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The Higher Education Bubble: Ready to Burst?

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TheCommuter has 14 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

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You are reading page 7 of The Higher Education Bubble: Ready to Burst?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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Going onto a college or university has always been about making connections as well as the education. T'was the same in the "old days" and still rings true today.

One needs look no further than the highest levels of government, and not just the current administration, but throughout the history of the United States, to see that relationships began or built during college/university years stood and or stand many quite well.

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, U of Penn, Cornell and Dartmouth graduates almost dominate positions of power in government, business, industry, commerce,medicine and the judicary (the SCOTUS is almost totally made up of Yale or Harvard grads), so while spending a small fortune on a college education might not provide a better one, it certianly can allow one to mix with a different crowd.

As for the "higher education bubble" being ready to burst. Congress is poised to add about another one million or so persons to this pot by passing the "Dream Act"

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lifelearningrn has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

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Going onto a college or university has always been about making connections as well as the education. T'was the same in the "old days" and still rings true today.

One needs look no further than the highest levels of government, and not just the current administration, but throughout the history of the United States, to see that relationships began or built during college/university years stood and or stand many quite well.

Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, U of Penn, Cornell and Dartmouth graduates almost dominate positions of power in government, business, industry, commerce,medicine and the judicary (the SCOTUS is almost totally made up of Yale or Harvard grads), so while spending a small fortune on a college education might not provide a better one, it certianly can allow one to mix with a different crowd.

It would be interesting to see if it's the Ivy league education that opens the doors or being a "legacy" in general. I wonder how many of the ivy leaguers in high positions are first generation or ones who have/had connected parents and grandparents to begin with. I'm not arguing that an MBA from Harvard isn't going to open more doors than one from a public university or anything.. just thinking out loud. :)

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It would be interesting to see if it's the Ivy league education that opens the doors or being a "legacy" in general. I wonder how many of the ivy leaguers in high positions are first generation or ones who have/had connected parents and grandparents to begin with. I'm not arguing that an MBA from Harvard isn't going to open more doors than one from a public university or anything.. just thinking out loud. :)

My point is more about the fact one attended an IL college regardless of admission, and the realtionships built whilst there, but can see where you are coming from as well.

GWBII was a "legacy" admission to Yale (the Bush family is about as southern as sugar in cornbread, but we're not on that right now), and every time the man opens his mouth one truly wondered about the quality of a Yale education. Indeed always wondered if the man ever cracked a book while at college as his views on many matters includuing world affairs seemed quite naive.

Most of the current president's inner circle and appointments come from his time at Columbia, Harvard, and or to an extent Yale and other IL schools he and or those who knew him then would have run with. Do not know the backgrounds of these persons enough to say if they fit the traditional IL "mold".

Despite claims to the contray, in the United States, as well as the UK and much of Western Europe, who one knows or your family knows often trumps other factors.

In the UK a majority of those in power still come out of Oxford/Cambridge, in France it is the elite grandes écoles , and so forth.

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not a good idea in my opinion to go $60k into debt for an english degree...
Depends what you want to do with it. If you want to go into publishing, it's probably not the best idea to take on that debt. But if you want to work in finance, it's fine. I've read plenty of mutual fund managers' biographies, and their degrees are as varied to include economics, English or even philosophy. The president of my company has a degree in history. There's truly something to be said for receiving a solid education in the liberal arts, which is lacking in many degrees that are now so specialized, i.e., pharmaceutical marketing, fashion merchandising, that they leave the degree holder with little knowledge, few critical thinking skills and few options if they want to switch careers.

I wonder how many of the ivy leaguers in high positions are first generation or ones who have/had connected parents and grandparents to begin with.
I'm in NYC and know many Ivy Leaguers as well as graduates of Cambridge, who are the first in their families to attend an elite school and are either in high positions or on their way. Of course, I also know graduates of state schools in the same position. An IL education may get you in the door, but only hard work will keep you there. My company hired a guy who graduated from Harvard undergrad and did a few years at Yale med. He was the nicest guy and very bright, but he'd never held a job a day in his life and was not a very productive employee. After about 6 months, they finally let him go. We have another guy who holds a PhD in history from Columbia and is just excellent at what he does. Very nice too. He weathered all the rounds of layoffs.

However, I'd argue that while GWB was likely a legacy admission to Yale, I doubt very much that he's not an intelligent man. His articulation abilities leave much to be desired, but one's inability to speak well is not necessarily indicative of one's ability to think (W. Somerset Maugham and John Steinbeck were not known for their verbal skills, but one would hardly question their intellectual abilities). After all, our current POTUS doesn't speak well without a teleprompter, but no one would argue that he's not a bright man. Of course, the same could be said for him about being a legacy admission... ;-)

Edited by kdrose01

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This is recent, and worth a read.
Thanks for sharing! I have to say that at least part of the article is incorrect. A large part of hiring in finance is based upon 1) the school you attended, 2) your GPA, and 3) the fraternity you joined. However, if you're working in emerging markets, they'll take into strong consideration your ability to speak and write other languages fluently.

Many of the top financial firms and investment banks recruit solely from the Ivies or other A-list schools - they need the best and the brightest and will get them. (I'm not saying some of the brightest minds don't attend non-Ivies, but they have to weed out applicants somehow and sell themselves to clients or investors. Executives are very proud to boast when members of their team have attended an Ivy League - I've witnessed it.) They don't care about fraternities. Less selective financial firms look at where you went to college as well as the fraternities you joined, since they like to keep the jobs in the family, so to speak.

I'm assuming the writer of this article either 1) doesn't live in NYC, or 2) doesn't know anyone who works in finance. Either way, I think most companies don't care where you went to college as long as you did well and have a solid work ethic.

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The article's interesting. So are the readers' comments, and I agreed with a number of them, especially considering that there are more graduates of state schools than Ivies, so it makes more sense for recruiters to go to state school campuses. And that outside the Northeast, school name doesn't matter as much. I still believe, though, that an IL name may get you in the door, but only hard work will keep you there.

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Let's face it. Not everyone is college material. We need people to flip burgers or McDonald's and Burger King will close down. And a lot of people will go hungry. That is a very unpopular belief and I'm actually a little afraid to say (type) it out loud.

We have convinced ourselves as a nation that "everyone" deserves a college education. And they do. If they have the grades and commitment and determination to earn a degree. Notice I said "earn." There is work involved in going to college. And there should be. Standards shouldn't be lowered to accomodate those who didn't put in the time and effort to make sure they were prepared for college. A college degree shouldn't be something that is just handed out. Students carry themselves as if the only thing they should have do is show up. It's a sense of expectation. It's the professor's responsibility to make sure the student has everything needed for class, homework is completed and turned in, and the appropriate grades are recorded. Students do not believe THEY are responsible for any of the work involved. And we as a society have have created this. Point in case is the notion that parents are responsible for the "bill" of college. Why? Shouldn't the student who is attending classes have that responsibility? It's their education. Let them own it... completely. Monthly payment and all. Maybe then they will be more concerned with learning than when the next party, ballgame, or road trip is taking place.

I can't agree with you more. I see no problem in the idea that college isn't for everyone, because it ISN'T. Either you find a career that you are DRIVEN to be in and requires higher education, or you don't. Just because you don't doesn't mean you are any less capable. It just means that the drive and effort that you need to get through a program isn't there, and that's perfectly OK in my book. People just need to realize if they're that person.

Also - I pay the bill for my classes. I have definitely found that it whipped my hind end into shape a lot quicker than my old party circle. I still see them, and I do still go out, but I don't do anything to the degree that they do. The only difference between all of us is that I'm paying for my classes, and I can't afford to miss a test because I have a hangover.

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Should like say something in response to the "not everyone needs to go to college..." and or "find a career that does not require....", and that is simply good luck with that line of thought.

A college degree or at least "some" college has now almost become what a high school diploma was to our parent's generation. Jobs where one used to be able to enter right out of high school now either require a college degree or prefer those whom have graduated.

Secretaries, administrative assistants, office workers, even some law enforcement and fire departments want persons with either a two or four year degree, failing that at least attended. In the case of LE and fire department, in NYC military service will suffice in lieu thereof.

The real sad story is that by and large the United States primary and secondary education system, once the best in the world is fast becoming a joke. Our students rank >20 of developed and even "under developed" nations in science and math. Kids graduate high school in the 90 percentile with all sorts of honors and yet cannot write a coherent sentence, nor paragraph. Oh and god forbid you ask them to write an essay beyond the old high school standard (opening paragraph, support, closing), and even then.

Added to the above is the almost rampant cheating, plagiarism, and grade inflation many high school students seem to feel they are entitled to, and we have the mess we are in today.

You want to trip up a young person today? Ask a sales clerk or cashier to make change to do a refund without a computer or register. I've stood in *VERY* long check-out lines whilst supposedly "bright" high school students or grads came to a halt because they cannot do math. Nine times out of ten it is an older person (in one case it was an elderly gentleman who had to be >70), not not does the math, but in this case did it in his head!

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HyperSaurus, RN has 8 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in NICU.

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You want to trip up a young person today? Ask a sales clerk or cashier to make change to do a refund without a computer or register. I've stood in *VERY* long check-out lines whilst supposedly "bright" high school students or grads came to a halt because they cannot do math. Nine times out of ten it is an older person (in one case it was an elderly gentleman who had to be >70), not not does the math, but in this case did it in his head!

Yes, they can do it in their head. The customer hasn't been standing in the same spot for 6 hours already saying the same thing, "Hi, how are you? Do you have any coupons? Do you want plastic or paper? Do you want cash back? Oh, sorry, I can only give you up to 10. Have a good day/afternoon/night." It's positively brain melting. Add to that a long line and impatient customer, and yes, you will have a flustered cashier who will not be able to make change in her head, even if she would have been the customer the day before who mentally calculated out the change due. Sorry, pet peeve there.

That's not to say I don't agree with you, that our primary/secondary school system is a joke and needs a completely new foundation. The habit of passing kids just so that they can stay with the classmates they grew up with is ridiculous.

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Music in My Heart has 10 years experience and specializes in being a Credible Source.

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Yes, they can do it in their head. The customer hasn't been standing in the same spot for 6 hours already saying the same thing, "Hi, how are you? Do you have any coupons? Do you want plastic or paper? Do you want cash back? Oh, sorry, I can only give you up to 10. Have a good day/afternoon/night." It's positively brain melting. Add to that a long line and impatient customer, and yes, you will have a flustered cashier who will not be able to make change in her head, even if she would have been the customer the day before who mentally calculated out the change due. Sorry, pet peeve there.

That's not to say I don't agree with you, that our primary/secondary school system is a joke and needs a completely new foundation. The habit of passing kids just so that they can stay with the classmates they grew up with is ridiculous.

Regarding making change in one's head: I'd be willing to bet that my math skills far exceed those of any retail clerk and probably 99% of all nurses and yet... math in my head is a struggle... mostly because my decimal points or placeholder carries get mixed up. Doing math in one's head is no particular indicator of one's math skills.

The school system is a joke but that's more a reflection on the system's move toward "academicizing" all students, the need to let all students attend a public school, the degradation and dumbing down of society, and the dissolution of vocational arts and vocational trades.

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