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OTMPut
12-05-2011, 09:14 PM
http://www.caseyresearch.com/editorial.php?page=articles/uss-education-bubble&ppref=ZHB428ED1211A

How many of you are in this bubble?

Bartelby
12-05-2011, 09:35 PM
The actual thesis of the article is that Americans are being under-educated across the board.

It also makes the unsubstantiated thesis that American education is world standard when only a fragment of it is such.

It also forgets that America has de-industrialised and so the lure of STEM is greater for Chinese students than Americans.

The separation of college from professional courses that occurs in America must also favour liberal arts, as in a lot of the world you can start doing a professional course in year one.

mhstennis100
12-05-2011, 09:35 PM
Accounting undergrad here, plan on following up with a masters in MIS (management information systems) or finance. We have a 5 year track that grants the bachelors of accounting and a masters in another field of business.

It always surprises me when people major in those liberal arts fields, such as history or philosophy, and expect a job that pays well. Companies don't hire philosophers to sit around and think. They don't hire historians to talk about the history of America. They want people who can add value to their company. Obviously you can get one of those degrees and do something unrelated to your major (uncle got a history degree, and now he's a marketing exec), but I would guess that's more of the exception.

OTMPut
12-05-2011, 11:17 PM
It also makes the unsubstantiated thesis that American education is world standard when only a fragment of it is such.


I think the "world standard" assertion is more from the sales numbers (number of international students flocking to get educated in the US of A).


It also forgets that America has de-industrialised and so the lure of STEM is greater for Chinese students than Americans.


The separation of college from professional courses that occurs in America must also favour liberal arts, as in a lot of the world you can start doing a professional course in year one.


The majority of highest paying (higher up the value chain, so they need higher degrees e.g. design & R&D) of the STEM jobs still sit in America and not in China or India.

In India and China there is not much of a social security program. For hundreds of millions of people STEM education is the only relatively high return on investment bet.

Do americans end up at MIT graduate engineering programs after a liberal art college education?

Bartelby
12-05-2011, 11:44 PM
Foreign students flock everywhere in the West because they not only buy an education, but also citizenship after graduation.

Although there is no social security in China, their students are usually quite well off but, yes, they want to be even better off.

In some parts of the West, middle class children undoubtedly want an interesting job but this does not usually mean liberal arts.

Rather they seem to split between doing business studies/finance/law and creative arts/it studies.

Science and mathematics are a bit like foreign languages in that if you don't get a consistently good and interesting education in them Western children lose interest.

Eastern education is a bit more old school in its approach to pedagogy and you're meant to persevere.

spaceman_spiff
12-06-2011, 01:37 AM
The important thing that this article does not mention is the fact that most people, even most college students, don't have the ability to complete many of these technical degrees, especially ones like astrophysic and various engineering fields (mechanical, chemical, etc.).

I've seen some complex math and science in my life, and I know for a fact that a majority of people do not have the ability to comprehend most of it. Think about the people you've known who struggled with math and science back in highschool. Then, imagine them trying to do another four years of math and science classes that progressively get more and more complex.

The whole reason people with those degrees have high salaries and low unemployement rates is because they are amongst the very few people in the world capable of getting one of those degrees in the first place. Saying everyone should go for degrees in astrophysics and chemical engineering because of their high salaries is like saying everyone should aspire to be professional baseball or basketball players. It's a lot easier said than done.

That said, I think a lot can be done to improve our primary and secondary education. I think one reason there are so many college dropouts is because too many people make it through highschool without learning the things they need to know to progress further in college. They arrive on campus, only to find out that don't have the skills they need.

sureshs
12-06-2011, 06:49 AM
There are many sides to the story.

High school dropout rates are much higher in many other countries due to poverty. But if those countries have a larger population, the numbers who graduate looks better.

In many countries, only the middle class and lower middle class whose parents were unemployed or underemployed or were salaried working stiffs get into science and engineering. Those who are independently wealthy do not. Since the US was a wealthier country a short while ago, people were not forced to go into STEM careers. In poor countries, it is the only way out.

In poorer countries, higher degrees often lead to the same store clerk jobs that US citizens do with a high school diploma.

You don't graduate high school with only a knowledge of arithmetic. You need to have studied geometry and algebra too. And high school is not expected to prepare you with marketable skills - it is just a constitutionally mandated education.

But certainly the high school dropout rate in the US should be improved on - for the sake of an educated population which is the foundation of democracy. Otherwise they will be just fodder for politicians.

spaceman_spiff
12-06-2011, 07:54 AM
You don't graduate high school with only a knowledge of arithmetic. You need to have studied geometry and algebra too. And high school is not expected to prepare you with marketable skills - it is just a constitutionally mandated education.

But certainly the high school dropout rate in the US should be improved on - for the sake of an educated population which is the foundation of democracy. Otherwise they will be just fodder for politicians.

The thing that surprizes me is the number of highschool graduates, even those with reasonably good grades, who haven't actually learned much of anything. Somehow, they passed all the tests to get a diploma without retaining any knowledge and without any ability to communicate effectively.

Even in college, I was shocked at the low level of the material in the basic freshman classes like English comp; we're talking about stuff that I learned in middle school (and I went to public schools in one of the poorest states in the country). Yet, that's where they had to start freshman off at, presumably because large numbers of them didn't have any knowledge beyond that level. Of course, there was a steep curve from there, and that's when people started dropping out.

If even the above-average highschool grads (those accepted to college) struggle with middle-school-level material, what does that say about primary and secondary education in the US?

sureshs
12-06-2011, 08:07 AM
Despite all this pessimism among the older generation, statistics show that the number of hours spent in school has increased over the decades. College admissions are harder than ever, and take into account tests like SAT 2s and APs which did not exist before. It is a myth that earlier generations were better educated, and exists in all countries. Truth is, in those times, many demographic groups were denied/discouraged from getting an education, and everything was skewed to a privileged few. People produce a history examination from 1872 and point out how advanced it was. In 1872, many women and other groups were dropping out like crazy. The number of subjects and the tests to be taken were few. These comparisons are not valid.

sureshs
12-06-2011, 08:15 AM
The thing that surprizes me is the number of highschool graduates, even those with reasonably good grades, who haven't actually learned much of anything. Somehow, they passed all the tests to get a diploma without retaining any knowledge and without any ability to communicate effectively.

Even in college, I was shocked at the low level of the material in the basic freshman classes like English comp; we're talking about stuff that I learned in middle school (and I went to public schools in one of the poorest states in the country). Yet, that's where they had to start freshman off at, presumably because large numbers of them didn't have any knowledge beyond that level. Of course, there was a steep curve from there, and that's when people started dropping out.

If even the above-average highschool grads (those accepted to college) struggle with middle-school-level material, what does that say about primary and secondary education in the US?

Even in poor states, there are good neighborhoods and good schools.

What you noticed is perhaps the social reality from which you were shielded in school. Colleges have policies like admitting some students from every school regardless of scores in order to protect against income disparities. In reality, these people always exist - it is how much you want not to see them is the issue. That is why I am never impressed by a French science olympics championship team with 1 girl and zero Algerian refugees or a high performing team from Japan carefully assembled from the best schools in the country. It means nothing to me.

Pacific lefty
12-06-2011, 08:52 AM
I guess I am definitely a victim of the liberal arts bubble. I received an M.A. in French lit from UCSB in California and that qualifies me for either teaching or call centre type jobs (I live in Ireland...), neither of which I would like to pursue. I actually have worked in both sectors, and not crazy about either. My husband, Irish, studied business and successfully runs his own company...

In terms of looking at our education system and saying "the grass is always greener...", I have to say I have lived in Spain, France, and now Ireland, and still in my opinion, the U.S. is the only place that if you want to succeed no matter what, you can with hard work if you put in the hours. I have lots of European friends who are stuck in jobs they hate, with no possibility of changing careers. You just don't really do that here.

Ireland sells its image of "saints and scholars" but realistically there is an illiteracy rate of approx 25% which is very high. The educated middle classes here go to college and get the best jobs, but the underprivileged classes have very little mobility.

volleygirl
12-06-2011, 08:58 AM
The thing that surprizes me is the number of highschool graduates, even those with reasonably good grades, who haven't actually learned much of anything. Somehow, they passed all the tests to get a diploma without retaining any knowledge and without any ability to communicate effectively.

Even in college, I was shocked at the low level of the material in the basic freshman classes like English comp; we're talking about stuff that I learned in middle school (and I went to public schools in one of the poorest states in the country). Yet, that's where they had to start freshman off at, presumably because large numbers of them didn't have any knowledge beyond that level. Of course, there was a steep curve from there, and that's when people started dropping out.

If even the above-average highschool grads (those accepted to college) struggle with middle-school-level material, what does that say about primary and secondary education in the US?



A high school diploma doesnt mean anything anymore except that the kid attended school for 12 years.

sureshs
12-06-2011, 09:05 AM
Reality is that the large number of STEM graduates from other countries, which has worried both Bush and Obama, is because they get employment which is largely a function of the global economy (in the future, it will be largely domestic I agree). It is consumer spending by people in the West and also by the richer people in their own country that keeps these people employed. Given a chance, they would all quit and get 9-5 jobs or do something they want. From my own experience, most want to quit engineering after 5 years of work but some just continue for the money, while others move into management and absolutely will not touch any hands-on work - which is reserved for the next generation of suckers.

As regards the products made by the STEM graduates, there would be very few if there was no content. Who makes the movies, the music, the art, the games, the sports which create the need for computers and bandwidth? Would you pay money to watch someone write a program? No. You would watch Nadal though.

Most of these STEM guys realize sooner or later that they are just glorified workers who make money for other people to enjoy life with. It was the same when the Taj Mahal or the pyramids were built - no one knows the names of the guys who engineered it, only the kings and pharaohs are remembered.

sureshs
12-06-2011, 09:11 AM
A high school diploma doesnt mean anything anymore except that the kid attended school for 12 years.

No, in CA it also means you passed the exit exam and satisfied a whole bunch of requirements for English, Foreign language, Science, History and so forth.

maleyoyo
12-06-2011, 09:20 AM
Most student dream of having a high paying job without knowing what it takes to get there and what those jobs are about. High paying jobs equal high productivity. High productivity requires a great deal of knowledge, skills, hard work, and mental stress.
Students in engineering, computer science, pre-med…have their first class at 8 am finish by 5 pm and stay up till 1 am on most days to catch up with reading and assignments. On the other hand, liberal art students start their day at 11 am and finish by 3 pm. I maybe am exaggerating but just want to make a point. Different lifestyles, different skill sets, different career paths for different people.
With the rising cost of our educational system, students can no longer afford to treat post secondary education as a learning experience. It’s a serious investment, so they better make sure they get the best returns possible. As for their own interests, learning is a life-long commitment; they can always do that later in life.

sureshs
12-06-2011, 09:37 AM
Most student dream of having a high paying job without knowing what it takes to get there and what those jobs are about. High paying jobs equal high productivity. High productivity requires a great deal of knowledge, skills, hard work, and mental stress.
Students in engineering, computer science, pre-med…have their first class at 8 am finish by 5 pm and stay up till 1 am on most days to catch up with reading and assignments. On the other hand, liberal art students start their day at 11 am and finish by 3 pm. I maybe am exaggerating but just want to make a point. Different lifestyles, different skill sets, different career paths for different people.
With the rising cost of our educational system, students can no longer afford to treat post secondary education as a learning experience. It’s a serious investment, so they better make sure they get the best returns possible. As for their own interests, learning is a life-long commitment; they can always do that later in life.

But it is precisely the 11 am waking up guys who explore new activities, new lifestyles, take risks and create the jobs for the guys who wake up at 8 am. Think about it - if there was no National Geographic explorer hanging upside down from a tree photographing the mating habits of kangaroos, there would be no Nikon engineers building cameras for him.

maleyoyo
12-06-2011, 10:24 AM
But it is precisely the 11 am waking up guys who explore new activities, new lifestyles, take risks and create the jobs for the guys who wake up at 8 am. Think about it - if there was no National Geographic explorer hanging upside down from a tree photographing the mating habits of kangaroos, there would be no Nikon engineers building cameras for him.

There are far fewer guys that want to get up at 7 am than the other guys. Hence they are in higher demand which leads to top dollars.
It’s always the guys who ‘produce’ have a higher earning potential. It used to be the farmers, then the industrial workers.

goober
12-06-2011, 10:53 AM
But it is precisely the 11 am waking up guys who explore new activities, new lifestyles, take risks and create the jobs for the guys who wake up at 8 am. Think about it - if there was no National Geographic explorer hanging upside down from a tree photographing the mating habits of kangaroos, there would be no Nikon engineers building cameras for him.

That may be true, but a lot of these guys are also just lazy bums not creative geniuses. If they were up all night working on some project or idea- yeah sure. But if they were up all night partying or playing xbox- not so much.

LuckyR
12-06-2011, 11:01 AM
Unless someone can show (which the article certainly did not) that there are slots in the science majors that are going unfilled, then this article, poof, disappears into much noise about... nothing.

TennisCoachFLA
12-06-2011, 11:20 AM
Unless someone can show (which the article certainly did not) that there are slots in the science majors that are going unfilled, then this article, poof, disappears into much noise about... nothing.

That makes no sense. People go into liberal arts majors for various reasons. It would not be because all the science 'slots' are filled for goodness sakes! Universities are businesses and they study trends among high school students. If more kids wanted to be science majors they would simply increase those departments to meet demand. Or kids would go elsewhere.

"Dad, all the biochemistry major slots were filled....so I decided to take art history instead". Really?

LuckyR
12-06-2011, 01:02 PM
That makes no sense. People go into liberal arts majors for various reasons. It would not be because all the science 'slots' are filled for goodness sakes! Universities are businesses and they study trends among high school students. If more kids wanted to be science majors they would simply increase those departments to meet demand. Or kids would go elsewhere.

"Dad, all the biochemistry major slots were filled....so I decided to take art history instead". Really?

Well if all of the available science slots are filled, what is your recipe for creating more scientists? And BTW if they are filled that means they are turning away competent applicants so there is a lot more to it than "increasing departments to meet demand".

shaysrebelII
12-06-2011, 02:11 PM
The important thing that this article does not mention is the fact that most people, even most college students, don't have the ability to complete many of these technical degrees, especially ones like astrophysic and various engineering fields (mechanical, chemical, etc.).

I've seen some complex math and science in my life, and I know for a fact that a majority of people do not have the ability to comprehend most of it. Think about the people you've known who struggled with math and science back in highschool. Then, imagine them trying to do another four years of math and science classes that progressively get more and more complex.

The whole reason people with those degrees have high salaries and low unemployement rates is because they are amongst the very few people in the world capable of getting one of those degrees in the first place. Saying everyone should go for degrees in astrophysics and chemical engineering because of their high salaries is like saying everyone should aspire to be professional baseball or basketball players. It's a lot easier said than done.

That said, I think a lot can be done to improve our primary and secondary education. I think one reason there are so many college dropouts is because too many people make it through highschool without learning the things they need to know to progress further in college. They arrive on campus, only to find out that don't have the skills they need.

Excellent post. I'm a current undergrad majoring in history and political science at a major public university. I can't see how this bubble applies to me. I know me, and I know there's no way I could do what it takes to go into an engineering field.

Undoubtedly those who make it through these incredibly rigorous will earn more than will. To be honest, they *should* make more than me; it takes a special bundle of intellect to do the things they do. Maybe I am just part of a bubble that's gonna burst; but when the alternative is majoring in a field that I'm ill-equipped for, I don't think I have much choice.

goober
12-06-2011, 02:36 PM
Excellent post. I'm a current undergrad majoring in history and political science at a major public university. I can't see how this bubble applies to me. I know me, and I know there's no way I could do what it takes to go into an engineering field.

Undoubtedly those who make it through these incredibly rigorous will earn more than will. To be honest, they *should* make more than me; it takes a special bundle of intellect to do the things they do. Maybe I am just part of a bubble that's gonna burst; but when the alternative is majoring in a field that I'm ill-equipped for, I don't think I have much choice.

I think a better alternative for many students - not necessarily you, is to get vocational training in a specific field. This occurs in many other countries and probably prepares you better for the workforce than a liberal arts degree. Unfortunately there is some stigma attached to these types of training programs compared to college degrees.

LuckyR
12-06-2011, 03:03 PM
Excellent post. I'm a current undergrad majoring in history and political science at a major public university. I can't see how this bubble applies to me. I know me, and I know there's no way I could do what it takes to go into an engineering field.

Undoubtedly those who make it through these incredibly rigorous will earn more than will. To be honest, they *should* make more than me; it takes a special bundle of intellect to do the things they do. Maybe I am just part of a bubble that's gonna burst; but when the alternative is majoring in a field that I'm ill-equipped for, I don't think I have much choice.

Don't be so rough on yourself. The piece that the original article missed entirely is that all of these scientists work for companies run by people without scientific degrees who make way, way more than they do.

r2473
12-06-2011, 04:46 PM
"The unexamined life is not worth living"

The only thing that is "good for its own sake" is happiness. And happiness may or may not be what awaits all of you successful "tech" graduates.

Any fool can make money, and many fools do.

OTMPut
12-06-2011, 05:08 PM
"The unexamined life is not worth living"

The only thing that is "good for its own sake" is happiness. And happiness may or may not be what awaits all of you successful "tech" graduates.

Any fool can make money, and many fools do.

there are beautiful discoveries like central limit theorem or constructions like abelian groups or brownian motion or fantasy lands like cantor's cardinal numbers that are comparable in beauty to any artform ever created by anyone.

dont ever think art and happiness is the sole preserve of hippies (and math challenged bozos).

Agent Orynge
12-06-2011, 05:17 PM
there are beautiful discoveries like central limit theorem or constructions like abelian groups or brownian motion or fantasy lands like cantor's cardinal numbers that are comparable in beauty to any artform ever created by anyone.

dont ever think art and happiness is the sole preserve of hippies (and math challenged bozos).

I think capitalization is beautiful (for those English challenged bozos).

OTMPut
12-06-2011, 05:26 PM
I think capitalization is beautiful (for those English challenged bozos).

modern smarphone discourse is an artform in itself. it shuns capitalizations punctuations and is an epitome of minimalism in language.

Bartelby
12-06-2011, 05:40 PM
These authors have a rather crooked agenda that is not even supported by their own data. Of the fields listed below only history is a liberal arts subject.

"It's not happening. A study from Georgetown University listed the five college majors with the highest unemployment rates (crossed against popularity): clinical psychology, 19.5%; miscellaneous fine arts, 16.2%; United States history, 15.1%; library science, 15.0%; and military technologies and educational psychology are tied at 10.9%."

Bartelby
12-06-2011, 05:43 PM
Again, a huge increase in degrees but only a small increase in liberal arts. Do these people read what they write?:


"In 2009, 1,601,368 bachelor's degrees were conferred in the US, a 30% increase from 2000, which should be a good thing. But of these, a large plurality, 590,678, or 36.9%, was awarded in one or another of the liberal arts. That's higher than 2000's 36.1%."

Bartelby
12-06-2011, 05:47 PM
The fact is that business degrees are designed to produce administrators as businesses these days are huge bureaucracies just like the state, so entrepreneurialism is a fanciful outcome.

"The business bulge would be okay if students were trained in how to start their own businesses. But it's more likely that they dream of a lavish Wall Street job, one few will ever attain. In fact, that PayScale survey listed business as only the 59th best-paying college degree."

r2473
12-06-2011, 05:56 PM
there are beautiful discoveries like central limit theorem or constructions like abelian groups or brownian motion or fantasy lands like cantor's cardinal numbers that are comparable in beauty to any artform ever created by anyone.

dont ever think art and happiness is the sole preserve of hippies (and math challenged bozos).

Agreed. I think you strengthened my point rather than weaken it.

I'm not arguing that people should be lazy of mind. (I find people entirely focused on career and money to be very lazy of mind as much as I view undiciplined "hippies" to be lazy of mind).

But this is an argument where there are no winners. I majored in philosophy, economics, and german language. Major in all. All in 5 years. I also managed to smoke a lot of pot, learn a lot, and make a lot of diverse friends. Even studied abroad for my entire 5th year (otherwise I would have easily been done in 4 or even 3.5, but without the german major and a whole lot poorer for having missed the study abroad experience)

I also later took masters degerees in accounting and MIS and easily earned my CPA (first try, no "review course. Why? Because I actually paid attention and didn't get seduced by those idiotic powerpoint slides).

One thing I can say for sure. All of the "liberal arts" majors laugh at the "boring", "narrow mined" business / career minded students. Likewise, the business / career minded students laugh at how the idiotic liberal arts students are wasting their time.

In my view, both are right as much as they are wrong. Life if long. Plan for it wisely and build strong foundations for a happy life when you are young. It will pay dividends as you get older.

Guess what I do for fun now? If you said read philosophy, classic literature, and carefully listen to quality music, you are right. Is this stuff boring? Should I instead be spending my money on more and bigger crap than my neighbor has? Nothing wrong with that, if that is what you like to do. Not me. Like an idiot, I love the liberal arts I studied. True, I'm probably wasting my life. I can be happy with that.

maleyoyo
12-06-2011, 06:07 PM
"The unexamined life is not worth living"

The only thing that is "good for its own sake" is happiness. And happiness may or may not be what awaits all of you successful "tech" graduates.

Any fool can make money, and many fools do.

What the heck is ‘happiness’ anyway? You ask 100 people and you get 101 different answers and even those change from one year to the next.
Career choices are just various forms of ‘work’. For most people work and happiness don’t go hand in hand.

r2473
12-06-2011, 06:11 PM
What the heck is ‘happiness’ anyway? You ask 100 people and you get 101 different answers and even those change from one year to the next.
Career choices are just various forms of ‘work’. For most people work and happiness don’t go hand in hand.

You are more interested in philosophy than you realize. It would be a pity to waste such an interest. Or more precisely, to explore this interest in an undiciplined manner.

maleyoyo
12-06-2011, 06:21 PM
You are more interested in philosophy than you realize. It would be a pity to waste such an interest. Or more precisely, to explore this interest in an undiciplined manner.

Actually, at this point of my life when the dust is all settled, I can afford to pursue other interests, one of which is philosophy. The subject is much more interesting and makes more sense now.

Limpinhitter
12-06-2011, 06:37 PM
Accounting undergrad here, plan on following up with a masters in MIS (management information systems) or finance. We have a 5 year track that grants the bachelors of accounting and a masters in another field of business.

It always surprises me when people major in those liberal arts fields, such as history or philosophy, and expect a job that pays well. Companies don't hire philosophers to sit around and think. They don't hire historians to talk about the history of America. They want people who can add value to their company. Obviously you can get one of those degrees and do something unrelated to your major (uncle got a history degree, and now he's a marketing exec), but I would guess that's more of the exception.

It depends on what you want from a college education. Traditionally, a college education was intended for the elite, aristocracy who didn't have to work. They sought a college education in order to learn how to think critically, and to understand and appreciate the world around them, and the things in it, not to prepare for a career. Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia so that any Virginian who wanted a college education could get one for free.

Professions were learned through apprenticeship, probably the more effective and efficient method of learning a profession.

OTMPut
12-06-2011, 07:00 PM
Agreed. I think you strengthened my point rather than weaken it.

I'm not arguing that people should be lazy of mind. (I find people entirely focused on career and money to be very lazy of mind as much as I view undiciplined "hippies" to be lazy of mind).

But this is an argument where there are no winners. I majored in philosophy, economics, and german language. Major in all. All in 5 years. I also managed to smoke a lot of pot, learn a lot, and make a lot of diverse friends. Even studied abroad for my entire 5th year (otherwise I would have easily been done in 4 or even 3.5, but without the german major and a whole lot poorer for having missed the study abroad experience)

I also later took masters degerees in accounting and MIS and easily earned my CPA (first try, no "review course. Why? Because I actually paid attention and didn't get seduced by those idiotic powerpoint slides).

One thing I can say for sure. All of the "liberal arts" majors laugh at the "boring", "narrow mined" business / career minded students. Likewise, the business / career minded students laugh at how the idiotic liberal arts students are wasting their time.

In my view, both are right as much as they are wrong. Life if long. Plan for it wisely and build strong foundations for a happy life when you are young. It will pay dividends as you get older.

Guess what I do for fun now? If you said read philosophy, classic literature, and carefully listen to quality music, you are right. Is this stuff boring? Should I instead be spending my money on more and bigger crap than my neighbor has? Nothing wrong with that, if that is what you like to do. Not me. Like an idiot, I love the liberal arts I studied. True, I'm probably wasting my life. I can be happy with that.

this needs a thoughtful reply. moreover being my 1000th TT post (exults with a fist pump), i cannot post a serious one.

i will continue after my gym session.

Bartelby
12-06-2011, 07:21 PM
This is very true.

Another way to look at things is to say business has outsourced training to the education system where the individual pays for it, rather than the company, and then complains about the product that such a system produces.






It depends on what you want from a college education. Traditionally, a college education was intended for the elite, aristocracy who didn't have to work. They sought a college education in order to learn how to think critically, and to understand and appreciate the world around them, and the things in it, not to prepare for a career. Thomas Jefferson founded the University of Virginia so that any Virginian who wanted a college education could get one for free.

Professions were learned through apprenticeship, probably the more effective and efficient method of learning a profession.

sureshs
12-06-2011, 07:28 PM
That may be true, but a lot of these guys are also just lazy bums not creative geniuses. If they were up all night working on some project or idea- yeah sure. But if they were up all night partying or playing xbox- not so much.

These guys playing xbox is the reason for the gaming industry, which is a major customer of computer hardware and software.

r2473
12-06-2011, 07:28 PM
Actually, at this point of my life when the dust is all settled, I can afford to pursue other interests, one of which is philosophy. The subject is much more interesting and makes more sense now.

Rereading books at different points in your life is always interesting. They are "new" books each time.

The best things in life and the best ways to spend your time really are (nearly) free. Life is very fair in this way. These things cannot be purchsed for any price and pretty much everyone can enjoy them if they are willing. And it certainly isn't just literature or other "high brow" pursuits. Its all around, provided you have the "sense" to enjoy them.

Its actually amusing to reflect on the fact that, at no other point in history could so many people so easily (and without cost) enjoy so many things that previous generations could only dream about having........and nobody wants them anymore. In fact, pursuing / enjoying them is a waste of time.

sureshs
12-06-2011, 07:32 PM
Professions were learned through apprenticeship, probably the more effective and efficient method of learning a profession.

Sure, if you are a carpenter.

Professions are learned most efficiently by studying the subject properly. Trying to learn it by watching someone else is good for repetitive work jobs, but the foundations for the future are laid by studying the fundamentals. You can learn to fix a home ventilation system by apprenticeship, but designing the heat transfer for a thermal power plant requires formal study of engineering.

Bartelby
12-06-2011, 07:44 PM
It would be easy to imagine a system for training engineers that was entirely a function of the corporations themselves.

It's easier and cheaper for them not to do this, but then you get the problem of too few or too inappropriately educated engineers.

sureshs
12-06-2011, 08:02 PM
It would be easy to imagine a system for training engineers that was entirely a function of the corporations themselves.

It's easier and cheaper for them not to do this, but then you get the problem of too few or too inappropriately educated engineers.

It is not true. Corporate in-house training only works for specific skills. That is why corporations don't run in-house academic programs (usually - exceptions are the Services). It is not possible to recreate the teaching and research expertise of a University in-house in every company. In fact, corporations pay for their employees to get educated outside. Recruiting raw talent and training internally means that the company is missing out on getting students who have been trained much more broadly and in new fields which will influence the direction of future work. All major corporations have ties with engineering and finance schools whose faculty produces the students they need with the cutting-edge skills which older people inside the company do not have.

SoBad
12-06-2011, 08:11 PM
http://www.caseyresearch.com/editorial.php?page=articles/uss-education-bubble&ppref=ZHB428ED1211A

How many of you are in this bubble?

The education system is working fine, as it always has been. The smart poor guys go into tech to make a living for themselves, the rich family kids (smart and dumb) go easy with humanities before assuming their roles in the society upon completing education, the girls attend college to find suitable husbands, and the dumb poor kids go into humanities and fall through the cracks accordingly. What else could you reasonably expect? The education system works.

Bartelby
12-06-2011, 08:59 PM
I don't disagree with this, but the consequence is a potential loss of control. Hence, the continual complaint of lack of industry relevance.

The fact is that it would be far easier to do and it wouldn't cost as much as you suggest, but the reality is that it is cheaper and better to do it the way you suggest it is currently done.

But, say, research suggests that the current system produces 1.000 fewer engineering graduates per annum than necessary, well then you can keep on complaining or companies or industry bodies could create an in house system.



It is not true. Corporate in-house training only works for specific skills. That is why corporations don't run in-house academic programs (usually - exceptions are the Services). It is not possible to recreate the teaching and research expertise of a University in-house in every company. In fact, corporations pay for their employees to get educated outside. Recruiting raw talent and training internally means that the company is missing out on getting students who have been trained much more broadly and in new fields which will influence the direction of future work. All major corporations have ties with engineering and finance schools whose faculty produces the students they need with the cutting-edge skills which older people inside the company do not have.

spaceman_spiff
12-07-2011, 01:29 AM
Despite all this pessimism among the older generation, statistics show that the number of hours spent in school has increased over the decades. College admissions are harder than ever, and take into account tests like SAT 2s and APs which did not exist before. It is a myth that earlier generations were better educated, and exists in all countries. Truth is, in those times, many demographic groups were denied/discouraged from getting an education, and everything was skewed to a privileged few. People produce a history examination from 1872 and point out how advanced it was. In 1872, many women and other groups were dropping out like crazy. The number of subjects and the tests to be taken were few. These comparisons are not valid.

I'm 33 years old, and I started college in 1996. The people in my generation, in my college classes, apparently had learned nothing in highschool. Also, my mom has been a teacher for nearly 40 years, and I hear the same complaints from her year after year.

I'm not saying the current generation is any worse than mine. But from what I've seen, they're not any better, despite how bad my generation was.

Even in poor states, there are good neighborhoods and good schools.

What you noticed is perhaps the social reality from which you were shielded in school. Colleges have policies like admitting some students from every school regardless of scores in order to protect against income disparities. In reality, these people always exist - it is how much you want not to see them is the issue. That is why I am never impressed by a French science olympics championship team with 1 girl and zero Algerian refugees or a high performing team from Japan carefully assembled from the best schools in the country. It means nothing to me.

Given the number of people who were shot in and around my neighborhood in the years I lived there, I wouldn't say I lived in one of the good ones (though I wasn't in the ghetto). There were suburbs with far better schools than mine, but there were only a couple of neighborhoods with schools that were worse. So, I'd say I was at a pretty average or below-average school for my area up until highschool, when I got accepted to the magnet school.

But even there, the enrollment was set at 50% black and 50% everyone else, and the school itself was a run-down old building in the bad part of town that used to be an all-black school back in the days of segregation (so you know the mostly white city council didn't spend much money taking care of it in those early years). It was a great school, but it was hardly a sheltered environment.

And despite all that, I can still say that some of my early college classes were covering stuff I was taught back at an average/below-average middle school in Oklahoma. I think that's sad. After all, my freshman classes in highschool weren't going over stuff I learned in elementary school, and my middle school classes weren't going over stuff I learned in kindergarten.

Cindysphinx
12-07-2011, 04:15 AM
I did a business major (finance) and then attended law school.

My oldest child is a junior, majoring in psychology at a liberal arts university. She is doing a minor in marketing in hopes it will help her get a job.

I have to say, I regret majoring in business. I wish I had a stronger liberal arts foundation.

The reason is that not having a strong foundation in liberal arts makes life difficult. There are lots of career paths that might have been suitable for me for which you need to, you know, know stuff. Without a broad foundation in history, literature, political science, it is hard to be a newspaper columnist, to pick one example.

Not to mention how difficult it is to function among the elite at your company and make social conversation that touches on these subjects. How much smiling and nodding can one person be expected to do?

I told my kids to get a liberal arts education. They may have to take crummy jobs when they get their undergraduate degrees. In the long run, however, I think they will be happier than if they treated college like trade school.

Besides, none of them was suited for hard science or math.

OTMPut
12-07-2011, 04:53 AM
I am happy that i did electrical engineering undergrad. A strong higher math foundation opens a lot of doors. I went on to do an MBA later. I had a brief engineering career, followed by military service and then some investment banking experience.

Now i can do pretty much anything i want. I plan to apply to med school in a couple of years time.

It is tough to do a higher science or math degree later on in life, if you had begun with a liberal arts degree. It is just tough to catch up on a lot of stuff. On the other hand you can do liberal arts at pretty much any time of your life.

Agent Orynge
12-07-2011, 05:18 AM
modern smarphone discourse is an artform in itself. it shuns capitalizations punctuations and is an epitome of minimalism in language.

There is nothing artistic about laziness. Nice try, though.

spaceman_spiff
12-07-2011, 06:18 AM
Students in engineering, computer science, pre-med…have their first class at 8 am finish by 5 pm and stay up till 1 am on most days to catch up with reading and assignments. On the other hand, liberal art students start their day at 11 am and finish by 3 pm. I maybe am exaggerating but just want to make a point. Different lifestyles, different skill sets, different career paths for different people.


Maybe you exaggerated?

I graduated with a degree in international politics and foreign policy. I actually had to spend more time reading and researching than I did in the years when I initially was going for an engineering degree. For example, my classes on Russian politics and Russian foreign policy required more effort than calculus III or differential equations.

There were months when I slept in the library more often than I slept at home. But yeah, other than that it was all 11-3 easy days.

r2473
12-07-2011, 09:44 AM
On the other hand you can do liberal arts at pretty much any time of your life.

Ya, there's always time.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCFTHhcvRT0

Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance
Everybody thinks it's true
Everybody loves the sound of a train in the distance
Everybody thinks it's true
What is the point of this story
What information pertains
The thought that life could be better
Is woven indelibly
Into our hearts
And our brains

sureshs
12-07-2011, 01:47 PM
I don't disagree with this, but the consequence is a potential loss of control. Hence, the continual complaint of lack of industry relevance.

The fact is that it would be far easier to do and it wouldn't cost as much as you suggest, but the reality is that it is cheaper and better to do it the way you suggest it is currently done.

But, say, research suggests that the current system produces 1.000 fewer engineering graduates per annum than necessary, well then you can keep on complaining or companies or industry bodies could create an in house system.

Industry always complains. So they use their research money clout to go to the deans and say that this course or that should be added. But the subject may be relevant only to them, and deprives students of a broader education.

It is like an association for French culture lobbying for the majority of courses of a History major to be about France.

sureshs
12-07-2011, 01:54 PM
Maybe you exaggerated?

I graduated with a degree in international politics and foreign policy. I actually had to spend more time reading and researching than I did in the years when I initially was going for an engineering degree. For example, my classes on Russian politics and Russian foreign policy required more effort than calculus III or differential equations.

There were months when I slept in the library more often than I slept at home. But yeah, other than that it was all 11-3 easy days.

Humanities is not easy. Humanities people shape social, economic and political policy. They are also the voices of conscience and of arts and literature. Science and engineering are only part of the picture. That is why AP questions in the humanities and language are more difficult than the science subjects. Details as well as overall situation needs to be analyzed intelligently - scientists can be very narrowly focused.

sureshs
12-07-2011, 01:56 PM
I am happy that i did electrical engineering undergrad. A strong higher math foundation opens a lot of doors. I went on to do an MBA later. I had a brief engineering career, followed by military service and then some investment banking experience.

Now i can do pretty much anything i want. I plan to apply to med school in a couple of years time.

It is tough to do a higher science or math degree later on in life, if you had begun with a liberal arts degree. It is just tough to catch up on a lot of stuff. On the other hand you can do liberal arts at pretty much any time of your life.

I am not happy about your choice, because you wasted your engineering skills, unless you did quantitative finance. In my experience, an engineering degree + MBA is just an MBA, because the person never ever sticks in engineering, even if he ever gets into it.

NickC
12-07-2011, 02:09 PM
I'm 33 years old, and I started college in 1996. The people in my generation, in my college classes, apparently had learned nothing in highschool. Also, my mom has been a teacher for nearly 40 years, and I hear the same complaints from her year after year.

I'm not saying the current generation is any worse than mine. But from what I've seen, they're not any better, despite how bad my generation was.



Given the number of people who were shot in and around my neighborhood in the years I lived there, I wouldn't say I lived in one of the good ones (though I wasn't in the ghetto). There were suburbs with far better schools than mine, but there were only a couple of neighborhoods with schools that were worse. So, I'd say I was at a pretty average or below-average school for my area up until highschool, when I got accepted to the magnet school.

But even there, the enrollment was set at 50% black and 50% everyone else, and the school itself was a run-down old building in the bad part of town that used to be an all-black school back in the days of segregation (so you know the mostly white city council didn't spend much money taking care of it in those early years). It was a great school, but it was hardly a sheltered environment.

And despite all that, I can still say that some of my early college classes were covering stuff I was taught back at an average/below-average middle school in Oklahoma. I think that's sad. After all, my freshman classes in highschool weren't going over stuff I learned in elementary school, and my middle school classes weren't going over stuff I learned in kindergarten.

I've noticed the same thing. My roommate is a junior, and is 20 years old, and with a nice GPA here at my university. But she's* borderline ********, and I mean that in the most serious and truthful way possible. Case in point: one of her classes is Basic Algebra (with a textbook called "Beginning Pre-Algebra"). A few weeks ago, I noticed that she had left a math test out on her desk. One of her questions on the test was to simplify the fraction 0/4. She wrote 4 :(

Now, I've never been a good student, and to be completely honest I've always been pretty bored with school and I never end up learning a whole lot. However, I've gone through enough schooling to know that that is unacceptable. I had gone through math up until calculus by the time I finished high school. And I knew how to simply basic fractions by the time I was 6 or 7 years of age.

And that whole scenario isn't just damning of my school, for offering such courses, it's damning of the american system of education as a whole.

*Yes, I share a room with a female. It's as awful as it sounds.

I did a business major (finance) and then attended law school.

My oldest child is a junior, majoring in psychology at a liberal arts university. She is doing a minor in marketing in hopes it will help her get a job.

I have to say, I regret majoring in business. I wish I had a stronger liberal arts foundation.

The reason is that not having a strong foundation in liberal arts makes life difficult. There are lots of career paths that might have been suitable for me for which you need to, you know, know stuff. Without a broad foundation in history, literature, political science, it is hard to be a newspaper columnist, to pick one example.

Not to mention how difficult it is to function among the elite at your company and make social conversation that touches on these subjects. How much smiling and nodding can one person be expected to do?

I told my kids to get a liberal arts education. They may have to take crummy jobs when they get their undergraduate degrees. In the long run, however, I think they will be happier than if they treated college like trade school.

Besides, none of them was suited for hard science or math.

That's the thing today; over 25% of college students are business majors. Scary. I wish that all schools would only open business classes to post-grad students. It helps more to be a philosophy major if you want to be a business or law student post-grad than pretty much anything else, simply because it gives you a foundation to critical thinking which is key in both fields.

The education system is working fine, as it always has been. The smart poor guys go into tech to make a living for themselves, the rich family kids (smart and dumb) go easy with humanities before assuming their roles in the society upon completing education, the girls attend college to find suitable husbands, and the dumb poor kids go into humanities and fall through the cracks accordingly. What else could you reasonably expect? The education system works.

That's why the education system doesn't work. It's broken. Notice how the main objective of only one of your 4 listed types of people had education as their main objective. This is education, keep in mind. If you attend an institution, education should be your main objective. Period.

OTMPut
12-07-2011, 02:19 PM
I am not happy about your choice, because you wasted your engineering skills, unless you did quantitative finance. In my experience, an engineering degree + MBA is just an MBA, because the person never ever sticks in engineering, even if he ever gets into it.

i worked in engineering for 8 years before i went into MBA to learn new skill sets. so i am pretty happy about it.
i am of the opinion that you need to go to university every 5 years to retool yourself. things change pretty quickly around you.

as far as i am concerned, undergrad is only a stepping stone. a window. dont restrict yourself based on a choice you made based on what little you knew when you were 16. in such case a more versatile undergrad training acts as a good hedge. i love history and literature. but majoring in them only restricts my oppotunities later on. note the skill set is not mutually exclusive. you can be very good in math as well as others. sadly kids get into stereotypes pretty early (parents and teachers play a key role here).

sureshs
12-07-2011, 02:20 PM
I've noticed the same thing. My roommate is a junior, and is 20 years old, and with a nice GPA here at my university. But she's* borderline ********, and I mean that in the most serious and truthful way possible. Case in point: one of her classes is Basic Algebra (with a textbook called "Beginning Pre-Algebra"). A few weeks ago, I noticed that she had left a math test out on her desk. One of her questions on the test was to simplify the fraction 0/4. She wrote 4 :(


If you had to pick between getting 0 racquets or 4 racquets, wouldn't you also choose 4?

NickC
12-07-2011, 02:21 PM
If you had to pick between getting 0 racquets or 4 racquets, wouldn't you also choose 4?

http://s3.amazonaws.com/kym-assets/entries/icons/original/000/000/554/facepalm.jpg?1282626490

maleyoyo
12-07-2011, 02:24 PM
Maybe you exaggerated?

I graduated with a degree in international politics and foreign policy. I actually had to spend more time reading and researching than I did in the years when I initially was going for an engineering degree. For example, my classes on Russian politics and Russian foreign policy required more effort than calculus III or differential equations.

There were months when I slept in the library more often than I slept at home. But yeah, other than that it was all 11-3 easy days.

A few things to consider:
1. Were you doing well in your engineering courses with the amount of time you spent before you switched to another major?
2. I don’t doubt that you worked hard for those courses you mentioned, but what was your actual course load? Were they all like that or were they the only one or two for the year? In most engineering programs, core courses like yours must be at least 75% of your course load. Huge difference.
3. What I know from taking the electives was that if you want an A, you must put in the time like every other course, but if you don’t, you can coast and pass with a C grade. Students in engineering don’t have that luxury because they must compete against one another.

sureshs
12-07-2011, 02:25 PM
That's why the education system doesn't work. It's broken. Notice how the main objective of only one of your 4 listed types of people had education as their main objective. This is education, keep in mind. If you attend an institution, education should be your main objective. Period.

So you are basing your conclusions on further analysis of a far-fetched exaggerated stereotypical post?

If you take up a job, work should be your first priority, no? No. It is often making money to survive that is the first priority. And quite a few people make tons of money by doing very little work by lording it over others. In the same way, many students study only because of the economic need. This is not an ideal world.

spaceman_spiff
12-08-2011, 01:10 AM
A few things to consider:
1. Were you doing well in your engineering courses with the amount of time you spent before you switched to another major?
2. I don’t doubt that you worked hard for those courses you mentioned, but what was your actual course load? Were they all like that or were they the only one or two for the year? In most engineering programs, core courses like yours must be at least 75% of your course load. Huge difference.
3. What I know from taking the electives was that if you want an A, you must put in the time like every other course, but if you don’t, you can coast and pass with a C grade. Students in engineering don’t have that luxury because they must compete against one another.

I stopped studying engineering because I was bored of it. I got to the point where I finally had to start trying, and I wasn't motivated to do so. That's why I switched to a degree I found more interesting.

I got an A in Calc III, and I got an A- in Russian Politics. The Russian Politics class was harder and had a bigger workload, as well as more difficult exams. But, because I found it more interesting, I was willing to put in the work.

The only easy classes I had with either degree were the basic classes the university required for all students, like English Comp and others. Once I got into the degree-specific courses, both were about equal in difficulty but for different reasons.

Engineering students can coast through with a C like anyone else. I saw a couple of students in my classes that were doing it.

mikeler
12-08-2011, 05:12 AM
I stopped studying engineering because I was bored of it. I got to the point where I finally had to start trying, and I wasn't motivated to do so. That's why I switched to a degree I found more interesting.

I got an A in Calc III, and I got an A- in Russian Politics. The Russian Politics class was harder and had a bigger workload, as well as more difficult exams. But, because I found it more interesting, I was willing to put in the work.

The only easy classes I had with either degree were the basic classes the university required for all students, like English Comp and others. Once I got into the degree-specific courses, both were about equal in difficulty but for different reasons.

Engineering students can coast through with a C like anyone else. I saw a couple of students in my classes that were doing it.


Even when the economy was good, these students were having trouble getting employment out of school though.

maleyoyo
12-08-2011, 05:43 AM
I stopped studying engineering because I was bored of it. I got to the point where I finally had to start trying, and I wasn't motivated to do so. That's why I switched to a degree I found more interesting.

I got an A in Calc III, and I got an A- in Russian Politics. The Russian Politics class was harder and had a bigger workload, as well as more difficult exams. But, because I found it more interesting, I was willing to put in the work.

The only easy classes I had with either degree were the basic classes the university required for all students, like English Comp and others. Once I got into the degree-specific courses, both were about equal in difficulty but for different reasons.

Engineering students can coast through with a C like anyone else. I saw a couple of students in my classes that were doing it.

A lot of people find engineering boring. Your chosen field sounds fascinating; I do know of someone who made a career out of this discipline, Dr. Condoleezza Rice. Not too shabby huh…or are you to become our future Jack Ryan?

spaceman_spiff
12-08-2011, 06:29 AM
Even when the economy was good, these students were having trouble getting employment out of school though.

True, but that didn't stop them from cruising through like people in other fields.

A lot of people find engineering boring. Your chosen field sounds fascinating; I do know of someone who made a career out of this discipline, Dr. Condoleezza Rice. Not too shabby huh…or are you to become our future Jack Ryan?

Neither. I got out of that business years ago.

sureshs
12-08-2011, 06:59 AM
That is why countries must do what is good for them.

Now it is about China. The push is for it to open up the economy further and improve the human rights situation. But when it really starts growing, as it already has, it poses a serious challenge to Western nations and can overtake their economies and demand access to their markets in the same way. Then globalization will not look so rosy. That is why it is never wise to listen to others.

sureshs
12-08-2011, 07:03 AM
I stopped studying engineering because I was bored of it.

Yup. A friend of mine switched to business and political science after being an A grade student in engineering. Said that he didn't want to do "incremental" work which is what most engineers do.

sureshs
12-08-2011, 07:13 AM
Besides, none of them was suited for hard science or math.

They probably sensed that your priorities were different, that is all. Science or math is like anything else - more you do it, better you become - till the undergrad level at least. Very few who study math or science are like Newton and Einstein. For most others, it is just a matter of exposure and they can become good enough for the workplace, though maybe not for a MIT faculty position.

To me, fields like law and taxation seemed to be far more difficult, because of the number of details you have to keep in your head and at the same time respond intelligently. Intelligent memorization and cross-correlation is how I would describe it. In science (except medicine, which is also intelligent memorization in an organized structure), you get something once, that is all. No need to remember anything. Everything else follows.

Think of a lawyer who cannot discuss a famous ruling at a dinner party - he/she would be considered a dud. Or a tax accountant who cannot talk about whether your closing cost for a refinance is tax exempt. But a biologist would not normally be asked to describe the genes needed to make some protein in an amoeba.

jht32
12-08-2011, 07:32 AM
... So, I'd say I was at a pretty average or below-average school for my area up until highschool, when I got accepted to the magnet school.

But even there, the enrollment was set at 50% black and 50% everyone else, and the school itself was a run-down old building in the bad part of town that used to be an all-black school back in the days of segregation (so you know the mostly white city council didn't spend much money taking care of it in those early years). It was a great school, but it was hardly a sheltered environment.

Spaceman..."hornets" by any chance???

spaceman_spiff
12-08-2011, 07:50 AM
Spaceman..."hornets" by any chance???

Yep, and both of my brothers as well. Much better than the school I was supposed to go to (the prison on the east side).

maleyoyo
12-08-2011, 08:18 AM
The important thing that this article does not mention is the fact that most people, even most college students, don't have the ability to complete many of these technical degrees, especially ones like astrophysic and various engineering fields (mechanical, chemical, etc.).

I've seen some complex math and science in my life, and I know for a fact that a majority of people do not have the ability to comprehend most of it. Think about the people you've known who struggled with math and science back in highschool. Then, imagine them trying to do another four years of math and science classes that progressively get more and more complex.

The whole reason people with those degrees have high salaries and low unemployement rates is because they are amongst the very few people in the world capable of getting one of those degrees in the first place. Saying everyone should go for degrees in astrophysics and chemical engineering because of their high salaries is like saying everyone should aspire to be professional baseball or basketball players. It's a lot easier said than done.

That said, I think a lot can be done to improve our primary and secondary education. I think one reason there are so many college dropouts is because too many people make it through highschool without learning the things they need to know to progress further in college. They arrive on campus, only to find out that don't have the skills they need.

At different parents teachers meetings I went to, many parents often complained that the school gave too much homework to their elementary students that affected the students other activities and quality family time. They scoffed at the school’s focus on academics as impractical and elitist. They were saying that kids should do what kids supposed to be doing not study most of the time. Another reason was that some parents didn’t have the time or the knowledge to help with their kids’ homework.

Guess what, starting last year, there were no more take-home assignments except special projects. All homework should be done during school time, and they are only brought home if students can not finish them. So if your children are smarter than average, they are SOL because they are only expected to do the same amount of work as the rest of them.

Our primary and secondary education has been watered down to cater to all sorts of expectations, pushing students through to meet their quotas. For us to solely rely on our schools to prepare the students for higher educations is like to take a kid to a local community tennis club and say “Can you make my son a professional tennis player?”

On the other hand, parents in China make their kids go to Saturday school since they are 6 yrs old. Just saying.
The answer is it starts and ends very early at home, with the parents.

jht32
12-08-2011, 09:10 AM
Yep, and both of my brothers as well. Much better than the school I was supposed to go to (the prison on the east side).

Interesting, same alma mater for me. I grew up poor (welfare poor) and figured that my only way out is to look at college as a stepping stone into a decent paying job. I got my bachelors and masters in engineering from an Ivy League school with need-based scholarships. Those degrees meant a decent paying career afterwards.

My kids will have more time and opportunites to "find themselves" and pursue even a Liberal Arts degree if that is what they want. We'll see what happens. They do well in school but I feel that they don't have the same type of motivation or urgency to get good grades as I had. It's a completely different environment.

In terms of "liberal arts" education, as electives, I tooks several philosophy courses in college and absolutely loved them. But of course, at that point, it didn't even cross my mind to pursue it any further.

sureshs
12-08-2011, 12:34 PM
At different parents teachers meetings I went to, many parents often complained that the school gave too much homework to their elementary students that affected the students other activities and quality family time. They scoffed at the school’s focus on academics as impractical and elitist. They were saying that kids should do what kids supposed to be doing not study most of the time. Another reason was that some parents didn’t have the time or the knowledge to help with their kids’ homework.

Guess what, starting last year, there were no more take-home assignments except special projects. All homework should be done during school time, and they are only brought home if students can not finish them. So if your children are smarter than average, they are SOL because they are only expected to do the same amount of work as the rest of them.

Our primary and secondary education has been watered down to cater to all sorts of expectations, pushing students through to meet their quotas. For us to solely rely on our schools to prepare the students for higher educations is like to take a kid to a local community tennis club and say “Can you make my son a professional tennis player?”

On the other hand, parents in China make their kids go to Saturday school since they are 6 yrs old. Just saying.
The answer is it starts and ends very early at home, with the parents.

Parents complain if there is less homework, and if there is more homework. There is no solution to this. My son goes to a school district which starts off with about 15 minutes of homework in kindergarten and works up to a hour or so in high school (non-AP courses). That is the correct balance.

In the old days, there was actually less homework because students used to work in the house or the farm after school. So it is not a new thing. That is how it should be.

Asian countries are a joke, with students attending parallel coaching schools after regular school hours. My nieces in Singapore do school work from 6 am to 10 pm, in school and then at home. It is ridiculous. Weekends are for preparation for next week's tests.

NickC
12-08-2011, 01:21 PM
On the other hand, parents in China make their kids go to Saturday school since they are 6 yrs old. Just saying.
The answer is it starts and ends very early at home, with the parents.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_pfzYD1dXY

Limpinhitter
12-08-2011, 02:45 PM
Rereading books at different points in your life is always interesting. They are "new" books each time.

The best things in life and the best ways to spend your time really are (nearly) free. Life is very fair in this way. These things cannot be purchsed for any price and pretty much everyone can enjoy them if they are willing. And it certainly isn't just literature or other "high brow" pursuits. Its all around, provided you have the "sense" to enjoy them.

Its actually amusing to reflect on the fact that, at no other point in history could so many people so easily (and without cost) enjoy so many things that previous generations could only dream about having........and nobody wants them anymore. In fact, pursuing / enjoying them is a waste of time.

Just admit that you're too cheap to buy new books.

r2473
12-08-2011, 03:09 PM
Just admit that you're too cheap to buy new books.

Its worse than that. I use the library.

maleyoyo
12-08-2011, 03:45 PM
Parents complain if there is less homework, and if there is more homework. There is no solution to this. My son goes to a school district which starts off with about 15 minutes of homework in kindergarten and works up to a hour or so in high school (non-AP courses). That is the correct balance.

In the old days, there was actually less homework because students used to work in the house or the farm after school. So it is not a new thing. That is how it should be.

Asian countries are a joke, with students attending parallel coaching schools after regular school hours. My nieces in Singapore do school work from 6 am to 10 pm, in school and then at home. It is ridiculous. Weekends are for preparation for next week's tests.

Yup that’s the way it should be, for us. Remember the ‘Dream Team’? We are Dream Team no more. The rest of the world is catching up to us.
The hungrier Chinese and South Korean kids are going to take our kids’ lunch.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

OTMPut
12-08-2011, 04:01 PM
Asian countries are a joke, with students attending parallel coaching schools after regular school hours. My nieces in Singapore do school work from 6 am to 10 pm, in school and then at home. It is ridiculous. Weekends are for preparation for next week's tests.

In India and China it is a numbers game. So the stakes are high and the only way average kids (by that i mean kids a little slower or with slightly different skill sets, inclinations), can compete to get a place in decent college is to slog.

When i took technical school qualifying test i was among 150,000 kids - many of them hungry, eager and poor - vying for one of the 1000 places. when i applied for b school, i was one of the 200,000 applicants vying for one of 600-700 places. Many of them from those technical schools.

Singapore is a different issue. They have different problems.

shaysrebelII
12-08-2011, 05:24 PM
Don't be so rough on yourself. The piece that the original article missed entirely is that all of these scientists work for companies run by people without scientific degrees who make way, way more than they do.

This is true I suppose. Before college, I had no idea how diverse various peoples' skill sets were. For instance, last year I roomed with a chemical engineering major. This guy is highly intelligent, and I really can't stress that enough. He could stare down equations and solve them as if it were second nature to him. And yet, this guy had trouble spelling the word "lettuce."

Originally this baffled me, but now I think of it this way: if a person were equally good at math/science and humanities-type skills, they would rank in the middle of the road for each. The better one gets at one area, the more the other area suffers. Consider it on a 10-point sliding scale:

A 5/5 makes you equally good in both areas.
A 6/4 means you're slightly better at math/science and slightly worse at humanities.
And so on.

No doubt there are exceptions to this, but I think this holds true for most of us. Said roommate and I talked this over once; we agreed that he was probably a 9/1 and I was probably a 1/9 haha.

shaysrebelII
12-08-2011, 05:28 PM
I think a better alternative for many students - not necessarily you, is to get vocational training in a specific field. This occurs in many other countries and probably prepares you better for the workforce than a liberal arts degree. Unfortunately there is some stigma attached to these types of training programs compared to college degrees.

The stigma is definitely a turn-off to the idea. I know I don't speak for many, but I never really decided to go to college; yet here I am. I'm from a middle/upper class background and both of my parents went to law school. Their plans for me always included college, so early on I acquiesced to the idea.

I'm not saying I'm discontent with my lot in life, or anything like that. It's just that for me, vocational schooling was never really an option that anybody gave voice to.

SoBad
12-08-2011, 06:47 PM
I've noticed the same thing. My roommate is a junior, and is 20 years old, and with a nice GPA here at my university. But she's* borderline ********, and I mean that in the most serious and truthful way possible. Case in point: one of her classes is Basic Algebra (with a textbook called "Beginning Pre-Algebra"). A few weeks ago, I noticed that she had left a math test out on her desk. One of her questions on the test was to simplify the fraction 0/4. She wrote 4 :(

Now, I've never been a good student, and to be completely honest I've always been pretty bored with school and I never end up learning a whole lot. However, I've gone through enough schooling to know that that is unacceptable. I had gone through math up until calculus by the time I finished high school. And I knew how to simply basic fractions by the time I was 6 or 7 years of age.

And that whole scenario isn't just damning of my school, for offering such courses, it's damning of the american system of education as a whole.

*Yes, I share a room with a female. It's as awful as it sounds.



That's the thing today; over 25% of college students are business majors. Scary. I wish that all schools would only open business classes to post-grad students. It helps more to be a philosophy major if you want to be a business or law student post-grad than pretty much anything else, simply because it gives you a foundation to critical thinking which is key in both fields.



That's why the education system doesn't work. It's broken. Notice how the main objective of only one of your 4 listed types of people had education as their main objective. This is education, keep in mind. If you attend an institution, education should be your main objective. Period.

What do you mean by “should be”? As illustrated in my post, different people attend college for different, and often valid, reasons. A burger chain might want the public to believe that people “should” visit their locations to purchase burgers, but in reality many people go in to purchase coffee, steal napkins or ketchup, hold unpatronizing business meetings, use restrooms for various purposes, including those legitimately intended for customers, as well as unauthorized purposes, such as illicit sale or use of sex or drugs, and those burger chains continue to thrive nevertheless. Why would anyone claim that the education system is broken?

adamX012
12-08-2011, 07:03 PM
Parents complain if there is less homework, and if there is more homework. There is no solution to this. My son goes to a school district which starts off with about 15 minutes of homework in kindergarten and works up to a hour or so in high school (non-AP courses). That is the correct balance.

In the old days, there was actually less homework because students used to work in the house or the farm after school. So it is not a new thing. That is how it should be.

Asian countries are a joke, with students attending parallel coaching schools after regular school hours. My nieces in Singapore do school work from 6 am to 10 pm, in school and then at home. It is ridiculous. Weekends are for preparation for next week's tests.

Hey, Asian countries are no jokes at all. These Asian know what they are doing... Just saying not big ideal at all.

Bartelby
12-08-2011, 11:13 PM
The reality is that sitting someone behind a desk for longer and longer hours may not be terribly productive.

spaceman_spiff
12-09-2011, 01:40 AM
Interesting, same alma mater for me. I grew up poor (welfare poor) and figured that my only way out is to look at college as a stepping stone into a decent paying job. I got my bachelors and masters in engineering from an Ivy League school with need-based scholarships. Those degrees meant a decent paying career afterwards.

My kids will have more time and opportunites to "find themselves" and pursue even a Liberal Arts degree if that is what they want. We'll see what happens. They do well in school but I feel that they don't have the same type of motivation or urgency to get good grades as I had. It's a completely different environment.

In terms of "liberal arts" education, as electives, I tooks several philosophy courses in college and absolutely loved them. But of course, at that point, it didn't even cross my mind to pursue it any further.

The thing is, liberal arts degrees can lead to good jobs as well. Everyone here acts like they aren't worth the paper they're printed on and you just end up flipping burgers, but it's not really the case. Yes, some degrees don't pay as much as others, but they're still better than having no degree at all. And that's the thing that people forget in these discussions.

For example, as an engineer, my brother makes quite a bit more money than I do, but that doesn't mean I'm poor and unhappy. I make about £30k (just under $47k at the current exchange rate) and get 25 vacation days a year doing a job that is quite secure and, to me, pretty easy. I've got enough time and money to play tennis, hang out with friends, and go on three or four ski trips a year (depending on the snow). So, I live a pretty comfortable life.

goober
12-09-2011, 05:07 AM
On the other hand, parents in China make their kids go to Saturday school since they are 6 yrs old. Just saying.
The answer is it starts and ends very early at home, with the parents.

The education system is skewed in China. Education is compulsory only through grade 9. In many cases you cannot go to high school unless you pay or you score very high on entrance exams. The last figures I heard were that only about 35% on students attend China high school. There are tons of rural people outside of the big cities that don't go to high school. That is why when I see some reports that Shanghai high school students score very high on some international set of exams, it means nothing to me. If you take the top 35% of New York City high school students and give them an exam- guess what they will score much higher than the general population of American students.

jht32
12-09-2011, 05:34 AM
The thing is, liberal arts degrees can lead to good jobs as well. Everyone here acts like they aren't worth the paper they're printed on and you just end up flipping burgers, but it's not really the case. Yes, some degrees don't pay as much as others, but they're still better than having no degree at all. And that's the thing that people forget in these discussions.

For example, as an engineer, my brother makes quite a bit more money than I do, but that doesn't mean I'm poor and unhappy. I make about £30k (just under $47k at the current exchange rate) and get 25 vacation days a year doing a job that is quite secure and, to me, pretty easy. I've got enough time and money to play tennis, hang out with friends, and go on three or four ski trips a year (depending on the snow). So, I live a pretty comfortable life.

I don't disagree you at all. Individuals should be able choose whatever career and life path they want. It is a privilege to have those options available and open to you.

I also agree...stereotypes are annoying...such as "liberal arts majors end up flipping burgers" or "engineers are boring people with no social skills and can't think outside the box". Wait, maybe the last one is true :)

sureshs
12-09-2011, 06:31 AM
The education system is skewed in China. Education is compulsory only through grade 9. In many cases you cannot go to high school unless you pay or you score very high on entrance exams. The last figures I heard were that only about 35% on students attend China high school. There are tons of rural people outside of the big cities that don't go to high school. That is why when I see some reports that Shanghai high school students score very high on some international set of exams, it means nothing to me. If you take the top 35% of New York City high school students and give them an exam- guess what they will score much higher than the general population of American students.

Another person who gets what I have been saying all along! Most countries sweep social issues under the rug.

spaceman_spiff
12-09-2011, 06:55 AM
I don't disagree you at all. Individuals should be able choose whatever career and life path they want. It is a privilege to have those options available and open to you.

I also agree...stereotypes are annoying...such as "liberal arts majors end up flipping burgers" or "engineers are boring people with no social skills and can't think outside the box". Wait, maybe the last one is true :)

Engineers don't think outside of the box. They think the box was poorly designed and are working on a solution.

813wilson
12-09-2011, 07:50 AM
Knowing I won't be as profound or sage as so many of these posts....

It seems to me education can have a pretty broad definition. I looked at college as preparation into adulthood/living on my own etc. And in that apsect, I am appreciative of the experience. In sales, non technical, I don't know that my degree is put to any use.....

Everyone's light switches on at different times in their lives. Mine came on when I met the gal I wanted to marry. I knew I was facing true responsibility....

To me critical thinking is as important as analytical thinking.

In a situation where a mid to high level cost accountant was giving me and my sales team a hard time - this in a board room with 35 people attending - as she laughed at part of a presentation showing expected growth/revenue over the next two fiscal quarters, I'd had enough. When I challenged her scoffing and sarcastic tone, I simply reminded her: I'm only trying to generate the revenue that allows the company to employ her.....

Point being: companies can be a bit like societies, we need lots of different skill sets to thrive.

2 cents

Kevin T
12-09-2011, 08:10 AM
Another person who gets what I have been saying all along! Most countries sweep social issues under the rug.

It's a sad commentary on socioeconomic inequality but during one the education debates last year, it was mentioned that when minorities (in this case, primarily Latino/African-American) were removed from the statistics, the United States was actually top 3 in the world. Arne Duncan (Obama education Czar) was making the point not as a racial issue but to highlight inequalities in our poorer urban and rural high schools. Other developed nations don't have the cultural/ethnic diversity we (USA) do and it's a real challenge.

LuckyR
12-09-2011, 08:12 AM
It's a sad commentary on socioeconomic inequality but during one the education debates last year, it was mentioned that when minorities (in this case, primarily Latino/African-American) were removed from the statistics, the United States was actually top 3 in the world. Arne Duncan (Obama education Czar) was making the point not as a racial issue but to highlight inequalities in our poorer urban and rural high schools. Other developed nations don't have the cultural/ethnic diversity we (USA) do and it's a real challenge.

Your comment is quite germaine, the US doesn't have an education problem, it has a poverty problem.

mikeler
12-09-2011, 09:32 AM
Engineers don't think outside of the box. They think the box was poorly designed and are working on a solution.


How can you tell if you find a rare extroverted engineer?

He looks at your feet instead of his while talking to him.

r2473
12-09-2011, 09:41 AM
It's a sad commentary on socioeconomic inequality but during one the education debates last year, it was mentioned that when minorities (in this case, primarily Latino/African-American) were removed from the statistics, the United States was actually top 3 in the world.

I assume asians are double counted instead of being added to the "minority" pot :)

r2473
12-09-2011, 09:44 AM
How can you tell if you find a rare extroverted engineer?

He looks at your feet instead of his while talking to him.

I sent that one to my wife who does marketing for an engineering firm. She got a kick out of it.

Kevin T
12-09-2011, 10:11 AM
I assume asians are double counted instead of being added to the "minority" pot :)

That's certainly possible, given how government statistics are interpreted. :)

Kevin T
12-09-2011, 10:14 AM
How can you tell if you find a rare extroverted engineer?

He looks at your feet instead of his while talking to him.

Too funny. My Dad-in-law is a civil engineer and is the rare extrovert. Seems to be head honcho/life of the party at his firm. Doing small task with him is brutal. Need help putting up a curtain rod? Better be ready for an 8 hour day, as he'll carefully measure everything to the millimeter, multiple times. Choosing and putting up his Christmas tree? Took a total of 8 hours last Sunday...find the perfect tree, measure height and width, shave off the bottom of the trunk in a pefectly straight line (measured, of course)...etc., etc.,.

mikeler
12-09-2011, 10:22 AM
I sent that one to my wife who does marketing for an engineering firm. She got a kick out of it.


There is humor in truth.

maleyoyo
12-09-2011, 10:25 AM
Too funny. My Dad-in-law is a civil engineer and is the rare extrovert. Seems to be head honcho/life of the party at his firm. Doing small task with him is brutal. Need help putting up a curtain rod? Better be ready for an 8 hour day, as he'll carefully measure everything to the millimeter, multiple times. Choosing and putting up his Christmas tree? Took a total of 8 hours last Sunday...find the perfect tree, measure height and width, shave off the bottom of the trunk in a pefectly straight line (measured, of course)...etc., etc.,.

I hope you remember this comment every time you cross a bridge.:)

Kevin T
12-09-2011, 10:28 AM
I hope you remember this comment every time you cross a bridge.:)

Luckily, no one has to drive over my curtain rods. :)

r2473
12-09-2011, 10:44 AM
Too funny. My Dad-in-law is a civil engineer and is the rare extrovert. Seems to be head honcho/life of the party at his firm.

Doing small task with him is brutal. Need help putting up a curtain rod? Better be ready for an 8 hour day, as he'll carefully measure everything to the millimeter, multiple times. Choosing and putting up his Christmas tree? Took a total of 8 hours last Sunday...find the perfect tree, measure height and width, shave off the bottom of the trunk in a pefectly straight line (measured, of course)...etc., etc.,.

Putting these two paragraphs together, I'm going to conclude that your dad-in-law's firm throws some "wild" parties :)

Is he in charge of measuring the strippers to ensure compatibility?

maleyoyo
12-09-2011, 11:17 AM
Putting these two paragraphs together, I'm going to conclude that your dad-in-law's firm throws some "wild" parties :)

Is he in charge of measuring the strippers to ensure compatibility?

Parties for engineers are never fun as the ratio is mostly 10 guys for every girl.
Parties for Art students are more fun because they all dress well and fashionable. The girls are beautiful. The guys are beautiful. There are 5 girls for every guy, not that we can tell anyway because they all have long hair and look the same from behind.

mikeler
12-09-2011, 11:36 AM
Parties for engineers are never fun as the ratio is mostly 10 guys for every girl.
Parties for Art students are more fun because they all dress well and fashionable. The girls are beautiful. The guys are beautiful. There are 5 girls for every guy, not that we can tell anyway because they all have long hair and look the same from behind.


Engineering schools usually have bad guy to girl ratios (if you are a guy). I looked at Georgia Tech but when I saw the ratio, I took a pass.

sureshs
12-09-2011, 11:40 AM
It's a sad commentary on socioeconomic inequality but during one the education debates last year, it was mentioned that when minorities (in this case, primarily Latino/African-American) were removed from the statistics, the United States was actually top 3 in the world. Arne Duncan (Obama education Czar) was making the point not as a racial issue but to highlight inequalities in our poorer urban and rural high schools. Other developed nations don't have the cultural/ethnic diversity we (USA) do and it's a real challenge.

Yup. They also don't accept poor immigrants and refugees. By the time these people learn English and develop the ability to overcome their troubled past and pass on a stable life to their children, it can be a generation or two.

Earlier this year, I was asked to attend an event to raise money for Bhutanese refugees from Nepal. They had been kicked out from Nepal by some other ethnic groups and have arrived in a few countries under a UN settlement. Most spoke no English and their children have never been to school, or had dropped out. They are starting life from zero. How do you expect them to become like Bill Gates or Steve Jobs overnight? They live in some downtown housing for now - soon someone will complain about the low standard of downtown schools without knowing about who they cater to.

There are 7 countries which took them. Interestingly, China and India, these people's geographical neighbors, are not in the list, probably not wanting to jeopardize political ties and take on any burden.

--------------------------
The 20,000th refugee from Bhutan to be resettled was eight-year-old Sita Budhathoki who left Nepal Monday with her parents and siblings for Des Moines, Iowa, in the United States. The US has received the highest number of refugees from Bhutan, with 17,612 resettled there to date. They have gone to states such as Texas, New York, Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and California among others.

Other countries offering new homes to Bhutanese refugees include Australia (846), Canada (674), Norway (299), New Zealand (294), Denmark (172) and The Netherlands (122).
--------------------------------

cork_screw
12-09-2011, 12:13 PM
Some of it is the teachers and some of it is the system and parents. I know a lot of people who became teachers because nothing else panned out for them and that was the only salary based job they could land after their original goals were not met. So you have a lot of disillusioned people going into the field. Also many of those teachers don't know *****. They just do the motions everyday and do what's required of them. Did you know that the internet has played a more significant role in teaching people the difference between "there, their, they're :: effect, affect." more efficiently than the school system has?

Also, I think there's a lot of programs that are doing nothing more than wasting or eating up a portion of the day which is more like daycare than actual school. I came from a really good school district in $$ california, and as high of gpa that the school scores and the high marks on all the standardized tests most kids know nothing about what is being taught in most history courses and social studies, liberal arts. In fact, if they taught those courses like they do in community college type courses, kids would know more and it's not like it requires more, but knowing what is busy work and what is quality work. Whenever any teacher asks the students to copy something on the board, I always felt it was busy work. Most kids don't know when to use a semi-colon or some significant events in our nation's history including past presidents and famous legislations and acts. They're only taught to parrot and fill in the blanks when they're given tests.

If I had presidence over schooling body, I would re-educate the teachers on how to educate. I would also treat the kids more like adults and give them incentives and rewards and also negative re-enforcement like in real life. Everything in high school and below is really dumbed down, and this even bleeds into junior college and state schools as well. Kids should accept the meaning of failure and learn from their mistakes, we've taken the account of failure out so feelings wouldn't be hurt.

sureshs
12-09-2011, 12:37 PM
Some of it is the teachers and some of it is the system and parents. I know a lot of people who became teachers because nothing else panned out for them and that was the only salary based job they could land after their original goals were not met. So you have a lot of disillusioned people going into the field. Also many of those teachers don't know *****. They just do the motions everyday and do what's required of them. Did you know that the internet has played a more significant role in teaching people the difference between "there, their, they're :: effect, affect." more efficiently than the school system has?

Also, I think there's a lot of programs that are doing nothing more than wasting or eating up a portion of the day which is more like daycare than actual school. I came from a really good school district in $$ california, and as high of gpa that the school scores and the high marks on all the standardized tests most kids know nothing about what is being taught in most history courses and social studies, liberal arts. In fact, if they taught those courses like they do in community college type courses, kids would know more and it's not like it requires more, but knowing what is busy work and what is quality work. Whenever any teacher asks the students to copy something on the board, I always felt it was busy work. Most kids don't know when to use a semi-colon or some significant events in our nation's history including past presidents and famous legislations and acts. They're only taught to parrot and fill in the blanks when they're given tests.

If I had presidence over schooling body, I would re-educate the teachers on how to educate. I would also treat the kids more like adults and give them incentives and rewards and also negative re-enforcement like in real life. Everything in high school and below is really dumbed down, and this even bleeds into junior college and state schools as well. Kids should accept the meaning of failure and learn from their mistakes, we've taken the account of failure out so feelings wouldn't be hurt.

But if you try to implement your ideas, the same people who talk tough about discipline and learning values the tough way etc will get you kicked out of the school when their own kids get lower grades and risk not being admitted to colleges. They will confront you with their lawyer and a recording device present. It actually happens. Try disciplining a student without a paper trail. It will result in massive lawsuits.

Tough talk is always for others. In reality, you have sons of politicians admitted to Ivy League colleges and graduating with a C average. No need to expect the common man to be the model of virtue. Even private schools are at the mercy of their clients. I have compared the standards of material taught in private schools, and even in the best of them, it is the same as public schools, only difference is fancy uniforms and more choice of musical instruments etc. And the next tier of private schools is often the refuge of wealthy students who have been kicked out or disciplined in private schools, or even detained at a grade.

Kevin T
12-09-2011, 01:08 PM
Putting these two paragraphs together, I'm going to conclude that your dad-in-law's firm throws some "wild" parties :)

Is he in charge of measuring the strippers to ensure compatibility?

He's a social butterfly but give him more than one drink and he's toast. :)

I'll tell you guys a secret...the best parties for guys are nutrition major/Dietitian parties. The field is roughly 90% female. In general, the ladies are young, physically active and attractive...think drug reps. Of course, there are a lot of overweight, unattractive, middle-age holdouts from the home economics era but I've always been willing to take one for the team from time to time. I was one of two male majors in an undergrad class of ~30. They thought it was funny to vote me president of the nutrition club my senior year (I skipped class that day). All meetings during my reign of terror were held at various bars around town. :)

r2473
12-09-2011, 01:22 PM
I'll tell you guys a secret...the best parties for guys are nutrition major/Dietitian parties.

Have you ever been to an accountants party? Nothing more wild than a room full of accountants.

Pick-Up Lines to use on Accounting Chicks

-You've got a lovely pair of W-2's.
-Please, baby, let me withhold you.
-Nice assets.
-Lady, you make my pants file for an extension.
-In my office, I.R.S. stands for I'm Really Sexy.
-Let's fill out a 1040 - you are a 10 and I'm a 40.
-If I help you screw Uncle Sam, can I be next?
-Technically, having sex with me is like a charitable gift.
-You're entitled to a $5,000 tax break on your municipal bond income... now let's do it.
-You're the kind of girl I could take home to mother - which is good, since I still live with her.

Kevin T
12-09-2011, 01:39 PM
Have you ever been to an accountants party? Nothing more wild than a room full of accountants.

Pick-Up Lines to use on Accounting Chicks

-You've got a lovely pair of W-2's.
-Please, baby, let me withhold you.
-Nice assets.
-Lady, you make my pants file for an extension.
-In my office, I.R.S. stands for I'm Really Sexy.
-Let's fill out a 1040 - you are a 10 and I'm a 40.
-If I help you screw Uncle Sam, can I be next?
-Technically, having sex with me is like a charitable gift.
-You're entitled to a $5,000 tax break on your municipal bond income... now let's do it.
-You're the kind of girl I could take home to mother - which is good, since I still live with her.

-Lady, you make my pants file for an extension

I'll use this one on my wife tonight...probably won't even make it through a glass of wine. :)

r2473
12-09-2011, 01:49 PM
mmmm......unfortunately, this is the one I need to use with my wife:

-Technically, having sex with me is like a charitable gift.

maleyoyo
12-10-2011, 04:15 AM
The education system is skewed in China. Education is compulsory only through grade 9. In many cases you cannot go to high school unless you pay or you score very high on entrance exams. The last figures I heard were that only about 35% on students attend China high school. There are tons of rural people outside of the big cities that don't go to high school. That is why when I see some reports that Shanghai high school students score very high on some international set of exams, it means nothing to me. If you take the top 35% of New York City high school students and give them an exam- guess what they will score much higher than the general population of American students.

Let me ask you this. What’s the drop out rate of those high school students once they make it to post secondary schools? How successful are they since they are well-prepared mentally and physically for the grind of higher learning from a very young age? What does all this translate to when they enter the work force?
They compensate their inefficiencies with sheer numbers because of their population. The education of China has many issues, but you can’t argue with their results during the last 25 years, can’t you? Is it fair to say that the product of their education system for the last 25 yrs is largely responsible for their economic rise of late?

Limpinhitter
12-10-2011, 05:00 AM
mmmm......unfortunately, this is the one I need to use with my wife:

-Technically, having sex with me is like a charitable gift.

Hahaha! For who?

jht32
12-10-2011, 05:00 AM
Engineering schools usually have bad guy to girl ratios (if you are a guy). I looked at Georgia Tech but when I saw the ratio, I took a pass.

A buddy of mine did the same thing. As far as attracting ladies, he wasn't going to stand out among the guys so he choose not to attend an engineering school. To improve his odds with guy to girl ratios, he went to nursing school. I heard he's a very successful male nurse now. Smart guy, he knew his limitations.

Limpinhitter
12-10-2011, 05:03 AM
Sure, if you are a carpenter.

Professions are learned most efficiently by studying the subject properly. Trying to learn it by watching someone else is good for repetitive work jobs, but the foundations for the future are laid by studying the fundamentals. You can learn to fix a home ventilation system by apprenticeship, but designing the heat transfer for a thermal power plant requires formal study of engineering.

Virtually all professions were taught by apprenticeship including medicine and law until licensure required degrees.

goober
12-10-2011, 12:43 PM
Let me ask you this. What’s the drop out rate of those high school students once they make it to post secondary schools? How successful are they since they are well-prepared mentally and physically for the grind of higher learning from a very young age? What does all this translate to when they enter the work force?
They compensate their inefficiencies with sheer numbers because of their population. The education of China has many issues, but you can’t argue with their results during the last 25 years, can’t you? Is it fair to say that the product of their education system for the last 25 yrs is largely responsible for their economic rise of late?

NO I would say their rise in economic status is directly related to their government change in policy to allow foreign companies to set up shop there and get cheap labor. If China did not change this they would be exactly where they were before.

If you want to go with Asian style education system I would choose Singapore or Japan as models of success for the greatest percentage of its citizens, not just a select percentage.

sureshs
12-10-2011, 01:00 PM
Virtually all professions were taught by apprenticeship including medicine and law until licensure required degrees.

And the scope of work was also far less. It does not scale to the modern world.

Medicine always required study in a University in one way or another before the apprenticeship was started.

For example, here is the path which William Harvey (discoverer of blood circulation) took (he did not start cutting up bodies in some mentor's home):

Harvey graduated as a Doctor of Medicine at the age of 24 from the University of Padua on 25 April 1602.

After graduating from Padua, Harvey immediately returned to England where he obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the University of Cambridge that same year. Following this, Harvey established himself in London, joining the College of Physicians on 5 October 1604.

sureshs
12-10-2011, 01:14 PM
NO I would say their rise in economic status is directly related to their government change in policy to allow foreign companies to set up shop there and get cheap labor. If China did not change this they would be exactly where they were before.

If you want to go with Asian style education system I would choose Singapore or Japan as models of success for the greatest percentage of its citizens, not just a select percentage.

1. Liberalization of economy was the key to China's and India's rise
2. Demographics in both countries skew towards the young (at present, though that is also changing due to longevity)
3. In India, there was a perfect storm of ancient Indian religious learning traditions which required discipline and submission to the teacher, combining with the University system setup by the British which emphasized education for the sake of learning, a different model from the US where education was emphasized for solving the practical problems faced by the pioneers, and gradually led to an anti-elitist mentality.
4. I would NOT choose Singapore as the model. I visit every year, and the school system is torture. It is deliberately set up that way because the country is small and has very little natural resources and completely dependent on others, so education is the key to compete. This time I was reading about the country having the highest myopia rate among children, largely attributed (along with some genetic causes) to the amount of reading forced on children in grades 1-5 (upper grades are OK). This is concluded by the country's own doctors, and reinforced my belief that the US system of not more than 15 to 30 minutes homework in elementary school is is the right one.

Polaris
12-10-2011, 01:40 PM
3. In India, there was a perfect storm of ancient Indian religious learning traditions which required discipline and submission to the teacher, combining with the University system setup by the British which emphasized education for the sake of learning, a different model from the US where education was emphasized for solving the practical problems faced by the pioneers, and gradually led to an anti-elitist mentality.

Interesting point of view. I agree with your view about the educational system in the US. Also agree that the British model (in Britain) emphasized education for its own sake to a larger extent than the US model. Regarding India, however, my view was that the British an imposed educational system that churned out clerks for the Raj rather than for emphasizing education for its own sake.

sureshs
12-10-2011, 01:54 PM
Interesting point of view. I agree with your view about the educational system in the US. Also agree that the British model (in Britain) emphasized education for its own sake to a larger extent than the US model. Regarding India, however, my view was that the British an imposed educational system that churned out clerks for the Raj rather than for emphasizing education for its own sake.

It was formulated by Lord Macaulay explicitly to create a breed of natives who would be pro-British and govern on their behalf and support them against the rest of their countrymen. He was explicit and declared this in writing. It was cool to say such things in those days.

However, the Professors who actually taught the "natives" were often very enlightened and sincere about teaching knowledge for its own sake. There is a lot of contradiction when it comes to British attitudes. Many of them did not believe in their government's orders, one of them started the first freedom movement party in his own home invited the "natives" there, some refused to leave after Independence, etc.

maleyoyo
12-10-2011, 02:04 PM
NO I would say their rise in economic status is directly related to their government change in policy to allow foreign companies to set up shop there and get cheap labor. If China did not change this they would be exactly where they were before.

If you want to go with Asian style education system I would choose Singapore or Japan as models of success for the greatest percentage of its citizens, not just a select percentage.

Right! With the massive influx of foreign companies (many require much more than just cheap unskilled labor, Apple for example), how could they handle the increased workload without a competent skilled workforce to satisfy the new demands? These guys didn’t just come out of the woodwork.
I’m not saying we should model after China. I’m saying children will do well if they can, and it’s entirely up to their parents. School is just part of the equation and has its limits.