Interesting article. College is a scam!

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Koolcypher, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. Koolcypher

    Koolcypher Member

  2. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    The same things we hear from time to time.
    Th examples of a few dropouts who are successful etc.

    The facts remain strong that college education is a great asset to have.
    As to partying etc yes this is a part of the culture of many traditional schools.

    One should see a great satisfaction of getting college degree especially for successful people who are in their 40s, 50's , 60's.

    Lets ask the author of this article if he would like to have a surgery by university graduate MD or a drop out, the same would he liked to drive a car designed by college drop outs? Buildings, bridges architectural by unlearned or by properly educated architects etc.

    Yes at time we can see successful person who didn't attend college. But the % is low.
    There are more low wages jobs occupied by people who can't get better jobs because they don't have proper education.
  3. The_Professor

    The_Professor New Member

    One must consider the source: Faux News reporter and Princeton graduate John Stossel.

    It’s also funny to note that according to Wikipedia, after his infamous smackdown by professional wrestler David Shultz back in 1984, Stossel sued and won a settlement of $425,000 from the WWF. He later writes in his book that he has come to regret doing so, having adopted the belief that lawsuits harm hundreds of innocent people.
    I kinda doubt that the little hypocrite gave the money back in order to clear his conscience and stand on his principles.
  4. SurfDoctor

    SurfDoctor Moderator Staff Member

    I agree with the above. It's easy for people like Peter Thiel, who have done very well, to criticize higher ed, and for him, higher ed is unimportant. But the majority of people in the world, most of which will never start something genius like PayPal, a university degree is a way to improve their chances of a decent income and a decent life. Sure there are exceptions, but in general, a college degree is the way to go.

    I wish I could think of something like PayPal that would be hugely successful, if I did, I might not worry so much about a degree either.
  5. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    If you actually read this entire post, you get an e-cookie :party:

    Education is not something you can expect from a classroom, it is something you have to expect from yourself.

    I agree 100% with the article, although I really don't like John Stossel's writing style. A

    True. However, only because people believe it to be. It's both a self-fulfilling prophesy and a circular argument. That is a part of the scam. It is extremely difficult to intentionally change cultural attitudes, so, indeed, it is very practical for an individual to get a college degree- even if it acts to perpetuate the wasteful self-fulfilling prophesy.

    Yes, it is an accomplishment that someone should be proud of. Then again, that is also a part of the scam. Why should anyone feel like he or she has to get a college degree to strengthen ones self-concept and to achieve self-efficacy? The way my high school teachers and guidance counselors drilled the idea of "needing" to go to college, it actually scared me, like they had been brainwashed to the point where they were completely incapable of imagining a happy, successful life at the end of divergent paths.

    Analogy 1) In some ways, it reminds me of why I don't drink coffee. It is absolutely frightening to me to hear people claim that they "need" coffee in order to wake up in the morning and be alert. I've even had people, with eyes wide open and jaws dropped, asking me how I can get up out of bed in the morning without drinking coffee. My answer, of course, is that I can easily get up out of bed in the morning BECAUSE I don't drink coffee. The fact that they are so programmed into thinking that coffee = wakefulness and can not imagine it any other way is very similar to how certain people are programmed into thinking that college = success and can not imagine it any other way.

    Analogy 2): I don't have to ever participate in a marathon to enjoy the great benefits of my jogging routine. Likewise, I do not ever have to have a college degree in order to enjoy the great benefits of learning new things and growing intellectually. Of course, it is a goal of mine to run in marathons, just like it is goal of (myself as well as) others to get a college degree. However, let's call a spade a spade here. I want to run in a marathon because it will make me feel good, not because it will make me a better runner. My dedication to bettering myself will suffice in that respect. Similarly, the point of accomplishment with respect to a college degree is simply to make someone feel good. If one doesn't need that feeling, or doesn't consider that feeling to be worth the time and money, then that one can do without and shouldn't be judged negatively for it. Different strokes for different folks, I say.

    Straw man argument. Some fields require specialized training that can only be safely, and thoroughly, done under the supervision of experts. For those people, college (or specific trade school) is exactly the right path for them. The article was not about those people.

    Completely incorrect. Partially, yet glaringly, because "successful" is subjective concept. An extremely low % of all people have college degrees. By your definition of success, hardly anybody who has ever lived has been successful. In your estimation, life sucks for the vast majority of people, and mainly because they didn't attend college. Sorry, but that is, in my perspective if not yours, simply nonsense.

    That doesn't make any sense at all. If everyone went to college, higher paying jobs wouldn't magically appear. In fact, the exact opposite has happened to college grads. There are more people, both in absolute and percentage terms, who hold college degrees than ever before. Yet, they are finding that the type of jobs that they are now qualified for are the same type of jobs that a high school diploma could get you 30, 20, or even 10 years ago. Not only are higher paying jobs not magically appearing, but these jobs are not magically paying more simply because the people taking them now have degrees. Rather, the students themselves are getting into significant amount of debt to do the same thing that the previous generation never had to go to college for. That is, of course, all a part of the scam.

    Lest anyone think otherwise, I'm not bashing the general idea of a college education. I just don't think that it is for everybody, nor that those who do not go to college are by necessity less intelligent, informed or competent. The more people are told that they MUST go to college, the more money (both from individuals and from the government, IE, taxes) gets wasted into a make-work system. If you want to talk about fixing the economy and improving the quality of peoples lives, how about ceasing the encouragement of a system that takes hampers a person's ability to save for a home, or healthcare, or retirement just to get a document that one likely could have done without anyway.
  6. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Genetic fallacy. The source should only be called in question in terms of whether or not the facts presented are reliable. The few facts presented are not original, and the piece was mostly an opinion. If you disagree with his opinion, or have facts that refute it, then by all means present them, but bashing the writer won't change the strength of the arguments presented.

    Has zero to do with the article.
  7. Delta

    Delta Active Member

    Absolutely! However, does one need to get into a huge amount of debt to obtain a college degree?
    I for one am grateful there are numerous cost effective pathways to gaining a college education.
    Stated another way, college is not a scam just because you spent $10,000 for a Bachelors degree instead of $100,000!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 7, 2011
  8. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    You have specific goals that you needed your degrees to accomplish. You also have an invaluable ROI to your doctorate, since it is something that you want as a personal accomplishment. The article does nothing to diminish either of those reasons for going to college.

    I'd like to repeat the point I made earlier about not being able to change culture. The reality of the situation is, for many if not most people, it is a wise decision to go to college. Only, however, because of the self-fulfilling prophesy and circular argument. I will be eligible for some huge increases in pay when I get my Bachelors, but not because it will make me a better interpreter, more competent, reliable, or intelligent. It will simply be because I have the degree. Therefore, it makes sense for me to do so... although I don't think it makes sense that I should have to do so. If people didn't have the idea in their heads that a college degree was worth a pay raise, then it wouldn't be worth a pay raise and my career success would be based upon my actual competencies and experience.
  9. japhy4529

    japhy4529 House Bassist

    MC - So given your views on college, I have to ask why choose to moderate an online distance learning forum? I can see being a reader of such a forum, since as you mentioned, you are continuing to pursue higher education for career/financial reasons. However, you are on here all the time discussing various degree options and such and you seemed to enjoy it thoroughly. Why do you take so much time out of your schedule for something that bothers you so much? Can you enjoy what you also appear to disdain on an institutional level? Perhaps it's a love/hate thing... Just askin'!
  10. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I think you can find the answers to all of these questions in my posts above. I'm not against college, I am against the idea that everyone HAS to go. I don't think that college is a bad thing, only that it is not for everybody, and it should not be advertised as if it were for everybody. I work in colleges and my observation has been that the vast majority of people who go really don't belong there and graduate with hardly any notable improvements in knowledge, academic skills, critical thinking or even things as basic as social skills and oration. If you are not there to learn, you will not learn, but will probably still graduate. If you are there to get a degree, then that is all you will ever get.

    I repeat my motto: Education is not something you can expect from a classroom, it is something you have to expect from yourself. This does not mean that education can not happen in a classroom, but if it does, it comes from no one but yourself. Education is not something that can be bought, sold, given nor received. It is a choice one can make in any moment of one's life.
  11. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Oh, by the way, I moderate this site because I believe in it's mission and note that it has helped countless people to achieve their goals. I look at this as if I am doing a public service. I like this community very much, oftentimes even more so when I disagree with what nearly everyone else thinks :wink: DegreeInfo is a much better medium for information sharing when it is not bogged down by spam or argumentative distractions or overloaded with people who have nefarious ulterior motives. I know that someone has to moderate DegreeInfo, so why not let it be me, someone who will faithfully and dutifully carry out the responsibility? :wavey:
  12. TEKMAN

    TEKMAN Semper Fi!

    I think the article is stupid. What the statistic between dropouts successful vs college degrees holder successful? Is dropout successful number higher than college degree holders successful? If not...shut the pile hole and go back to school. lol
  13. Abner

    Abner Well-Known Member

    Or apply a pile driver. :smile: :banana:

  14. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    Why should one take the long way around? Just wait until the ref isn't looking and... :chairshot:
  15. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    The same point was made in a recent article in The Atlantic, entitled: "The Importance of College: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy".

    No one doubts that college degrees have great value for gaining employment in today's economy. However, the broader question is: should they necessarily have this value?

  16. 03310151

    03310151 New Member

    Just so I'm straight on this one. Articles that say college is awesome = Great, no matter the source. Articles that say college is a scam = Bad, and doubly bad cause I don't like the source.

    OK, got it.
  17. CalDog

    CalDog New Member

    OK, but let's consider another scenario. Would you care if your mail was delivered by a high school dropout, vs. a college graduate?

    Fifty years ago, mailmen commonly lacked high school diplomas. And nobody cared. In fact, the idea of a college-educated mailman would have been considered laughable. Why would any rational person invest 4 years and much of their savings on a college education, if their career plans centered on delivering mail ?

    Yet today, a high school diploma is mandatory for mailmen, and a significant (and growing) percentage actually do have college degrees. Is this because the nature of the job today requires more education ? No -- it's just because employers -- including the Postal Service, Fedex, UPS, etc. -- use educational credentials as a means of filtering job candidates.

    So our modern society today has the best-educated mailmen in history. But there is no evidence whatsoever that this has improved our local mail delivery.
  18. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    Well lets see.

    I just looked at, and couple of other job sites.

    Majority of jobs require a DEGREE, that's the reality.

    I also think having a business degree can help to lunch a successful business.
    For example in Business school one studies Business Ethics what with tools to perform stakeholder analysis, issue analysis and how to ethically resolve them and this is just a small example, how about learning Business communication or behavior, accounting etc.

    The college degree providing great tools to make a person better employee or business man.

    And most of the jobs require DEGREE.

    Well not the taxi driver but even taxi driver can benefit from education, and some are highly educated taxi drivers out there because of age discrimination.
    Non of the college educated have ever felt that it was a waste of time to earn that degree. Tools for life, yes tools like critical thinking all come from college education.

    My father was street smart WW2 interrupter his schooling at age 12.
    Since then he was a business man and successful one, he made at home leather products, half of our kitchen was a small factory to making gloves, boots etc.
    These times he wasn't competences against cheap labor but against low supply in communist country.

    So he did well, we always had all our needs provided, but he stressed to me that I should get higher education for many reasons. He was right.
    I glad he gave the advise.
  19. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I know I have dominated this thread, but please allow me to add...

    Delivering mail is a very respectable job that requires many admirable characteristics. Your letter-carrier, college or not, may be very well-read, may know 18 languages, may know how to play an instrument or fix cars but chose a job based upon practical and personal reasons. Maybe he/she likes to walk around. Maybe he/she likes the benefits. Maybe he/she loves wearing socially unacceptably short shorts. His job has nothing to do with his education, and his intellectual accomplishments have nothing to do with his job. "Success" in his/her life may not require a higher degree.
  20. major56

    major56 Active Member

    Whether a college degree in actuality [is] or [isn’t] paramount as presented in Stossel’s article is in my view … predominately perception; and that the vast belief shaped some time ago by the post-secondary education industry being that the college degree [is] vital to the holder’s future and/or current success. Seemingly this perception has been adopted by most in society as well as both private and public industry. As any effective marketer is fully aware … perception is all that really matters; it’s the beholder’s truth /reality. Consider that perception links to behavior … and behaviors are exceedingly difficult to change.

    My thought is that the overall perception of post-secondary importance will prevail (e.g., soundly established); and any potential perception decline /behavior link would be mostly economic as economies continue to deteriorate further.

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