Poll

What's your highest level of education?

High school diploma or GED
6 (1.4%)
Some college
30 (6.8%)
Associate degree
16 (3.7%)
Bachelor's degree
150 (34.2%)
Master's degree
140 (32%)
Doctorate/professional degree
92 (21%)
None
4 (0.9%)

Total Members Voted: 437

Author Topic: How much education do you have?  (Read 4870 times)

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #50 on: May 08, 2018, 04:37:07 PM »
I'm "none" in that I haven't finished high school yet. But that feels like a weird/uncomfortable/inaccurate label. I feel like I have lots of education; I just don't have any of the levels named there. So I'm imagining it means "none of the above."

ender

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #51 on: May 08, 2018, 05:06:40 PM »
Results don't surprise me in the least, it's obvious this forum is full of yuppie upper middle class type people (and sometimes the oblivious attitudes that come with that).   I am sure the median poster here is also well above the median income, median SAT score (would be a good poll question), etc.

I too want to know re: median income and SAT score. I think someone did a median income poll a while ago; I should dig it up. I think PF blogs generally attract a wealthy, well-educated crowd, for all sorts of reasons.

Also, PhD here. I originally intended to be a professor, and by the time I was dissertating decided that I did not, in fact, want to be a professor anymore; I wanted less stress and more freedom in my work. I now work in industry, using my degree to some extent, and am looking to jettison myself even farther afield from the actual work I did in grad school. The hard facts I learned are less useful now than they used to be, but the skills and experiences have been pretty useful.

SAT score: 1400

Out of 1600.  I hear they've changed it since the 80s

They did for a few years (had a writing portion) but they changed it back in 2016 again to be out of 1600.

panda

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #52 on: May 08, 2018, 05:46:05 PM »
Obtained my BA in Psychology at age 31, Master's in Social Work at 36, second masters in Vocational Rehabilitation at 39 then took a long distance PhD while working full-time. Never used the PhD because I loved my job in Voc. Rehab so much. Highest salary was 62k.  My DH with a BA in civil engineering made 84k.   We retired 6 years ago.
Whose the PhD through? Long distance PhD's are generally a warning sign, but for some fields they are able to do hybrid programs these days.

Luck12

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #53 on: May 08, 2018, 07:00:23 PM »
[quote author=MrMoogle link=topic=91754.msg1999734#msg1999734 The problem is I think SAT has changed at least twice in the last two decades.  It went from out of 1600 to out of 2400, then back to out of 1600, but the average score increased.  Something like that, I don't remember.  I just know when I graduated high school one kid in my city got a 1600, then the year I graduated college, 10 kids in my previous high school had 1600's (even more in the city). 

So it would be difficult comparing an SAT score from 2010 to one from 1980.
[/quote]

You can scale the pre-1995 SAT's X/1600 scores to post-1995 X/1600 scores, I'm sure you could do the same for X/2400.   Anyway my guess is the median poster here would be at the 90th percentile at a minimum. 

Gone Fishing

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #54 on: May 08, 2018, 07:22:52 PM »
BSBA-Economics.  I'm often the least (formally) educated at the table. Perhaps the highest ROI, though!

ETBen

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #55 on: May 08, 2018, 07:45:52 PM »
MBA and BSN (Nursing). Iím a nurse exec so i bring in a great wage compared to the cost of my education. Especially considering I entered the field with a cheap associates degree. All of my degrees are from affordable (relatively) schools. So a bit of smarts, strategic career mgmt, and here I am.

Arbitrage

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #56 on: May 08, 2018, 08:47:09 PM »
PhD scientist.  Would be much closer to FIRE (theoretically, assuming I went to work at the same place) if I had stopped at a M.S. 

CCCA

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #57 on: May 08, 2018, 08:51:27 PM »
BS, MS and PhD in STEM fields and work as a faculty member/researcher at a University.




Step37

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #58 on: May 08, 2018, 11:39:10 PM »
Three semesters of university. Mostly hated it because I had no idea what I wanted to do there so it seemed pointless. Took a couple of entry level accounting courses in my early thirties (paid for by my employer) and that has served me very well. I would say that, income wise, Iíve overachieved for my level of education; however, based on my potential for academic success/high income, Iíve underacheieved. It used to be something that bothered me, but I am pretty happy with where Iíve landed.

middo

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #59 on: May 09, 2018, 12:02:02 AM »
I have a Bachelor of Engineering, with honours, and a Graduate Diploma in Education.  My wife is the same.  She started a PhD, but we went back for a third child and she couldn't be bothered with the low pay (grant money) and 3 kids.

MrThatsDifferent

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #60 on: May 09, 2018, 05:11:50 AM »
I have, umm, a lot, but thankfully need all of them for my current job.

Loren Ver

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #61 on: May 09, 2018, 05:25:21 AM »
I have a Bachelors in Science (double majored: Neurobiology and Ecology), I used the science just not the specializations (Agriculture).  My current role requires a bachelors degree in science or related field so there is that. 

For my SAT scores (taken in the late 1990s) I don't remember exactly(between 1000 and 1200 I think), but they were not particularly impressive.  Very middle of the road for someone going to college (but not an impressive college).  I was good at high school (which is just do work and pass) but for college I was mostly a B level student in things I was good at and a D level student in things that I wasn't (calculus, chemists).  I had a retake a lot of classes.  I looked at getting my PhD but between not know what to study and my student loan debt (LOTS), I decided getting a job was a better choice.  I think it was a great choice for me!

DH had a Bachelors of Science (Education).  He used it a few years and decided he hated teaching.  So he went back for an Associates in Biotech.  That is the degree he uses everyday (lab technician).  Great decision for him.  So the poll wouldn't be so good for him and is misrepresents what degree he is using.

Neither one of us will ever break six figures with our own income.  Together we managed to break it two years ago.  So we are not the high earners that people say make up the majority of the forum.  We will be retired before we ever make the big bucks.  Let the investments do the heavy lifting.

LV

mizzourah2006

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #62 on: May 09, 2018, 05:43:22 AM »
PhD in a relatively applied quant social sciences field and I added to that self-taught programming and have transitioned into one of the few data scientists currently in my field, which has proven to be pretty lucrative to this point. I was kind of misled when it came to getting the PhD because I interned at a small boutique consulting firm and all of them were PhDs and they made it sound like if you wanted to do consulting it was necessary. A masters would have been fine, but I also got the PhD for free, so came out of school with no debt and a much stronger quant background than I would have had if I left after my masters.

I donít think I ever took the SAT, I took the ACT and I never did very well, I think I got a 28, but I also never took any prep courses or even prepared for it. In HS I was kind of going through the motions. I did prep for the GRE and I got a 1340 (old scoring).

Malkynn

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #63 on: May 09, 2018, 06:06:27 AM »
I have, umm, a lot, but thankfully need all of them for my current job.

Me too.
Except I have 4 jobs.

I would have been financially better off had I stopped after high school (which ends at the age of 16 where Iím from) and taken over my familyís shop. By 8 years ago, they would have sold me the business for just the discounted cost of the waterfront building in a gorgeous small town with rich culture, which included a stunning luxury condo upstairs. My daily commute would have been a flight of stairs.

Instead i got a doctorate...

big_slacker

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #64 on: May 09, 2018, 07:44:21 AM »
I put some college as I'm a college dropout. But I'm also an autodidact (does that sounds more intelligent than self taught?) and have thousands of hours in self study both in my field and other areas of interest. I put in over 2000 doing the big technical cert that got me into the big leagues in my career.

The follow on question should be do you think the education was valuable and helpful. For me most of the structured learning I did was a MASSIVE waste of time and energy based on the output. Not that there wasn't anything useful from it, just that I'd have been better off on my own with some minimal help asking questions on specific points.

The self study stuff, DEFINITELY worth it. Both for knowledge/life enrichment and career wise.

ketchup

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #65 on: May 09, 2018, 08:05:18 AM »
I never took the SAT, but I got a 32 on the ACT in high school, which apparently is 98th percentile? That can't be right.  I'm kind of an idiot.

Luck12

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #66 on: May 09, 2018, 09:04:12 AM »

I donít think I ever took the SAT, I took the ACT and I never did very well, I think I got a 28, but I also never took any prep courses or even prepared for it. In HS I was kind of going through the motions. I did prep for the GRE and I got a 1340 (old scoring).

I'm sure you were just being modest, but this is what I'm talking about in regards to obliviousness on this forum.  28 ACT is 90th percentile, seems pretty damn good to me esp without any prep.   Likely this person is in the top 10% in terms of intelligence.   That's a great advantage for being able to FIRE decades early.    Doesn't quite jibe with the attitude I see often here of "well anyone can FIRE at age 50 (or whatever)".   

mizzourah2006

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #67 on: May 09, 2018, 09:23:45 AM »

I donít think I ever took the SAT, I took the ACT and I never did very well, I think I got a 28, but I also never took any prep courses or even prepared for it. In HS I was kind of going through the motions. I did prep for the GRE and I got a 1340 (old scoring).

I'm sure you were just being modest, but this is what I'm talking about in regards to obliviousness on this forum.  28 ACT is 90th percentile, seems pretty damn good to me esp without any prep.   Likely this person is in the top 10% in terms of intelligence.   That's a great advantage for being able to FIRE decades early.    Doesn't quite jibe with the attitude I see often here of "well anyone can FIRE at age 50 (or whatever)".

I honestly didn't/don't know. I know in my HS 28 was about average, so I figured it was a bit above average, but didn't know it was so high. I had tons of friends that got 34s and 35s. Did the %s change? That seems like a small range for the final 8 possible points on the ACT.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #68 on: May 09, 2018, 09:28:28 AM »
For me- two BS degrees, one in nursing. So, I'm a BS, BSN, RN.

Husband has a masters, and a couple professional licenses, so he can use lots of letters after his name if he feels like it.

Four degrees between the two of us... god we've spent a lot of time in school!

Cassie

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #69 on: May 09, 2018, 09:46:30 AM »
Panda, I have the PhD. I should not say that I havenít used it because a year after retiring a university asked me to teach a class which I have been happily doing for 5 years now. Just the right amount of work without being too much.

panda

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #70 on: May 09, 2018, 11:54:35 AM »
Panda, I have the PhD. I should not say that I havenít used it because a year after retiring a university asked me to teach a class which I have been happily doing for 5 years now. Just the right amount of work without being too much.
You mentioned long distance though... other than some schools in the UK I'm not aware of any place that has long distance programs at the PhD level. Generally they seem to be limited to EdDs and in my own field it's a mixed bag of opinions of how much could be done long distance. Obviously it's gotten a lot easier since broadband internet became common, but there is still a lot of stigma associated with it

MrMoogle

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #71 on: May 09, 2018, 12:17:43 PM »
Panda, I have the PhD. I should not say that I haven’t used it because a year after retiring a university asked me to teach a class which I have been happily doing for 5 years now. Just the right amount of work without being too much.
You mentioned long distance though... other than some schools in the UK I'm not aware of any place that has long distance programs at the PhD level. Generally they seem to be limited to EdDs and in my own field it's a mixed bag of opinions of how much could be done long distance. Obviously it's gotten a lot easier since broadband internet became common, but there is still a lot of stigma associated with it

To add to this, I worked with a guy with four PhDs, all long distance, all from schools you've never heard of and probably weren't accredited, at least I couldn't find accreditation information on them.  In fact, I don't think the schools still existed when I worked with him.  He wanted everyone to call him "Dr." but I never did.  I think one person did, and I'm not sure if it was respectful or sarcastic.  The "Dr." was an idiot who would throw it into conversations so you would listen to him.

Now, there are plenty of good distance PhD programs:
https://www.online-phd-programs.org/top-online-phd-programs/


OccamsPhaco

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #72 on: May 09, 2018, 02:19:25 PM »
There has been a great deal of work that links long term planning/short term sacrifices with intelligence. Just spend some time on the wikipedia page for delayed gratification. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_gratification

This board should be heavily skewed - even the people who didn't get much formal education are probably well above average intelligence.

eostache

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #73 on: May 09, 2018, 08:38:54 PM »
BS in geology with minor in GIS. I went to school as a very non-trad student and adroitly avoided borrowing any money (went to a cheap podunk state college and applied for every grant and scholarship I could find).

I spent a few years working in the field mapping surficial geology, and another few years doing GIS for an archaeological consulting company, then got laid off that job when the projects dried up.

Not much work in geology or GIS these days, from what I can observe. The market seems saturated with graduates and the pay is not great. I'm now working in a different tech field dealing with utility data. Pays fairly well and is easy peasy compared to what I went to school for. I think I have pretty good advancement opportunity at my current workplace too. I'm working in a specialized process there that you can only learn by doing it right there.

TheWifeHalf

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #74 on: May 09, 2018, 09:11:04 PM »
There has been a great deal of work that links long term planning/short term sacrifices with intelligence. Just spend some time on the wikipedia page for delayed gratification. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delayed_gratification

This board should be heavily skewed - even the people who didn't get much formal education are probably well above average intelligence.

So, buying this house 37 years ago, always remodeling, and knowing it will take another 10 years until it's done, and we're both aware of that, means we're above average intelligence?
If you say so!
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 08:35:34 AM by TheWifeHalf »

sol

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #75 on: May 09, 2018, 09:13:39 PM »
I got a Ph.D.  Part of the reason I haven't retired yet is that I felt obligated to spend at least as much time using my degree as I did earning it. 

But that's not going to happen, at least not if you count both college and graduate school together. 

tnevy4

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #76 on: May 09, 2018, 10:28:27 PM »
I'm just a cook in the navy, but I did some college and I'm looking at going back soon with a focus on supply chain management. I got a 25 on the act in high school.

Imma

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #77 on: May 10, 2018, 04:00:08 AM »
Obtained my BA in Psychology at age 31, Master's in Social Work at 36, second masters in Vocational Rehabilitation at 39 then took a long distance PhD while working full-time. Never used the PhD because I loved my job in Voc. Rehab so much. Highest salary was 62k.  My DH with a BA in civil engineering made 84k.   We retired 6 years ago.
Whose the PhD through? Long distance PhD's are generally a warning sign, but for some fields they are able to do hybrid programs these days.

What would it be a warning sign of? I know a few people who gained their PhD's through the Open University and they all seem to be very competent to me. I have to say that the Open University generally has a very good reputation in my country, they get high rankings. This might be different in other countries.

The only difference between 'regular' PhD's and distance learning PhD's is generally the type of students: instead of being in their 20s and living the high-stress grad student life, they were people who had worked in the profession for decades and were either retired or working parttime, and wanted to thoroughly research a pet project. Doing this through a formal program instead of just researching on their own 'for fun' gave them better access to resources like library facilities and people to discuss their work with. I know most universities offer similar PhD-programs for people not formally connected to the university.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #78 on: May 10, 2018, 05:24:45 AM »
College dropout, with a better edumacation than most people with a BA/BS/MS

ender

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #79 on: May 10, 2018, 06:43:37 AM »
It's not really that surprising to me that this forum has more than 50% of the folks having graduate degrees (or further).

Gondolin

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #80 on: May 10, 2018, 07:34:05 AM »
Quote
28 ACT is 90th percentile, seems pretty damn good to me esp without any prep.   Likely this person is in the top 10% in terms of intelligence.

Haha Hoho, you think test scores and intelligence are strongly linked?

GuitarStv

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #81 on: May 10, 2018, 08:05:40 AM »
College dropout, with a better edumacation than most people with a BA/BS/MS

lol

mizzourah2006

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #82 on: May 10, 2018, 08:15:44 AM »
Quote
28 ACT is 90th percentile, seems pretty damn good to me esp without any prep.   Likely this person is in the top 10% in terms of intelligence.

Haha Hoho, you think test scores and intelligence are strongly linked?

They kind of are. In psychological measurement anything with a correlation above 0.8 is typically considered equivalent to a reliability coefficient (0.70 could even be argued).

Quote
In Study 1, we used the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979.
Measures of g were extracted from the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and
correlated with SAT scores of 917 participants. The resulting correlation was .82 (.86 corrected
for nonlinearity)
.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15147489


TheWifeHalf

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #83 on: May 10, 2018, 08:29:59 AM »
I'm just a cook in the navy, but I did some college and I'm looking at going back soon with a focus on supply chain management. I got a 25 on the act in high school.

From what I've seen, anything in the Navy is respected by employers

sol

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #84 on: May 10, 2018, 08:40:34 AM »
Quote
28 ACT is 90th percentile, seems pretty damn good to me esp without any prep.   Likely this person is in the top 10% in terms of intelligence.

Haha Hoho, you think test scores and intelligence are strongly linked?

They kind of are. In psychological measurement anything with a correlation above 0.8 is typically considered equivalent to a reliability coefficient (0.70 could even be argued).

The key distinction here is to remember that correlation applies to data distributions, not to individual data points.  So while there may be a general trend between intelligence and education or income (with causation potentially being bidirectional or absent), this does not mean you know anything about any particular person. 

For example, I think Bill Gates is pretty pretty rich, and he doesn't have a college degree.  The observation that college graduates typically earn more than non-graduates is still a valid correlation when looking at America as a whole, but education probably shouldn't be used to judge the income (or intelligence) of any particular individual.

ender

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #85 on: May 10, 2018, 08:46:19 AM »
The key distinction here is to remember that correlation applies to data distributions, not to individual data points.  So while there may be a general trend between intelligence and education or income (with causation potentially being bidirectional or absent), this does not mean you know anything about any particular person. 

For example, I think Bill Gates is pretty pretty rich, and he doesn't have a college degree.  The observation that college graduates typically earn more than non-graduates is still a valid correlation when looking at America as a whole, but education probably shouldn't be used to judge the income (or intelligence) of any particular individual.

But... if I do this how will I generalize my anecdotal experiences into universal experiences that everyone obviously has (or is clearly an idiot)!!

Phoenix_Fire

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #86 on: May 10, 2018, 08:51:11 AM »
Some college.  I finished with over 120 credit hours. I hate writing research papers, and the senior seminar class required a 20 page research paper.  I attempted that class 4 or 5 times before I realized I had to stop before I hurt myself from the stress.  So I stopped officially two classes short of my degree: the senior seminar, and one upper division liberal studies class.

If I could do it over again, I would have made sure to get my associates at least, but at the time I knew I was going to get my bachelors, so why worry about the associates?

Not having the degree has hurt some on the confidence level, and for some jobs that require a 4 year degree, any degree, even if it's unrelated.

mizzourah2006

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #87 on: May 10, 2018, 08:56:22 AM »
Quote
28 ACT is 90th percentile, seems pretty damn good to me esp without any prep.   Likely this person is in the top 10% in terms of intelligence.

Haha Hoho, you think test scores and intelligence are strongly linked?

They kind of are. In psychological measurement anything with a correlation above 0.8 is typically considered equivalent to a reliability coefficient (0.70 could even be argued).

The key distinction here is to remember that correlation applies to data distributions, not to individual data points.  So while there may be a general trend between intelligence and education or income (with causation potentially being bidirectional or absent), this does not mean you know anything about any particular person. 

For example, I think Bill Gates is pretty pretty rich, and he doesn't have a college degree.  The observation that college graduates typically earn more than non-graduates is still a valid correlation when looking at America as a whole, but education probably shouldn't be used to judge the income (or intelligence) of any particular individual.

Oh absolutely, that's why there is measurement error. Correlations are meant to be used to describe samples of individuals and the relationship two things within that sample have to one another. It was never meant to be used to describe specific people from that distribution. But the original statement was implying that placement tests and IQ tests weren't strongly linked. I simply provided evidence to suggest they were.

2Birds1Stone

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #88 on: May 10, 2018, 08:58:25 AM »
Some college.  I finished with over 120 credit hours. I hate writing research papers, and the senior seminar class required a 20 page research paper.  I attempted that class 4 or 5 times before I realized I had to stop before I hurt myself from the stress.  So I stopped officially two classes short of my degree: the senior seminar, and one upper division liberal studies class.

If I could do it over again, I would have made sure to get my associates at least, but at the time I knew I was going to get my bachelors, so why worry about the associates?

Not having the degree has hurt some on the confidence level, and for some jobs that require a 4 year degree, any degree, even if it's unrelated.

Very similar situation here, though my confidence is higher because of it. I've only had it take me out of the running for a handful of jobs where the recruiter reached out to me based on my LinkedIn profile, and we cordially ended the call. Any job I've been interested in, it has not been an issue, even where it's part of the "requirements" in the job posting/description/requisition.

After a certain point in your career, experience > degree.

I'm sure this varies by industry, and STEM will be an area where formal schooling is the norm. That would also explain the high percentage of STEM employed forum members vs. the education level on these boards.

panda

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #89 on: May 10, 2018, 10:18:09 AM »
Obtained my BA in Psychology at age 31, Master's in Social Work at 36, second masters in Vocational Rehabilitation at 39 then took a long distance PhD while working full-time. Never used the PhD because I loved my job in Voc. Rehab so much. Highest salary was 62k.  My DH with a BA in civil engineering made 84k.   We retired 6 years ago.
Whose the PhD through? Long distance PhD's are generally a warning sign, but for some fields they are able to do hybrid programs these days.

What would it be a warning sign of? I know a few people who gained their PhD's through the Open University and they all seem to be very competent to me. I have to say that the Open University generally has a very good reputation in my country, they get high rankings. This might be different in other countries.

The only difference between 'regular' PhD's and distance learning PhD's is generally the type of students: instead of being in their 20s and living the high-stress grad student life, they were people who had worked in the profession for decades and were either retired or working parttime, and wanted to thoroughly research a pet project. Doing this through a formal program instead of just researching on their own 'for fun' gave them better access to resources like library facilities and people to discuss their work with. I know most universities offer similar PhD-programs for people not formally connected to the university.
Generally in the US they are looked down upon since most are being awarded by for-profit universities or diploma mills. Having seen the dissertation produced by one of my relatives who was awarded an EdD by a for-profit, I can't say that the reputation isn't well deserved over here either. There were basic methodological flaws involved that undermined the entire work.

Open University and some of the UK schools are generally the exception since the UK system is a bit different than the US in general (short version: more focus on producing a dissertation, potentially no coursework needed, generally more likely to fail someone at the vita). The field also matters a bit as well since some research requires access to resources that you aren't going to see outside of a well supplied lab, while others may just require library access.

After a certain point in your career, experience > degree.
For unregulated careers, yes, this is generally the case. In the case of regulated fields (e.g., medicine, engineering, architecture, etc.) the laws effectively say that the "clock" on your experience doesn't even really begin until you have that degree.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 10:22:59 AM by panda »

diapasoun

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #90 on: May 10, 2018, 10:25:37 AM »
Obtained my BA in Psychology at age 31, Master's in Social Work at 36, second masters in Vocational Rehabilitation at 39 then took a long distance PhD while working full-time. Never used the PhD because I loved my job in Voc. Rehab so much. Highest salary was 62k.  My DH with a BA in civil engineering made 84k.   We retired 6 years ago.
Whose the PhD through? Long distance PhD's are generally a warning sign, but for some fields they are able to do hybrid programs these days.

What would it be a warning sign of? I know a few people who gained their PhD's through the Open University and they all seem to be very competent to me. I have to say that the Open University generally has a very good reputation in my country, they get high rankings. This might be different in other countries.

The only difference between 'regular' PhD's and distance learning PhD's is generally the type of students: instead of being in their 20s and living the high-stress grad student life, they were people who had worked in the profession for decades and were either retired or working parttime, and wanted to thoroughly research a pet project. Doing this through a formal program instead of just researching on their own 'for fun' gave them better access to resources like library facilities and people to discuss their work with. I know most universities offer similar PhD-programs for people not formally connected to the university.

I think there is a big Europe-US difference here. In the US, the Open University isn't a thing. I'd never even heard of it until I started chatting with a Welsh acquaintance who was taking OU classes, and I've heard of a LOT of universities worldwide. It's just not on our radar here. I agree that it seems to have a very good reputation and to be a good, rigorous school, and I'm sad we don't recognize it as a resource here.

Distance learning in the US is heavily associated with non-rigorous, un-or-non-standardly-accredited, for-profit scam universities. This doesn't mean that some universities don't offer distance classes -- they do. However, I've never actually heard of a distance PhD program in the US; the vast, vast majority are in-person. I'd be wary of someone who came to me looking for a job with a distance PhD, just as I'd be wary of someone who came to me looking for a job with a University of Phoenix degree. I'd want to see the abilities demonstrated more rigorously than I would for someone with a degree that I would trust. (I recognize that this is possibly shitty, but it is nonetheless 100% how I would go about it; if I can't trust the degree, I need the ability to be demonstrated more thoroughly than I would otherwise.)

Legitimate distance programs here would be more typical of a community college or small liberal arts college, and would often serve non-traditional students -- the type of students you mentioned above, except going for their AA/BA instead of the PhD. Notably, almost any school that offers a legitimate and reputable distance program offers programs in-person as well.

(Also, I should note that all of the above applies to academic fields, not professional fields. I'm not as familiar with graduate programs in law, social work, or medicine, and can't speak to them -- I wouldn't be surprised if a distance PhD in social work, for example, was much more likely to be a good, rigorous degree than a distance PhD in materials science. So many folks who go for professional degrees are already working in their field, and they need to be able to keep working while they go to school; it makes sense that good distance degree programs will develop there first.)

mm1970

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #91 on: May 10, 2018, 10:29:08 AM »
I got a Ph.D.  Part of the reason I haven't retired yet is that I felt obligated to spend at least as much time using my degree as I did earning it. 

But that's not going to happen, at least not if you count both college and graduate school together.
When you put it that way...my husband has done his time.  Barely

Cassie

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #92 on: May 10, 2018, 10:31:27 AM »
I was in my 40's and did not want to quit a great job that I loved which is why I did the distance program.  Our local university right now has a MS in social work as do many others. It is coming much more common.   Also I didn't do it for job reasons but because I love school and learning. I thoroughly enjoyed the process. I also had to fly in to where they were located and defend my dissertation to obtain my degree.

mm1970

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #93 on: May 10, 2018, 11:09:43 AM »
Some college.  I finished with over 120 credit hours. I hate writing research papers, and the senior seminar class required a 20 page research paper.  I attempted that class 4 or 5 times before I realized I had to stop before I hurt myself from the stress.  So I stopped officially two classes short of my degree: the senior seminar, and one upper division liberal studies class.

If I could do it over again, I would have made sure to get my associates at least, but at the time I knew I was going to get my bachelors, so why worry about the associates?

Not having the degree has hurt some on the confidence level, and for some jobs that require a 4 year degree, any degree, even if it's unrelated.

Very similar situation here, though my confidence is higher because of it. I've only had it take me out of the running for a handful of jobs where the recruiter reached out to me based on my LinkedIn profile, and we cordially ended the call. Any job I've been interested in, it has not been an issue, even where it's part of the "requirements" in the job posting/description/requisition.

After a certain point in your career, experience > degree.

I'm sure this varies by industry, and STEM will be an area where formal schooling is the norm. That would also explain the high percentage of STEM employed forum members vs. the education level on these boards.
For the most part yes.  I work with a number of folks in facilities, and they have told me that increasingly, companies are looking for degrees.  That doesn't mean they aren't employable, just that there are fewer companies willing to look at them.  These are men in their 50's.  One of them managed to get a job at a big tech company anyway!

mizzourah2006

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #94 on: May 10, 2018, 11:11:57 AM »
Obtained my BA in Psychology at age 31, Master's in Social Work at 36, second masters in Vocational Rehabilitation at 39 then took a long distance PhD while working full-time. Never used the PhD because I loved my job in Voc. Rehab so much. Highest salary was 62k.  My DH with a BA in civil engineering made 84k.   We retired 6 years ago.
Whose the PhD through? Long distance PhD's are generally a warning sign, but for some fields they are able to do hybrid programs these days.

What would it be a warning sign of? I know a few people who gained their PhD's through the Open University and they all seem to be very competent to me. I have to say that the Open University generally has a very good reputation in my country, they get high rankings. This might be different in other countries.

The only difference between 'regular' PhD's and distance learning PhD's is generally the type of students: instead of being in their 20s and living the high-stress grad student life, they were people who had worked in the profession for decades and were either retired or working parttime, and wanted to thoroughly research a pet project. Doing this through a formal program instead of just researching on their own 'for fun' gave them better access to resources like library facilities and people to discuss their work with. I know most universities offer similar PhD-programs for people not formally connected to the university.

I think there is a big Europe-US difference here. In the US, the Open University isn't a thing. I'd never even heard of it until I started chatting with a Welsh acquaintance who was taking OU classes, and I've heard of a LOT of universities worldwide. It's just not on our radar here. I agree that it seems to have a very good reputation and to be a good, rigorous school, and I'm sad we don't recognize it as a resource here.

Distance learning in the US is heavily associated with non-rigorous, un-or-non-standardly-accredited, for-profit scam universities. This doesn't mean that some universities don't offer distance classes -- they do. However, I've never actually heard of a distance PhD program in the US; the vast, vast majority are in-person. I'd be wary of someone who came to me looking for a job with a distance PhD, just as I'd be wary of someone who came to me looking for a job with a University of Phoenix degree. I'd want to see the abilities demonstrated more rigorously than I would for someone with a degree that I would trust. (I recognize that this is possibly shitty, but it is nonetheless 100% how I would go about it; if I can't trust the degree, I need the ability to be demonstrated more thoroughly than I would otherwise.)

Legitimate distance programs here would be more typical of a community college or small liberal arts college, and would often serve non-traditional students -- the type of students you mentioned above, except going for their AA/BA instead of the PhD. Notably, almost any school that offers a legitimate and reputable distance program offers programs in-person as well.

(Also, I should note that all of the above applies to academic fields, not professional fields. I'm not as familiar with graduate programs in law, social work, or medicine, and can't speak to them -- I wouldn't be surprised if a distance PhD in social work, for example, was much more likely to be a good, rigorous degree than a distance PhD in materials science. So many folks who go for professional degrees are already working in their field, and they need to be able to keep working while they go to school; it makes sense that good distance degree programs will develop there first.)

There are plenty of distance PhDs being awarded by universities like University of Phoenix, Capella, Walden, etc. I love distance learning, still engage in it all the time on things like Udemy, Coursera, EDx, etc. and I think for intro courses and the like it has amazing potential, I just don't see how you can replicate the environment of a PhD cohort and class online. The time in the lab, the large research projects, the hours in seminars spent deeply discussing and critiquing peer-reviewed journal articles. I just don't see how it's possible, but hopefully the people that did it got a good ROI. I've never interacted with any of them in my career, but I know they exist, I see them at conferences all the time.

Plus, I would never have paid for a PhD in the first place, the ROI just isn't there. Some of those programs are 30-40k/yr for 5-6 years......

lhamo

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #95 on: May 10, 2018, 11:47:44 AM »
DH and I both have Ph.Ds in the same social science field -- we met in grad school.  No loans -- paid for school through a combination of scholarships/fellowships, savings and pt work.  Spent just over 15 years in non-profit management after grad school, then retired thanks to the crazy Beijing property market.

MrMoogle

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #96 on: May 10, 2018, 12:27:38 PM »

There are plenty of distance PhDs being awarded by universities like University of Phoenix, Capella, Walden, etc. I love distance learning, still engage in it all the time on things like Udemy, Coursera, EDx, etc. and I think for intro courses and the like it has amazing potential, I just don't see how you can replicate the environment of a PhD cohort and class online. The time in the lab, the large research projects, the hours in seminars spent deeply discussing and critiquing peer-reviewed journal articles. I just don't see how it's possible, but hopefully the people that did it got a good ROI. I've never interacted with any of them in my career, but I know they exist, I see them at conferences all the time.

Plus, I would never have paid for a PhD in the first place, the ROI just isn't there. Some of those programs are 30-40k/yr for 5-6 years......
There are plenty of distance PhDs being awarded by respectable universities... now.  20-30 years ago there were probably some good ones, but there were also plenty of ones that weren't good.  There were places like Middle Kentucky Paper Mill who were giving PhDs in order to sell more paper.  When you get a resume that has "Dr." in the name, but doesn't mention the school or their dissertation(s), you start to worry.  I don't know how my previous company thought he was a good hire.

That's why online colleges have had the troubles they do in the US.

panda

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #97 on: May 10, 2018, 01:13:54 PM »
There are plenty of distance PhDs being awarded by universities like University of Phoenix, Capella, Walden, etc.
Those are exactly the schools giving distance PhDs a bad reputation and incidentally, all of them are for-profits as well.

bryan995

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #98 on: May 10, 2018, 08:43:13 PM »
I have a PhD in biomedical science (biology + computer science), wife is an MBA.  I left academics as soon as I could and now work in industry (tech).  On track to retire by 40.

SwitchActiveDWG

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Re: How much education do you have?
« Reply #99 on: May 11, 2018, 06:49:13 AM »
BS in Electrical Engineering for me and my wife has a professional degree, Doctor of Optometry