College degrees and their increasing statistic... - PowerStrokeNation : Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 04:54 AM Thread Starter
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College degrees and their increasing statistic...

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Originally Posted by Pocket View Post
For example, our labor market is more educated than China's labor market. Should we waste our resources by taking college and MBA educated level people and put them on an assembly line sewing together tennis shoes? Of course not. It's a waste of labor resources that we have that can be put to better use.
While I agree with everything you said in that particular post in that thread, I've got to open a can of worms here and see what you guys think.

Granted right now, *most* college degree's are, or will give someone an edge in the labor market but what happens when let's say 80-90% of the work force has a degree? Especially thinking that there will be many people with the "same" degree, what makes those people stand out from their counter parts? Not to mention the fact that more education = less physical work done because of the nature of the beast. So since our economy is moving more and more towards service, won't there be a point in time where all that stuff will cultivate itself into something less meaningful? Think the high school diploma as it is today......

Second point, what about those jobs that require no education that are low paying and will not be attractive in the future, now that the majority seeks a higher education? Food service, janitorial, construction, maintenance, etc.

I do realize this is somewhat skewed in perspective as I do realize there are those few out there that cannot afford college, or are not willing to go or simply aren't meant for higher learning but needless to say, this group is shrinking.

Hopefully that came across in the right manner
-clay

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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 05:27 AM
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Re: College degrees and their increasing statistic...

I see what you are getting at Clay. I'll try to answer in a short and concise way.

Look at it this way, our industrial revolution is behind us. There are new technologies out there that create new jobs. These jobs require more education and higher skill levels. We are no longer just an industrialized nation, rather we are shifting into an information and technology age. It cultivates more jobs, not less, and the lower skilled jobs move to other countries where the education demand is less.

Basically we ship lower skill and lower paying jobs overseas, and replace them with higher paid, higher skilled jobs. So instead of being a manufacturing country, we are replacing that and becoming the financial center of the world. We provide a highly valued workforce for the rest of the world, and they pay us well to do our jobs.

Will there be another shift? Of course. And education will play a key role in how our markets change. The days of getting a lifelong and successful career with just a high school diploma are behind us for now. Other countries might have an unfair advantage when it comes to manufacturing and unskilled workers, but we have an unfair advantage when it comes to financial markets. In the end, it's a wash. We supply what other countries need, and in return, they supply what we need.

Of course, there will remain the lower level jobs that simply can't be outsourced overseas for the foreseeable future.

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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
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Re: College degrees and their increasing statistic...

Well yeah but I was looking at it more a long the lines of what's going to happen when higher education becomes the norm.

Like let's say for example, a company needs a guy with a mechanical engineering degree and there are 15 candidates with the degree. Now, I know they're not all going to have a high rank in their class or the best of abilities. However, a lot of people are under the impression that the degree will make the employee. So where's the competitive edge that the degree in today's world gives?

I guess what I'm getting at, or trying to convey is that a higher education is pretty much required in today's society, because of the move towards services and financial needs. A service based economy vs manufacturing, basically establishing higher education as majority, which then in turn becomes the normal standard.

Once the new normal standard is established and in working order, how much would one possibly have to be educated to be "on top"? As for those services that are reserved for the 'uneducated', since they're no longer desirable positions, would they not then forcibly be something that could be more lucrative than the service (office) jobs that require an education?

For example, janitorial service or construction. I doubt most people today would like to do this kind of work simply because it's either low paying or requires some actual physical effort. So they opt for the college route and get a job in an office; the majority of the new work force. Thus the available work force for the construction/janitorial becomes increasingly low, would they not have to increase wages to compensate for those who know how to do something that isn't well represented by the education system? I wouldn't be surprised if their wages stayed competitive with their 'educated' counterparts.

So what I'm seeing is that one of two things would undoubtedly have to happen. Education would no longer be the ticket to big paychecks because there is a superfluous amount of educated people in the workforce; wages staying close to what today's would be....or....The entire job market seeing a rise in pay across the board, which in turn would be bad; inflation.

Please be aware this is in "hypothetical la, la land" but something interesting to think about....to me at least.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 08:16 AM
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Re: College degrees and their increasing statistic...

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Originally Posted by Pocket View Post
I see what you are getting at Clay. I'll try to answer in a short and concise way.

Look at it this way, our industrial revolution is behind us. There are new technologies out there that create new jobs. These jobs require more education and higher skill levels. We are no longer just an industrialized nation, rather we are shifting into an information and technology age. It cultivates more jobs, not less, and the lower skilled jobs move to other countries where the education demand is less.

Basically we ship lower skill and lower paying jobs overseas, and replace them with higher paid, higher skilled jobs. So instead of being a manufacturing country, we are replacing that and becoming the financial center of the world. We provide a highly valued workforce for the rest of the world, and they pay us well to do our jobs.

Will there be another shift? Of course. And education will play a key role in how our markets change. The days of getting a lifelong and successful career with just a high school diploma are behind us for now. Other countries might have an unfair advantage when it comes to manufacturing and unskilled workers, but we have an unfair advantage when it comes to financial markets. In the end, it's a wash. We supply what other countries need, and in return, they supply what we need.

Of course, there will remain the lower level jobs that simply can't be outsourced overseas for the foreseeable future.

What do we supply for knowledge that other countries aren't gaining on? I know that we are the country to come to for college, but that is fading away. Countries like India and Japan are starting to nip at our heals for knowledge. The other problem as we go more and more to the tech side of things we have job loss. If you have a company in research how many people do you need?

Take for instance a company a buddy of mine runs. They have probably 15-20 people that are in management, accounting, maybe another 5 in R&D. So we have 20-25 people that have jobs requiring some type of higher education. They probably have 80-90 people that are unskilled or don't require anything past a high school degree. So they move production over seas, 95% of the unskilled jobs are gone, you will keep a couple for Janitorial maybe a secretary or two. Now, you no longer need all that management so wack off 25% of those jobs that require a degree. You just lost 80% of the jobs at that company.

The other thing is some people just don't have the brain power for higher learning, what do you do with those people? You add those people to the people that don't have the drive to do anything, we have some real problems. We will have 40% of our population responsible for providing for the other 60%.

There are also others that just aren't cut out for a job in the higher education workforce. I probably fall into that category myself. I went to college for 2.5 yrs for engineering, I took a different path, and I couldn't see not doing what I do right now. I absolutely love my job 80% of the time. I grew up just a dumb farm kid and actually like physical labor. I get to walk away at the end of a project and say "I did that". Not that you can't say that with a job from a college degree as well. I will say looking back I would have finished up my degree, not that it would have changed where I am, but I look at it as I failed, not that my grades were bad, but I didn't finish something I started.

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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 11:47 AM
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Re: College degrees and their increasing statistic...

We are getting more and more applicants for work in our stores with college degrees. We try to stay away from them. Most of them think that the job is below them (even though they took the job), they are unwiling to do the little things in retail that make a huge difference in your business. Thinks like sweep, mop, and clean the shelves.




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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 02:48 PM
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Re: College degrees and their increasing statistic...

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Originally Posted by Arisley View Post
We are getting more and more applicants for work in our stores with college degrees. We try to stay away from them. Most of them think that the job is below them (even though they took the job), they are unwiling to do the little things in retail that make a huge difference in your business. Thinks like sweep, mop, and clean the shelves.
There's basically two kinds of college degrees:
1. The kind that requires mostly memorization (history, english, etc..)
2. The kind that requires mostly logical thinking (engineering, chemistry, etc...)

I have seen that a lot of the people in the 1st catagory want the degree because they think it will get them paid more for roughly the same job as they would have without it. These are the people that won't do a job (even though they applied for it) because they think it's beneath them since they have a college degree.

The people in the 2nd catagory don't want the job because it doesn't require any thought. These people require their brain to be constantly active to keep themselves awake. In a pinch they may take the job and do it, but they may not be as good at it simply because their mind is going numb from the retitious, mindless work.

Maybe these are over generalizations, but you get the idea.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 03:15 PM
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Re: College degrees and their increasing statistic...

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Like let's say for example, a company needs a guy with a mechanical engineering degree and there are 15 candidates with the degree. Now, I know they're not all going to have a high rank in their class or the best of abilities. However, a lot of people are under the impression that the degree will make the employee. So where's the competitive edge that the degree in today's world gives?
In this example the edge will be experience, grades, and ability to communicate. If the 15 candidates have no experience the grade point will get them the interview. I know someone who got a degree in Mechanical Engineering and went to work for Ford the week after he graduated from College. His 3.6 grade point probably wouldn't even get him the interview today. Their speaking ability will determine who gets the job. The most important things for college students is good grades and learning to speak well. Did I say "learn to speak well"?

Unskilled workers are never going to earn what college grads, who want to work, are going to earn. There are a lot of skilled jobs that don't require a college degree that pay well.

If only those who knew what they were talking about replied, this thread would still be on page one.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 03:17 PM
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Re: College degrees and their increasing statistic...

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There's basically two kinds of college degrees:
1. The kind that requires mostly memorization (history, english, etc..)
2. The kind that requires mostly logical thinking (engineering, chemistry, etc...)

I have seen that a lot of the people in the 1st catagory want the degree because they think it will get them paid more for roughly the same job as they would have without it. These are the people that won't do a job (even though they applied for it) because they think it's beneath them since they have a college degree.

The people in the 2nd catagory don't want the job because it doesn't require any thought. These people require their brain to be constantly active to keep themselves awake. In a pinch they may take the job and do it, but they may not be as good at it simply because their mind is going numb from the retitious, mindless work.

Maybe these are over generalizations, but you get the idea.
Yep, sure do. The 2nd category, if you hire him, he will do the job, and do it well. He may even teach you how to do it better and more efficiently. He will also be looking for another (real) job from the day he starts this one. He may even enjoy working in the liquor industry so much that he stays there part time after he finds his (real) job.




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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 03:19 PM
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Re: College degrees and their increasing statistic...

In my curiosity about some of these very thoughts, I ran across a very interesting book called The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America.
I won't go into the details, but it brings out some shocking revelations regarding education in America and what is being presented to our children in the public school system.

I realize that this discussion relates to college, but the foundation for higher education starts the moment a child first steps into a classroom.
If you don't read the entire book I urge you to go to the website and just read the foreward. Children are being evaluated, catagorized and endoctrinated for doing a particular job in the future whether it be a doctor or a janitor!

I'm very good friends with some public school teachers. After reading the book, I questioned them about things that I considered rather disturbing. The replies I got were just as disturbing because as it turned out, they were quite accurate and some fit to a tee.

Here is the link
the deliberate dumbing down of america

FWIW I went to college only for a short time myself. At the time it just wasn't for me. Now I own a successful business and earn a very healty income, much more than most college graduates.....BUT.....I also work very hard and long hours.
If I had it to do over.....yes, 100%....I would have gotten a degree.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 02-11-2010, 03:33 PM
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Re: College degrees and their increasing statistic...

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Originally Posted by clayc_989 View Post
Well yeah but I was looking at it more a long the lines of what's going to happen when higher education becomes the norm.

Like let's say for example, a company needs a guy with a mechanical engineering degree and there are 15 candidates with the degree. Now, I know they're not all going to have a high rank in their class or the best of abilities. However, a lot of people are under the impression that the degree will make the employee. So where's the competitive edge that the degree in today's world gives?

I guess what I'm getting at, or trying to convey is that a higher education is pretty much required in today's society, because of the move towards services and financial needs. A service based economy vs manufacturing, basically establishing higher education as majority, which then in turn becomes the normal standard.

Once the new normal standard is established and in working order, how much would one possibly have to be educated to be "on top"? As for those services that are reserved for the 'uneducated', since they're no longer desirable positions, would they not then forcibly be something that could be more lucrative than the service (office) jobs that require an education?

For example, janitorial service or construction. I doubt most people today would like to do this kind of work simply because it's either low paying or requires some actual physical effort. So they opt for the college route and get a job in an office; the majority of the new work force. Thus the available work force for the construction/janitorial becomes increasingly low, would they not have to increase wages to compensate for those who know how to do something that isn't well represented by the education system? I wouldn't be surprised if their wages stayed competitive with their 'educated' counterparts.

So what I'm seeing is that one of two things would undoubtedly have to happen. Education would no longer be the ticket to big paychecks because there is a superfluous amount of educated people in the workforce; wages staying close to what today's would be....or....The entire job market seeing a rise in pay across the board, which in turn would be bad; inflation.

Please be aware this is in "hypothetical la, la land" but something interesting to think about....to me at least.
Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer. But we can look back at history.

100 years ago, most people didn't graduate high school. A high school diploma was like having an MBA today (figuratively speaking of course).

50 years ago, more and more people did graduate high school. This shift now made it almost like having a bachelors today. If you graduated high school 50 years ago and didn't go to college, you probably enjoyed a long and successful career making decent money and living on a middle class income.

Today most people graduate high school, and many go off to college. A high school diploma is no longer sufficient to provide most with a solid middle class income (yes some people can do it, but it's getting harder these days). Now if you want the same success in finding a career that people had 50 years ago, you need a college education.

But as Clay pointed out.... where does it stop? We as a country have made shift after shift after shift, increasing our education demands and raising the skill level of workers.

Well, I really don't know. All I can guess at this point is that it's pretty far down the road (at least another 50 years by my best guess), and if it does happen, we'll probably see a huge shift in grade school education.

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