Accounting, Microeconomics, and Engineering Economics
- Psychology of Groups and Organizational Design

That would give the student the basic tools to begin his education and to begin a career.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #92)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 07:01 PM

140. I think many universities are starting to incorporate some of the classes you mentioned

I'm pretty sure all engineering students graduate now with some programming experience. I was required to take two technical communication courses (one on mainly writing, the other mostly verbal). Most engineering students have to take econ. I like the addition of ecology and earth sciences, since sustainable design is of vital social interest, and has promising career prospects for the future.

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #140)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 07:10 PM

141. It would be good if it applied to all STEM majors

 

And actually, it should probably apply to all Bachelor's of Science degrees.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #141)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 11:11 PM

148. I agree.

I also think a course on project management could be useful for all STEM majors, but I think some of the courses you listed would likely include many of those concepts.

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Response to FarCenter (Reply #92)

Thu May 3, 2012, 06:11 AM

166. Good list. n/t

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #49)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 06:54 PM

139. The jobs you mentioned

require strong analytical and critical thinking skills, as well as an understanding of fundamental basic and intermediate scientific and mathematical concepts, which students of engineering, sciences (physics especially), and computer science should have. Those are the degree areas that prepare someone for a career from anything like mobile app development to electric vehicle design. The possibilities with a strong technical foundation are endless.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #44)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:05 AM

81. Used to be a background in European languages was considered very valuable.

It isn't any more. Now people are urged to learn Arabic, Spanish and Chinese.

Never mind that the great Renaissance and Enlightenment movements of Europe lead to the development of science.

It's interesting how people think that the free market is just great when it comes to economics but not so great when it comes to choosing your major or discussing ideas.

But I stand by my assertion that if science teachers focused a little less on their science and a little more on finding great ways to communicate their love and interest in science to children and even college students, more kids would want to go into science.

I don't know how it happened, but my children had great science teachers -- and they chose to major in science- and math-related fields. We accuse them of revolting against us by going into science. In fact, we are proud and pleased and just joking.

My started college in the Depression. Although he wanted to be an engineer, he chose to go into liberal arts because there was no work for engineers. So, you can't tell. If the economy doesn't drastically improve pretty quickly, engineers and scientists could also be hitting the breadlines.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #81)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:29 AM

85. European languages are still valuable

 

and Arabic/Spanish/Chinese didn't become valuable overnight.

And there will always be more of a market for people who can produce things rather than people who can talk about other people producing things.

You blame the science teachers for a lack of interest. You don't suppose it has anything to do with the fact that liberal arts overall is much easier?

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #85)

Wed May 2, 2012, 01:01 AM

161. Is liberal arts really easier, or is it just presented in a more interesting way,

in a way that relates to the everyday experience of the student.

I was never able to remember the names of flowers and paid no attention in biology class. But now I am gardening. I have become fascinated by how plants grow, what pests they have, the interactions in nature that are required to permit plants to grow. Same for animals, starting with worms, then bugs that are friendly and bugs that are hostile to my plants. Up the food chain to squirrels and raccoons.

I think that science should be taught first as real experience. But in my science courses (a long time ago) we instead we taught about cell division, all kinds of sophisticated concepts that we could not relate to.

My children had great science teachers, but they were extremely lucky.

And if parents don't encourage children to enjoy and study science, it is probably because science was taught in such a boring, boring fashion in their schools.

I have to add that, for example, language is usually taught as something you use. You speak and read and write in the language you are learning.

Science, on the other hand, is to too great an extent (although not entirely) taught from a textbook with little practical experience in using the science you are learning.

Even the chemistry experiments we did were just a matter of going through motions. There was no sense of discovery or creativity. You were instructed to perform particular acts and then to write down the results. How stupid. The result of the "experiments" was predictable and certain. No creativity on the part of the students is involved in most of the science education in our country. At least, that is the way it was when I was growing up.

In contrast, almost immediately when I learned French, I was challenged to write with the few French words I knew -- to figure out how to use what I was learning.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #161)

Wed May 2, 2012, 03:44 PM

162. Liberal arts is easier

 

first off communication and emotions are natural for us, the primary basis for liberal arts. Math, not so much.

Second, go to a college library at midnight. It isn't liberal arts majors in there studying and pulling their hair out.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #162)

Wed May 2, 2012, 05:14 PM

163. But, what I did not realize until I retired and began to garden,

nature, the natural world, and the science that helps us understand it, are just as easy and even more natural to us.

Problem is, our educators do not encourage us to discover science through nature and the natural world but rather through boring text books. The basics of science are within us and the food we eat, the animals with which we live. But science is simply not taught from early childhood.

I started reading about biology because of gardening. Biology then leads one to wonder about chemistry and then physics and on. And now I see how interesting science is, and I am really sorry that I found it so boring when I was young.

So the secret of teaching science is to relate it to reality, to the experience of the child.

Same with math.

Also, I believe that math and science learning begin much earlier than five years old. We read stories to children when they are very young. Now, when I go for walks with my 18-month-old grandchild, I pick up bugs and other things, rocks and such, that he likes and show them to him. His first word was bird because I kept talking to him about the tiny stuffed and chirping bird he had. I'm hoping that will help him discover how interesting science and nature are.

I don't think you can just put a teenager in a class with a biology text (as it was done with me) and expect that kid to relate what is in the book to experiences the child had. What was helpful to me was having a small garden plot at might school when I was in junior high school. Unfortunately, my garden plot was not put into any perspective or related to science by my teachers. It was just something kids could sign up for and do on their own.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #162)

Fri May 4, 2012, 04:13 PM

171. I don't think that is true for everyone

At my college, liberal arts courses usually required a lot of reading, hundreds of pages a week, and significant writing. A number of science and math majors said that they did not like taking those courses for that reason. They did not take more of those courses than they needed, not because they wanted more science and math courses for their graduate school resume or professional resume.
Having taken liberal arts classes at the intermediate level in classes with majors and non majors, I had the feeling that some people also had difficulty making conclusions about characters or historical figure's motivations. This was evident from class discussions.
Liberal arts courses are probably easier for people who choose to major in liberal arts. Few people feel pressured by their parents or society to major in these subjects if they don't have the interest and aptitude for them. I think that some people without interest and aptitude are pressured to major in science. Some of these students change their major after the first year or two but some hang on to finish their degree. Even if the average science graduate is more likely to get a job than a liberal arts major, the science grad that is in the bottom 20% of ability and interest in the field is probably less likely to get a job than if they majored in something where they were in the top 20% in ability and interest.
I think that you are better off majoring in something that you are highly interested in and ideally are at least in the top half in ability. Of course, you need to think of ways to build your skills in activities outside the classroom. For example, the creative writing major should be involved in some kind of on campus publication, in writing, editing, and lay out. He should get an internship and possibly work on campus building on either publications or some other professional skill set like admissions (recruiting). If he find himself unable to get a "professional" job upon graduation, clerical temping is usually a good way to get a foot in the door. Learning the basic computer applications during is college career should make him qualified.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #81)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 07:15 PM

142. I agree that many science teachers in K-12 aren't doing as good a job as they can

to get students interested in those subjects, but it's not necessarily their fault. You've gotta remember that many of these teachers are limited in their curriculum due to standardized testing (i.e. NCLB). If they start veering too far from the "boring" curriculum, they won't be teaching for the test, possibly jeopardizing state funding for their school or even their own jobs.

You also have an obvious disinterest from the parents themselves, many of whom have no basic understanding of scientific concepts. For example, kids get assigned various science projects. My buddy is an electrician (more of an engineer really), and he helped his kid with a science project making a lemon battery (you wire small lights to a lemon and the citric acid acts as a battery acid). He put time into helping his son figure out an interesting project and put it together... I had the same fortunate experience growing up since my dad is an engineer. Now, if kids don't have that kind of support and understanding at home, it's no wonder kids won't grow to appreciate science.

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #142)

Wed May 2, 2012, 07:48 PM

164. So true. And I think that teachers are doing a better job now than they did when I was

a child. Liberal arts is about stories, but so is science. If science books were well written so as to carefully explain new terms and put them in the context of experience, if they presented scientific facts as the unfolding mysteries and stories that they are, young people would find science easier and more interesting than they do.

Actually, there are some non-textbooks that talk about scientific matters in wonderfully entertaining ways. The book entitled "The Tall Trees" comes to mind. It is about the recent exploration of the redwoods. You learn the science of the redwoods while reading about the lives of the people who explored them and who discovered the science you are learning. The lives of scientists can be very exciting. Think of Charles Darwin or Marie Curie. But there are many more scientists who are less well known who led very interesting lives and whose scientific discoveries are tied to their life experiences. Certainly Benjamin Franklin is one. So is Thomas Jefferson. And they had many friends who were also interested in science. Same is true of mathematicians.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #164)

Sun May 6, 2012, 08:41 PM

172. I agree with you on a lot of this

especially with regards to the discovery of science. I wish the process of the discoveries the unfolding of mystery had more prominence. I may have come to appreciate it much earlier, if it were introduced differently (as opposed to the current pedagogy of current science teaching being just a list of laws and theories).

I would highly recommend the book "Making of the Atomic Bomb" by Richard Rhodes. He introduces the lives of prominent scientists like the Curies, Neils Bohr (a very inspirational figure), Enrico Fermi, Robert Oppenheimer...and while somewhat technical, Rhodes does a good job explaining it to non technical people...and it all leads up to one of the most significant scientific discoveries and inventions of all time.

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #172)

Mon May 7, 2012, 08:09 PM

173. Thanks.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #11)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 03:25 AM

28. There's no perfect major -- there have been plenty of engineers unemployed . Even now

there's a mismatch in many areas between specific engineering skills and what particular employers are looking for.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #28)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 08:24 AM

30. A lot depends on the school one attended. Hiring managers have a tendency to

 

Hire from their Alma Maters. So a lot of the companies around here hire from WPI and won't even seriously consider candidates from other equally reputable schools. I spent my whole 35 year engineering career working for people who were WPI alumnus.

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Response to Flatulo (Reply #30)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 10:40 AM

80. That is one of the main reasons....

I let my daughter go to the school in California. Grads were loyal to their Alma Maters and helped each other. That was worth as much as what she learned. It is a combination of know how and know who.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #28)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 12:17 PM

37. There will always be some unemployed people in any field

 

however it is absolutely false to assume the rates are anywhere near the same.

I'd much rather be entering the workforce now with a mechanical engineering degree than a creative writing degree.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #28)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 11:08 PM

147. Of course there isn't a "perfect major"

but unemployment rates between fields of study do differ.

I talked to a friend of mine in law school and asked him how the job prospects are looking. In his graduating class, no one is able to find work at an actual law firm.

As far as I know, all of my engineering friends are gainfully employed making a comfortable middle class income (well one isn't, but that's because he's turned a few offers down).

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Response to ag_dude (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 10:20 PM

16. When most of these students were picking their majors the trends weren't clear.

Humanities majors have always been able to find jobs in the past.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #16)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 11:36 PM

150. Really? Doing what though?

Was it really doing something related to their degree? Archaeology and art history are fascinating subjects. But that doesn't mean an archaeology major is Indiana Jones or that an art history major becomes a curator at the MET.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying the purpose of a liberal arts degree is to train students for a career in any particular area, but students should be told very early on what the job prospects are in their chosen field of study. And I think it's unconscionable that our society is telling young people to simply get educated (especially if its in an area with not very promising career prospects) without them understanding the financial impact high debt can have on their financial future.

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #150)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:25 AM

155. Traditionally, most humanities majors haven't expected to find a job directly related to their

degree. Instead, they've looked for and found jobs that could use their skills. I took my humanities degree to various corporate research jobs. Many jobs require communications skills that are developed in most humanities and social science majors.

Unfortunately, the whole job market is terrible now, and young people are being affected the most. Why hire a new grad when you can pay the same salary to someone with five years of experience?

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Response to ag_dude (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 10:51 PM

21. Because

when you try to direct majors towards a certain job, you let wall street control education by making damned sure certain people never get hired, which of course means they get to control the culture by making ":iberal arts" useless. You want our colleges to keep churning out MBA's?

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Response to ag_dude (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 11:31 PM

22. Although some majors may face better odds, there are usually several factors at work

There are a number of schools, for example, that turn out mostly liberal arts majors that have very high employment rates at higher than average salaries. These schools are usually "prestigious", have excellent internship programs, and/or have a high number of businesses that recruit on campus. If you want to major in a liberal arts subject and can get into one of these schools, you probably should go to one of them.
Internships and jobs during school can make a big difference. I would say that an internship is definitely a must and might lead to a job after graduation. Working certain at certain on campus jobs can lead to positions after graduation.
Networking and work with campus organizations can be another way to get a job with "less useful majors" also.
Some "practical" majors may have a difficult time getting jobs. This could be because they are unwilling to relocate if they live or want to live in an area that has relatively few of those jobs or there were recent lay offs of experienced people in those fields in those areas. Some fields, like business or sciences do have large numbers of people with graduate degrees who can make it difficult for inexperienced people with only undergraduate degrees to enter the job market.

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Response to ag_dude (Reply #3)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:23 PM

62. Maybe that's exactly the problem.

The mentality that only jobs that lead to higher wages are worthy while everything else is a waste of time and money.

MONEY! MONEY! MONEY! Always f&%$&ng money!

There are already plenty of people in jobs they hate, now we will encourage a new labor force that cares more for money than freaking helping each other and making for a better society.

And who told you that those who earn money after school pay their student loans? I know few people who after school just gave a big FU to their student loan agency because they earn ridiculous amounts of $$$. Some people earn so much money that don't even need good credit.

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #62)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:35 PM

160. You've got to make a lot of money

to not give a shit about having decent credit. That kind of financial behavior would not be prudent for a vast majority of Americans. Drowning a generation in debt to simply fund the higher education-industrial complex is mind boggling.

You're right to some extent, this debate shouldn't be about just the money or debt. It's also about what produces worth for society.

Scientific progress actually does provide for the greater social good as well as compensate - in exploration of our natural world, the discovery of cures and treatments for illnesses, the invention and development of goods that makes our lives better...

The reality is, outside of engineering, the natural sciences don't pay nearly as well as they should.

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Response to 90-percent (Reply #1)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 01:25 PM

100. Their choice

 

Unlike the debt accumulated by the feds which far exceeds the average student loan debt per person. Where did all that money go?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 07:36 PM

2. A creative writing major working as a barista

Yeah, that's Obama's fault. Those majors never had to stoop to that under Bush. /sarcasm

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Response to ag_dude (Reply #2)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 10:23 PM

57. He's over qualified for barista work

Starbucks can pay a new high school grad at just minimum wage

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 07:54 PM

6. I gotta wonder what kinda job he expects to get hired into

I personally don't give a shit about superficial things like his nose ring and ear hole (but it's possible that for some positions that kind of look makes it more difficult to land a job since some hiring managers are somewhat conservative appearance wise).

I think people getting a degree like that in creative arts should understand how difficult it is to break into any sort of middle class career with paid benefits. Times are tough and employers want skills. This certainly isn't Obama's fault. But it is the fault of a system which constantly pushes people to get degrees at a fairly young age, with poor guidance into the job market, the careers available for such degrees, and the debt that will be accumulated.

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 12:50 AM

25. You can't predict what will happen in the job market.

A liberal arts background makes you flexible.

If you have a degree in biology, you have to hope there is a demand for biologists, and you will probably need a graduate degree.

I remember when I was in high school, girls learned typing and shorthand. I didn't learn shorthand, and many years later, with degrees in music and French, got a job that required shorthand. I figured I could learn it. I learned some but wasn't really very fast.

My boss, however, discovered that, while I could not take shorthand, I was well enough educated and smart enough to understand what he was saying and, putting it into my own words, say it better than he could.

So my background in liberal arts made the skill of shorthand unnecessary.

To get a liberal arts degree, you need to be able to write and read -- and if you write and read well, you can learn just about anything.

Science and technical degrees are more limited.

Nowadays, it is highly unlikely that a person will keep one job or work in only one field his or her entire life. So flexibility and the ability to learn new things and change fields are more important in my view than expertise in a specific technical or scientific field.

There are many ways to judge the value of an education, many views. It would be very unwise for the government to influence what students study.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #25)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 05:24 PM

134. I disagree that technical and science degrees are limited

I repeatedly hear this myth, but it's nonsense. I'm also tired of hiring this stereotype of the engineer or scientist as this geek with poor social and communication skills. As an engineering major, I was required to take two technical communication courses, and at least one or more writing intensive English composition courses. I was also required to write reports in labs as well as my capstone project course.

Back in college, I remember my liberal arts courses (and there were plenty I took) as my breathers - especially when compared to the rigor of my engineering courses and labs. Yet I still saw people in those courses still struggle. Many of them had little if any critical thinking or analytical skills, exactly what employers claim to want - and what science and technical degrees heavily emphasize.

And from what I can see in this tough economy, those of us with engineering and other technical degrees or backgrounds have found jobs fairly quickly even when facing layoffs. From what I can tell, most of my friends that graduated with an engineering degree are gainfully employed making a comfortable middle class income ($60k+). Friends of mine with liberal arts degrees (and these are intelligent and articulate people I'm talking about) have struggled to find jobs for months on end. When they found jobs, they were often bored or frustrated with it or the compensation didn't nearly match their education level.

Now, if the government is going to hand out loans for any and every type of degree (and I agree they certainly should - I don't want anyone's dreams and education potential limited), the least the schools and government can do is to start honestly educating students in understanding the ramifications of taking on debt the size of a mortgage and job prospects based on their field of study. This has to be started much earlier - in HS itself (perhaps the sophomore or junior year). We also need competent HS career counselors that can do more than just feed X students to Y college or community college. We need them understanding the students' strengths and interests and suggesting alternative education paths like vocational and technical schools.

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #6)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 10:21 PM

56. Writing for Hollywood?

nt

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Response to pstokely (Reply #56)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 05:01 PM

133. How many people have luck breaking into that industry?

Don't get me wrong. I wish nothing but the best for those pursuing their dreams (especially if they are a talented aspiring artist or writer), but I think it's common knowledge that hitting it big (or even just hitting it at all) in those fields is like hitting the jackpot. It takes a lot of connections and pull to get any script looked at or get hired by a studio.

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Response to pstokely (Reply #56)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 06:39 PM

137. writing jobs in hollywood are tougher with so many reality shows now

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Response to fujiyama (Reply #6)

Fri May 4, 2012, 03:25 PM

170. We write software. We hire people like him

Someone has to write the manual and training materials, and I assure you the engineers are not at all qualified.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 08:02 PM

7. Sucks, but...

A lot of recent grads are just going to have to wait their turn.
Many people are out of work; people that have far more work experience and have already proven their value in the job sector. A recent college graduate with a creative writing degree expecting to cut in front of the line, while earning a starting salary above the median income level, is most likely in for a big disappointment.

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Response to Serve The Servants (Reply #7)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 10:13 PM

54. What kind of job was he expecting to get with a creative writing degree?

nt

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Response to pstokely (Reply #54)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 03:22 PM

105. advertising, pr, education, bank manager, manger of the place

he is currently barrista manager for, graduate school.....

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Response to pstokely (Reply #54)

Mon May 7, 2012, 11:15 PM

174. Wearing fishing tackle on his face to his interviews probably does not help either n/t

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 08:13 PM

8. The article states...

"While there's strong demand in science, education and health fields, arts and humanities flounder". I would think that a potential student would consider the facts and stats before making the choice of a major. Both of my daughters earned degrees in the medical arena (Occupational and Respiratory Therapists) and got immediate jobs after commencement. Full time with benefits. But, they both started out with other ambitions; interior design and business respectively, until they realized the potential limitations and changed their majors. I'm not saying that working in the medical field is for everyone, but a student must go into their educational endeavors with eyes open to where the jobs are. There are other areas with a demand. Creative writing is cool... but, if all it gets you is a job as a barista, well... enough said.

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Response to BadtotheboneBob (Reply #8)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 08:27 PM

10. Unfortunatley...

That is not the case for many students when deciding what their major will be. There appears to be an assumption that ANY degree, no matter what the field may be, will automatically qualify them for a well paying job. That is not the case at all, and many end up taking the easiest path as a result of that assumption.

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Response to BadtotheboneBob (Reply #8)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 03:25 PM

106. Eventually, the guy with a creative writing degree will have a job.

While people make jokes about liberal arts majors, it's still true that having a college degree is a benefit. Eventually, he will find his way into something. I have an English degree and everyone I went to school with has work that puts them firmly in the middle class or beyond. I did find it interesting that friends with business degrees were more likely to be affected by the recession and because they had "specialized" did not have a lot to fall back on in terms of getting another job. However, even in those cases, most have been able to find another job within a year even though times are tough.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 09:14 PM

12. A telling quote:

 

While there's strong demand in science, education and health fields, arts and humanities flounder.

/so maybe don't major in those things.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #12)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 11:34 PM

23. Don't go into debt and major in those things

Go to a community college and state school to major in those things, less debt and same job chances

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Response to pstokely (Reply #23)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:54 AM

33. Or major in something useful and minor in something fun

 

or come back after you've got a lot of money saved up and go to college for those things later in life.

There are plenty of options.

I read this article and didn't feel much sympathy. He made a bad choice (probably a series of bad choices) and now is suffering for them. Meh, first world problems.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #33)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 10:08 PM

53. A "useful" major isn't a job guarantee

Just skip college and a get "manufacturing" job at McDonalds or a "service" job at Walmart

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Response to pstokely (Reply #53)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:37 AM

90. No on said it was a guarantee

 

but certain jobs are far less useful than others.

For instance, if you know going in that people with your preferred major have a 1 in 5 shot of being unemployed at graduation maybe switch to something else, or learn a fall back skill, or bust your ass getting experience during college to set you apart from others.

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

/1 in 5 wasn't an exaggeration. Apparently clinical psychology is overproducing.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #90)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 12:34 PM

96. A large number of those majors plan on years of grad school

and then unemployment and debt

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Response to pstokely (Reply #23)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:33 AM

151. This is the key point

If you're going to major in something with spotty or unclear job prospects, don't go into tons of debt for it.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 10:10 PM

13. "While there's strong demand in science, education and health fields, arts and humanities flounder."

You need to be picky. If you are going to school to ultimately feed yourself, you need to pick the right major.

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Response to ingac70 (Reply #13)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 10:27 PM

18. Many students are trying to get one of the few slots for these useful majors.

Being picky doesn't help if you can't get accepted into a program.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 10:29 AM

32. Then you decide on something else.... something else useful....

If you major in English, then can't do any better than wait tables, you have no one to blame but yourself.

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Response to ingac70 (Reply #32)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 01:16 PM

38. Yeah, sure, and 100% of the students better make sure they're in the top 25%.

You do realize that's not mathematically possible, don't you?

Most colleges and universities aren't set up as vocational schools, and are employing most of their faculty in non-technical fields -- and that's where they're funneling most students. Don't blame the students for trying to get the education society is pushing them to get.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #38)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 03:27 PM

107. "the education society is pushing them to get" has served many quite well.

n/t

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Response to Iris (Reply #107)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 04:13 PM

116. That's true. I had a liberal arts degree and it served me well.


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Response to ingac70 (Reply #32)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 10:52 PM

61. I didn't know Herman Cain posts at DU!

"If you don't have a job, blame yourself!" said the one-time clown car driver.

I'm just joking about the Cain part, otherwise your statement is common sense.

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Response to ingac70 (Reply #32)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:36 PM

64. Is that how you made it? nt

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #64)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 09:48 AM

76. Yeah....

I went to school for x-ray instead of Philosophy.

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Response to ingac70 (Reply #76)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 01:04 PM

97. How cool is that! I studied Radiology (CT Tech here) and now studying Philosophy/Humanities...

in a Liberal Arts School and NOT regretting it one bit. Oh... with bunches of student loans (that I am paying, thankyouverymuch).

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #97)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 02:59 PM

104. Middling self discovery is fine..

as long as you are willing to pay for it without whining. Not to mention you already have a career...

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Response to ingac70 (Reply #104)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 03:34 PM

113. Whining? You talk as if 'student loans' are 'handouts'

Last edited Tue Apr 24, 2012, 07:10 PM - Edit history (1)

To apply for student loans one must be in good standing financially and pledging to pay the money "once they find a job".

I fail to see how requesting student loans and not being able to pay due to a putrid economy equates to whining. Usually the ones doing the whinning are those who are selfserving gluttons that believe their taxes are paying for 'student loans'.

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #113)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 03:53 PM

114. ......

Intentionally taking classes one know employers haven't much use for then crying when you can't find a job is whining. Would you have signed up for Philosophy without already possesing a marketable skill?

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Response to ingac70 (Reply #114)


Response to ingac70 (Reply #114)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 07:28 PM

122. "Would you have signed up for Philosophy without already possesing a marketable skill?"

I don't know, I have not considered that question before. I am 100% focused on my job, I have plenty of experience and now I feel as if I lack certain skills to move me into a new direction. Philosophy/Liberal Studies will do much better for me than the dreadful and now almost useless MBA.

I became an X-ray Tech out of sheer luck. Depression got the best of me halfway through Pre-Med and had to quit... joined the ARMY and earned a skill that I am now using. This is why;

--I support ANYONE wanting to go to school and get a career REGARDLESS.

--I don't kick people when they are down because I have been there. It happen that life circumstances played well in the end for me and I am grateful for that. I am lucky... it doesn't mean I now get to judge others.

--The reason I am taking classes 'employers haven't much use for' is BECAUSE I CAN and I WANT IT!! Those skills I will acquire will help ME more than it helps them. I am not going to help my employers exploit people for profit in a profession one day I was told it came about out of the need to help others... not obtain exorbitant amounts of money out of pain and suffering.

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #122)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:04 PM

128. once you have a foot in the door any bit of education helps...

some majors have a harder and longer path to go....

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #18)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:55 AM

34. Do something else then

 

go in to a trade school for instance. Maybe it won't be as cool to learn to be a plumber as it would be to spend 4 years getting a creative writing degree but the end result is much better.

Or hell, skip college. He'd be better off just becoming a barista right out of high-school rather than wasting 4 years and accumulating debt.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #34)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 02:05 PM

39. Then our whole society should stop sending students the message that college is the answer.

You can't blame students for trying to do their best.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #39)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 02:10 PM

41. People have this idea that a degree automatically = money....

And that has never been the case.

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Response to ingac70 (Reply #41)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:41 PM

65. And the idea that if you don't succeed is because you didn't try hard enough... or just lazy.

There's plenty of examples of toxic freeper memes out there.

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Response to ingac70 (Reply #41)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 12:14 PM

91. that is exactly what we were told by every

 

teacher, principal, parent, guest speaker, adviser, family member, professor, university official, TV, movies, books, magazines, salary website, job website................................


Goodness, where the fuck could we have gotten the idea that a degree = money?

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #39)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 02:47 PM

43. How would we do that?

 

Perhaps by stating publicly and often that if you can't get in to a worthwhile field of study you should do something else, like train to become a plumber (to pick a useful and surprisingly profitable blue-collar job that doesn't require a 4 year degree).

Or maybe by limiting how much money is made available for student loans for certain degrees?

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #43)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 02:56 PM

45. I don't know. I'm just saying it's not the students fault -- it's the fault of the adults in charge.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #45)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 02:58 PM

46. The students *are* adults.

 

By the legal definition.

If we want to limit their abilities to screw up their own lives we'd also need to limit their rights in other ways (if someone is a child when it comes to choosing a major then how are they an adult when it comes to choosing a president?).

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #46)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 03:00 PM

47. Yeah, right.



But I'm not saying we should limit their options. I'm saying we shouldn't blame them because everyone from Obama on down is pushing them to go to college -- even though the jobs aren't there.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #46)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:50 PM

69. Are you sure you are not a robot?

Cause you sure sound like one... more like a tape recorder from a Reaganesque think (cough, cough) tank placed in a time capsule.

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #69)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:33 AM

88. 18-22 year olds are not adults?

 

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #88)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 01:06 PM

98. Yes. That's about the only thing it makes sense from your conversation. nt

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #98)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 01:37 PM

102. So then why are they allowed to make such decisions?

 

That argues for some other entity determining the career path for these "children".

You don't let a middleschooler set his own curriculum do you? Of course not. It's determined by the government.

So are you arguing for fewer choices for college applicants?

Actually it would be cruel to allow kids to wrack up such loans on worthless degrees. So really it ought to be determined by someone else.



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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #46)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 12:16 PM

93. Remember how the mortgage folks

 

were found guilty of using 'less than ideal' tactics to get people to sign up......pretty sure its easier to fool an 18 year old 'adult' than it is to fool a 38 year old agreeing to a subprime mortgage.

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Response to Taylor Smite (Reply #93)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 07:06 PM

121. You can't argue with logic when you have plenty of hate and contempt for...

those who are affected by circumstances out of their control. If they chose the wrong career it is all their fault.

--Because... if you work hard, you will always SUCCEED
--If you study HARD... you will always get GOOD GRADES.
--Young kids/adults... NEVER get sick while in school and have no need to get student loans because they ran out of money on meds.
--Because halfway through college, a parent will... NEVER GET SO SICK to the point they have to abandon school to care for their parents, their bills and medical care.
--Because if you FORCE KIDS TO STUDY SOMETHING THEY HATE because is popular or useful, they WILL ALWAYS BE RIGHT, BE SUCCESSFUL and BEING RESPONSIBLE.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #43)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:45 PM

66. And how are people suppose to get into another field of study...

if student loans are made much more difficult? Remember, there are people not as fortunate as you.

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #66)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:35 AM

89. Pretty simple:

 

make loans more difficult for certain fields (like those with the highest unemployment rate or lowest improvement in salary over simply a highschool degree) and shift that money over to other fields (those with lower unemployment rates and/or greater earning potential).

So if hypothetically we were providing loans for 1,000 liberal arts majors and 1,000 science/math/engineering majors maybe adjust that such that it's 500 spots for liberal arts majors and 1,500 for science/math/engineering. Same number of kids getting loans.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #89)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 01:24 PM

99. So you want to 'regulate' education? No wonder why many US workers are under-qualified.

"Were the students... left free to choose what college they liked best, such liberty might contribute to excite some emulation among different colleges. A regulation, on the contrary, which prohibited even the independent members of every particular college from leaving it, and going to any other, without leave first asked and obtained of that which they meant to abandon, would tend very much to extinguish that emulation." --Adam Smith, father of Capitalism

Yes, "regulating" education takes away from a workers skills. Both student and employer benefit in the end from education in liberal arts, to the annoyance of many here. Restricting education is the easiest way to strangle an economy. An educated populace will not only bring innovation but be confident enough to push for reforms. Dumb down employees easily become slaves of the system. The problem is not over education or students with too many diplomas and being forced to become baristas. The problem lies in our culture. We do not produce anything but require a lot... in top of that we want it cheap! As long as 'jobs creators' leave the country seeking for qualified cheap labor or bringing their own people from other countries accepting less money, we will get nowhere. JOBS, JOBS, JOBS.

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #99)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 01:34 PM

101. Crazy I know, the concept that government can have any role in "regulating" education

 

that's a pretty slippery slope. Why we might end up with public schools, state mandated criteria for education, and gasp! even a department of education.

Much better to leave it to the free market, with only private schools and colleges, no standards, and of course no federal funding or oversight.

/also you seem to be missing the fact that A) liberals arts *is* part of the curriculum for non liberal arts majors and B) not providing as many federal loans =/= outlawing those degrees.

// also it's pretty insulting to claim that only liberal arts majors qualify as educated (apparently engineers are "dumbed down" corporate slaves).

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #101)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 02:20 PM

103. Well HELLO! Are we talking about regulating student loans?

or education? Make up your mind here. That I remember, it isn' the DOE loaning money to students but banks????

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #103)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 05:19 PM

119. Wow

 

My post # 89 referenced specifically addressing this by regulating student loans.

You responded by calling that regulating education.

I responded that we do regulate education.

Now you're back to student loans.

You realize that you're hurting your argument about how liberal arts types are soooo much better communicators than us poor science types.

Go back, reread what was written and see if your comments actually make any sense in response to what I wrote.

Also only a fool would separate federal regulation of student loans entirely from the idea of federal involvement in education.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #119)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 06:34 PM

120. Lol!!

Last edited Tue Apr 24, 2012, 07:29 PM - Edit history (1)

Sorry. I understimated your ability to think through complex life issues. I assumed wrong that you could separate fed and banking laws and education.

And how would regulating loans would help job creation Einstein? And don't give me this faith based crap about 'because you didn't make the right decision by choosing a career with high prospects for employment' or 'why you took a loan you could not pay' or any of those playground economics that RW regurcitate constantly. Please show some critical thinking and explain how forcing students to choose a career based on 'prospects' instead of wants, personal values and loves would lead to better jobs?

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #120)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 09:43 PM

124. I really don't know what to do with this

 

you're all over the place.

You change your entire argument midstream without any sort of justification.

First it's school loans have nothing to do with education. Then it's that the government doesn't have the right to regulate education. Then it's back to the first thing. Then it's school loans won't create jobs. Then something about faith based . . . I dunno. It just sort of peters out at that point.

All the while consistently lying about what I've actually stated (shifting financial resources around = forcing people to become engineers. . . weird).


It's like talking to a crazy person in the street.

On the one hand it's entertaining, what's he going to say next? On the other hand, it's sorta diminishing my faith in humanity.



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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #34)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 02:08 PM

40. +1

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #18)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:44 AM

152. Or it may mean going to a less prestigious school

to get accepted into a program with the more useful major.

It really depends on the end goal of the student. If he or she is going through undergrad with the absolute goal of going directly to graduate or professional school immediately afterward, then the undergrad degree's job prospects may not be as applicable. But the debt load should still be considered. I have a friend and he got a double major in physics and chemistry from a small liberal arts college. He's working on his PhD at one of the most prestigious universities in the country. Now if he would have wanted to work directly after undergrad, he may not have had a very easy time finding work. Of course for him that was never a consideration since his end goal was always grad school. He's been at his PhD for a while, but fortunately for him he gets paid for it.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 10:16 PM

15. Story is about as shallow as it gets

Some majors are always picked up, others may never be. If you choose a non-marketable degree, this should be expected. Not saying they are bad degrees, and it is the student's choice of which to select and how to fund them.

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Response to ProgressiveProfessor (Reply #15)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 10:31 PM

19. Many good students are denied entrance into useful degree programs -- so they major in whatever

they can. Colleges must limit the number of slots for the marketable degrees to keep their tenured professors in the non-marketable degrees busy.


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Response to pnwmom (Reply #19)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 03:28 PM

108. This is bullshit.

Non-marketable degree? A degree is not something to trade for a job. The fact remains that college graduates have been the LEAST affected by the economic downturn of the past 5 years and this includes people with what you would probably label "unmarketable" degrees.

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Response to Iris (Reply #108)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 04:11 PM

115. If you read my OP you'll see I basically agree with you.

But my point is also true that all students cannot sign up for the degrees many (here on DU and elsewhere) think are the most marketable.

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #115)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 10:02 PM

127. People think "business" is a marketable degree.

And pretty much anyone can get a business degree.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Apr 22, 2012, 10:24 PM

17. I wish all the current and recent graduates much good fortune and...

I hope in the next 5 years the economy gets better, so my son won't be punished also.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #17)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 01:27 AM

26. & wouldn't hurt picking up some...

 

...ROP welding or lathe machining along the way, seems programs like these are being defunded every day but always holds some viability especially with the failing infrastructure that we will *have* to tend to sooner or later.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #17)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 12:21 PM

94. But in reality

 

were are probably going to see a sharp rise in suicides.

Many jobs wont come back. Employers who do want to hire will get the people right out of school (fresh) as opposed to the person who graduated 5 years before....and having only minimal or temp work experience. So people between 22-29 right now are a lost generation. Of course they will be called lazy and idiots.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 03:00 AM

27. The job problem for college graduates is NOT picking the "correct" major.

The problem is TOO FEW JOBS in the U.S. caused by outsourcing.

Consider that if all these liberal arts graduates had majored in science and engineering, then there is still a good chance that they would be unemployed or underemployed after graduation because of there being many more scientists and engineers than there are openings.

Moreover, a glut of scientists and engineers will lower the pay and job prospects for all scientists and engineers when you have too many people chasing too few jobs.

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Response to AdHocSolver (Reply #27)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:58 AM

35. According to the article the shortage of jobs isn't in science and engineering

 

and given that we're importing foreign grads to do that work I suspect we could use a few more home-grown science/engineering majors.

There will always be a limit on how many of X society needs. But that value varies quite a bit. We need more engineers than creative writing majors.

The fact is that just about anyone can get these degrees mentioned in the article. Whereas far fewer people are capable of going in to math and science successfully.

Perhaps we should shunt more people in to training programs and fewer people in to worthless degrees.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #35)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 06:04 PM

51. DU has had several posts by older, experienced scientists and engineers...

...who lost their U.S. jobs when they were replaced by cheaper foreign graduates.

The foreign graduates are brought in to REPLACE U.S. workers. I previously worked for a manufacturing company that brought in Chinese engineers to train them to do the work in preparing them for opening a factory in China. It was apparent in interacting with the Chinese engineers that they were not the cream of the crop. The American engineers that I worked with were far superior in capability.

The fact is that the mega-corporations have outsourced the types of jobs that people without degrees in science and engineering could perform and collect a living wage. Many family supporting manufacturing jobs could be performed by people without college degrees.

The canard that Americans couldn't be trained on the job to do a large amount of technical work is belied by the fact that much of the assembly of high tech gear is performed in Asian sweatshops by non-college graduates with little training.

Family operated retail stores and other types of small businesses have been, to a large extent, driven into extinction by big box stores and internet shopping.

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Response to AdHocSolver (Reply #51)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 12:28 PM

95. Big company with well known name

 

In west central Ohio. Wanted to hire about 100 scientists/engineers.

Outsourced most of it to India (what could be done with telecommunications) and the rest were hired as H1B.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #35)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:51 PM

70. there is a vast oversupply of science majors in the US.

 

if all you have is a bachelor's degree in science or a master's, you can forget about a job in your field; maybe you can assemble microchips in a lab, or check people's urine samples as a tech, if you're lucky.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=does-the-us-produce-too-m

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Response to provis99 (Reply #70)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 12:05 AM

72. I wouldn't think the problem is oversupply of science majors.

I think it is more like undersupply of jobs in the field. Medications would be so much cheaper if they were created, made and sold here... not sent to other countries to be produced. There is plenty of sick people in need of medicine in this country. We need a vast injection of capital here to take care of that. IMO.

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Response to provis99 (Reply #70)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:31 AM

86. That article was focusing on academia

 

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Response to provis99 (Reply #70)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:33 AM

87. Additionally the shortages in academia are a result of recent draconian cuts to research budgets

 

at the federal level that A) should not have occurred and B) will obviously lead to temporary fluctuations in employment rates.

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Response to 4th law of robotics (Reply #35)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 11:23 PM

149. Having looked for jobs with a degree in science recently

There are more than a few advertised jobs wanting a Bachelor's degree in biology or chemistry and a few years experience paying $10-$12/hour.
New graduates have a hard time competing for even these full time jobs when someone with a few years experience is willing to work for that little.

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Response to Nikia (Reply #149)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:03 AM

153. This is true

and is an important point. Natural science degrees don't necessarily equal very good job prospects. The positions I've often seen for a chem or bio major is like that of a lab tech, and even some of those poorly paying positions want master's degrees.

It's different for engineering majors, and physics majors as well to some extent (but they still have a tougher time than engineers in finding good jobs straight from undergrad).

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Response to Nikia (Reply #149)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:06 PM

158. Indeed, the job market is rough. BUT . . . .

 

the misery isn't shared evenly. At least according to the statistics.

You have to compete hard for low paying jobs. Ok, for the creative writing guy there are *no* jobs. Which is worse?

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Response to AdHocSolver (Reply #27)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 04:42 PM

50. believe whatever you want

but my experience, limited as it is leads me to believe that at least for now we don't have to worry about a glut in the science/engineering fields because those are math intensive and we, as americans don't do math very well.

From my own experience, I have a liberal arts degree and the main reason I have it is because it allowed me to get a degree without much math. Now, 30 years later I have returned to school , first to improve my math skills so that I can get the technology degree that I really wanted back in the late 70s.

I'm doing most of my studies at a community college and many young kids there have zero math skills and are not willing to put in the time to get those skills. Even a low level algebra class in college requires +/- 3 hours of study time for every hour in lecture and many kids do not want to spend that kind of time, 10 hours per week, doing homework.

Unless we change our attitude about math there will always be jobs for the few who embrace the subject. You can be a good with math without knowing science but you cannot be good at science without knowing math. Simple as that.

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #50)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 06:53 PM

52. I worked in engineering and science environments.

Much of the math needed to do the work is done using computer programs designed for that purpose.

The places where I worked, there was usually one math guru who did the "brain" work when it was required.

At one job, the engineers were required to take a refresher course in calculus at company expense. I asked my supervisor how often he used calculus. He responded that he couldn't remember exactly, but it was more than ten years previously.

I learned algebra in the eighth grade, and I had trigonometry in tenth grade. In technical jobs in electronics and computer programming, I never needed to use more advanced math skills than what I received in public schools.

The main reason Americans "don't do math very well" is because math, in many cases, is poorly taught in grade school. With NCLB and all the other nonsense occurring in the field of education, things are not going to improve very soon.

The dumbing down of education in the U.S. is a whole other topic in itself.

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Response to AdHocSolver (Reply #52)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 11:35 PM

63. "dumbing down of education in the U.S."

Creating the new cheap labor force, this time local. After all, this country was built under the shoulders of slaves and it will continue the trend.

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Response to sweetapogee (Reply #50)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:14 AM

154. One of the best posts here

It acknowledges that as a nation, we really aren't fostering the academic dedication required. We don't do math well, not because we can't, but because we view it as boring, and we don't even really try.

There's a reason Asian/Indian kids are "good" at Math. They practice. A lot. Their parents make them. It takes repeated problem sets, especially in the early years at the very low level to gain mastery and speed. Math just keeps building from basic fundamentals and you can't skip steps. I'm sure you know that in your studies now. It's not fun. At that level it's not particularly interesting. It's grueling. It's repetitive. And I'm guessing most kids (or anyone for that matter) would rather sit around watching TV and playing video games than practicing factoring cubic polynomials.

But the practice pays off and it's amazing what can be done with all that math, when you get to higher levels (Calculus and beyond). Modern scientific progress largely depends on it. And indeed, so do the video games that those kids would rather be playing!

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Response to AdHocSolver (Reply #27)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 03:29 PM

109. At last! A SANE post!

thank you thank you thank you!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 10:26 PM

58. It is only April. Have they even graduated yet?

I would think few graduating seniors would have their jobs locked up already.

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Response to treestar (Reply #58)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 03:30 PM

110. The second SANE post of this entire thread!

EXACTLY!!!!!!!!

And what they are doing now will NOT be what they are doing 5 years from now. I graduated with a liberal arts degree in the last great recession (late 80s/early 90s) and was employed within 2 months of graduation (with a bank) and have never been unemployed since.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 10:46 PM

59. The student loan bubble begins.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #59)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 12:08 AM

73. Actually, I think it's about to end.

Been really gaseous for some time now; going to be messy when it pops.

I know you meant the same thing as me...

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Response to Psephos (Reply #73)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 12:12 AM

74. Doh, yes, I should've said it's about to pop!

But thanks for getting my meaning!

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Mon Apr 23, 2012, 10:50 PM

60. I feel sorry for the young people....

 

....this economy ain't doing squat....where are all the good paying real jobs?....where are all the horse-shit jobs?

....I went to the mall today, it was deader than door-nail, I mean nothing was happening....the parking lot was nearly empty....this economy sucks and it will continue to suck until we put the crooks on wall-street in prison and put an FDR in the White House....

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 12:01 AM

71. The RW meme machines are working hard tonight in this thread. nt

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #71)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:19 AM

82. No kidding. Almost like reading a freeper thread. n/t

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #71)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:26 AM

83. agree

Hell, I NEVER had a job even close to what my college degree(s) are in.

Don't I wish ...

As for student loans, well, you signed the paper saying you'd borrow borrow borrow, now you must pay pay pay.

Glad I didn't get stuck in this rut.

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Response to CountAllVotes (Reply #83)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 03:32 PM

112. Not sure when you went to school

but when I went, it was possible to get through with 0 or minimal student loans. It's harder now. The discussion should be why isn't college affordable not why Mr. Barista majored in creative writing.

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Response to Iris (Reply #112)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 04:41 PM

118. Amen.

Last edited Tue Apr 24, 2012, 07:36 PM - Edit history (1)

However, I think the answer to that has been given 'they are in debt because it is their fault'.

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #118)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 10:01 PM

125. I know. And it's like the more you say it, the more people believe it.

Just like all liberal arts majors get jobs that use the phrase "want fries with that?"

(btw, I have NO personal friends who work in fast food. And I have plenty of friends who majored in liberal arts)

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Response to Iris (Reply #112)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 07:37 PM

123. it was semi-affordable

and yes, I took out loans but not very many of them thank god for that!

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Response to CountAllVotes (Reply #123)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 10:02 PM

126. Agreed. My dad put 3 kids through with a union job and lots of overtime

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Response to Iris (Reply #112)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 07:31 PM

144. I see a lot of pretty ridiculous high-cost construction on campuses around here..

A few universities (including one I had the misfortune of doing grad work at) seem to be in the habit of building a new $ohmygod-million, hugely swanky business school on their campus every few years, regardless of enrollment or the condition of the previous building, just as one example I've seen trending a bit.

When my alma mater actually built an addition onto its library and science building, people were boggled that they weren't just throwing more money at a new building for business students with leather desks or some other absurdity.

I can't really see constant, for-its-own-sake renos like that being terribly cheap, and I'm certain schools find it easiest to pass those costs on to the students. Do you know at all if that sort of trend is going on in American colleges as well?

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #144)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 08:50 PM

145. My guess would be those projects are being funded by outside sources

or even alumnae groups, depending on the wealth of alumnae.


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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #71)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 03:31 PM

111. Sane post #THREE!!!!

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Response to Lost-in-FL (Reply #71)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 07:26 PM

143. Yep. (nt)

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 10:13 AM

77. We're in the process of creating an entire generation of

 

indentured servants (v. 2.0), as student loans are generally not dischargable through bankruptcy and follow borrowers until death.

USA! USA! USA! (in case it's needed)

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Tue Apr 24, 2012, 11:52 PM

129. If you want a professional job, look professional

Start by taking the decorations (like piercings, etc) off or covering them up (like tattoos). Very few people have ever NOT gotten hired for a lack of piercings or visible tattoos.

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Response to madville (Reply #129)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:10 PM

146. I ... really, really don't think that accounts for the "1 in 2" figure, or anything close. (nt)

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Response to Posteritatis (Reply #146)

Fri May 4, 2012, 03:04 PM

169. Thats a rather strange take

 

suggesting half of collage grads are completely inked and pierced

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Wed Apr 25, 2012, 03:58 AM

131. College education should be free.

BTW, I'm an an engineer & am disgusted by the assholery going on in this thread by my fellow engineers.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 01:34 AM

156. The real question should be

why we are accepting this kind of indebtedness in the first place as a society. It's sickening.

Why are we going into this kind of debt to pay for college presidents making $250,000 or more a year? How much do head coaches cost? A few million at the big schools? Hell, even their assistants make six figures. And this is money being subsidized by us, the tax payers!

The situation is just as fucked up as it is with health care or defense spending, but we expect greedy health care and defense contractor execs to be thieving bastards. You expect better from the "non profit" education sector.

There is literally no accountability. We as a society have no standards for our leaders and this is what we get. I suppose we get what we deserve. And then our society tells kids from a young age to become educated. It's great advice (because education IS invaluable), but we aren't giving them any guidance on making rational decisions on life choices. We have them sign a piece of paper with some outrageously high numbers on it. All they know is, "I'm going to college. I can drink and party and I have no adult supervision". They aren't even required to take a class on how to manage the kind of debt that a few generations ago, people wouldn't get into until much later (and that was for a home - an actual tangible asset which one could live in for a lifetime). An education will indeed last a lifetime, but a degree is ultimately just a piece of paper.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 12:10 PM

159. A 23-year-old graduated in 2010 with a creative writing degree?

Ugh. Wish they would have used a better example. Liberal Arts majors have always had a tough time of it. What's new?

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu May 3, 2012, 01:38 AM

165. Frantically waving my 26 year old law degree.

I have never gotten a job with my law degree.
I also have a B.A. in biology which never got me a job.
I had a 2 year court reporting degree which was my career for 20 years. However it was so stressful I burned out before I was 40. I started doing it when I was 22.

I should have gotten a BFA in painting instead, for all the good those two degrees got me. The parental units insisted I major in a hard science instead of fine arts or liberal arts, upholding the myth that a science degree would get me a job.

How wrong the myth is that certain degrees will get you a job and others won't.



Feel like I wasted my damn college and grad school education NOT doing what I wanted to do.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Original post)

Thu May 3, 2012, 10:49 AM

167. Great read: http://www.democraticunderground.com/101626980

And, no, you don't have to agree with every word to appreciate the framing and the facts presented.

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Response to proverbialwisdom (Reply #167)

Fri May 4, 2012, 01:13 PM

168. Some notable excerpts (the analysis has absolutely nothing to do with choice of college major):

http://www.zcommunications.org/welcome-to-the-2012-hunger-games-by-rebecca-solnit

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

EXCERPT:


According to the website for Occupy Student Debt ( http://occupystudentdebt.com/ ), 36,000,000 Americans have student debts. These have increased more than fivefold since 1999, creating a debt load that’s approaching a trillion dollars, with students borrowing $96 billion more every year to pay for their educations. Two-thirds of college students find themselves in this trap nowadays. As commentator Malcolm Harris put it in N + 1magazine ( http://nplusonemag.com/bad-education ):

“Since 1978, the price of tuition at U.S. colleges has increased over 900%, 650 points above inflation. To put that number in perspective, housing prices, the bubble that nearly burst the U.S. economy, then the global one, increased only fifty points above the Consumer Price Index during those years. But… wages for college-educated workers outside of the inflated finance industry have stagnated or diminished. Unemployment has hit recent graduates especially hard, nearly doubling in the post-2007 recession. The result is that the most indebted generation in history is without the dependable jobs it needs to escape debt.”


About a third are already in default. You can only hope that this bubble will burst in a wildcat strike against student debt, and if we’re lucky, a move to force tuition lower and have a debt jubilee.

The rest of us, the 99%, need to remember that, when it comes to public education, the crisis has everything to do with slashed tax rates -- to the wealthy and corporations in particular -- over the last 30 years. We went into bondage so that they might be free. Getting an education to make your way out of poverty and maybe expand your mind is becoming another way of being trapped forever in poverty.

<...>



http://nplusonemag.com/bad-education

25 April 2011

EXCERPT:


What kind of incentives motivate lenders to continue awarding six-figure sums to teenagers facing both the worst youth unemployment rate in decades and an increasingly competitive global workforce?

During the expansion of the housing bubble, lenders felt protected because they could repackage risky loans as mortgage-backed securities, which sold briskly to a pious market that believed housing prices could only increase. By combining slices of regionally diverse loans and theoretically spreading the risk of default, lenders were able to convince independent rating agencies that the resulting financial products were safe bets. They weren’t. But since this wouldn’t be America if you couldn’t monetize your children’s futures, the education sector still has its equivalent: the Student Loan Asset-Backed Security (or, as they’re known in the industry, SLABS).

SLABS were invented by then-semi-public Sallie Mae in the early ’90s, and their trading grew as part of the larger asset-backed security wave that peaked in 2007. In 1990, there were $75.6 million of these securities in circulation; at their apex, the total stood at $2.67 trillion. The number of SLABS traded on the market grew from $200,000 in 1991 to near $250 billion by the fourth quarter of 2010. But while trading in securities backed by credit cards, auto loans, and home equity is down 50 percent or more across the board, SLABS have not suffered the same sort of drop. SLABS are still considered safe investments—the kind financial advisors market to pension funds and the elderly.

With the secondary market in such good shape, primary lenders have been eager to help students with out-of-control costs. In addition to the knowledge that they can move these loans off their balance sheets quickly, they have had another reason not to worry: federal guarantees. Under the just-ended Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), the US Treasury backed private loans to college students. This meant that even if the secondary market collapsed and there were an anomalous wave of defaults, the federal government had already built a lender bailout into the law. And if that weren’t enough, in May 2008 President Bush signed the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act, which authorized the Department of Education to purchase FFELP loans outright if secondary demand dipped. In 2010, as a cost-offset attached to health reform legislation, President Obama ended the FFELP, but not before it had grown to a $60 billion-a-year operation.

Even with the Treasury no longer acting as co-signer on private loans, the flow of SLABS won’t end any time soon. What analysts at Barclays Capital wrote of the securities in 2006 still rings true: “For this sector, we expect sustainable growth in new issuance volume as the growth in education costs continues to outpace increases in family incomes, grants, and federal loans.” The loans and costs are caught in the kind of dangerous loop that occurs when lending becomes both profitable and seemingly risk-free: high and increasing college costs mean students need to take out more loans, more loans mean more securities lenders can package and sell, more selling means lenders can offer more loans with the capital they raise, which means colleges can continue to raise costs. The result is over $800 billion in outstanding student debt, over 30 percent of it securitized, and the federal government directly or indirectly on the hook for almost all of it.

<...>


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