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 What is the value of a college education?

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Registration date : 2007-12-15

PostSubject: What is the value of a college education?   Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:14 pm

The other day I was watching the news and heard about a man who did not have a college degree but had a 6 figure income. For those of us, including me, who may not appreciate the numbers, his income was greater than $100,000. He wanted to send his kids to college and, so far, was in debt to about $150K. Lets say that his kids graduate in 4 years with a bachelors degree and some debt. So where are we. The father has a six figure income, everyone has some debt and hopefully the kids can find a job.
My question then what is the value of a college degree?
While I have a BS in biology, I earned my income with other degrees. Never the less, the most helpful degree for me was the liberal arts degree because I was exposed to a wide variety of areas that I still value.
You have to respect someone who is making a 6 figure income and wants to send his kids to college. However, you also have to ask if this is really the best financial decision.

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Age : 36
Location : Roanoke, VA
Registration date : 2014-10-07

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:37 pm

My parents couldn't afford college for themselves or us three kids so I let Uncle Sam cover my education. Both while I was in the Navy and now after for my Network Security Bachelor's. My middle sister is paying her own way, and my youngest is a police officer. None of us are rich but we are doing alright for ourselves. I think the real value comes from the ethics and values that our parents tought us. You don't value something handed to you nearly as much as something you worked to earn.
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Age : 55
Location : Alaska
Registration date : 2013-02-14

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Fri Nov 14, 2014 10:51 pm

Interesting topic. My highest formal level of education is a G.E.D. I have a certificate of graduation from Navy schools for Xray and Surgical tech. As an MRI Tech, I hit 90k a year and that combined with my Navy retirement pay, I easily break the 100k mark. So, depending on the route you want to take, a college degree is not necessary.
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Age : 34
Location : Briarwood, NY (not joking)
Registration date : 2009-06-21

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:29 am

A college education is just that, an education. Both my degrees are in psychology from liberal arts schools. I knew I couldn't afford nor make it in med/law school so I took advantage of the opportunity to learn about...things.

Value is determined by real/created perception of those who are willing to pay for it and not all degrees are perceived the same way.

There is a difference between a degree and an education. Some employers are more interested in paying for your degree, others for your education, all in the assumption that you will deliver what they need.

So my answer: College is only as valuable as what other people are willing to pay for the results that such education/experience brings them, which in some cases isn't even necessary to give them what they're willing to pay for.
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Location : fly over country
Registration date : 2012-10-23

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Sat Nov 15, 2014 12:48 am

Value is in learning to think, gaining a marketable skill (sheepskin), increased job satisfaction (?) due to using your mind vs your back, and a job that has minimum demands on your body so you'll live longer and be in better shape in your dotage.
On one hand...4 years of college @$10,000/year equals $40,000 minimum invested in your education. If the only job you can get pays $30,000/year then it will be awhile before you recoup your investment. On the other hand (G): HS education. Start in a factory. $13.00/hour..$26,000/year times four (your college education time) equals $104,000. Add in the $40,000 you spent on your degree equals $144.000 which is the true cost of your college education. If you are reasonably intelligent and dependable, you increase your skills at the factory..do utility work..then technician work, move up to maintenance (machine repair not a janitor) and you're making $40.00/hr plus..
Think about that, Mister Career Counselor!
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Age : 30
Location : New Jersey
Registration date : 2013-01-27

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Sat Nov 15, 2014 9:39 am

I did not go to college. I find it funny and slightly absurd that you have to go to college for careers now, that you didn't years ago. my wife went to college and shes a elementary school teacher. I think the whole education system in the U.S. is totally messed up, you should hear some of the arguments we have about school.

if your a motivated, hard working person you can make a great living weather its with a college degree or a trade skill.

we are stilling paying my wifes school loans off, the value is what you make of your education its how you put your degree to work and how hard you work with it.
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Richard Burley


Location : North Coast NY
Registration date : 2011-04-09

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Sat Nov 15, 2014 11:57 am

Leftist sewers, for the most part, fine-tuning the debris excreted from our high schools. Free speech isn't even tolerated. Attend at your own risk to your mind and wallet, with your eyes wide open.
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Location : Brandenburg, Ky
Registration date : 2007-12-10

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Sat Nov 15, 2014 1:35 pm

I'm with Richard.. Down with smart people!!!

And SMG.. †Down with paid for education, the taxpayers should foot the bill!!!

And Bosun.. Learn to use a screw driver you idiots!!!

And with Bentbulldog.. whatever he said!!!

(Obvious troll is obvious)
Disclaimer: I didn't deliberately exclud Fatman. feazelle (strange name we need the story) or Bub from trolling, I just could remember what you said..
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Age : 48
Location : Orlando, FL
Registration date : 2014-01-24

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:15 pm

I'm a college professor, so my perspective is conditioned by that of course. In theory, the value of a college education is exactly that: an education. I tell my students straight up that if all they want is an employment credential, they're wasting my time and theirs (not to mention their or their parents' money). They would be better off going to technical school or apprenticing themselves into a trade if all they seek is employment. In my classroom, and in the classrooms of my colleagues, they will (again in theory) be exposed to ideas that will challenge and inspire them. They will learn to read more carefully, think more critically, write more effectively, and reflect more systematically on the questions that men and women have been engaged with throughout our history as a thinking species. All of that SHOULD make them better at any job they choose to do, which is why employers (once again in theory) like to see a college education as part of their employees' preparation.

The fact that I liberally peppered this response with "in theory"s shows that I know this is an idealized picture of how it all works. I am all too aware that many (most?) of my students are underprepared, unmotivated, and lacking appreciation for what a liberal education can mean for their lives. Most of my classes are gen ed, and for most students, they're just one more hurdle on the way to the credential they believe they're supposed to be after. But every semester, I teach at least a few students who are changed for the better by my classes--and they tell me so. I hear that they are so glad I made them read such-and-such, so glad I challenged them to be better writers, so glad I wouldn't let them shrink from thinking about things that made their heads hurt.

My religion students tell me that they never realized how many diverse perspectives there have been on good and evil, on ultimate reality, on what it all means when we are confronted with the inevitable fact of mortality. My humanities students tell me how eager my classes have made them to read, to travel, to study history.

I know our colleges and universities are far from perfect. I know they are often too expensive, populated by too many administrators, and staffed by too many underpaid and overworked adjuncts. I know that, like all human institutions, they are subject to pettiness, politics, and territoriality. But I also know I have changed a lot of lives over the years, and I know there's nothing I would rather do. To me, that's the value of a college education.
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Location : Diocese of Northern Indiana
Registration date : 2013-05-29

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:34 pm

Perhaps a better question has to do with how you define "value."

I have two degrees, a few certifications and two ordination certificates. I taught 32 years before going to full time parish work. I have 40+ hours on a D.Min. and completed a three year course of study in Theology with a few credit courses from Notre Dame to get me through canonical exams. I am happy with where I am, and I am glad to have had the opportunity to take all those classes and read all those books. I am not really paid all that much in the grand scheme of things, but I did not go into teaching or ministry to get rich. It has all been worth it to me, and I don't have regrets.

Is that all valuable enough?

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View user profile http://www.tobaccoreviews.com/user/14371


Registration date : 2010-04-03

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Sat Nov 15, 2014 8:44 pm

I got out of HS back in the day mostly because the teachers didn't want to deal with me for another year. got drafted, got married, went to one of those 'computer programming' tech schools.. after a few computer operator jobs I moved up to systems programmer because they saw that I was interested and was always one step behind them when there was a problem. stayed 5 years and them was asked to take another job by someone I had known at the first job. stayed over 10 years and the same thing happened an old manager asked me to join him starting up a new IBM system for a hospital from the ground up. stayed there 25 years before retiring. in our small tech group we had 6 people. one had a PhD in something he had never actually done, one had an MBA that he had never used, the female in the group had a master in performance music, both the others has some kind of 4 year degree. I was the only one with just a HS education and did the same highly technical work they did. but, if I would have had a better education particularly writing and grammar it sure would have made all the report writing much easier and cleaner. in my free time these days I take literature and history classes I'll never get a degree becuase I'm only interested in what I'm interested in.
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Age : 75
Location : Connecticut
Registration date : 2012-02-26

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:28 pm

The value of a college education might be that it keeps a lot of young people out of a job market that can't absorb them. In the meantime, they might learn some skill that people will pay them for doing. Better yet, they may have a light bulb go off that enables them to be successfully self employed. I've often wondered just why it takes sixteen (16!!) years -- K-12, frosh through senior -- to accomplish this. But it does keep them out of the job market for a time.
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J Soshae


Age : 45
Location : Birmingham, AL
Registration date : 2011-08-19

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:53 am

Bub, original post sounds like it is describing me except we are cash flowing college. Our boys are 5 years apart so we did not have overlap of expenses.

I pushed college because I wanted them to have more choices for careers.

All careers come down to providing a product or service to others. Some fields require a certificate. Anyone can choose to be a Sam Walton without a degree.
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Age : 41
Location : Sofia, Bulgaria
Registration date : 2014-02-17

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Thu Nov 20, 2014 6:58 am

You can always study abroad. Here in Europe, you get decent college education either for free, or with minimal fees, (something like $2 000 a year).
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Age : 37
Location : Philly
Registration date : 2011-08-18

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Thu Nov 20, 2014 9:43 am

This topic always makes me stop and think. The only answer I can come up with is that I am incredibly fortunate to have wound up where I am.

I went to a state School for undergrad, and had scholarships to pay for what little tuition I was actually charged. When all was said and done it cost me about $800 a semester, and working as an EMT, I was able to graduate without debt.

Law School was another story. I graduated with more than $100k in debt. Eight years later, despite paying faithfully each and every month, that figure is still above $90k (gotta love compounding interest). Fortunately I found (stumbled into) some success in my career and I am able to earn a good living. Many of my cohort are not so fortunate and are struggling to make ~$1000 monthly student loan payments on $50,000 salaries. That math just doesn't add up.

My wife, has two masters degrees and nearly as much debt as I do, but she has a public interest job that pays her 1/3 of what I make. She would not be able to live on her own and pay her loans.

At the end of the day, I pay more to Sallie Mae each month than the average person pays in mortgage, but I make enough money that I can still afford a modest house and a reasonably middle class lifestyle. I drive an 8 year old car and bring my lunch to work, but my son is in a good daycare, and we can usually afford one trip a year to visit my folks in FL and take the little man to visit Mickey.
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Age : 42
Location : Fairhope, Al
Registration date : 2012-04-10

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:39 am

To each is own I think, and this is an odd topic for me too. I went to college for 5 years, (wasn't a great student) and the best thing I got from it, and I really mean best, is my wife. I didn't learn how to think, I learned how to follow as thoughts were crammed down my throat. I came out pretty disillusioned about things.

To this day I am two classes from my degree, and I've never seemed to need it. I'll admit that having college experience probably helped me get better entry level jobs, but it was hard work and probably some street smarts that helped me get those six figure jobs. They're not all they're cracked up to be either, as most come with stress levels that one can't believe.

Now, here I am making pipes for a living, making honestly less per month than I used to pay in taxes, and I'm happy as a clam. Do what you like, and figure out how to live within your means! I wish they could have taught me that in college.

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View user profile http://GrowleyPipes.com


Age : 52
Location : Austin Texas
Registration date : 2014-09-28

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Thu Nov 20, 2014 12:22 pm

I never graduated college and make +150k a year, Iím not bragging. †This topic just interested me enough to tell my story on this subject. † After graduating HS I was working 2 jobs, going to college and dating my wife. †I was lucky to get 4-5 hours of sleep a night back then. †So I decided to join the military, in an MOS that aligned with the degree I was pursuing in college (IT). †I took classes while in the military but I became discouraged because the classes I was required to take that had nothing to do with my IT career. †I know, I know it is teaching improved writing, reading, logic processing, etc. †but I discovered that I still had very little time between military service, college and family time. †So I stopped taking courses a couple of years into my service contract. †I ended up completing my military service and my first civilian job I received a substantial increase in pay compared to military pay. †After that, each subsequent job change or promotion I received substantial increases in pay.

The only time that not having a degree was negative for me was when I was in Management and I was informed that there was a ceiling for promotion without a degree. †

After my last FTE position (where I was informed there was a ceiling for not having a degree), I was laid off from that position. †I decided to open my own IT company (company of 1, me) and knock wood Iíve been making a hell of a living, loving what I do and the flexibility to pick in choose jobs that I want.

Now I am pursuing continue education in business and financial †courses to help me in my business/company.

In closing, I would say that it would have been better if I had gone to a technical school instead of a traditional school. †FYI, it took me 6 years to pay off my college debt after I completed my military service. †My debt was deferred until after my military service was completed.
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PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:07 pm

I never attended college myself. I attended a vocational school my Senior year of High School and found a job in Graphic Design before my graduation. I learned everything I know on the job or taught it to myself over the years. Several years ago I moved to New York and accepted a management position in the Graphics Department of a large magazine publisher. Not too bad for a kid from Ohio who never set foot in a college class.

During my time there I didn't put much value on a college education. As an employer, EXPERIENCE in the field is what mattered to me. The one and only time I hired someone directly out of college it was a complete cluster-F@#& and I spent more time training that person and "breaking" them of bad habits and teaching them everything that their education DIDN'T that it almost wasn't worth my time.

For myself personally I'm glad I never wasted my time or money on a college education. I'm not going to say that they aren't of any value but I think in this day and age we place too much value on them. 20 years ago having a degree was worth something... Now almost everyone has a degree from somewhere, ether online or from an actual college, so you almost can't use that as a basis for employment. Now it is what you can bring to the table in the way of experience.

My wife has a degree in International Business and Languages... We are still paying off her college and it wasn't until about two years ago she even found a job in her field. Prior to that she worked at a call center answering phones all day for $8.00 an hour. Even now working in her field she doesn't make as much money as I do without a college education.

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Location : fly over country
Registration date : 2012-10-23

PostSubject: Re: What is the value of a college education?   Thu Nov 20, 2014 11:54 pm

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