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Does a college degree result in a job?

  1. Aug 7, 2011 #1
    Not always, and of course there are exceptions, but now there is a glut of educated people.

    There's this story that parents tell their children:
    Go to college. Get a degree. Find a good job in that field.

    In 1940, only a handful of privileged people were able to get their Bachelors degree. Now a significant portion of the United States has or is soon to complete their Bachelor degree.

    Now plenty of people with Bachelors degrees serve coffee at Starbucks. Because there is more competition. Now, a Masters Degree in many cases is needed to get a good entry job. In some sense, the Bachelor has become the high school, and the master has become the bachelor.

    There is even a glut in PhD.'s Getting a PhD in an Ivy no longer means a tenure track position. Many PhD's from Columbia or Princeton may end up teaching in a college far lower in the ranks than the one they graduate in. Many law school graduates end up not making tons of money.

    Certainly some degrees are more useful than others. A philosophy BA can lead to a good law program, but in itself it wont lead to a particular job always. Psychology for example is not a useful B.A. but can lead to a great degree in graduate school. Generally, science, math, technology, engineering, and health care is where the jobs are at, but theres no guarentee even there.

    There is a social structure, and no matter what the supply is, the demand is fixed. A certain percentage of society, no matter how many college degrees there are, will have to deliver our pizzas and clean bathrooms.

    There is certainly more competition than there was years ago.

    Am I suggesting that people not go to college? No.

    But this is something we should think about.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 9, 2011 #2
    Yes - I recommend you think about it.
     
  4. Aug 9, 2011 #3

    russ_watters

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    Rather than just thinking about it, I recommend looking at income and unemployment stats organized by education, or better yet, by major.
     
  5. Aug 9, 2011 #4

    Evo

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    Think about what? Not going to college? And psychology is the currently a top undergraduate degree if you want to go into law school, not philosophy, my daughter researched it since she had considered law school and was pre-law. Philosophy was the degree that guaranteed you an easier high GPA. She did both (she loved philosophy) until she ran into bad professors. Right now, it seems the LSAT is what is looked at since some majors are too easy and schools aren't academically equal.

    So far you have made a rather pointless post, more suitable for your personal blog. What did you mean to actually say?
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  6. Aug 9, 2011 #5

    Pengwuino

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    Yah this was kind of a pointless thread.

    I'm surprised psychology is the number 1 undergrad degree for law school. Is that because there have been vast numbers of unemployed psychology majors? :P
     
  7. Aug 9, 2011 #6
    That is surprising - I assumed political science, criminal justice, history or even business.
     
  8. Aug 9, 2011 #7

    Pengwuino

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    I always thought criminal justice were wanna-be police officers/detectives.
     
  9. Aug 9, 2011 #8
    I'm not going to argue that point:approve: - but someone told me it was relevant for Magistrates and local prosecutors - I really don't know?
     
  10. Aug 9, 2011 #9

    BWV

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    Edit by moderator, sorry, only valid sites allowed. Link removed.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 9, 2011
  11. Aug 9, 2011 #10

    Evo

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    It used to be history, philosophy, etc... because they almost guaranteed a high GPA, but now it seems they are looking for better skills and more difficult degrees, and ultimately now it's the LSAT, even if your degree is in basket weaving. This is based on current criteria.

    Philosophy requirements

    History of Philosophy, Metaphysics, Epistemology, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind, Philosophy of Science

    PHIL1106 Ideas of Happiness 3
    PHIL1107 Dreams and Imagination 3
    PHIL1120 Language and Communication 3
    PHIL1436 Asian Philosophy
    PHIL2102 Space and Time 3
    PHIL2201 Ancient Philosophy 3
    PHIL2202 Modern Philosophy 3
    PHIL2203 Contemporary Philosophy 3
    PHIL3301 Philosophy of Science

    http://view.fdu.edu/default.aspx?id=6266

    Psychology requirements

    PS111 Introduction to Psychology (or equivalent)
    PS114 Issues in Psychology
    PS300 Multicultural Psychology
    PS360 Cognitive Psychology (and)
    PS455 Senior Seminar
    PS250 Social Psychology
    PS341 Biological Psychology
    PS410 Applied Statistics and Research Methods
    PS430 Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences (and)
    PS431 Experimental Psychology

    http://www.georgian.edu/psychology/requirements.htm [Broken]

    Go figure.

    Perhaps they also counseled her on the best undergraduate degree should she not go into law or wish to be employable. So there could be other factors at play here.. Knowing how practical she is, that might have been part of it. But 40% of psychology majors go into law school, the only stat I could find for philosophy was that 52% go into higher education of some form.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  12. Aug 9, 2011 #11

    Evo

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    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  13. Aug 10, 2011 #12

    BWV

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    What was invalid about them? It was BLS data
     
  14. Aug 10, 2011 #13

    Evo

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    They weren't from official sites. We've had complaints that at times data was old/incorrect when reposted, so the original source for any data is preferred.
     
  15. Aug 10, 2011 #14

    BWV

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    what constitutes an official site? Would an analysis or chart of gov data by The Economist magazine, the IMF or an academic piece on SSRN be acceptable?
     
  16. Aug 10, 2011 #15

    Evo

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    The official site would be the site the data was taken from.
     
  17. Aug 10, 2011 #16

    BWV

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    So I cannot link economic pieces published in peer-reviewed journals if they use any external data? You can hardly discuss economics under such a policy as official data sources are a common currency for discussion and analysis
     
  18. Aug 10, 2011 #17

    BWV

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    [URL]http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.JPG[/URL]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 26, 2017
  19. Aug 10, 2011 #18

    Pengwuino

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    The problem with that graph, as far as I know, is that it does not take into account the massive number of people who are graduating from college without a job. I think the estimates were something ridiculous like 25% or 50% of college graduates last year will not find employment. Add this to the fact that many of them used student loans for college and never worked means that they won't be counted in the unemployment numbers (you need to be employed somewhat recently before you can become unemployed in the governments eye I believe).
     
  20. Aug 10, 2011 #19

    Pyrrhus

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    To add to pengwuino, a spread measure might be useful. I highly doubt a recent hired graduate will have close to those earnings. Most of those graduates could have already several years of tenure.
     
  21. Aug 15, 2011 #20
    Interesting point.
     
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