Has anyone here completed a WEU degree program?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by ElectricWaffle0, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. GeneralSnus

    GeneralSnus Member

    I doubt the small number of top-earning CEOs earn enough to have any appreciable impact on the mean salary of the large number of college graduates. Besides, some of the highest-earning CEOs are college dropouts (or high school dropouts, in the case of Richard Branson).
  2. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    The majority of these types of comparative stats I have seen use MEDIAN income, not mean (average) income, which means that those top CEO salaries have no effect.
  3. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Can you show an example in this context?
  4. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    There are roughly 1700 Billionaires in the world and a large number of them have a degree. That group alone, heck just a portion of that group alone, makes/has more money than every human on earth combined who are outside of that financial class.
  5. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    Your wish is my command :)

    Here is the first link I found when I googled "earnings high school vs college"

    Study: Income Gap Between Young College and High School Grads Widens - US News

    Here is a quote of the very first sentence from the above article:
    the bold was added by me.

    Here is a Pew Research study on the same topic. Note that the first graph deals with median income.

    The Rising Cost of Not Going to College | Pew Research Center
  6. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    Our discussion is about the overall. With both the first and second link, they limited the research to a limited age group range. It tells us a little about young adults (25-32), but not the overall which skews the bigger picture especially since the majority of the world's richest people don't belong to that age range.
  7. Thatch

    Thatch New Member

    But if you are still talking about Median, those old rich outliers aren't germane to the discussion.
  8. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I agree, but for the very opposite of the observations that you have made in your post.

    It is nearly always college educated people who throw out the claims that earning a college degree causes greater earnings, either X dollars annually or, frequently lately, the MILLION MORE DOLLARS over one's lifetime.

    What, exactly, did those college educated people learn in college if they neither know the source of those numbers, how they were calculated nor what rational conclusions can be drawn from them? How to let other people think on your behalf and accept common sense assumptions without skepticism? :Eyecrazy:

    On every single turn, very important factors are either overlooked or brushed away. A few examples.

    Sample Error

    My grandfather, who was a mechanic, and my uncle, who lives on other people's couches, are both in the High School Diploma category. There is a much greater variance in the High School Diploma category, since our education system gives them out like candy, than there is to the higher levels of education which have much greater barriers. I'd love to see what the standard deviation is for each category presented, but that information isn't readily available.

    Also, these studies usually lump High School Diploma in with GED. Since GED programs are common for teen parents, drop-outs, prisoners and the like, it's easy to see the potential skew here as well.


    Does earning a college degree lead to more money or does earning more money lead to earning a college degree? Those numbers aren't available and are rarely even given a consideration. More people than ever are earning degrees either mid-career or in retirement - luxuries that can not be considered unless people have already earned the money to do so.

    Tertiary Variables

    College graduates are older on average than non-college grads, for the obvious reason that it requires time to complete degrees. Younger people typically fare poorer in the job market and earn less money than older people, with or without a degree.

    People with physical or intellectual disabilities both fare worse in employment and are less likely to have college degrees. Those who are capable of finishing a college degree are more capable than the rest to do well in employment settings.

    People who live longer are able to earn more money over their lives. Those from advantaged backgrounds are more likely to live longer and have college degrees.

    In each of these cases, the completion of the degree serves as an indicator of one's potential being realized rather than creating the potential in itself.

    The Money, Lebowski

    College debt is completely out of control. The direct costs, the long-term financing, plus the opportunity cost of not working as much while going to school, need to be factored in. Also, the reality of inflation means that each of those extra million dollars earned will be worth less than each of the dollars spent out of pocket.


    These aren't even all of the reasons I can think of, just a brief rundown of a few that I can cram into a manageable forum post. There are way too many important, completely overlooked, variables to simply brush off everyone in the world who doesn't fit the ideal as an outlier or to assume that the information that we don't have conforms to our preconcieved conceptions.

    If we would actually deconfound all of the most important variables AND create fair categories to sample, THEN we would have a better way of understanding this question.

    How about, instead of all high school graduates VS all college graduates, we compare similarly ranking high school graduates who went to college vs those who didnt? Or compare high school graduates who dedicate time to autodidactic learning or starting businesses for 4-8 years to people who go to college for 4-8 years? That certainly sounds a lot more fair to me. Afterall, we want to know if COLLEGE increases earning potential, not dedication, motivation, persistence, intelligence, creativity, social skills, and the like since we already know that they do.
  9. LearningAddict

    LearningAddict Well-Known Member

    I understand that, but a limited age range like that is not adequate enough to address the big picture.
  10. Tireman 44444

    Tireman 44444 Well-Known Member

    And speaking of WEU, I got this email this morning......

    Big Changes Are Coming!

    We are happy that you have been involved as a student with World Education University (WEU). After this very short year we have learned much about how to better serve you. Thank you for your patience and your many words of support and your feedback about your learning experience and the questions that you have sent to us. This has provided valuable information to us about how to vastly improve the learning experience for you and future students.

    Here’s what’s coming:

    First, you may have noticed that our website has already been changed. You have probably seen some of the information about upcoming events. We are making a concerted effort to live up to our promise that WEU, pronounced as “We You,” really is a series of opportunities that “we” have built for “you.”

    Second, to live up to this promise we are releasing new courses in a format that is entirely new. We want students to be able to benefit from what they already know, so you will now have the option to take a pretest in each academic course that will allow you to demonstrate what you have already learned. You can pass any of the 15 units that make up a course simply by demonstrating that you know the material at the 80% level of competency. If you demonstrate competency at this level for all units of the course, you will be given credit for the entire course.

    Third, every course will be based on the principles of knowledge that apply to living and working in a global economy and a global human community. We will have a set of Foundational Competencies that will serve as the basis for all of our degrees and certificates. The current world demands that its citizens are better prepared to collaborate peacefully and productively with each other, to contribute to the material wellbeing of all, to practice positive personal and public health behaviors, and to promote a sustainable human existence on this beautiful planet.

    Fourth, every course will be fully automated, meaning that you will actually be able to move through each course at your own pace with full knowledge of your performance and progress. You will be able to repeat any and all parts of a course until you have attained 80% competency for every one of the 15 units of a course. As before, all of the courses will be free and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, anywhere you have access to the Internet.

    Fifth, all courses will be built upon the competencies that employers are looking for in new graduates. Traditional education simply assumes that by attending classes and performing at the 70% level that students will be ready to assume the duties of a new job. Employers tell us that this simply is not the case. You will be able to show future employers that you have demonstrated at least 80% proficiency in all of the competencies that they have identified as critical to productive work in their organizations (That is, the ability to analyze large amounts of data, to construct a cogent argument, to demonstrate effective written and oral communication, good decision-making skills, strong analytical thinking and research skills, effective collaboration skills, strong problem-solving ability, especially when confronting complex problems, and the ability to adapt to changing conditions).

    Sixth, this new learning approach will be featured in our new Global Associate of Arts Degree in General Studies. This degree will serve as the basis for entry into employment and as the basis for our future Bachelor’s Degree programs. The first of these will be a Global Bachelor’s Degree in Business and the second will be a Global Bachelor’s Degree in Computer and Information Technology.

    Seventh, you will have access to high quality and uplifting music events through WEU’s strategic partnerships with organizations committed to employing music as a way to foster positive human connections and behaviors. You will see on the new website that WEU is partnering with such organizations to provide a comprehensive music, arts, culinary, and educational festival on the 24-26th of October.

    Eighth, you will also see on the new website that we are partnering with Mark Victor Hansen, co-author of the internationally popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books and related products. His newest book, You Have a Book in You!!! has been published by World Education University Press and is available for purchase on our website. In addition, He has developed a course based on this book that is now available in order to work on your writing skills and your ability to market your publications and products. Mark Victor Hansen has a long history of involvement with projects promoting worthy causes around the globe and we are proud to have him as our partner.

    Finally, WEU is working with international as well as American educational organizations to promote the establishment of global educational standards. This will help to establish the transferability and credentialing of degrees and certificates based on international competency standards.

    Thank you again for supporting WEU. In the coming weeks you will see new courses coming on board. Please share our new courses and services with your friends and family.

    Education Should Be Free!
  11. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    There are always going to be some factors that are overlooked in a statistical study, mainly because there are an almost infinite number of variables. However, that DOES NOT mean that statistical analysis is of no use.

    Most comparisons that I have seen tend to separate people in to age blocks, negating the issue of college grads being older.

    A better question to be asked from your statement is "At what dollar amount in debt is the cost of college degree no longer financially advantageous for the student? I would also add age into that number (to take into account that older college graduates have fewer working years to reap the benefits of their degree)?"

    This is actually a really interesting question. Would anyone recommend that a 50 year old man take on $200K in debt to get a bachelors degree from a no name or for profit school? Probably not. However, what about an 18 year old kid who has the opportunity to go to his local state university for $20K? What about the 35 year old who can complete a degree at TESC for $5K?

    This is one of the interesting things about interpreting data. Your argument is that in order to get a more accurate understanding researchers should do more finely grained studies that try to take into account all of these variables. The problem is that at some point, your groupings becomes so precise that the sample size is too small to make any meaningful inference.

    Part of analyzing data (and making decisions based on it) is understanding that no study is perfect or has the perfect level of precision. Stats are not 100% predictive. That DOES NOT mean that they are meaningless and have no value. It also does not mean that one cannot make solid rational conclusions based on them.

    So, unless you are going to do the new study yourself, how should someone make a decision based on the existing studies? It is actually fairly simple. Look at the preponderance of the data. In other words, does the OVERWHELMING amount of data say that college graduates earn more than high school graduates? Are there ANY significant studies that say that people with just a high school diploma are as good or better off financially as college graduates?

    The second technique is even more powerful. Look at what you are earning (or can earn) NOW, without a college degree. Then look at the median starting salaries for the job you will pursue AFTER getting a degree. I saw this a lot when I was working at a university in their nursing department. We had several women who were CNAs (nurse assistants) who were studying to be nurses. As CNA's they were making $8-10 per hour. As new RN's they were starting at $20 per hour.
  12. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    These data are separated by GED and high school diploma. While GED holders earn less overtime, you can see that the earnings go up for both groups as they attain higher levels of education.
    GED Recipients Have Lower Earnings, are Less Likely to Enter College | Random Samplings

    All one has to do is compare the wages of jobs that do not require post-secondary education with jobs that do. The BLS is a good place to start. For speed, I'm using the Occupation Finder that places jobs into wage categories.

    Median Income Categories for Jobs that Require Less Than High School
    Lowest - Less than $25,000 (I'm not going to bother with counting the many jobs in this category.)
    Highest - $35,000-$54,999 (10 jobs in this category, and I checked all of them. All but one pay less than $40k.)

    Median Income Categories for Jobs that Require High School or Equivalent
    Lowest- Less than $25,000 (17 jobs in this category.)
    Highest - $35,000-$54,999 (7 jobs in this category, and I checked all of them. All but one pay less than $40k.)

    Median Income Categories for Jobs that Require Some College
    Lowest - Less than $25,000 (One job in this category.)
    Highest - $35,000-54,999 (Three jobs that pay between $45k and $50k.)

    Median Income Categories for Jobs that Require a Post-Secondary Award
    Lowest- Less than $25,000 (4 Jobs in this category.)
    Highest - $55,000-$74,999 (All of the jobs in this category pay less than $60k. There are three of them. )

    Median Income Categories for Jobs that Require an Associate's Degree
    Lowest - $25,000-$34,999 (Five jobs in this category.)
    Highest - $75,000 or More (Around $77k and $122k for the two jobs in this category.)

    Median Income Categories for Jobs that Require a Bachelor's Degree
    Lowest - Less than $25,000 (One job in this category.)
    Highest - $75,000 or More (There are 14 jobs in this category. These jobs range from mid-70s to mid-80s.)

    Median Income Categories for Jobs that Require a Master's Degree
    Lowest - $25,000 - $34,999 (One job in this category.)
    Highest - 75,000 or More (14 jobs in this category. Pay ranges from mid-70s to low 100s.)

    Median Income Categories for Jobs that Require a Doctorate or Professional Degree
    Lowest - $55,000-$74,999 (I'm not even going to bother with counting the many jobs in this category.)
    Highest - $75,000 or More (I'm not even going to bother with counting the many jobs in this category.)
    Occupation Finder : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

    This only looks at people ages 25 to 34. Those with bachelors degrees still earn more even though those with a high school diploma can be assumed to have had more time to gain experience in a particular field.
    Fast Facts

    Medians are used to limit the effect of outliers. The link I posted above only includes the median earnings from those who work full-time. This eliminates anyone with physical or intellectual disabilities who is working part-time. I know many of them work part-time so that they won't have their SSDI benefits cut.

    There are many studies that only look at monthly or yearly earnings. Those with bachelors degrees still earn more.

    The average student loan debt is just under $30k. Because it's the average and not the mean, this could be skewed one way on the other. However, it is easy to avoid $30k of debt by attending a community college the first two years and then moving on to a public university. People can also avoid having a lot of debt by not living off of their student loans. Even if you do graduate with $30k in debt, that is less than a year's worth of median wages for someone with a bachelors degree.

    Many of these studies have a "some college" category, so it's not high school graduates vs. college graduates.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2014
  13. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    To answer Maniac Craniac's other concern, here is a study from 1997 that looked at the interdependence of earnings, IQ, and schooling. Literature review and findings: Those with higher IQs tend to be encouraged to stay in school longer, but staying in school longer and continually can boost IQ. Among those with the same level of schooling, those with higher IQs earn more. However, they found that non-IQ factors had a greater effect on earnings than IQ.

    The study did note that there may be generational cohort differences. Schooling might have a smaller effect on the earnings of younger generations than older generations after taking IQ into account due to nearly universal school attendance.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2014
  14. Thatch

    Thatch New Member

    For those that like pictures with their data, I just stumbled upon this item at visually...

    Unemployment by Education Level | Visual.ly

    Certainly doesn't go into the depth that it could, but it's still a good way to view at least some of the difference.
  15. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Here's where I agree with you and where I have to kick myself for what I did in my first post. My point probably would have come off much more clearly if I kept it concise rather than flood the page with analogies and counter examples. Here is, as concisely as I'm able put it, the points that I'm really trying to make.

    College requires a significant investment in time, effort and money. To say that people who make a significant investment in time, effort and money towards furthering future financial opportunities are more likely to have financial success than those who don't is self-evident, making the comparison between the average high school graduate and the average college graduate moot. The question isn't whether or not college leads to greater financial success, but whether or not it is the most optimal means of obtaining that success. What would happen if I took the exact same amount of time and money and invested it into another venture with the same intent?

    It costs roughly $100,000 and requires, usually, four years of study to obtain a bachelor's degree (I should re-emphasize that both of these numbers are averages and rough ones at that). What if I took that time and that money and dedicated it to something else? Like learning the real estate market and buying rental property, working as an apprentice electrician or auto mechanic, obtaining certifications in in-demand fields, learning languages, learning how to run a business and investing in its start up?

    That is the kind of question that the college VS no college statistics fail to help us understand, when it is the only question that would yield an answer that would have practical value.
  16. sanantone

    sanantone Well-Known Member

    The average cost of a bachelor's degree is not $100k at a public college. The average public college is less than $10k per year. If one starts a successful automotive shop, then one could possibly do really well. Otherwise, the typical auto technician makes less than the typical high school teacher. Even when you factor in the student loan debt, teachers will come out ahead in just a couple of years considering that the average student loan debt is under $30k.

    You're also assuming that it's as easy for an 18 year old to obtain a business loans as it is to obtain a student loan and grants (which do not have to be paid back). By the way, the overwhelming majority of businesses fail within their first year.
  17. Jonathan Whatley

    Jonathan Whatley Well-Known Member

    Okay, let's just line up the capital to invest something like $100,000 each in the business plans of recent high-school graduates. Maniac, you're in charge of that. :tongue:
  18. mcjon77

    mcjon77 Member

    I have heard this argument before, and it is a good one. However there is a core flaw in the argument that few address.

    You stated "What if I took that time and that money and dedicated it to something else?" Here is the problem. With regards to the money, you cannot just do something else. Unless you are paying cash or your parents are paying cash, you most likely are paying for your tuition via student loans and scholarships. This is CRITICAL. If you were NOT in school, you would not have access to that capitol at those rates.

    Lets make it more clear with a comparison using your numbers. Even though sanantone is absolutely right about most state schools not costing $100K, lets use that number. The only thing I will change is that instead of graduating in 4 years, you graduate in 5 years (IIRC, 5 years is the average anyway).

    Current government loans will pay a max of $20,500 per year. This means that you can fully fund your tuition using government loans at an interest rate of 4.66%. That rate is only 0.46% more than the current average 30 year fixed mortgage rate (4.20% as of today). Keep in mind that this is an unsecured loan that you are eligible to REGARDLESS of income or credit history. When you graduate, your payments will be around $1000 per month OR 15% of your discretionary income, whichever is less (income based repayment is a beautiful thing). After 25 years, if there is still a balance, it is discharged.

    Now, lets say that our prospective student choses to follow your suggestions.
    1) take that $100K and invest it in the real estate market? NOPE. He is not getting a loan without a good job and a credit history.

    2)investing that $100K in a business? NOPE, see number 1 for a reason. In fact, it is even harder to get a loan for a business than for real estate.

    3) apprentice auto mechanic or electrician? auto mechanics traditionally start in vocational programs at community colleges, which cost money (which you can pay using your student loans). I don't know much about electrician apprenticeships. They seem like a good deal.

    4) Learn languages and/or gain other in demand certifications (I am thinking of tech certifications). This is actually a good idea. HOWEVER, if you gain language proficiency and tech certs, why not just transfer them into college credit at some place like TESC, COSC, Excelsior, or WGU?

    Options 3 and 4 bring up really good points that are missed. The auto mechanic, electrician, AND the cert options lead to skills that one can EASILY convert into college credit. The $100K college vs technical training issue is kind of a straw man, because one does not have to spend a $100K on college AND college and technical training are not mutually exclusive.

    In the case of your auto mechanic or electrician, is there a good argument for them NOT to convert those certs into college credits and gain a BA or AA for under $10K? How valuable would that degree be for the auto mechanic or electrician who wants to fast track his career to a management position.

    Coming from tech, I see TONS of people who got into the industry with just certs or coding skills and did well. However, in the vast majority of cases, I have seen these same people hit a ceiling in their career and chose to complete their BA/BS to break through that ceiling.

    Considering how much WE on degreeinfo know about distance learning and less expensive ways to go to college, why even talk about the $100,000 bachelor's degree? I have had people come to me with similar questions, and I tell them about the big 3, WGU, CLEP, and other options to make their education MUCH MUCH cheaper. At that point, whether or not a $100K BA/BS is better than no college becomes a moot point.
  19. Tim D

    Tim D Member

    A BS or BA for the Auto mechanic is a waste. Unless an auto mechanic is bad at business he is not going to need the degree to advance. In fact, I would argue there is no real ROI on a degree. In fact, most Automotive Dealership Service Managers do not have a degree. It may be useful if only the mechanic decides to change careers and depending on how long they have been in the business, they will have to accept a pay cut.
    Not much changes for the electrician either. I would argue that both career fields have a better ROI than 4 years of college, anyway. In fact, the lack of technical education in the US is a real issue and will grow as the mechanics, plumbers and machinists continue to age.

    Furthermore, there can be no argument that where one gets their degree really amkes a huge difference in opportunities. So yes, one can get a degree from the big three but it will not pay the dividends of a degree form a major well known university. Also, what one studies also makes a world of difference.
  20. toddsbiyj

    toddsbiyj New Member

    Better yet, go into the oilfield at an early age (say anywhere from 18-21) work hard making a decent wage and move up the ranks where in roughly 5 or so years, you will make well over 100k/year working a rotational overseas position an only working 6 months out of the year. then if you are so inclined and the stars line-up, somewhere in the 8-15 year mark you will be making anywhere from 170k to greater than 200k/year as you slowly progress.

    Or somewhere in the process, go back to school while making a good salary and get a degree so you can move up even faster into the shore-based asset/regional management positions.

    Just my 2 cents worth, lol.

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