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[–]Countach_3D 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (3 children)

The traditional question is:

If you had to pick between the degree, or the knowledge you gained while earning it, which would you choose?

I suspect for most grads nowadays, it's the degree.

But if you want a pay bump go to a vocational school, not university.

A true well-rounded liberal arts education makes you a fuller person, a better citizen, Socrates' examined life and all that. I'm aware that degree inflation has made a university education a prerequisite for many white-collar jobs, but the skills learned are tangential at best to most office work and in an ideal world university would be available to all who are willing and able to broaden their perspective on the world, without forcing others who feel like they need to be there just to earn a dignified living.

[–]Countach_3D 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

And you are correct that we can't all be plumbers and carpenters, but there is nothing inherent to those positions that makes them capable of supporting a family (and they would be just as subject to falling wages if suddenly a flood of new plumbers were trained.)

Thinking of construction or manufacturing as "well-paying jobs" is a category error. Those jobs pay (paid) well because over the course of half a century workers collectively insisted on better compensation (i.e. a larger share of the profits they generate). When the economy shifted and fewer of those jobs were necessary, the jobs that replaced them hadn't undergone the same decades-long process of securing dignified working conditions.

If by "the disastrous effects of globalism" you mean free trade it's pretty difficult to predict which industries will be resistant to the shifting sands of hypercapitalism. Pretty much any knowledge work can be done by AI, or at least by any English speaker in a poor country with an Internet connexion, but the stuff that's "nailed down" (plumbers, manicurists, mechanics) can be undercut by movement of labour from poorer countries too.

The most in-demand position and one of the hardest to automate is medical caregivers but, again, since the workers aren't organized wages remain low.

[–][deleted] 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

The correct answer should of course be the knowledge, but unless you intend on going self employed, most employers will not settle for knowledge over a degree, even if the person who studied is an absolute imbicile who barely scraped through university getting high every day and getting their room mate to cover for them. If your kids go to study liberal arts and are happy acquiring debt so they can flip burgers, so be it. Otherwise they do it to get a fulfilling career by studying something useful, in which case typically the bit of paper at the end is what they need. Otherwise everyone could get jobs by just reading a book on the subject.

[–]Countach_3D 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

The correct answer should of course be the knowledge

I don't know that there's a "correct" answer but I would say that if too many people opt for the degree it's time to reexamine what we want incentivized in our educational system.

If your kids go to study liberal arts and are happy acquiring debt so they can flip burgers, so be it.

While this stereotype is rooted in reality, and there are plenty of very educated people making essentially fast food wages, statistically university graduates still make more money than their secondary school-educated counterparts. It is important to remember that this is precisely why many people attend university.

Otherwise they do it to get a fulfilling career by studying something useful, in which case typically the bit of paper at the end is what they need.

But "useful" is hard to gauge and can change a lot in 4 years. (I would argue that pharmacists are useful but the influx of trained pharmacists caused their wages to stagnate. Again, if "useful" were the sole criterion bedpan attendants would be making more than social media VPs.)

Even someone with a degree in Angolan literature or ethnomusicology is more appealing to most employers than a similar candidate with none, and I know of few people with useful degrees who actually end up in a career closely related to their area of study 10+ years after graduation.

Otherwise everyone could get jobs by just reading a book on the subject.

The textbook is meant to be a supplement for teaching, not a replacement for it. Gaps in the autodidact's knowledge are often apparent to everyone else; the role of a professor cannot be replicated by watching YouTube videos.

[–]jet199Instigatrix 1 insightful - 2 fun1 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 2 fun -  (0 children)

Depends what uni you go to. You have to pick well.

Also that kid became a pornstar because she wasn't raised right before she left home, not because she went to college.

[–]ID10T 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Maybe a college education would help you type the word "think".

Seriously though, it's good for some people, not for others. It completely depends on your career goals. Some careers require it.

You can get a pretty solid education without college if you are autodidactic. Note the number of tech founders who dropped out of college, including Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and Steve Jobs.

A liberal arts degree will get you exactly nothing except deep in debt, but if you want to be a doctor or an aerospace engineer, you need college degrees. With perhaps the exception of Jack Parsons, founder of JPL. You should read about him, it's a wild ride.

[–]TarBaby 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

Try a technical college for a hands-on degree and lower tuition.

[–]noshore4me 1 insightful - 1 fun1 insightful - 0 fun2 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

"Do you getting..." I'm going to guess a college education would have tipped you off as to the error of this question.