Author Topic: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree  (Read 6709 times)

Socmonkey

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$200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« on: March 17, 2017, 01:51:52 PM »
I am a fan of Dave Ramsey, even if I don’t agree with every single thing he says.

Still, I think he mostly has simple and solid advice. I like to watch the clip or two he posts on his YouTube Channel every day.

The other day he had this one lady on that absolutely had no clue about money. Appropriately titled $200,000 In Debt Making Minimum Wage.

Here is a short rundown about her life:

-She went to college (out of state) straight out of high school, for interior design…
-Changed school (still out of state) and major to film and video production.
-Never completed the degree, has about a year left.
-10 years later she is in $200,000 in debt for student loans, unknown how much other debt she has.
-Earns minimum wage.
-Puts her money into an independent film together with her partner. This is her plan to get out of debt.

 
Wow, just wow…

She really is just about clueless. Dave tried to help her, but I don’t think she is going to be able to do it.

For any of us into personal finance, this clip is just about as cringeworthy as it gets.

Check it out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVPgTy9rOiA
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Just Joe

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2017, 03:31:59 PM »
We were talking to a waitress 6 months ago or so and university came up. She quit a nursing degree with a semester left. Doesn't know what she wants to do with her life... ?!?!?!

Finish the darn degree and get that behind you! DW and I agreed later that there was a strong possibility that the waitress flunked out and had no choice.

WildJager

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2017, 01:30:58 PM »
This all goes back to the idea that what you do for a living defines who you are.  People say, "I'm a blacksmith" not "I'm a loving father of 3 who values honesty, is somewhat right leaning in political issues, and I'm a bit overweight but because I care about my family I try to work out three times a week."

Modern society leans so heavily on stereotypes that if you're a lawyer you're a liar, same goes with being a politician, but if you're a doctor or firefighter you're a hero.  If you're a teacher you're selfless but broke.  If you're a programmer you're either rich in the valley or a skinny kid living in their parents basement. 

Point is, children are led to believe that their job defines who they are as a person.  So, they better get it right the first time and it better be something they're passionate about, else they're going to live in misery for the rest of their lives.  Stories of people who blew through a bunch of loan money on college but then never got a degree are a dime a dozen.  This mindset in college of, "Pursue your passion!" is screwing people who's passions change partway through getting a degree.  Most people simply can't afford to degree swap, so sometimes riding out your commitment is the only financially sound option.

This is why I think it's nearly criminal for colleges to be allowed to offer useless degrees.  Maybe back in the day when only a select few went to college on a full ride from the bank of mom and dad (and were often told what they were going to study), but in today's world when over half of high school graduates are attending college it's just setting these kids up for failure.  When they're the first in their family line to go to higher education, the problem just gets worse.  A parent who barely has a GED can't clearly guide their children effectively on what degrees are worthwhile to pursue, and what degrees are garbage. 

Sofa King

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2017, 02:10:37 PM »
This all goes back to the idea that what you do for a living defines who you are.  People say, "I'm a blacksmith" not "I'm a loving father of 3 who values honesty, is somewhat right leaning in political issues, and I'm a bit overweight but because I care about my family I try to work out three times a week."

Modern society leans so heavily on stereotypes that if you're a lawyer you're a liar, same goes with being a politician, but if you're a doctor or firefighter you're a hero.  If you're a teacher you're selfless but broke.  If you're a programmer you're either rich in the valley or a skinny kid living in their parents basement. 

Point is, children are led to believe that their job defines who they are as a person.  So, they better get it right the first time and it better be something they're passionate about, else they're going to live in misery for the rest of their lives.  Stories of people who blew through a bunch of loan money on college but then never got a degree are a dime a dozen.  This mindset in college of, "Pursue your passion!" is screwing people who's passions change partway through getting a degree.  Most people simply can't afford to degree swap, so sometimes riding out your commitment is the only financially sound option.

This is why I think it's nearly criminal for colleges to be allowed to offer useless degrees.  Maybe back in the day when only a select few went to college on a full ride from the bank of mom and dad (and were often told what they were going to study), but in today's world when over half of high school graduates are attending college it's just setting these kids up for failure.  When they're the first in their family line to go to higher education, the problem just gets worse.  A parent who barely has a GED can't clearly guide their children effectively on what degrees are worthwhile to pursue, and what degrees are garbage.


I concur!


panda

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2017, 04:21:59 PM »
We were talking to a waitress 6 months ago or so and university came up. She quit a nursing degree with a semester left. Doesn't know what she wants to do with her life... ?!?!?!

Finish the darn degree and get that behind you! DW and I agreed later that there was a strong possibility that the waitress flunked out and had no choice.
Not everyone is cut out to work in the medical professions for a living. The better programs out there know this and get the students working with patients and practitioners as soon as possible so that those that don't have what it takes can transfer out quickly. Some programs don't afford the students that luxury. Generally you don't flunk out of a medical degree that close to the end - you are more into the clinical work at that point and the student might have found out that they don't what it takes to be a nurse.

skp

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2017, 04:35:11 PM »
As a nurse, I also highly doubt that the waitress flunked out the last semester.  Maybe... I can understand that.  I don't understand quitting because you don't think you like it.  I wasn't sure I was going to like it by the end of nursing school But, Nursing school is not like the real world.  There are so many choices as to fields of nursing.  You could experiment.  Or You could just suck it up and work 2 days and probably (I here some waitresses make more than nurses)  make more than a waitress would in a week.  At least work the "nurse" job to pay off your loans and the waitressing job as fun.  Sometimes I think I am a waitress.

Same with the interior designer.  After $200,000 whats a little more if you could at least finish something. ( Am I allowed to say this on here?  I'm new)

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2017, 09:59:44 PM »
This is why I think it's nearly criminal for colleges to be allowed to offer useless degrees.  Maybe back in the day when only a select few went to college on a full ride from the bank of mom and dad (and were often told what they were going to study), but in today's world when over half of high school graduates are attending college it's just setting these kids up for failure.  When they're the first in their family line to go to higher education, the problem just gets worse.  A parent who barely has a GED can't clearly guide their children effectively on what degrees are worthwhile to pursue, and what degrees are garbage.

I'm assuming that you're using the word "useless" to describe degrees that don't significantly increase the earning potential of the graduate, or where few employment opportunities exist except for elite performers. Liberal arts and fine arts are notorious for this. But degrees like that aren't "garbage". They are simply designed to be consumed.

Originally liberal arts programs were developed as a sort of finishing school for sons of the upper crust. The course material was intended to produce a well rounded individual who could hold up his end of an intelligent conversation and perhaps have something to "do" that may or may not make money. He would leave home, get out of the parents' hair during the social season, and come back relatively civilized and ready to check out the debutantes and assume other responsibilities related to managing the family assets, or at least supervising the people hired to do so well enough to make sure the assets weren't being systematically embezzled. At no point was the student expected to actually earn a living. If he (or, later, she) turned out to have some skill as a writer, concert pianist or clothing designer, going into business as a lark was socially acceptable and it was sometimes useful for younger children especially if something bad happened to the family money. But for the most part they were recreational/cultural-enrichment degrees.

There were, and still are, classes of people for whom consuming a 4-year degree for fun doesn't put a dent in that person's bankroll and in fact enhances his or her social appeal. Not one such individual needs to go into debt to do it. A Mustachian, post-FIRE, might consume a recreational degree in lieu of travel or other luxuries, if the 'stache is big enough to generate the cash flow. It's a badass thing to do.

A person who has a burning desire for a recreational degree, but who is unable to get through school without debt due to lack of family resources, may be just the kind of statistical outlier who could make a living in the field if he or she has enough skill, talent, intelligence, and work ethic to qualify for one of the few available jobs. But for the rest of the people who desire a recreational degree, the path to it is through the marketable degrees. A person should get that first, and then get to a position of financial stability, possibly FI, from which it becomes possible to consume some heart-feeding luxury. For some people it's travel or early retirement. For others, it might be a recreational degree.

Besides recreational degrees, there's also an entire category of degrees that lead to jobs that don't pay much. Early childhood education is an example. People who make a living in those fields are generally put through school by their parents. Afterwards, if they are frugal, the mediocre income that goes with working in an art gallery or teaching preschoolers is something they can get by on since they don't have crippling debt. There may be additional economic outpatient care from the parents. We can call these "privilege" degrees.

I think there are three key problems.

The first problem, I think, is that not enough people are able to distinguish between recreational degrees, privilege degrees, and professional degrees that are credentials that can easily be turned into money because they certify the bearer can do something useful for other people. Only the latter are worth going into debt for.

The second problem is that there's an education-industrial complex that's grown up around the recreational degrees and to a lesser extent the privilege degrees. Basically, a whole bunch of people who were the first in their families to go to university got recreational degrees. Since they were smart, they were able to go all the way through to the doctorate level and then turn around and teach. That's great for those individuals, but it created an economy that rewarded people for staying in the ivory tower. To do that, and to fund their own research and publications, they need crop after crop of bright-eyed young students in order to justify their existence. Selling their services to the semiliterate, unprepared graduates of public high schools who do not have the ability to form a complete sentence but who make it in anyway due to grade inflation and athletic prowess doesn't justify the existence of an entire department. It has to be possible to major in that area of study. And so the problem expands.

The third problem is that it's far too easy to borrow money for recreational and privilege degrees.
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Hargrove

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2017, 11:19:51 PM »
I think there are three key problems...

+1

I would also add transparency. There should be a database of degrees awarded by field, and expected jobs in that field. These statistics could be collected.

I got a recreational degree and it was gutsy when I went for it, then stupid when the recession hit. I am a better person for college, but it was an awfully big bill to pay for generic bettering at the best time to make piles of money (or prepare to do so). I wouldn't trade it, and yet, I would only recommend it with careful qualifiers. The price of college today has priced out anything but professional degrees for anyone but the wealthy.

I actually intend to get at least another of those degrees after I finish my mustache.

Paul der Krake

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2017, 11:28:54 PM »
I have toyed with the idea of getting a "useless degree" later in life.

Reducing higher education to something you do to get a job is awfully middle class. *puts on monocle*

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 12:52:53 AM »
I have toyed with the idea of getting a "useless degree" later in life.

Reducing higher education to something you do to get a job is awfully middle class. *puts on monocle*

Never has it been otherwise.

The middle class is only now starting to notice.
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kayvent

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2017, 01:44:06 AM »
Found your post absolutely spot on TheGrimSqueaker.

I have toyed with the idea of getting a "useless degree" later in life.

Reducing higher education to something you do to get a job is awfully middle class. *puts on monocle*

When the universities went around my high school to court students, I was repelled by the ones that put job placement rates, co-op, or salaries in the forefront of their pitch. The one institute that didn't mention that was the one I went to. They happened to be the #1 university in Canada but that was just gravy. I wanted a university that placed emphasis on a liberal arts education. Liberal meaning well-rounded individuals who take a variety of elective courses that broaden their knowledge horizon. Four years later I horrified the head of the department when he had to look at my transcript to sign off on my degree and saw that I monochromed the degree in maths courses. Oops ;)

Associating education and jobs has been a very destructive fallacy.

Goldielocks

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2017, 12:26:38 AM »
Found your post absolutely spot on TheGrimSqueaker.

I have toyed with the idea of getting a "useless degree" later in life.

Reducing higher education to something you do to get a job is awfully middle class. *puts on monocle*

When the universities went around my high school to court students, I was repelled by the ones that put job placement rates, co-op, or salaries in the forefront of their pitch. The one institute that didn't mention that was the one I went to. They happened to be the #1 university in Canada but that was just gravy. I wanted a university that placed emphasis on a liberal arts education. Liberal meaning well-rounded individuals who take a variety of elective courses that broaden their knowledge horizon. Four years later I horrified the head of the department when he had to look at my transcript to sign off on my degree and saw that I monochromed the degree in maths courses. Oops ;)

Associating education and jobs has been a very destructive fallacy.

Monochromed?   Please explain your fancy arts-degree words, ma'am!

kayvent

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2017, 01:55:58 AM »
Found your post absolutely spot on TheGrimSqueaker.

I have toyed with the idea of getting a "useless degree" later in life.

Reducing higher education to something you do to get a job is awfully middle class. *puts on monocle*

When the universities went around my high school to court students, I was repelled by the ones that put job placement rates, co-op, or salaries in the forefront of their pitch. The one institute that didn't mention that was the one I went to. They happened to be the #1 university in Canada but that was just gravy. I wanted a university that placed emphasis on a liberal arts education. Liberal meaning well-rounded individuals who take a variety of elective courses that broaden their knowledge horizon. Four years later I horrified the head of the department when he had to look at my transcript to sign off on my degree and saw that I monochromed the degree in maths courses. Oops ;)

Associating education and jobs has been a very destructive fallacy.

Monochromed?   Please explain your fancy arts-degree words, ma'am!

The vast majority of courses I took were maths courses (30+). At a liberal arts school. That values their students having a balanced education. The only non-Math courses I took were mandatory distribution courses.

Goldielocks

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2017, 01:58:40 PM »
Found your post absolutely spot on TheGrimSqueaker.

I have toyed with the idea of getting a "useless degree" later in life.

Reducing higher education to something you do to get a job is awfully middle class. *puts on monocle*

When the universities went around my high school to court students, I was repelled by the ones that put job placement rates, co-op, or salaries in the forefront of their pitch. The one institute that didn't mention that was the one I went to. They happened to be the #1 university in Canada but that was just gravy. I wanted a university that placed emphasis on a liberal arts education. Liberal meaning well-rounded individuals who take a variety of elective courses that broaden their knowledge horizon. Four years later I horrified the head of the department when he had to look at my transcript to sign off on my degree and saw that I monochromed the degree in maths courses. Oops ;)

Associating education and jobs has been a very destructive fallacy.

Monochromed?   Please explain your fancy arts-degree words, ma'am!

The vast majority of courses I took were maths courses (30+). At a liberal arts school. That values their students having a balanced education. The only non-Math courses I took were mandatory distribution courses.

Okay -- so monochromed in this sense means all one type with  minimal diversity?  All Shades of the same?  As in "I took 26 math courses and 14 liberal arts courses in my 4 year degree.  I monochromed my degree with math"...?

It's a new use of the word for me.   Is it common?  I need to chew on it a bit to get used to it.

sleepyguy

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2017, 03:43:34 PM »
I had stupid dreams too... making the NBA, pro Tennis player... only thing is... I was 15yrs old.

This lady is clueless... Dave was pretty kind I must say in his response.

I am a fan of Dave Ramsey, even if I don’t agree with every single thing he says.

Still, I think he mostly has simple and solid advice. I like to watch the clip or two he posts on his YouTube Channel every day.

The other day he had this one lady on that absolutely had no clue about money. Appropriately titled $200,000 In Debt Making Minimum Wage.

Here is a short rundown about her life:

-She went to college (out of state) straight out of high school, for interior design…
-Changed school (still out of state) and major to film and video production.
-Never completed the degree, has about a year left.
-10 years later she is in $200,000 in debt for student loans, unknown how much other debt she has.
-Earns minimum wage.
-Puts her money into an independent film together with her partner. This is her plan to get out of debt.

 
Wow, just wow…

She really is just about clueless. Dave tried to help her, but I don’t think she is going to be able to do it.

For any of us into personal finance, this clip is just about as cringeworthy as it gets.

Check it out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVPgTy9rOiA
« Last Edit: March 20, 2017, 03:58:33 PM by sleepyguy »
...zzz...zzz...zzz...

Just Joe

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2017, 05:43:38 PM »
As a nurse, I also highly doubt that the waitress flunked out the last semester.  Maybe... I can understand that.  I don't understand quitting because you don't think you like it.  I wasn't sure I was going to like it by the end of nursing school But, Nursing school is not like the real world.  There are so many choices as to fields of nursing.  You could experiment.  Or You could just suck it up and work 2 days and probably (I here some waitresses make more than nurses)  make more than a waitress would in a week.  At least work the "nurse" job to pay off your loans and the waitressing job as fun.  Sometimes I think I am a waitress.

Same with the interior designer.  After $200,000 whats a little more if you could at least finish something. ( Am I allowed to say this on here?  I'm new)

That's what we were thinking of. We know several nurses. Get the degree and go a different direction of her choice. The degree opens many opportunities and will pay for itself then. And true - like someone we are acquainted with - go be the waitress or bartender for fun. Hopefully it all turns out okay for her.

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #17 on: March 20, 2017, 09:36:22 PM »
As a nurse, I also highly doubt that the waitress flunked out the last semester.  Maybe... I can understand that.  I don't understand quitting because you don't think you like it.  I wasn't sure I was going to like it by the end of nursing school But, Nursing school is not like the real world.  There are so many choices as to fields of nursing.  You could experiment.  Or You could just suck it up and work 2 days and probably (I here some waitresses make more than nurses)  make more than a waitress would in a week.  At least work the "nurse" job to pay off your loans and the waitressing job as fun.  Sometimes I think I am a waitress.

Same with the interior designer.  After $200,000 whats a little more if you could at least finish something. ( Am I allowed to say this on here?  I'm new)

That's what we were thinking of. We know several nurses. Get the degree and go a different direction of her choice. The degree opens many opportunities and will pay for itself then. And true - like someone we are acquainted with - go be the waitress or bartender for fun. Hopefully it all turns out okay for her.

An ex-girlfriend of mine tells me that the average half-life of a nurse is three years. After three years, supposedly half of the starry-eyed nursing graduates say "fuck this" and go off in search of something less strenuous and more rewarding. It's so bad that nursing programs are starting to put job shadowing requirements in place over and above the practicum, so that students who realize nursing isn't what it looks like on TV can change majors before they commit to an expensive education.
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Goldielocks

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #18 on: March 20, 2017, 11:07:46 PM »
As a nurse, I also highly doubt that the waitress flunked out the last semester.  Maybe... I can understand that.  I don't understand quitting because you don't think you like it.  I wasn't sure I was going to like it by the end of nursing school But, Nursing school is not like the real world.  There are so many choices as to fields of nursing.  You could experiment.  Or You could just suck it up and work 2 days and probably (I here some waitresses make more than nurses)  make more than a waitress would in a week.  At least work the "nurse" job to pay off your loans and the waitressing job as fun.  Sometimes I think I am a waitress.

Same with the interior designer.  After $200,000 whats a little more if you could at least finish something. ( Am I allowed to say this on here?  I'm new)

That's what we were thinking of. We know several nurses. Get the degree and go a different direction of her choice. The degree opens many opportunities and will pay for itself then. And true - like someone we are acquainted with - go be the waitress or bartender for fun. Hopefully it all turns out okay for her.

An ex-girlfriend of mine tells me that the average half-life of a nurse is three years. After three years, supposedly half of the starry-eyed nursing graduates say "fuck this" and go off in search of something less strenuous and more rewarding. It's so bad that nursing programs are starting to put job shadowing requirements in place over and above the practicum, so that students who realize nursing isn't what it looks like on TV can change majors before they commit to an expensive education.

Don't forget that some people (women) in many professional careers just leave for different opportunities, for a variety of reasons.   I read the reports from lawyer and engineering associations to figure out why women leave those professions after 3-5 years...  Maybe it is not confined to just math / male heavy industries?

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #19 on: March 20, 2017, 11:47:07 PM »
As a nurse, I also highly doubt that the waitress flunked out the last semester.  Maybe... I can understand that.  I don't understand quitting because you don't think you like it.  I wasn't sure I was going to like it by the end of nursing school But, Nursing school is not like the real world.  There are so many choices as to fields of nursing.  You could experiment.  Or You could just suck it up and work 2 days and probably (I here some waitresses make more than nurses)  make more than a waitress would in a week.  At least work the "nurse" job to pay off your loans and the waitressing job as fun.  Sometimes I think I am a waitress.

Same with the interior designer.  After $200,000 whats a little more if you could at least finish something. ( Am I allowed to say this on here?  I'm new)

That's what we were thinking of. We know several nurses. Get the degree and go a different direction of her choice. The degree opens many opportunities and will pay for itself then. And true - like someone we are acquainted with - go be the waitress or bartender for fun. Hopefully it all turns out okay for her.

An ex-girlfriend of mine tells me that the average half-life of a nurse is three years. After three years, supposedly half of the starry-eyed nursing graduates say "fuck this" and go off in search of something less strenuous and more rewarding. It's so bad that nursing programs are starting to put job shadowing requirements in place over and above the practicum, so that students who realize nursing isn't what it looks like on TV can change majors before they commit to an expensive education.

Don't forget that some people (women) in many professional careers just leave for different opportunities, for a variety of reasons.   I read the reports from lawyer and engineering associations to figure out why women leave those professions after 3-5 years...  Maybe it is not confined to just math / male heavy industries?

A lot of the nurses leaving the profession are men. The higher pay started attracting them to the profession in significant numbers a few years ago. But the work still sucks so they too know how to leave for greener pastures.
I squeak softly, but carry a big schtick.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2017, 03:07:56 AM »
Found your post absolutely spot on TheGrimSqueaker.

I have toyed with the idea of getting a "useless degree" later in life.

Reducing higher education to something you do to get a job is awfully middle class. *puts on monocle*

When the universities went around my high school to court students, I was repelled by the ones that put job placement rates, co-op, or salaries in the forefront of their pitch. The one institute that didn't mention that was the one I went to. They happened to be the #1 university in Canada but that was just gravy. I wanted a university that placed emphasis on a liberal arts education. Liberal meaning well-rounded individuals who take a variety of elective courses that broaden their knowledge horizon. Four years later I horrified the head of the department when he had to look at my transcript to sign off on my degree and saw that I monochromed the degree in maths courses. Oops ;)

Associating education and jobs has been a very destructive fallacy.
Yes, for people who want a direct connection between a degree and specific set of jobs, they should go to a reputable trade school. The biggest problem with a liberal arts education isn't the lack of direct applicability to employment but the rigor of the program in question and the motivations of the students: are they attending classes merely because they suspect a college degree is a compulsory box to tick, or because they actually care to learn? Fareed Zakaria's In Defense of a Liberal Education points out that (a quality) liberal education teaches critical thinking that actually is conducive to success in the very sort of jobs that are hardest to automate. Also of note are the studies of long-term outcomes for humanities majors which show a convergence in their wages with those of recipients of technical degrees by mid-career, which casts some doubt on the magnitude of the actual STEM wage premium.

panda

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2017, 08:15:38 AM »
Also of note are the studies of long-term outcomes for humanities majors which show a convergence in their wages with those of recipients of technical degrees by mid-career, which casts some doubt on the magnitude of the actual STEM wage premium.
Convergence does not imply wealth building or similar quality of life. The STEM graduate starting out at $50k and building up to $80k over 30 years is likely doing a lot better than someone that starts out at $30k and builds up to $80k over the same amount of time.

MgoSam

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #22 on: March 21, 2017, 09:14:18 AM »
As a nurse, I also highly doubt that the waitress flunked out the last semester.  Maybe... I can understand that.  I don't understand quitting because you don't think you like it.  I wasn't sure I was going to like it by the end of nursing school But, Nursing school is not like the real world.  There are so many choices as to fields of nursing.  You could experiment.  Or You could just suck it up and work 2 days and probably (I here some waitresses make more than nurses)  make more than a waitress would in a week.  At least work the "nurse" job to pay off your loans and the waitressing job as fun.  Sometimes I think I am a waitress.

Same with the interior designer.  After $200,000 whats a little more if you could at least finish something. ( Am I allowed to say this on here?  I'm new)

That's what we were thinking of. We know several nurses. Get the degree and go a different direction of her choice. The degree opens many opportunities and will pay for itself then. And true - like someone we are acquainted with - go be the waitress or bartender for fun. Hopefully it all turns out okay for her.

An ex-girlfriend of mine tells me that the average half-life of a nurse is three years. After three years, supposedly half of the starry-eyed nursing graduates say "fuck this" and go off in search of something less strenuous and more rewarding. It's so bad that nursing programs are starting to put job shadowing requirements in place over and above the practicum, so that students who realize nursing isn't what it looks like on TV can change majors before they commit to an expensive education.

Don't forget that some people (women) in many professional careers just leave for different opportunities, for a variety of reasons.   I read the reports from lawyer and engineering associations to figure out why women leave those professions after 3-5 years...  Maybe it is not confined to just math / male heavy industries?

A lot of the nurses leaving the profession are men. The higher pay started attracting them to the profession in significant numbers a few years ago. But the work still sucks so they too know how to leave for greener pastures.

Interesting, I didn't learn that the average career for a nurse was so short but it does make sense. What "greener pastures" are there for fully-trained nurses? Is it a specialty within nursing or is a different industry?

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2017, 10:22:18 AM »
Interesting, I didn't learn that the average career for a nurse was so short but it does make sense. What "greener pastures" are there for fully-trained nurses? Is it a specialty within nursing or is a different industry?

Generally they go for medical specialties that don't usually require nursing as a prerequisite. What's desirable varies depending on changes in the industry. Radiological technicians, phlebotomists, and sterile instrument technicians are highly compensated in my city right now. Many sterile instrument techs earn more than nurses, yet all that's required to get into the field is 4 credit hours' worth of community college instruction and a qualifying exam. Unlike nurses, the techs generally aren't required to work ridiculous amounts of overtime and aren't jerked around as much. They tend to have more regular hours and more predictable shifts, and aren't required to be constantly on call.

In general, it's cheaper to get trained to inspect, certify, of verify something than it is to be trained to make or to do that thing. But inspection and verification tends to be an administrative or supervisory activity, so it pays better. (This is something one of my cousins noticed and pointed out to me once. She was talking about the oil and gas industry but I've found it to be true almost across the board.)
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skp

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2017, 04:35:04 PM »

An ex-girlfriend of mine tells me that the average half-life of a nurse is three years. After three years, supposedly half of the starry-eyed nursing graduates say "fuck this" and go off in search of something less strenuous and more rewarding. It's so bad that nursing programs are starting to put job shadowing requirements in place over and above the practicum, so that students who realize nursing isn't what it looks like on TV can change majors before they commit to an expensive education.

Where are you getting your statistics?  That seems very very high number of drop outs to me. I've been a nurse for 37 years.  Most of my coworkers are "older" nurses like me.  That's probably because we've found the right work environment.     Of the nurses I was close to in nursing school , only one dropped out of the profession. The rest are still working... after 35 years.  The one who dropped out did so mostly because she could.  She married well.
I do agree that most students don't "get" what they are getting themselves into.  Nursing pays well but is hard work.  They don't get that they are going to have to work weekends and holidays and night shifts. Some of my coworkers still complain about it after 25 years.  Very annoying!   There are other fields of nursing that don't require weekends and holidays and night shifts,  Also  I think some grads don't think they'll have to deal with excrement.  That the nursing assistants deal with that.  Not so. But again there are other fields of nursing that don't have to deal with that either.  They just don't pay as well.  I personally think that it should be a requirement that nursing students work for a year as a nursing assistant to see whether or.

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #25 on: March 21, 2017, 05:34:53 PM »
Also of note are the studies of long-term outcomes for humanities majors which show a convergence in their wages with those of recipients of technical degrees by mid-career, which casts some doubt on the magnitude of the actual STEM wage premium.
Convergence does not imply wealth building or similar quality of life. The STEM graduate starting out at $50k and building up to $80k over 30 years is likely doing a lot better than someone that starts out at $30k and builds up to $80k over the same amount of time.
Of course this is true--my point is a liberal arts degree is far from a kiss of financial death.

Hargrove

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #26 on: March 21, 2017, 05:57:37 PM »
Also of note are the studies of long-term outcomes for humanities majors which show a convergence in their wages with those of recipients of technical degrees by mid-career, which casts some doubt on the magnitude of the actual STEM wage premium.
Convergence does not imply wealth building or similar quality of life. The STEM graduate starting out at $50k and building up to $80k over 30 years is likely doing a lot better than someone that starts out at $30k and builds up to $80k over the same amount of time.
Of course this is true--my point is a liberal arts degree is far from a kiss of financial death.

I don't know any MBAs who eat ramen and swim through rejection letters wondering if they'll ever make it until they die, strike oil, or do something else.

Did you hear the one about the MBA who died a failure, penniless and alone, and twenty years later they discovered he had built an unstoppable financial empire that was classy to boot?

Quote
The biggest problem with a liberal arts education isn't the lack of direct applicability to employment but the rigor of the program in question and the motivations of the students: are they attending classes merely because they suspect a college degree is a compulsory box to tick, or because they actually care to learn...

Eh. There's a lot more useless in the liberal arts menu than in the business admin menu. A rigorous program with 40% fluff is worse than a rigorous program with 10% fluff, from a "direct applicability to employment" standpoint. Students in business classes who suspect college is just a compulsory box... can still go on and get pretty lucrative office jobs. Their menu of "fallback" options is thick. Liberal arts professors tell you all the time you can "parley" your liberal arts skills, which sounds great, until you realize everyone everywhere is "parleying" their skills applying all over the place since 2008, and employers don't want to deal with it.

I love liberal arts. I just think our society doesn't particularly throw money at it (certainly not broadly). That's a direct-applicability-to-employment problem. I would recommend any liberal-arts-enthusiast go business and MMM for 5 years as a means to get there.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 06:01:46 PM by Hargrove »

MoseyingAlong

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #27 on: March 21, 2017, 06:15:56 PM »

An ex-girlfriend of mine tells me that the average half-life of a nurse is three years. After three years, supposedly half of the starry-eyed nursing graduates say "fuck this" and go off in search of something less strenuous and more rewarding. It's so bad that nursing programs are starting to put job shadowing requirements in place over and above the practicum, so that students who realize nursing isn't what it looks like on TV can change majors before they commit to an expensive education.

Where are you getting your statistics?  That seems very very high number of drop outs to me. I've been a nurse for 37 years.  Most of my coworkers are "older" nurses like me.  That's probably because we've found the right work environment.     Of the nurses I was close to in nursing school , only one dropped out of the profession. The rest are still working... after 35 years.  The one who dropped out did so mostly because she could.  She married well.
I do agree that most students don't "get" what they are getting themselves into.  Nursing pays well but is hard work.  They don't get that they are going to have to work weekends and holidays and night shifts. Some of my coworkers still complain about it after 25 years.  Very annoying!   There are other fields of nursing that don't require weekends and holidays and night shifts,  Also  I think some grads don't think they'll have to deal with excrement.  That the nursing assistants deal with that.  Not so. But again there are other fields of nursing that don't have to deal with that either.  They just don't pay as well.  I personally think that it should be a requirement that nursing students work for a year as a nursing assistant to see whether or.

skp,

Don't look at your peer group; try to remember all the new grads you've seen over the last 5 years and how many are still nurses? I started 2 years ago and would guess we'll be close to that half-life.

I think job shadowing and working a person's schedule with call is a great addition to the school program. If nothing else, it can set more realistic expectations.

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #28 on: March 21, 2017, 06:37:22 PM »

An ex-girlfriend of mine tells me that the average half-life of a nurse is three years. After three years, supposedly half of the starry-eyed nursing graduates say "fuck this" and go off in search of something less strenuous and more rewarding. It's so bad that nursing programs are starting to put job shadowing requirements in place over and above the practicum, so that students who realize nursing isn't what it looks like on TV can change majors before they commit to an expensive education.

Where are you getting your statistics?  That seems very very high number of drop outs to me. I've been a nurse for 37 years.  Most of my coworkers are "older" nurses like me.  That's probably because we've found the right work environment.     Of the nurses I was close to in nursing school , only one dropped out of the profession. The rest are still working... after 35 years.  The one who dropped out did so mostly because she could.  She married well.
I do agree that most students don't "get" what they are getting themselves into.  Nursing pays well but is hard work.  They don't get that they are going to have to work weekends and holidays and night shifts. Some of my coworkers still complain about it after 25 years.  Very annoying!   There are other fields of nursing that don't require weekends and holidays and night shifts,  Also  I think some grads don't think they'll have to deal with excrement.  That the nursing assistants deal with that.  Not so. But again there are other fields of nursing that don't have to deal with that either.  They just don't pay as well.  I personally think that it should be a requirement that nursing students work for a year as a nursing assistant to see whether or.

Agreed.

You asked about where the figures came from. I got the three year half-life figure from a former nurse who, like her mother, had to quit due to chronic back problems complicated by work. Both of them went into administration.

I'm not sure where my ex got *her* statistics. However she's seen a lot of turnover in recent graduates especially those who have come out of the schools these last five to seven years. People have been pouring into nursing thinking that it's easy money and not much brainwork, when in reality even community college programs have become extremely competitive and hard to get into. She's also constantly funneling young people into tech careers. For example, she's recommending that my daughter consider careers besides the NICU experience she's got her heart set on, due to her low math scores. My daughter thinks she'll never have to do math again after she graduates high school. My ex says otherwise, and says NICU is the most math-intensive place a nurse could possibly be due to the need to re-calculate and re-check dosages on such a regular basis. What's your take on that?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 09:05:58 PM by TheGrimSqueaker »
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skp

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #29 on: March 21, 2017, 07:17:19 PM »
[ I'm not sure where my ex got *her* statistics. However she's seen a lot of turnover in recent graduates especially those who have come out of the schools these last five to seven years. People have been pouring into nursing thinking that it's easy money and not much brainwork, when in reality even community college programs have become extremely competitive and hard to get into. She's also constantly funneling young people into tech careers. For example, she's recommending that my daughter consider careers besides the NICU experience she's got her heart set on, due to her low math scores. My daughter thinks she'll never have to do math again after she graduates high school. My ex says otherwise, and says NICU is the most math-intensive place a nurse could possibly be due to the need to re-calculate and re-check dosages on such a regular basis. What's your take on that?
[/quote]

I think nursing now days is an extremely competitive  and hard to get into.  I'm not so sure that it's all because of money.  But there is a job market and the pay is not terrible.  So people are flocking towards it and there are only so many slots.  My son went to a State University where only 25% of the applicants were accepted into the nursing program.  I was a B+ student in college. If I had to apply today  I don't think I would have gotten in.  I don't think you have to be a A student  to be a nurse.  But you do have to know how to critically think. Pass chemistry.  And anatomy.  Maybe that's the problem now days.  Nursing is taking the best students and the best students may not want to do grunt work.  Nursing is both physical and mental.  Actually that's what I like about it.   My take on the "math" is= you have to be able to do basic algebra.  I don't work NICU- I work adult ICU, but I can imagine that NICU might involve more math- but it would still be at a general algebra level.  Also, at least where I work, computers and pharmacy do most of the math for you. As to the difficulty of nursing school, I didn't think it was that bad.   Every one has their "weak spot" Mine was anatomy.  I don't memorize well. 

Guide2003

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2017, 01:52:42 PM »
I love liberal arts. I just think our society doesn't particularly throw money at it (certainly not broadly). That's a direct-applicability-to-employment problem. I would recommend any liberal-arts-enthusiast go business and MMM for 5 years as a means to get there.
My undergrad was in civil engineering, which is useless in my career. After eight years of working, I'm using employer benefits to pay for a masters, and the easy option was a masters in liberal arts from a local Jesuit school. Definitely not my first choice, but also an easy degree to accomplish through night classes while doing the parenting thing. I've learned a surprising amount of stuff and its been engaging, but the things I'm learning are just application of philosophy and ethics to my personal life. The degree has a "concentration" in leadership, so there's a little of that sprinkled in, but not enough to impress a future employer.

The people in my classes are a mix of blue collar people who, like me, work in fields where having a masters gets you brownie points but no one cares what it's in,  younger kids rolling out of an equally worthless music or theater undergrad who drive new BMW's to school and take one class at a time (ie are clearly not financing their own education), or people who have some "in" and are getting the degree for free. Interestingly, one of the underlying tenets of the liberal arts ideal is that there is a working class or other members of the family unit that enable certain members of society or the city-state to get the well-rounded education. By definition, it seems like a course of study to be pursued once you've "arrived."
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TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2017, 02:39:19 PM »
Interestingly, one of the underlying tenets of the liberal arts ideal is that there is a working class or other members of the family unit that enable certain members of society or the city-state to get the well-rounded education. By definition, it seems like a course of study to be pursued once you've "arrived."

It's a different kind of elitism now. Now, instead of being unabashedly members of a socioeconomic upper crust, liberal arts majors are stereotyped as thinking they're intellectually and morally superior to others. The stereotype has a strong basis in fact. They're still elitist as fuck, it's just that as a group, expanded as it is to contain mostly people who are not and never will be in a position to implement the ideals they absorb, they have less of a connection to socioeconomic reality. I can say these things because one of the things I do possess is a liberal arts degree and can vouch for this form personal experience-- besides being elitist as fuck, which I freely admit, I've gone full Jane Goodall in that environment and have a piece of paper to show for it.

One thing I can say for the so-called "upper crust" is that when they educate themselves in the liberal arts it does in fact have a bearing on how they live their lives, or at least what political and charitable ventures they later lead. The people from working-class or middle-class non-leader family backgrounds who grew up thinking philanthropy was a sexual orientation can get pretty good grades in liberal arts courses, but they are equipped to do bugger-all once they graduate because unless they continue to the Ph.D. level and "liberal arts" for a living, they are returning to the same non-leader social context that produced them in the first place but have not developed marketable skills. (Note that people from leader families do not have this problem: they find ways to be employable with liberal arts degrees.)

This, in my opinion, is why academic liberalism has changed its emphasis from philanthropy and social leadership to rent-seeking and activism. Previously people were taught to give; now-- since nobody expects them to have, build, or acquire anything worth giving away themselves-- they're taught to take from others and redistribute.
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MrsPete

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #32 on: April 01, 2017, 05:16:28 PM »
We were talking to a waitress 6 months ago or so and university came up. She quit a nursing degree with a semester left. Doesn't know what she wants to do with her life... ?!?!?!
Obviously I don't know this specific waitress, but I do know that when my high schoolers drop out with only a semester to go, they NEVER really have a month to go; typically they've attended school for 3 1/2 years, but they are not close to graduation.  For example, I have a student right now who is in her fourth year of high school ... but she is still a sophomore.  She skips school often, doesn't do much work, is suspended frequently for bad behavior.  She genuinely doesn't grasp the concept of earning credits /doesn't understand that graduation requires 27 credits, not 4 years of failing classes.  She is passing nothing at the moment, yet she purchased a cap and gown! 

I'll go out on a limb and assume that the college version of this concept is something like, "I've attended college for 3 1/2 years, I've switched majors pretty often, I've taken light loads, and I am not really near graduation." 

Pigeon

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #33 on: April 12, 2017, 07:37:09 AM »
I work at a university, and I'm sure that colors my perspective some.  I don't see college as equivalent to vocational training necessarily.  There are many jobs out there that simply require a BA/BS in anything.  Whether one actually needs the degree in order to do the work may be debatable, but if you don't have one you aren't going to get an interview.  Your typical worker often changes careers and ends up in a field that is unrelated to their undergraduate degree.  And while I think my particular university overdoes it on gen ed requirements, given the current political climate, it is horrifying to me how little knowledge of history and civilization many people have.

That said, I encouraged my kids to spend a lot of time with the Occupational Outlook Handbook while in high school, so that they would have some understanding of what average salaries, working conditions, educational requirements and job outlooks are for different careers.  We also spent a lot of time talking about what college costs and how to get a good education at a reasonable price.

I did try to encourage my kids to major in fields that had some potential for marketability.  But I also see that some liberal arts programs are also looking at ways to give students skills that will help them in a job search and in getting launched in careers.  Digital humanities programs come to mind.

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2017, 11:22:05 AM »
Don't forget that some people (women) in many professional careers just leave for different opportunities, for a variety of reasons.   I read the reports from lawyer and engineering associations to figure out why women leave those professions after 3-5 years...  Maybe it is not confined to just math / male heavy industries?
3 teachers out of every 5 leave the profession within 5 years.  Universities are implementing more observation /job shadowing requirements in freshman /sophomore college courses so students can get a glimpse of what education looks like from "this side of the desk"; still, new teachers leave in droves.  Reasons: 

- People who go into teaching were typically good students themselves, and they are shocked when they learn that a whole lot of students just don't care.  Sadly, schools typically assign college students to observe /job shadow the most experienced teachers -- those who are most skilled at motivating the low-level students ... or who are teaching upper level classes.  Then, as new teachers, they're thrown into a low-level classroom with no experience, and the apathy hits them like a ton of bricks. 
- All too many girls go into teaching thinking it's a happy little part-time job that will allow them to leave work mid-afternoon /take off the summer.  They underestimate the outside-of-class work. 
- We have a moderately serious teaching shortage in the South, so even the kid who graduated at the bottom of his college class will get a job.  Doesn't mean he's good at it.  Bad teachers tend to be weeded out pretty quickly.  We teachers tend to be kind to our Baby Teachers, and we want to mentor them and help them succeed -- but if we see that someone just doesn't "have it", we quit helping and even push that person out.  Also, people who are just not cut out for teaching (and the first three years of teaching are brutal) tend to leave on their own. 
- Teaching, as you well know, is heavily skewed towards women.  A whole lot of women work a few years, then take off to have children -- yet they return in later years.  This "within five years" statistic doesn't measure those who were happy /were good at their jobs ... but left for "life reasons". 
« Last Edit: May 03, 2017, 11:25:02 AM by MrsPete »

MrsPete

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2017, 11:26:47 AM »
I did try to encourage my kids to major in fields that had some potential for marketability.
Another issue is that the world is changing.  Some degrees were useful when they were earned ... but technology has made them obsolete.

MgoSam

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2017, 12:04:37 PM »
I did try to encourage my kids to major in fields that had some potential for marketability.
Another issue is that the world is changing.  Some degrees were useful when they were earned ... but technology has made them obsolete.

True, but I will say that some degrees are virtually useless (when it comes to earning a living in that field) whereas others are more viable. For example, I can't see a degree in acting or philosophy to be a smart investment whereas business, engineering, and actuarial sciences, are some degrees that should be bankable.

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #37 on: May 03, 2017, 07:13:49 PM »
I did try to encourage my kids to major in fields that had some potential for marketability.
Another issue is that the world is changing.  Some degrees were useful when they were earned ... but technology has made them obsolete.

True, but I will say that some degrees are virtually useless (when it comes to earning a living in that field) whereas others are more viable. For example, I can't see a degree in acting or philosophy to be a smart investment whereas business, engineering, and actuarial sciences, are some degrees that should be bankable.

Except,

A degree or significant acting experience is a strong primer for becoming governor, president or prime minister.

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #38 on: May 03, 2017, 08:39:45 PM »
To be fair, an entire generation of young people had it drilled into them from birth that they can do anything they put their minds to and that their job is supposed to be something that they love to do (and the money will naturally follow.) It was absolute BS advice and it was pushed on them by the people who were supposed to be looking out for them.

What we should be telling young people is that money is very important and your job is just something you do to get it. I became much more content and successful when I accepted that I'm not going to change the world or save people with my job. I'm just going to get some money that I can use to do the things I really want to do on free nights and weekends.

We need to stop lying to kids so they won't get themselves into messes.

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2017, 06:24:52 AM »

An ex-girlfriend of mine tells me that the average half-life of a nurse is three years. After three years, supposedly half of the starry-eyed nursing graduates say "fuck this" and go off in search of something less strenuous and more rewarding. It's so bad that nursing programs are starting to put job shadowing requirements in place over and above the practicum, so that students who realize nursing isn't what it looks like on TV can change majors before they commit to an expensive education.

Where are you getting your statistics?  That seems very very high number of drop outs to me. I've been a nurse for 37 years.  Most of my coworkers are "older" nurses like me.  That's probably because we've found the right work environment.     Of the nurses I was close to in nursing school , only one dropped out of the profession. The rest are still working... after 35 years.  The one who dropped out did so mostly because she could.  She married well.
I do agree that most students don't "get" what they are getting themselves into.  Nursing pays well but is hard work.  They don't get that they are going to have to work weekends and holidays and night shifts. Some of my coworkers still complain about it after 25 years.  Very annoying!   There are other fields of nursing that don't require weekends and holidays and night shifts,  Also  I think some grads don't think they'll have to deal with excrement.  That the nursing assistants deal with that.  Not so. But again there are other fields of nursing that don't have to deal with that either.  They just don't pay as well.  I personally think that it should be a requirement that nursing students work for a year as a nursing assistant to see whether or.

I'm an RN and many programs in California are now requiring a CNA license as an application pre-req, which I think is a great idea.  Since most of these programs go to SNFs for their clinical experience, the starry eyed RN hopefuls get a realistic dose of what the job can be like. 
I'm a second career nurse and spent 10+ years sitting a a desk doing the 9-5 rat race.  Eff that.  I'd rather help sick people any day, but of course, only 3 days a week ;-)  You certainly have to do your due diligence to find your niche in nursing and if people try one job and decide it's not for them, well that's on them because every unit is different and there are hundreds if not thousands of options once you've got your license.  All that said, I know some people who took out over 100k in loans for the program I went to.  They at least have some chance of paying that back. 
 

Sofa King

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Re: $200,000 In Student Loan Debt And No Degree
« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2017, 08:53:25 AM »
To be fair, an entire generation of young people had it drilled into them from birth that they can do anything they put their minds to and that their job is supposed to be something that they love to do (and the money will naturally follow.) It was absolute BS advice and it was pushed on them by the people who were supposed to be looking out for them.

What we should be telling young people is that money is very important and your job is just something you do to get it. I became much more content and successful when I accepted that I'm not going to change the world or save people with my job. I'm just going to get some money that I can use to do the things I really want to do on free nights and weekends.

We need to stop lying to kids so they won't get themselves into messes.

I concur!!

Now these idiots that are in debt to their eyeballs need to quit crying and pay back their school loans that they agreed to the terms on. Ignorance is not an excuse. PAY UP AND SHUT UP.