ohio state blogs will post literally anything
OT- What's a degree really worth?
a professor at a university in the Mid-Atlantic region. Your son should go into a health care profession where he will be employed either prior to or soon after his graduation. Our grads are employed right away and make a great starting salary. If you have interest just indicate so and I can speak to you. The economy is not adversely impacting health care careers since the population continues to age and get sick. If he is interested he has many options.
Michigan provides far and away the most 'productive' degree of any school in the state, with a net ROI (return on investment) of 13.1% for in-state students.
Michigan Tech is second, and State is third.
so I guess, crime really does pay.
This really isn't all that surprising. As more and more people go to college, the smaller the gap is going to get.
If you go to an above average/elite school, major in something engineering/math/science related, and graduate on time, your ROI will probably be pretty substantial, I would think. And I'm talking about only earning a BS.
With In-State tuition, no financial aid, the cost would be something like 100K total. Graduating with an BS Engineering will on average net you 60k (excluding benefits) a year. Assuming a 3% raise every year, you will make $2.85 million over 30 years, or 28 times your investment.
Even assuming only 80% of the 88% that graduate from Michigan find jobs, you're still looking at $2 million over 30 years.
So, the lesson here is don't make fun of engineers.
Don't forget the time value of money....
Lesson here is don't laugh at accountants.
There will always be people on both ends of the spectrum no matter what school you go to or what you study. Speaking from a strictly business standpoint, you really can't get away with not having a degree. My Michigan education is by far the biggest advantage I have over the rest of the competition, and has really opened doors to interviews/jobs that otherwise I would have had no shot at getting. From my experience I would say that in the business world it is a necessity.
Seriously, most kids should probably spend the first two years at a junior college. There is no English, Math, Science, History classes that can't be carried over to a four year college. You will spend far less for the first couple of years and get the exact same knowledge, taught in a smaller classroom with more contact with the teacher. That is the first thing anyone should really know about college, after that, a four year degree can be completed at the university of choice and your debt will not be nearly as high.
often overlooked or done incorrectly. A friend of mine got into great schools in Florida with her heart set on going into international business. Her parents said "Tough shit," and made her commute to a closer school (SUNY Stony Brook in NY, which barely has a business school) for her first year because she had a better financial aid offer there. After that, they let her transfer to a bigger New York school with a better business program. Her father has also offered to pay her grad school wherever she gets accepted. If you're not trying to transfer into a program with a specialized first year this is your best bet, provided you make sure all the credits will transfer. I've heard it's difficult to transfer into a lot of engineering programs though.
But if you want to transfer into an engineering program (or theoretical physics), especially one of Michigan's calibur, don't take too many math classes at community college. You don't actually get the exact same knowledge...in fact, not even close in most cases. Once you get to mid- to upper-level engineering classes, the math will destroy you if you're not acclimated to ridiculous derivations and ugly formulae.
I took 2 years at a CC before PSU. I had some of the advanced math's (calculus 1 & 2) at the CC and they transferred. Unfortunately I wasn't ready for the next maths in the series (diff eq & matrice algebra) like those who took their math at PSU. I would have been better off if they hadn't taken those credits and I repeated the classes.
before transfering to UofM to get an engineering degree. I can tell you that the math, chemistry and physics classes I had at the small college actually helped me. I had great teachers and smaller classes (my physics class had 10 people in it) so I got more attention and one/one time with an actual professor, not a TA in a large lecture hall. I even got a job out of it helping folks with their math homework and grading tests in the lower math classes for one of the professors.....
If you do not have rich parents or a big scholarship from the university, you had better be considering your options to try and get a degree economically. The only draw back is you can't go to a CC for 2 years and dick around. You have to take the right classes that will transfer (you had better figure all this out before you sign up for them) and keep your GPA up for the entire couple of years you are there (mine was in the 3.7 to 3.8 range when I applied at UofM).
I took Physics somewhere else. I still know next to nothing about physics, and the mandatory MechE 200 levels almost killed me.
I took all my calc including differential equations at the junior college then transfered to an engineering university. All math and science at Jackson community college (Jackson Michigan) is geared and accredited so that it will transfer to UM, MSU, Michigan Tech. I took 2 semesters or Physics there as well, all of it transfered. Just options that people have out there to save money.
This can be great advice for a very particular type of student. A great friend of mine saved tens of thousands of dollars by going to a community college for two years, getting all A's, and then transfering to the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana). But as other commenters have stated, it's important to do your research beforehand to make sure that you don't end up wasting your time if your course of study doesn't match up well with this strategy.
Calvin College, where I just finished up my undergrad, ranks 457th with an ROI of 8.2%. I'd be willing to bet that number would be a lot higher if half the girls there weren't just looking to get their MRS degree.
I thought girls at Calvin College were supposed to get their MRS degrees by their Junior year and have at least one blonde kid by graduation?
I used to work in Utah. From my observations, marriage and procreation formed the core curriculae of BYU, Utah and Utah State.
as there are coed directed studies I'm OK with that.
I think it used to be a requirement, now it's only 'highly recommended.' Things are getting pretty liberal around there these days ;).
Bah. Lost to them in rugby. F-in backs sucked.
in the opportunities it opens for a graduate. It is a key that opens doors that are otherwise inaccessible.
And you better get the best key/degree you can.
In this article, the author seems to be lumping a lot of Universities together and making a generalized statement ("What ?", you say, "The media - our trusted watchdog?").
I think that this article certainly brings up thoughtful questions that students and parents should discuss. Certainly taking six years to graduate is a costly endeavor.
But a Michigan degree with very good grades will always be a benchmark.
... you will have four choices if you want a job:
(1) Have a degree;
(2) Be incredibly and specifically talented at something such that a degree does not matter;
(3) Have the money to start your own business;
(4) Be unemployed.
Figure out which category you want to be in and go from there.
And this is exactly why universities feel justified in making tuition as high as they please.
Although for OOS students the cost of an education is reaching the point of absurdity, particularly for a school like Michigan, the most expensive public U in the USA for OOS students.
I wonder what the ROI is for OOS students at U of M? In any event, getting the best education you can, including a graduate degree in a field where you can find a job still makes great sense.
Honestly I turned down a full ride from Cornell and am now paying about half the cost of OOS tuition at Michigan (thank you financial aid) because UM's aerospace program is ranked in the top 3 (by USNWR fwiw) and I'm not sure if Cornell's cracked the top 10. I was also told (unofficially) by my manager at my internship that I could expect to earn 70k+ starting at that company.
Unless you happen to live in Georgia (GT), Illinois (UI), California (Cal), Michigan (UM), Indiana (Purdue) or Texas (UT), you're going to pay out the nose for a good engineering degree.
Of course, even with OOS Upper Level Engineering approaching 40k/year tuition, you're going to earn it back within 3-4 years. Although Cornell is a pretty good engineering school (top 10) as well, I have no idea what their Aero program is like.
What can you do anymore without a degree unless, as you stated, you have some kind of money in your corner (like family money) or have some kind of bizarre skill or talent that will be sufficient to make enough money to last your life.
Reality is though that at some point the administrators (both at Michigan and elsewhere) have to stop the increases in tuition. We're creating generations of people starting out their professional lives with so much debt they'll likely never get out from under it and, likely prevents them from going into fields of social good like teaching or social work where they won't make enough money to pay those loans back.
I recognize I have no power to stop the increase which is why I advocate as hard as I do for new scholarship creation. Accordingly, BOBBLE-ON and buy some tickets to the Beer Tasting below and drink your way to helping two UofM Scholarships.
and everyone else who gives to scholarship causes. My mother financially falls into the "not capable of contributing" category as far as my education is concerned, and has another daughter starting her freshman year at UConn. UM grants, financial aid and federal work-study cover about half my yearly out-of-state tuition.
but in blunting the impact of the cost on individuals, they also make it easier for institutions to push up costs still more. Good and bad, all at once.
I love that GaTech is #31 (in-state) and #36 (out of state.) I always thought Ga-Tech was a great value; didn't realize it was also true for out of staters as well.
A Business Week ranking with a poor methodology? No way! I did pick a school ranked a little bit better than MSU in US News over Michigan, which would have been 75k more expensive.
One mistake that the researchers seem to be making (though I haven't actually looked at any of their data/models) is that they're not accounting for differences in the average pre-standing, individual characteristics of students at different institutions. For example, if you took MIT's entire accepted class and somehow prevented them from entering any college, they'd likely earn a fair bit more than average high school grads in the workforce. Seperating out earnings benefits due to school attendance from earning benefits due to just being really smart and able to get into a good school would probably make the returns to education look even worse.
On the flip side, I think there's a great deal more benefit to be claimed from going to a good school than just having a better chance at a high salary. For instance, my current salary alone probably doesn't come close to justifying the money I spent on a master's degree, but I still think the degree was well worth it. It gave me a good deal of self-determination in the sort of work I do, and I think the learning process made me a more thoughtful and engaged person.
I think there is a huge signaling effect or "sheepskin" effect with college degrees/diplomas. If you have a degree from a prestigious institution it often can signal to the would be employer about your potential.
Also I guess discount rates and opportunity costs differ person to person which changes how much a person values future earnings.
Also don't forget about the networking (damn, I hate that word) effects. Particularly at some of the upper echelon schools, the value of having swaths of high-achieving college buddies can be immense later on in your career. When I read stories about how such-and-such business partners met in college, I wonder if that's a polite way of saying "they met each other puking in the same garbage can at the local frat house, and later on discovered that they shared a great love for electrical engineering. And the rest is history."
This goes double for the Ivy schools, often they will only hire people from those schools so in effect you can't qualify for some jobs that are out there if you didn't attend one of those schools.
I have an Engineering Degree and im unemployed...5 years worth of school...going in they pretty much gaurenteed a job after graduation...ha ya what a joke. Ferris and WMU.
... degree and school. For most schools and uni's with a liberal arts curriculum I'd say the diploma is no longer worth the paper they're printed on. I have a BBA (1981) and an MBA (1988) from WMU ($75 per credit hour back then). They are often a necessary requisite to get your foot in the door, but at the current exorbitant tuition prices, I'd have to think twice.
Bottom line, a degree from a good school will get you noticed when you apply to grad schools or apply for a job. I do the hiring for my firm and when I look through resumes I pull out the ones who have undergrad degrees or law degrees from the better schools first. When I first moved to Michigan I had several local law firms call me in for interviews because the law school I went to is higher ranked than anything in this state except UofM (and the UofM law grads rarely stick around).
Sure you can go to a "lesser" school and still be success in life or go to a better school and be a professional failure. I've met plenty of good attorneys in my field with far less academic credentials than I have. That said, when I talk to them, they all had tougher roads to where they were than I did as my degrees and academic success got me interviews at good employers which led to offers. But once you're in the door, you're on your own. Degree can't save you, its all about performance.
i'm having an MGoSummer while striking out in the job search. 2 BAs (double majored at UM), an MA from MSU and a JD from a school down south. not planning on taking the bar bc it almost looks like new attorneys are even MORE screwed come September
I wish all my friends starting law school could see this post. Because I don't have the heart to say anything to them.
bad right now.
But for someone starting law school, by the time they finish in 3 or 4 years the market should be much better.
A law degree is a VERY valuable tool, It's just that there's a drought of solid opportunity and creativity with finding law based work will be required in the present
The key is that first step. Even if you go to some sweat shop for minimum pay and no benefits you're in the game and getting your experience. From there, you're one step up because as you work on job #2 and are competing with all the kids applying right out of school (i.e. you right now) you've got the leg up. The reality is most firms don't like to train and if they can dump that responsibility on some other firm and then pinch their associates after they've been shown the ropes, thats worth the time time saved in not doing the training themselves.
I wish I could explain how completely SHITTY my first firm job was and how much I wanted to absolutely choke my boss every time I even looked at her. But I sucked it up for a 18 months, got what was a dog assignment and ended up winning the case and rode the win to a new job where I made partner a few years later.
Knock the f-ing bar down and get that first crap job under your belt. Can't win the game from the sidelines.
I'll second your notion that experience is the key.
Although I'm a barred attorney (passed last summer), I've only been able to find a clerkship. The pay is far from ideal and it is not at all in the area of law I want to practice, the experience has been invaluable.
One of the comments I've heard from other lawyers (and I have no idea how true this is, so don't shoot) is that there is a glut of lawyers that isn't going away anytime soon. Something about too many new law schools opening up (the Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law may or may not be a guilty party).
But again, I'm more curious what your (and JBA) thoughts are on this.
If you really want to be a lawyer, then take the bar and get a job, even if it's far from the one you want, and you can move on from there. The legal profession is all about networking--which is easy to do when you are actually practicing law, but not so easy when you're on the outside looking in.
If you just want to make money, don't become a lawyer. You'll just burn-out, and there are plenty of easier and more lucrative fields to get into.
I graduated law school in the mid-90's. Since I graduated both the number of law schools and the available spots at law schools has doubled while the economy has gone down obviously reducing the number of people who can pay for legal services and, obviously the number of lawyers hired by firms. But the glut is the real problem. I had to hire an associate last summer for an ENTRY level job and my other partners forced me to reduce the starting pay down by 1/3 of what I wanted to offer because they knew people were desperate. Indeed, for a job posting that specifically said (1) you must have passed the bar which disqualified all the kids who were taking it that July and (2) entry level salary regardless of experience (which is code for I'm not hiring anyone who has a ton of experience because I can't pay you) we still had over 200 applications. I'd say 1/2 were graduates one particular law school in Michigan which advertises itself as the biggest in the nation. Thats not a good thing. That particular school is doing a disservice to its own grads by pumping that many people into an already depressed legal market.
The methodology on this is really poor. I wouldn't use them as even a partial basis for a decision.
I dislike studies that say the degree is worth a lot, when they make no effort to separate out the quality of students entering that school. The marginal benefit from going to MIT instead of Michigan may be close to zero for a lot of students, while the extra cost for a Michigan resident is enormous (at least $80,000 + travel costs, etc). For that matter, I rather suspect that being near the top of your class at MSU with extracurriculars, etc, is enough to get you the job you want with enough initiative.
About the actual post: the value of college degrees will vary tremendously based on what major your son picks. A hard science degree is probably worth considerably more than an American History degree, for instance. I wouldn't be too discouraged about degrees in general; at worst, you could try to have your son go to a lower level college with a scholarship for a standard undergraduate degree and pay less for college.
A simple BA might not even be enough when your son enters college. Heck, I graduated U of M in '06 and I feel like I need to get my MBA to get a leg up on my peers. To better answer your question, when I stated my ultimate goal in high school (go to U of M) they did some research and devised a list of scholarships I should work towards and they offered to match whichever dollar amount I was able to get. My loans were minimal and 4 years later I am close to paying them off.
The cost of college is out of control. I am glad I don't have kids because I don't want to imagine what the cost of college will be in 18 years. People can throw out numbers and statistics to try and make their point. However, most higher paying jobs require a college degree. It is just how things are. I am going to graduate from the University of Phoenix soon with a master's degree in accounting. I have an undergrad degree in business and taking online classes was really the only option for me because I needed to keep working full time. I have a feeling I might be screwed because I doubt a degree from the University of Phoenix carries much weight. I will either be able to find a good job or probably develop a serious drinking problem. So I have that going for me, which is nice.
While useful, and will certainly get you *some* looks from recruiters and HR folks that otherwise would pass you over, is nowhere near as important as networking. It's also worth a little more in your starting salary when you're younger, once you pass 10 years experience in any field salaries are fairly level.
As someone else mentioned and I will tag on to, there is nothing more critical to finding a job than who you know and who you can get references from. Your friends, your family, previous employers, ministers of faith....one of those folks usually knows someone who is hiring, or knows someone who works somewhere that is hiring. Get to know those people (If you dont know your family then you have other issues...but yeah). I happen to be a hopeless nerd and love computer gaming. My last 3 jobs (over 20 years) have all been acquired through friends I've met online gaming, and "just happpened" to know someone who needed an IT engineer.
As for references, if it comes down to you and some other guy for a job, references can be the x factor and having some middle manager say you were an awesome guy isn't going to cut it. Get yourself out there, meet the CEO, CFO, or board members if at all possible. Interact with them as much as possible for legitimate reasons, it *will* pay off. You can beat out people who have ridiculously good qualifications (the guy I beat out for my current job had a degree from MIT) when the CEO of your old company calls a board member of the company you're trying to gain employment with and reccomends you.
The value of a college degree:
#1 Pride in having earned one.
#2 More likely to have better benefits than without one. Insurance (health, life, eye and dental), retirement plans, vacation time, etc...
#3 More likely to out earn people without one even if it is a mere $400,000 instead of $1,200,000 as the article suggests.
The federal government seems to believe that if you have a Bachelor's degree you earn $51,206 on average a year and just $27,915 for a high school diploma. You can certainly succeed and be highly successful without a college degree, but the odds are a Bachelor's degree is going to help more than hurt you.
of Valparaiso University and had to sub all of spring semester but the high school I worked at made sure I was actually teaching the material instead of just baby sitting. He wrote me a helluva a letter of recccommendation and all it did was get me a job near South Bend at a middle of nowhere school where I'm making low 30s. College was expensive as hell but I'm plenty grateful to have a job the way things are no matter what my income or place of living.
I teach at a private college in the NE. Our tuition is insane. One thing this has done is motivated me as a mentor.
When I've had students and parents ask me about costs, I tell them about former students of mine who now work at a number of government agencies. I then tell them how many letters of recommendation I wrote for students for jobs and internships last year and then mention where some of my current students are interning.
In making clear what I do outside of the classroom for my students, I underscore one lesson for them: not all colleges are equal.
I find it striking how rarely learning itself has been mentioned here. A lazy dumbass with a college degree is still a lazy dumbass. But a smart, industrious person with a college degree is someone who actually learned something while in college.
Liberal arts curricula teach you to write, to express yourself and, in a nutshell, to make an argument. Learning to do this is useful, whether in a corporate/institutional environment or in other professions. In the sciences, having a solid foundation matters even more in terms of future success.
I think most people would agree with this sentiment as well...but studying something you have at least a bit of interest in (or love if you go that far) is pretty important. While those things may not always end with the most safe return on investment, the quality of your life and work are pretty important too.
To that end, and this may not end up being important until your son is 16 or 17, find a school and course of study that will allow him to grow academically in a subject area he likes. I chose U of M because I was unsure of my exact course of study, but knew there were a ton of programs in the top 5 in the country.
The real value of an undergraduate experience comes from the fact that--for he who takes his experience seriously, at least--it necessitates severe personal development in an enriched environment. As a future medical scientist, I care much less of my Michigan education's contribution to my eventual salary and much more of its influence on the development of my skills of creativity and analysis. Those things will take me much further than will a high ROI without them (treat that as a thought experiment because, yes, I understand the two are inextricably linked).
Michigan put me in a research laboratory, and I developed, as an undergrad, into the first human being to ever successfully purify a specific voltage-gated potassium channel and I was honored with a publication. Michigan put me in sustainable development operations in the Dominican Republic, and I developed into a undergrad dude--in my "revolutionary" phase--that could devise spanish literacy programs, and develop new water purification technologies, the likes of which rural Dominicans now have the educational and financial capital to forever build on their own. Michigan put me in a dorm with a future physicist, linguist, and philosopher, and for that I am forever developing into a dabbler of Schrodinger's, Emerson's, and Kant's work. That is the Michigan Difference.
I'm a teacher and I approve of this message. If I can lead other people to greatness, get satisfaction from my job, and make enough money to support my family, then why do I need to be rich? Besides, smart investments can make people in any field rich.
A degree's worth is based primarily on supply and demand for the skills indicated by the degree, with a large factor of where you went and who you know.
Lawyers, for example, are in high supply and low demand right now, but a Harvard lawyer is probably still doing better than a Cooley Law graduate.
From a pure financial basis, think of it as a bell curve with a x-axis of starting salary. Supply and demand for the skills conferred by the degree determine where the curve sits. From there, think of that curve breaking down into a curve for each school that confers said degree. A Harvard curve is going to be more to the right than a San Diego State curve. GPA, internships, performance, industry chosen, etc then place you on your respective curve. From there, who you know can move you wherever is happens to be. For example, your dad is a CEO of Company X and gets you a plum job.
If I had to list importance of financial factors in descending order:
1. What the degree is
2. Where the degree is from
3. Chosen industry to work in
4. GPA, internships, activities - Comparative ranking factors
Wildcard: Who you know.
I work with tons of people with ba's in lit, liberal arts and other useless degree's and they are now in customer service jobs making 20grand a yr looking for jobs.
The value of an engineering, technology, medical and business degree is far more then those of useless degree's in a tight job market. These degree's also allow you to cross over fields as well where as a liberal arts major, history major has less oppertunities crossing fields with their major.
Businessweek, they bring up bigtime points in return on investment. But the biggest point they showed is stay in state to go to school unless it means going to an elite university and your other options means going oos for a comperable education anyway.....
Biggest change, 10yrs ago companies were recruiting and using internships to lure top students. Now internships is your job interview not your job offer. Now you better come to perform.
Ya know, my useless degree did teach me how to use apostrophes correctly.
I feel so subversive being another "useless degree" holder.
Booyakasha me Julie. You aren't lying about that. Ann Arbor has it goin' on.
Go Blue, etcetera!
Am I the only one who thinks financial return is not the only important part of a job? Lets break down a typical day.
6-8 Hrs of sleep
9-10 Hrs of work
1-2 Hrs Eat/hygiene total
1-2 Hours doing daily mundane things (walk the dog, do dishes, do laundry, do your wife, etc)
5-6 billion hours doing stuff with the kids if you have them
That doesn't really leave much me time, so make sure you kid gets a job doing something he loves. If you hate what you spend half of your conscious life doing, then you'll hate your conscious life. College often opens a lot more opportunities when it comes to management or specific skills, which often require degrees. Still, nobody has to go to college to make good money. Trade schools are an option which is oft scoffed at and can provide more income potential than your average liberal arts degree. If the kid wants to work with his hands, don't waste time with a college degree, but if he/she wants to work with his/her mind, college will probably be the way to go. There is no such thing as a "useless degree" as long as people are driven and apply themselves. (Well there are probably a couple useless degrees out there.)
I have my accounting degree from Ferris. It has served me very well. When I went in to take the CPA exam I was ready to go toe to toe with anyone in that hall. I'm in a small public accounting firm, and my boss is a former IRS agent whose wife works for a Big 4. From what I've heard from both of them, there's no way on God's green earth that I'd go near a Big 4.
To me it all depends on what your degree is in. If it's a degree that you can use in a practical purpose on a day to day basis, you've done well to set yourself up over the long run. Much more often than not, that's a helluva lot better than not having one. I see a lot of my extended family that had no interest in education after high school, and quite frankly, they're fucked. The jobs that were available 25 years ago without an education or a trained skill are now few and far between, at least if you want to make any kind of money to support a family decently. My dad, who worked at the Ford plant in Saline, saw this coming in the early 80's and expressed as much in no uncertain terms.
I don't think that trying to sue an ex vice president is a great way to make money, but to each his own.
Aparrently not having a degree can get you a 6 year $110 million dollar contract/