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Old 03-28-2014, 06:36 PM
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Default Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

A BS degree from Harvey Mudd College in California is totally worth it, financially, so is a computer science degree from Stanford, but the best bang for the buck is University of Virginia, according to a PayScale survey of earnings of college graduates, which factored in cost of education and earnings over twenty years. Number one on the 20 year earnings, Harvey Mudd costs $116,800, but the 20 year earnings of graduates are over a million dollars.

On the other end of the scale are some degrees, especially Arts and Humanities and Education, that are so bad you'd be better off not getting a degree at all and stumble through life with a high school diploma like I have. The worst of these are art majors from Murray State University in Kentucky and Florida International University. The ROI on them is a negative almost two hundred thousand dollars.

In area, there is one on the list, Pittsburg State University in Kansas. I almost sent my daughter there. *whew* She's going to Oklahoma State instead.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:55 AM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

Tuition has gone nuts. When I was going to university I was able to pay for tuition and books as well as a meager place to live with a part time job. The consequences of choosing the wrong degree was that you went back for a different degree. Sure there were career students, but they did contribute to campus life.

After the government started insuring school loans, that is when tuition started spiraling out of sight. I'm sure any undergrad in economics could tell you why.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

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PayScale can tell us which colleges graduate the richest students. But it can't tell us which colleges make the biggest delta in student outcomes, which might be a more important question for college counselors and families.
Yep. This data doesn't tell us how much difference the degree makes to antecedent earnings probabilities. Bush II didn't become President because he went to Yale; he went to Yale for some of the same reasons he became President.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:31 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

I also wonder if the art programs at Murray State and FIU are so good that they can't help but graduate super-enlightened people, completely unburdened by the trappings of an increasingly overly-commercial society.

:peace1:
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

Tuition costs have gotten way too high, and the economy is very bad, but that study doesn't actually support any broader conclusions than "these people with these degrees from these schools at this average cost self reported these earnings."

For just a couple of things: People who have the grades and/or the money to go to higher ranking schools are likely to make more money after college than those who don't even if all other things were equal, and students who choose to major in humanities fields may not prioritize earnings to the extent that those who major in more lucrative fields.
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Old 03-31-2014, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

Oh, yeah, and I wanted to complain about one other glaring thing about scare stories like this. They always include living expenses in their default calculations. Those are not the costs of just tuition, fees, and textbooks. They're including housing and meals as well, which blows the numbers up quite a bit and makes it look like the costs are always completely ridiculous.

They have a toggle on the payscale results so you can see the results without room and board, and they are totally different.

It is still possible to pay your way through school or only take out a small loan if you work part time, live with family, things like that. So look at a site like this one for Colorado schools:

Compare Schools

To get a four year degree, you can start out at a community college for just over $3000 a year tuition and fees, then transfer your credits to a four year school and finish out for around $6000 a year. And that's without financial aid.

Costs have gone up a LOT, it's true, but the costs aren't always as crazy as articles like that make it sound.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

The Myth of Working Your Way Through College - Svati Kirsten Narula - The Atlantic
Quote:
A lot of Internet ink has been spilled over how lazy and entitled Millennials are, but when it comes to paying for a college education, work ethic isn't the limiting factor. The economic cards are stacked such that today’s average college student, without support from financial aid and family resources, would need to complete 48 hours of minimum-wage work a week to pay for his courses—a feat that would require superhuman endurance, or maybe a time machine.
The numbers for Michigan State University:
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In 1979, when the minimum wage was $2.90, a hard-working student with a minimum-wage job could earn enough in one day (8.44 hours) to pay for one academic credit hour. If a standard course load for one semester consisted of maybe 12 credit hours, the semester's tuition could be covered by just over two weeks of full-time minimum wage work—or a month of part-time work. A summer spent scooping ice cream or flipping burgers could pay for an MSU education.

The cost of an MSU credit hour has multiplied since 1979. So has the federal minimum wage. But today, it takes 60 hours of minimum-wage work to pay off a single credit hour, which was priced at $428.75 for the fall semester.
An increase by a factor of 7. So those who smugly brag about how they worked their way through college are all wrong about today. They might have been able to, some decades ago, but most present-day students can't.

It's not just MSU.
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He added a linear regression analysis to extrapolate the stats for 1979-2013, and found that the average student in 1979 could work 182 hours (a part-time summer job) to pay for a year's tuition. In 2013, it took 991 hours (a full-time job for half the year) to accomplish the same.

And this is only considering the cost of tuition, which is hardly an accurate representation of what students actually spend for college. According to the College Board, average room and board fees at public universities today exceed tuition costs by a little more than 100 percent. (For the current academic year, average tuition at 4-year public schools is $8,893, but with room and board, the total average cost comes to $18,391.)
That makes it a year of full-time work to pay for a year of college.
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Old 04-04-2014, 04:06 AM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

When I went to college at Northern Oklahoma [Junior] College, minimum wage was $1.90 per hour (I was making $1.50, plus all the ice cream sandwiches I could stuff in my face hole). Tuition was $7.75 per credit at that time, I think. That means it took me less than a day's wage to pay for one credit hour. One semester dorm fees, which included meals, was $450. That took me a little more time to pay, a couple months working full time, which I was. It was doable. After a year there, I left with no debt to anyone, and not too many credits either. Apparently they don't give credit for partying. Go figure.
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Old 08-25-2015, 05:53 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

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Originally Posted by Dingfod View Post
When I went to college at Northern Oklahoma [Junior] College, minimum wage was $1.90 per hour (I was making $1.50, plus all the ice cream sandwiches I could stuff in my face hole). Tuition was $7.75 per credit at that time, I think. That means it took me less than a day's wage to pay for one credit hour. One semester dorm fees, which included meals, was $450. That took me a little more time to pay, a couple months working full time, which I was. It was doable. After a year there, I left with no debt to anyone, and not too many credits either. Apparently they don't give credit for partying. Go figure.
Wow, and I thought I was old! I remember my first job in high school was at Baskin Robbins. Minimum wage was $3.45 I think, but I was paid the "training wage" of $2.90, plus two scoops at break time.
As for college, I wish (tax payer funded) student loans were given out more like any other loan where you have to show you can pay it back. What if college loans required the kid to say what kind of degree they wanted to get, how much they would make (roughly), and how they would pay off the loan? I'm ok with subsidizing engineering degrees, but I question some of the "degrees" that are offered today, and hear of kids with a "college degree" wondering why they can't get work...
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Old 08-29-2015, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

Yep. My entire freshman year (Fall 1982 - Spring 1983, 30 credits) cost about what it cost me to pay my last three graduate credits in 2012.

Irony: in '82-'83 I paid for several classes I never bothered to go to. In Spring 2012, they took my money and did not let me take a class. They said it was due to a course plan I had signed onto years before that included a course that wasn't offered anymore that I didn't take. I submitted about three of those things when I first started because I wasn't sure whether I was going for straight History MA or a blend of History and Archaeology, so they took the History/Archaeology plan I signed and nailed me with just as I was about to graduate with a History degree.

So, skip to the end, I had to pay for the course if I wanted my diploma, but they would not let substitute a different class for the supposedly missing one.

At any rate, what bought 30 credits worth of college education thirty years ago = about 3 credits now, albeit there's some difference between undergraduate and graduate tuition rates.
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:35 AM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

I told Kiddo he doesn't get to be a shithead teen who slacks off like I was, because without a scholarship, fantastic financial aid, or GI Bill he doesn't get to go to college.
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Old 03-12-2016, 07:40 AM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

A degree in Theater. I know somebody who has one. He says that nobody who works in drama, no actor, director, producer, stagehand or anything else has a degree in Theater. The only thing you can do with a degree in Theater is teach Theater.
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Old 03-12-2016, 03:37 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

Someone has to teach Theater and Art History, so universities can milk more money out of the student loan system.
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Old 03-12-2016, 03:48 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

Two Art History majors in my family. My niece received her Bachelors in Art History from Oklahoma State, and her Masters from Ohio State. The closest she got to working in "the industry" was in managing promotions for the Bartlesville Mozart Festival and the Tulsa Ballet. She runs a yoga studio now.

My daughter Notsosure will graduate this year with a Bachelors in Art History from OSU too. And, since employment in "the industry" is meager at best, plans to get her Masters either at OSU or OU. She's had a generous offer from OSU though. She wants to get work in art preservation and cataloguing, back room stuff, regardless of the pay. She will have about $45,000 in student loans by the time she is done with school.
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

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Originally Posted by Basset Hound View Post
A degree in Theater. I know somebody who has one. He says that nobody who works in drama, no actor, director, producer, stagehand or anything else has a degree in Theater. The only thing you can do with a degree in Theater is teach Theater.
I don't have a degree in Theater, and I know jack-all about it. But Google disagrees with your friend, and seems to know a lot of people working in drama -- actors, directors, producers, stagehands and everything else -- who studied Theater.

The degree is clearly not a necessity; it might be rare, even. But degree-holders could be a tiny minority among people working in drama and still be likelier than non-degree-holders to get work, or good work, in the field.
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

Here's an argument:

Left to its own devices, shouldn't the market price any degree at pretty much the benefit in pay it gives you (discounted by time etc.)?

In fact, given the poor judgement of young people and the premium of the university 'experience', I'd expect it to get priced a bit higher than the wage advantages would indicate.

In the UK, student fees are the same whether you study English or Physics. The differences in costs to support a student (library card versus lab equipment) is quite pronounced. There's a good argument English students are subsidising Physics studetns.
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Old 03-14-2016, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

It is the same here. The per credit charge is the same whether you study structural engineering or elementary education.
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:05 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

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Two Art History majors in my family. My niece received her Bachelors in Art History from Oklahoma State, and her Masters from Ohio State. The closest she got to working in "the industry" was in managing promotions for the Bartlesville Mozart Festival and the Tulsa Ballet. She runs a yoga studio now.

My daughter Notsosure will graduate this year with a Bachelors in Art History from OSU too. And, since employment in "the industry" is meager at best, plans to get her Masters either at OSU or OU. She's had a generous offer from OSU though. She wants to get work in art preservation and cataloguing, back room stuff, regardless of the pay. She will have about $45,000 in student loans by the time she is done with school.
notsosure graduated last month, is now considering grad school because there is practically no job that a Bachelor in Art History will get you.
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Old 02-03-2017, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

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notsosure graduated last month, is now considering grad school because there is practically no job that a Bachelor in Art History will get you.
Presumably notsosure did not study Art History for a job, but for the love of the subject and broadening of horizons?
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Old 02-08-2017, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dingfod View Post
notsosure graduated last month, is now considering grad school because there is practically no job that a Bachelor in Art History will get you.
Presumably notsosure did not study Art History for a job, but for the love of the subject and broadening of horizons?
True. She plans to get a Masters in Library Science.
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Old 02-11-2017, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

The truth is that it doesn't matter in the slightest what your Bachelor's degree is in when you're a librarian. Although if she wants to work in a museum library, she's in a better position.
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Old 02-22-2017, 01:27 PM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

She would love to work in a museum library.
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:46 AM
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Default Re: Some University Degrees Not Worth It At All

Any degree with the word 'Studies' in it. It enables you to teach that degree, and nothing else.

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