$250,000 in student debt after 13 years...

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by AsianStew, May 30, 2022.

  1. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    I'd expect no less from Berklee. Extremely fine school. I've seen some of their freebies on YouTube - awesome! Those instructors can teach - and man, can they PLAY!
  2. Stanislav

    Stanislav Well-Known Member

    I teach CS for a living and even I think this is hyperbole.
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  3. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    And the award for Comment of the Week goes to ....Stanislav! :)
  4. nomaduser

    nomaduser Active Member

    This is not a hyperbole.

    Another music degree guy I know withdrew from his college after several years, went to UCLA to get BS in computer science and mathematics.
    Now he got a job as an associate software developer...

    I'm talking from my experience at a top 100 university.

    A guy who did math bachelor with lots of CS courses was able to get a job as data scientist at Facebook.
    So, maybe BS in math can be a good path as long as you take lots of CS courses and work as a data scientist.

    People who chose other paths got screwed except for very few cases....
    Even a psychology major from the same university got screwed. She's jobless .. and got problem with her international student VISA status.

    I'm VERY unhappy to see these poor outcomes from other majors when the university is a premium university that costs hundred thousands of dollars in tuition.
  5. ArielB

    ArielB Member

    Not everyone is going to be able to (or want to) get a degree in CS. The outcomes for a degree in Business, for example, are not bad. Plus, not all jobs in tech are coding... I was able to work my way up to the VP level at tech companies with NO degree (even sometimes doing some highly technical work). At the end of the day, your drive and hard work count for more than a degree; a degree might help you get the initial job, but after that it's all about experience (I don't even look at which school, if any, people went to when I hire someone unless they are just out of college).

    Also, the jobs at big tech companies like Meta, Google, etc. are VERY competitive and hard to come by. A degree in CS is no guarantee of getting a job at those companies. Most starting coding jobs pay under 100k. Again, saying this as someone with 25 years of experience at software companies, both public and private, mid-size, large, and startup.

    Having said all of that, going into 6 figure debt for a degree is just dumb, unless it's medical school.
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  6. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    In your Computer Science utopia where everyone studies CS/Math, society would quickly break down. If you got sick you'd go to a hospital but it would have no clerks to check you in. We'd also have no nurses to triage you. We'd have no lab techs to operate the diagnostic and therapeutic equipment or take specimens. If you wanted to talk to someone about it, tough luck because there are no social workers. Few kids could get educated because there are no teachers. No retail workers means no products being sold. No chefs or cooks means restaurants are closed.

    You get the idea. Most of these jobs require specialized training and exist for a reason. Your anecdotes about a handful of people doing well in tech ignore that we need people who are good at a variety of disciplines (and have access to the training for those disciplines), for society to function. In Russia's ongoing war with Ukraine, the US State Department has some bright Russian and East European Studies grads who I'm sure had to defend their choice to a CS grad at the time, but who now play an outsized role in determining US foreign policy in that part of the world right now.
  7. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I had something typed up but I second what Dustin said.
  8. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    nomaduser, let's say we put your advice in a reverse time capsule.

    We deliver it to Jobs and Woz circa 1976 and it convinces them not to waste their time on their new hobbyist business Apple but to focus on advancing in day jobs for incumbent Big Tech companies of the day.

    We deliver the same basic message to Gates and Allen and Page and Brin and Bezos and Zuckerberg.

    Granted, at least one of their companies I don't think I'd miss. But there would be a real question of how much innovation would have been delivered by the ecosystem of lumbering Big Tech incumbents this advice seems to tend to lock in.
  9. nomaduser

    nomaduser Active Member

    Well, smart people can get CS, math or medical degree and secure 100k job position faster.
    Finance, Business administration degree holders can accomplish something similar at E&Y, JP Morgan, Accenture, etc...

    Other people can go ahead and suffer for decades, especially those who hold degrees in English, Music, Art, Art History, History, Dance, Theatre Performance, Art Management, Psychology, Biology, Zoology, etc ...
    Those degrees are created to punish people.
  10. freeloader

    freeloader Member

    I suspect everyone who is active on this board understands that computer science is one of the college majors which yields the highest average starting pay upon graduation and that the skills that are taught by that degree are in high demand right now. I suspect everyone also understands that other engineering degrees (including closely related fields like computer engineering and electrical engineering) are also valuable and in-demand.

    I suspect most everyone knows people who have been tremendously successful in CS, IT, and closely related fields, likely including people who initially went to school for something else and changed fields to CS/IT/etc to make more money and improve job prospects. I can think of 3 people that I would define as close friends who fit that description.

    So, nomaduser, that point is well-made and well-taken.

    But, it does not follow that because CS and closely related fields are high-paying and in-demand that all other fields are worthless. Frankly, it is insulting to those of us who have no interest in the IT world, in a broad sense.

    Nomaduser, do you honestly think you are going to change anyone’s opinion with your anecdotes about people spending vast amounts of money only to find themselves unable to secure a “good” job? Respectfully, if you think are you going to change opinions, you are wrong.

    You aren’t going to change my opinion, for certain. I love math but I absolutely despise CS/IT/MIS coursework and tried learning programming and found it to be literally the most boring thing I had ever done. Management Info Systems and Accounting Info Systems were BY FAR my two least favorite classes in my many years of post-secondary education. Could I move from accounting (what I do now and really enjoy) to CS/IT/etc and make a little more money? No, I couldn’t. I would drop out of life and go live under a bridge before I had to do something in the IT world as my career.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2022
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  11. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    Hello. I have a Biology degree and I do mighty fine for myself.
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  12. nomaduser

    nomaduser Active Member

    Info systems degree is ok for getting job.

    A friend of mine from the same top 100 university did BS in info systems. He got a job at JP Morgan right after graduation.
    Info Systems, Info Science, IT are not perfect replacement of CS degree but they're good enough.
    If you're into info system, you can work as network admin, database admin, etc.

    but CS degree software engineers at Capital One, Chase bank will make much more salary easily.

    This fact should be more informed to the kids... so that they won't waste time.
  13. nomaduser

    nomaduser Active Member

    So you need two masters to advance your career.

    My friends who did CS bachelor at top 100 universities will never need another degree again.
    They can work at Facebook, Google, Quora, Microsoft through their decades of career.
    They can retire with millions of dollars.

    Do they need master in CS? no...
    Do they need an MBA ? hmmm maybe twenty years later when they want to work as project manager but they'll become super rich by then.
  14. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I found my biology education highly rewarding and in fact, set me up well to pursue a graduate business education in business analytics at one of the top business schools in the world. I think you are underestimating the power of Biology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Physics, etc.
  15. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I did not NEED two masters degrees to advance my career. I moved into upper level management in financial services BEFORE I completed my MBA. The Duke degree was my desire to fullfil a life-long goal as Duke was my dream school.

    I have friends that did computer science, mathematics, statistics, etc. in undergrad are certainly doing well. However, I'd say half of them hate their high paying jobs because all they do is sit in front of a computer for 8+ hours per day with little human interaction. I'll sacrifice some pay to actually enjoy the career I'll be in for most of my adult life.
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  16. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Math degrees: Aren't there vastly more math degree holders working in teaching positions that will never hit 100k than there are in 100k positions?

    Medical degrees: Isn't a prerequisite to medical school a bachelor's in any subject? I can quickly think of people I know personally who majored in dance performance (Philip), music performance (Ethan), religion (Sylvia), medieval studies (Meredith), philosophy (Ian), and more like these went on to medical degrees. (The foregoing names went entirely to Ivy League medical schools, variously Dartmouth, Penn, and Columbia.)

    Big Name Consulting: Doesn't that industry generally want nothing to do with you if you're from a non-elite school, and isn't that industry known for an enormous churn rate of pushing people out after a few years? With similar phenomena in Big Finance and Big Law.
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  17. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    Typically to break into MBB (McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Co.), you need an MBA from a consulting pipeline business school. The most well-known for this is Harvard, Yale, MIT, Duke, UPenn, UVA and a handful of others. You nailed it with this statement. A buddy of mine was a Consultant for McKinsey after he did his PhD at Johns Hopkins in Cellular and Molecular Medicine...a Management Consultant...with a PhD in something other than business...sounds like his biological education paid off!
  18. nomaduser

    nomaduser Active Member

    If you're into math, take lots of CS courses as electives.
    Then you'll be able to work as a data scientist at FAANG.
    No kidding!
    I was thinking like you. I thought getting a BS in math will make you become a teacher at high school.
    But there are different paths now with data science.
    Data science, machine learning fields need people who are skilled in high-level math and coding.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2022
  19. nomaduser

    nomaduser Active Member

    Facebook data scientist salary:


    "Facebook’s data scientists get to wrangle large and varied data sets, shape social media apps that more than a billion people use, and devise meaningful solutions to complex technological and social problems. They also happen to be the most well paid: the average base salary for a Facebook data scientist is around $151,262, with cash bonuses and equity bringing the total average compensation closer to $200,000, according to Glassdoor."

    A friend of mine did this with math BS but he took a lot of CS courses as undergrad.
    Introduction to programming
    Data structures
    Programming with C, C++
    Programming with Python
    etc ...

    This is a much better career path for sure. And I'm certain that he won't need another degree again...
  20. JoshD

    JoshD Well-Known Member

    I think the continuation of this conversation is pointless. It is quite obvious that you are fixated solely on compensation and not on the actual enjoyment of ones career path.
    SteveFoerster likes this.

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