Why Are University Degrees Worth Less and Less?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by mintaru, Dec 18, 2022.

  1. Grand Ma/Pa Moses

    Grand Ma/Pa Moses New Member

    This reminds me of the early years IT/Systems security roles requiring CISM/CISSP. How can it be?
  2. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” - George Santayana (Always liked him.)
    "History repeats itself. First as tragedy, second as farce." - Karl Marx (Never liked him.)

    Article on 10 worst ways history has repeated itself. Credential inflation and IT hiring rules didn't make the cut. https://history.howstuffworks.com/historical-events/10-worst-ways-history-has-repeated-itself.htm

    Maybe next time... :(
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2023
    Maniac Craniac likes this.
  3. addision

    addision Member

    Here is my take on it.

    On average degrees are worth less because of the high cost of education and the demand for employees. The high cost of education does not make sense if someone with no degree can get the same job, as has been the case in the past decade.

    However, there are a few instances where I would be very happy to have my degree. I have a wife and many friends which are all mostly Phd's that work for multi-national companies (Fuji Film, Amazon, Google , Apple) and they work with many people that do not have a degree. Yet all of the people I know admit that as they become more established in their careers and they want to move up into management they not only would need a degree in their field but also an MBA to set them apart from their peers that are fighting for the same management positions. Yes, Phd's need MBA's or management degrees to compete for higher positions in management.

    A second case for having a degree is when times are tuff and the job market is tight. Unless a hiring employer knows you and your skill set, they will be looking for the best candidate. On paper that means more than likely it will be someone that has demonstrated they have a minimum amount of competency and the easiest way for a filter to sort through hiring applications is to look for a degree.

    Now how do you overcome the high cost of education? Well, you have to determine the end use of your degree. Are you likely to be one of those people that will use a high pedigree degree to get a top job with a top firm? Out of all the people looking for jobs few will get one at the top companies. Therefore you should not be running up the debt just to get a specific name on a degree. Find a way to get the degree at the most reasonable cost you can that will fit your needs. This is how to make your degree valuable.

    Personally I tell my kids this... get the highest level of education you can. If you have a Phd you can always compete for the jobs requiring a masters degree, not the other way around. Most employers will try to get the most value from their hiring dollar especially when the economy tanks. Some employers will consider the fact that if they hire you and you are overqualified you may leave when times are good, but enough will still want the candidate with the most experience and credentials with all else being equal. If need be and time are really tough you can just omit the fact you have a Phd and compete for jobs with a bachelors degree. But always try to put yourself in the best possible position because when times are hard, you don't want to be the one out of a job.

    I will be going for my Phd next in the the non-traditional way. My entire education will have cost me no more than 20k-25k total, My bachelors from TESU for about 3k, masters degree 10k. Just one friend from Yale spent more than that in one year on his BS degree and makes what I do.

    This is the way to make education valuable again, it is all about perception.
    Dustin likes this.
  4. Johann

    Johann Well-Known Member

    Interesting. Can you tell us more on this? In what way is your plan "non-traditional?" Many fans of "non-traditional" here. Why, we even have a PhD on board, whose RA Doctorate is in the field of Non-Traditional Education. :)
    Messdiener and Dustin like this.
  5. Lerner

    Lerner Well-Known Member

    When I was a kid earning a bachelors degree was an exception, most people I knew did high-school, service in army and some vocational training.
    My mom earned a 2 year Technicum degree as Tavaroved - merchandiser. Most entered industry after HS and at the time it was only 10 grades to graduate HS.
    As time passed there was an increase in need of Specialists a 5 year degree programs etc.
    Now comparing to our days, everyone is expected to have a degree. My youngest sons friends are about to complete their Harvard PhDs.
    All his friends and classmates are University grads, and many with advanced degrees.
    Daughter is working on her masters. What a change from time when I was a little kid to my early 20s and now.
    When I earned a degree I was second in the whole family to have a University degree. All cousins, uncles and aunts and distant relatives didn't had a 4 years degree.
    Some relatives completed Ychileshe or Techinikum vocational education.
    Now a person without a degree is an exception.
  6. nomaduser

    nomaduser Active Member

    This is correct. I got an IT degree from one of the top 100-200 US universities.

    I'm still not employable. My resume was rejected over 100 times. GPA of 3.5 means nothing.

    US universities are full of shits.
  7. SteveFoerster

    SteveFoerster Resident Gadfly Staff Member

    Where one went to school is not the only factor in who will want to hire you, or even the only factor on whether your resume will get you a job interview.
    JoshD, Dustin, Johann and 1 other person like this.
  8. Dustin

    Dustin Well-Known Member

    Most people have terrible resumes. I've written and reviewed a lot. Even very skilled professionals I know have awful-looking resumes. You might look into a resume review, making sure that you're highlighting the skills you have, the projects you've completed and how you can meet the requirements of the role.
    nomaduser, Rachel83az, JoshD and 2 others like this.
  9. Acolyte

    Acolyte Active Member

    I agree 100%. People don't know how to present themselves. They highlight stuff that doesn't matter to the person hiring them. A degree used to be "shorthand" for some of that stuff - an assumed level of competency or some reassurance that someone had the acumen to be "trained into a position" , but employers are often looking for specific skill sets these days, especially with all of the various technological tools we have and varying competencies across different aspects of our jobs.
    Rachel83az, Dustin and Maniac Craniac like this.
  10. Maniac Craniac

    Maniac Craniac Moderator Staff Member

    I suspect that my resumé has been lacking, despite being well-organized and visually attractive. I've only ever gotten jobs where my resume was more of a formality than anything, or did freelance work where a check-in-the-box credential was needed and nothing else mattered. It's on my major to-do list to take a free course and/or read some books on how to make a better resumé. There's really no point in spending hundreds of hours looking for work if you can't coherently show others why they should give you the time of day.

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