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The Education Scam

By Lumbergh77 ·
Interesting article...


The Education Scam

We have blindly believed several lies told to us by our colleges and universities which are about to hit our economy very hard. The first of these lies is the simple minded concept that, if everyone got a college degree, there wouldn't be any poverty because everyone would have a good paying job. The second lie is that you cannot make a good living unless you get a college education.

Don't get me wrong, I believe in education. I have two college degrees and the second one has made it very difficult for me to get work. I will explain this more later.

Why Would Our Colleges Lie To Us?

The reason our colleges and universities have lied to us is to make everyone want to go to college. It sounds great but I will explain the negative side of everyone going to college later. The main thing here is that they have lied to us for decades in order to increase the demand for a college education. If the demand for a college education is high enough, then they can increase tuitions which will generate additional revenues for colleges. Increased demand for a college education also meant an increased demand for college professors and administrative staff which drove up salaries for college professors and administrative staff. Basically, they lied to increase their income. It has worked because tuitions and salaries have increased over the last 30 or more years by hundreds of percentiles.

Will College Educations Eliminate Poverty?

The lie that everyone getting a college education will eliminate poverty is just too simple minded and out of touch with reality. From World War II until as far as we can reasonably forecast into the future, 2030, the percentage of jobs requiring a college education has not and will not change. It has and will remain that only 20% of the jobs on the market will require a college education. That means that 80% of the jobs don't require a college education. There are and will only be so many jobs for people with a college degree regardless of how many people get a college degree.

Common sense should tell you that, if 21% of the workers get a college education, 1% of the work force will be unable to get a job requiring a college education and will be over qualified for lower level jobs. They will not have a skill or trade and will be forced to take jobs in unskilled labor with hopes that they will some day be able to get a job with their college degree. Unfortunately, if they are out of their industry too long, their degree becomes "aged" and becomes useless. These people can find themselves stuck in unskilled labor and poverty.

This has already occurred. I began hearing about this in the early 1990's and have sense personally experienced it myself. After I got my Master of Business Administration in 1996, I have not been able to get a job with it. It seems that with my personal experience, I should be paid in the range of at least $40,000 to over $65,000 for general management. There are so many MBA graduates with no experience who can be hired for less that no one wants me.

In the interim, I obtained a job working for America Online as a phone technician making $7 per hour. I was amazed that over half of the employees working there had one or more college degrees and were only making $7 per hour. As I talked to them, I found that they were all having the same problem. I met one person who had two PhD's and was only making $7 per hour and was glad to have it. Remember that this was at the time that businesses were claiming it was so hard to find college graduates to hire so they could import cheap labor from other countries.

Even during the present "booming" economy where unemployment has "plunged" a "whopping" two tenths of one percent in one year, the problem persists. Are we being lied to by our government and media or what?

What this over education of our society is doing, is that businesses now have the luxury of not hiring more experienced and more expensive labor and hiring less experienced and cheaper labor. This means that older people are increasingly finding it tougher to get jobs. These "older" people are getting younger. It started out being people in their 40's and 50's and is now happening to people in their 30's. Soon, it will get tougher on people of all ages.

I also heard that this has reached a point to where businesses are now even willing to risk law suits by firing more experienced employees to hire less experienced and cheaper labor. The courts are permitting the businesses to get away with this because they are claiming that the people are not being fired because of their age but because they are more expensive to employ. Therefore, goes their logic, it is because of cost and not age. Yeah, right!

This problem has reached a point to where, in California alone, there are over 1,500 complaints being filed with the government of California per year. How many more are not even bothering to file a complaint? And this is at a time when the economy is booming and they can't find qualified labor? Yeah, right. You better sell me another bridge because I am not buying that one.

More and more of these college educated people are being forced to accept jobs in unskilled labor making less than $10 per hour. This problem is approaching epidemic proportions and it is getting much worse.

The Coming Epidemic

In the summer of 1999, I heard a statistic which made me shudder but the simple minded media think it is great. It seems that more than 65% of our high school graduates are enrolled in college. That means that anywhere from 35% to over 50% of our work force will have a college degree within the next five to six years. Ouch! That means that anywhere from at least 15% to over 35% of our work force will be unemployable and forced to accept unskilled labor jobs. Poverty will not disappear, it will become very well educated. This could crash our economy in the next five to ten years.

The colleges and universities better think about this. When college graduates are a dime a dozen, who will want a college education? The demand will reverse and colleges, professors, and administrative staff will go broke and get to join the rest of us in our unskilled labor jobs making less than $10 per hour.

The Big Scare

The second lie was a big scare designed to make people fearful of not having their children go to college. They did "studies" showing that there was an increasing economic gap between those who go to college and those who don't. These are rigged studies. What they did was put skilled labor with unskilled labor so that we could not see that skilled labor makes pretty good money. As a matter of fact, many people in skilled labor are making as much or more money than many people who have college degrees. They didn't want you to know that so you would think that the only way your children could have a chance was to get a college education. You were scammed!

The truth is that you can make very good money as skilled labor and many of our self made millionaires come from skilled labor. Have they ever told you this? Of course not, they want you to be afraid of not sending your children to college. We gotta keep those college salaries high.

So What Is Going To Happen?

First, it should be common sense that the salaries for college jobs will at least freeze for a long time and probably begin to decrease. Think about it, if you have more people qualified for a job than there are jobs, people will be willing to work for less just to have a job. The businesses know this and will let us bid the salaries down to get the job.

But another problem is developing. Where are we getting all of these college students from? They are people who would have gone into skilled labor. We are going to develop a shortage on skilled labor. That means, in order to get the job done, businesses are going to have to bid for the remaining skilled labor. This will increase salaries for skilled labor. Where are these businesses going to get the extra money for the skilled labor they need to produce their product? You know they wont take it from their profits. The only place they can take it from will be the salaries they would have paid to college graduates. The businesses must bid down the college graduates' salaries to increase the salaries for the skilled labor.

If I had children in high school today, I would encourage them to go to a trade school, learn a trade, get very good at that trade, start their own business hiring others to do that trade, and make millions.

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I think the article is jumping the gun

by jmgarvin In reply to The Education Scam

I'd have to see some "real" numbers to believe the 50% mark. As it stands about 28% of the nation has a degree.

While AA degrees are becoming quite popular, it is simply the new vo-tech. An AA degree only ensures you can read and write, unlike a high school education.

BS/BA degress are about at the same level (slightly higher). While it is true the rate of people getting a BS/BA degree is increasing, you have to look at what the degree is in. The growth is partially because of "soft" degrees. Sure, I can be a fully degreed in Basket Weaving, but does it really mean anything? No.

Science and math degrees are hurting. The computer science field is in need of everything from the fresh faced recent BS grade to the slightly less than crusty PhD.

Plus you have your popular degrees (just like in the 60's, 70's, 80's, and 90's). HR, the MBA, health (nursing, PA, pharmd, et al) and of course "soft" degrees are VERY popular. However, that won't last forever.

I think this article has been written every is like Y2k, but for education.

My 2 cents:
Get the education. Get the degree in the field of your choice and go for it. A degree will NEVER hurt you.

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A degree will NEVER hurt you?

by TonytheTiger In reply to I think the article is ju ...

except, of course, while person A is busy getting his degree, person B is in the workforce making money and gaining experience. Once person A gets his degree, not only does he have to catch up experience wise, he has to repay his college loans! All for the "possibility" of more money down the road?

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You are assuming Person B even gets in the door

by jmgarvin In reply to A degree will NEVER hurt ...

A degree will open MANY more doors for you than just plain ol' experience will.

With the IT market the way it is, a degree is the smartest long term investment one can make.

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Well I did.

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to You are assuming Person B ...

That said the degree is a requirement, not because you need one to do the job but you do to get an interview.
Hot topic in the UK, by the way.
They are forecasting a 96% pass rate for 'A' levels, which is the qualigication you need to get into debt for a degree.
Th original poster's point that a degree wil get you a better job is well made though. After all if 96% of teh potential workforce get one in what way does it identify you as more 'intelligent' than anyone else.

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Too true

by jmgarvin In reply to Well I did.

However, what degree are they seeking? I know in the US we are having a major short fall of scientist and "hard" degree seeking people.

We do have a boon in the "soft" degrees (which are typically meaningless anyway).

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Market force education

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to Too true

Success is being judged on quantity of passes not quality of the education.

Discipline is being chosen based on current market remuneration, not talent or interest.

I'd love to go to college and get a degree, but I'm already two years or so in advance of the theory they teach (academic inertia), my foundation in the subject is far stronger (1977 !), and there would be a big gap in my cv where I haven't kept current, so I'd have to be an imbecile to do it.

If an organisation wants more hard subjects to be taken, all they have to do is pay for it.
Left to their own devices and the 'get a degree to get a job' slogan cheap and easy is winning far too many times.

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Say what?

by sr10 In reply to The Education Scam

Many of your points about college are on the right track. I remember reading that once 15% of adults in this country had gone to college, whereas now 85% of adults have gone to college, but only 15% have found that college makes a significant difference in their earning power.

Which brings us to your situation. A kid fresh out of school with only a BA can get a job as an assistant manager in a retail store or a restaurant making $20-30k/year, so I fail to understand why you can't do better than $7/hour.

I also did not follow the logic about how you can't get a job now that you have an MBA. Specifically, if companies can make do with MBA graduates with no experience for less than $40k/year, then your statement that "I should be paid in the range of at least $40,000 to over $65,000 for general management" is unsupported.

Your worth in the employment market is what you can get someone to pay you. Extra education or experience only matters if either:
1. you can't get in the door without it, or
2. employers pay you measurably better for having it than for not having it.

There are jobs that pay a premium for an MBA, but most of them involve selling. Many people don't want to touch sales with a stick. They'd rather make $7/hour than have to go out and sell. How about you?

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"some college"

by TonytheTiger In reply to Say what?

I suspect there are a lot of people in this category. People who take a course to learn something they need/want to learn, without going for the full-blown degree.

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your right and getting the education will put you in the poor house

by nick In reply to The Education Scam

I totally agree ... that dosnt mean im not
getting my degree ... but I see that a degree
really "means" nothing, sure it will get you past
HR ... thats the real problem and Ill rant on
that in a second. Education is so expensive
tuition has doubled in the last 5 years here and
after borrowing thousands upon thousands of
dollars people will be getting out of school deep
in debt and get a nice 30-40k year paying job. Oh
you need a car to commute the 45 minutes to your
job? WHAT?!? your car needs gas at
2.50-3.00/gallon? all of the sudden that car need
is making your nice low paying job even lower
paying. Not to mention that the cost of owning a
house is skyrocketing ... Im doing it but just
barley between me and my wife because we know its
better to do it now because prices will only rise
and building equity is better than paying rent.
Even if you take inflation in with the cost of
hosing going up .. very worst case picture Ill
break even ... thats still better than paying
rent which I will never see again.
Now on to HR where I believe the real problem
lies. HR is full of bumbling idiots, they screen
applicants based on criteria they dont know or
have the slightest understanding for, so a
perfectly qualified applicant will slip through
the cracks when 10 bafons with shiny resumes get
through the door ... yeah now the manager gets to
weed through them lets see ill pick the least
stinky poo out of this pile of poo ... you know
what I got poo and the good employee got away/was
not discoverd hurting him and the company. HR
needs to be a knowledagable field to be able to
competently look over a candidates credentials
not over who is the master of MS Word and who has
the shinyest resume.

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HR needs ...

by Too Old For IT In reply to your right and getting th ...

... to just slap a rubber band around all the resumes (not applications; more rant later) and forward them on to the tech manager who KNOWS what he needs and can choose same given the aforementioned pile of resumes.

Then and only then does HR need to do something:
Get the employee and emergency contact info.
Get the direct deposit going.
Get the benefits started.
Arrange for the ID card.
Start file and keep track so they know when to present 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 year awards, as well as a gold watch at retirement.

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