# Next step of my parenting journey... sending kids to college (or not)

#### MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,622
Amazon is hiring in every state - mostly warehouse/order picking - $15 to$21/hr (depending on local competition for employees).

even better, apprenticeships (your profile says Texas) - this apprentice program pays from the first day and offers health insurance
https://www.twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/registered-apprenticeship-training-programs-job-seekers

here is a electrician/telecom application/rating for companies/unions hiring and offering apprenticeships.
https://www.houstonjatc.com/

Don't get caught up in a pre-apprentice training program - especially if it costs anything.

#### MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,622
Also, if any kid doesn't know what kind of a career he/she is after with a clear idea of
- how much the university education will cost,
- the chance of getting a job in that career and salary
- what the day-to-day tasks of an entry level job in that career is like
Then, they should not go to college. College is an investment in one's future and throwing money away at an "experience" is not an investment.

Ive met dozens of high schools students that claim they want to be a "marine biologist". So far, only two got their marine biology degrees. One couldn't find a job and the other is working at an marine mammal tourist park feeding dolphins. She grew up on a dairy farm. She feels like a hybrid between a fish-monger and farm-hand. Sorting rotted fish from a barrel and dumping buckets of fish into the aquarium. She will convince your daughter that not all degrees are worth the anchor of student loans. She would have rather married the farm kid next door and a "career" of dumping silage to cows (no debt, silage doesn't smell as bad as fish).

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#### SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
4,492
LOL My brother decided he was going to be the next Jaques Cousteau and got his Masters in Marine Biology before finding out there were no jobs! He ended up mooching off our parents until they passed and then decided @ ~age 65 he was going to be a pig farmer.

Thread Starter

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,339
Amazon is hiring in every state - mostly warehouse/order picking - $15 to$21/hr (depending on local competition for employees).

even better, apprenticeships (your profile says Texas) - this apprentice program pays from the first day and offers health insurance
https://www.twc.texas.gov/jobseekers/registered-apprenticeship-training-programs-job-seekers

here is a electrician/telecom application/rating for companies/unions hiring and offering apprenticeships.
https://www.houstonjatc.com/

Don't get caught up in a pre-apprentice training program - especially if it costs anything.
Thanks for that. I'll bookmark those.

#### MrSalts

Joined Apr 2, 2020
2,622
Also, universities lie by omissions. Many post a stupid line like, "98% of our English majors are employed". They don't clarify by spacifying...
27% are baristas
30% are cashiers
41% are hotel clerks
2% work for a regional newspaper that is about to go bankrupt.
Some guy named Joe self-published a novel on Amazon.com

40% work a second job driving for Uber or Lyft

Thread Starter

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,339
Not sure I follow the logic here. Businesses usually implement technology as a cost savings measure. Higher ed uses technology to augment the educational experience. And it's comparison of apples to oranges. A college experience of 1980's is not the same experience of 2020's. To claim that something got much more expensive, you need to have at least a somewhat comparable product.

A better analogy would be to compare the cost of a ticket to a drive in movie theater from the years past to the cost of an IMAX theater. Sure, one is more expensive. But it's not the same product. Or compare the cheapest car from the years past, to a 2021 cheapest car. The modern car is much more expensive, but again, not even close to being a similar product.
I'm glad you brought up the car analogy. I was thinking of using it myself. You're right, any modern car is a totally different animal than any car of years past. The automotive industry has managed to advance their technology and augment the driving experience without bleeding the consumer for everything they're worth (rather, everything they'll be worth some day) .

Annual tuition for 4yr institution, 1985: $5,504 Annual tuition for 4yr institution, 1985 (2019 dollars):$12,811
Annual tuition for 4yr institution, 2019 (2019 dollars): $28,123 Increase of 220% "Fast Facts: Tuition costs of colleges and universities (76)" https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=76 Cost of 1985 Honda Accord:$8845
Cost of 1985 Honda Accord (2019 dollars): $21,016 Cost of 2019 Honda Accord (2019 dollars):$24,615
Increase of 17%

Automotive manufacturers were able to add a vast amount of value to their product while keeping their prices competitive, because they had to. Because they are subject to the law of supply and demand. Because most people only buy cars when they actually need them. Nobody would buy a Honda Accord for $46,235 (220% increase), no matter how fast its on-board WiFi, because they haven't been systematically conditioned since the 6th grade to believe that they need one in order to not end up homeless. Last edited: #### killivolt Joined Jan 10, 2010 834 Also, universities lie by omissions. Many post a stupid line like, "98% of our English majors are employed". They don't clarify by spacifying... 27% are baristas 30% are cashiers 41% are hotel clerks 2% work for a regional newspaper that is about to go bankrupt. Some guy named Joe self-published a novel on Amazon.com 40% work a second job driving for Uber or Lyft Post your stats URL Please! Good grief makes us look bad by association. Nah, just kidding, weird mood today, just saying BTW, F-ing English, Go F yourself. Geez I hate English bin my bane and even then I had to google that ‘Bane or Bain’ anyway now Mathematics on the other hand? and no I’m not googling the freaking punctuation of that either! and without spell check my life is a disaster behind a keyboard. At this point I begin to ask the question WTF? Mathematics, I want to see a comparison of jobs, post Mathematics, which I would think would be similar but has more branches. The higher paying salaries are in business, I would think more exponential. kv Edit: Sometimes I think to myself, if it has ‘ology’ at the end, good luck finding a job. #### MrSalts Joined Apr 2, 2020 2,622 Applied mathematics - you'll find good jobs in encryption technologies, database design, investment/trading algorithms, insurance risk calculations, video game/gambling gaming design, and a growing number of manufacturing companies are hiring math majors to develop inventory target and multi-product scheduling & batch size models (used to be Ops Management MBAs but those are too rare and not trained in the software that can simulate and model like some of the math majors have. #### killivolt Joined Jan 10, 2010 834 Applied mathematics - you'll find good jobs in encryption technologies, database design, investment/trading algorithms, insurance risk calculations, video game/gambling gaming design, and a growing number of manufacturing companies are hiring math majors to develop inventory target and multi-product scheduling & batch size models (used to be Ops Management MBAs but those are too rare and not trained in the software that can simulate and model like some of the math majors have. Are you another one of those people? Eidetic Memory? Or PhotoGraphic, it’s a good sample, I knew some of these already but you pulled the other stuff out of somewhere lol Don’t be a stuffed shirt, a body wants to know. he, he, he. I spec some info, no sats? kv Edit: On a side note our Math Dept was just raking in the money, people would always fail the Algebra II Test and because it was added to their degree, no matter if it was Art, Dancing, etc. Didn’t matter, they had you by the short hair until the school realized these folks needed jobs and it was hindering there search. Edit:Edit: Even worse, a bigger rub is until they obtained their degree the shame among alumni no cap no gown. Disgraced. Last edited: #### hrs Joined Jun 13, 2014 363 I'm glad you brought up the car analogy. I was thinking of using it myself. You're right, any modern car is a totally different animal than any car of years past. The automotive industry has managed to advance their technology and augment the driving experience without bleeding the consumer for everything they're worth (rather, everything they'll be worth some day) . Annual tuition for 4yr institution, 1985:$5,504
Annual tuition for 4yr institution, 1985 (2019 dollars): $12,811 Annual tuition for 4yr institution, 2019 (2019 dollars):$28,123
Increase of 220%

"Fast Facts: Tuition costs of colleges and universities (76)" https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=76

Cost of 1985 Honda Accord: $8845 Cost of 1985 Honda Accord (2019 dollars):$21,016
Cost of 2019 Honda Accord (2019 dollars): $24,615 Increase of 17% Automotive manufacturers were able to add a vast amount of value to their product while keeping their prices competitive, because they had to. Because they are subject to the law of supply and demand. Because most people only buy cars when they actually need them. Nobody would buy a Honda Accord for$46,235 (220% increase), no matter how fast its on-board WiFi, because they haven't been systematically conditioned since the 6th grade to believe that they need one in order to not end up homeless.
Wow. Are there no state funded universities/colleges in the US with more reasonable fees?

#### cmartinez

Joined Jan 17, 2007
7,881
LOL My brother decided he was going to be the next Jaques Cousteau and got his Masters in Marine Biology before finding out there were no jobs! He ended up mooching off our parents until they passed and then decided @ ~age 65 he was going to be a pig farmer.
LOL ... a little late, but at least he found his calling!

#### DickCappels

Joined Aug 21, 2008
9,521
I would like to point out that Jaques Cousteau did not graduate college, but he knew what he wanted to do and made himself available to opportunities he positioned himself for as they appeared. He knew what he wanted to do and found a way.

Wernher von Braun didn't graduate from college, where he discovered that he was terrible at math and physics, but since childhood he was enamored with thoughts of maned space flight. He knew what he wanted to do and positioned himself so that opportunities appeared, of which he took advantage.

I know people who skipped college but found comfortable jobs and are secure and happy in their lives.

Notice a pattern here?

Thread Starter

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,339
Wow. Are there no state funded universities/colleges in the US with more reasonable fees?
Those numbers I posted are averages, so yes, some are cheaper, some are more expensive. As far as state funded, I don't know enough to answer. I think that all colleges receive some state funding, but I'm not aware of any universities that are totally owned and operated by the state. Trades programs and other similar programs like were linked to before, but not universities. I have not heard of that.

Thread Starter

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,339
I would like to point out that Jaques Cousteau did not graduate college, but he knew what he wanted to do and made himself available to opportunities he positioned himself for as they appeared. He knew what he wanted to do and found a way.

Wernher von Braun didn't graduate from college, where he discovered that he was terrible at math and physics, but since childhood he was enamored with thoughts of maned space flight. He knew what he wanted to do and positioned himself so that opportunities appeared, of which he took advantage.

I know people who skipped college but found comfortable jobs and are secure and happy in their lives.

Notice a pattern here?
I'm part of that pattern, which is a strong contributing factor to the views I hold, but I must constantly remind myself that it only works when you have a specific goal and a determination to achieve it. I think most people (especially most kids) don't have that. Out of that void is born the concept of "go figure yourself out while racking up an uncarryable burden of debt." I hope to come up with a substitute solution for the "I don't know what I want to be when I grow up" situation that doesn't darken a kid's future by leaving them uneducated and/or unable to get a job, or by leaving them saddled with debt and piece of paper that doesn't reflect who they are or what they are capable of. Many answers and suggestions have been presented and I am grateful. I think out of the words in this thread I will be able to piece together something appropriate and helpful to say to my daughter.

Thread Starter

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,339
Ive met dozens of high schools students that claim they want to be a "marine biologist". So far, only two got their marine biology degrees. One couldn't find a job and the other is working at an marine mammal tourist park feeding dolphins. She grew up on a dairy farm. She feels like a hybrid between a fish-monger and farm-hand. Sorting rotted fish from a barrel and dumping buckets of fish into the aquarium. She will convince your daughter that not all degrees are worth the anchor of student loans. She would have rather married the farm kid next door and a "career" of dumping silage to cows (no debt, silage doesn't smell as bad as fish).
LOL My brother decided he was going to be the next Jaques Cousteau and got his Masters in Marine Biology before finding out there were no jobs! He ended up mooching off our parents until they passed and then decided @ ~age 65 he was going to be a pig farmer.
Stories like this are too common. The common example is the pedigreed Starbucks Barrista. This is exactly what I'm talking about. This is what happens (or to be fair, what can happen, with unacceptable likelihood) when you follow the advice to just go get a degree whether you have a calling or not, just because... "because if you don't then you'll be digging ditches" (or feeding rotten fish to dolphins or slop to pigs).

#### MikeA

Joined Jan 20, 2013
316
Stantor said:
Automotive manufacturers were able to add a vast amount of value to their product while keeping their prices competitive, because they had to. Because they are subject to the law of supply and demand.
How is higher ed not subject to the law of supply and demand? It's completely voluntary to attend or not attend, with far many more options than there are car manufacturers and car models.

Vehicles got more expensive because of real laws, not economic laws. You can't sell a vehicle without airbags. Or a backup camera. Or very expensive emission controls. Or not compliant with fuel efficiency standards. And many other things.

Higher ed is exactly the same. There is much more government regulations than before. And many more requirement to limit liability. Some kid fails a class, and kills himself? You better have a dozen full time mental health counselors. You didn't? Well it's very likely a jury will find you at least partly negligent.

You can look at financials of all public universities and see where the money is going. Some even publish employee salaries. Even private institutions usually publish financial audit documents. It's not secret information. I'm not even sure what you are trying to say when you bring up the fact that higher ed got more expensive. Nobody is denying that. What is the implication though? That there are some kind of "super profits" in completely transparent non-profit organization? That there are piles of dark money used for funding communism?

#### SamR

Joined Mar 19, 2019
4,492
College is not for everyone. I remember our first College Freshman orientation session where they asked us to look at the person to the left and right of us and then told us only half the people in the session would be there the next year. Huge dropout and fail out rate... My brother-in-law went to work for a Chrysler dealer as a shop mechanic right out of high school. For many years he was earning more than my wife and I did with our degrees. He also spent every penny he earned instead of saving for his retirement so he still must work today. It was also disheartening to see new hire engineering graduates earning more than it took me many years to earn, even considering inflation. LOL and some of them even decided to take on 2nd jobs, but that's another long story...

Thread Starter

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,339
How is higher ed not subject to the law of supply and demand? It's completely voluntary to attend or not attend, with far many more options than there are car manufacturers and car models.

Vehicles got more expensive because of real laws, not economic laws. You can't sell a vehicle without airbags. Or a backup camera. Or very expensive emission controls. Or not compliant with fuel efficiency standards. And many other things.

Higher ed is exactly the same. There is much more government regulations than before. And many more requirement to limit liability. Some kid fails a class, and kills himself? You better have a dozen full time mental health counselors. You didn't? Well it's very likely a jury will find you at least partly negligent.

You can look at financials of all public universities and see where the money is going. Some even publish employee salaries. Even private institutions usually publish financial audit documents. It's not secret information. I'm not even sure what you are trying to say when you bring up the fact that higher ed got more expensive. Nobody is denying that. What is the implication though? That there are some kind of "super profits" in completely transparent non-profit organization? That there are piles of dark money used for funding communism?
Not sure why my words were quoted as having been said by @MrSalts .

Have I been ambiguous with my implications? I thought I said them outright repeatedly. Can't even rightly call them implications. My accusations are summarized as follows:

The public K-12 school system in America is brainwashing our kids to believe that they must purchase a product from a private industry (a degree from a university) as an imperative component to be anything other than destitute for the rest of their lives. On the level of those actually delivering the rhetoric, they surely do it with good will as true believers. But the consequence of their misguided advice has led to and perpetuated a society where the degree actually is required for most to be successful. In the beginning it was a self fulfilling prophesy. Now it is a perpetual positive feedback loop. The operators of these universities are well aware of the feedback loop and exploit it to it's maximum potential, a little more every year, boiled frog style, and won't stop until the entire country is in chains. The banking industry is likewise aware of the loop and likewise exploiting it to its full potential. They've even managed to purchase laws specifically guaranteeing their ownership over our youth by having student loans undischargeable in bankruptcy.

All this is plainly observable. The only "implication" (which I haven't even implied until now); the only portion of it which could be in the realm of a "conspiracy theory" is what kicked off the self-fulfilling prophesy in the first place. Were K-12 admins ever incentivized to preach the myth of the all-important degree? If they ever were, they probably aren't any more. They don't need to be. It was a beautifully (executed plan? begotten situation?) requiring no continued infusion of propaganda.

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#### MikeA

Joined Jan 20, 2013
316
The banking industry is likewise aware of the loop and likewise exploiting it to its full potential. They've even managed to purchase laws specifically guaranteeing their ownership over our youth by having student loans undischargeable in bankruptcy.
This is not a good example of lobbying, which does exist. Of course loans where the "item" can't be repossessed are a dubious proposition. Any reasonable person would agree. Nobody would give you a mortgage if the house can't be repossessed if you stop paying. Same for car loans. Any loan really. Either the "item" should be repossessible or there is collateral. The concept is thousands of years old.

The operators of these universities are well aware of the feedback loop and exploit it to it's maximum potential
Who are the "operators"? All higher ed employees? The support staff like janitors and facilities employees? Presidents of universities? And if you can identify someone group of people, I'd like to hear more specific examples what power they have, or specific actions they can take, to brainwash kids?

Thread Starter

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
6,339
This is not a good example of lobbying, which does exist. Of course loans where the "item" can't be repossessed are a dubious proposition. Any reasonable person would agree. Nobody would give you a mortgage if the house can't be repossessed if you stop paying. Same for car loans. Any loan really. Either the "item" should be repossessible or there is collateral. The concept is thousands of years old.
Fair enough, I hadn't considered the lack of collateral.

Who are the "operators"? All higher ed employees? The support staff like janitors and facilities employees? Presidents of universities? And if you can identify someone group of people, I'd like to hear more specific examples what power they have, or specific actions they can take, to brainwash kids?
I clearly said that it was the public K-12 school system doing the brainwashing. But if as an employee of a university you still feel attacked by my post, maybe you can help me better aim it. You tell me, who is responsible for hiking the tuition each year? What person or group of people within or associated with the university chain of command gets to decide how much the service costs? That's who my post is aimed at. That perpetual rate hike is the component of this situation for which the university is culpable.