College Degrees. Oddest? Most impressive? Most useless? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Rabbi
04-30-2013, 21:24
So, in terms of College degrees...

What do you think are:

The most Impressive?

The most useless?

The oddest?

And for a bonus, who here has (thinks they have) the oddest degree?

hpracing007
04-30-2013, 21:29
Speaking of bachelors...
Most impressive: Electrical engineering
Most useless: women's studies (met one, finally found a job working for fleshlight)
Oddest: women's studies, again.

17119jfkioe
04-30-2013, 22:02
Most impressive-engineers (i know thats broad but i have very much respect for engineers)

If I were to narrow it down I would have to say electromechanical.

Harper
04-30-2013, 22:51
Most impressive: Chemical Engineering

Most useless: My exercise science degree is a candidate

Oddest: I knew someone who had a B.S. in music(as opposed to a B.A.), not music technology or recording, just music. Another candidate for most useless.

Ronny
04-30-2013, 22:54
I don't consider any degrees impressive. The only thing any degree means to me is you got a piece of paper credential that is valuable for no other reason than having that credential. Totally worthless in themselves other than to start a fire or wipe with. Many of the smartest people never get a degree of any kind.

The oddest degree I'm aware of is that I heard a guy got a bachelor's in Frisbee from Kent State University, my alma mater where I got an undergrad BBA in accounting. My understanding is that the guy convinced some dept heads it was his passion and they made a special program for him or something like that. I'm not sure its even true but it was reported as true.

Rabbi
04-30-2013, 22:58
I don't consider any degrees impressive. The only thing any degree means to me is you got a piece of paper credential that is valuable for no other reason than having that credential. Totally worthless in themselves other than to start a fire or wipe with. Many of the smartest people never get a degree of any kind.

The oddest degree I'm aware of is that I heard a guy got a bachelor's in Frisbee from Kent State University, my alma mater where I got an undergrad BBA in accounting. My understanding is that the guy convinced some dept heads it was his passion and they made a special program for him or something like that. I'm not sure its even true but it was reported as true.

I am going to go ahead and state, I dont believe Kent State did that.

As for value, that is simply not true in some cases. Engineering comes to mind. You dont pick that up on your own and it is damned well valuable.

I also know a lot of people who dont have a degree and are damned smart....but no matter how smart they are, they lack the knoweledge that some degrees impart. Someone can be a lot smarter that the guy with the degree in Engineering....but still not know as much about engineering as the guy with the degree.

If I am looking for engineers...the guy with the engineering degree gets the job over the "smarter" guy. That is the very definition of value.

NeverMore1701
04-30-2013, 23:07
At the bachelor level I can't really say any degrees are particularly impressive, though some are certainly pretty worthless.

Ronny
04-30-2013, 23:11
>>>>As for value, that is simply not true in some cases. Engineering comes to mind. You dont pick that up on your own and it is damned well valuable.

I entirely disagree. Michelangelo is the most classic example. Being refused entry into the Platonic academy he studied nature on his own and developed an understanding of things surpassing all the teachings of formal education.


>>>>>As for value, that is simply not true in some cases. Engineering comes to mind. You dont pick that up on your own and it is damned well valuable.

I also know a lot of people who dont have a degree and are damned smart....but no matter how smart they are, they lack the knoweledge that some degrees impart. Someone can be a lot smarter that the guy with the degree in Engineering....but still not know as much about engineering as the guy with the degree.

If I am looking for engineers...the guy with the engineering degree gets the job over the "smarter" guy. That is the very definition of value.

You make my point for me. The valuable skill there is not engineering it is the piece of paper. Like I said the only purpose of a degree is to have a credential. The degree in itself is a worthless scrap of paper. The guy without the engineering degree might know ten times more engineering than the guy with. Your perception of that the most qualified applicant is the one with the degree in only your perception. After Bill Gates was a freshman at Harvard he determined he knew more about computers than his professors. Your perception of him as a college dropout without a computer degree is contradicted by the facts.

There is a strong perception in our society that having a degree imparts some special ability but it does not. It may provide a credential necessary for professional licensure or to land a job but it means very little about the skills possessed. The only credentials I'd place much value at all on are those earned in the field. A doctor having completed a residency is a strong credential. The medical degree by itself means next to nothing as the doctor may have cheated his way through classes and be less competent than the average nurse in every area.

NeverMore1701
04-30-2013, 23:13
>>>>As for value, that is simply not true in some cases. Engineering comes to mind. You dont pick that up on your own and it is damned well valuable.

I entirely disagree. Michelangelo is the most classic example. Being refused entry into the Platonic academy he studied nature on his own and developed an understanding of things surpassing all the teachings of formal education.


>>>>>As for value, that is simply not true in some cases. Engineering comes to mind. You dont pick that up on your own and it is damned well valuable.

I also know a lot of people who dont have a degree and are damned smart....but no matter how smart they are, they lack the knoweledge that some degrees impart. Someone can be a lot smarter that the guy with the degree in Engineering....but still not know as much about engineering as the guy with the degree.

If I am looking for engineers...the guy with the engineering degree gets the job over the "smarter" guy. That is the very definition of value.

You make my point for me. The valuable skill there is not engineering it is the piece of paper. Like I said the only purpose of a degree is to have a credential. The degree in itself is a worthless scrap of paper. The guy without the engineering degree might know ten times more engineering than the guy with. Your perception of that the most qualified applicant is the one with the degree in only your perception. After Bill Gates was a freshman at Harvard he determined he knew more about computers than his professors. Your perception of him as a college dropout without a computer degree is contradicted by the facts.

There is a strong perception in our society that having a degree imparts some special ability but it does not. It may provide a credential necessary for professional licensure or to land a job but it means very little about the skills possessed. The only credentials I'd place much value at all on are those earned in the field. A doctor having completed a residency is a strong credential. The medical degree by itself means next to nothing as the doctor may have cheated his way through classes and be less competent than the average nurse in every area.

If you listen carefully, you can hear his point going way over your head.

Ronny
04-30-2013, 23:16
If you listen carefully, you can hear his point going way over your head.

Nah, we have a difference of opinion. I do not consider degrees valuable in themselves for anything at all. It is only the perception of degrees by others that lends them any usefulness. I have an accounting degree and got a job. Without it I could have knowledge far surpassing that learned in the degree program. The only thing the degree says about you is that you have one.

NeverMore1701
04-30-2013, 23:19
No, a degree says much more than that.

Rabbi
04-30-2013, 23:19
>>>>As for value, that is simply not true in some cases. Engineering comes to mind. You dont pick that up on your own and it is damned well valuable.

I entirely disagree. Michelangelo is the most classic example. Being refused entry into the Platonic academy he studied nature on his own and developed an understanding of things surpassing all the teachings of formal education.


>>>>>As for value, that is simply not true in some cases. Engineering comes to mind. You dont pick that up on your own and it is damned well valuable.

I also know a lot of people who dont have a degree and are damned smart....but no matter how smart they are, they lack the knoweledge that some degrees impart. Someone can be a lot smarter that the guy with the degree in Engineering....but still not know as much about engineering as the guy with the degree.

If I am looking for engineers...the guy with the engineering degree gets the job over the "smarter" guy. That is the very definition of value.

You make my point for me. The valuable skill there is not engineering it is the piece of paper. Like I said the only purpose of a degree is to have a credential. The degree in itself is a worthless scrap of paper. The guy without the engineering degree might know ten times more engineering than the guy with. Your perception of that the most qualified applicant is the one with the degree in only your perception. After Bill Gates was a freshman at Harvard he determined he knew more about computers than his professors. Your perception of him as a college dropout without a computer degree is contradicted by the facts.

There is a strong perception in our society that having a degree imparts some special ability but it does not. It may provide a credential necessary for professional licensure or to land a job but it means very little about the skills possessed. The only credentials I'd place much value at all on are those earned in the field. A doctor having completed a residency is a strong credential. The medical degree by itself means next to nothing as the doctor may have cheated his way through classes and be less competent than the average nurse in every area.

Brother....for every Michelangelo or Bill Gates....there are thousands who need to show up to class.

BTW, as someone with a lot of degrees, in various subjects (Physics, Math, Criminal Justice, Religion...) I can tell you, I wouldnt know what I do without them.

As a man married to a Surgeon...you dont know how that works either.

You lack an understanding of math. Something that I know better than most...and only because someone, in a university taught me.

Altaris
04-30-2013, 23:23
So, in terms of College degrees...
What do you think are:
The most Impressive?
The most useless?
The oddest?



The most Impressive:
Anything Physics....theoretical, astro, quantum, etc...
The difficulty of the degree, and practical application in the fundamental advancement of humankind are what make it impressive to me.


The most useless:
Kinesiology. That is something easy that the jocks take in order to maintain good enough grades to play on their sports teams.


The oddest:
I forget the exact name, but it was something like 'turf management'. My friend got a degree that is basically all about taking care of grass. It seems odd, but anytime you complain about the crappy field at a NFL game, or praise how green the grass is at the Masters, it is people like him that are in charge of that.

Ronny
04-30-2013, 23:25
Brother....for every Michelangelo or Bill Gates....there are thousands who need to show up to class.

BTW, as someone with a lot of degrees, in various subjects (Physics, Math, Criminal Justice, Religion...) I can tell you, I wouldnt know what I do without them.

As a man married to a Surgeon...you dont know how that works either.

You lack an understanding of math. Something that I know better than most...and only because someone, in a university taught me.
You got that right, I lack an understanding of math. I ended up with a c in calc 1 which was all my major required. Your wife being a surgeon you should know best that practical experience combined with a thorough understanding is what matters. No scrap of paper can impart that. It might recognize it with a license or privileges but it can never create it.

Rabbi
04-30-2013, 23:27
Nah, we have a difference of opinion. I do not consider degrees valuable in themselves for anything at all. It is only the perception of degrees by others that lends them any usefulness. I have an accounting degree and got a job. Without it I could have knowledge far surpassing that learned in the degree program. The only thing the degree says about you is that you have one.

I learned and did things in College that I could have never picked up on my own...in spite of the fact that a handfull of people in history could have.

People who have been through the education I have been through know this truth. That is why the degree(s) have value.

Lets even be more specific. A doctor.

In theory, some people (not many) could *learn* that knowledge if they had a list of books to read....but without actually going to medical school, they wont have the wicked specific hands on that one can only get in medical school. Such as, you are not going to be able to perform procedures, under the supervision of well vetted experts, any place else.

My wife was putting her hand inside of living people in medical school. You cant get that down at the library or through Google.

The people who supervised her doing such things are the same ones who would tell other well vetted experts that *This* person (my wife) should be allowed to do ever more (be accepted into an ultra competitive specialty as a resident to learn and do more and eventually become a vetted expert in her own right)

College isnt just knowledge. It is often a system and a network that you cant get on your own. Again, that is the very definition of value.

NeverMore1701
04-30-2013, 23:28
You got that right, I lack an understanding of math. I ended up with a c in calc 1 which was all my major required. Your wife being a surgeon you should know best that practical experience combined with a thorough understanding is what matters. No scrap of paper can impart that. It might recognize it with a license or privileges but it can never create it.

So do you want the guy with the degree and associated knowledge/experience cutting on you, or the guy who says "sure thing bro, I've done this, like, a hundred times" as he wipes cheeto dust off of his chin?

Rabbi
04-30-2013, 23:29
You got that right, I lack an understanding of math. I ended up with a c in calc 1 which was all my major required. Your wife being a surgeon you should know best that practical experience combined with a thorough understanding is what matters. No scrap of paper can impart that. It might recognize it with a license or privileges but it can never create it.

You need to read the post I just posted. I dont think you understand how it actually works.

Pedagogy isnt just information.

Riverkilt
04-30-2013, 23:41
A few years back I was elected to sit on our local hospital district's board of directors. A guy applied for a vacancy and his resume' said he had a doctorate from Columbia State University in Louisiana. It had been years since the FBI shut them down as a diploma mill and since Sixty Minutes did an expose'...but I remembered. A useless degree is one from a diploma mill.

I have a master's degree - needed that credential to test for professional licensure in my state. Must have picked up some knowledge in that process because I seem to enjoy dating women who have a master's degree...we can talk and exchange ideas instead of watching the tube.

I got lucky. Someone told me graduate school was a lot easier than undergrad. They were right. I had fun getting that masters. Well worth it in financial return too. Right or wrong my salary went way up.

Ronny
04-30-2013, 23:52
So do you want the guy with the degree and associated knowledge/experience cutting on you, or the guy who says "sure thing bro, I've done this, like, a hundred times" as he wipes cheeto dust off of his chin?

lol at the visualization. Medicine is more of a trade than a degree imo. Hands on learning is whats important with it. It would be like learning mechanics without touching a car, it wouldn't work at all to be able to describe how pistons work and not be able to work on anything. Most degrees are just an accumulation of knowledge or could be done on a computer, like mine is. Book learning whether done for a degree or not is the same thing. My college experience was one I'd repeat only because of the social life of being a college kid and the slip of paper I got. I could have easily learned all that slip of paper said and more without ever stepping foot inside a classroom. That's what people don't realize. The only value of a degree is the degree itself. Otherwise people would learn things on their own and save their cash.

Rabbi
04-30-2013, 23:56
lol at the visualization. Medicine is more of a trade than a degree imo. Hands on learning is whats important with it. It would be like learning mechanics without touching a car, it wouldn't work at all to be able to describe how pistons work and not be able to work on anything. Most degrees are just an accumulation of knowledge or could be done on a computer, like mine is. Book learning whether done for a degree or not is the same thing. My college experience was one I'd repeat only because of the social life of being a college kid and the slip of paper I got. I could have easily learned all that slip of paper said and more without ever stepping foot inside a classroom. That's what people don't realize. The only value of a degree is the degree itself. Otherwise people would learn things on their own and save their cash.

You have a business degree. In general, you can get those pretty easy in the hierarchy of degrees.

You do NOT understand how all degrees work. Your posts prove that. There are simply some things that most people cant pick up on their own and again, even if someone could, there is a hands on system that is part of the degree.

...and you are oversimplifying medicine. Again, few people can even begin to understand how complex some aspects of medicine are. For example, the knowledge base (all that book learning) that a Surgeon must have, as they operate (hands on) in pretty unparalleled in just about all human endeavors. You not only have to know the amazingly complex thing you set out to do....but the incalcuable amount of things that *could* happen and then you would also have to do.

Again, you learn these thing over the course of many intense years of formal training. You dont and cant learn them on your own.

NeverMore1701
04-30-2013, 23:57
lol at the visualization. Medicine is more of a trade than a degree imo. Hands on learning is whats important with it. It would be like learning mechanics without touching a car, it wouldn't work at all to be able to describe how pistons work and not be able to work on anything. Most degrees are just an accumulation of knowledge or could be done on a computer, like mine is. Book learning whether done for a degree or not is the same thing. My college experience was one I'd repeat only because of the social life of being a college kid and the slip of paper I got. I could have easily learned all that slip of paper said and more without ever stepping foot inside a classroom. That's what people don't realize. The only value of a degree is the degree itself. Otherwise people would learn things on their own and save their cash.

Ok, minus the cheeto dust, which would you pick, the guy with a dozen frames filled with medical degrees, certifications, and licenses or the guy with frames filled with "I have tons of hands-on experience!" certificates that he printed out at his house?

silentpoet
04-30-2013, 23:57
Screw that.(my original post was ill timed)


I want a degree from Buster Burger University. Bonus points for anybody who gets the reference.

Ronny
05-01-2013, 00:01
You have a business degree. In general, you can get those pretty easy in the hierarchy of degrees.

You do NOT understand how all degrees work. Your posts prove that. There are simply some things that most people cant pick up on their own and again, even if someone could, there is a hands on system that is part of the degree.

Maybe thats part of the problem. Degrees are so common now everyone has one. The standards are also far too low. I'd have more respect for someone with a high school diploma from iceland than someone with a business or arts degree in the US, knowing what the standards are for each. Here in the US it's just the new (expensive) diploma.

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 00:05
Maybe thats part of the problem. Degrees are so common now everyone has one. The standards are also far too low. I'd have more respect for someone with a high school diploma from iceland than someone with a business or arts degree in the US, knowing what the standards are for each. Here in the US it's just the new (expensive) diploma.

Not all degrees are the same...and market forces prove that. (I.E. Value)

ChemE guy gets 10 job offers and will be making 6 figures a few years after graduation if not AT graduation. BA in Sociology guy either keeps working at Subway or learns to sell Insurance.

I really dont know why you cant understand this.

Ronny
05-01-2013, 00:07
>>>>>>...and you are oversimplifying medicine. Again, few people can even begin to understand how complex some aspects of medicine are. For example, the knowledge base (all that book learning) that a Surgeon must have, as the opperate (hands on) in pretty unparalleled in just about all human endeavors. You not only have to know the amazingly complex thing you set out to do....but the incalcuable amount of things that *could* happen and then you would also have to do.


I approve of the way they do medical training in India far more than the American way. There a student will learn the necessary background book learning and then learn what they need to know to practice medicine. Here someone will learn the background they need as well as womens studies, basket weaving in theory and practice, and on on before they ever are allowed to even start learning what's practical to practice medicine. The entire US education system is very poor and very expensive compared with other models. My .2 cents having been through it and honestly comparing it it to other ways of teaching.

NeverMore1701
05-01-2013, 00:09
>>>>>>...and you are oversimplifying medicine. Again, few people can even begin to understand how complex some aspects of medicine are. For example, the knowledge base (all that book learning) that a Surgeon must have, as the opperate (hands on) in pretty unparalleled in just about all human endeavors. You not only have to know the amazingly complex thing you set out to do....but the incalcuable amount of things that *could* happen and then you would also have to do.


I approve of the way they do medical training in India far more than the American way. There a student will learn the necessary background book learning and then learn what they need to know to practice medicine. Here someone will learn the background they need as well as womens studies, basket weaving in theory and practice, and on on before they ever are allowed to even start learning what's practical to practice medicine. The entire US education system is very poor and very expensive compared with other models. My .2 cents having been through it and honestly comparing it it to other ways of teaching.

That's one hell of a backstep from saying degrees are worthless.

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 00:11
>>>>>>...and you are oversimplifying medicine. Again, few people can even begin to understand how complex some aspects of medicine are. For example, the knowledge base (all that book learning) that a Surgeon must have, as the opperate (hands on) in pretty unparalleled in just about all human endeavors. You not only have to know the amazingly complex thing you set out to do....but the incalcuable amount of things that *could* happen and then you would also have to do.


I approve of the way they do medical training in India far more than the American way. There a student will learn the necessary background book learning and then learn what they need to know to practice medicine. Here someone will learn the background they need as well as womens studies, basket weaving in theory and practice, and on on before they ever are allowed to even start learning what's practical to practice medicine. The entire US education system is very poor and very expensive compared with other models. My .2 cents having been through it and honestly comparing it it to other ways of teaching.

...and yet we have the most advanced system of medicine the world has ever known and a fully practicing and fully licensed doctor in India will fight against the longest of adds just for a chance to come to American and do a grueling residency all over again.

BTW, you have been through YOUR educational experience, you have not been through "all" educational experiences in the US. Again, your feelings are clear but it is obvious you lack a lot of of knowledge abotu how many other degree paths actually work.

HollowHead
05-01-2013, 00:12
I don't consider any degrees impressive. The only thing any degree means to me is you got a piece of paper credential that is valuable for no other reason than having that credential. Totally worthless in themselves other than to start a fire or wipe with. Many of the smartest people never get a degree of any kind.
.

I most certainly hope that the next time anyone you care about requires professional care those people have degrees. HH

silentpoet
05-01-2013, 00:22
Not all degrees are the same...and market forces prove that. (I.E. Value)

ChemE guy gets 10 job offers and will be making 6 figures a few years after graduation if not AT graduation. BA in Sociology guy either keeps working at Subway or learns to sell Insurance.

I really dont know why you cant understand this.

I chose taco bell, well not really chose but it was what I had to take after I got my degree in Psychology as my first job out of college. Rabbi is right, the specific degree matters.

I have enough aptitude for math I should have chose a different path. But it is what it is and to some extent I am ok with my path in life.

Detectorist
05-01-2013, 00:35
I chose taco bell, well not really chose but it was what I had to take after I got my degree in Psychology as my first job out of college. Rabbi is right, the specific degree matters.

I have enough aptitude for math I should have chose a different path. But it is what it is and to some extent I am ok with my path in life.

There are opportunities available but you must have a Masters degree.

With a BA you can go down to Orlando and be an animal trainer at Sea World.

Or you can use that knowledge for sales.

NIB
05-01-2013, 01:27
Screw that.(my original post was ill timed)


I want a degree from Buster Burger University. Bonus points for anybody who gets the reference.

"Hamburgers for America!"

It's on my list of favorite 80's movies.

Cali-Glock
05-01-2013, 01:51
Not all degrees are the same...and market forces prove that. (I.E. Value)

ChemE guy gets 10 job offers and will be making 6 figures a few years after graduation if not AT graduation. BA in Sociology guy either keeps working at Subway or learns to sell Insurance.

I really dont know why you cant understand this.

THIS!!!

When speaking to "kids" I know I preach STEM, STEM, STEM. I also encourage them to pursue English and some writing classes. Being able to express yourself in writing is crucial.

With the value of a STEM degree, I want to make a case for the classic "Liberal Arts" degree, or a liberal arts core as part of a STEM degree.

Having a broad understanding western civilization; historically, culturally, the classic writings, concepts, and issues which formed western civilization is crucial. One odd example: I had ZERO interest in taking any art history classes; I ended up taking two of them, including what was allegedly the most challenging upper division art history class at a top UC campus. Both those classes still affect my world view in significant ways. I am grateful for taking both classes.

I was in college during the 1980s - and had a great interest in the Soviet Union - as such I also took all but one of the Russian/Soviet History and Poli-Sci classes offered at my UC campus. (I had to petition to get into the upper-division Soviet Poli-Sci class I took which was normally only open to Poli-Sci majors after completing lower-division per-requisite classes)

I took a semester abroad (5 months in Cambridge England) - this was absolutely informative in my life. Among the awesome things I studied was Shakespeare. I had supposedly studies Shakespeare previously, but when you got to spend two weeks studying a play and then watch the Royal Shakespeare company perform it, changed everything. I could then read Shakespeare and understand it, grasp it, appreciate it... it was exciting. Every class I took in England was absolutely fantastic. The art history class I took there was also amazing in that we studied an artist or series of artists and then went and looked at their work. Some stuff is absolutely amazing in person and the reproductions completely fail to convey the magic the original does.

I also took an awesome class on the history and science of atomic/nuclear technology and weapons. That class absolutely ROCKED. (Later I took another class to become a Radiation Safety Officer, and oversee a program right now.)

None of these classes had anything to do with my major, but all of them are among some of the classes which stick with me today, and which I remember, and apply many details in my day to day discussions and life.

My ideal bachelors degree would encompass both the STEM and classic liberal arts elements!

m2hmghb
05-01-2013, 02:31
I'm going to say whatever degree Ronny has is the most worthless.

The ones I have the most respect for are engineering, physics, medical field(non psychology related), and chemistry.

Bushflyr
05-01-2013, 03:02
Maybe not the oddest but I have a degree in Forest Engineering. Kind of a weird mix of biology, forestry, civ. E, and mech. E.

md2lgyk
05-01-2013, 06:19
I also know a lot of people who dont have a degree and are damned smart....but no matter how smart they are, they lack the knoweledge that some degrees impart. Someone can be a lot smarter that the guy with the degree in Engineering....but still not know as much about engineering as the guy with the degree.

Quite true. I am one such person. I finished three years toward a degree in Electrical Engineering before quitting because I was bored. Joined the Navy and went into the Nuclear Power program. After I got out, I worked in the nuclear and defense industries. By the time I mustered any interest in finishing college, I was in my 50s and managing people with Master's degrees, so didn't see any reason to at that point. I'm retired now, and never did finish. Don't regret that either. Better than a piece of paper hanging on the wall, my Mensa coffee cup impressed a lot of people in meetings who knew what it represented.

Bruce M
05-01-2013, 06:33
http://www.barry.edu/hpls/diving-industry/about/

Spiffums
05-01-2013, 06:50
BA/BS is the new High School Diploma........just a nice step above a GED.

Dalton Wayne
05-01-2013, 06:54
I had college credits left I had to use or lose so I have a certificate in basic and advanced canoe operation, white water training

I could be and canoe or rafting guide :cool:

Glock Enthusiast
05-01-2013, 07:12
My biggest regret in life was obtaining a Criminal Justice degree. It was a complete waste of time, money, and resources. It is not worth the financial investment for the potential income and marketability of it.

If I could go back and do it again, I would get a degree in Biology or Chemistry. After that, I could do just about anything I wanted. Whether it is law school, MBA, or medical school.

Most impressive degree at this current time in our world is Electrical Engineering, hands down.

Most useless degree would have to be African American and African Studies.

.264 magnum
05-01-2013, 07:18
>>>>>>...and you are oversimplifying medicine. Again, few people can even begin to understand how complex some aspects of medicine are. For example, the knowledge base (all that book learning) that a Surgeon must have, as the opperate (hands on) in pretty unparalleled in just about all human endeavors. You not only have to know the amazingly complex thing you set out to do....but the incalcuable amount of things that *could* happen and then you would also have to do.


I approve of the way they do medical training in India far more than the American way. There a student will learn the necessary background book learning and then learn what they need to know to practice medicine. Here someone will learn the background they need as well as womens studies, basket weaving in theory and practice, and on on before they ever are allowed to even start learning what's practical to practice medicine. The entire US education system is very poor and very expensive compared with other models. My .2 cents having been through it and honestly comparing it it to other ways of teaching.

Good grief Ronny - stop yammering.

1. My son heads of to medical school this fall. He's never once studied "women's studies" or "basket weaving". Through the sea of bio, o-chem, physics, straight math, Latin and genetics he's had two free elective classes. He took physics classes both times, he's also taken two karate classes but those hours don't count towards his degree.

2. A great friend is a cardiologist born and raised in India. Due to - his term, "incalculable stupidity", on his part he went to medical school over there and then had to again here. According to him you are romanticizing Indian medical care greatly. According to him a select few Indian docs are world class having attended top Indian university/medical school or similar - don't recall the name. Most, however, are little more than LPNs in terms of education.

airmotive
05-01-2013, 07:32
I've spent quite a bit of time in India.
Ronny...you're wrong.


That aside...that little piece of paper shows you're able to meet a 'standard'. What that standard is depends on the degree and the institution. But it stands as proof that the person who earned that degree can meet whatever that standard is. If I'm hiring someone and I need someone who meets a certain standard, the most efficient method to weed out all the applicants who do not meet my standard is to look for a particular level of degree.

A degree, even in women's studies, shows that the person who earned it can at the very least, apply themselves to a long-term project and see it through to the end (graduation).

Atlas
05-01-2013, 07:36
.....

jason10mm
05-01-2013, 07:37
As a physician I can also echo Rbbi's comments. I can teach a monkey to do 90% of what most docs do, but it is that 10% that is the reason you pay a doc so much, that knowledge of the zebra diagnoses that, while rare, do happen and might be what is killing you.

I had a liberal arts undergrad education and value it highly. 2 years of German, art history, literature, history, etc all squeezed in around enough science classes to get a BS in bio and a chem minor as well as sit for the MCATs. Makes me a better person in that I can talk a little about Monet, or Chaucer, or compose a coherent paper. Doesn't matter much to my performance as a physician, but I only do that like 50% of the time that I'm awake. The rest of the time I have to interact with you people.

I'd say the degree is only relevent to what you do with it. A Woman's Studies degree is highly relevant to a Women's Studies professor, otherwise it is just an ancillary enhancement to whatever that person can bring to a job as a barista, elementary school janitor, traffic cop, or community manager.

This is what lots of folks don't seem to get. You have to work it out backwards. What do you WANT to do (tempered by what you can realistically do), and what will get you there? Going to school without an end goal in mind leads folks to communications degrees with an end state of unemployment because they never realized that the job field for that degree is limited and oversaturated.

The guy who graduates with a degree in canoe hydrodynamics is sitting pretty if he lands the raft guide job he has always wanted and is now highly competitive for, versus the guy with the same degree who really wanted to be an astronaut but now collects welfare.

SC Tiger
05-01-2013, 07:39
Most useless - I would say "(Women's/African American/Hispanic) Studies"

And anything where the enrollment for that major is more than 50% athletes.

Most Impressive - Medical, Chem E or Electrical Engineering (would be tough for me personally).

SC Tiger
05-01-2013, 07:44
Do you mean by this that no one learns to become an engineer "on your own"?



.

Won't say "No one" (outliers always exist - Jamie Hyneman on "Mythbusters" comes to mind) but you will have a hard time becoming a true engineer (developing new devices, systems or products) on your own.

Many people think they can do it because they understand current systems but don't have the fundemental knowledge to develop something truly revolutionary.

An auto mechanic could put together a Toyota Corolla and could even make many of the pieces, but could he have designed the Prius? The Honda V-tech system? Direct Injection?

Fear Night
05-01-2013, 07:50
I have my BSEE and probably 90-95%+ of my knowledge applied at my job has been obtained from my work experience. This is why so many jobs require 3, 5, 10+ years work experience. An EE student coming fresh out of college will always be extremely green, even if they don't think they are.

The degree is essentially a stamp on your resume that indicates - *this guy made it through engineering school, so he is obviously smart*

lavon_andy
05-01-2013, 08:00
I don't always speak to liberal arts majors, but when I do I ask for fries.


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Flying-Dutchman
05-01-2013, 08:06
Highest paid majors

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-29/and-highest-paid-college-majors-are

Ugly side of a college educationÖ

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-30/and-now-ugly-side-college-education

Do not choose your major based solely on pay or job potential as you will be miserable.

Then again, if you are going to major in something useless, just forego college and save your parentís money (or your credit line).

HerrGlock
05-01-2013, 08:07
I've found that for the vast majority of life a degree is a binary thing, "Do you have a BA/BS?" with little to no care about what it's in. Yeah, some jobs require a bazillion years of study before you're worth a damn, but for the most part it doesn't matter near that much in what it's in, just that you can perform rational thought.

Flying-Dutchman
05-01-2013, 08:10
THIS!!!

When speaking to "kids" I know I preach STEM, STEM, STEM. I also encourage them to pursue English and some writing classes. Being able to express yourself in writing is crucial.

With the value of a STEM degree, I want to make a case for the classic "Liberal Arts" degree, or a liberal arts core as part of a STEM degree.

Having a broad understanding western civilization; historically, culturally, the classic writings, concepts, and issues which formed western civilization is crucial. One odd example: I had ZERO interest in taking any art history classes; I ended up taking two of them, including what was allegedly the most challenging upper division art history class at a top UC campus. Both those classes still affect my world view in significant ways. I am grateful for taking both classes.

My ideal bachelors degree would encompass both the STEM and classic liberal arts elements!

And as far as STEM majors, I find most of them are not well rounded; uneducated except in their field of expertise (not on GT but in real life).

Cali-Glock
05-01-2013, 08:13
As a physician I can also echo Rbbi's comments. I can teach a monkey to do 90% of what most docs do, but it is that 10% that is the reason you pay a doc so much, that knowledge of the zebra diagnoses that, while rare, do happen and might be what is killing you.



This is why I would rather be treated by a vet who is also a Wilderness EMT.

More compassionate, less expensive and probably just as effective! ..... Well a far cry better than ObamaCare anyway!!!!

Lol!!!

:-D

hamster
05-01-2013, 08:15
My undergrad degree is pretty useless unless you are independently wealthy or interested in academia: Anthropology.

I went on to do my graduate degree in Management Information Systems. Honestly though, it is funny how the Anthropology knowledge is coming back to be useful. Analytics is hot right now, and one of the biggest things right now is "Big Data" which is basically making sense of unstructured content created by humans. Analytics firms are actually hiring anthropologists (specifically cultural/linguistic) to come up with the algorithms.

The Oracle
05-01-2013, 08:20
My wife was putting her hand inside of living people in medical school. You cant get that down at the library or through Google.



...this comment is a low hanging fruit, nevertheless I will leave it for the more comically talented GT'ers



.

jason10mm
05-01-2013, 08:23
This is why I would rather be treated by a vet who is also a Wilderness EMT.

More compassionate, less expensive and probably just as effective! ..... Well a far cry better than ObamaCare anyway!!!!

Lol!!!

:-D

Sure, so long as what ails you is commonplace and can be managed by someone going through the motions without, perhaps, the knowledge of WHY things are happening the way they are. But if you are suffering from a rare autoimmune disease then that vet might miss it completely, not know what he doesn't know, and not even get you a referral to a specialist or do the basic tests to rule out the zebras.

And Flying Dutchman, I find non-STEM majors to be almost UNIVERSALLY woefully ignorant of basic math and science. I suspect that given some proper motivation an engineer can learn to be conversant in the French Renaissance in much less time than a history major can learn to calculate wall stress under load. This is why STEM degrees are more valuable. Not only are they rarer, they cover a skill set that is harder to cross-train in the field.

And I suspect most STEM and liberal Arts majors are ignorant of plumbing and home electrical wiring, but the STEM guy will at least read a book and have a chance of doing the job correctly.

The Oracle
05-01-2013, 08:27
This is why I would rather be treated by a vet who is also a Wilderness EMT.




...like in the Seinfeld episode where Kramer takes dog medicine after being "diagnosed" by a vet, claiming, "I would rather be treated by a vet any day,


Setting: NYC Street]

(While Kramer's walking with his new found dog, Smuckers, he meets up with George. Kramer and the dog both start coughing)

KRAMER: (Between coughs) Hey.

GEORGE: What's with the dog?

KRAMER: (Petting Smuckers) Yeah, this is Smuckers. I borrowed him. (Starts coughing)

GEORGE: Oh..

(Smuckers coughs)

KRAMER: (Pointing at the dog) Yeah, we share the same affliction, so I'm gonna have a vet check us out.

GEORGE: A vet?

KRAMER: Oh, I'll take a vet over an M.D. any day. They gotta be able to cure a (Snaps his fingers in rhythm with his words) lizard, a chicken, a pig, a frog (Stops snapping) - all on the same day.

GEORGE: So, if I may jump ahead - you're gonna take dog medicine?

KRAMER: (Smiling) You bet we are! Huh, Smuckers? (Smuckers coughs. They turn to leave) I'll see ya.



.

Ian Moone
05-01-2013, 08:53
The oddest:
I forget the exact name, but it was something like 'turf management'. My friend got a degree that is basically all about taking care of grass. It seems odd, but anytime you complain about the crappy field at a NFL game, or praise how green the grass is at the Masters, it is people like him that are in charge of that.

At A&M, the degree is called Turfgrass Science in the Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences. I actually know a fellow who got a PhD in Turfgrass Science. Needless to say, he loves golf and will consult on golf course construction.

In the area of useless degrees, A&M offers a degree in Parks, Recreation & Tourism. It is designed for those who can't keep grades in other traditional courses of study but REALLY want a college degree.

LSUAdman
05-01-2013, 09:01
One of my good friends, who also was my supervisor for a time at my last company, had probably the useless degree possible. At least for our career set.

She majored in Opera, with a minor in Musical Theory (never did figure out what that meant). She spent seven years poor, working odd jobs while trying to make her opera dreams come true. Eventually she took one of those personality tests, and it suggested she become a marketer. She then got an Masters in Communication and is relatively successful.

When I asked her about those seven years, she would lament how horrible those years were and how broken she felt not being able to work in her career.

Meanwhile her littler sister is in college right now..MAJORING in Music Theory (seriously, what the hell is that?). I asked her why she didnt try to dissuade her, and her reply was that "maybe she would actually make it."

Make it as what? As far as I can tell, that girl can't play an instrument...

aplcr0331
05-01-2013, 09:02
Impressive: Engineering, Medical.

Least: Social Sciences (I have one).

Worthless: Professional Indignation Studies (i.e. Women's Studies, African-American Studies, GLB(ISGD)Q Studies, etc).

diggy485
05-01-2013, 09:05
>>>>As for value, that is simply not true in some cases. Engineering comes to mind. You dont pick that up on your own and it is damned well valuable.

I entirely disagree. Michelangelo is the most classic example. Being refused entry into the Platonic academy he studied nature on his own and developed an understanding of things surpassing all the teachings of formal education.


>>>>>As for value, that is simply not true in some cases. Engineering comes to mind. You dont pick that up on your own and it is damned well valuable.

I also know a lot of people who dont have a degree and are damned smart....but no matter how smart they are, they lack the knoweledge that some degrees impart. Someone can be a lot smarter that the guy with the degree in Engineering....but still not know as much about engineering as the guy with the degree.

If I am looking for engineers...the guy with the engineering degree gets the job over the "smarter" guy. That is the very definition of value.

You make my point for me. The valuable skill there is not engineering it is the piece of paper. Like I said the only purpose of a degree is to have a credential. The degree in itself is a worthless scrap of paper. The guy without the engineering degree might know ten times more engineering than the guy with. Your perception of that the most qualified applicant is the one with the degree in only your perception. After Bill Gates was a freshman at Harvard he determined he knew more about computers than his professors. Your perception of him as a college dropout without a computer degree is contradicted by the facts.

There is a strong perception in our society that having a degree imparts some special ability but it does not. It may provide a credential necessary for professional licensure or to land a job but it means very little about the skills possessed. The only credentials I'd place much value at all on are those earned in the field. A doctor having completed a residency is a strong credential. The medical degree by itself means next to nothing as the doctor may have cheated his way through classes and be less competent than the average nurse in every area.

Those examples of people whom succeeded without a "degree", is only a small cross section of an anomaly.

PEC-Memphis
05-01-2013, 09:11
I am going to go ahead and state, I dont believe Kent State did that.

As for value, that is simply not true in some cases. Engineering comes to mind. You dont pick that up on your own and it is damned well valuable.

I also know a lot of people who dont have a degree and are damned smart....but no matter how smart they are, they lack the knoweledge that some degrees impart. Someone can be a lot smarter that the guy with the degree in Engineering....but still not know as much about engineering as the guy with the degree.

If I am looking for engineers...the guy with the engineering degree gets the job over the "smarter" guy. That is the very definition of value.

I wouldn't say that - Bill Lear did pretty well; and the WoZ arguably was more technically successful pre-1986 than post '86.

I know several non-degree technical types that I work with that are head-and-shoulders above the engineers with a degree (including several that are registered). And I write this as a registered/licensed electrical engineer with over 30 years of experience.

I'd hire the really sharp non-degree person over the dull person with a degree in a minute. The problem is that it usually takes a while to figure out who is really sharp, and who isn't.

Although I don't know many folks with a MS in engineering that aren't pretty sharp.

aplcr0331
05-01-2013, 09:14
N=1, does not mean an entire population of N also = 1.

Sheesh, at least I learned a little math in "school".

Geko45
05-01-2013, 09:33
Without wading into the impressive/useless debate, the oddest one I've heard of is the PGA Tour Manager undergrad degree. From what I understand though it is quite lucrative.

Redheadhunter21
05-01-2013, 09:36
To me important degrees also come with hands on training. Nursing and MD both require clinical's of some sort to pass. While an English major does not. That English major is easy study for a test then pass it, the nursing major is study for test and pass then take what you learned and apply it to patient care. You actually have to understand what you took a test on not just be able to get the right answer.

Social sciences I see as a waste.

As far as I'm concerned most degrees like business degrees are just a piece of paper saying you have the ability to be taught. Which means to the employer even if you have no idea how to do something you can be taught to do it the way they like.

Geko45
05-01-2013, 09:38
The problem is that it usually takes a while to figure out who is really sharp, and who isn't.

And that is the crux of the issue, if all you have to go on are two competing CVs then ceteris paribus do you hire the degreed or non-degreed individual?

Old School
05-01-2013, 09:40
No regrets majoring in statistics, but minoring in economics has been equally rewarding. I'm most impressed with combinations of degrees. I went to school with a guy who double majored in physics and English. Impressive dude.

As a stand alone BA, the classics is pretty worthless. Too broad for specialization needed today.

Library science is massively under rated.

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Dennis in MA
05-01-2013, 09:42
My wife has an Art History degree with and English minor.

25 years later, we both agree a complete waste of time. Thankfully at a at-the-time very cheap state university. Thanks Gov. Weld! (Downside to a cheap education is there was no one to help her make a good decision about swapping majors ever. She should have been an art student. She's really really really good!)

BradD
05-01-2013, 10:02
I have no idea what degree is the most impressive, etc., but I can say that engineering undergrad was brutal FWIW.

Random comment about engineering school for anybody considering it: If I had it to do over, I would probably get an engineering mechanics undergrad and wait until grad school to pick ME, CE, or whichever. There's no substitute for knowing the fundamentals.

Harper
05-01-2013, 10:26
The guy without the engineering degree might know ten times more engineering than the guy with. Your perception of that the most qualified applicant is the one with the degree in only your perception.

You're talking about an extremely unlikely scenario. Do you many people that didn't get a college degree that can use differential equations to develop mathematical models of things like distillation columns or that can calculate mutltivariable optimization for some process?

gigab1te
05-01-2013, 11:00
My wife has an Art History degree with and English minor.

25 years later, we both agree a complete waste of time. Thankfully at a at-the-time very cheap state university. Thanks Gov. Weld! (Downside to a cheap education is there was no one to help her make a good decision about swapping majors ever. She should have been an art student. She's really really really good!)

In theory college students should be wise enough to select a major that they have competency in and that will provide a good income. In reality, quite a few college kids may (or may not) be "book smart", but lack experience and common sense. Many have been raised by parents and educated in schools which taught theonly goal in life is to do what makes you happy. These students enter a university that offers a slew of very useful degrees and also offers essentially useless degrees like art history or rhetoric. They get assigned a college advisor who has a vested interest in perpetuating these useless degree programs. They graduate with a mountain of student debt and finally learn an important lesson when they realize their degree has doomed them to serving overpriced coffee or trying to get into graduate school in another field.

I'm not a fan of .gov regulation by any means, but if universities are permitted to spend federal money on student loans and student aid, they should be required to disclose information to students about the anticipated debt load upon graduation, prospects for employment in their field, and the average starting salary for graduates with a degree in their major. Private colleges not accessing federal student aid should be free to do whatever they think is best.

BradD
05-01-2013, 11:15
...You make my point for me. The valuable skill there is not engineering it is the piece of paper. Like I said the only purpose of a degree is to have a credential. The degree in itself is a worthless scrap of paper. The guy without the engineering degree might know ten times more engineering than the guy with. Your perception of that the most qualified applicant is the one with the degree in only your perception. After Bill Gates was a freshman at Harvard he determined he knew more about computers than his professors. Your perception of him as a college dropout without a computer degree is contradicted by the facts. ...
There are certainly unusual examples of extremely gifted individuals who are better without a degree than some other (maybe not so gifted) individuals are with a degree. From that, it doesn't follow that such is the norm.

Consider the following.

I'm a structural engineer and I'm thinking of the kinds of calculations we had to learn to do in school that translated to the job. Some of them could be learned on the job. However, the vast, vast majority of people would never, ever learn much of the required info OTJ due to lack of time.

The problem is prereqs. Take earthquake engineering for example. Sure, a guy could pick up a building code and muddle through the basic calculations if he can figure out which ones. What happens when he needs to dig in a little deeper? He picks up a structural dynamics book and gets lost in about two pages because he's confronted with a differential equation of motion. The resourceful guy gets a DE book. Now he realizes that he has to know calculus to use any of those methods. Then he backs up and gets a calculus book. Two or three more regressions and he might get back to somewhere he can start from without having a formal education from engineering school.

A guy could do that. However, to solve that one EQ problem would take him three weeks worth of back-tracking (if he's extremely lucky.) Those poor saps who spent years in math and engineering classes struggled to get that knowledge, but they've already got it when he pick up the structural dynamics book.

void *
05-01-2013, 11:25
Not all degrees are the same...and market forces prove that. (I.E. Value)

ChemE guy gets 10 job offers and will be making 6 figures a few years after graduation if not AT graduation. BA in Sociology guy either keeps working at Subway or learns to sell Insurance.

I really dont know why you cant understand this.

The degree does not prove value. The requirement is really that you can give some kind of indication you know what the hell you're doing - and a degree is one way to show that. It is not, however, a guarantee.

I've seen a guy with a Ph.D. in computer science that couldn't build a sane, operational software system to save his life. He'd get something built, but it would be operationally hard to manage, etc. I've seen a guy who never went to college who could. When the layoffs came - you know who kept their job? The guy who never went to college - because people knew he could actually do it, and he'd shown that by actually doing it. People knew he could do it - the lack of paper didn't matter.

Now, the odds of making it along a no-degree path are certainly low, and I wouldn't try to state otherwise. Starting from scratch, the guy with no degree has a huge disadvantage. But depending on what the job is - it could certainly be rational to take the guy who has ten or twelve years of being employed doing the work, with no degree, over the guy who just got his degree. It all depends.

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 11:33
The degree does not prove value. The requirement is really that you can give some kind of indication you know what the hell you're doing - and a degree is one way to show that. It is not, however, a guarantee.

I've seen a guy with a Ph.D. in computer science that couldn't build a sane, operational software system to save his life. He'd get something built, but it would be operationally hard to manage, etc. I've seen a guy who never went to college who could. When the layoffs came - you know who kept their job? The guy who never went to college - because people knew he could actually do it, and he'd shown that by actually doing it. People knew he could do it - the lack of paper didn't matter.

Now, the odds of making it along a no-degree path are certainly low, and I wouldn't try to state otherwise.

Bill Gates is a college drop out. That is a valid data point.

So is the fact that about 90% of fortune 500 CEO's have a college education (and statistically damned good ones in hard subjects from good schools)

Most rules have exceptions. That doesnt change the rule. If one plays the long odds, the shouldnt be surprised by the results.

I also think you are confusing value with competence. Getting the job because I have the required credential is value. Keeping that job is competence.

Knowing how to do brain surgery is competence. Not having the proper license to do so would be lack of value. No one hires the surgeon who doesnt have the letters after his name....even if he can be fired for being bad at it, he has an advantage over the guy who doesnt even get to play the game.

HollowHead
05-01-2013, 11:37
My wife has an Art History degree with and English minor.

25 years later, we both agree a complete waste of time. Thankfully at a at-the-time very cheap state university. Thanks Gov. Weld! (Downside to a cheap education is there was no one to help her make a good decision about swapping majors ever. She should have been an art student. She's really really really good!)

My wife has an art history degree with a minor in French from NYU. While maybe not the most marketable degree, the two subjects are her passions and walking through the museums of the world with her is absolutely fascinating. We were at the Hermitage a few years ago and telling me about some of the collections and we soon gathered a string of eavesdroppers who followed us around for the afternoon. No financial gain, but incredibly rewarding... HH

void *
05-01-2013, 11:41
I also think you are confusing value with competence. Getting the job because I have the required credential is value. Keeping that job is competence.

The degree only has value to the prospective employee because it is a potential indicator of value to the employer. And what is the employer looking for? Indications of competence. I'm not confusing anything, I'm looking at 'value' from the employer side, not the employee side (which is, really, where any value that any degree, cert, etc originates - if the employer thinks a particular cert is a dime-a-dozen kind of thing - in other words, if they employer does not think that a particular cert/degree is actually an indication the employee has 'competence potential' above someone who doesn't have it - having that cert does not give the prospective employee any value)

DanaT
05-01-2013, 11:43
You're talking about an extremely unlikely scenario. Do you many people that didn't get a college degree that can use differential equations to develop mathematical models of things like distillation columns or that can calculate mutltivariable optimization for some process?

Do you think that many people without an engineering degree actually even understand what you typed?

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 11:46
The degree only has value to the prospective employee because it is a potential indicator of value to the employer.

That is pretty much the point.

That is what value is.

DanaT
05-01-2013, 11:47
There are certainly unusual examples of extremely gifted individuals who are better without a degree than some other (maybe not so gifted) individuals are with a degree. From that, it doesn't follow that such is the norm.

Consider the following.

I'm a structural engineer and I'm thinking of the kinds of calculations we had to learn to do in school that translated to the job. Some of them could be learned on the job. However, the vast, vast majority of people would never, ever learn much of the required info OTJ due to lack of time.

The problem is prereqs. Take earthquake engineering for example. Sure, a guy could pick up a building code and muddle through the basic calculations if he can figure out which ones. What happens when he needs to dig in a little deeper? He picks up a structural dynamics book and gets lost in about two pages because he's confronted with a differential equation of motion. The resourceful guy gets a DE book. Now he realizes that he has to know calculus to use any of those methods. Then he backs up and gets a calculus book. Two or three more regressions and he might get back to somewhere he can start from without having a formal education from engineering school.

A guy could do that. However, to solve that one EQ problem would take him three weeks worth of back-tracking (if he's extremely lucky.) Those poor saps who spent years in math and engineering classes struggled to get that knowledge, but they've already got it when he pick up the structural dynamics book.

The answer would be..use FEA....but that actually causes problems. Its too easy for people to get "answers" form software without having a clue if its realistic answer or not.

Tackle
05-01-2013, 11:58
I think that many of you can agree any degree with "studies" at the end is about worthless. My sister has a degree from a well known private college in "Environmental Studies" and works as part time at a small town water shed for not much more than minimum wage. Took her 3 years to land that job.

I have a business degree and am currently more successful in my Career but will most likely be limited without a bachelor's.

Earning it is one thing, being able to apply the value of that paper is another

void *
05-01-2013, 12:05
That is pretty much the point.

That is what value is.

I think you missed my point. The value is linked to probability of competence, as viewed from the employer's side. It's not some abstract independent value all by itself. There is no value without indication of probability of competence - so your claim that I am confusing value and competence is incorrect.

domin8ss
05-01-2013, 12:10
Good grief Ronny - stop yammering.

1. My son heads of to medical school this fall. He's never once studied "women's studies" or "basket weaving". Through the sea of bio, o-chem, physics, straight math, Latin and genetics he's had two free elective classes. He took physics classes both times, he's also taken two karate classes but those hours don't count towards his degree.

2. A great friend is a cardiologist born and raised in India. Due to - his term, "incalculable stupidity", on his part he went to medical school over there and then had to again here. According to him you are romanticizing Indian medical care greatly. According to him a select few Indian docs are world class having attended top Indian university/medical school or similar - don't recall the name. Most, however, are little more than LPNs in terms of education.

Don't LPN's clear $100,000/year and have the authority to write prescriptions in America? Seems like a good Masters Degree to me?

No, I'm not a nurse, but I know one who is 1 of just over 20 CPNs in the entire US Navy. The Navy is about to completely pay for her Masters in pediatric nursing.

BradD
05-01-2013, 12:10
The answer would be..use FEA....but that actually causes problems. Its too easy for people to get "answers" form software without having a clue if its realistic answer or not.
Use it how? When the guy opens the FEA program, he's confronted with a dizzying array of options. He won't even know what the analysis does. Should he do a linear modal superposition time history analysis, power spectral density, steady-state prediction of the frequency response function, or what? What load should he use? Should the load be a time history or something in the frequency domain? What damping should be used? If he settles on a modal analysis, then how many modes should be included? If he does a time history analysis, then what time increment should he use?

There are dozens and dozens of questions that must be answered. Incorrect answers could be dangerous, expensive, or both.

Engineering looks a lot easier than it is, because the layman watching the engineer doesn't know what the engineer is doing, and not doing.

It irritates me that people think that engineers spend four to eight years in school apparently wasting their time. LOL

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 12:14
I think you missed my point. The value is linked to probability of competence, as viewed from the employer's side. It's not some abstract independent value all by itself. There is no value without indication of probability of competence - so your claim that I am confusing value and competence is incorrect.

You are missing the variables.

The value from the holders perspective and the value from the seekers perspective. Of course they are both speculative in terms of risk but the value on either end is the reduction of that speculation risk because of the degree.

I have no problem with what you are saying about value but I have no idea why you have assumed that I am trying to make value out to be something it isnt that you needed to explain to me exactly what I am saying.

I still think you are confusing value and competence though. Because of the speculative risk (that the degree mitigates, thus proving value) of hiring, being hired, the Degree itself, if the only rubric, is the only value. Competence will be the application of what the value provided I.E. I have a degree that says I can do this (value, and it got you the job). Once you start working, the value of the degree is diminished. You must apply competence in order to provide the needed value at that point.

DanaT
05-01-2013, 12:30
Use it how? When the guy opens the FEA program, he's confronted with a dizzying array of options. He won't even know what the analysis does. Should he do a linear modal superposition time history analysis, power spectral density, steady-state prediction of the frequency response function, or what? What load should he use? Should the load be a time history or something in the frequency domain? What damping should be used? If he settles on a modal analysis, then how many modes should be included? If he does a time history analysis, then what time increment should he use?

There are dozens and dozens of questions that must be answered. Incorrect answers could be dangerous, expensive, or both.

Engineering looks a lot easier than it is, because the layman watching the engineer doesn't know what the engineer is doing, and not doing.

It irritates me that people think that engineers spend four to eight years in school apparently wasting their time. LOL

That is why I said it causes problems. They dont know if their calculations are right. They can in general find the information very quickly and input SOMETHING and get an answer. FEA lets people get an answer but they have no general feeling if it is even in the ballpark of correct.

Harper
05-01-2013, 12:49
Do you think that many people without an engineering degree actually even understand what you typed?

Nope.



...It probably doesn't help that I somehow left the word "think" out of my post. I should more about what I'm writing. :supergrin:

BradD
05-01-2013, 12:54
That is why I said it causes problems. They dont know if their calculations are right. They can in general find the information very quickly and input SOMETHING and get an answer. FEA lets people get an answer but they have no general feeling if it is even in the ballpark of correct.
I agree completely. I've seen two major problems from incorrect computer usage by engineers who do know what they're doing.

My favorite is a three story steel framed building designed using an automated design program. For those not familiar with these, they work like: (i) draw the floor framing in CAD, (ii) import .dxf into the design program, (iii) assign parameters such as loads, (iv) hit "go," (v) export to .dxf, (vi) CAD guy cleans it up and can even send to the detailer. A guy set one button incorrectly about three menu levels deep, and almost every beam was literally 3-4x too flexible. THe error got by everybody--the EIT, PE, CAD operator, detailer, shop drawing checker, and erector. Didn't get by gravity, though. The first bay started to collapse when they poured concrete on it. They had to stop everything and figure out how to fix it. Three stories, about 150 ft by 200 ft plan IIRC.

My second favorite was a baseball stadium. The programmer was part ways through editing one design subroutine, became distracted, thought he was finished, compiled, and sent out the program. One of the engineers used that program for the design of about thirty big trusses. The framing began deflecting excessively with the first precast piece going on. They had to stop everything and figure out what to do.

I use those stories to scare my students so hopefully they'll be careful when they start designing buildings. I also draw pictures of puppies under the beam and ask them do they want to kill fido. LOL

DanaT
05-01-2013, 12:59
An experienced engineer should be able to detect some of this when looking at designs. They should have a gut feeling if something is "in the ballpark" based upon experience. If the beams are 1/3 the size as normal..maybe look more deeply...

BradD
05-01-2013, 13:05
I agree completely. The architect showed it to me and my boss, asking what to do. Within five seconds, I could tell that it was all screwed up.

Bottom line is that no human laid eyes on it. It's like nintendo with people's lives LOL. The PE must've just lifted up the corner of the sheets to stamp them.

We have a rule that each beam should be a little more than half hte length in inches, e.g., a 32 ft long beam is probably 16 in. deep. Depends on the loads, etc., but that's a decent general rule. These were 34 ft long and 12 in. deep.

I tell my students to use the programs, but print the plans out full (1/8"=1'-0") scale and highlight every beam to prove that they mentally register what sizes will be used.

Who knows if they'll do it or not...

profiler999
05-01-2013, 13:05
BsBA major accounting. Very useful. Pay average

MBA healthcare Admin. Pay went up by 50% and opened up all types of jobs that I would not have been eligible for applying.

What I do is herd cats. Therefore, while the degree is needed, the basic knowledge is gained in the trenches.

In addition, I can sell ice to an Eskimo if I need to.

However for purposes of wisdom imparted to any college student who asks, I advise get a degree where you have a license to hang your own shingle and not have to work as a grunt for someone else.

aplcr0331
05-01-2013, 13:07
Don't LPN's clear $100,000/year and have the authority to write prescriptions in America? Arms like a good Masters Degree to me?

No, I'm not a nurse, but I know one who is 1 of just over 20 CPNs in the entire US Navy. The Navy is about to completely pay for her Masters in pediatric nursing.

No they cannot write perscriptions you might be thinking of PA's. LPN's are considered the entry level nursing positions. After the LPN with more schooling you can become an RN. LPN's do the light work for nurses, like measure and record patients' vital signs such as weight, height, temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate. Their salaries range, depending on many factors, between minimum wage and up to around 45K per year or more for more experienced specialized care.

The Navy and the Army have a great deal of programs that will pay for your college. Sounds like your friend is in a good position.

Detectorist
05-01-2013, 13:34
The bottom line is that folks have to do what they like and enjoy doing.

However, everyone should be required to take basic:

1. Financial accounting
2. Marketing
3. Economics
4. Writing
5. Math, up to and even including basic Calc.

Detectorist
05-01-2013, 13:44
I agree completely. I've seen two major problems from incorrect computer usage by engineers who do know what they're doing.

My favorite is a three story steel framed building designed using an automated design program. For those not familiar with these, they work like: (i) draw the floor framing in CAD, (ii) import .dxf into the design program, (iii) assign parameters such as loads, (iv) hit "go," (v) export to .dxf, (vi) CAD guy cleans it up and can even send to the detailer. A guy set one button incorrectly about three menu levels deep, and almost every beam was literally 3-4x too flexible. THe error got by everybody--the EIT, PE, CAD operator, detailer, shop drawing checker, and erector. Didn't get by gravity, though. The first bay started to collapse when they poured concrete on it. They had to stop everything and figure out how to fix it. Three stories, about 150 ft by 200 ft plan IIRC.

My second favorite was a baseball stadium. The programmer was part ways through editing one design subroutine, became distracted, thought he was finished, compiled, and sent out the program. One of the engineers used that program for the design of about thirty big trusses. The framing began deflecting excessively with the first precast piece going on. They had to stop everything and figure out what to do.

I use those stories to scare my students so hopefully they'll be careful when they start designing buildings. I also draw pictures of puppies under the beam and ask them do they want to kill fido. LOL

I think good 'gut feelings' come from education and/or experience. Mostly experience.

Altaris
05-01-2013, 14:07
At A&M, the degree is called Turfgrass Science in the Dept. of Soil & Crop Sciences. I actually know a fellow who got a PhD in Turfgrass Science. Needless to say, he loves golf and will consult on golf course construction.

In the area of useless degrees, A&M offers a degree in Parks, Recreation & Tourism. It is designed for those who can't keep grades in other traditional courses of study but REALLY want a college degree.


Yes, that is it!
I remember he actually started in Parks, Recreation & Tourism. Most of the guys in my outfit gave him crap for it. Then when he switched to turfgrass science we were even more confused :rofl:

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 14:10
The bottom line is that folks have to do what they like and enjoy doing.

However, everyone should be required to take basic:

1. Financial accounting
2. Marketing
3. Economics
4. Writing
5. Math, up to and even including basic Calc.


While I agree such things are very important...why should people be "required" to take such things?

I think it would be a great idea to force the population to learn about what the Police do and why they do it. People really should have that knoweledge. However, that is simply not what a free people should be subject to.

Much of the backlash against colleges is all the usless classes. While people often use it as an excuse, we have all met people who say the reason they didnt get a degree was all the "Bull crap" classes....and they have a damned fair point.

There is always value in learning something but there can be a cost as well. A guy who wants to be an engineer will, in some way be a better person because he was forced to take an art class to get a degree in engineering....but that doesnt mean he should have had to do so and there is also a very real cost in him having to take such a class.

My point is, guy who wants to get a degree in English doesnt need to take calc...and if we made people to do that, there would be a lot less people who could get an English degree. Is it fair or wise to deny people something they want to do and have the ability to do, as well as costing them time and money, because it is something unrelated and seemingly important in some other, unrelated peoples eyes?

Detectorist
05-01-2013, 14:26
While I agree such things are very important...why should people be "required" to take such things?

I think it would be a great idea to force the population to learn about what the Police do and why they do it. People really should have that knoweledge. However, that is simply not what a free people should be subject to.

Much of the backlash against colleges is all the usless classes. While people often use it as an excuse, we have all met people who say the reason they didnt get a degree was all the "Bull crap" classes....and they have a damned fair point.

There is always value in learning something but there can be a cost as well. A guy who wants to be an engineer will, in some way be a better person because he was forced to take an art class to get a degree in engineering....but that doesnt mean he should have had to do so and there is also a very real cost in him having to take such a class.

My point is, guy who wants to get a degree in English doesnt need to take calc...and if we made people to do that, there would be a lot less people who could get an English degree. Is it fair or wise to deny people something they want to do and have the ability to do, as well as costing them time and money, because it is something unrelated and seemingly important in some other, unrelated peoples eyes?

Every degree has *requirements* one must take. OK, so drop the calc requirement. The five areas I mentioned will help anyone have a better understanding of the world and a higher probability of success. JMHO.

None of the five areas I mentioned are beyond the abilities of a college student.

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 14:36
Every degree has *requirements* one must take. OK, so drop the calc requirement. The five areas I mentioned will help anyone have a better understanding of the world and a higher probability of success. JMHO.

None of the five areas I mentioned are beyond the abilities of a college student.

What is the goal of a college education?

Is it to give people a better understanding of the world?

Is it to give people a skill?

A little of both?

I dont know the right answer to that, (regardless of how I feel) however, If someone is in college to hone the skills of creative writting and then go off and create...the understanding of the world they need isnt the same as someone who is learning how to be an engineer or manage.

We often rail against the liberal bias in college because we feel college shouldnt be a factory of social indoctrination. They other side argues that they are in fact teaching people things and increasing their knowledge.

Maybe we should lean more towards the side of letting people learn what they want to learn in spite of "what is good for them."

Detectorist
05-01-2013, 14:44
What is the goal of a college education?

Is it to give people a better understanding of the world?

Is it to give people a skill?

A little of both?

I dont know the right answer to that, (regardless of how I feel) however, If someone is in college to hone the skills of creative writting and then go off and create...the understanding of the world they need isnt the same as someone who is learning how to be an engineer or manage.

We often rail against the liberal bias in college because we feel college shouldnt be a factory of social indoctrination. They other side argues that they are in fact teaching people things and increasing their knowledge.

Maybe we should lean more towards the side of letting people learn what they want to learn in spite of "what is good for them."

I totally understand. I don't have the answer myself. However, these areas are those which I wish I had understood when I was an undergraduate. They would have given me an edge.

There is a famous article published in the Harvard Business Review titled: 'Marketing is Everything'. I had one of my "AHA!' moments when I read it.

Everyone, even the liberal arts majors, will eventually be involved in some type of marketing, for example.

The Fist Of Goodness
05-01-2013, 14:44
The Adult Book Store Management degree might have been ill advised, though the "Uses For Bleach" seminar in Degradation 101 was pretty interesting.

:D





posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire (http://www.outdoorhub.com/mobile/)

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 14:50
I totally understand. I don't have the answer myself. However, these areas are those which I wish I had understood when I was an undergraduate. They would have given me an edge.

There is a famous article published in the Harvard Business Review titled: 'Marketing is Everything'. I had one of my "AHA!' moments when I read it.

Everyone, even the liberal arts majors, will eventually be involved in some type of marketing, for example.

Everyone will die and everyone will probably stubb a toe at some point. That doesnt mean we need to give college classes on them.

A college class in job interviewing may very well be one of the most valuable classes a person could take. A college class on driving would also probably have more of an actual impact on people than most anything the average person could do. That doesnt mean would should mandate it.

Again, in spite of 'whats best" for a person, at some point you have to let people choose the kind of life they want.

domin8ss
05-01-2013, 14:56
No they cannot write perscriptions you might be thinking of PA's. LPN's are considered the entry level nursing positions. After the LPN with more schooling you can become an RN. LPN's do the light work for nurses, like measure and record patients' vital signs such as weight, height, temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate. Their salaries range, depending on many factors, between minimum wage and up to around 45K per year or more for more experienced specialized care.

The Navy and the Army have a great deal of programs that will pay for your college. Sounds like your friend is in a good position.

I thought LPNs have the Masters Degree and CNAs were entry level nurses below RNs. Wikipedia says you are right. I must be a bad husband since I don't know the title of my wife's next career move. She is a RN with a BSN. She is now a CPN (certified pediatric nurse), and a lieutenant in the Navy. DUINS will be her next step.

gigab1te
05-01-2013, 16:21
I thought LPNs have the Masters Degree and CNAs were entry level nurses below RNs. Wikipedia says you are right. I must be a bad baobabs since I don't know the title of my wife's next career move. She is a RN with a BSN. She is now a CPN (certified pediatric nurse), and a lieutenant in the Navy. DUINS will be her next step.

Maybe you were thinking of Nurse Practitioners?

Old School
05-01-2013, 17:36
NOOOOOOOOOOO! Don't drop Calculus. The reason why there are so many useless college degrees out there is because they drop courses like Calculus and therefore don't differentiate (unintended joke) from a High School degree.

To graduate from High School, one should know basic algebra and geometry. Two equations, two unknowns. Degrees in a circle, degrees in triangle. Pythagorean Theorem. You should also know how to read and construct a decent paper with a thesis statement, supporting paragraph(s) and a conclusion.

If you went to college and never learned the fundamental theorem of calculus (or what it practically means) - then you got ripped off and have obtained a cheapened degree.

Most college bound kids should be taking AP Calculus as a Junior in high school (and the AP exam). That lets colleges know where you stand as a student when you apply before your Senior year.

.264 magnum
05-01-2013, 17:45
Don't LPN's clear $100,000/year and have the authority to write prescriptions in America? Seems like a good Masters Degree to me?

No, I'm not a nurse, but I know one who is 1 of just over 20 CPNs in the entire US Navy. The Navy is about to completely pay for her Masters in pediatric nursing.

That's kind-of my point. An LPN may, in certain very tight circumstances, administer meds at the direction of another.....but the same LPN likely can't discriminate between a centiliter and a deciliter. A doctor reflexively knew the difference in 8th grade or so.

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 17:49
NOOOOOOOOOOO! Don't drop Calculus. The reason why there are so many useless college degrees out there is because they drop courses like Calculus and therefore don't differentiate (unintended joke) from a High School degree.

To graduate from High School, one should know basic algebra and geometry. Two equations, two unknowns. Degrees in a circle, degrees in triangle. Pythagorean Theorem. You should also know how to read and construct a decent paper with a thesis statement, supporting paragraph(s) and a conclusion.

If you went to college and never learned the fundamental theorem of calculus (or what it practically means) - then you got ripped off and have obtained a cheapened degree.

Most college bound kids should be taking AP Calculus as a Junior in high school (and the AP exam). That lets colleges know where you stand as a student when you apply before your Senior year.

Still dont buy it. People who do creative things, like art, music and writing...dont need to be held back because they cant do calculus. I dont care if a good high school history teacher cant do calculus.

Just like someone trying to get an engineering degree should not miss out on that because they cant sing or the like.

There comes a point where people should specialize, and college should be that place.

Old School
05-01-2013, 17:58
Rabbi - we can agree to disagree on this one.

I'm not saying that a music major has to take 3 levels of Calculus and Diffy Q, they don't even need to be on that track. But to say they have a college degree, they do need a level of math beyond what is the minimum in High School - and that is calculus.

At my undergrad institution, there were 3 physics tracks. Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Physics for non Scientists and Engineers, and College Physics. The last one was known as "physics for poets". But if you wanted a degree, you had to take a physics class because it was part of a college education.

You also had to pass a swim test (or take remedial swimming) and pass PE 100 to get a degree.

Annhl8rX
05-01-2013, 18:10
I don't know that mine is the most useless, but it is pretty useless. A BS in criminal justice isn't worth a whole lot to anybody.

NMG26
05-01-2013, 18:13
I don't know that mine is the most useless, but it is pretty useless. A BS in criminal justice isn't worth a whole lot to anybody.


I would think it would look good on a resume if you were in the Criminal Justice field?

.

Detectorist
05-01-2013, 18:16
I don't know that mine is the most useless, but it is pretty useless. A BS in criminal justice isn't worth a whole lot to anybody.

In N.C. you must have one to become a probation officer.

void *
05-01-2013, 18:53
I still think you are confusing value and competence though. Because of the speculative risk (that the degree mitigates, thus proving value) of hiring, being hired, the Degree itself, if the only rubric, is the only value. Competence will be the application of what the value provided I.E. I have a degree that says I can do this (value, and it got you the job). Once you start working, the value of the degree is diminished. You must apply competence in order to provide the needed value at that point.

Let me put it another way. If the guy with the degree got hired, and was not competent, and they ended up letting that guy go - what value did the degree provide?

I would say that in such a case the degree actually provided negative value relative to what the employer was trying to assess.

The employer gets their value out of a competent employee, not out of any degree that employee may have. A degree (or certification, or whatever) is merely *one* means by which the employer can assess the probability of getting what they are trying to get - a competent employee - and it only has value in that sense to the degree that the degree is actually a reliable indicator of such competence.

'Value' isn't an abstract context-less quantity all by itself. I am not confusing value and competence, I am discussing the value an employer gets in the context of the goal they are actually trying to attain - which is a competent employee.

Annhl8rX
05-01-2013, 19:01
In N.C. you must have one to become a probation officer.

Unless probation officers make more there than they do here, that's a terrible investment.

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 19:07
Let me put it another way. If the guy with the degree got hired, and was not competent, and they ended up letting that guy go - what value did the degree provide?

I would say that in such a case the degree actually provided negative value relative to what the employer was trying to assess.

Really? That is like asking what good is getting a date with a women if it ends up being a bad date. Brother, you have to play the game to even have a chance.

The employer gets their value out of a competent employee, not out of any degree that employee may have. A degree (or certification, or whatever) is merely *one* means by which the employer can assess the probability of getting what they are trying to get - a competent employee - and it only has value in that sense to the degree that the degree is actually a reliable indicator of such competence.

'Value' isn't an abstract context-less quantity all by itself. I am not confusing value and competence, I am discussing the value an employer gets in the context of the goal they are actually trying to attain - which is a competent employee.

Having a degree doesnt put you into some binary closed system. Value is fluid. If it doesnt work out in one place, you take your value with you somewhere else where it may work out. That degree goes with you. The value of that deree wont be the same to everyone and it wont always be the same value to you.

If it gets you the job and that job keeps working out, just like having a carry gun. If you only need it once and it works, even though after the fact, the value is now gone, the use was invaluable.

silentpoet
05-01-2013, 19:11
There are opportunities available but you must have a Masters degree.

With a BA you can go down to Orlando and be an animal trainer at Sea World.

Or you can use that knowledge for sales.

Funny part is last year I got my first job in the field in 12 years. Just working day treatment, but that is about the job you can get with a BA or BS(which mine is). Mental health tech is basically what you get without a masters if you even get anything in the field. Getting this job has given me thought about furthering my education and getting a masters.

Tried RN school, just wasn't for me even though I have some of the right attributes.

void *
05-01-2013, 19:12
Really? That is like asking what good is getting a date with a women if it ends up being a bad date. Brother, you have to play the game to even have a chance.

No, it's more like saying that if a particular date didn't actually get you closer to your aim, then - huge surprise - that particular date didn't actually get you closer to your aim.

To put it in a different context - if someone's aim is to make money in the stock market, and they short a stock and take a bath on it because the stock rises, they didn't 'gain value' just because if they'd done nothing they'd have no chance at gaining value.

From the employer's perspective, having to get rid of an incompetent employee represents lost value, in a multitude of ways -> the salary they paid out while the employee was employed, the value they would have otherwise gained if the employee had actually been competent, etc.

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 19:17
No, it's more like saying that if a particular date didn't actually get you closer to your aim, then - huge surprise - that particular date didn't actually get you closer to your aim.

But you cant quantify the results until after the event. She said yes. That act alone has many ramifications...even if it doesnt work out.

Also, in the case of the degree, you dont know if the failure after the fact was actually degree related or what level it was degree related.

The degree gets you to the show. How you perform once you are there is another thing.

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 19:22
To put it in a different context - if someone's aim is to make money, and they short a stock and take a bath on it because the stock rises, they didn't 'gain value' just because if they'd done nothing they'd have no chance at gaining value.

Here again is the context of Risk.

Having a degree is a risk mitigator, not a guarantor. Again, back to the gun. It doesnt provide an outcome, it is a tool (among a few) to help with an outcome. That is value even if, when the situation actually happens, the outcome is negative.

You keep trying to frame this in terms that value can only exist after the fact. It can be quantified after the fact, but the value before the event is very real.

void *
05-01-2013, 19:24
You keep trying to frame this in terms that value can only exist after the fact. It can be quantified after the fact, but the value before the event is very real.

I would argue you're confusing expected value with value. Or, perhaps, you've been using 'value' to mean 'expected value' the entire time.*

(Expected value can be quantified before the fact, as well )


*which would mean, basically, that your assertion that I am 'confusing value with competence' is really a statement that you want me to be talking about expected value, when I'm not - I was really, actually talking about value in the context of the employer and the employer's aim of having a competent employee. No confusion on my part.

FireForged
05-01-2013, 19:30
I will always be in favor of a person getting a higher education but honestly.. nowadays, a degree doesn't mean what it did 25 years ago. Nowadays people are so worried that little johnny wont get his slice of pie, people are afraid to actually consider one person "better" than the next. The everybody wins/ everybody get a trophy trumps ethic and hard work.

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 19:36
I would argue you're confusing expected value with value. Or, perhaps, you've been using 'value' to mean 'expected value' the entire time.

(Expected value can be quantified before the fact, as well )

Something before an event can be expressed as a probibility.

We can assign a risk factor to an event. We can attribute mitigation of that risk to various factors. Those factors will have real value.

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 19:37
*which would mean, basically, that your assertion that I am 'confusing value with competence' is really a statement that you want me to be talking about expected value, when I'm not - I was really, actually talking about value in the context of the employer and the employer's aim of having a competent employee. No confusion on my part.

Yes, and since my first post to you, I have said it doesnt work like that. You dont get to use the variables you like. The entire data set is on the table.

hpracing007
05-01-2013, 19:43
I will always be in favor of a person getting a higher education but honestly.. nowadays, a degree doesn't mean what it did 25 years ago. Nowadays people are so worried that little johnny wont get his slice of pie, people are afraid to actually consider one person "better" than the next. The everybody wins/ everybody get a trophy trumps ethic and hard work.

I dunno about you but the everybody win things doesn't apply towards the tough majors that are mentioned and definately doesn't apply when money is involved (in the work place).

If someone isn't pulling their weight, they definately won't win anything except a trip the unemployment office. Unless you work in government or in a union, then it's different I guess.

HollowHead
05-01-2013, 19:44
Really? That is like asking what good is getting a date with a women if it ends up being a bad date. Brother, you have to play the game to even have a chance.



Having a degree doesnt put you into some binary closed system. Value is fluid. If it doesnt work out in one place, you take your value with you somewhere else where it may work out. That degree goes with you. The value of that deree wont be the same to everyone and it wont always be the same value to you.

If it gets you the job and that job keeps working out, just like having a carry gun. If you only need it once and it works, even though after the fact, the value is now gone, the use was invaluable.

I cannot disagree with this. One of the things I am most proud of is my doctorate and published dissertation even though I make a good living at what many would consider to be manual labor. HH

void *
05-01-2013, 19:46
Something before an event can be expressed as a probibility.

We can assign a risk factor to an event. We can attribute mitigation of that risk to various factors. Those factors will have real value.

I would say those factors result in an expected value, and a rational actor would take the path of the highest expected value. Whether they realize any value will depend on actual events.

This is entirely consistent with what I've been saying. Faced with two resumes where one guy has a degree and no work experience, and one guy has no degree and no work experience, the employer can certainly put a higher expected value on the guy with a degree. If he turns out to not be competent, the employer will have lost value with respect to the employer's aim of having a competent employee. Over the long term, if a particular degree actually does have some correlation with the probability of gaining a competent employee, and the employer's idea of that probability is accurate, the employer can statistically expect to realize the expected value - but that does not mean that the 'expected value' is 'real value'.

FireForged
05-01-2013, 19:51
I dunno about you but the everybody win things doesn't apply towards the tough majors that are mentioned and definately doesn't apply when money is involved (in the work place).

If someone isn't pulling their weight, they definately won't win anything except a trip the unemployment office. Unless you work in government or in a union, then it's different I guess.

You make a good point.. I forget sometimes that some people work in private industry.

I'M Glockamolie
05-01-2013, 19:54
My biggest regret in life was obtaining a Criminal Justice degree. It was a complete waste of time, money, and resources.

Amen. I'd take almost any other legitimate BS than my CJ degree.

hpracing007
05-01-2013, 19:57
but that does not mean that the 'expected value' is 'real value'.


If I had a guaranteed contract, without any risk counterparty risk, that said tomorrow, I can flip a coin, heads I win $100, tails I lose $20. That paper has value, even if I haven't flipped the coin yet.

It would even have value if it was today, if it was next week, if it had counterparty risk... ect ect

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 20:00
I would say those factors result in an expected value, and a rational actor would take the path of the highest expected value. Whether they realize any value will depend on actual events.

This is entirely consistent with what I've been saying. Faced with two resumes where one guy has a degree and no work experience, and one guy has no degree and no work experience, the employer can certainly put a higher expected value on the guy with a degree. If he turns out to not be competent, the employer will have lost value with respect to the employer's aim of having a competent employee. Over the long term, if a particular degree actually does have some correlation with the probability of gaining a competent employee, and the employer's idea of that probability is accurate, the employer can statistically expect to realize the expected value - but that does not mean that the 'expected value' is 'real value'.

You are simply not speaking math.

Harper
05-01-2013, 20:19
This is entirely consistent with what I've been saying. Faced with two resumes where one guy has a degree and no work experience, and one guy has no degree and no work experience, the employer can certainly put a higher expected value on the guy with a degree. If he turns out to not be competent, the employer will have lost value with respect to the employer's aim of having a competent employee. Over the long term, if a particular degree actually does have some correlation with the probability of gaining a competent employee, and the employer's idea of that probability is accurate, the employer can statistically expect to realize the expected value - but that does not mean that the 'expected value' is 'real value'.

The guy with the degree could get hired and surpass the hiring manager down the road, steal his wife, become CEO and run the company into the ground leaving employees unemployed and unable to afford cancer treatments, then one of the disgruntled employees kills him. So you're right, we'll never know if getting a degree is a good idea until we die and stand before God.

void *
05-01-2013, 20:38
You are simply not speaking math.

Really?

If you and I are putting a buck up, each, and flipping a coin, and if the coin comes up tails you keep the two bucks, and if the coin comes up heads I keep the two bucks - and you happen to know that the coin isn't fair and flips tails with a probability of 0.75 ... you have an expected value of $7.50. So you should be quite happy to play that game with me ... even if against all odds you lose $10 instead. In that case your expected value would be $7.50, and the value you realized would be -$10.

You really don't see how this is analogous to a degree being used as one factor of determining some expected value with respect to hiring particular potential employees, and getting value depending on how competent the employee actually is?

Interesting.

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 20:48
Really?

If you and I are putting a buck up, each, and flipping a coin, and if the coin comes up tails you keep the two bucks, and if the coin comes up heads I keep the two bucks - and you happen to know that the coin isn't fair and flips tails with a probability of 0.75 ... you have an expected value of $7.50. So you should be quite happy to play that game with me ... even if against all odds you lose $10 instead. In that case your expected value would be $7.50, and the value you realized would be -$10.

You really don't see how this is analogous to a degree being used as one factor of determining some expected value with respect to hiring particular potential employees, and getting value depending on how competent the employee actually is?

Interesting.

You go into each occurrence with the assigned value. outcomes only move the assigned value around. As the data set grows, the better model you will produce.

Again, you are not speaking math (at least not right anyways) You are also trying to define value as you see it, and you are not right about that either. You are also still trying to frame the entire conversation based on one side of the issue, and again, I pointed the out the problem with that a long time ago and again, and again.

void *
05-01-2013, 22:00
You go into each occurrence with the assigned value. outcomes only move the assigned value around. As the data set grows, the better model you will produce.

Again, you are not speaking math (at least not right anyways) You are also trying to define value as you see it, and you are not right about that either. You are also still trying to frame the entire conversation based on one side of the issue, and again, I pointed the out the problem with that a long time ago and again, and again.

And I have been trying to point out (without much success, apparently) that we're just using different models. The model being different does not necessarily mean that the model is mathematically incorrect or that I'm 'not speaking math'.

Viewing the degree as a factor that raises the employer's expected value with respect to hiring a particular employee is not wrong ... it's just not what you're demanding that I do.

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 22:02
And I have been trying to point out (without much success, apparently) that we're just using different models. The model being different does not necessarily mean that the model is mathematically incorrect or that I'm 'not speaking math'.

Viewing the degree as a factor that raises the employer's expected value with respect to hiring a particular employee is not wrong ... it's just not what you're demanding that I do.

Your model is spurious of the entire data set.

Geko45
05-01-2013, 22:03
Viewing the degree as a factor that raises the employer's expected value with respect to hiring a particular employee is not wrong ... it's just not what you're demanding that I do.

Being an MBA myself I have to agree more with your proposed model. It more accurately resembles how we put a dollar value on risk in such situations. It's not often that I disagree with Rabbi, but I have to in this case.

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 22:08
Being an MBA myself I have to agree more with your proposed model. It more accurately resembles how we put a dollar value on risk in such situations. It's not often that I disagree with Rabbi, but I have to in this case.

It does resemble the hiring model.

But we are not talking about that. We are talking about the value of the degree.

That is another model. One that includes the data set of the person seeking a job.

The subject matter is a college degree.

void *
05-01-2013, 22:18
It does resemble the hiring model.

But we are not talking about that. We are talking about the value of the degree.

That is another model. One that includes the data set of the person seeking a job.

The subject matter is a college degree.

Rabbi, the entire point is that when I said what I said, I was looking at it from the perspective of the model that I stated.

You are claiming I was confused. I am claiming that no, I was not confused - I was looking at it using a different model.

I'm not even claiming that your model is wrong - I am just claiming that your model is not what I meant when I stated what I stated.

The area of a trapezoid:
((b1 + b2) * h)/2, where b1 and b2 are the lengths of the parallel sides and h is the distance between them.

The area of a trapezoid:
(s1 * w^2)/2 - (s2 * w^2)/2 + hw where w is the length of one of the parallel sides, w is the distance between the parallel sides, and s1 and s2 are the respective slopes of the non-parallel sides.

Which one is wrong? The first is usually far more convenient ... but that doesn't mean you won't get the same answer with the second.

Rabbi
05-01-2013, 22:22
Rabbi, the entire point is that when I said what I said, I was looking at it from the perspective of the model that I stated.

You are claiming I was confused. I am claiming that no, I was not confused - I was looking at it using a different model.

I'm not even claiming that your model is wrong - I am just claiming that your model is not what I meant when I stated what I stated.

The area of a trapezoid:
((b1 + b2) * h)/2, where b1 and b2 are the lengths of the parallel sides and h is the distance between them.

The area of a trapezoid:
(s1 * w^2)/2 - (s2 * w^2)/2 + hw where w is the length of one of the parallel sides, w is the distance between the parallel sides, and s1 and s2 are the respective slopes of the non-parallel sides.

Which one is wrong? The first is usually far more convenient ... but that doesn't mean you won't get the same answer with the second.

Whatever you were doing, you didnt take into account all the variables and your math simply was not correct.

Two things I pointed out over and over again while you argued...something.

Geko45
05-01-2013, 22:36
Whatever you were doing, you didnt take into account all the variables and your math simply was not correct.

Two things I pointed out over and over again while you argued...something.

To be perfectly honest, Rabbi, I think as a math major you are taught a hire level rigor than business people typically are. In pure mathematics, due diligence reigns supreme. In the business world, we often must exchange rigor for timely and acquirable answers even if they are less certain in their accuracy. In business, it's all about the best guess that can be made with the imperfect information readily available. I'm sure you know this, I just think that perhaps you're falling back on a "perfect world" worldview to problem solving.

devildog2067
05-01-2013, 22:45
In the business world, we often must exchange rigor for timely and acquirable answers even if they are less certain in their accuracy. In business, it's all about the best guess that can be made with the imperfect information readily available.

The next time someone says "we need to get to the 80/20 solution" to me I'm going to punch them in the throat.

Geko45
05-01-2013, 22:51
The next time someone says "we need to get to the 80/20 solution" to me I'm going to punch them in the throat.

LOL! Just this week I had to make a decision on whether or not to buy 10 hangars with only educated wags in my business plan. What I wouldn't give for a crystal ball!

void *
05-01-2013, 22:55
Rabbi,

If I take what I think is your perspective, and my perspective, I end up with a statement roughly like this:

The employee gets value (<- that meaning value as you view it) out of the degree, given that his aim is to get hired, precisely *because* the employer is using the degree as one factor in determining what value the employer can expect to realize (<-- my "expected value"), given that the employer's aim is to obtain a competent employee.

What, precisely, is "wrong" there?

You didn't mean value how I meant value. I grok that - and it shouldn't really be a problem if you know that I meant things one way and I know you meant them the other, should it?

Detectorist
05-01-2013, 22:57
LOL! Just this week I had to make a decision on whether or not to buy 10 hangars with only educated wags in my business plan. What I wouldn't give for a crystal ball!

I think they are 12/$2.00 at Walmart.

Mraforever
05-01-2013, 23:02
I think they are 12/$2.00 at Walmart.

Hangars not hangers.

posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire (http://www.outdoorhub.com/mobile/)

Geko45
05-01-2013, 23:03
I think they are 12/$2.00 at Walmart.

Yes, but the planes have to be really, really small.

silentpoet
05-01-2013, 23:14
Yes, but the planes have to be really, really small.

Need to hire somebody with an engineering degree to design them.

Geko45
05-01-2013, 23:18
Need to hire somebody with an engineering degree to design them.

Pfft, I'll just hire a tech that knows the software. What could possibly go wrong?

dugo
05-02-2013, 05:38
As a physician I can also echo Rbbi's comments. I can teach a monkey to do 90% of what most docs do, but it is that 10% that is the reason you pay a doc so much, that knowledge of the zebra diagnoses that, while rare, do happen and might be what is killing you.

I had a liberal arts undergrad education and value it highly. 2 years of German, art history, literature, history, etc all squeezed in around enough science classes to get a BS in bio and a chem minor as well as sit for the MCATs. Makes me a better person in that I can talk a little about Monet, or Chaucer, or compose a coherent paper. Doesn't matter much to my performance as a physician, but I only do that like 50% of the time that I'm awake. The rest of the time I have to interact with you people.

I'd say the degree is only relevent to what you do with it. A Woman's Studies degree is highly relevant to a Women's Studies professor, otherwise it is just an ancillary enhancement to whatever that person can bring to a job as a barista, elementary school janitor, traffic cop, or community manager.

This is what lots of folks don't seem to get. You have to work it out backwards. What do you WANT to do (tempered by what you can realistically do), and what will get you there? Going to school without an end goal in mind leads folks to communications degrees with an end state of unemployment because they never realized that the job field for that degree is limited and oversaturated.

The guy who graduates with a degree in canoe hydrodynamics is sitting pretty if he lands the raft guide job he has always wanted and is now highly competitive for, versus the guy with the same degree who really wanted to be an astronaut but now collects welfare.


Uh ...... "you people" ... ??


(lol)

Taphius
05-02-2013, 05:56
Most useless id agree woth womens studies.

Oddest as far as rarity goes to my wife medical laboratory scientist degree and certs. Never heard of that program or people in the field before her. She gets paid well for how much she had to study though especially with me distracting her from said studying everyday

Any STEM degree is impressive to me and shows you can learn/understand/regurgitate infomation faster than the general population

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2

dugo
05-02-2013, 06:56
You know, this has been an interesting and scholarly thread, but -- as in many discussions -- a lot of the argument arises out of different understandings of the terms that are being used. It is like one guy playing football and one playing baseball, competing with each other on the same field and trying to keep score.

You can clear that up by simply agreeing to the same rules -- i.e., defining terms. There is no way to answer the question of whether something has value or not, if we don't agree on exactly what we mean by "value".

Does "value" mean dollar value? Does it mean what you can sell it for, or what it cost to get it? Does it mean utility? Does it mean opportunity value, as if it is a ticket to get in somewhere? If so, is it value to the holder, or to the taker? Etc., etc.

In that vein, it would also be helpful to agree on "degree". For example, is it the piece of paper itself, independent of what it represents; or is it only the training and study behind it; or both at once?

Words mean what we say they mean. If we don't agree on what they mean, we are talking different languages.

On the issue of degrees, I agree with everybody to some degree. For example, one could argue that a law degree could have some degree of value in this discussion; but, you don't have to have one to define your terms and reach a fundamental degree of agreement, which would clarify areas of disagreement, which, in itself, may add a degree of value to the discussion.

In short, a degree may have a particular value, or not, depending on what you mean by "degree", and what you mean by "value".

Now, I have not prepared for questions, in any degree, so no Third
Degree, please; and, I don't mean Masons, I mean the whole lights-in-the-eyes and firing questions thing.

Speaking of fire, I feel like the temperature went up a few degrees; but it could just be from running around in circles.

Flying-Dutchman
05-02-2013, 07:02
And Flying Dutchman, I find non-STEM majors to be almost UNIVERSALLY woefully ignorant of basic math and science. I suspect that given some proper motivation an engineer can learn to be conversant in the French Renaissance in much less time than a history major can learn to calculate wall stress under load. This is why STEM degrees are more valuable. Not only are they rarer, they cover a skill set that is harder to cross-train in the field.

The problem with some STEM majors is that they are not motivated to go beyond math and science.

My retired neighbor was an engineer rising fairly high in management at Bethlehem Steel, yet uses double negatives in his speech.

texasglong
05-02-2013, 08:20
And now let me stir the pot a little more, The value of the degree is realitive to the college it came from. In other words, a degree from an Ivy League school > than a state school....Thoughts?

Rabbi
05-02-2013, 08:25
And now let me stir the pot a little more, The value of the degree is realitive to the college it came from. In other words, a degree from an Ivy League school > than a state school....Thoughts?

Not enough data to make that true.

An engineering degree from StateU, on average probably has a higher long term return than a lot of liberal arts degrees from Ivy League school.

Fear Night
05-02-2013, 08:28
And now let me stir the pot a little more, The value of the degree is realitive to the college it came from. In other words, a degree from an Ivy League school > than a state school....Thoughts?
Which is the better hire?

An EE from Ivy League right out of college, fully wet behind the ears,
or
An EE from a reputable state University with 5 years work experience in the targeted job.

My guess is that GT will pick the Ivy League since they think the "value" of the degree exceeds real life work experience :upeyes:

Flying-Dutchman
05-02-2013, 08:42
And now let me stir the pot a little more, The value of the degree is realitive to the college it came from. In other words, a degree from an Ivy League school > than a state school....Thoughts?

The lifelong friendships or connections you make going to an Ivy League school make it more superior than anything else.

texasglong
05-02-2013, 08:55
Allow me to put some personal experience behind this. My son graduates from Yale this month. EE major with a minor in Economics. Already has his first job making just under 100k a year. I don't think he would have gotten that at UT.

mgs
05-02-2013, 08:56
Liberal Arts.....what a waste.

airmotive
05-02-2013, 08:59
I understand the value of a prestigious university degree....Harvard, MIT...yes, even a USC, Michigan or Purdue engineering degree carries clout.

What I really, REALLY don't understand is the excessively expensive no-name private school degrees. Oberlin, Trinity, Craighton....heck, just look at 1/3 of the NCAA basketball bracket. Tiny schools nobody has heard of that cost $250K to get a degree from. There's no way James Madison College has the resources, facilities or staff to train a better BS in engineering than a UCLA or University of Illinois.
It's more than just daddy's little girl convinced daddy that she simply can't learn classical poetry in a classroom with more than 4 people in it. I can see that being an anecdote, but not widespread enough to keep hundreds of these little universities in business for a hundred years.
How in the heck does that work?

.264 magnum
05-02-2013, 09:09
Allow me to put some personal experience behind this. My son graduates from Yale this month. EE major with a minor in Economics. Already has his first job making just under 100k a year. I don't think he would have gotten that at UT.


Devil's advocate for a second. Are you even sure he could have studied EE at The Cockrell school? MIT is the only Ivy that has a higher rated undergrad EE program than UT/Cockrell. Nuclear, EE, biomedical and of course petroleum engineering at UT are fiendishly hard to get into.

BTW - I'm impressed by what you son has accomplished.

GD2J
05-02-2013, 09:17
There's no way James Madison College has the resources, facilities or staff to train a better BS in engineering than a UCLA or University of Illinois.
Not to detract from your point about expensive private schools, but if you are talking about the James Madison that is in Virginia, it's a state institution with 20,000 students, not a private college.

But if you are wanting a state education in engineering in Virginia your choice is Virginia Tech, not any of the other state schools.

texasglong
05-02-2013, 09:19
Thank you for the compliment, In a word, Yes I'm sure he would have gotten into UT. He was accepted into MIT, Yale, and Princeton. Wait listed at Harvard and Stanford. He had already been accepted at Yale when he was waitlisted, they knew of the Yale acceptance. I'm pretty sure had he applied, he would have been accepted.

.264 magnum
05-02-2013, 09:19
I understand the value of a prestigious university degree....Harvard, MIT...yes, even a USC, Michigan or Purdue engineering degree carries clout.

What I really, REALLY don't understand is the excessively expensive no-name private school degrees. Oberlin, Trinity, Craighton....heck, just look at 1/3 of the NCAA basketball bracket. Tiny schools nobody has heard of that cost $250K to get a degree from. There's no way James Madison College has the resources, facilities or staff to train a better BS in engineering than a UCLA or University of Illinois.
It's more than just daddy's little girl convinced daddy that she simply can't learn classical poetry in a classroom with more than 4 people in it. I can see that being an anecdote, but not widespread enough to keep hundreds of these little universities in business for a hundred years.
How in the heck does that work?

Because many of those little schools are fantastic and have been for a long time - you are underrating them IMO. For example Creighton has fantastic pre-med, nursing, pharma and a great medical school - Creighton costs about $35K per year all in. Harvey Mudd has a great engineering school. William and Mary/Wake Forest/Trinity/Coleman College/Austin College/Bucknell/Washington University in St. Louis = all great schools.

.264 magnum
05-02-2013, 09:21
Thank you for the compliment, In a word, Yes I'm sure he would have gotten into UT. He was accepted into MIT, Yale, and Princeton. Wait listed at Harvard and Stanford. He had already been accepted at Yale when he was waitlisted, they knew of the Yale acceptance. I'm pretty sure had he applied, he would have been accepted.

That's seriously impressive. Do you mind PM'ing me where he went to HS? I'm just curious.

airmotive
05-02-2013, 09:22
That's JMU...JMC is part of Michigan State. Both are bad examples of the point I was trying to make. Some of the other school I listed were also probably bad examples.

Let's pick different ones...Claremont McKenna College, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, Drury, Stephens College....

JuneyBooney
05-02-2013, 09:30
Astro physics would be good or chemical engineering. Lots of people work outside their degrees in society. I guess the most impressive really in today's world is one that feeds the family.:whistling:

Bill Lumberg
05-02-2013, 09:58
I always steer folks away from CJ degrees. They don't help with getting into law enforcement over another degree, and don't help if you want to go into another field. Better off going business or accounting, and keeping your options open.

Glock Enthusiast
05-02-2013, 10:01
I always steer folks away from CJ degrees. They don't help with getting into law enforcement over another degree, and don't help if you want to go into another field. Better off going business or accounting, and keeping your options open.

Unfortunate for me that you didn't catch me before I went to college and wasted so much time and money. :rofl:

SC Tiger
05-02-2013, 10:10
A Facebook friend sent out something wanting me to sign a petition to help with student loan debt. The proposal is that the debtholder has to pay 10% of their discretionary income toward the debt for ten years and then the remaining debt is forgiven.

I wish I could have found a place to sign the anti-petition. I cannot disagree with this more. Debt has to be paid back. If you majored in something that results in your not being able to find a job, too #### bad. Your choice.

Cybercowboy
05-02-2013, 10:21
As a person who has an EE degree from a well-respected engineering school (University of Missouri, Rolla, now known as Missouri University of Science and Technology) I'm pretty confident in saying that any BS degree in engineering or the hard sciences is impressive. Like my physics professor told me when he said I should pursue an EE degree "It doesn't stand for Elementary Education."

Most worthless degree? Anything that ends in "Studies". Gender Studies, Diversity Studies, anything Studies. Oh, and sociology. Maybe that's why that class in HS was called Social Studies. LOL

Most odd? Don't have an opinion on that.

devildog2067
05-02-2013, 10:33
Allow me to put some personal experience behind this. My son graduates from Yale this month. EE major with a minor in Economics. Already has his first job making just under 100k a year. I don't think he would have gotten that at UT.

As an engineer? Yes, he probably would have. Engineering is probably the field with the smallest incremental value for an Ivy League pedigree over a good state school.

A business degree from Harvard is much more valuable than a business degree from the U of Illinois (for network and recruiting reasons). A physics degree from Princeton is a bit more valuable than a physics degree from the University of Texas (for academic rigor reasons). But honestly, generally speaking an EE degree from either of those schools will get you the same jobs as an EE from an Ivy.

texasglong
05-02-2013, 10:52
He didn't go to work as an EE, He went to work as a consultant, For Baine and Co.

aspartz
05-02-2013, 10:56
Many years ago the University of Minnesota gave one of its athletes a BA in "Playground Management."

devildog2067
05-02-2013, 10:56
He didn't go to work as an EE, He went to work as a consultant, For Baine and Co.

Ah, ok. Congratulations to your son. Management consulting is a tough but rewarding industry. (It's "Bain" btw, and your son isn't going to be making "just under 100k" unless he knocks his bonus out of the park, but it's still a great job and he'll likely get to 100k in salary within 3 years, lots of income upside.)

That's a different deal--the MBB firms pretty much exclusively recruit from out of target undergraduate schools. But even then, he would have had a shot out of UT if he were applying to a Texas office. I'm in the Chicago office of a similar firm, and we do some recruiting out of U of Michigan and U of Illinois simply because they're good state schools that are geographically close.

Detectorist
05-02-2013, 11:01
As a person who has an EE degree from a well-respected engineering school (University of Missouri, Rolla, now known as Missouri University of Science and Technology) I'm pretty confident in saying that any BS degree in engineering or the hard sciences is impressive. Like my physics professor told me when he said I should pursue an EE degree "It doesn't stand for Elementary Education."

Most worthless degree? Anything that ends in "Studies". Gender Studies, Diversity Studies, anything Studies. Oh, and sociology. Maybe that's why that class in HS was called Social Studies. LOL

Most odd? Don't have an opinion on that.

An engineering degree from Rolla is very impressive!

:bowdown:

texasglong
05-02-2013, 11:18
Ah, ok. Congratulations to your son. Management consulting is a tough but rewarding industry. (It's "Bain" btw, and your son isn't going to be making "just under 100k" unless he knocks his bonus out of the park, but it's still a great job and he'll likely get to 100k in salary within 3 years, lots of income upside.)
.


Starts at $98 k with bonus, works for three years and they pay for his Masters.

I'm still amazed.

devildog2067
05-02-2013, 11:21
Starts at $98 k with bonus, works for three years and they pay for his Masters.

I'm in the industry--trust me, that's not quite true. It's certainly not a lie either and it's a great job with a competitive salary and a lot of upside, but there's a lot of fine print there.

jason10mm
05-02-2013, 11:36
The problem with some STEM majors is that they are not motivated to go beyond math and science.

My retired neighbor was an engineer rising fairly high in management at Bethlehem Steel, yet uses double negatives in his speech.

See, that is using an anecdote, which is what I would expect from a liberal arts major but all us STEM guys know is not statistically valid :P

Bill Lumberg
05-02-2013, 11:44
It's hardly a waste. It's simply not as versatile a piece of paper as some others. Unfortunate for me that you didn't catch me before I went to college and wasted so much time and money. :rofl:

domin8ss
05-02-2013, 11:45
That's kind-of my point. An LPN may, in certain very tight circumstances, administer meds at the direction of another.....but the same LPN likely can't discriminate between a centiliter and a deciliter. A doctor reflexively knew the difference in 8th grade or so.

Lol. Doctors scare me too. A lot of them prescribe drugs without knowing about the impacts. If it weren't for RNs, hospital fatalities in the US would be higher. I don't know how many times my wife has told me she had to explain why certain perceptions couldn't go together. She spent over 2 years in the Navy's busiest ER before going back to pediatrics (she was a RN on the neuro trauma unit at a children's hospital before joining the Navy).

.264 magnum
05-02-2013, 11:49
I'm in the industry--trust me, that's not quite true. It's certainly not a lie either and it's a great job with a competitive salary and a lot of upside, but there's a lot of fine print there.


Sure but it's $98k on plan year one after university. That's awesome.
Second, knowing a dash about the kid's pedigree he might be running a region in 10/12 years.

devildog2067
05-02-2013, 12:00
Sure but it's $98k on plan year one after university. That's awesome.

Yep, not knocking it at all.

knowing a dash about the kid's pedigree he might be running a region in 10/12 years.

That's not really the career track at a management consulting firm, but yes he could conceivably be standing for election to partner in 10 or 12 years. That's one of the greatest things about this business--there are not a lot of jobs that will pay you 7 figures by your mid-30s just for climbing the ladder. It's a tough ladder to climb and there's a lot of attrition (but not as much as in IB) but the upside is pretty good.

robertoh
05-02-2013, 12:08
A useless one worse than Womens studies showed up at the Occupy Wall Street in NYC.A guy interviewed a young lady that was complaining she owed $250,000 to get a degree in,Minority Womens Studies.
I can only wonder if she had Lefty/Liberal/Hippy parents who talked her into taking up that subject.:rofl:

domin8ss
05-02-2013, 12:20
And now let me stir the pot a little more, The value of the degree is realitive to the college it came from. In other words, a degree from an Ivy League school > than a state school....Thoughts?

Yet, a military academy, West Point, consistently ranks higher than Ivy League schools in quality of education.

Jack23
05-02-2013, 12:29
I really don't know about the oddest but I'd say that the most impressive, to me at least, would be the one that took the most time and money to complete. Case in point is my Daughter. She is a doctor. As a matter of fact she is a cancer surgeon specializing in the breast and a full partner in and up-scale practice.

Lemme add this up for y'all. She made nothing but As in Jr. Hi and Hi School and went into the Army for 3 years to build up her college money(GI bill) and supplemented that by working in the college lab and the to four year college for her Bachelors in Chemistry and biology (She aced all that too). 4-years. She applied to numerous Medical schools and was actually accepted at Harvard. A quick review of the family finances demonstrated that the financial resources for that were non existent. She attented the University of Texas Medical School for her doctors degree. 4-years. Then another 4-years for her specialization in surgery and then finally a one year fellow ship for the breast cancer. She paid the bulk of the cost of all this herself.

So, that is 3+4+4+4+1 = 16 years of working studying and living like poor folks. To say that was impressive would redefine the very word "impressive".

As far as a "useless" degree goes I would have to say that the best example I can come up with for that one in my rinky-dink Associate of Arts (2-year) degree I got from a local Jr. College. I did that after completing my military service to use my GI benefit and basically for my own pleasure.

Rabbi
05-02-2013, 12:58
I really don't know about the oddest but I'd say that the most impressive, to me at least, would be the one that took the most time and money to complete. Case in point is my Daughter. She is a doctor. As a matter of fact she is a cancer surgeon specializing in the breast and a full partner in and up-scale practice.

Lemme add this up for y'all. She made nothing but As in Jr. Hi and Hi School and went into the Army for 3 years to build up her college money(GI bill) and supplemented that by working in the college lab and the to four year college for her Bachelors in Chemistry and biology (She aced all that too). 4-years. She applied to numerous Medical schools and was actually accepted at Harvard. A quick review of the family finances demonstrated that the financial resources for that were non existent. She attented the University of Texas Medical School for her doctors degree. 4-years. Then another 4-years for her specialization in surgery and then finally a one year fellow ship for the breast cancer. She paid the bulk of the cost of all this herself.

So, that is 3+4+4+4+1 = 16 years of working studying and living like poor folks. To say that was impressive would redefine the very word "impressive".

As far as a "useless" degree goes I would have to say that the best example I can come up with for that one in my rinky-dink Associate of Arts (2-year) degree I got from a local Jr. College. I did that after completing my military service to use my GI benefit and basically for my own pleasure.

How old is your daughter?

...because a general surgery residency is 5 years, not 4. Then a fellowship after that.

The second part of that is, Med School and in partucular Residency is over double the man hours. So Med school is over 8 years of training and every year of Redidency is over 2. This is a very important part of the calclulation.

SO med school and a 5 year residency is at least 18 normal years of work. Add in the 4 years of undergrad and any fellowship, a Surgeon, by the time they are actually "Done" with training has put in over 25 years worth of training.

Few people have a clue what it actually takes.

Jack23
05-02-2013, 13:31
How old is your daughter?

...because a general surgery residency is 5 years, not 4. Then a fellowship after that.

The second part of that is, Med School and in partucular Residency is over double the man hours. So Med school is over 8 years of training and every year of Redidency is over 2. This is a very important part of the calclulation.

SO med school and a 5 year residency is at least 18 normal years of work. Add in the 4 years of undergrad and any fellowship, a Surgeon, by the time they are actually "Done" with training has put in over 25 years worth of training.

Few people have a clue what it actually takes.

My daughter is 47 years old. You know, You may have me on some of the numbers. My memory for detail lets me down more and more often these days. But I still believe that despite their lack of precision my number illustrate my point.

she did her residency at St. Vincent's in NYC and was there for 9/11. It was a long row for my little girl to hoe whether it was 5 years or 4 years or what ever. We all laughed and cried together and watched her go through two husbands and lots of money problems. Life doesn't cut you any slack just because you are in college. Anyway if it makes you feel better or helps validate you in any way I defer to your expertise.

jason10mm
05-02-2013, 13:43
...Then another 4-years for her specialization in surgery and then finally a one year fellow ship for the breast cancer. She paid the bulk of the cost of all this herself.

So, that is 3+4+4+4+1 = 16 years of working studying and living like poor folks. To say that was impressive would redefine the very word "impressive".
.

Why didn't she apply for the Army medical scholarship? Would have paid for all 4 years of med school and residency would have been somewhat higher paid, in return for a few more years of military service (which would have required lots of deployments post-9/11 though). I made it through all of my schooling with about $12K in debt I mostly spent on food. I don't understand folks who rack up hundreds of thousands in debt for schooling (though the surgeon track is a good way to pay that off) when there are alternatives.

Jack23
05-02-2013, 14:42
Why didn't she apply for the Army medical scholarship? Would have paid for all 4 years of med school and residency would have been somewhat higher paid, in return for a few more years of military service (which would have required lots of deployments post-9/11 though). I made it through all of my schooling with about $12K in debt I mostly spent on food. I don't understand folks who rack up hundreds of thousands in debt for schooling (though the surgeon track is a good way to pay that off) when there are alternatives.

I don't know Jason. If I ever knew anything about that the memory has long since faded. It was all some years ago. she did have a nice tidy sum for her student loans but that is all paid off by now. She's doin' alright. She hasn't paid less that 100k for a car since 1984. :faint: Me? I'm squeakin' by on SS, small pension and.....Obama care. :dunno: :wavey:

robrides85
05-02-2013, 14:56
How old is your daughter?

...because a general surgery residency is 5 years, not 4. Then a fellowship after that.

The second part of that is, Med School and in partucular Residency is over double the man hours. So Med school is over 8 years of training and every year of Redidency is over 2. This is a very important part of the calclulation.

SO med school and a 5 year residency is at least 18 normal years of work. Add in the 4 years of undergrad and any fellowship, a Surgeon, by the time they are actually "Done" with training has put in over 25 years worth of training.

Few people have a clue what it actually takes.

Ridiculously simplistic. Residents fall asleep on the drive home, getting in accidents. Residents are similarly more likely to stick themselves with needles that could be carrying pathogens. Cognitive levels are reduced. Totally unreasonable to think that 9 years working crap hours counts for anywhere near 18 years of training, let alone "at least" double training. If they can't keep a car "between the lines", falling victim to being overworked, stressed, sleep-deprived, and possibly depressed, they certainly aren't absorbing knowledge at anywhere near their optimal rate.

See below link re: "A Prospective Analysis of the Incidence, Risk, and Intervals of Predicted Fatigue-Related Impairment in Residents"
http://archsurg.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1157932

Rabbi
05-02-2013, 16:36
Why didn't she apply for the Army medical scholarship? Would have paid for all 4 years of med school and residency would have been somewhat higher paid, in return for a few more years of military service (which would have required lots of deployments post-9/11 though). I made it through all of my schooling with about $12K in debt I mostly spent on food. I don't understand folks who rack up hundreds of thousands in debt for schooling (though the surgeon track is a good way to pay that off) when there are alternatives.

From a math standpoint(money), the military can be a bad bet. If you are going to be a lower paid specialist, it is often a good bet. If you are going into a higher paying specialty, it is often a bad bet.

Rabbi
05-02-2013, 16:42
Ridiculously simplistic. Residents fall asleep on the drive home, getting in accidents. Residents are similarly more likely to stick themselves with needles that could be carrying pathogens. Cognitive levels are reduced. Totally unreasonable to think that 9 years working crap hours counts for anywhere near 18 years of training, let alone "at least" double training. If they can't keep a car "between the lines", falling victim to being overworked, stressed, sleep-deprived, and possibly depressed, they certainly aren't absorbing knowledge at anywhere near their optimal rate.

See below link re: "A Prospective Analysis of the Incidence, Risk, and Intervals of Predicted Fatigue-Related Impairment in Residents"
http://archsurg.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1157932

This does nothing to change the fact that they are working 100+ hour weeks for years on end. This doenst change the fact that the information they are absorbing is far more copious and difficult than many other fields.

Hell they had to pass a rule limiteding residents to 80 hours a week...which is bull crap and some programs are exempt from that anyways.

Showing a statistical trend for a group (that is not metriced against all other groups) in one study doesnt mean what I said is not true.

The math of that study, no matter how real, impacts what I say to a small degree. It doesnt change the truth of what I said.

Rabbi
05-02-2013, 16:50
My daughter is 47 years old. You know, You may have me on some of the numbers. My memory for detail lets me down more and more often these days. But I still believe that despite their lack of precision my number illustrate my point.

she did her residency at St. Vincent's in NYC and was there for 9/11. It was a long row for my little girl to hoe whether it was 5 years or 4 years or what ever. We all laughed and cried together and watched her go through two husbands and lots of money problems. Life doesn't cut you any slack just because you are in college. Anyway if it makes you feel better or helps validate you in any way I defer to your expertise.

It wasnt a shot at you. Just getting the info straight. Many moons ago, residency was not as long.

The second part of it (the math of hours) was not directed at you. Just more info.

texasglong
05-02-2013, 16:54
Yet, a military academy, West Point, consistently ranks higher than Ivy League schools in quality of education.


I Agree

airmotive
05-02-2013, 17:13
This thread should be required reading for every 16 year old.

robrides85
05-02-2013, 18:14
This does nothing to change the fact that they are working 100+ hour weeks for years on end. This doenst change the fact that the information they are absorbing is far more copious and difficult than many other fields.

Hell they had to pass a rule limiteding residents to 80 hours a week...which is bull crap and some programs are exempt from that anyways.

Showing a statistical trend for a group (that is not metriced against all other groups) in one study doesnt mean what I said is not true.

The math of that study, no matter how real, impacts what I say to a small degree. It doesnt change the truth of what I said.

Didn't argue that residents weren't at the hospital (for 100 hours/week - even worse) for 9 years. I argued that working 9 years of double time (or more) doesn't count as 18 years worth of training. I realize that residents must absorb complex information, but if anything, that makes a 100 hour work week even more inappropriate as brains are more capable of absorbing information when less fatigued (+all of the other stresses that come with residency).

So, you're still incorrect that working double hours gets someone double credit for "years trained" - diminishing returns and all that.

Here's a study summarizing medical resident focus groups discussing post-call effects on cognition: "Residents described attending lectures, rounds, and teaching conferences with little or no retention of information, especially post-call." That doesn't count as training, and working double or more hours is actually inhibiting their optimal rate of training.

http://casemed.case.edu/curricularaffairs/scholars/2009%20Materials/052808/articles/6-11%20Papp%20et%20al%20Klara.pdf

Surgeons' decreased memory, attention, cognition post-call:
http://www.americanjournalofsurgery.com/article/S0002-9610(07)00917-8/abstract

Rabbi
05-02-2013, 18:20
Didn't argue that residents weren't at the hospital (for 100 hours/week - even worse) for 9 years. I argued that working 9 years of double time (or more) doesn't count as 18 years worth of training. I realize that residents must absorb complex information, but if anything, that makes a 100 hour workweek even more inappropriate as brains are more capable of absorbing information when less fatigued (+all of the other stresses that come with residency).

So, you're still incorrect that working double hours gets someone double credit for "years trained" - diminishing returns and all that.

Here's a study summarizing medical resident focus groups discussing post-call effects on cognition: "Residents described attending lectures, rounds, and teaching conferences with little or no retention of information, especially post-call." That doesn't count as training, and working double or more hours is actually inhibiting their optimal rate of training.

http://casemed.case.edu/curricularaffairs/scholars/2009%20Materials/052808/articles/6-11%20Papp%20et%20al%20Klara.pdf

Surgeons' decreased memory, attention, cognition post-call:
http://www.americanjournalofsurgery.com/article/S0002-9610(07)00917-8/abstract



In spite of any inefficiency, If you are working 100 hour weeks, while you are training, required to learn new things. Face new situtations every day and must learn solutions to those problems...all the while in a formal training process... that is training.

It counts. Even if on last tuesday you were "really" tired. Even if you are doing so at a less than optimal capacity.

Using your logic, Boot Camp doesnt count because they are tired.

frankemp
05-02-2013, 20:13
My wife has bachelors and masters degrees in fine art (BFA/MFA). And so off to work I go!

But I knew this when I married her, so I cannot complain now. Although some would consider that field useless, I do not think she regrets her choices. (Although I break her chops at times.)

For me, I was a non-traditional student. I did an AA in criminal justice and once I finished that, I realized it was neither useful nor challenging so when I transferred to a four-year university, I switched gears and took a BS in business management. If I had it to do over again, I would have done a BA in English.

When we think about useless degrees, we need to first consider the true purpose of a university education: is college is a place for higher learning or is it a career training ground?

I had already started my LE career when I finished my degree, and so my reason for finishing was personal rather than professional.

I will say that some are more challenging than others.

Anyway, I think we can break down the various courses of study into two groups: 'challenging' and 'suspect':

Challenging:
Engineering
Nursing
Accounting, finance, economics
Biology, chemistry, physics, math

Suspect:
communications
anthopology
sociology (Womens and African studies)
education
political science
criminal justice

DanaT
05-02-2013, 21:09
Well, this thread has convinced me of what the most impressive and unimpressive is.

SCHADENFREUDE
05-02-2013, 21:57
NOt that my opinion matters, but any form of a CJ degree is worthless. Get a degree in anythng else. I wish someone would have told me that.

Some jobs I think we all agree need college degree's. Doctor, engineer etc.

Some of the worthless degree's are worthless in our minds but obviously people are enrolling and paying good money for them.

I don't want my surgeon or the guy that designed the building I work in too have stayed at a Holiday Inn for training.

Naelbis
05-02-2013, 22:17
I see a lot of people mentioning that a CJ degree is worthless, and I must respectfully disagree. While my CJ degree(with a management minor) will probably not bring me more money, promotions or a job outside of my field it is not "worthless" by any means. It has vastly improved my knowledge of why so many things are done the way they are, when prior to that I only knew that I did them because I was trained to do so. Knowing the how is what the academy is for but if we truly wish to call ourselves a profession, then officers and administration need to know the why as well. And hey, maybe it might actually lead to improvements in the how in the long run.

Altaris
05-02-2013, 22:20
NOt that my opinion matters, but any form of a CJ degree is worthless. Get a degree in anythng else. I wish someone would have told me that.



When I was in college we had a several FBI agents come in to talk to a group of us in my outfit on recruiting. I always remember their comments about CJ degrees. They told us something to the effect of "we don't like that degree because anything involving the law we will teach you in our own training program. If we are going to hire you, we want you to bring something else to the table other than stuff that we are already going to train you on"

SCHADENFREUDE
05-02-2013, 23:37
I only have an assosiates degree and my final semester the instructor said the very same thing. It blew my young mind. I had just spent this time and money and was told by the very person making money teaching the class that I had wasted my time.

CJ wasn't what I wanted to get a B.A in, which didn't hapen anyways but that still amazes me. I don't think degree's for degree's sake are a wise investment but if you don't have one good luck trying to find a job. So maybe it is.

Taphius
05-02-2013, 23:56
Anyway, I think we can break down the various courses of study into two groups: 'challenging' and 'suspect':

Challenging:
Engineering
Nursing
Accounting, finance, economics
Biology, chemistry, physics, math

Suspect:
communications
anthopology
sociology (Womens and African studies)
education
political science
criminal justice

While I do not think an anthro degree could be worth much unless you are really, really good. The few classes I took helped open up some vastly different viewpoints on things for myself

Bill Keith
05-03-2013, 00:26
I have a degree in Geography and a minor in History. It took 8 years of going part time to earn. I was working full time. As life unfolded, I became more involved in volunteer work and enjoyed it. That led me to go back to school at age 38 and earn an MSW (masters in social work). I trained in healthcare social work and mental health. I have been a psychotherapist for years now, and do most of my work doing crisis evaluations in local ER's.

Jonathan H
05-03-2013, 12:45
One of the things I tell any teenager that I talk to about college is to

First, decide what kind of job or career you're interested it.
Second, find out what kind of degree/major (if any) will help you obtain that job.
Third, pick a college that offers that degree.

Too many young men/women do that process in reverse and end up with degrees that don't help them in the job marketplace.

windancr
05-03-2013, 14:26
Not all degrees are the same...and market forces prove that. (I.E. Value)

ChemE guy gets 10 job offers and will be making 6 figures a few years after graduation if not AT graduation. BA in Sociology guy either keeps working at Subway or learns to sell Insurance.

I really dont know why you cant understand this.

Absolutely.

guanoman
05-03-2013, 18:50
Let's see... I have a degree in molecular genetics.

My sister-in-law has one in kinesiology.

Guess who has a job and who doesn't....

rauldduke1979
05-04-2013, 05:10
Most "useful?" Pound-for-pound, I'd imagine the ROI is highest for a 2 year technical degree, like HVAC repair, etc.

Most useless is probably a 2 year Associate of Arts, by itself.

Most impressive? In my life I've found Ph.Ds in a variety of subjects to be the most impressive people I've ever met.

Least impressive? I'd say its a close race between HS dropouts and people with MBAs for the people I'm least likely to recommend hiring whenever I get stuck on search committee where I work.

YMMV

jtmac
05-04-2013, 05:49
Nine pages of talk about useless degrees and no one has mentioned a bachelors in psychology?!

Mass10mm
05-04-2013, 08:16
My degrees have served me well. I got a BS in biology at MIT at the beginning of the biotechnology revolution (mid '70s). I followed that up with a Master's and PhD from the same school in biochemical engineering. Since then I've had a rewarding career in drug development.

.264 magnum
05-04-2013, 08:23
My degrees have served me well. I got a BS in biology at MIT at the beginning of the biotechnology revolution (mid '70s). I followed that up with a Master's and PhD from the same school in biochemical engineering. Since then I've had a rewarding career in drug development.

Congrats. Them be some seriously impressive credentials.

Reyn
05-04-2013, 08:25
My degrees have served me well. I got a BS in biology at MIT at the beginning of the biotechnology revolution (mid '70s). I followed that up with a Master's and PhD from the same school in biochemical engineering. Since then I've had a rewarding career in drug development.

But can you dance?

rugercat78
05-04-2013, 09:47
Most impressive undergrad: nuclear engineering

Most impressive graduate: medical doctor

Oddest: Medieval Studies

Most useless: Latina/o Studies, Women's Studies, African-American Studies


I have 2 bachelor's (Medieval Studies & Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies). The latter is the more useful as I edit professionally now and the focus on ancient languages has come in handy numerous times.

Still wish I had some aptitude in math...

okie
05-04-2013, 09:48
The most useless:shocked::supergrin:

Mass10mm
05-04-2013, 10:37
But can you dance?

Not to save my life!

silentpoet
05-04-2013, 11:17
Nine pages of talk about useless degrees and no one has mentioned a bachelors in psychology?!

Must have missed my posts. I have a BS in psychology with a minor in general science. I just got my first job in the field in 12 years working in day treatment. And it has got me thinking about finally continuing my education. A couple of years ago I was in RN school but it just wasn't for me.

A BS/BA level degree will only get you a job as a mental health tech or para-professional. In the field that is. It also serves as a generic degree for jobs that require a college degree. Or as a generic degree for positions with say state welfare or human services agencies because they require degrees in say sociology or a related field.

Detectorist
05-04-2013, 13:12
Worst college degrees...from Kiplinger's.

http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/college/T012-S001-worst-college-majors-for-your-career/index.html?cid=32

hpracing007
05-04-2013, 13:52
Nine pages of talk about useless degrees and no one has mentioned a bachelors in psychology?!

I met 3 different bachelors in psychology alumni from my alma mater that worked at the same gent's club as waitresses. Not at the same time though, over the span of maybe... 2 years.

Harper
05-04-2013, 14:10
Nine pages of talk about useless degrees and no one has mentioned a bachelors in psychology?!

I know multiple women who have psychology degrees (a couple with master's) who ended up as substitute teachers, special ed. teachers, or some administrative job. Seems like psych degrees are in very high supply.

GIockGuy24
05-04-2013, 15:49
I had a student visa to study comparative religion in Belgium. I ended up using it to study craftsmanship at a Belgian trade school and stayed in a dorm at a Belgian university hospital in Ghent.

This is what comparative religion studies are.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_religion

This is the faculty in Antwerp that got me the student visa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faculty_for_Comparative_Religion

dbcooper
05-04-2013, 16:23
I plan on going back to major in art history with a minor in English Lit. I figure that I'll be qualified to do absolutely nothing

jtull7
05-04-2013, 16:35
I got my undergraduate degree in Psychology, with a minor in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. (A state school, but a very highly-ranked state school). Two subjects attracting the most derision in this thread.

Then I got my law degree. It served me well for 34 years in two different states.

attrapereves
05-04-2013, 18:25
It's all what you make of it. I've got a BA and an MA in French studies. I'm a French teacher, so it's very useful to me.

Originally, I was working on a degree in Information Technology, but decided that that field just isn't exciting enough for me.

attrapereves
05-04-2013, 18:27
I plan on going back to major in art history with a minor in English Lit. I figure that I'll be qualified to do absolutely nothing

Hey man, study what you enjoy. A college degree doesn't guarantee a job. I was originally majoring in IT because of future job opportunities, but I never enjoyed my classes. I switched to a less desirable field, but ended up much happier in the long run.

azone5
05-04-2013, 20:04
Mine may be the oddest so far. PH.D. In developmental psycholinguistics. Studied language acquisition and did dissertation on how hearing kids with deaf parents learned signed language and spoken English.

Oldest son graduated from Pomona College. I'm positive he would not have had the success he has if he had gone to a state school.

sioux565
05-04-2013, 21:49
Impressive: Atmospheric Sciences

Useless: Air Traffic Control

Oddest: Art

TexasGlockster
05-05-2013, 08:18
Impressive: In this day and age I would say computer science or software engineering.

Oddest: Women's Studies

Most Useless: For this I have to point the finger at myself...I have a BA in Ancient Greek Language. At the time I thought I wanted to get my Ph.D but in the end decided I didn't. I teach World History now and use my language skills all the time, but that still doesn't make it any less worthless as a degree. Might as well have been a BA in "Go Work at McDonalds".

cadillacguns
05-05-2013, 09:17
Mine, I tell everybody I have a B.S. in C.J. (IU) let them figure it out.

Flying-Dutchman
05-05-2013, 09:49
And now let me stir the pot a little more, The value of the degree is realitive to the college it came from. In other words, a degree from an Ivy League school > than a state school....Thoughts?

At an Ivy League you are taught by world famous professors but since they are busy researching important things, you get the T/A from another country with the heavy accent you cannot understand.

mister happy
05-05-2013, 09:49
I read the first few pages, and didn't see my perspective - if it's in here already, sorry.

I think the best thing to say about ANY real degree is that it demonstrates that the individual can start something, follow the rules, stick with it, and meet the requirements after several years. For an 18-28 year old in this society, that's distinctive.

The other thing to say about ANY real degree, earned by attending classes, taking tests, and working on projects, is that for the same 18-28 year old, you meet a broader range of people than when you start working full-time.

Flying-Dutchman
05-05-2013, 10:00
See, that is using an anecdote, which is what I would expect from a liberal arts major but all us STEM guys know is not statistically valid :P

I like telling stories; you can Google the statistics. Not a liberal arts major either.:supergrin:

There are too many liberal arts majors; people too immature or without the work ethic or aptitude for math and science pressured by their parents to go to college when they should be in a trade school or in sales.

Letís face it, if you cannot hack Calculus or Physics you become a lawyer or government worker and we have too many of them.

CharlestonG26
05-05-2013, 14:45
I don't consider any degrees impressive. The only thing any degree means to me is you got a piece of paper credential that is valuable for no other reason than having that credential. Totally worthless in themselves other than to start a fire or wipe with. Many of the smartest people never get a degree of any kind.

The oddest degree I'm aware of is that I heard a guy got a bachelor's in Frisbee from Kent State University, my alma mater where I got an undergrad BBA in accounting. My understanding is that the guy convinced some dept heads it was his passion and they made a special program for him or something like that. I'm not sure its even true but it was reported as true.

This is how 'I read it on the internet...so it must be true' myths happen. FWIW, this did not happen at KSU. More likely, it is something that Brown would do. There...another internet FACT.

AK_Stick
05-05-2013, 15:01
I don't find degrees, in an of themselves to hold any real value.

I respect the sacrifices/work that goes into them, but the degree itself, I don't hold in high regard. To me, its more what you do with the degree that impresses me.


But I will there are some that have the "Awe or Prestige" factor. Like nuclear engineers, brain surgeons etc.



As far as useless, probably woman's studies, just separating idiots from money.


I'm working on my BA in Aviation Maintenance Management, noting fancy, just want to be the supervisor and not the grease monkey.

harrygunner
05-05-2013, 17:57
I tend to assess the "usefulness" of learning by the impact or effect the experience had on the student.

While teaching at a "top tier" university, I'll always remember one student who came to ask me to sign a drop slip. She didn't think she could "ace" my physics class. I attempted to have her stay, but she said she avoids any class where she might not get an 'A'. I would consider her to be "useless". Later, as a business owner, I dreaded accidentally hiring someone with that attitude.

On the other hand, another undergraduate student was struggling with my class. For whatever reason, I asked if he would sign up for a summer special session (a kind of class the professor defines, outside the regular curriculum) on a part of General Relativity. He said "Yes!". Had him lecture to me as he learned enough to calculate the Schwarzschild Limit for spherical, non-rotating black holes. He took the risk, performed the task. That unexpected success, beyond what he felt he was capable of, changed him. His grades in all subjects jumped (his parents wrote, thanking me, amazed at his new outlook on life). I suspect he thought college was "useful".

Succeeding at the challenges faced in school helped me see what I was capable of. Even had my dissertation nominated by department chairman for the university's "Distinguished Dissertation Award". Set the tone for how I face challenges to this day.

If a person accepts full responsibility for their education, regardless of the institution or major, it can be a great opportunity for growth.

OfficerChris
05-06-2013, 02:46
Very interesting thread here.

How's the expierience when it comes to studying next to your jobs?

I am now 30 (still can't believe it) and started studying Economic Psychology last year - next to my full time job. It relates to my working field, but I just do it because I am interested in it. Economics is kind of boring sometimes, psychology definitely is not - both combined are very interesting.

I love spending my time studying and I am proud that I do it next to a full time job and a girlfriend. Downside is - no hobbies, no time to see friends or family and lots of arguments with my girlfriend.

When I am finished I might add a Masters Degree, but not sure which one and if.

I went to something that equals a senior highschool for Electronics.
Then two years police academy - so I went from Electronics (working in that field for two years) to law.
-> now I went from law to economics & law (white collar crime) at work and improved the economic part with studying plus adding the psychology part.

I think thats quite a broad field of expierience.

Any ideas concerning the Masters Degree? One opportunity that I would love to make possible with my degrees is working abroad, specially in the US. Might be wishful thinking - I am already 30, and I need some more years to finish - but you never know..

I could also improve my career here, but if I continue to work in my field I would have to study police leadership (B.A.) and I am not that interested into it because afterwards its only politics - while wearing a uniform.

Next to working abroad I would love to have my own business - next to work or full time. No specific ideas yet, but I read alot about entrepreneurship.

Your thoughts?



-> concerning the degree vs. no degree but knowledge discussion:
I too share the opinion that a person with a degree and as much motivation, etc. as the one without the degree (but very good knowledge), will outperform the second one nearly always.
It always comes down to the basic stuff after some time - which is usually not there when you learn it by yourself.

I am one of these persons who think that its possible to learn nearly everything by yourself. I am not afraid of anything and interested in everything. Before I pay - I try.

Still its a big difference how you learn stuff imho. Studying means building up the foundation and then adding a specific amount of levels till its time for the roof.

Teaching yourself is beeing interested in one level and then trying to find a basement for it - the roof comes more or less afterwards. As you learn you walk up and down the levels trying to find the proper allignment. That way some levels may be perfectly fitting, others are missing windows and doors.

DanaT
05-06-2013, 05:36
I am now 30 (still can't believe it) and started studying Economic Psychology last year - next to my full time job.

This sounds like an interesting study. But it is the anti-math argument. Many ways that people react to economics is based upon irrational behavior and not "it all math".

As an example, when the stock market does well, people like to buy in, and then when it tanks, sell (so buy high, sell low). How it is supposed to work is buy low sell high. But people dont act rationally.

OfficerChris
05-06-2013, 06:49
This sounds like an interesting study. But it is the anti-math argument. Many ways that people react to economics is based upon irrational behavior and not "it all math".

As an example, when the stock market does well, people like to buy in, and then when it tanks, sell (so buy high, sell low). How it is supposed to work is buy low sell high. But people dont act rationally.

these parts are indeed very interesting. No one acts rational. The only downside of theses studies is that we have to do a lot of statistics. The upside is, that it somehow supports the analytical way of thinking. Less impressed by numbers now.

professorpinki
05-06-2013, 22:25
Friend of mine graduated with, I think it was mathematics or CE and Arabic... as the valedictorian.

Smart kiddo.

Usless: family and child development or anything that ends in "studies" and doesn't start off with "international" or "political".

Oddest degree: Might be that one kid's, because they're so diverse. But, other than that, there's a lot of weird "studies" degrees out there, and I'm sure there's one for the Beat Generation, who I absolutely abhor.

frogmorton11
05-07-2013, 07:02
I have a degree in Aerospace Engineering and am now an Engineering Manager. Given a choice of hiring two otherwise equally qualified candidates, I will choose the one with the degree every time. The reason is that the process of earning a degree forces an Engineering student to research topics on their own. Engineering students spend long hours in libraries researching, and collaborating with their peers to study. I have confidence that an employee with an Engineering degree has the skills to research any topic on thier own and become an expert on it. These are things I know every Engineering student has done in order to graduate. The candidate without a degree MAY have done these things. I will choose the candidate with the degree because I KNOW he/she has done these things.

FPS
05-07-2013, 07:10
Ask not what your degree will do for you but what you will do with your degree.

.

jtmac
05-07-2013, 09:24
I have a degree in Aerospace Engineering and am now an Engineering Manager. Given a choice of hiring two otherwise equally qualified candidates, I will choose the one with the degree every time. The reason is that the process of earning a degree forces an Engineering student to research topics on their own. Engineering students spend long hours in libraries researching, and collaborating with their peers to study. I have confidence that an employee with an Engineering degree has the skills to research any topic on thier own and become an expert on it. These are things I know every Engineering student has done in order to graduate. The candidate without a degree MAY have done these things. I will choose the candidate with the degree because I KNOW he/she has done these things.

I wonder if that would work better than the way I test prospective engineers (http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1993-02-14/).

hydrocarbon
05-07-2013, 10:30
I just graduated with a B.S. degree in Petroleum Engineering. It was quite a journey but also rewarding.

When the world rid itself of oil and natural gas, then my degree would be useless =D

The most useless degree is family/women studies. I don't see how that apply to anything unless maybe school counseling.

jtmac
05-07-2013, 12:09
I got my undergraduate degree in Psychology, with a minor in Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin. (A state school, but a very highly-ranked state school). Two subjects attracting the most derision in this thread.

Then I got my law degree. It served me well for 34 years in two different states.

To be fair... you didn't use that degree to practice psychology. :supergrin:

(Although I'm sure some education in psychology can come in handy for a man working in law.)

OfficerChris
05-07-2013, 12:16
I just graduated with a B.S. degree in Petroleum Engineering. It was quite a journey but also rewarding.

When the world rid itself of oil and natural gas, then my degree would be useless =D

The most useless degree is family/women studies. I don't see how that apply to anything unless maybe school counseling.

Seems you made the right decision with these studies

fwm
05-07-2013, 13:19
The valuable skill there is not engineering it is the piece of paper. Like I said the only purpose of a degree is to have a credential. The degree in itself is a worthless scrap of paper.



NOT TRUE. My graduate degree shows several things.
1: Since over 30% of those that started with me failed out, it shows I have a level of intelligence that many don't.
2: As it took time and a lot of effort, it shows I was dedicated to learning the tasks assigned to me.
3: It shows that I have learned a definable level of information and skills that is probably not obtainable outside the institution in the few years it took me to learn it.
4: My degree came with an Academic Achievement Award, meaning I graduated with at least a 3.75 average, showing to any potential employer that I apply myself.
5: And as I paid for my schooling out of pocket, my masters repaid itself with work promotions in two years.

That will NOT happen without the degree. #3 is the important reason. It is proof of a reasonable knowledge level that you just can not convey with 'real world experience'

(Where my wife works, recently ALL employees were told they needed to get a BA or BS to keep their jobs over the next two years, and ALL managers were told they needed to get an MA or MS to keep theirs. ALL new hires must have a BA/BS or MA/MS coming in the door, depending on the applied for position. THAT is the value placed on a 'paper' degree today. No problem for my wife, she got her MA when I got mine.)

I earned an AD in Organic Chemistry, an AD in Computer Science, A Certificate in Transportation Law allowing me to represent clients before the ICC before it was abolished, a BA in Business Admin, and an MA in Business Admin.
Every one of them increased my earnings substantially because my employer recognized the skill sets learned with each step.

There are always those individuals that opportunity meets their particular uneducated skill sets and hard work and allows them to do well in the world, BUT THE AVERAGE INTELLIGENT PERSON IS AN IDIOT IF HE WAITS TO RELY ON THAT.


Like I said the only purpose of a degree is to have a credential. The degree in itself is a worthless scrap of paper.

Credentials are necessary in most walks of life, and they generally require proof of education, I.E. a diploma of some sort.
Burn your BLS diploma and try to work as a nurse without your BLS certification, which you won't have because you burned your diploma.