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Thread: Not all degrees are equal

  1. #1
    burbuja0512's Avatar
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    Default Not all degrees are equal

    I saw this article about how unemployment rates and earnings differ depending on your degree and found it very interesting:

    http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi...ment.Final.pdf

    My comments:

    -Any degree is better than no degree, but of course we all knew that "having a degree" isn't all that you need to get a great job. It's only one piece of the puzzle and especially depends on your major.

    -Since many testing-only degrees don't fare well on the earnings chart, make sure to combine your degree with either experience or a masters, preferably both for maximum job-seeking ability

    -Graduate degrees make more money and have lower unemployment. Use the advantage that testing gives you not to "be done with school quickly," but to get the BS out of the way so you can have more time for a masters, which will give you more for your time and money. Do consider grad school even if you've never had it in mind. (I sure never thought I would do it!) With the 9 months that I spent on my undergrad thanks to CLEP/DSST/SL/ECE, even though I chose a full 2 year MBA program, I will be done quicker and with less money spent than if I had only done my undergrad in a traditional manner. An online undergrad with no testing would have taken me around 6 years with my schedule. I'll be done with my BS + MBA in less than three total at a fraction of the cost. No my MBA isn't cheap, but since I spent less than 6k on my BS, I wasn't in debt so can spend a little more.


    -One last totally random thought...I'm surprised business majors did so well. I keep seeing articles about business being a well-paid field and I have a theory about why: I believe that many adults who already have a decent job but no degree go back to school for business. It's a good general degree that suits many career paths within a company that they might be working for. I don't think it's very useful fresh out of college unless you work really hard on getting experience to complement it. (think internships or volunteer experience)


    ...just some thoughts.
    Last edited by burbuja0512; 01-08-2012 at 01:10 AM.
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  2. #2
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    This was an interesting article, thanks for posting it! I hope I'm safe since I have 25 yrs of experience in healthcare and related areas and 10 years of teaching at the college level. I will finish my MHA March 5th so I can add the grad degree to my resume! Since education and healthcare seem fairly stable with low unemployment I'm hoping I can stay employed and have decent earnings potential for the next 15-20 years that I will most likely have to work.

    It is a scary time as a mother of son who just started college with a daughter just starting to think about her college major. How to point them in the right direction for long-term job viability, while still encouraging their passion, is a very hard thing. My son is very into computers and computer gaming, so we have steered him into information security and computer repair. The hope is that while he is finishing his bachelor's and hopefully graduate degree he can work in computer repair / IT earning experience that will then allow him to easily use his information security degree when graduates. We are trying to teach him to layer his IT certification and degrees in overlapping areas to hopefully recession proof himself and give him a broader knowledge base. I'm not sure he totally comprehends our reasoning, but so far he is happy with the choices. We also have hooked him up with the workstudy program at school working in the IT department for more experience out of the gate. I just hope it works and he will be able to find work as he obtains his certifications and finishes he degrees.

    I will admit my daughter who is 13 wants big brother out of the house ASAP since he is now 18, but I don't want him out until he is fully prepared to be able to successfully support himself with a stable job. Too many neighbors and friends kids are boomeranging back home to live a few times a year or they move out for 6 months then are home for a few years, then back out and back home. I don't want that for him...or us!!! LOL! This article does give one pause to really think about their education and career choices. While I truly believe you never have to make one permanent career choice for your entire life, it does make sense to put some thought into the education and career decision process, but the bottom line is you have to do what you love or even with multiple degrees you won't be happy to do it long term!
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    dcan is offline Grand Duke / Duchess
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    Excellent resource and points. Added a blurb and link to it from the wiki homepage here.
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    Another comment.... I grew up with idealistic dreams about the perfect career. I believed that each kid was supposed to think of a magical profession, go to college, graduate and be successful.

    The truth of the matter is that you should do something that you like and is fulfilling, however, if the job of your dreams won't put food on the table, maybe there is something else that you're good at that will. OR if you're like I was at age 19 and didn't know what I wanted to do, maybe you can narrow your choices down based on what field is most likely to be hiring. After all, a dream job is only a dream job if you are employed.
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    Yes, I am trying to guide some teens too.

    From the very start, I've told them ANY degree is not the end, it's the start. Don't get it and think that is the end of the education road.

    We are also trying to layer their options. No closed doors is my goal.

    Son 1 is the hardest. He is the most like me. I am interested in EVERYTHING. Seriously I even read the back of the toilet paper package. The whole world is fascinating to us. Which sounds great. Until you realize it means we aren't focused on ANYTHING. so far he is saying he want to major in English, write fiction and possibly to CAD drafting. (??? Bc don't ya know those are obviously connected! LOL). I'm taking him and his brother to a local tech school for a program visit and interests test next week. I think it would be great if he could have a BA in English and make some serious money with CAD. Verdict is still out on him actually doing that though.

    Son 2 is very different from son 1. Of course bc otherwise it might be easier for me. Son 2 is adament that he wants to go into aviation. As a pilot and mechanics. OSU has bachelors for that! So he eager to do the tech school and can transfer up to 28 credits of that program to OSU! (at $8 per credit, but that is still a huge bargain for 28 credits!) He has been pretty focused on this for over a year, so unless something major happens, I think this will be his plan.

    Son 3 is so far saying he wants to be a geologist or a weapons/demolition expert. LOL.
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    They have a major, er... MOS for that too.

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    dcan is offline Grand Duke / Duchess
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    I pointed that one out too. There's lots of options given those career goals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MomOfMany View Post
    Yes, I am trying to guide some teens too.

    From the very start, I've told them ANY degree is not the end, it's the start. Don't get it and think that is the end of the education road.

    We are also trying to layer their options. No closed doors is my goal.

    Son 1 is the hardest. He is the most like me. I am interested in EVERYTHING. Seriously I even read the back of the toilet paper package. The whole world is fascinating to us. Which sounds great. Until you realize it means we aren't focused on ANYTHING. so far he is saying he want to major in English, write fiction and possibly to CAD drafting. (??? Bc don't ya know those are obviously connected! LOL). I'm taking him and his brother to a local tech school for a program visit and interests test next week. I think it would be great if he could have a BA in English and make some serious money with CAD. Verdict is still out on him actually doing that though.

    Son 2 is very different from son 1. Of course bc otherwise it might be easier for me. Son 2 is adament that he wants to go into aviation. As a pilot and mechanics. OSU has bachelors for that! So he eager to do the tech school and can transfer up to 28 credits of that program to OSU! (at $8 per credit, but that is still a huge bargain for 28 credits!) He has been pretty focused on this for over a year, so unless something major happens, I think this will be his plan.

    Son 3 is so far saying he wants to be a geologist or a weapons/demolition expert. LOL.
    Darn those kids for having a mind of their own and not listening to every word we say

    I do have an idea for son #1. If he likes writing, have him start a website or blog. He will need to figure out a topic that he is interested in and that has potential for lots of sub-topics and one that is deep enough to give him months and months of work.

    The pros to doing this are that he gets to be a writer and this is now how many writers get their start. Maybe he will love it and maybe he will hate it, but it's good experience for him. Also, if he sticks to it, he can easily put Google AdSense on his site and start making money. It could be just a few bucks here and there, or it could turn into a part-time job. Yes, there are many adults out there that started off with a hobby web site and ended up supporting themselves from their AdSense revenue. (someone I know very well ended up quitting her job as an RN because she was making more on her site - PM me and I can send you the link)

    Anyhow, he may not be interested, but I think it's a great project for kids and can also help with some IT skills if he were to get into the design aspects of a website rather than just a ready-to-go blog.
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  9. #9
    LinfieldADP is offline Minor Noble
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    That article is absolutely true. The higher the education you have, the more appealing your resume is to an employer. Even if it isn't in the exact field you received your degree in, knowing you have a degree shows them you have responsibility, can manage your time, am intelligent, and can learn fast. After all, most jobs still require on-the-job training. It is always best to go for higher education if you feel your career will take off or open more opportunities with an undergraduate or graduate degree.

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    I'm trying to decide between a second bachelors in psychology, social science or something more along the lines of engineering or computer science after getting my BSBA from TESC. I know everyone is going to ask what do I want to use the degree for. Frankly I don't know, but I'd like for employers to feel it's an asset that I have such a diverse background.
    Mostly, I have very diverse interests, I love anthropology, sociology and psychology but I do have some talents in math etc. Time might also end up being a consideration. I can knock out 8 exams for social sciences and psychology in around 4 months. I just don't know if they would add "diversity" to my degree. Or maybe I should hold off, do an MBA and then come back for a degree in engineering or computer science when I'm not on such a hurry. Lol.

    Unfortunately the link http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi...ment.Final.pdf no longer works. Is there a new report somewhere?
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