Author Topic: CNN Millenials Article  (Read 4714 times)

tanzee

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CNN Millenials Article
« on: August 28, 2015, 05:12:43 AM »
Here's the link:

http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/28/opinion/segal-millennials-struggle/index.html

On the one hand, I think the article has some of the complainypants themes that often are pointed out around these parts.  One the other, I think some valid points are raised about student loans and racial disparities in the unemployment numbers.  What do you all think?

gReed Smith

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Re: CNN Millenials Article
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2015, 06:57:23 AM »
Whenever I see reports on things like college grads making minimum wage, I write those people off as unambitious.  I could get a job making more than minimum wage in two days, and I could probably get one with healthcare too.  Of course, I live in an area where the minimum wage is $7.25, so the labor market has pushed the starting wage higher than that.  If you live in an area with a  $15 minimum wage, then the fact that a college grad might start out at $30k/year doesn't surprise me so much.

Also wanted to add, most unpaid internships are illegal.  So go ahead and take one, and if you don't get hired at the end, sue.
« Last Edit: August 28, 2015, 06:59:39 AM by gReed Smith »

tanzee

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Re: CNN Millenials Article
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2015, 08:01:12 AM »
I get that.  And I think I can certainly point out the ways in which my own lack of ambition in the years after I graduated from college prevented me from being on more stable financial footing at this point.  But, at the same time, I don't think "everyone developing a better work ethic" is a particularly good strategy for improving on some of the statistics cited in the article.  It's not that I'm discounting the power of hard work and dedication.  And I'm certainly not trying to promote the complainypants-type excuses for how the world is so hard these days.  But I don't often see many suggestions from the bootstraps crowd as to how to make it better.  There is a massive income disparity that leads to all sorts of societal ills (that cost us all).  And as much as I believe in personal responsibility, I also believe in fostering fairness. 

That's why I posted this article.  I think it's an interesting balance between being mildly complainypants, but not straying into the "Look at these poor folks who can't get by on $250 000 per year" territory.  I figured it would be an interesting conversation piece. 

ash7962

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Re: CNN Millenials Article
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2015, 08:56:00 AM »
I wonder what degrees the underemployed people have.  I think its daunting to have to choose a subject to heavily invest both time and money in when you're only 18.  I remember feeling pretty overwhelmed and pressured to just choose when I was heading into college, so I wonder what percentage of those underemployed people chose poorly.  Also, I hate the advice to "follow your dreams" when choosing a major.  My interests and dreams have changed a ton since I was that 18 year old kid choosing a major.  Also, some of my interests would have landed me into an underemployed job not doing what I like anyway.  It was lucky that I was interested in computers at the time and went with a computer science degree that was in demand.  I think the better route is to go with an in demand job you're semi interested in, work hard to build a stash, and then quit to pursue your actual interests.  I feel bad for the kids who chose poorly and now have a ton of debt to pay off working jobs that aren't related to their major.

tanzee

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Re: CNN Millenials Article
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2015, 09:28:49 AM »
Right.  18 to 20 year olds aren't blessed with the fully developed brains that allow people to develop well thought out career plans.  Hell, I'm 30 and it's still hard for me. Meanwhile, we (mustachians) often talk about how bad their parents' generation is at financial planning.  It's not like most of these kids have great financial role models.  And yet we expect them to be wise enough not to be art majors or philosophy majors. 

Mustachianism is as close to the logically/scientifically/mathematically "correct" path I have found.  But that doesn't mean these kids have the benefit of receiving the proper information. 

Chris22

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Re: CNN Millenials Article
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2015, 09:34:26 AM »
Right.  18 to 20 year olds aren't blessed with the fully developed brains that allow people to develop well thought out career plans.

Correct, but they should be smart enough to answer the question "what do people with that major do, and are a reasonable number of them successful at it?"  If your plan was to go to law school with your philosophy degree and the bottom felt out of the law market, I feel badly for you, that's poor timing.  If your plan was to get an art history degree and then, umm, I dunno, I never thought about after that, you're an idiot.

The detailed part comes later, you should go to school with "I want to go into engineering" or "I want to go into business" or "I want to go into teaching" or "I want to go into medicine" and then use school to select a specific discipline (I knew I wanted to study business, but it wasn't until I took a couple good accounting classes that I knew I wanted to major in accounting specifically).

I'm a red panda

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Re: CNN Millenials Article
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2015, 09:50:09 AM »
I wonder what degrees the underemployed people have. 

The cousin I have, who is 30 and has never worked a full-time job and still lives with her parents on school vacations, who bitches non stop on facebook about how hard it is to be a millennial and how she will never have enough money to be an independent adult has a bachelor's in English (private school), a Master's in Sign Language interpretation (private school), and is working on her PhD in Sign Language Interpretation (private school).

I really don't feel bad for her. Her situation is a product of her choices.

ash7962

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Re: CNN Millenials Article
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2015, 10:11:20 AM »
I wonder what degrees the underemployed people have. 

The cousin I have, who is 30 and has never worked a full-time job and still lives with her parents on school vacations, who bitches non stop on facebook about how hard it is to be a millennial and how she will never have enough money to be an independent adult has a bachelor's in English (private school), a Master's in Sign Language interpretation (private school), and is working on her PhD in Sign Language Interpretation (private school).

I really don't feel bad for her. Her situation is a product of her choices.

Ouch... that's just bad choice after bad choice.  If she had just gotten her bachelors in English I would have felt bad, but she continues to make bad choices.  I think every kid going to college needs to have a planned career path that their major will allow them to pursue.  It probably would have been better for your cousin if she hadn't even gone to college.  She at least wouldn't have the student loan debt.  I think it would be great if it was more standard for kids to take a year or two off just shadowing people and seeing different careers.  Would give them more time to think through their choices, maybe come up with a more concrete career plan, and also give them a chance to work a job during those years which could go towards college expenses.


Found an article about the most underemployed majors (its from 2014 though)
http://www.forbes.com/pictures/fjle45hkjm/the-10-most-underemployed-majors/

Chris22

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Re: CNN Millenials Article
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2015, 10:16:14 AM »
I think it would be great if it was more standard for kids to take a year or two off just shadowing people and seeing different careers.  Would give them more time to think through their choices, maybe come up with a more concrete career plan, and also give them a chance to work a job during those years which could go towards college expenses.

Not exactly what you're talking about, but my undergrad school had you apply to a school (business, nursing, engineering, arts/sciences) and then you didn't actually declare your major until your sophomore year.  You took lots of intro courses year 1 (I took intro to marketing, mgmt, accounting, finance, MIS) and could then choose intelligently based on your experiences in the different classes.  Not perfect (still have to pick a field) but I thought it was a good system.

Kaspian

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Re: CNN Millenials Article
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2015, 12:28:36 PM »
I see a bit of a vicious circular story going on:

1. Kid goes to college.
2. Tuition was so high, debt so large, they move back with their parents on graduation.
3. Parent can't retire on time because partially/fully supporting kidult.
4. Kid complains there are no good jobs.
5. Good jobs aren't available because masses of parents are still supporting their grown kids.

(You could also add Boomer parents putting down payments on houses for their Millenials a reason they can't retire.)

Sure, it's an oversimplification of individual cases, but I think this is going on in very, very large numbers and causing mad socio-economic problems all over the place.  I'm not sure what the solution is?  The only way to break a cycle like that seems to be 1) Don't let the kid back in 2) Allow them to live in a hovel working not to good jobs a few years 3) Retire on time 4) Good Baby Boomer jobs finally start opening up for Millennials.   OR make colleges lower their tuition rates so kids don't have to move back in with their folks.  (But I sort of think lots would boomerang anyway--often at the parents' coercion.)

tanzee

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Re: CNN Millenials Article
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2015, 01:37:28 PM »
I feel legit conflicted about all this.  I mean, if you think of these universities as businesses marketing a product (not hard to do), they are clearly onto something by encouraging idealistic, pie-in-the-sky notions of what a prospective student might do in the future.  My memory of those years involves much more identity development than career development.  And I remember my college really affirming that through their marketing, campus life etc. (I went to hippy commune college).   They spoke the idealistic language that I wanted to hear, so they got my money.  And I learned good things, but studying Environmental Politics hasn't really gotten me anywhere professionally.  The strides I've made professionally came after I sort of woke up in my mid-twenties and realized I needed to get my act together. 

I think we as a society need to do a better job of educating kids about debt and career in addition to moving towards a more European model of high education.  That doesn't mean individuals don't bare responsibility for not figuring this stuff out.  But I think there is blame to go around.

Travis

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Re: CNN Millenials Article
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2015, 01:59:10 PM »
Quote
I mean, if you think of these universities as businesses marketing a product (not hard to do), they are clearly onto something by encouraging idealistic, pie-in-the-sky notions of what a prospective student might do in the future.

That's a pretty succinct assessment.  Universities are there to sell themselves.  It is not their responsibility to make sure your degree will land you a good job (though there seem to be some interested parties looking to change this). I'm sure there are plenty out there that through reputation or school pride take the effort to help with job placement, but in the end the student has to make a market-supporting decision.

tanzee

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Re: CNN Millenials Article
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2015, 02:11:05 PM »
Quote
I mean, if you think of these universities as businesses marketing a product (not hard to do), they are clearly onto something by encouraging idealistic, pie-in-the-sky notions of what a prospective student might do in the future.

That's a pretty succinct assessment.  Universities are there to sell themselves.  It is not their responsibility to make sure your degree will land you a good job (though there seem to be some interested parties looking to change this). I'm sure there are plenty out there that through reputation or school pride take the effort to help with job placement, but in the end the student has to make a market-supporting decision.

I think it's clear that this is how it works out.  I guess my question is, should it be this way?  In particular, should it be this way in a place where college is so darn expensive?

skunkfunk

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Re: CNN Millenials Article
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2015, 02:12:07 PM »
  If your plan was to go to law school with your philosophy degree and the bottom felt out of the law market, I feel badly for you, that's poor timing.  If your plan was to get an art history degree and then, umm, I dunno, I never thought about after that, you're an idiot.

Amusing digression - Reminds me of the friend of mine who is $100k in debt for an art history degree. She married a dude who is $100k in debt on a conducting degree.

They do not complain. They are doing a good job of cleaning up after themselves, really.