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  1. #26
    l 0 l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    Hmm, I might be wrong about this, but as far as I can see, that's not an USATODAY study. It just cites stats from the U.S. Census bureau.
    As far as I can see, the stats come from here:
    http://www.census.gov/hhes/income/ea...ll1usboth.html
    (the one you cited uses 1998 stats, though)

    As far as I can see, this study only lists individuals that are employed? Isn't a study like this a little inappropriate to use as a base for a "college = wealth" argument, as the most wealthy indiviudals does not at all make their money from any employment, but from assets?

    Dunno, maybe it counts assets as employment or something. I might be wrong.
    Ah, well then the Census Bureau would most likely have a more accurate study anyway.

    I don't see why we need to include those who are unemployed anyway. Isn't the whole discussion about whether or not college will raise your median income? Obviously there's not that much income to raise if you're unemployed. What assets are you specifically talking about?

  2. #27
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lo0ol
    I think suggesting to someone young that they shouldn't go to college is fairly stupid, for lack of a better term. College gives you a broad education in addition to your regular studies, so if some sort of figurative bubble were to burst you'd at least have some other options.
    I'm glad that you think college is important but you need to realize that college is highly overrated unless you like to start your life out with $40k+ in student loan debt.

  3. #28
    l 0 l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    And I believe differently... I think college is underrated, or at least by most of SitePoint's members (judging by this thread).

  4. #29
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Johansson
    Hmm, I might be wrong about this, but as far as I can see, that's not an USATODAY study. It just cites stats from the U.S. Census bureau.
    As far as I can see, the stats come from here:
    http://www.census.gov/hhes/income/ea...ll1usboth.html
    (the one you cited uses 1998 stats, though)

    As far as I can see, this study only lists individuals that are employed? Isn't a study like this a little inappropriate to use as a base for a "college = wealth" argument, as the most wealthy indiviudals does not at all make their money from any employment, but from assets?

    Dunno, maybe it counts assets as employment or something. I might be wrong.
    The data only reflects people who actually mailed their census form back in. The data is also not verified for honesty. I have a friend who put down that he lives with 12 other people, was a high school dropout and made $20k a year. In reality, he lives by himself, has a bachelor's degree and makes $50k+ a year.

    Some people do count things like stocks/interest/dividends as part of their yearly income on the census.

  5. #30
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lil_Red
    I'm glad that you think college is important but you need to realize that college is highly overrated unless you like to start your life out with $40k+ in student loan debt.
    I didn't start my life out with $40K in student loan debt. Then again, I went to a state university and had a scholarship

  6. #31
    My precious!!! astericks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lo0ol
    And I believe differently... I think college is underrated, or at least by most of SitePoint's members (judging by this thread).
    Maybe I'm just guessing, but there are quite a lot of people here who ar eeither
    - doing sometihng not related to what they did in college/univ
    - did not go to college/univ and are earning a living with the whole web/web related business

    I myself would never tell someone to not go to college/univ coz I believe it's important. If you are looknig for a job, regardless of your skills, if it's a tie between you and a bachelors degree holder, who do you think is gonna get hired?

    Also, my thinking might be influnenced by the type of society I come from - one where educational success is highly valued.

  7. #32
    + platinum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astericks
    If you are looknig for a job, regardless of your skills, if it's a tie between you and a bachelors degree holder, who do you think is gonna get hired?.
    Employers regard a lot of things, number one is your skills and previous experience, if you have been working for a company doing .net programming for 2 years and can show you have all the 'real life' experience needed so that you could just slot into the company with little hassle - it's an advantage!

    Someone right out of uni [most probably] still has to learn all of those skills and only really know the theory. It may take 6-12 months for them to be confident discussing things with management, managing time when it's a real client, etc!

    The 2nd thing is suitability for the position, time and time again it happens, if you are a boring person, you don't do anything other than code, hell you got HD's in every module at university, are a brilliant coder, but another guy who is also a good coder, but enjoys sports, has a good personality, is confident talking to people and generally enjoys life, they will probably pick that person instead!

    when applying for any sort of design job, resume's, cv's, degree's don't mean much, design talent isn't something you can really effectivly 'measure' which is why it's based almost soley on work you have done in the past and portfolio's.

  8. #33
    l 0 l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by platinum
    Someone right out of uni [most probably] still has to learn all of those skills and only really know the theory. It may take 6-12 months for them to be confident discussing things with management, managing time when it's a real client, etc!
    *May* There are plenty of schools that have rock solid IT programs that prepare you for a lot of hardcore stuff.

  9. #34
    My precious!!! astericks's Avatar
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    plat, that is why I conveniently left out experience from my post above, coz I know it matters.

  10. #35
    chown linux:users\ /world Hartmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by astericks
    plat, that is why I conveniently left out experience from my post above, coz I know it matters.
    I agree with you. If you leave experience out of the picture, let's say both parties have little to no experience, then the person with the Bachelor's degree is going to get the job, hands down. Now, even if the other person has somewhat more experience than the college grad it is arguable that the grad would get the job according to what kind of job it is. I don't know many people who have been hired as managers or project leads that didn't have either a wealth of experience or a college degree.

    Also, as I've been looking at job requirements at places like Google, Yahoo!, Amazon, etc. they all require a bachelors degree (but prefer a Masters) and experience. Mix experience and a degree together and you have a winning combination.

  11. #36
    l 0 l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hartmann
    Mix experience and a degree together and you have a winning combination.
    And that is something I completely agree with.

  12. #37
    SitePoint Zealot OptMediaJohn's Avatar
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    You know, I never usually get into these threads, but I do have to admit I find it concerning that people don't feel college is important.

    While my college days were filled with alot of school work, and sure I learned an enourmous amount if information that I probably could have learned on my own, the contacts that I made in school will last a lifetime. Some of my good college buddies have helped me even to this day.

    I say to anyone reading this thinking about not going to college, it is my experience that college is so important, that I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I learned so much, had such great teachers, and had it open doors for me that I never could have opened on my own. College is very important in my books!
    Opt-Media.com
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  13. #38
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Statistically, having a college degree will add $500,000 dollars to your lifetime earnings. Depending on how you live your life depends on how important it is.

    Where I live in California, if you make less than $50,000 a year, you are considered to be living in poverty by many indexes and it takes $150,000 a year to not have to worry about money and to really be able to afford a home. $500,000 over your lifetime is almost $15,000 more per year over the average 35 year career.
    Wayne Luke
    ------------


  14. #39
    l 0 l silver trophybronze trophy lo0ol's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OptMediaJohn
    You know, I never usually get into these threads, but I do have to admit I find it concerning that people don't feel college is important.

    While my college days were filled with alot of school work, and sure I learned an enourmous amount if information that I probably could have learned on my own, the contacts that I made in school will last a lifetime. Some of my good college buddies have helped me even to this day.

    I say to anyone reading this thinking about not going to college, it is my experience that college is so important, that I wouldn't have missed it for the world. I learned so much, had such great teachers, and had it open doors for me that I never could have opened on my own. College is very important in my books!
    And that was what I was trying to get at. You will be better off, at least in my opinion. You get to meet all of these people, step outside of your bounds, all of that good stuff. Most of the learning doesn't take place in a classroom.

  15. #40
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OptMediaJohn
    While my college days were filled with alot of school work, and sure I learned an enourmous amount if information that I probably could have learned on my own, the contacts that I made in school will last a lifetime. Some of my good college buddies have helped me even to this day.
    Sounds like you had a good experience and went to a good college. Unfortunately, most colleges don't really live up to what you experienced.

  16. #41
    Your Lord and Master, Foamy gold trophy Hierophant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lil_Red
    Sounds like you had a good experience and went to a good college. Unfortunately, most colleges don't really live up to what you experienced.
    You make your own experiences.
    Wayne Luke
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  17. #42
    SitePoint Wizard Lil_Red's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Luke
    You make your own experiences.
    True. At the time I was in college (quite a few years ago now), women were not respected or acknowledged in the computer science field. I had to fight to even be allowed to be a CS major. My fellow students gave quite a few not so subtle jabs that I shouldn't be part of the program but should focus on something more "appropriate".

  18. #43
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lo0ol
    I don't see why we need to include those who are unemployed anyway. Isn't the whole discussion about whether or not college will raise your median income? Obviously there's not that much income to raise if you're unemployed. What assets are you specifically talking about?
    Real estate, stocks, ownership of companies etc.
    Mattias Johansson
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  19. #44
    Technical Director at StuckOn JakeCop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by W. Luke
    Statistically, having a college degree will add $500,000 dollars to your lifetime earnings. Depending on how you live your life depends on how important it is.
    You could argue that the college degree itself isn't the reason you can increase your earning power, instead the fact that someone who has completed a degree is more likely to persevere to succeed in life.

    A degree is a sign of a successful person, not a reason for success.

    Having said that, there are many graduates here in the UK working in low paid jobs, or worse yet, unemployed.

  20. #45
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lil_Red
    True. At the time I was in college (quite a few years ago now), women were not respected or acknowledged in the computer science field. I had to fight to even be allowed to be a CS major. My fellow students gave quite a few not so subtle jabs that I shouldn't be part of the program but should focus on something more "appropriate".
    I think the CS and Engineering programs at my school was clamoring for women to join up. They saw a lack of participation and encouraged women to keep with it. Amazing how a few years can completely change things.

  21. #46
    SitePoint Wizard silver trophy
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    Anyone who mistakes college learning with real life "job" skills is completely mistaken. On an employment level college is meant to show your foundational knowledge, as a graduate you have a basic understanding in whatever your degree may be in but more importantly you have successfully demonstrated your ability to accomplish a long task, work as a part of a team, and overall think as an educated adult. A college degree is not to say you have the perfect skill set to take on a job but rather to say you are the type of person who with some training can learn how to take on that job and excel init to any level, ideally.

    As an experience college is almost entirely what you make of it not withstanding biases and archaic discrimination. I attended the University of California at Irvine which was the first UC campus to introduce a school of ICS instead of just a department. While my degrees had nothing to do with computers (Political Science & Sociology), I knew and still know many people in that major and it seems that while it is not nearly balanced it is a fair department that is accepting, hopefully other universities are on the same level or moving towards it. That aside, you have the ability to decide what college will or will not do for you. I spent the first two years of my college experience enjoying bits and pieces of the life but also working as a web developer and thus diminishing my college experience. During my junior year I decided to work less (I was lucky to have that option I suppose) and focus more on college and after that point I went back and forth having periods of heavy work and periods of light work depending on what fit my needs. The end result is that I feel I enjoyed a lot of college but if I could do it all over I may have tried to enjoy it even more.

    From a business sense I have no regrets and nothing but good thoughts about the experience -- I never expected college to give me the perfect job. However, the network connections and skills it has given me have proven that if you take a certain path, college can be very beneficial to your future. Again what you put into it and what you hope to walk away with is entirely up to you. I've got an index of names and numbers of people who will in a year or two be attorneys with more to follow. I've had leads on jobs from people who are now retired and advised me or an organization I was in on all sorts of things. Even from the perspective of a freelance developer I have seen college as beneficial, perhaps not as much as someone working 9-5 for a business but it has been important none the less (don't underestimate how often a client will talk about education or how nice it can be to have a general sense about the world as they see it because of years of experience just learning).

    With that said college was ideal for me and I recommend it to anyone but it may not be for anyone. Many people go to college simply to get a degree and if that's your goal, don't waste your time or your money. Having a degree is valuable in life but if thats all you intend to take away from college then you won't put a damn thing into it. I certainly held that mentality at one point and I still believe many reasons for going to college are to get the degree but you have to be open to the experience at the same time in order to benefit from it. Not attending college is a big choice and can have a major impact on your life if you intend to work for a big business. Many companies do accept work experience as a substitute for formal education but then again, many do not and when your work experience is all freelance it is hard to show your leadership or team skills without something like college behind you. I've been acquainted with rabbitdog who started this thread since for a while and she clearly affirms the idea that college is by no means required to obtain a good job and be a smart, successful person but it can help give you an extra boost and for people who are not completely self-motivated or ready to do it all themselves it is not be a bad idea at all.

    Also, if you are thinking about skipping college to peruse a web development or related freelance job now ask yourself this, in 10 years what do you want to be doing and more importantly what will you realistically be doing? Without a doubt there are a lot of amazingly talented and successful people on this forum who might go their entire lives making great money without working in a traditional job but that is not the norm so before you walk down a road that could harm your future earning potential for a job you might have today, think about it. I bring this up because I started college right at the end of the dot-com boom and I came close to taking a nice offer instead of going away for education, that choice could have cost me a lot and it is more than evident to me now that while this gig has been good it's not forever for me (take a look at some of the other threads in this forum or the business forum if you think this will last forever for everyone).


    P.S. not even college could teach me how to use a comma.
    - Ted S

  22. #47
    Technical Director at StuckOn JakeCop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted S
    P.S. not even college could teach me how to use a comma.
    No Americans can use a comma, you all keep adding the trailing comma in a list of three or more items before the 'and'.

    Other than that, I agree with everything you've said there.

  23. #48
    ☆★☆★ silver trophy vgarcia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JakeCop
    No Americans can use a comma, you all keep adding the trailing comma in a list of three or more items before the 'and'.
    Off Topic:

    That's how we do things on this side of the pond!

  24. #49
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    Well obviously it varies from employer to employer - whether they care.

    But any employer would take many years experience and great workmanship over a degree. If you can demostrate that you have vast industry experience, I don't think they'd care about the degree.

  25. #50
    Wanna-be Apple nut silver trophy M. Johansson's Avatar
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    Ted S, I love you. It's too bad that the reputation system is a piece of crap so that I cannot give you some. :P
    Mattias Johansson
    Short, Swedish, Web Developer

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