Education: Is it worth the risk and money?

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    Sep 22, 2008 2:40 AM GMT
    The world we live in today more than ever is based on what kind of education we have. Those that graduate high school and attain a diploma now do not have the same options as they did 10 years ago. Even though I attend college I am going to be a teacher, and what I am worried about is the future of education, and the students I will be sending out into an unkown future. So in a time where everyone needs to go to college, and everyone must get a degree to apply for many jobs in America, what is the next step from this, will we all have to have Masters degrees to be a worker at McDonalds?, it sounds crazy, but it may happen as bachelors degrees become less important as diplomas did.

    My life has been made harder by thinking about how I will pay for my university costs every semester, and what I will do when I have to start paying them off in the end. So where does this leave those people like me? I have no clue if I might get a job in the education field, and this is scary, because we grew up thinking we will all have jobs if we went to college and got a bachelors in something we wanted to do, this is no longer the case.

    So the main question is for everyone to debate on is: as the economy gets worse, gas prices go up, and college tuition exponentially increases at almost all colleges and universities, who will be able to go to college in the next 10 years? Will it be the upper class, who can afford to send their children to school, and create a greater rift between the lower, middle, and the upper classes in America? and How will we change such a trend?, because in my opinion it will be the ultimate end to a good education in America.
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    Sep 22, 2008 2:55 AM GMT
    I have a bachelor's degree in psychology and it hasn't made a bit of difference in getting a decent job in the field. It seems that landing a job comes down more to being about who you know or how much experience you have doing something. People get paid $8 an hour to weed through applications and resumes and with applications being required online and companies not accepting phone calls or walk ins it takes away the human element. Just my take on it.

    Trust me, there is a great NEED for teachers. With a degree and certification you won't have a problem getting hired.

    This type of stuff has happened before, the economy will rebalance eventually.
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    Sep 22, 2008 3:39 AM GMT
    The job security you get from a bachelor's degree depends on what field that degree is in. Engineers will have an easier time finding a job than someone with a degree from Fina Arts (and even between Engineering some areas are more hireable than others). You can always try going to grad school or professional school to improve your chances of finding a well-paid job.

    And it is unfortunate how expensive college is, especially considering how often a college degree is required to find a job. Sure, there's opportunities for people with low income by way of scholarships and financial aid to get through college, but most of these are awarded on merit. That seems fair until you realize the level of competition there's out there. In the end, if you are middle class and have an average academic background coming out of high school, paying for college is tough.
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    Sep 22, 2008 3:44 AM GMT
    Runninchlt saidTrust me, there is a great NEED for teachers. With a degree and certification you won't have a problem getting hired.


    I know at least a dozen fully certified teachers with MAs who are unable to get a job unless they move across the country. New York is a very odd little state in that regard.
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    Sep 22, 2008 8:54 AM GMT
    This is a topic very near and dear to my heart as I approach completion of my PhD and look at the friends who dropped out of school at the end of year 10, got a trade and have already earned so much money that I will never catch up to them.

    What I really think is that it's all swings and roundabouts. When we were young, to be successful required a degree, so everyone got one, and due to supply and demand the price of education increased. The value of degrees decreased at the same rate.

    At the same time, people stopped going into trades and tradies' incomes increased enormously in response to supply and demand.

    Governments are putting an enormous effort into getting people back into the trades and encouraging skilled workers, and I think it is inevitable that the demand for university places will drop and so will the price of education.

    I guess we'll just see, but today, I sure wish I had become an electrician. They'd have paid me, instead of me paying for the long term poverty of being a student followed by an uncertain employment future.
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    Sep 22, 2008 9:01 AM GMT
    First of all, Congratz on going into one of the most respected and most important fields of work--without teachers I wouldn't have been able to read your post, complete coherent ideas in my head, and type out this message. Teachers are so under paid by the way (my mom and sister are both teachers).

    First of all, I think it is good that students are pushed to meet high expectations--though we must make sure not to judge each student the same... some have more trouble in certain areas than others. I know I learned a lot more information, at a faster rate, and more in depth than my parents did ~30years ago. I think this is great--after all, if the Japanese can do it, so ca we. Teacher must make sure not to "favor" the smarter students and hammer on the "slower" students--I saw that all too often when I was in high school.

    As for college, the bacholers degree is the new high school diploma-- in most cases a bachalors is no longer enough. My sister is teaching 3rd grade and she is a full time graduate student as well-- she needs to get her masters in education (she's 25). I know to get a good paying job in the feild that I wish to go into I need at least a Ph.D. and/or a M.D. College tuition I feel will eventually get to a point when nobody can pay for it anymore-- on average 4yrs of college now costs more than buying a house. We need help though... subsidized loans, more grants and scholarships from the government and the college-- and what about books? I know a doctor who was in college 30 years ago. On average his books cost him $50 a semester-- for me on average my books cost between $600-$800 a semester! WTF.

    Anyways, government needs to help out more with education-- Trash the "No Child Left Behind!" Amazing that came from someone who once said, "Rarely do people ask, 'Is our children learning?'" -Dubya-

    To the future teachers of America/the World: Apply to every damn teaching position possible if you can. My sister, who is an excellent teacher and has had a lot of experience/great recommendations, got turned down ten times before she got her present position. The economy sucks and many schools are nervous to take on new teachers. So go blow their socks off! Teachers are extremely important to me-- I graduated in 2003 and I am in contact with more former teachers than former classmates: My first grade teacher is my best friend and I love her to death, My 7th grade Sewing teacher- helped me be more comfortable with being gay, my sophmore English teacher- amazing women, My 8th grade English teacher- influenced my life and morals/values even more than my own parents, and my high school chemistry teacher- weird but awesome and very smart.

    Who knows, you may have a former student e-mail you one day explainging how much of an influence you had on their life-- that is what I did to my 8th grade English teacher... and everytime she gets discouraged with the education system and/or with other students, she reads my e-mail and gets emotionally charged up again.
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    Sep 22, 2008 11:04 AM GMT
    runningwillis saidThe world we live in today more than ever is based on what kind of education we have. Those that graduate high school and attain a diploma now do not have the same options as they did 10 years ago. Even though I attend college I am going to be a teacher, and what I am worried about is the future of education, and the students I will be sending out into an unkown future. So in a time where everyone needs to go to college, and everyone must get a degree to apply for many jobs in America, what is the next step from this, will we all have to have Masters degrees to be a worker at McDonalds?, it sounds crazy, but it may happen as bachelors degrees become less important as diplomas did.

    My life has been made harder by thinking about how I will pay for my university costs every semester, and what I will do when I have to start paying them off in the end. So where does this leave those people like me? I have no clue if I might get a job in the education field, and this is scary, because we grew up thinking we will all have jobs if we went to college and got a bachelors in something we wanted to do, this is no longer the case.

    So the main question is for everyone to debate on is: as the economy gets worse, gas prices go up, and college tuition exponentially increases at almost all colleges and universities, who will be able to go to college in the next 10 years? Will it be the upper class, who can afford to send their children to school, and create a greater rift between the lower, middle, and the upper classes in America? and How will we change such a trend?, because in my opinion it will be the ultimate end to a good education in America.




    "...end to a good education?!"

    Oh brother.

    With all due respect - you are not describing the state of higher education as much as the state of the economy. YES, college education IS a necessity for everyone in an information age. YES, college education IS available to EVERYONE who wishes to do the work. YES, such options are proven to be affordable and cost-effective.

    For example: community colleges offer excellent, extremely cost-effective means to earn an advanced degree. Many community colleges have created unbelievably generous partnerships (transfer scholarship programs) with four-year schools to make attainment of a four year degree seamless between the two institutions. State and federal financial aid resources back up every single US student's ability to pay for it via traditional financial aid, military benefits, etc. And if you cannot afford the luxury of being a fulltime student, then network your way (as you are aware) into entry-level employment with a company that offers tuition reimbursement benefit and enroll in an accredited adult-friendly college offering means to accelerate your studies online or at a local campus after work.

    As a lifelong educator, I can't speak to what "promises" were told to you growing up. But as a future teacher...? I hope you will take this information to heart and become a champion to students who may not have the privilege of attending a four-year small residential private college du jour or big name football/fraternity powerhouse.

    If someone chooses to work for McDonalds or take up a vocational trade? It is a respectful choice. Bless them for actually working and not expecting unrealistic dreams to come true. Their work ethic and common sense already puts them yards ahead of others who unrealistically expect the universe to provide something for nothing.

    Good luck with your studies. PERSEVERATIA VINCIT!