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  1. #1
    SurfDoctor is offline Moderator
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    A bachelors degree is the new high school deploma.

    This showed up in one of the other threads, but I wanted to hear the opinion of everyone on this. The post by one of our fine members, informing us that a Burger King in his/her area was requiring a bachelors degree before an individual would be considered for a store management position, inspired this question in my mind.

    Has degree inflation really gotten that bad? Is a bachelors degree equivalent in value to what a high school diploma was 30 years ago? Whats your opinion?
    If ignorance is bliss, why are the ignorant so angry? Shannon Wheeler

  2. #2
    emmzee is offline Registered User
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    It's not quite to that stage yet, but pretty close. It used to be (back when my parents graduated from university) that having a bachelor's degree would put you ahead of other job applicants, nowadays for most non-service level positions (Burger King etc) it's assumed that applicants will have a bachelor's degree.
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  3. #3
    Kizmet is offline Moderator
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    You can still get a diploma from a voc/tech high school that will allow you to become a plumbing apprentice. Once your apprenticeship is done and you're a licensed plumber you have the potential to make a lot of money (if that's a legitimate goal). I know a plumber who's younger than me who earns more than I earn. He may always earn more than I earn because he owns his own company and is expanding his service area, etc. etc. I do not regret any of my academic decisions but I also know that there are other paths that can be followed.

  4. #4
    eilla05 is offline Registered User
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    Yep :) Anymore you can't find a job doing squat without a Bachelors and I think it is even getting to the point where they would rather have that piece of paper instead of 10 years experience in some places.

    Take the burger king example... i wonder if they would hire someone who had 4 years experience working as a manager but no degree?

  5. #5
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
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    I love when someone makes an off the cuff comment and others take it as the gospel. Get the facts straight before twisting things. This is from Burger King's website-

    Restaurant Assistant Manager
    Minimum Qualifications:
    High School Diploma or GED required, some college preferred

    Restaurant General Manager
    Minimum Qualifications:
    High School Diploma or GED required, 2 years of college preferred

    BURGER KING®

  6. #6
    SurfDoctor is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randell1234 View Post
    I love when someone makes an off the cuff comment and others take it as the gospel. Get the facts straight before twisting things. This is from Burger King's website-

    Restaurant Assistant Manager
    Minimum Qualifications:
    High School Diploma or GED required, some college preferred

    Restaurant General Manager
    Minimum Qualifications:
    High School Diploma or GED required, 2 years of college preferred

    BURGER KING®
    Oops, I didn't fact check. But it doesn't really matter because that does not negate the question it brought up. And, who's to say that one specific BK is not requiring a bachelors? They are franchises and, being a previous franchise owner myself, I know owners have some latitude in their hiring requirements.
    If ignorance is bliss, why are the ignorant so angry? Shannon Wheeler

  7. #7
    TCord1964 is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelOliver View Post
    Oops, I didn't fact check. But it doesn't really matter because that does not negate the question it brought up. And, who's to say that one specific BK is not requiring a bachelors? They are franchises and, being a previous franchise owner myself, I know owners have some latitude in their hiring requirements.
    I had also answered this question some time back. No, BK does not require a BA to be a manager, although they do like their general managers to have at least two years of college. Considering they are only paid about $35,000 per year, there are likely better options for college grads anyway (depending upon the unemployment rate where you live).

    I know I keep going back to Home Depot, but their store managers are required to have a BA. On the other hand, they do make more than $100,000 per year, plus bonuses.
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  9. #8
    cjzande is offline Registered User
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    I want to say, "Yes," to this for an entirely different reason, but it would be a somewhat facetious answer.

    I collect textbooks and have been doing so for years. I buy them from our local library, at garage sales, from used book stores, and sometimes online. I have books that are from as long ago as the late 1800s to as recent as 2008.

    There has been a definite, marked "dumbing down" of the curriculum. I've heard people make this claim, and I've heard people fiercely deny it. I'm basing it only on what I can tangibly see. For instance, I have one literature book that has readings from such writers as Dickens, Shakespeare, Poe, Hawthorne, Tennyson, Longfellow, and Emerson. (And they are not summarized or paraphrased.) There's an entire section of original documents and letters from the Founding Fathers and various presidents. The book is over 500 pages, and each passage has essay questions following it.

    The kicker is, this book is from 1936 and is called "Junior High School Literature" (emphasis added). It's published by Scott, Foresman and Company. They are still around today (merged with another company), and when you compare their modern lit books with this - well, there is no comparison. I have *high school* literature books that are less demanding than this one.

    Or, to put it another way - the PearsonSchool website says this on its lit page: "Remember when you first started teaching high school literature? You imagined students pouring into class eager to talk about your favorite contemporary or traditional literature books. The reality is a little different - students' packed schedules, their growing pains, pressures at home, and the buzzing digital world make those great discussions a huge challenge. Yet every now and then you experience those break-through moments."

    What does it say about our curriculum and society when even the publishers are sorta saying, "Yeah. Don't get your hopes up. Occasionally, something wonderful will happen, but mostly, it's a lost cause."?

    So, in a sense, you could say a bachelor's is the new high school diploma because you could probably convincingly argue that today it takes a bachelor's to equal the education of a high school diploma from a generation or two ago.

    If you're really curious about this sort of thing, you might want to look at this:
    Browse the NYSL Digital Collections - This is an archive of New York high school exams, going back as far as the 30s. (There's a business law test that's no longer given, which I found interesting. Of course, this is probably just me.... heh.)

  10. #9
    DLer is offline Registered User
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    I don't know what part of the country that you live in, but in my neck of the woods the unemployment rate is high. If you are an employer in an area of high unemployment (entire US) you would be an idiot to not try and narrow the field to ensure the best applicants. I think that is the real issue with the BK analogy. If I was an out of work former manager with an MBA , and I needed to feed my family, I'd be the first to apply.

  11. #10
    SurfDoctor is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by DLer View Post
    I don't know what part of the country that you live in, but in my neck of the woods the unemployment rate is high. If you are an employer in an area of high unemployment (entire US) you would be an idiot to not try and narrow the field to ensure the best applicants. I think that is the real issue with the BK analogy. If I was an out of work former manager with an MBA, and I needed to feed my family, I'd be the first to apply.
    Years ago, I used to own a 1800 Flowers store with my wife. In the recession of 1991 we had aerospace engineers applying for delivery driver jobs. Unfortunately, I could not offer them jobs because they were overqualified. I knew they would stay with me just until they found any better job and then leave me cold. I can't say I would blame them.
    If ignorance is bliss, why are the ignorant so angry? Shannon Wheeler

  12. #11
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjzande View Post
    I want to say, "Yes," to this for an entirely different reason, but it would be a somewhat facetious answer.

    I collect textbooks and have been doing so for years. I buy them from our local library, at garage sales, from used book stores, and sometimes online. I have books that are from as long ago as the late 1800s to as recent as 2008.

    There has been a definite, marked "dumbing down" of the curriculum. I've heard people make this claim, and I've heard people fiercely deny it. I'm basing it only on what I can tangibly see. For instance, I have one literature book that has readings from such writers as Dickens, Shakespeare, Poe, Hawthorne, Tennyson, Longfellow, and Emerson. (And they are not summarized or paraphrased.) There's an entire section of original documents and letters from the Founding Fathers and various presidents. The book is over 500 pages, and each passage has essay questions following it.

    The kicker is, this book is from 1936 and is called "Junior High School Literature" (emphasis added). It's published by Scott, Foresman and Company. They are still around today (merged with another company), and when you compare their modern lit books with this - well, there is no comparison. I have *high school* literature books that are less demanding than this one.

    Or, to put it another way - the PearsonSchool website says this on its lit page: "Remember when you first started teaching high school literature? You imagined students pouring into class eager to talk about your favorite contemporary or traditional literature books. The reality is a little different - students' packed schedules, their growing pains, pressures at home, and the buzzing digital world make those great discussions a huge challenge. Yet every now and then you experience those break-through moments."

    What does it say about our curriculum and society when even the publishers are sorta saying, "Yeah. Don't get your hopes up. Occasionally, something wonderful will happen, but mostly, it's a lost cause."?

    So, in a sense, you could say a bachelor's is the new high school diploma because you could probably convincingly argue that today it takes a bachelor's to equal the education of a high school diploma from a generation or two ago.

    If you're really curious about this sort of thing, you might want to look at this:
    Browse the NYSL Digital Collections - This is an archive of New York high school exams, going back as far as the 30s. (There's a business law test that's no longer given, which I found interesting. Of course, this is probably just me.... heh.)

    While you have an excellent point regarding literature, how would the science and technology compare? Perhaps as we move into an information age, more focus is put on science and less on literature? Just another way to look at it.

  13. #12
    thomaskolter is offline Registered User
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    In my area the Burger King out of ten management hires one was someone without a four year degree who was promoted from within, the rest had bachelors degrees and in one case a masters in the humanities. I'm not lying but in other areas it may be different.
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  14. #13
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomaskolter View Post
    In my area the Burger King out of ten management hires one was someone without a four year degree who was promoted from within, the rest had bachelors degrees and in one case a masters in the humanities. I'm not lying but in other areas it may be different.

    Oh, I believe that but it is not the minumum to apply; who wins in the hiring process is another matter.

  15. #14
    cjzande is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randell1234 View Post
    While you have an excellent point regarding literature, how would the science and technology compare? Perhaps as we move into an information age, more focus is put on science and less on literature? Just another way to look at it.
    Unfortunately, the short answer to your first question is: Not as well as we would think or want.

    While yes, we have made great strides in science and technology; have indeed learned a lot in the past few decades, we are not necessarily keeping pace with it in our high school environments.

    Another book I have is something called "High School Subjects for Home Study" from 1939. It includes: astronomy, biology, physiology, psychology , chemistry, and physics, as well as several literature, history , and humanities courses.

    Here's what's so interesting about this book. It was written for people who "for one reason or another, did not have the advantage of going through high school; while others did not take full advantage of the opportunities it offered while we were there." It "covers all the subjects that are ordinarily included in the four years devoted to high school; and carefully read, studied and digested, will give the equivalent of such a course."

    It is for self-study; there are no teachers to help. Jumping to the physics section, there is a table of units and then it launches immediately into a discussion of mechanics.

    Point being, it is clear that the assumption is these learners, who may not have attended high school at all, or apparently didn't pay much attention when they did, are still educated well enough to begin a study of materials written at a level higher than some of the more current high school textbooks I also have on my shelf.

    Again, I am only comparing books to books here, not classrooms to classrooms. It could be that the use of the internet/computers is making up for the science-light!ness of the textbooks I have. Still, even though we *know* more, it seems like we're not teaching more in high schools, and are now waiting for college to cover these courses to a degree that previously was considered a high school level - which brings it all back to "Is a bachelor's the new high school diploma?"

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  17. #15
    gettingthere is offline Registered User
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    in IT i dont think degrees matter as much; i've done well with no college at all--and yes i do want a degree badly but its to enter the academic teaching arena--totally different ballgame.

    a degree won't help me at all on the IT side, especially since my degree won't be IT related. i do know that i used to get students in my classes who were "computer science " or "mis" grads....they did not have any *current* or marketable skills when it came to getting a networking /database admin job. colleges still teach slightly outdated technology. to be competitive in IT, it's more about certifications.

  18. #16
    Randell1234 is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjzande View Post
    Unfortunately, the short answer to your first question is: Not as well as we would think or want.


    Another book I have is something called "High School Subjects for Home Study" from 1939. It includes: astronomy, biology, physiology, psychology, chemistry, and physics, as well as several literature, history, and humanities courses.
    Sounds like a great book...that is why I just ordered it from Amazon for $1.25! I can't wait to read it. I am sure the astronomy section will have Pluto as a planet since it was discovered in 1930 but I can overlook the lack of accuracy ;)

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