Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Finally, Colleges are Trying to Prepare Student for REAL LIFE!!!! It's about Fucking Time!

Although I think that most colleges that charge over $10K a year are toilet bowls, I have to give credit where credit is due.  Colleges have started to see that most liberal arts degree prepare you for nothing aside from a life of being a parents' basement dweller who smokes pot and philosophizes.  A tipster, Maria, pointed me to an article about how colleges are trying to become more relevant.  Ha. Thomas College, in Maine, is allowing students to come back after six months of unemployment " take classes free, or have the college pay their student loans for a year."  Love it!!!   A college that is, on its own accord, making it their business to get you a job!  That is the least they can do for $28,850 a year. University of Louisiana and Michigan State are doing away with worthless majors like Philosophy and American Studies.    Bravo!!!  English Majors at University of Texas are learning how to write RESUMES, of all things!?  As a reader of my blog, you should know that I have been hoping that this would happen.  I'm pleasantly surprised that colleges are taking initiative to make an education relevant to the workplace. I'm SHOCKED that they are doing it without the financial pressure of student loans that are dischargeable in bankruptcy. Previously, I was pretty sure that it would take a change in the bankruptcy code to make this happen. I thought they would have to feel the pinch of students being unable to pay for their education because loans would be harder to come by.  I STILL think that an education is way more expensive than it should be, considering it often does not prepare students for employment.

In any case, this is a major step in the right direction.


  1. Wow, maybe there's a chance that a law school or two will actually teach their students to be lawyers.

  2. Or refund the tuition if they can't get jobs as lawyers.

  3. I think most of the phasing out of those programs is correlated with not enough student enrollment.

  4. Philosophy is not a worthless major. Any serious computer programmer, linguist, or mathematician studies go-gobs of philosophy in college. In fact most of the Computer Science people I knew in school were double majoring in Philosophy.

    I've even heard that software companies employ legions of non-technical trained Philosophy PhD’s to solve logic problems in their programs.

    The problem isn't with colleges. I certainly want knowledge to keep advancing in all areas of human endeavor. That what colleges do. Colleges aren't really supposed to be about getting you a job, that's why its college and not vocational school. It's also why until the GI Bill College was only for rich people, because they already had jobs, with their father, waiting for them.

    The problem is with people going to College and studying "liberal" subjects with no understanding of how or real intent to make a career out of them. The American Studies undergrad could probably spend seven more years in school, get a PhD and have a nice career as some kind of policy/research analyst or marketer.

    What is far less likely is that six months before he gets his B.A. a consulting firm will offer him a 65K/year job. And that's what most college kids still think. Someone should tell them the 90's are over.

    Anyone who ever believed that liberal education was in and of itself a meal ticket is too stupid to be employed in the first place.

  5. Angel,

    Just curious, but since undergrad is useless for preparing someone for work are you also trying to prevent kids from getting an undergrad education too? If not, why not?


  6. People in this country look down on blue-collar jobs, including the skilled trades. It's a damn shame. Doug, your parents (and your wife's parents) will probably be much more proud to tell everyone "My son is a lawyer" than they would be to say "My son is a plumber."

    You can learn the trades as an apprentice, or by taking courses at technical schools; most community colleges offer these courses, as well. Is a lawyer who makes $35K - with large $800 monthly payments to Sallie Mae for the next 25 years - "better" than a plumber, cabinet maker, or diesel mechanic making $60K? Who would YOU rather have your daughter married to - all else being equal?

    Wouldn't the latter be more financially stable than the debt-soaked, starving attorney? And yet, Doug, you would probably go with the "prestige" factor. Just go over to JDUnderground to see how well prestige is rewarded, in the real world. Seriously, Doug - if you are, in fact a prospective law student and not a law school admissions committee member/industry cheerleader - DO NOT go to law school unless you meet some special criteria.

  7. I liked the college that I attended. It's all about bang for the buck. I paid $5K a year and lived at home. My friends that didn't go to law school paid off the debt in 3 to 5 years. And since it was so little, I paid the majority of it with the many jobs I had during college. I worked 4 or 5 jobs at a time.
    So, college is great if it's nearly free. Otherwise, it's a waste or a luxury that you can't afford.

  8. I've noticed a lot of talk on these blogs about how it's horrible that "blue collar" work is looked down on and how great skilled labor jobs are. It's clear that the people writing this have upper-middle class backgrounds with professional parents and no idea what their talking about.

    First of all, yes, some skilled trades are fantastic jobs, especially pipe fitter and electrician. But there are three things about this work that you need to realize if you want to keep touting its virtue.

    One, it is almost impossible to get those jobs except through nepotism. "Just do an apprenticeship or go to community college." Right. To actually get a job, you have to be admitted to the union, and for all intents and purposes skilled construction trades are still closed shops in the U.S. If your father or uncle isn’t already a member, forget about it. At least law school gives you a chance to be a star and break through.

    Two, most of these jobs require that you buy your own tools, the cost of which can actually rival law school tuition. Two of my uncles were diesel mechanics for Fed EX, and a full set of new tools would easily cost them over $100k. True, they didn't have to borrow the entire cost up front while not earning, but it's still a drain on the "real" income of these jobs.

    Third, work like this destroys your body. One of the biggest reasons I became an attorney is because it's no more difficult to do the work at 75 (see her earlier post) than it is at 24. Show me any blue collar worker over 45 who isn't in pain most of the time and counting the days to retirement so he can stop hurting. It is nearly impossible to explain this concept to young people who grew up with office worker parents, but it is a very real career consideration for anyone who has watched it happened to their elders.

  9. Unions are only a few states. It's not that way in other states.
    My mom does nails and my dad is a cook. You made some big assumptions. I'm as blue collar background as they come. First kid in the whole extended family to go to college.. and then I totally blew the family out of the water by going to law school as well.
    My mother has carpal tunnel syndrom and so do I... from fucking clicking documents. We're the same that way except she's wealthy compared to me.
    My back hurts from sitting in non ergonomic chairs too.

  10. by the way, I buy a tool too. It's called a law license in several states which require multiple CLEs and dues. So, it's not cheap to be a lawyer either. My mom has cuticle scissors. She tells me that I should have opened a salon.



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