For-profit degrees are worthless.

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Petedude, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    If you attended one of these “institutions", your alma mater is a scam-- nothing more than a degree mill operated solely to suck money out of you, put you into debt slavery and swipe funds from our federal government.

    It is unfortunate you put so many hours into “collegiate” papers for such a worthless endeavor. It’s also unfortunate that you wrote so many school forum posts responding to less-prepared colleagues to meet attendance requirements. You spent many bleary-eyed nights staying up late in front of huge, expensive customized textbooks in vain. There are no tenured, professional instructors in established institutions of higher learning who will consider your degree a worthwhile endeavor, much less consider you for a teaching position. No respectable HR department within a solid company will even notice your Word template-printed diploma.

    Name-brand toilet paper has more value than any “degree” granted by an enterprise claiming to be an institution of higher learning, but founded on the notion that imparting knowledge to students can be the principal operation of a revenue-generating venture.

    (Did I get anyone's blood pressure to rise yet? This is just a post to see what discussion it generates.)
  2. Koolcypher

    Koolcypher Member

    Woo hoo, get ready folks this is going to be one hell of an interesting ride. Great post by the way. :cool:
  3. rebel100

    rebel100 New Member

    UofP diploma's hang in probably half the offices in the hospital I work in. And most were, at least in part, payed for by the hospital. Perhaps it depends on the industry but the credential is at least recognized in healthcare. Walden is another popular choice, though I don't know if they are for profit.

    I think there are clearly many choices out there that are more cost effective and arguably a better choice...but I would try not to hold a for profit degree against anyone. :)
  4. PatsGirl1

    PatsGirl1 New Member

    Eh I actually agree with you, in part. But I worked my @$$ off for my for-profit MBA and I learned a TON. I fully understand the burden is on me to make my degree pay for itself. I don't expect it to be magic, but I can't say I entirely regret doing it. Like everything, it is what you make of it. That includes for-profit or not-for-profit.
  5. Rich Douglas

    Rich Douglas Well-Known Member

    Not to take the bait, but these assessments are offered without assertions to support them. It would be nice to see some science behind them. Absent that, the OP seems uninformed. And purposely provocative. Pass.
  6. jam937

    jam937 New Member

    As long as I can get an online degree from a public non-profit school at a cheaper price than a for-private school, I will get my degree from the public non-profit. With that said I think as long as a for-profit is regionally accredited, I would not hold it against anyone either.
  7. StefanM

    StefanM New Member

    If you will look at the completion rates at the average accredited for-profit, you will find that the rates are nowhere near the level to be considered a degree mill. They are profit-making enterprises, however, so that part is at least partially true.

    This isn't exclusive to for-profits. Many non-profits (including major state universities) have similar requirements.

    Exaggeration and patently untrue. If the students gained knowledge, then the work was at least somewhat fruitful.

    Absolutely and utterly false. While it is definitely more difficult to obtain a teaching position, it is far from impossible, as other members of DI can attest.

    Well, I've never known an HR department to ask to see the diploma anyway, but that's another story. This particular exaggeration isn't really worth addressing.

    For-profit status alone does not determine academic quality or lack of quality. I do agree that the profit motive can corrupt the process, but being revenue-driven is also a problem in most non-profit universities.
  8. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    Yup. You hit the nail on the head. Did you read the fine print? Since others have now chimed in, let me explain.

    There are two key areas of this dispute that have driven me nuts lately.
    1. Ill-informed (to use your words) folks who walk in staring at the sky saying "Um, I've heard these schools are crap, can you point me in another direction?" where these schools may actually fill the bill for them quite well;
    2. Long-term posters who pick away at these schools without ever coming out and simply saying "these schools suck".

    Granted, I was hoping to direct comments from folks passionately defending their valid and earned degrees toward hitting my points above. It looks like I've succeeded in starting a conversation (and hopefully not a war), so that to me seems like a good thing.
  9. bazonkers

    bazonkers New Member

    I figured I couldn't get a job with a non-profit B&M history degree anyways in this market so it's really a wash for me :)
  10. bpreachers

    bpreachers New Member

    My issue here is that you cannot drop all for-profit colleges into the same hat. Some are horrid pathetic examples of money funneling profit driven companies while others have low tuition and produce well equipped graduates. Is my opinion skewed due to my BA being from one of these for-profit colleges (AMU) sure. But I did quite well on the GRE with my for-profit education and was accepted to a state school for my Graduate degree. Also, if you look around on many for-profit and non-profit school sites and view their instructor credentials many of them have "useless" for-profit degrees at the undergrad and graduate level. Typically not so true at the doctorate level but it would seem these "low brow" for profit degrees are not holding them back. Also, many graduates of for profit colleges due quite well with their degrees in the business world.

    One thing you have to understand is that you are comparing two different types of people. Most of those getting higher ed degrees at for profit colleges are professional working adults already and using a for profit online school as a way of meeting a check in the box for a promotion or raise. While the other group that tend to go to high brow top tier state and private schools tend to be young recent high school graduates trying to get the best named degree possible thinking it will give them a leg up in getting into the business/professional world.

    I think for profit schools have their place and if managed right are a great option for many. Some schools that have useless programs with low employment rates are there but they are not the ultimate norm they just get the most press because it "proves" the agenda of the news reporting body.
  11. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    How do you spell "troll"? Is that one "L" or 2? Anyhow...since the OP came back to explain the logic I will reply. My for-profit MBA has done more for me than my non-profit BS in Criminal Justice ever did. But then that's comparing apples to horse apples isn't it? Profit status of a school has nothing to do with academic rigor and has nothing to do with how the graduate will do after they in fact complete the work and enter the job market. There is more importance on your major, level of education, what you actually learned or didn't commonly known as "skill set", your work history, your previous experience, your contacts, in fact even how you dress for an interview and whether you are "attractive" looking or not has a greater impact on whether you will get a job or not than the profit status of the school you attended. (I could go back and cite this stuff as I once did in a blog post I wrote but I don't have time at the moment. However if you wish to challenge those statements Google is a good resource). :)
  12. Maxwell_Smart

    Maxwell_Smart Active Member

    Too much is made of this stuff to the point of paranoia. The average employer wouldn't know a profit from a non-profit, or an NA from an RA, and most that do don't give a crap one way or the other. It's not until you get into high-level management or executive roles that these things begin to really get scrutinized, and even then there are plenty of people in those positions who went to all combinations of those organizations.

    In the last 4 positions I've held, my superiors had degrees from such places as: Excelsior, University of Phoenix, Penn Foster, Ashworth College, and William Howard Taft. These were VP's and Directors of large corporations.

    The only place you know for sure that this is going to be a problem is in academia, but then that depends on how you approach it and what job at what kind of school you're going after. There are people with degrees from for-profits who are landing teaching jobs.

    I'm not saying that this is never an issue with some employers, but there seems to be some kind of paranoia that a significant percentage of employers are concerned with this. I just don't share that view. I also don't feel that there is a true wide gap between how a for-profit school operates and how a non-profit school operates, since in the end somebody is profitting in some way, and trying to maximize that is still a goal whether stated overtly or not.
  13. suelaine

    suelaine Member

    I realize this was started just to spark lively discussion. I was hired at a B&M university as an assistant professor (a job that DOES require a doctorate at that institution) immediately after earning my Ph.D. from NCU.

    I would agree with others that I would go with the most reasonably priced regionally accredited option that met my personal requirements for the degree. At the time I enrolled in NCU, it was definitely less expensive for me than any non-profit institution I could have went with.

    If you are young with limited family or career responsibilites (still working toward building a career) as was the case with my daughters, yes, a traditional school is probably the best option, and if you are an excellent student, you can get a fellowship, or assistantship and work your way through school, and even get enough to pay your minimal living wages until you graduate. That was not an option for me at my age, with my work and family obligations.

    Not that it is terribly important what the diploma looks like, my NCU diploma looks as nice as any I've seen. Just felt like adding that.
  14. Ian Anderson

    Ian Anderson Active Member

    I agree.
    In 2011 were are 1199 for-profit schools in the USA that award either 2 or 4 year degrees vs. 1672 public and 1624 not-for-profit schools according to ED.
  15. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    Yours is one of the LAST experiences on earth I would make light of. Through some trying moments you worked hard to EARN a solid master's degree. You should indeed be proud of your accomplishments.

    If it were not for yours and Friendorfoe's histories with Ashford, I would have not been able to consider that school seriously when thinking about my upcoming master's.
  16. friendorfoe

    friendorfoe Active Member

    Glad I could help in some small part. So what school did you choose?
  17. Petedude

    Petedude New Member

    After all the searching, it looks like I might end up right back where I started.

    Currently thinking about going back to WGU for an MBA-ITM.

    :: waving off the loud collective groans ::

    I doubt getting a super-name degree will suddenly launch me two steps up the ladder, where I ultimately want to be. Most important thing at the moment is that "Master's degree preferred" bit. I can't afford to launch into an expensive program yet, and I can't take on a program that would put the family through a lot of "grumpy Dad" days. I'm not keen on sticking to some traditional academic calendar, either. I can go back for another master's later from a better name institution once I've made back a little on the prior investments and/or grab a couple graduate certificates.

    WGU has a manageable workload, is reasonably priced, and is more-or-less self-paced. I may be able to wrap in a year or less. If I don't, it would be irritating but not a deal-killer. I've looked over some of the textbooks, and they've picked some very good reading.

    All that said, Bellevue and Ashford (and yes, Trident) are still on the list. . . in case I should change my mind for the 90th or so time. My anticipated start would have to be June or July, so who knows. :D

    (And the shopping wasn't quite in vain. . . found a couple nice state schools I really like for future degrees. Might do a thing or two with Ashworth. And I still ought to post what I saw when I went IACBE-shopping last year. . .)
  18. me again

    me again Well-Known Member

    AA, not for profit
    BS, not for profit
    MA, not for profit
    DBA, for profit
    MPA, for profit (in-progress, part-time, 2017?)

  19. TCord1964

    TCord1964 New Member

    Then good things are in store for me. I'm a handsome man and a snappy dresser! :naughty:
  20. Bruce

    Bruce Moderator

    If anyone thinks that no one profits from "non-profit" institutions, I have some prime swampland in Florida I'd love to sell you.

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