Author Topic: Associates degree vs master degree.  (Read 20598 times)

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4811
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #50 on: April 06, 2014, 09:14:32 PM »
I agree that a college degree is a good thing. Where my problem lies is the fact that I've spent as many hours in class as any master degree holder just to get my journeymans card. And I've taken several more advanced classes to improve my employable skills within the industry. I really don't see why I am any less "high achieving" as somebody who paid a university for the knowledge they gained.
alphalemming made a generalization that was false, and I responded with a generalization that is true. Neither really applies in your specific case, or perhaps to skilled non-degree laborers in general.

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4864
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #51 on: April 06, 2014, 09:40:41 PM »
I agree that a college degree is a good thing. Where my problem lies is the fact that I've spent as many hours in class as any master degree holder just to get my journeymans card. And I've taken several more advanced classes to improve my employable skills within the industry. I really don't see why I am any less "high achieving" as somebody who paid a university for the knowledge they gained. I guess I was just taken off guard by the inlaws not seeing all the work I've put into to be in the position I am in at my age. Also the statistics that say a bachelor's degree holder makes double what a high school diploma holder would make can be a little misleading. It would be interesting to compare skilled labor (lineman, HVAC, machinist, etc) to the typical bachelors degree. I have a feeling the numbers would shake out a little different.

I bet you can get it really interesting if you compare skilled trades (no degree) to bachelors (political science, etc).

Or. if you want to skew it the other way, no degree (fast food) to bachelors (engineering/software).

ender

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4864
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #52 on: April 07, 2014, 04:40:41 PM »
You should read Paul Fussell's book Class. He talks about how the status of a job is tied not only to how well it pays or how hard it is, but how useless it is. Getting a degree in something like history* is in a way saying, "I am so crashingly rich I don't have to think about pecuniary matters at all." Getting an electrician's qualification doesn't say that. It's the same logic that led Mrs. Astor to only wear a dress once. Many, many college degrees are a form of conspicuous consumption, on some level. Higher status jobs are often ones that are less essential and useful to keeping civilization going.

*I have a history degree.

It would be great if people getting those degrees viewed it as conspicuous consumption rather than a mystical golden ticket to whatever job and income they want...

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4811
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #53 on: April 07, 2014, 07:57:04 PM »
Higher status jobs are often ones that are less essential and useful to keeping civilization going.
Who do degrees in accounting and nursing pay better than degrees in history, then?

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4811
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #54 on: April 07, 2014, 08:46:49 PM »
Gotcha. I wasn't attentive enough to the "status" part of the argument when I was rereading this.

jsloan

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #55 on: April 10, 2014, 08:24:25 AM »
I think what is missing in this discussion is that we are comparing jobs that are in demand vs not in demand regardless if a degree is involved.  Pay scales are really only determined by supply of labor and the demand for that labor. 

Traditionally, a college degree had nothing to do with job skills but was supposed to be an institution of higher learning for the sake of producing an informed citizenry.  When I graduated college with my computer science degree I thought it was worthless because I had learned most of the job skills in my own free time.  As I have gotten older I find most of the things I remember from college were from classes like economics, philosophy and history.  Because of that exposure I feel like I'm a more informed person than I would be otherwise and it lead me down a path of being or more well-rounded individual.  On the other hand all the technical programming knowledge (job skills) I acquired in college hasn't been used in 10+ years.

I'm not really sure were I stand on college in regards to job skills, but I did want to stick up for the fact that I feel like I benefited from the "liberal arts" side of college even if it didn't make my bank account bigger.   

             

jsloan

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 79
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #56 on: April 10, 2014, 09:09:48 AM »
Quote
I have a history degree, which is basically useless in my day-to-day.* I really, truly love the humanities, and always have. But I'm really not sure it was worth the expense and time to get a degree, as opposed to being a fulfilling, rich, life-long hobby, which it is now.

With the rising cost of college now I think you do have to question if it is worth it or not.  Also, you have to be sure that your major is going to yield a good paying job.  In the past I don't think these thoughts were as much of a concern.   

I try to ask myself if college was free or really cheap (like it is in some European countries) would I even ask that question?  I feel like I wouldn't, because I would think it was time well spent.  I think there is something cool about spending 4 years before you are ready to start working to just focus on learning and experiencing new things. 

jba302

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 623
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #57 on: April 11, 2014, 07:13:43 AM »
I agree that a college degree is a good thing. Where my problem lies is the fact that I've spent as many hours in class as any master degree holder just to get my journeymans card. And I've taken several more advanced classes to improve my employable skills within the industry. I really don't see why I am any less "high achieving" as somebody who paid a university for the knowledge they gained.

Your skill set is just as specialized as a masters in a hard science. Don't let some asshole tell you otherwise.

MicroRN

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1025
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #58 on: April 11, 2014, 06:53:54 PM »
I try to ask myself if college was free or really cheap (like it is in some European countries) would I even ask that question?  I feel like I wouldn't, because I would think it was time well spent.  I think there is something cool about spending 4 years before you are ready to start working to just focus on learning and experiencing new things.

I do really value my time at a 4 year university.  It was a great place to learn, to get into research, to make friends that I'm still friends with a decade later.  I don't consider it wasted time at all, even though I ended up going back for an 18 month nursing program.  I do, however, consider it a luxury now.  I was lucky to be able to do that, and that my parents made it possible for me to graduate with no debt.  If I did come out with the $60K+ in student loans that friends did, I'm not as sure I'd consider it worth it.

ToughMother

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 233
  • Location: Western Mass.
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #59 on: April 11, 2014, 07:14:36 PM »
I make less than you as a Dean (with a Ph.D.) at a college that awards degrees in your field with our grads making money like you!  Hell, you're the smarter, better off one!  Less expense, higher pay.  The end. 

I'm sorry that you're feeling the effects of others ignorance.  I'm proud as all get out of our certificate and associates earning grads.  MANY of them get great paying gigs in the trades and the health fields and for many, it is also their life's passion.  WIN WIN WIN.

Glad to hear you enjoy your job, spent little for your training, and have good pay.  EVENTUALLY folks will realize what a great deal this can be.

Hedge_87

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
  • Age: 32
  • Location: South central ks
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #60 on: April 11, 2014, 08:02:22 PM »
I do think the "four year college" experience would be good for somebody who would take advantage of it. I was not really interested in it though (come on I was 18 I knew it ALL already). I had a hard time attending high school where they actually cared if you where gone or not so I can only imagine how a traditional college would have went. I most likely would have drank to much beer dropped out and ended up in one of the trades anyway.

Psychstache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 842
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #61 on: April 12, 2014, 06:11:13 AM »
I do think the "four year college" experience would be good for somebody who would take advantage of it. I was not really interested in it though (come on I was 18 I knew it ALL already). I had a hard time attending high school where they actually cared if you where gone or not so I can only imagine how a traditional college would have went. I most likely would have drank to much beer dropped out and ended up in one of the trades anyway.

Now, I'm confused. I thought the "four year college experience" WAS the term we used to describe the nonacademic stuff (drinking in excess at ABC parties to get random hookups).

It is unfortunate that so many important, high income jobs are considered low status and not worthy of our children. The whole "everyone needs to go to college" from high schools is so inappropriate and self-serving anyways. It really frustrated me that many of my special ed students wouldn't consider anything but a 4 year school. So many of them would be better off looking at vocations (less additional education, which most of them hated anyways).

Hedge_87

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
  • Age: 32
  • Location: South central ks
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #62 on: April 12, 2014, 08:34:58 AM »
Yea serpents tooth. I think that your brother and I are really similar. It wasn't because of a lack of aptitude or intelligence that I chose vo-tech over university. It was because I knew the whole office setting wasn't for me. (Pretty sure I would slowly go insane).

renaite

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 40
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Buffalo, NY
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #63 on: April 12, 2014, 08:59:23 AM »
Yea serpents tooth. I think that your brother and I are really similar. It wasn't because of a lack of aptitude or intelligence that I chose vo-tech over university. It was because I knew the whole office setting wasn't for me. (Pretty sure I would slowly go insane).

Out of curiosity, are you ADD/HD? My brother is ADHD, and apparently they are way overrepresented in certain trades, including emergency services. The only other job my brother really liked was as a camp counselor for some kind of "spend all day hiking and camping in the wildness" outfit.

That's interesting - my brother really could not work in an office setting too, he would just be way too bored. I don't know about ADD/ADHD, but he is off-the-charts brilliant. He dropped out of college after 2 semesters and some family members point to him as an example of what they don't want for their kids, but he owns his own business (record label), is a fairly-famous Happy Hardcore DJ, maintains a minimalist lifestyle and is by far the happiest person I know. We're lucky that our parents see that and beam with pride.

Peony

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 364
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #64 on: April 12, 2014, 09:47:05 AM »
I like this thread a lot. FWIW, it crossed my mind that your in-laws might just think you're incredibly smart and capable, and that a fine brain like yours should be educated to the utmost. My ex was a Harvard grad (middle-class, went to all public schools except for college) who became a plumber, much to the consternation of his parents. I still appreciate how much satisfaction he gets from both practical stuff like figuring out how to install radiant heat in the floor of a house or how to build a maple-syrup evaporator, and from reading history and such. I think my ex values his education and it's good for our kids to see how both types of knowledge are worth having. Though in the new paradigm of crushingly expensive college, the cost-benefit analysis is unquestionably different now than it was a few decades ago.

grantmeaname

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4811
  • Age: 27
  • Location: NYC
  • Cast me away from yesterday's things
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #65 on: April 13, 2014, 07:15:10 AM »
crushingly expensive college
That's not a real thing.

Hedge_87

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
  • Age: 32
  • Location: South central ks
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #66 on: April 13, 2014, 07:27:12 AM »
Yea serpents tooth. I think that your brother and I are really similar. It wasn't because of a lack of aptitude or intelligence that I chose vo-tech over university. It was because I knew the whole office setting wasn't for me. (Pretty sure I would slowly go insane).

Out of curiosity, are you ADD/HD? My brother is ADHD, and apparently they are way overrepresented in certain trades, including emergency services. The only other job my brother really liked was as a camp counselor for some kind of "spend all day hiking and camping in the wildness" outfit.
I don't think I'm ADD or anything... If anything I'm possibly a little OCD. Because there are just certain things that HAVE to be done a certain way. I don't consider that a bad quality to have in my line of work though

Zamboni

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2492
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #67 on: April 13, 2014, 08:28:09 AM »
This is a great thread; thank you for starting it!

It sounds like the only possible downside of your job for you is that the physical demands will get harder to handle as you age . . . but you've already figured that out, so you are in a good spot.

Congratulations on having a job that you really like!  This is probably the most important factor to consider, and many people just don't like their job very much:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-leadership/wp/2013/10/10/only-13-percent-of-people-worldwide-actually-like-going-to-work/

MrsPete

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3519
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #68 on: April 14, 2014, 07:43:23 PM »
Thought #1:  You're talking about yourself and your wife.  Your lifelong partner.  So why are you discussing your salary vs. her salary, your savings vs. her savings?  My husband and I are a team, and while he's earned more money over the years, I've stretched every dollar for us.  Though I work fewer hours, I've put more time and effort into raising the kids.  Regardless of what your in-laws say, don't keep score. 

Thought #2:  Trades are a great option -- for the right person.  Given that I'm 4'11" and female, I wouldn't have a chance at your job -- or most other trades, which do require more physical strength than I have ever had, even on my best day.  Also, not everyone's going to get those jobs -- only so many exist, and not all trades pay as well as your job.  So I'd temper the, "Yeah for trades!" thought process and make it, "Excellent choice for those well-suited to it." 

Thought #3:  Yes, college is worthwhile financially.  The average college graduate is more employable than the average high school graduate, is less likely to experience periods of unemployment, and is more likely to earn a larger paycheck.  Certainly you can find examples that disprove this general truth, but overall, a college degree is worthwhile.  It's also possible to graduate from college without taking on crushing debt and selling away your future.  On a personal note:  my children's slightly-older cousins are beginning to graduate from college, and 100% of them are finding jobs in their field, moving out of their parents' houses, and doing all the things you'd expect 20-somethings to do -- looking at them, I am led to believe that the media hype over "college grads can't find jobs" is overblown.  Just like everything else, if you're going to college, you need to choose wisely:  Choose a degree that'll lead to a job, choose a school that you can afford. 

Thought #4:  As for your in-laws getting on your nerves, take it as it's meant:  They're not trying to insult you -- they're concerned about their little girl.  They want to be sure she's well cared for, and they're likely unaware that you're doing so well financially.  Personally, I would not clue them into the truth.  I'd just make a non-committal, "I'm happy for the moment."   Then change the topic.  Let them think what they will. 

Hedge_87

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 661
  • Age: 32
  • Location: South central ks
Re: Associates degree vs master degree.
« Reply #69 on: April 15, 2014, 07:24:05 PM »
Mrs Pete,
I agree with a lot of what you said about the trades not being for everybody. If it came off that I was complaining about choices my wife made before I met her that was not my intention. I am very happy with her decisions and down the road when we have kids it will definitely make things easier with her having a good job with stable hours so she can take on more of the child raising responsibilities.  I plan on helping as much as humanly possible but my work schedule can get a little crazy at times. I never even thought anything about this subject until the in laws brought it up and really rubbed me the wrong way. I just wanted to shed some light on (and maybe vent a little) the fact that even though I can't say I have a fancy degree for some fancy title I am doing ok.

On another note I know the physical demands of my job are a little taxing on the body but I also think spending all day inside at a desk can't be good on anybody either. Our bodies where designed to move .