The Demonization of the Associate's Degree


  • May 14, 2016 2:22 PM GMT
    Another poster on here started a forum about why so many white-collar jobs require a graduate degree for entry-level work. As a young person with an Associate's degree (am currently working on my Bachelor's), I'd like to turn this question inside-out and ask why so many employers consider Associate degrees to be worthless nowadays.

    For example, suppose someone graduates in good academic standing with an Associate's degree in Hotel Management. Hotel management is doubtlessly a challenging profession, but I see it as being similar to the job of a retail manager at a store, and there are certainly some fine-tuning of skills that the courses making up the degree will finesse (accounting, management principles, etc.)

    So why is it that pretty much every hotel in the US will demand a Bachelor's from its applicants, regardless if the Bachelor's degree is in a totally unrelated field of study? This is a slap in the face to those who want a fast route to the workplace without the burden of high student debt, and it is a shame that these people have been forgotten about in our current haste to "revamp" the higher education system in this country.
  • roadbikeRob

    Posts: 14350

    May 14, 2016 4:34 PM GMT
    Because it is all the older half of the Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1955 calling all the shots and running the private sector. As far as they are concerned all of us born in 1956 and after should all struggle and starve for the rest of our lives because they feel that we all had it too easy which is baseless bullshit. Since they are in charge of virtually everything in both the public and private sectors, they can set as many unrealistic expectations as they freely please to everyone else's detriment. Horribly sad but true.
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    May 14, 2016 6:12 PM GMT
    It's just a metric to judge by since the employer doesn't have anything else to go on. A college graduate isn't likely to have any relevant job history so one who had the grit to endure 4 years of college may be a better hiring risk than one who did only 2 years.
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    May 14, 2016 8:16 PM GMT

    Its demonized because the status vain say so........icon_rolleyes.gif


    Vain

    adjective, vainer, vainest.


    1.

    excessively proud of or concerned about one's own appearance, qualities, achievements, etc.; conceited:
    a vain dandy.


    2.

    proceeding from or showing pride in or concern about one's appearance, qualities, etc.; resulting from or displaying vanity :
    He made some vain remarks about his accomplishments.


    3.

    ineffectual or unsuccessful; futile:
    vain hopes; a vain effort; a vain war.


    4.

    without real significance, value, or importance; baseless or worthless:
    vain pageantry; vain display.


    5.

    Archaic. senseless or foolish.

    1. egotistical, self-complacent, vainglorious, proud, arrogant, overweening. 3. fruitless, unavailing. 4. unimportant, trivial, trifling, nugatory.

    adjective

    1.

    inordinately proud of one's appearance, possessions, or achievements


    2.

    given to ostentatious display, esp of one's beauty


    3.

    worthless

    conceited, narcissistic, self-loving, in love with oneself, self-admiring, self-regarding, self-obsessed, egocentric, egotistic, egotistical; proud, arrogant, boastful, cocky, cocksure, immodest, swaggering; informalbig-headed; literaryvainglorious

    futile, useless, pointless, to no purpose, hopeless, in vain; ineffective, ineffectual, inefficacious, impotent, unavailing, to no avail, fruitless, profitless, unrewarding, unproductive, unsuccessful, failed, abortive, for nothing; thwarted, frustrated, foiled; archaicbootless




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    May 15, 2016 1:17 PM GMT
    YoungCollegeTry saidAnother poster on here started a forum about why so many white-collar jobs require a graduate degree for entry-level work. As a young person with an Associate's degree (am currently working on my Bachelor's), I'd like to turn this question inside-out and ask why so many employers consider Associate degrees to be worthless nowadays...


    interesting thread in view of the super inflation of college costs.

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    May 15, 2016 1:46 PM GMT
    When I was a college recruiter & counselor, and later a university asst. registrar, I advised some potential college students to consider an associates degree. Reasons could include keeping their costs low, a poor high school transcript below our university's admission standards, and remaining in their own local community to preserve jobs they may already have had.

    Then if they did well, and if they wished, they could transfer to a 4-year program. I would explain, and show them graphs, to outline for them what their typical employment options were in different career fields based on varying levels of education.

    But I always stressed that they needed to be certain the courses they were taking for their associates degree would be recognized by a 4-year college and transfer to a bachelor's degree program afterwards, should they ever want to pursue that path. One of my responsibilities as the asst. registrar was to review all transcripts of incoming transfer students, including from junior & community colleges with 2-year associates programs.

    And it really broke my heart to have to tell some of these applicants that many of the courses they'd taken were not recognized on our campus, nor with most nationally accredited colleges. So that instead of starting in their 3rd year as they had expected, they'd barely be beginning their 2nd, despite a completed associates degree. Having wasted time, effort & money.

    The same was true with online & correspondence course work, although that's been changing in recent years, and many accredited traditional colleges now offer their own versions of these. A key determinant of undergraduate course transferability used to be classroom "contact hours", which naturally online and correspondence programs could not satisfy. But the revolution in online instruction has forced a reevaluation of that criteria.
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    May 15, 2016 2:05 PM GMT
    I dont recall a time when as associates degree was ever worth anything??

    Also, a bachelor's degree is like yesterdays high school degree, everybody's got one....so if one is applying for a job and there have been 20 applicants and 15 of them have a bachelors...then who gives a fuck about an associates degree?
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    May 15, 2016 2:31 PM GMT
    Import saidI dont recall a time when as associates degree was ever worth anything??

    Also, a bachelor's degree is like yesterdays high school degree, everybody's got one....so if one is applying for a job and there have been 20 applicants and 15 of them have a bachelors...then who gives a fuck about an associates degree?


    Correct. Unfortunately.

    However an associates degree would probably be just fine for that position and is a cheaper degree to attain.
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    May 15, 2016 4:57 PM GMT
    Import said
    ...then who gives a fuck about an associates degree?

    As I indicated above, they can be an easier stepping stone when a direct entry step into a 4-year bachelor's program is too difficult for a person. By itself an associates degree has little more value than a high school diploma for most employment. But if the degree matches the skills in the job description then it might make the person more competitive for some modest positions.

    On the other hand, some students would tell me they wanted to major in degrees related to counseling or social work. And I'd advise them to plan to obtain at least a Master's, because a Bachelor's is almost worthless for employment in those fields. Some US States won't even allow you to practice them, or be licensed, without a Master's. And of course a PhD is even better.

    So a lot obviously depends on what your career goals are. But as I said, I still encouraged certain students to try the associate's degree route, if a 4-year program is initially too challenging for them, for whatever personal reasons. It usually won't do any harm, and may keep the door open for future education options.
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    May 15, 2016 6:12 PM GMT
    Import said... bachelor's degree is like yesterdays high school degree
    a masters in electrical and or software not highly regarded. Than again an engineering career is not stable.