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  #571  
Old 01-14-2016, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ShebaPoe View Post
I see it like this:

As you implied, the desire to "go to college" after high school is enormous and is encouraged by parents and other elements in society.

The bias of corporate employers toward college grads is easy to understand IMO. If you went to college and STILL want to work in a corporation, then that is de facto all the qualification you need for a corporate job. If, after being in college, surrounded by access to all of the knowledge humanity has produced, peer groups focused on nearly anything, and little pressure on you vs typical adult life, you STILL choose a corporate job, then who is really exhibiting the bias, the graduate or the employer?
They're both exhibiting the bias, obviously. However, I think what Aga is getting at is that there are artificial job requirements. Even for relatively higher skill jobs like actuaries, I'd say that the majority of the people in the field were capable of the work straight out of high school, at least technically speaking. Maturity is another matter altogether. Less rigid companies, Silicon Valley being the primary example, have realized this and don't worry about educational qualifications as much.

That being said, despite the amount of bureaucracy in the US on this front, we are relatively open to "less qualified" candidates based on education relative to the first world. The catch is that you have to pay your way through university level education.
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  #572  
Old 01-14-2016, 01:46 PM
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I don't think there's any underwriting right now. Their risk is pretty close to 0. I mean, if the person dies without enough assets to repay the loan that's about the only way they can lose.

But in a better world, loan underwriters would certainly do this.

I've cited an article in The Economist previously about a gal who borrowed something in the neighborhood of $200,000 to get an elementary education degree from Sarah Lawrence. She dropped out after 3+ years and works as a barista or something now with this massive student loan hanging over her head.

There's so much wrong with that it's hard to know where to begin.
1) If she dropped out of college with 3+ years under her belt, there's something wrong academically. It seems likely that there were red flags that could have alerted an underwriter to the decreased likelihood of her actually getting the degree.

2) If you want to be a teacher, you simply can't afford to go to a college that requires you to pay $200,000 more than you are capable of paying out of pocket. The only people who should be borrowing that kind of money are folks in medical or law school, and even that is questionable. She shouldn't have taken out that much in loans and the banks shouldn't have been willing to loan it to her either. Even if she'd finished the degree, that's a crippling amount of debt for a job that pays so little.

3) She is pretty much the poster child of why student loans *should* be dischargeable in bankruptcy in certain limited situations. (Obviously I don't want to go to the other extreme and have bankruptcy be a standard thing immediately upon completion of your highest anticipated degree.)
All of that explains why she was featured in the economist. Its not a typical case imo.
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  #573  
Old 01-14-2016, 01:48 PM
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Yeah, I think it would be a lot more politically palatable if you increased the benefit *and* the amount being taxed. But the reality is that under the current benefit formula, that's still a huge boost to sustainability. Additional earnings don't earn you much extra benefit, but they cost a lot in extra taxes.

Obviously where I'm sitting right now, this wouldn't benefit me personally. But it's probably the best way to get Social Security into a sustainable path.

Incidentally, whether it's been intentional or not... congress has basically been doing this already. They're increasing the wage base a LOT faster than the average wage is increasing. In 1965 the NAWI was $4,658.72 and the wage base was $4,800 (only 3% higher).

In 2014 the NAWI was $46,481.52 and the wage base was $117,000 (152% higher).

The NAWI increased 897.7% and the wage base increased 2,337.5%.
Wow, what an interesting analysis
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  #574  
Old 01-14-2016, 01:49 PM
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Yeah, if supply and demand was left alone and worked properly and people made rational decisions, Sarah Lawrence wouldn't be charging $200,000+ for a teaching degree because it makes no sense for somebody to pay that much for a teaching degree so they would have 0 enrollment. Well, there might be special cases where it makes sense, I don't know exactly what goes on there. I would hope that they offer some sort of specialization, like education research opportunities, high level administration training, or education for special needs or something.
I mean if some rich kid wants to go to Sarah Lawrence for an education degree and their parents have the dough to pay for it... go ahead IMO.

But no one should be borrowing $200K for a teaching degree from any college, that's for sure. Not if they plan to teach in the U.S. anyway. (In Luxembourg teachers make more than doctors. So I suppose if someone seriously thought they were going to teach in Lux, borrowing $200K for their college education might make sense. But not many Americans can teach in Luxembourg. You must be fluent in Luxembourgish, French, and German at a minimum and the number of Americans who are fluent in all three is virtually zero. And when I say fluent, you have to be capable of teaching your classes in those languages. If you're a math teacher, you might be teaching your 1st & 2nd period classes in French and your 3rd - 5th period classes in German. And the working language of the schools is Luxembourgish.)
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  #575  
Old 01-14-2016, 01:50 PM
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And that's fine, if corporate America wants generic college degrees then there should be a supply to meet that demand. Right now I get the impression from the anecdotes presented during political debates and whatnot that there is an oversupply of college grads and they're stuck at Starbucks with student loan debt. So to me the problem is that there needs to be less supply, not "let's instead keep the same supply but make it cheaper/free" so these people aren't held hostage when they're forced to work at Starbucks. Giving people free college degrees so they can work at Starbucks does nothing good for anybody. Well, except Starbucks who are lucky to pay squat to an overqualified employee.
There's no such thing as an overqualified barista. You need somebody who can not only make drinks and run a register, but also engage customers who might have questions about the genderqueer or Hegelian subtext of the latest pretending-to-not-be-from-a-big-label album being hawked on their counter.
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  #576  
Old 01-14-2016, 01:54 PM
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I mean if some rich kid wants to go to Sarah Lawrence for an education degree and their parents have the dough to pay for it... go ahead IMO.

But no one should be borrowing $200K for a teaching degree from any college, that's for sure. Not if they plan to teach in the U.S. anyway. (In Luxembourg teachers make more than doctors. So I suppose if someone seriously thought they were going to teach in Lux, borrowing $200K for their college education might make sense. But not many Americans can teach in Luxembourg. You must be fluent in Luxembourgish, French, and German at a minimum and the number of Americans who are fluent in all three is virtually zero. And when I say fluent, you have to be capable of teaching your classes in those languages. If you're a math teacher, you might be teaching your 1st & 2nd period classes in French and your 3rd - 5th period classes in German. And the working language of the schools is Luxembourgish.)
Agreed. The "I'll think about it later" money coming in from student loans artifially creates a larger supply of "I can afford this school".

Also agree that this may not be your typical example and is extreme. Scale the number down to say $20k-$40k and it's likely more typical, but still relevant to the conversation.
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  #577  
Old 01-14-2016, 01:56 PM
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There's no such thing as an overqualified barista. You need somebody who can not only make drinks and run a register, but also engage customers who might have questions about the genderqueer or Hegelian subtext of the latest pretending-to-not-be-from-a-big-label album being hawked on their counter.
just gimme my coffee
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  #578  
Old 01-14-2016, 02:00 PM
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True or not I don't know, but I always see those interviews of factory owners saying they have x amount of openings for a skilled position but nobody has the skills. I doubt it's 1-to-1 and agree with what you say, but I know too many people with communications and anthropology etc. degrees working in jobs where the degree is useless and they see it as a failure. They are smart people and would've made better teachers than baristas and probably would be contributing to society more had they been trained to teach rather than dig up human artifacts. There's always going to be an imbalance as you say, and there will always be a demand from employers seeking "generic college degree to help me with a generic office task" but wouldn't be so bad if some people were trained for a specific job rather than given generic degrees and less college graduates serving coffee.
I don't disagree that having more people trained for skilled labor jobs is a good thing, in general.

I do disagree that the solution lies with people knowing by the end of high school that they shouldn't go to college and do that instead.

Yes, taking out significant student loans to do so is bad, but from my perspective, the fault of that lies with unsustainable college tuition rates and banks with nothing to risk.
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  #579  
Old 01-14-2016, 02:01 PM
ShebaPoe ShebaPoe is offline
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Originally Posted by ditkaworshipper View Post
They're both exhibiting the bias, obviously. However, I think what Aga is getting at is that there are artificial job requirements. Even for relatively higher skill jobs like actuaries, I'd say that the majority of the people in the field were capable of the work straight out of high school, at least technically speaking. Maturity is another matter altogether. Less rigid companies, Silicon Valley being the primary example, have realized this and don't worry about educational qualifications as much.

That being said, despite the amount of bureaucracy in the US on this front, we are relatively open to "less qualified" candidates based on education relative to the first world. The catch is that you have to pay your way through university level education.
Yeah man, nearly every job has "artificial" requirements. it is in the interests of any profession to (1) create barriers to entry and (2) make the job seem harder than it actually is.

The point of hiring college grads is that the ones who want to work in corporations think a certain way and are willing to spend (or borrow!) six figures to prove their commitment to that kind of thought.
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  #580  
Old 01-14-2016, 02:01 PM
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All of that explains why she was featured in the economist. Its not a typical case imo.
Maybe not typical, but probably not extreme either. A lot of private colleges cost in excess of $50K a year, although I think Sarah Lawrence often does top the list as being the very most expensive. It's over $60K a year these days.

Still, $50K a year x 4 years is $200K. And you can usually borrow more than just what you need for tuition, room & board, fees & books; you can usually borrow some spending money too.

So I bet a lot of folks out there have $200K in student loans, although hopefully most of them actually graduated (or are en route to doing so).
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