Is a University Degree worth it?

FullThrottleTX

Woodpecker
What do you guys think about plans like this: https://joshkaufman.net/hacking-higher-education-clep/ ?
Excelsior doesn't let you transfer in 120 credits anymore, but you can still get a bachelor's for less than 10k using this method, especially since you can get CLEP vochers for free.
You don't need the credential, that's my problem with the idea. It's worthless.
I do like Josh Kaufman though, you should read his books.
 

SlickyBoy

Ostrich
Cons:
-Increasingly online instruction(except labs/practical)
-Being on a Liberal Campus with low critical thinking and low tolerance for challenging ideas.
-The potential student debt (50k+ easily and more)

Pros:
-Letters behind your name
-White collar, better treatment than blue collar workers (?!)
-Higher avg. wages than with no degree
Too many variables, as others mentioned. It almost sounds as if you're looking at a degree as some sort of hybrid between a good looking suit and a membership in a mysterious club. Forget finding yourself or getting letters after your name - boomers could do that and still land on their feet. Nowadays you're far less likely to find an employer willing to train than one who passes you up for an H1B with a paper degree from Delhi willing to work for peanuts.

Find out where you want to go and how soon you want to get there. Then figure out what tools are required.

Parents rarely do this, instead focusing on "putting their kid through college." Don't fall into the same ego trap they often do - you're your own man.

As for better treatment as a white collar worker, what makes you assume this?
You still work for an organization with potential assholes in charge of you who treat you like a child. It just happens at a different level.
 

ball dont lie

Kingfisher
Gold Member
Western Governors University.

Online, fully accredited, you get an go as fast as you want. If you happen to already know the stuff, you just take the tests and write the papers. Any time.

It costs around $3k per 6 months. If you go full time a year, you can get a degree for $6-9k USD. In 12-18 months.

Then go do something else, knowing you have that stupid credential in your back pocket, just in case you need it.

After that 18 months, learn a trade. Best of both worlds.
 

Maecenas

Sparrow
You're smarter than me.
;) Thanks a lot man

Western Governors University.

Online, fully accredited, you get an go as fast as you want. If you happen to already know the stuff, you just take the tests and write the papers. Any time.

It costs around $3k per 6 months. If you go full time a year, you can get a degree for $6-9k USD. In 12-18 months.

Then go do something else, knowing you have that stupid credential in your back pocket, just in case you need it.

After that 18 months, learn a trade. Best of both worlds.
Hmmmm, they have an owl logo, they’re in Utah, and they have a quote from Bill Gates on the front page
 

RonaldB

Pigeon
Instead of university I did a 12-week coding bootcamp and then got a $50k salary job right after finishing the program, which then climbed to $100k+ a few years later.

If this sounds interesting to you you can research more for a coding bootcamp here https://www.coursereport.com/ and https://www.switchup.org/
This is what I'm doing right now! So far, I'm doing a decent job. I have BA in philosophy in religion. I chose that major because I was following the advice of "Follow your passion" or "Choose a major that you really like". I'm not going to deny that the content of my studies have helped me to develop as a person and strengthen my faith, but sometimes I wished I could have started coding years ago instead of going to college.
 
It's an absolute NO for me. It's a guaranteed waste of 4yrs+ and student loan debt you can never get rid of. Just look at all the graduates and you'll see that 90% of them are unemployed, working in bad paying jobs or jobs not related to their degree. A family friend of mine graduated from Schulich years ago and he's doing real estate now. Even my friends that did professional degrees like engineering hate their jobs and want to end themselves. I would only say yes to a few careers like medicine but getting into that in Canada is an impossible crap shoot unless you have connections. You are honestly better off starting and failing a few businesses or getting a job. Uni was a scam 20 years ago and it's only gotten much worse over time. Anyone that tells you to go is dumb, don't listen to them.
 
Absolutely! I believe the whole process of learning to be good preparation for the working world. Especially at a school you get access to resources and research, especially if you can get into grad school. The data does say the more educated you are the higher earnings. Getting access in stem field equipment like cnc machining and learning to code. Plus there's lots of cool educational applications, in 2015 for example Khan academy released it's University program. Great tools and resources on the internet I took out a 12000$ loan for University and I will soon be reaping the rewards big time.
 

gework

Ostrich
Gold Member
I don't have much knowledge, but from reading through here it seems clear - do your research as to what the degree is really worth, how much it will cost and what is the significance of the school you will go to.

The vast majority of the people I knew who went to university have had no or little use for their degrees.

When I was in school I wash pushed very hard to go to university, but I pushed back harder. One teacher literally phone up some b-rate university and tried to force me to apply. This is no doubt one of the worst decisions that has been made by our leaders, certainty a top ten. My home town has the half smartest people strip mined off every year. The only ones that come back are the biggest wasters, pot head and lefties. Replacing those that have left are miscreants from cities, social drop outs and mentally deranged beatniks. Then there are other towns where it's more the opposite. The few who have made it in the city, move to quaint little towns and villages, bumping up house prices. The effect of both is to turn the town into similar non-places as cities. This was likely done deliberately. Like mass immigration it was rolled out at the same time across the developed world. The bottom line is universities reduce fertility by about 0.5 and that could go much lower.

Anyway.

I didn't go to university and if I was an American I'd have no high school diploma.

Although you can get on some good pathways in terms of programming I would advise to look at pathways outside of university. Programming moves much quicker than most other sectors. If your course was put together the year you began studying it will be considerably dated by the time you graduate. Your professor will likely be out of the loop from not keeping up with a real work environment. Many of the professors are completely out of date.

I learnt from another programmer I worked with and worked day and night for two years. By the end of those two years I was dealing with unadvertised internship applications from people who'd been studying for three years. They couldn't find jobs so were desperately trying to latch on to anything. But we viewed having such an intern as a higher cost than having no intern. I've always seen internships as an abuse and think they should be banned.

I think university should be done away with completely. In the modern Western sense, they were largely to train the clergy. The best way forward would have people joining an industry at the lowest level and then they have some specialised schooling. That's how it used to work in law - there is no reason why it couldn't again.

So in health you start as an orderly -> nurse -> general practitioner -> doctor -> specialist -> administrator
 
degree inflation is killing wages whatever you study. Every year they are minting 100000+ new nursing/accounting/trade jobs into circulation. Not to mention technological deflation which is making all jobs more redundant each day. Not only is the value of the degree becoming worth less each successive year, the debt is going parabolic thanks to currency inflation caused by central banks. It's a no win scenario even if you find a trade or job that pays ok since your wage stays stagnant while asset prices rise with inflation.

Make your time.
 

Tactician

Kingfisher
Gold Member
The advice to pick some careers and work backwards from there is solid. DO NOT decide to get a degree & then figure out careers later.

During this process, I'd heed burneremail's comments about Technological Deflation. Jobs like Accounting are going to get squeezed hard by AI (long ago, they were squeezed by the Excel sheet reducing the # of accountants needed, now it'll be stuff like an adapted GPT-3). While 'Accounting' is a very big sector, just understand that the little guys will face ever increasing pressure.

A good rule of thumb is the more tech innovation, human interaction, or elbow grease needed, the better. It'll be a while before there are welding or plumbing robots.

Really, you want to be thinking of resilient careers that you can see yourself doing long term. Spend time on this.

Ask yourself things like:

Am I good at/do I enjoy working with my hands
Ditto for working with people
How much $ you want to make
What timeframe until you make that $
Is this a job you want to do long-term? Does it transition into something else?
How many hours a week are you expected to clock
How much competition will I face. Barriers to entry?
Am I in a good location for this job, will I have to move?

And of course whether you think you'll be good at the job. People usually enjoy what they are good at if it pays even a bit well.

The degree question needs to be focused on the purpose of a degree. Without that component, it's just debt + indoctrination + ~4 years gone, many of which are for 'make work' classes like English that you'll get no benefit from
 

Easy_C

Crow
My blanket answer is going to be “no”.

The exception is if you’re entering a profession where a degree is required to enter such as most business office jobs. You absolutely need one in some jobs where having a degree is a hard requirement (e.g. Military officer, accountant) and it’s impossible to become one without the rubber stamp.
 
nobody likes to talk about it but only a few winners and most come out uni losers with nothing to brag about. the only one's that came out winners were one's that did in-demand trades like plumbing, things that most people wouldn't consider doing. Others studied coding and went to the US to make 6 figure salaries. basically people that got a return on degrees were willing to leave Canada, jump through the hoops of getting visas and work in other countries. Not much opportunity in Canada even if you have skills. that same 150k USD job working for a tech company exists in Canada but pays 40-50k CAD. the latter is barely a liveable wage that can barely support a family and has not kept with inflationary rise in prices.

i was thinking about this subject yesterday and i came to the conclusion that there are 2 optimal strategies. one is the high risk high reward of actually gambling on a uni degree with a known guaranteed payout. you go into ten's of thousands of student debt, waste 2-4yrs in uni not earning money and miss out on all the opportunities available but come out hitting the floor earning a lot of money (80k++). Within 1-2 years your loan is paid off and you get on the property ladder ASAP. if not possible you buy other deflationary assets like stocks, Bitcoin. this strategy works but there are big trade offs like time, money, opportunity costs. keep in mind that universities are continually minting new degrees so your wages are likely to stay stagnant, for example Ive made $50/hr for the last 8 years. That sounds good until you realize that every year I don't get a pay rise, inflation is robbing me of my purchasing power, in other words i am getting a pay cut every year. Most people understand their wages do not go up thanks to deflationary forces of technology, mass immigration, degree minting and central bank inflation is a thing so they buy property and let that rise in price. While my wage didnt go up, in the same time frame the property my parents owned went from 500k to 1.1m. This is how people in the West profit, by paying their debts with inflation. people that saved and rented became losers because we were punished by inflation by holding our money in the bank. This is unfortunately the majority of millenials and zoomers and I can understand why there is a push toward socialism.

the other strategy is almost the exact opposite. you stay at home, live with parents telling them you will figure something out within a set time frame. you dont pay for rent, food, wifi, bills etc. while this may sound unconventional it is the norm now where the majority of millenials and zoomers do not own property and live with parents.

you don't take on any student debt that can ruin you. trade certification is cheap, so are coding bootcamps. you get a job and start earning immediately, use your capital to start your own business or dollar cost average into bitcoin or other deflationary assets. The basic premise is you take 0 risk and still make modest gains while not missing out on opportunities. because you have no student loans you are much more able to get a property loan and pay down the morgage without having to service a student loan. Your wage might be modest 40-70k) but you have an asset or property that goes up with continual inflation. eventually the inflation causes the house price to rise, you cash out, win.
 
The better question is...do you have any plan for using said degree? If you're going to college to "figure it out," wait a year or two.
It depends a lot on what you study. A degree in "gender studies" is useless even if tuition was free.

One thing to consider is the value of the network you make. At the right school, you're going to be surround by smart people and real go-getters. These people are going to be successful, and it helps to have those kind of friends. It's nice to be able to show up in a city, look up an old college buddy and go out for a drink, and find out he's now CEO or VP of some successful company.
I'm going to add something here that might sound a bit odd.
If you are going to college to "figure it out" or to get a less valuable degree in something like history, do not live at home and go to a commuter or community college because it's cheaper. Spend the money to go to an actual university, live on campus, and make as many contacts as possible. The contacts you make from 18-22 in a university setting will be of value if you do things right. Join clubs. Be a friend to a wide variety of people who gives more than you take from the relationship. Don't be a contrarian ass in class and stop by your professors office from time to time. Work a couple part time jobs where you will make contacts instead of the part time job where you will make the most money.
 

Repo

Hummingbird
This is what I'm doing right now! So far, I'm doing a decent job. I have BA in philosophy in religion. I chose that major because I was following the advice of "Follow your passion" or "Choose a major that you really like". I'm not going to deny that the content of my studies have helped me to develop as a person and strengthen my faith, but sometimes I wished I could have started coding years ago instead of going to college.
And if you had started coding in college, then you would have wished you started in high school. No use worrying about it ;)
 
A low cost degree is your potential ticket out whenever sh*t hits the fan, although that window is quickly closing.

A random US / UK degree means you can work as an English teacher in many places in the world and if you have something computer science related you can get tech jobs elsewhere as well.

No degree / unrelevant degree and you can't do this.

Just find the cheapest and easiest way to get one.

WGU in the US, Open University in the UK (zero requirements for entry) etc.


If you're self taught and aren't a great networker you will face an everlasting uphill battle against ever increasing competition, well connected people, HR and workers with degrees trying to prevent you from getting hired etc.

There are all kinds of self taught people on reddit with all kinds of certifications that write they can't get a job for a year already.

Especially networking is moving to the cloud quickly so the demand is decreasing.
 

estraudi

Kingfisher
Gold Member
The degree question needs to be focused on the purpose of a degree. Without that component, it's just debt + indoctrination + ~4 years gone, many of which are for 'make work' classes like English that you'll get no benefit from
Gen Z is screwed mostly because of the debt "needed", or better yet brainwashed in them, to achieve a degree.
The global economy now relies on perpetual debt, money printer go brrrr which disproportionately benefits the wealthy. It is the main driver of wealth inequality which is now at record levels. This was all engineered by the way, that's the nature of the fiat currency system. So wealth inequality will reach such extremes that Gen Z will crawl to the Government for socialism, anything. When you control the currency, enslave nations with your counterfeited debt, you can mold society. We are seeing that now. Or attempts at it.
The American Dream IS the ticket to freedom from socialism and communism. In a circle of economics, communism is last stage and capitalism is usually the "restitution" stage where the cycle begins anew.
 
College is useless. Everyone should look up the Thiel Fellowship. Billionaire Peter Thiel gives money to college students to drop-out of college. The Thiel Fellows have created some really great startups.
 
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