Should I finish my degree or...learn new skills?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by heisenberg, Aug 6, 2016.

  1. heisenberg

    heisenberg Earl Grey Staff Member

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    I have been doing university for quite a while but have been putting it off since I don't see the point in completing it. From a current market POV, it seems that the usual 9-5 jobs require this so called miraculous piece of paper which has zero and I mean zero real life application and you learn zero hands on experience. At present I have been given an opportunity to work for a highly prestigious organisation, so I am set for 12 months or so, but, I am contemplating whether I should learn a new skill such as programming/excel/access/database/sql rather than this shitty degree that I am obviously finding boring.
     
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  2. yongjin02

    yongjin02 Well Known GateFan

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    the ONLY reasons I went and completed 2 liberal arts degrees were:

    -the VA was paying for it and paying me to go

    -they were in areas of interest to me

    Now the one degree did get me a much higher rate of pay then my co workers who did not have a degree, but the job did not really require a degree

    From what I have seen-at least here, US-is that many employers will try to get someone with less education to fill in a position that would normally be filled by a higher level

    that is, hiring Bachelor's level ppl with a degree in the Human services/psych area to fill a position they would have normally hired a Master's level person for

    but, they get the BA for a lot less

    if I were younger and was not retired from the army, I would have gone for the training in a tech or other "training" school. The 4 yr degree is still good to acquire knowledge, but increasingly, that knowledge is not marketable

    a good plumber, carpenter,welder or other 'skilled tradesman' in the US will make far more in their lifetimes then a person with a 4yr degree--especially since that degree will take about 20yrs to pay off.
     
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  3. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    The reality is that in most fields, having a degree is not going to guarantee you anything anywhere in the US. They are mostly all diploma mills.
     
  4. Rac80

    Rac80 The Belle of the Ball

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    Many professional jobs I see require a 4 year degree in ANYTHING- but if you can make good enough money in whatever you enjoy doing why waste the time and money in college?
     
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  5. Tripler

    Tripler Well Known GateFan

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    Become a trades person . HVAC is good route which I did for the last 45 years . Plumbing , electrical , woodwork , drywalling , mudding , tiling were all learned by doing HVAC . Heating , Ventilation ,Air-conditioning . I have my Gas Fitter License , Air conditioning License , Sheet-metal License . Of course you are looking at 5 year apprenticeships with AC and SM licenses . Gas I believe is 3 unless things have changed .

    Best of luck in your choices but just to let you know , there are way to many lawyers out there ,,,

    ;) ;) ;)
     
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  6. Chevron Atlantis

    Chevron Atlantis GateFans Member

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    I don't think those jobs will last very long though. They may have done you well during your time but things have changed. They have made robots which can do your cooking for you :O

     
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  7. Tripler

    Tripler Well Known GateFan

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    A scene from the big bang theory also comes to mind ...



    ;) ;) ;)
     
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  8. Rac80

    Rac80 The Belle of the Ball

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    but the robot isn't "creative"...I will put my cooking against a robot's any day of the week. ;) what I was saying is that to get into management level in many jobs you need a college/university degree of some sort. i know a guy who has a BA in anthropology who works in manufacturing - he's in management with the company and travels all over the world. he doesn't do any anthropology at all. ;) the degree often just says "I can learn".
     
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  9. yongjin02

    yongjin02 Well Known GateFan

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    yeah-the children and youth place i was working at would hire anyone with or without a degree
    but-those with ANY degree earned more money and those of us with relevant degrees (psych, social services, human relations,etc) earned the most

    I am not saying this justifies a degree--it doesn't, but there are a few jobs out there where this does occur

    like i said, if it wasn't for the VA paying the tuition and paying me to go-I would not have done it
     
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  10. Tripler

    Tripler Well Known GateFan

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    I rent a truck a few times during the summer from Enterprise . Every person working there has to have a University Degree . $18 an hour kinda sucks for all that hard work and money you spent on University . A trades person can make that as an apprentice and get as high as $60 an hour in union jobs . I stayed in a non union environment tho I kind of wished I went to a union job . Double the money but a hell of a lot more politics compared to a non union job .
    ;) ;) ;)
     
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  11. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    Wait...Enterprise RENT requires a university degree? Sounds to me like that degree is being used to filter out the poor. There is no skill required to sit behind a desk and assign a vehicle from a software program which tracks the inventory and usage and renters and the related vehicle information. A 15 year old could do that without even a HS diploma.
     
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  12. yongjin02

    yongjin02 Well Known GateFan

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    every enterprise office i have dealt with over the last 10yrs or so had the same situation.

    The only positions they hired non college grads were for the cleaning and detailing of the rentals

    all of the "agent" positions are college grads with temp positions filled by kids in college with the enterprise title of "intern" !

    yes, the adage some ppl are picking up "The Bachelor's degree is the new High School diploma" is not far off the mark
     
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  13. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    It's meaningless if the degree is only an admission ticket! In I.T., it's the exact opposite. You have to take tests (given by the employer) and DEMONSTRATE your skill and knowledge. If you cannot, it won't matter if you have a Computer Science degree from MIT and recommendation letters up the wazoo from rich uncles unless you prove you know your stuff. That's the way it should be anyway. Many children of rich parents are dumb as doorknobs, and they pay money to go to great schools and are coasted through college and given Ph.D. degrees, but are dumb. Look at G.W.Bush. :smiley-laughing021:
     
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  14. Chevron Atlantis

    Chevron Atlantis GateFans Member

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    Yup, they cannot come up with a complex solution to problems, not yet anyway. Here is a speech by a guy who says some jobs will last whilst others will overtaken by robots.

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 12, 2016
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  15. Lord Ba'al

    Lord Ba'al GateFans Member

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    Get the degree.
    Get the work experience.
    Take up one of these on the side, just to have a feel.

    You sound like you're almost finished with the degree so it would be a total waste to not complete it now. Besides, you're not a quitter are you? Do you really want your resume to look like you took on a big task only to quit right before the finishline came in sight? Trust me, that's not a good thing.

    Work experience probably matters more than the degree as far as your skill to do the job is concerned. But get the degree! Then you'll have best of both worlds.

    The Udacity courses are pretty good. They teach knowledge that actually matters and are teaching you the latest things too, whereas going to college you might find that you're basically learning stuff that's way outdated. Some of the courses are really entry level too so not too hard to get into. They quickly dive deeper into the core of the material but not so quickly as to make it too steep a curve. Basically pretty much anyone can learn them. There's even a chance that once you complete one of these courses you'll get offered a job. Apparently tech companies are looking closely at Udacity students because they need people and good people are hard to find, although the source of that is Udacity itself. I guess at the very least it shows that you have an interest in the material and also that you have enough talent to complete at least one course.

    What are you studying for anyway?
     
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  16. yongjin02

    yongjin02 Well Known GateFan

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    the vast "void" between europe and america is defi much more then just water--of course

    your opinion of college-a european one, is vastly diff from ours in the US (well, most of us) and perhaps Australia

    thing is, seems in europe college is valued as a real career developer, it does not seem to be as monetized as US colleges are, seems that further ed in europe is truly meant to further education instead of a student's debt
     
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  17. Lord Ba'al

    Lord Ba'al GateFans Member

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    There might be a difference in education between USA and Europe, but the fact is that employers will always choose someone with a degree over someone who doesn't have one. The best thing to do is to complete the degree and stick it in your pocket, even if you don't ever intend on using it. Chances are great that at some point down the line the degree will make the difference. There are so many jobs out there for which employers demand a degree of a certain level (any degree of a certain level) while there are many people around who don't have a degree but would be more suitable for the job.

    I'm speaking from the experience of someone who had all the options available to pretty much choose any career path and any university I wanted. Twice I started towards a degree and twice I didn't finish it, for whatever reasons. Now, many years down the line during which I had a whole string of all sorts of meanial jobs for minimum wage, I find myself going on 40 working for only slightly above minimum wage as a lowest tier agent in a bloody callcenter of all places. I've always hated phone calls for Christ's sake.

    The bottom line is: "If you can, get the degree."
     
  18. yongjin02

    yongjin02 Well Known GateFan

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    how much does a 4yr degree cost in Europe, on average?
     
  19. Lord Ba'al

    Lord Ba'al GateFans Member

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    I dunno how much really. A couple of years ago I was doing a four year part-time college course in Informatics and that cost about 1600 euros per year. Not including books, but I lent those free of charge from the library. A full time education might cost more though, and other fields might cost more.

    I think the total cost of a complete college or university degree could amount to less than the difference in a year's salary between having a minimum wage job and a job requiring the degree.
     
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  20. Overmind One

    Overmind One GateFans Gatemaster Staff Member

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    That is how it is here in the US now. If places like Enterprise Rent A Car are requiring college degrees to do clerk-level jobs, that it does not say too much for the degree. Here, the trend of huge conglomerates absorbing up the smaller companies takes the entry level jobs down to a mere maintenance level in local outlets/franchises, and reserves the good jobs for the corporate offices. Those jobs are gotten by knowing people and being connected socially. Sure, you can have regional managers and other manager jobs, but with no real competition (just expansion) many types of degrees seem pointless. And the cost of the degrees along with the debt incurred to get them is a huge drawback. Is it getting like this in Europe too?
     
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