Is college worthwhile unless you're doing a STEM major?

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In these times, with the cost of education being what it is, is school even worth it anymore? I mean here I am halfway through college, ready to transfer to a big school and I don't even know if a career in criminal justice is worth it.


Just feels like unless you're a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) major, you're going to land yourself in a world of debt and a job outside of the field you're aspiring for. You can follow your dreams but expect being underpaid (or in many cases, not paid at all with certain internships).



I don't know, I was always a huge proponent of higher education, but it just feels like the "traditional" route to success has been a lie. In a sense I look at some professors as parasites because THEY KNOW that the major that they're endorsing (journalism, communications, arts, hyphenated American studies, English, etc) will just lead you to a toxic job market (while you're saddled in debt).


Thoughts?
 
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If you're going to be in big debt it certainly isn't. But if it's a load you could potentially handle I would certainly get the degree. (>$15,000)

But massive debt isn't not the answer, any way you look at it.
 
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You mentioned criminal justice.

What's your career goal with that degree ?

Originally law school, but I don't know if I want that debt. Lots of unemployed law school grads. Plus I'm not a good enough student to get into a tier 1 law school so it's not like employers would be lining up to give me a shot.
 
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So why did you pick that field of study?

Seems like your looking for justification to change your mind in regards to what your doing rather than asking a general question.
I chose it because I wanted to pursue a career in law (my dream is to be a Sports Agent) , but again like I said earlier, it's a lot of money spent for a field that's no doing so hot right now.


In a sense, yes I am perhaps looking towards a change in direction. But I'm also asking generally, is college in a sense a hoax? Are these professors just setting you up for failure pursing a career that doesn't actually serve any purpose.


STEM (doctors & engineers for example) majors create things people want & NEED, they're an integral part of society. All these other majors really don't seem to have the same earning potential. I mean why go into a field like education or law enforcement, give 20 years of your life, and end up losing out to pay compression?


Just doesn't really make sense to me anymore. They say rich people don't work for money, they do what they love and the money follows. But usually those people who are like that just happen to love STEM careers. You don't see very many teachers (for example, I'm not picking on teachers) doing the job for the love and it paying off in time.
 
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Yes, without question it is. Look at the number of jobs that have having a college degree of any kind as a prereq. It was huge for personal, professional, social development for me as well. Just try and keep it cheap, keep your GPA up and get an internship in your choice field of study.
 

rell826

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This kind of thinking is why higher academia is more important than ever. People are pushing aside and devaluing fields like the Humanities and essentially wanting universities to become trade school. College is more than your major. Its about your experiences and development as a person. Also, your degree doesn't define you or your career path. I hate seeing non STEM majors downplayed. Your way of thinking is terrible. Money isn't the end all be all. That teacher might not be making six figures, but they might be impacting someone's life.
 
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Everything, including success within a major, the decision to go to college, and others all come down to the person.

I used to think the school that one went to determined how successful they would be later on. Or what they studied would mean they would either have a job or not. That's not the case. People who are smart, determined and resourceful will find a way to make things work. I've seen enough examples of people who have surpassed others at a supposedly higher position than them on paper.

Education, your major, your resume, are all supplements of your life. None of them will make you as a person and none of them will break you. People put way more emphasis on their accolades and credentials than they do for themselves. Focus on being the best example of whatever you are and everything else will follow.

That's sound advice, thank you.
 
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This kind of thinking is why higher academia is more important than ever. People are pushing aside and devaluing fields like the Humanities and essentially wanting universities to become trade school. College is more than your major. Its about your experiences and development as a person. Also, your degree doesn't define you or your career path. I hate seeing majors downplayed. Your way of thinking is terrible. Money isn't the end all be all. That teacher might not be making six figures, but they might be impacting someone's life.
Exactly.

There's value in non-STEM majors, disregarding them as a whole is risky. Going into any degree without a plan or realistic expectations is problematic, that isn't reserved only for humanities degrees.

Professors are parasites? Really? That's painting with an incredibly broad brush. Most professors I had were brutally honest about the future of their fields and I can't recall any lying to their students when they said "You'll get tons of great jobs with this ____ degree" They're not lying by teaching their subject, they're likely doing it because it's their passion and what they're good at. The students choose to take these classes, it's not the professor's fault if a student with a humanities degree has unrealistic expectations of the job market.
 

rell826

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Also, Communications is hardly toxic especially depending on the market you live in. All college programs are not created equal. Some have more resources and prestige than others. Being a Comms major at Syracuse, Northwestern, UNC and USC > being a comms major at your city college.
 
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I chose it because I wanted to pursue a career in law (my dream is to be a Sports Agent) , but again like I said earlier, it's a lot of money spent for a field that's no doing so hot right now.


In a sense, yes I am perhaps looking towards a change in direction. But I'm also asking generally, is college in a sense a hoax? Are these professors just setting you up for failure pursing a career that doesn't actually serve any purpose.


STEM (doctors & engineers for example) majors create things people want & NEED, they're an integral part of society. All these other majors really don't seem to have the same earning potential. I mean why go into a field like education or law enforcement, give 20 years of your life, and end up losing out to pay compression?


Just doesn't really make sense to me anymore. They say rich people don't work for money, they do what they love and the money follows. But usually those people who are like that just happen to love STEM careers. You don't see very many teachers (for example, I'm not picking on teachers) doing the job for the love and it paying off in time.
You can learn about anything you want, getting educated on something will never guarantee you a career. They aren't setting you up for failure, they are simply teaching. Has it ever occurred to you that these professors may actually love the subjects they are teaching, regardless of the job climate in their field?

If you are truly passionate about whatever you want to do, then why would earning potential or a competitive market deter you? There are new successful sports agents every year, and with social networks it's even easier to reach and market to athletes than ever before. Pardon my ignorance, but why do you need a law degree to become an agent? I may be wrong but I'm willing to bet the majority of sports agents do not have a law degree and learned through a mentor/internship.
 
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This kind of thinking is why higher academia is more important than ever. People are pushing aside and devaluing fields like the Humanities and essentially wanting universities to become trade school. College is more than your major. Its about your experiences and development as a person. Also, your degree doesn't define you or your career path. I hate seeing non STEM majors downplayed. Your way of thinking is terrible. Money isn't the end all be all. That teacher might not be making six figures, but they might be impacting someone's life.

Money isn't the end all, so let's make people do a bunch of pre-reqs they don't need and spend a bunch of money that they didn't have to?


That's my issue, this isn't the higher education that baby boomers enjoyed, the cost of education makes it so that one HAS to be financially minded. Talking about spending an exorbitant amount of money on education only to face pay compression in a LOT of fields.


Lots of teachers just endorsing majors like hyphenated-American studies when they KNOW that their students will end up doing exactly what they're doing, teaching college classes. It's a viscous cycle and nobody is CREATING anything with these majors. Yes humanities play a part in society, but they're not adding to the GDP and they're certainly not fields that are INTEGRAL.

Seriously, take journalism for example. Newspapers are dying, bloggers do their job for a fraction of the pay and are far more efficient.


My sincerest apologies if I'm offending anyone, but this is how I feel.
 
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Exactly.

There's value in non-STEM majors, disregarding them as a whole is risky. Going into any degree without a plan or realistic expectations is problematic, that isn't reserved only for humanities degrees.

Professors are parasites? Really? That's painting with an incredibly broad brush. Most professors I had were brutally honest about the future of their fields and I can't recall any lying to their students when they said "You'll get tons of great jobs with this ____ degree" They're not lying by teaching their subject, they're likely doing it because it's their passion and what they're good at. The students choose to take these classes, it's not the professor's fault if a student with a humanities degree has unrealistic expectations of the job market.

I have to agree to disagree, a lot of humanities profs I've encountered are extremely gung-ho about converting students. Yet they know that there aren't many jobs lined up.


There is a finite amount of opportunities out there as well as a finite amount of resources, whether people want to admit it or not. Four out of five Americans aren't jobless and facing poverty just because. The gap between the poor and the rich is widening, and the cost of living and education isn't getting any cheaper.


A lot of these fields are just not tangible is what I'm saying, they serve no REAL purpose. A lot of these fields are created by society but they possess no tangible value.

I'm not saying let's do away with all these fields, but at some point these fields get saturated and people start realizing that a lot of these jobs are more of a novelty. I know there's going to be some butthurt here on NT, I'm okay with that. I'd rather we can open this can of worms for the sake of discussion rather than anyone having to hold punches.
 
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Also, Communications is hardly toxic especially depending on the market you live in. All college programs are not created equal. Some have more resources and prestige than others. Being a Comms major at Syracuse, Northwestern, UNC and USC > being a comms major at your city college.

There you go being butthurt because I called out your major as an example, and then you go and assume that I'm going to attend some "city college".


I'm actually considering Syracuse amongst other colleges to transfer to.


Listen I know NT has a lot of different people pursuing a lot of different things, but I'm trying to be objective here. I'm calling out my intended field of choice as well, if you're going to be butthurt please, don't click on this thread. For once can we have a discussion on NT as grown men w/o people crying?
 

fontaine

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stupid thread is stupid.

why are people constantly trying to devalue college?


:smh:
 
15,970
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stupid thread is stupid.

why are people constantly trying to devalue college?


:smh:

Not devaluing college as much as I'm calling out certain majors as well as the cost of college.


Reading is fundamental bro, maybe you should've read through the thread before assuming otherwise.
 
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Having tried to go the college route its just not for me. I have my degree right now but I'm dropping out this semester to per sue my true passion which is computer science
 
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Good luck having a conversation "as grown men" when you use the phrase "butt hurt"
 
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This kind of thinking is why higher academia is more important than ever. People are pushing aside and devaluing fields like the Humanities and essentially wanting universities to become trade school. College is more than your major. Its about your experiences and development as a person. Also, your degree doesn't define you or your career path. I hate seeing non STEM majors downplayed. Your way of thinking is terrible. Money isn't the end all be all. That teacher might not be making six figures, but they might be impacting someone's life.
VERY well said. I agree 100%
 
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Criminal justice is not an all for not field, my dude. If you become a cop your pay grade goes up dramatically within the first few years and you don't even work 5 days a week. At least in CA that's how it is, can't speak for every other state.
 

fontaine

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stupid thread is stupid.

why are people constantly trying to devalue college?


:smh:

Not devaluing college as much as I'm calling out certain majors as well as the cost of college.


Reading is fundamental bro, maybe you should've read through the thread before assuming otherwise.
read it.

you said its worthless unless you're in stem.

and that you're racking up obscene amounts of debt, cuz schollys and part time jobs don't exist

ignore much of the life experiences, new friends, connections, potential career launchers, yambs, and fun of college...

stupid statements bro.


but w/e
 
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I always enjoy reading discussions about higher education whether the topic is on sports or desired majors. Since there have been a lot of posts on this issue I will give my sincere input.

Now, the biggest issue I find with opinions regarding college majors is the belief that it is just a means of finding a job and being prepared for that job. I don't like that perception. The purpose of college is to become educated in a particular field with individuals that share that same passion. This idea getting lost in the jobs-education debate, unfortunately, because Congress can't figure out how to change education's funding mechanisms as a result of political posturing and pandering. That is the real reason, in my opinion, why we are even having these types of threads of late regarding college attendance, course of study, and the correlation to a satisfying and financially fulfilling job.

If you have majored in the humanities, perhaps you could chime in and defend yourselves here since it seems like no one gives a damn about you nowadays, lol. I do care about the humanities and I am a STEM major. My mother majored in English literature decades ago and ended up working in a bank as her first job out of college. She enjoyed reading all sorts of texts but of course it didn't mean squat when she underwent training for her bank job and had to learn the importance of legibly writing 1's and 5's on bank notes as well as having the quick hands to count cash and record the transactions accurately on paper. Does having an English Lit degree make you a good bank telller? No, but it definitely means you have the potential to further your critical thinking skills beyond college.

A STEM degree should be good evidence to employers, as it already is, that you already have most of the quantitative skills they would require for their business. In any given math, chemistry, or physics course, numbers are always important, and those disciplines manipulate them in many ways. Whether you are calculating the volume of a cylinder using calculus, determining the rate law of a chemical reaction, or figuring out the gravitational attraction between two objects, you are really just honing your number-crunching part of your brain. If you manage to be good at solving these kinds of problems, you can be an engineer, physician, or anything you really want to do, because having an understanding of the sciences and the discoveries that are important to mankind is invaluable to employers that need people to really solve all sorts of problems. Thankfully, ABET and AMA exist for the purpose of setting a benchmark or standard that people must reach in their levels of education. I like studying science because I think it is interesting to know about how someone figured out electricity & magnetism (James Maxwell) or the speed of light and its propagation behaviors (Michelson-Morley experiment). That's why I major in engineering.

Now that I have explained my view of STEM majors, let's talk about other majors again. Are they worth studying and going to college for? If you really want to find a course of study that really interests you in say history or psychology, go for it. This is where people go, "Oh well that's the least paying field and there are not enough jobs in that field for me to come out of college comfy and with my loans accounted for. I will try studying computer science since programmers are needed these days according to Reddit.com"

I'll say again, college should not be a farm system for employers, and it certainly seems this way regarding choices of studies. There are way more attributes to being a useful employee in the workforce and these are intangibles that you do not gain in any course of study. You just need to be someone who is honest, hardworking, passionate, and willing to be directed or trained for that position. Now would you be qualified for all jobs with this approach? No, you will need to have certain skills or knowledge.

This is where you might say, "Well that IS the problem, because recruiters won't hire me without X years of experience and don't want to train me." And that's exactly the only significant issue with the job situation in America regarding college graduates and businesses whom are being too damn frugal with their HR processes and expect nothing less than the superstar overachiever to come into their workplace and do the mandatory two-week training everyone does to figure out what the hell is going on with their product or supplied service. This is nearly the same framework needed at every job; training on the job from people who've been there. Not the subject you are passionate about.

In today's college setting, you will be expected to be the best at whatever you are studying at the end of those four years. You will take on a job that hopefully is good enough for you to make a living the best you can. (Allman Brothers anyone?) What you major in should not matter, but our dim-witted government officials and stingy business leaders are making it this way for now.

Well, I tapped all this out on my phone and I hope this added to the thread. I should sleep now.
 
15,970
5,923
Joined Jun 16, 2008
I always enjoy reading discussions about higher education whether the topic is on sports or desired majors. Since there have been a lot of posts on this issue I will give my sincere input.

Now, the biggest issue I find with opinions regarding college majors is the belief that it is just a means of finding a job and being prepared for that job. I don't like that perception. The purpose of college is to become educated in a particular field with individuals that share that same passion. This idea getting lost in the jobs-education debate, unfortunately, because Congress can't figure out how to change education's funding mechanisms as a result of political posturing and pandering. That is the real reason, in my opinion, why we are even having these types of threads of late regarding college attendance, course of study, and the correlation to a satisfying and financially fulfilling job.

If you have majored in the humanities, perhaps you could chime in and defend yourselves here since it seems like no one gives a damn about you nowadays, lol. I do care about the humanities and I am a STEM major. My mother majored in English literature decades ago and ended up working in a bank as her first job out of college. She enjoyed reading all sorts of texts but of course it didn't mean squat when she underwent training for her bank job and had to learn the importance of legibly writing 1's and 5's on bank notes as well as having the quick hands to count cash and record the transactions accurately on paper. Does having an English Lit degree make you a good bank telller? No, but it definitely means you have the potential to further your critical thinking skills beyond college.

A STEM degree should be good evidence to employers, as it already is, that you already have most of the quantitative skills they would require for their business. In any given math, chemistry, or physics course, numbers are always important, and those disciplines manipulate them in many ways. Whether you are calculating the volume of a cylinder using calculus, determining the rate law of a chemical reaction, or figuring out the gravitational attraction between two objects, you are really just honing your number-crunching part of your brain. If you manage to be good at solving these kinds of problems, you can be an engineer, physician, or anything you really want to do, because having an understanding of the sciences and the discoveries that are important to mankind is invaluable to employers that need people to really solve all sorts of problems. Thankfully, ABET and AMA exist for the purpose of setting a benchmark or standard that people must reach in their levels of education. I like studying science because I think it is interesting to know about how someone figured out electricity & magnetism (James Maxwell) or the speed of light and its propagation behaviors (Michelson-Morley experiment). That's why I major in engineering.

Now that I have explained my view of STEM majors, let's talk about other majors again. Are they worth studying and going to college for? If you really want to find a course of study that really interests you in say history or psychology, go for it. This is where people go, "Oh well that's the least paying field and there are not enough jobs in that field for me to come out of college comfy and with my loans accounted for. I will try studying computer science since programmers are needed these days according to Reddit.com"

I'll say again, college should not be a farm system for employers, and it certainly seems this way regarding choices of studies. There are way more attributes to being a useful employee in the workforce and these are intangibles that you do not gain in any course of study. You just need to be someone who is honest, hardworking, passionate, and willing to be directed or trained for that position. Now would you be qualified for all jobs with this approach? No, you will need to have certain skills or knowledge.

This is where you might say, "Well that IS the problem, because recruiters won't hire me without X years of experience and don't want to train me." And that's exactly the only significant issue with the job situation in America regarding college graduates and businesses whom are being too damn frugal with their HR processes and expect nothing less than the superstar overachiever to come into their workplace and do the mandatory two-week training everyone does to figure out what the hell is going on with their product or supplied service.
This is nearly the same framework needed at every job; training on the job from people who've been there. Not the subject you are passionate about.

In today's college setting, you will be expected to be the best at whatever you are studying at the end of those four years. You will take on a job that hopefully is good enough for you to make a living the best you can. (Allman Brothers anyone?) What you major in should not matter, but our dim-witted government officials and stingy business leaders are making it this way for now.

Well, I tapped all this out on my phone and I hope this added to the thread. I should sleep now.

Excellent post sir, very well put. Spot on.
 
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