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Well I cannot help myself again and will post some non technical but I hope also not political comments. God and Moderators help me.

For those that understand the difference between mean and median and have some statistical knowledge I firmly believe the problem we have is too many government and media people have been advertising you will make XXXX? more dollars in your lifetime with a college degree compared to a high school diploma. There never is a discussion about where skilled crafts fit in that equation and there never is a discussion about how deceptive the average/mean is. A 4 year degree in ENglish gets you a much lower salary and a much lower chance of getting a job than a 4 year degree in any of the real engineering degrees and a variety of other degrees. I believe the colleges and universities are behind this deception. They are all clawing for students as the number of college age kids declines and they need to cover their inflated costs and professors have tenure and jobs for life to whatever age they want. This problem is even worse than the auto industry in my mind.

In Wisconsin they U of W system recently reported a decrease in teaching personnel and an increase in Administrators. This is crazy.

Using averages to look at salary is not valid. Approximately the top 20% of high school only graduates earn more than the bottom third of college graduates. I understand everyone cannot be an engineer or computer scientist but the debt people take on for schooling beyond high school should reasonable reflect the probability of getting a job, the likely salary for that job and the cost of living where that job is likely to be. As far as I can see this discussion is happening far too infrequently nowadays.

I have a couple of sites saved somewhere that shows salaries for various higher education degrees and various schools. I will find them and post them in a subsequent post. If you have kids or grandkids thinking about what to do after completing high school the are worth looking at. I will get them posted in the next 20 minutes or so.

It is also important to recognize that most craft skills cannot be exported to lower cost labor counties. You need a plumber, carpenter, cabinetmaker, electrician etc here not in China or Viet Nam.
 

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Where I am the University FOOTBALL coach makes more than the Governor and almost as much as the top paying Doctor at the university medical center. Go Figure
 

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I still remember the orientation address the dean of the University of Colorado School of Engineering gave when our son was about to start there. He informed the audience that their kids were smart and high achievers based on their having been accepted to the school. But, he not-so-gently-reminded the parents, by the end of the school year, half of the freshmen (the ones who survived the first year) would be, by definition, below average. There was so much confused blinking you could hear the eyelids flap.

Innumeracy is at least as big an issue as illiteracy and is much more common.

One thing Europe does better than the US is their robust trade school system and a secondary education system that does a pretty good job of steering students to an appropriate post-secondary school.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I still remember the orientation address the dean of the University of Colorado School of Engineering gave when our son was about to start there. He informed the audience that their kids were smart and high achievers based on their having been accepted to the school. But, he not-so-gently-reminded the parents, by the end of the school year, half of the freshmen (the ones who survived the first year) would be, by definition, below average. There was so much confused blinking you could hear the eyelids flap.

Innumeracy is at least as big an issue as illiteracy and is much more common.

One thing Europe does better than the US is their robust trade school system and a secondary education system that does a pretty good job of steering students to an appropriate post-secondary school.
So true. Some of those below average engineers design lots of things we rely on and some of tho below average doctors and dentists provide service to many of us too.
 

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My dad was a non-educated Lineman who oversaw the engineering and new high-line construction division at Florida Power & Light. He taught 'the real world' to many masters prepared engineers.

Higher Ed is essential for many careers however a BA/BS/MBA is very overrated versus skills and trades. Plumbers who own and grow their own business for example have income rivaling top earners.
 

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Being from the "inside" of the education systems here in the USA (retired and then back to work educator of 35 years), everything got turned upside down with "No Child Left Behind" in the early 2000s. Public brainwashing took place that told folks that everyone should get a college degree and if you didn't you were going to sell yourself short.
 

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Good example: I went to school and got an associates degree for ultrasound meanwhile my twin brother went out and got a bachelors in sociology and a masters in international relations. I've always made more money than him. More school does not equal more $$
 

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Always depends on what your degree is in. I went straight from high school to the trades. Some of my friends did the same and some went to school. My friends who chose trades earned and still earn more money then my friends who partied in school and ended up with crappy degrees. Even my friends who chose good degrees and buckled down in college took years to pay of schooling and catch up. Although the ones who buckled down have better jobs and pay now seem to have crappy benefits. Also my friends in the trades had no school debt and owned houses and started families. By the time the people who went to school caught up and bought houses and started families they seemed pretty far behind. I even had a few friends with college degrees start working with me and my friends in the trades after unsuccessful careers after college.
 

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A lot of this stuff i feel is a sham. There are people pushing college degrees because they want their kids to do better than they did. there are people pushing college degrees because we need engineers, doctors, lawyers (debatable), etc... there are also real evil/misguided people pushing college because they want to pad higher education salaries of professors etc... College education has become less about real learning and more about indoctrinating. Its also a horribly inefficient and irresponsible use of capital to take 100k+ of loans to learn english and history as a major. sorry - just is.

I'm an ivy league grad w/ a Computer Science degree and i can definitively tell you - the funds spent on my college education was mostly a waste. Don't get me wrong, i've done very well for myself and the diploma looks good on the wall and resume, but I learned very little practical and useful info from my university days and i was damn lucky that my parents could absorb the cost. there were maybe 3 classes that were of use in the 4 years of college i attended. The rest was horsesh...

I firmly believe there are a few key components to a successful person regardless of who you are or where you come from. You don't need a fancy degree.

1) Work Hard and take pride in your work product.
2) Pay attention to detail
3) have a goal and keep working towards it. Don't compromise.
4) Always listen and try to understand what you are hearing

All that salary/education data BS is flawed. I know stats to a better degree than most and the dataset is problematic at best.

Keep in mind that most of the people going to college are people whose parents emphasize education and hard work. Those people will always do well regardless of whether they went to college or not. Those individuals learn on their own and understand the value of learning on a daily basis.
 

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I think there needs to be a change in how going to college is viewed.

I also think many need to reconsider how they spend their money and what they save.
 

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Some hard questions about how the college's spend their money need to be answered also.
Most major colleges charge a minimum of $200-$300 per credit hour with between 120-130 to for just a bachelor's degree. On top of that a lot of the colleges receive funding from the state which their in.
The part that a lot of people don't realize is all of the major colleges have endowment funds in the billions, all of the top 20 are above 4 billion(the top one is $35 billion). That equates to about a minimum of $20 million dollars to spend per billion in the endowment fund. Let's not forget the sports teams and $$ they get from the network, you think the colleges give that away free?
So with all this money pouring in (keep in mind the figures are on the average to low side), how is it that so many people are drowning in debt from going to college?
 

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Every school pushes college to all there students.
Many of these students would be better served with vocational schools rather then college.
And quality craftsmanship needs to be practiced by all tradesmen, I have seen to many
lately that good enough or close enough is there byline. When I was working I would get upset when
someone says good enough I can't see it from my house.
My standing answer was I can see so fix it right, quit be so lazy and non profesional.
Some apprentices would not work with me, as far as I was concern good riddance
 

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Some hard questions about how the college's spend their money need to be answered also.
Most major colleges charge a minimum of $200-$300 per credit hour with between 120-130 to for just a bachelor's degree. On top of that a lot of the colleges receive funding from the state which their in.
The part that a lot of people don't realize is all of the major colleges have endowment funds in the billions, all of the top 20 are above 4 billion(the top one is $35 billion). That equates to about a minimum of $20 million dollars to spend per billion in the endowment fund. Let's not forget the sports teams and $$ they get from the network, you think the colleges give that away free?
So with all this money pouring in (keep in mind the figures are on the average to low side), how is it that so many people are drowning in debt from going to college?
My first year of college (1967) was spent at what is now called a community college. Back then the place was called San Jacinto Junior College. I went there because I was paying my own way and the Jr. College was $50 a semester for in-state students while UofH was $100 a semester. (IIRC, that was for 12 semester hours. Extra hours/courses cost more.) With books and fees the actual per semester cost was triple the tuition. When my son went to CU in the mid nineties, the first year cost me about $9000 (tuition, fees, books and room&board.) The 2nd through 4th years cost me half that since he moved back home and went to the local CU branch campus.

Even with inflation it seems that college costs have risen faster than almost every other "commodity".
 

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My first year of college (1967) was spent at what is now called a community college. Back then the place was called San Jacinto Junior College. I went there because I was paying my own way and the Jr. College was $50 a semester for in-state students while UofH was $100 a semester. (IIRC, that was for 12 semester hours. Extra hours/courses cost more.) With books and fees the actual per semester cost was triple the tuition. When my son went to CU in the mid nineties, the first year cost me about $9000 (tuition, fees, books and room&board.) The 2nd through 4th years cost me half that since he moved back home and went to the local CU branch campus.

Even with inflation it seems that college costs have risen faster than almost every other "commodity".
My daughter is 15 years old. When we started a college fund for her years back we where told to expect 125 to 150 grand for a 4 year degree at the University of Minnesota. That doesn't include room and board or books.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
there are numerous articles out there about the increase of the administrative staff to teaching staff ratio over the last many years. I have linked to one below, not necessarily the best but something I found quickly. Too many special programs and too many government regulations help increase the Administrative load. Plus the ease of getting information nowadays takes more and more people to analyse and understand the information. Perhaps we have gone over the edge on the need to analyse all the info that is available for every tiny decision and policy.

Now venturing slightly into the political, I think the concept of the University and College having some vested interest in the success of the student and his/her's ability to pay off their loans would help correct the problem.
 

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Our small town high school recommends college, trades and the military to incoming freshmen and their parents during orientation.

I’m grateful that the Air Force paid for both my bachelors and masters degrees. Being burdened with student loans is something many young kids could have avoided.
 
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