Which College degrees are worthwhile?

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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:00 am

oldfort wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:34 pm
Gray wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:53 pm
English, definitely English. Oh, also Political Science.

Just randomly picking my majors. Granted, with a Masters in Technology Management and another in Cybersecurity Engineering, I think my experience demonstrates that your undergraduate degree doesn’t define your life.
As an aside, a lot of cybersecurity programs are a joke. Too many of the faculty have zero real world experience with hacking adversary systems and are clueless about how the game is played.
So name the programs that aren’t a joke.
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Stormbringer
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by Stormbringer » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:13 am

alex123711 wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:26 pm
Which degrees are still worthwhile/ likely to lead to employment these days?
My computer science degree has served me very well, but it isn't for everyone.
My MBA hasn't done much for me that I can tell.
"Compound interest is the most powerful force in the universe." - Albert Einstein

KlangFool
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by KlangFool » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:35 am

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:00 am
oldfort wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:34 pm
Gray wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:53 pm
English, definitely English. Oh, also Political Science.

Just randomly picking my majors. Granted, with a Masters in Technology Management and another in Cybersecurity Engineering, I think my experience demonstrates that your undergraduate degree doesn’t define your life.
As an aside, a lot of cybersecurity programs are a joke. Too many of the faculty have zero real world experience with hacking adversary systems and are clueless about how the game is played.
So name the programs that aren’t a joke.
Grt2bOutdoors,

I heard great things about the cybersecurity program at George Mason University.

https://volgenau.gmu.edu/expertise/cybersecurity

As for the cybersecurity of other universities, I have no information about them.

KlangFool

OldBallCoach
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by OldBallCoach » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:36 am

As someone who gets his paycheck from a college may I just add this....My daugher is a PA...great job...makes 120K a year or so...7 years of school...SIL is a welder..learned in the service...makes more that daughter...PA daughter is currently furloughed due to Covid...SIL is always busy..So...whats right for one is not right for the other. They tell me college grads make way more money on average...sure...our IT guy is a genius...got certs at a community college and I think he makes good bank as well. I have a Masters and I do ok as a coach...as long as we have football this season...All the best...but like shoes, no one size fits all.

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wander
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by wander » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:56 am

oldfort wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:34 pm
As an aside, a lot of cybersecurity programs are a joke. Too many of the faculty have zero real world experience with hacking adversary systems and are clueless about how the game is played.
+1.
Do they actually learn to trace/hunt cyber hackers or only learn about standard procedures and buy program from security companies?

AnEngineer
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by AnEngineer » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:10 am

Watty wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:54 pm
Also be sure to look at the colleges graduation and retention rates. I have seen some state colleges where barely 50% of entering freshmen graduate. Even if the graduates get good jobs you should know ahead of time if only 50% of students will graduate.
Graduation rate data does not have the predictive power you imply. Instead, it mostly reflects student demographics and admission requirements. The lower graduation rate at a community college than an Ivy doesn't mean if you get into both you have a smaller chance of graduating at the community college.

There are also technical reasons the data is bad. For example, transfer students who graduate don't count as graduates for either school.

jello_nailer
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by jello_nailer » Sun Jun 28, 2020 9:41 am

I have been advising my young'uns to look at Supply Chain/Logistics.
Daughter is in a program and should graduate soon while working in, Supply Chain.I'm not sure if it's part of Industrial Distribution or Business Admin. Have another one that went the Finance/Economics route and is a Financial Analyst for a Global Energy company. Have a son that I am pushing to industrial automation and distributive control, you can get into that with an associates degree and make a cubic ton of money. Good ROI.

ncbill
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by ncbill » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:11 am

One of my kids has chosen to pursue criminal justice which will likely lead to some form of law enforcement career after they complete the military service required as payback for their scholarship, though they could well go career military first.

No lab hours needed...if COVID resurges they could easily come back home & complete all their coursework online, as they did last semester.
Last edited by ncbill on Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

vshun
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by vshun » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:19 am

AAA wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:22 pm
HawkeyePierce wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:53 am
Employment in computer science has and continues to skyrocket. Common objections are:
  • It's concentrated in a small number of HCOL areas
  • It's vulnerable to offshoring
  • You need to work 60-80 hour weeks to be successful
  • The number of six-figure jobs in CS are small
  • You have to attend an elite school to have a chance
I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from going into a particular field if that is what they want and if they think they can thrive in it. Obviously al lot of people do just that with computer science. I just want to point out what would for me be an unfavorable characteristic of this work, namely, that it seems every few years a lot of what you know becomes obsolete (FORTRAN anyone?) and you have to continually refresh a large part of your knowledge base. That gets harder to do as you get older. By contrast, if you are, say, a mechanical engineer, while the basics of your field may undergo enhancements the fundamental principles do not change e.g. Newton's Laws are still valid.
Absolutely. I have been in CS for 30 years and have seen most people burned out, transitioned to business or frequenting FIRE forums as they cannot wait to get out. I started with Fortran, then C, then C++, Java, Javascript etc. There was functional development, then object oriented as its better, now functional programming variation of the past is spun as better than object oriented, etc. It was easier to relearn 2 or 3 times but at some point your brain refuses to do it, plus there is mental factor - you are not buying that newer is better so you have to relearn. Past technology failures are typically related to management incompetency, then highly paid consultants come in and proclaim that only if they would have latest language/framework and throw buzzword like Big Data (BTW it existed before, was called data warehouse or similar) their org would be much better.

There is constant pressure not so much from new grads but from large supply of H1Bs so there is constant downward pressure on salary.

There is way less of that in something like mechanical engineering, there are plenty of people who are working in their 70s and not frequenting FIRE forums, they did not burn out and still enjoy what they are doing.

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AerialWombat
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by AerialWombat » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:27 am

alex123711 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:50 am
How does that work, I thought you need an accounting degree to become an accountant?
No, you do not. It's a common misconception. There are many roads to Dublin.

Heck, did you know that there are a small handful of states in which you can become a lawyer without ever going to law school? Yep, it's true.

robphoto
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by robphoto » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:37 am

Somewhere up in the replies, it was noted that your working life is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, you've really got to like running (or whatever the activity of the field is).

If you don't find writing code enjoyable, you probably shouldn't sign up to be a programmer because it's a hot field.

I started out (in 1974!) at a top engineering school, and after a while was spending more time doing photography than working on problem sets homework (which for me were painful, I just couldn't grind it out)

I eventually transferred to art school, got a BFA in Photography, and I've made plenty of money and still really enjoy the work.

Of course, your mileage may vary, and in any field, being pleasant and delivering work of high quality, on time, is probably more important than being a genius.

quantAndHold
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:47 am

wander wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:56 am
oldfort wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:34 pm
As an aside, a lot of cybersecurity programs are a joke. Too many of the faculty have zero real world experience with hacking adversary systems and are clueless about how the game is played.
+1.
Do they actually learn to trace/hunt cyber hackers or only learn about standard procedures and buy program from security companies?
When I was looking at graduate cyber security programs a few years ago, George Mason indeed had a good, well rounded program (that was mostly aimed at working professionals). The rest tended to be regular computer science programs, except that they required a cryptography class or two. I worked in cyber security for ten years, and never once had to design, implement, or evaluate a cryptography algorithm. My impression was that schools were just trying to say “yeah, we got that,” on a popular topic, without putting in the work to develop a useful curriculum.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

raamakoti
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by raamakoti » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:57 am

TechFI wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:05 pm
raamakoti wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:03 am
Chemical engineering with Instrumentation design as speciality is very rare skill to have. If you can master these two and gain around 5 years of experience you will be able to write your own ticket. Thats what my mentor told me. Beyond any particular skill watch this and understand clear difference between System vs Goal. Be a life long student in any area you choose. Enjoy learning
https://youtu.be/oJVxkr9eE9A
I question how "hot" chemical engineering will remain. I admit it was a good choice decades ago, but I don't see a rapidly growing future for this industry in the coming decades. May not be the best choice for a young person.
as long as we as a country have manufacturing base, automation is involved, there will always be chemical engineers required to produce things. If we forego the manufacturing and turn into a twitter /Facebook economy and import everything else from other countries we won't need chemical engineers.

quantAndHold
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:59 am

robphoto wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:37 am
Somewhere up in the replies, it was noted that your working life is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, you've really got to like running (or whatever the activity of the field is).

If you don't find writing code enjoyable, you probably shouldn't sign up to be a programmer because it's a hot field.

I started out (in 1974!) at a top engineering school, and after a while was spending more time doing photography than working on problem sets homework (which for me were painful, I just couldn't grind it out)

I eventually transferred to art school, got a BFA in Photography, and I've made plenty of money and still really enjoy the work.

Of course, your mileage may vary, and in any field, being pleasant and delivering work of high quality, on time, is probably more important than being a genius.
This. Exactly this.

For my entire working career in tech, I saw people get pushed into “computers” by everyone from well meaning parents to well meaning vocational rehab counselors. A lot of those people didn’t have the kind of interest or aptitude required to sustain them through a 30 or 40 year career, and they usually went on to something else within a couple of years, having wasted their educational dollars on a narrow topic that they weren’t all that interested in.

Pick a topic you’re actually interested in. We can’t tell you what that is. You have to figure that out for yourself.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

oldfort
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by oldfort » Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:41 am

quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:47 am
wander wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:56 am
oldfort wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:34 pm
As an aside, a lot of cybersecurity programs are a joke. Too many of the faculty have zero real world experience with hacking adversary systems and are clueless about how the game is played.
+1.
Do they actually learn to trace/hunt cyber hackers or only learn about standard procedures and buy program from security companies?
When I was looking at graduate cyber security programs a few years ago, George Mason indeed had a good, well rounded program (that was mostly aimed at working professionals). The rest tended to be regular computer science programs, except that they required a cryptography class or two. I worked in cyber security for ten years, and never once had to design, implement, or evaluate a cryptography algorithm. My impression was that schools were just trying to say “yeah, we got that,” on a popular topic, without putting in the work to develop a useful curriculum.
Cryptography is important background for cybersecurity careers. If you want to develop zero day exploits for modern systems, some background in cryptography is important, although I agree you don't need to understand all the theoretical mathematics.

friar1610
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by friar1610 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:52 am

wander wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:44 pm
friar1610 wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:56 am
wander wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:52 am
College dropouts are worthwhile, there are many of them now billionaires.

Chemical engineering graduates get paid higher than other engineering majors.
What is your definition of "many"?
What is your definition?
Well, don't know precisely but then I didn't make the assertion. So, let's just put it this way. A cursory search on the web tells me there were 630 US billionaires in 2020. For starters, compared to the US adult population, that doesn't sound like "many", at least to me. But even if half of them are college dropouts (and I really doubt that's the case), that would not strike me as 'many" when you consider that 30-40% of students drop out of college every year. https://educationdata.org/college-dropout-rates/

There are obvious success stories of people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who drop out and become multi-billionaires. Do you really think there are many similar stories? Could be, I suppose, but that would depend on how you define "many" - that's why I was trying to get a sense of what the word meant to you in this context.
Friar1610

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wander
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by wander » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:58 pm

friar1610 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:52 am
Well, don't know precisely but then I didn't make the assertion. So, let's just put it this way. A cursory search on the web tells me there were 630 US billionaires in 2020. For starters, compared to the US adult population, that doesn't sound like "many", at least to me. But even if half of them are college dropouts (and I really doubt that's the case), that would not strike me as 'many" when you consider that 30-40% of students drop out of college every year. https://educationdata.org/college-dropout-rates/

There are obvious success stories of people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who drop out and become multi-billionaires. Do you really think there are many similar stories? Could be, I suppose, but that would depend on how you define "many" - that's why I was trying to get a sense of what the word meant to you in this context.
It's not so difficult to find out for yourself. But, here you go You’d Be Surprised How Many Billionaires Don’t Have a College Degree

TechFI
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by TechFI » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:41 pm

raamakoti wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:57 am
TechFI wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 2:05 pm
raamakoti wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 3:03 am
Chemical engineering with Instrumentation design as speciality is very rare skill to have. If you can master these two and gain around 5 years of experience you will be able to write your own ticket. Thats what my mentor told me. Beyond any particular skill watch this and understand clear difference between System vs Goal. Be a life long student in any area you choose. Enjoy learning
https://youtu.be/oJVxkr9eE9A
I question how "hot" chemical engineering will remain. I admit it was a good choice decades ago, but I don't see a rapidly growing future for this industry in the coming decades. May not be the best choice for a young person.
as long as we as a country have manufacturing base, automation is involved, there will always be chemical engineers required to produce things. If we forego the manufacturing and turn into a twitter /Facebook economy and import everything else from other countries we won't need chemical engineers.
I'm not debating the 'utility' or 'societal needs' for chemical engineers.

OP asked for favorable careers (implied from the original question of good degrees). I'll ask more pointed questions:
1) What has the compensation growth of chemical engineers been like? If it's only going 2-5% per year that's at best tracking inflation or doing a bit better. If it's going up 5-10% per year then that is a good career to be in. Rapid compensation growth is a clear sign of a favorable career, I suspect that this has trended downwards in recent years as Big Oil has sunset from its peak but feel free to prove me wrong.
2) What is the compensation culture for chemical engineers been like? What's the starting compensation of fresh grads compared to other fields? How fast are promotions? Is there intense competition where companies throw cash at candidates? Big Finance, Big Consulting and Big Tech has this practice, I'm not sure if chemical engineering has this practice.

I once read a very wise remark about career paths. Lousy companies will try to sell you on their mission, dreams and other intangible "feel good" or societal stuff to get you to sign. Great companies will throw cash at you until you sign.

TechFI
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by TechFI » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:44 pm

wander wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:58 pm
friar1610 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:52 am
Well, don't know precisely but then I didn't make the assertion. So, let's just put it this way. A cursory search on the web tells me there were 630 US billionaires in 2020. For starters, compared to the US adult population, that doesn't sound like "many", at least to me. But even if half of them are college dropouts (and I really doubt that's the case), that would not strike me as 'many" when you consider that 30-40% of students drop out of college every year. https://educationdata.org/college-dropout-rates/

There are obvious success stories of people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who drop out and become multi-billionaires. Do you really think there are many similar stories? Could be, I suppose, but that would depend on how you define "many" - that's why I was trying to get a sense of what the word meant to you in this context.
It's not so difficult to find out for yourself. But, here you go You’d Be Surprised How Many Billionaires Don’t Have a College Degree
That's a very long tail distribution, are you going to model your career on the 0.0001% chance of winning? Also many people like Zuck came from a prestigious/rich family background, they didn't need a college degree. If you were born in a silver spoon in your mouth, college degree is just the cherry. You already have the cake.

TechFI
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by TechFI » Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:55 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:59 am
robphoto wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:37 am
Somewhere up in the replies, it was noted that your working life is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, you've really got to like running (or whatever the activity of the field is).

If you don't find writing code enjoyable, you probably shouldn't sign up to be a programmer because it's a hot field.

I started out (in 1974!) at a top engineering school, and after a while was spending more time doing photography than working on problem sets homework (which for me were painful, I just couldn't grind it out)

I eventually transferred to art school, got a BFA in Photography, and I've made plenty of money and still really enjoy the work.

Of course, your mileage may vary, and in any field, being pleasant and delivering work of high quality, on time, is probably more important than being a genius.
This. Exactly this.

For my entire working career in tech, I saw people get pushed into “computers” by everyone from well meaning parents to well meaning vocational rehab counselors. A lot of those people didn’t have the kind of interest or aptitude required to sustain them through a 30 or 40 year career, and they usually went on to something else within a couple of years, having wasted their educational dollars on a narrow topic that they weren’t all that interested in.

Pick a topic you’re actually interested in. We can’t tell you what that is. You have to figure that out for yourself.
I disagree. Some people learned to code in their mother's womb, most of us did not. This is the typical passion myth that people hold on to, and that has probably clouded their decision making process in the examples you cited.

For the rest of us, you don't "love" to code initially. You develop love for it as you get better, advance through the ranks and get paid more. Also, most people in this field don't need or have a 30-40 year career. There are no old 'normal' techies in the world, those that are old are like Director level or higher. People quit after 20-30 years because of rapid ageism, but also because they hopefully have made a boatload of money to go do whatever they want in life.

Pick a topic you're interested in is terrible advice. Do you like history? Enjoy living on the streets. I'd say pick a topic that you don't hate.

friar1610
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by friar1610 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:00 pm

wander wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:58 pm
friar1610 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:52 am
Well, don't know precisely but then I didn't make the assertion. So, let's just put it this way. A cursory search on the web tells me there were 630 US billionaires in 2020. For starters, compared to the US adult population, that doesn't sound like "many", at least to me. But even if half of them are college dropouts (and I really doubt that's the case), that would not strike me as 'many" when you consider that 30-40% of students drop out of college every year. https://educationdata.org/college-dropout-rates/

There are obvious success stories of people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who drop out and become multi-billionaires. Do you really think there are many similar stories? Could be, I suppose, but that would depend on how you define "many" - that's why I was trying to get a sense of what the word meant to you in this context.
It's not so difficult to find out for yourself. But, here you go You’d Be Surprised How Many Billionaires Don’t Have a College Degree
Couldn't read the whole article without registering but think I got the gist from the teaser I could read - roughly a third of all billionaires worldwide didn't have a degree. Although that's not precisely the same as being a dropout, I'm surprised by the number (just like the Fortune headline said).

Thank you.
Friar1610

TechFI
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by TechFI » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:13 pm

friar1610 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:00 pm
wander wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:58 pm
friar1610 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:52 am
Well, don't know precisely but then I didn't make the assertion. So, let's just put it this way. A cursory search on the web tells me there were 630 US billionaires in 2020. For starters, compared to the US adult population, that doesn't sound like "many", at least to me. But even if half of them are college dropouts (and I really doubt that's the case), that would not strike me as 'many" when you consider that 30-40% of students drop out of college every year. https://educationdata.org/college-dropout-rates/

There are obvious success stories of people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who drop out and become multi-billionaires. Do you really think there are many similar stories? Could be, I suppose, but that would depend on how you define "many" - that's why I was trying to get a sense of what the word meant to you in this context.
It's not so difficult to find out for yourself. But, here you go You’d Be Surprised How Many Billionaires Don’t Have a College Degree
Couldn't read the whole article without registering but think I got the gist from the teaser I could read - roughly a third of all billionaires worldwide didn't have a degree. Although that's not precisely the same as being a dropout, I'm surprised by the number (just like the Fortune headline said).

Thank you.
Call me when you re-do the analysis and tell me how many billionaires did not have a degree, and were born at middle income or lower. This is just catchy headlines with poor analysis.

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:15 pm

I admit not having read all the responses, but without an operational definition of "worthwhile" this seems futile. And hardly actionable imo.

Cyanide123
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by Cyanide123 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:02 pm

alex123711 wrote:
Fri Jun 26, 2020 10:26 pm
Which degrees are still worthwhile/ likely to lead to employment these days?
Engineering and computer science only.

Unless you plan on further education later down the road.

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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by friar1610 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:50 pm

TechFI wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:13 pm
friar1610 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 3:00 pm
wander wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:58 pm
friar1610 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 11:52 am
Well, don't know precisely but then I didn't make the assertion. So, let's just put it this way. A cursory search on the web tells me there were 630 US billionaires in 2020. For starters, compared to the US adult population, that doesn't sound like "many", at least to me. But even if half of them are college dropouts (and I really doubt that's the case), that would not strike me as 'many" when you consider that 30-40% of students drop out of college every year. https://educationdata.org/college-dropout-rates/

There are obvious success stories of people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg who drop out and become multi-billionaires. Do you really think there are many similar stories? Could be, I suppose, but that would depend on how you define "many" - that's why I was trying to get a sense of what the word meant to you in this context.
It's not so difficult to find out for yourself. But, here you go You’d Be Surprised How Many Billionaires Don’t Have a College Degree
Couldn't read the whole article without registering but think I got the gist from the teaser I could read - roughly a third of all billionaires worldwide didn't have a degree. Although that's not precisely the same as being a dropout, I'm surprised by the number (just like the Fortune headline said).

Thank you.
Call me when you re-do the analysis and tell me how many billionaires did not have a degree, and were born at middle income or lower. This is just catchy headlines with poor analysis.
Hey - please don't hold me responsible for an analysis. I only wanted to know what the OP meant by "many". The rough, albeit less than precise, figure from the little I saw of the Fortune article satisfies my curiosity. Never really intended my simple question to the OP to take on a life of its own. I'm sure a deeper drill-down into the data would be illuminating and should you pursue it I'm sure we'd all be interested.
Friar1610

quantAndHold
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Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by quantAndHold » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:15 pm

TechFI wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:55 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:59 am
robphoto wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:37 am
Somewhere up in the replies, it was noted that your working life is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, you've really got to like running (or whatever the activity of the field is).

If you don't find writing code enjoyable, you probably shouldn't sign up to be a programmer because it's a hot field.

I started out (in 1974!) at a top engineering school, and after a while was spending more time doing photography than working on problem sets homework (which for me were painful, I just couldn't grind it out)

I eventually transferred to art school, got a BFA in Photography, and I've made plenty of money and still really enjoy the work.

Of course, your mileage may vary, and in any field, being pleasant and delivering work of high quality, on time, is probably more important than being a genius.
This. Exactly this.

For my entire working career in tech, I saw people get pushed into “computers” by everyone from well meaning parents to well meaning vocational rehab counselors. A lot of those people didn’t have the kind of interest or aptitude required to sustain them through a 30 or 40 year career, and they usually went on to something else within a couple of years, having wasted their educational dollars on a narrow topic that they weren’t all that interested in.

Pick a topic you’re actually interested in. We can’t tell you what that is. You have to figure that out for yourself.
I disagree. Some people learned to code in their mother's womb, most of us did not. This is the typical passion myth that people hold on to, and that has probably clouded their decision making process in the examples you cited.

For the rest of us, you don't "love" to code initially. You develop love for it as you get better, advance through the ranks and get paid more. Also, most people in this field don't need or have a 30-40 year career. There are no old 'normal' techies in the world, those that are old are like Director level or higher. People quit after 20-30 years because of rapid ageism, but also because they hopefully have made a boatload of money to go do whatever they want in life.

Pick a topic you're interested in is terrible advice. Do you like history? Enjoy living on the streets. I'd say pick a topic that you don't hate.
First, I never said anything about passion or love. I think we agree more than disagree on that one. I was talking about people pushed into careers that they aren’t particularly even interested in, because “it’s computers, yo.” It’s kind of like Benjamin Braddock and “plastics.” If you’re picking a field that’s intellectually competitive that you’re not particularly interested in because it has “good career potential,” you might as well quit now and become a real estate agent or a buyer for Whole Foods, because you’re going to end up there in the end anyway.

History is actually a perfectly good degree, if you’re shooting for careers in law, politics, the military, education, or anything where reading, writing, and critical thinking skills are useful.
Yes, I’m really that pedantic.

sd323232
Posts: 524
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:45 pm

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by sd323232 » Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:28 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:15 pm
TechFI wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:55 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:59 am
robphoto wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:37 am
Somewhere up in the replies, it was noted that your working life is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, you've really got to like running (or whatever the activity of the field is).

If you don't find writing code enjoyable, you probably shouldn't sign up to be a programmer because it's a hot field.

I started out (in 1974!) at a top engineering school, and after a while was spending more time doing photography than working on problem sets homework (which for me were painful, I just couldn't grind it out)

I eventually transferred to art school, got a BFA in Photography, and I've made plenty of money and still really enjoy the work.

Of course, your mileage may vary, and in any field, being pleasant and delivering work of high quality, on time, is probably more important than being a genius.
This. Exactly this.

For my entire working career in tech, I saw people get pushed into “computers” by everyone from well meaning parents to well meaning vocational rehab counselors. A lot of those people didn’t have the kind of interest or aptitude required to sustain them through a 30 or 40 year career, and they usually went on to something else within a couple of years, having wasted their educational dollars on a narrow topic that they weren’t all that interested in.

Pick a topic you’re actually interested in. We can’t tell you what that is. You have to figure that out for yourself.
I disagree. Some people learned to code in their mother's womb, most of us did not. This is the typical passion myth that people hold on to, and that has probably clouded their decision making process in the examples you cited.

For the rest of us, you don't "love" to code initially. You develop love for it as you get better, advance through the ranks and get paid more. Also, most people in this field don't need or have a 30-40 year career. There are no old 'normal' techies in the world, those that are old are like Director level or higher. People quit after 20-30 years because of rapid ageism, but also because they hopefully have made a boatload of money to go do whatever they want in life.

Pick a topic you're interested in is terrible advice. Do you like history? Enjoy living on the streets. I'd say pick a topic that you don't hate.
First, I never said anything about passion or love. I think we agree more than disagree on that one. I was talking about people pushed into careers that they aren’t particularly even interested in, because “it’s computers, yo.” It’s kind of like Benjamin Braddock and “plastics.” If you’re picking a field that’s intellectually competitive that you’re not particularly interested in because it has “good career potential,” you might as well quit now and become a real estate agent or a buyer for Whole Foods, because you’re going to end up there in the end anyway.

History is actually a perfectly good degree, if you’re shooting for careers in law, politics, the military, education, or anything where reading, writing, and critical thinking skills are useful.
with people telling OP get BFA in photography or History, i dont know if they are trolling or being serious.

robphoto
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2018 12:42 pm

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by robphoto » Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:03 pm

sd323232 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:28 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:15 pm
TechFI wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:55 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:59 am
robphoto wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:37 am
Somewhere up in the replies, it was noted that your working life is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, you've really got to like running (or whatever the activity of the field is).

If you don't find writing code enjoyable, you probably shouldn't sign up to be a programmer because it's a hot field.

I started out (in 1974!) at a top engineering school, and after a while was spending more time doing photography than working on problem sets homework (which for me were painful, I just couldn't grind it out)

I eventually transferred to art school, got a BFA in Photography, and I've made plenty of money and still really enjoy the work.

Of course, your mileage may vary, and in any field, being pleasant and delivering work of high quality, on time, is probably more important than being a genius.
This. Exactly this.

For my entire working career in tech, I saw people get pushed into “computers” by everyone from well meaning parents to well meaning vocational rehab counselors. A lot of those people didn’t have the kind of interest or aptitude required to sustain them through a 30 or 40 year career, and they usually went on to something else within a couple of years, having wasted their educational dollars on a narrow topic that they weren’t all that interested in.

Pick a topic you’re actually interested in. We can’t tell you what that is. You have to figure that out for yourself.
I disagree. Some people learned to code in their mother's womb, most of us did not. This is the typical passion myth that people hold on to, and that has probably clouded their decision making process in the examples you cited.

For the rest of us, you don't "love" to code initially. You develop love for it as you get better, advance through the ranks and get paid more. Also, most people in this field don't need or have a 30-40 year career. There are no old 'normal' techies in the world, those that are old are like Director level or higher. People quit after 20-30 years because of rapid ageism, but also because they hopefully have made a boatload of money to go do whatever they want in life.

Pick a topic you're interested in is terrible advice. Do you like history? Enjoy living on the streets. I'd say pick a topic that you don't hate.
First, I never said anything about passion or love. I think we agree more than disagree on that one. I was talking about people pushed into careers that they aren’t particularly even interested in, because “it’s computers, yo.” It’s kind of like Benjamin Braddock and “plastics.” If you’re picking a field that’s intellectually competitive that you’re not particularly interested in because it has “good career potential,” you might as well quit now and become a real estate agent or a buyer for Whole Foods, because you’re going to end up there in the end anyway.

History is actually a perfectly good degree, if you’re shooting for careers in law, politics, the military, education, or anything where reading, writing, and critical thinking skills are useful.
with people telling OP get BFA in photography or History, i dont know if they are trolling or being serious.
I didn't at all suggest to anyone that they get a degree in photography. It's certainly not a career path in the sense that you could easily apply for a good job doing it.

My response was to all the suggestions that people become programmers or chemical engineers, or whatever. I think many people can choose a field with good prospects, get the degree and go into practice, whether on not it's a real interest of theirs. As for myself, I couldn't make myself do that (as an 18 year old) so I studied something I was very interested in, that I could make a living at.

It worked for me. I think if I were sending someone to school now, I'd strongly advocate for the local public college where they could figure things out before sinking hundreds of thousands of dollars into the search.

dabrian
Posts: 14
Joined: Sun Jan 19, 2014 12:38 am

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by dabrian » Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:52 am

Left handed puppetry. :happy

alfaspider
Posts: 2786
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:44 pm

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by alfaspider » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:17 am

AerialWombat wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:27 am
alex123711 wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:50 am
How does that work, I thought you need an accounting degree to become an accountant?
No, you do not. It's a common misconception. There are many roads to Dublin.

Heck, did you know that there are a small handful of states in which you can become a lawyer without ever going to law school? Yep, it's true.
Most states require the equivalent of an accounting major (and often a bit extra, satisfied by a 1-year masters) to take the CPA exam. Without getting a CPA designation, you will hit a pretty hard ceiling as an accountant.

There are a few handful of states that allow "reading the law." Almost nobody actually does it, and for good reason. Because the states that allow it require essentially an apprenticeship, It typically is only possible if you have a relative willing to make you their apprentice, as it would be very difficult to find any practicing attorney willing to expend that effort when there are plenty of law school graduates to hire. No major law firm would ever hire you... I've come across thousands of large firm lawyers in my career and never saw a single one who did not graduate from law school.

I think this thread is not asking a particularly useful question. There's no single major that is best for every student. If you had put me in an engineering program, I would have wilted. If you had put many of my engineering friends in a liberal arts major they would have similarly wilted. Different people can respond differently to the same education. Nor will any major guarantee a good or bad career.

Irritated-Engineer
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2020 1:26 pm

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by Irritated-Engineer » Tue Jun 30, 2020 5:19 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:59 am
robphoto wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:37 am
Somewhere up in the replies, it was noted that your working life is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, you've really got to like running (or whatever the activity of the field is).

If you don't find writing code enjoyable, you probably shouldn't sign up to be a programmer because it's a hot field.

I started out (in 1974!) at a top engineering school, and after a while was spending more time doing photography than working on problem sets homework (which for me were painful, I just couldn't grind it out)

I eventually transferred to art school, got a BFA in Photography, and I've made plenty of money and still really enjoy the work.

Of course, your mileage may vary, and in any field, being pleasant and delivering work of high quality, on time, is probably more important than being a genius.
This. Exactly this.

For my entire working career in tech, I saw people get pushed into “computers” by everyone from well meaning parents to well meaning vocational rehab counselors. A lot of those people didn’t have the kind of interest or aptitude required to sustain them through a 30 or 40 year career, and they usually went on to something else within a couple of years, having wasted their educational dollars on a narrow topic that they weren’t all that interested in.

Pick a topic you’re actually interested in. We can’t tell you what that is. You have to figure that out for yourself.
No, no, no. Terrible advice. That's why so many of our kids are struggling with useless degrees!

Topic Author
alex123711
Posts: 196
Joined: Sun May 20, 2018 5:01 am

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by alex123711 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:56 am

TechFI wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:55 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:59 am
robphoto wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:37 am
Somewhere up in the replies, it was noted that your working life is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, you've really got to like running (or whatever the activity of the field is).

If you don't find writing code enjoyable, you probably shouldn't sign up to be a programmer because it's a hot field.

I started out (in 1974!) at a top engineering school, and after a while was spending more time doing photography than working on problem sets homework (which for me were painful, I just couldn't grind it out)

I eventually transferred to art school, got a BFA in Photography, and I've made plenty of money and still really enjoy the work.

Of course, your mileage may vary, and in any field, being pleasant and delivering work of high quality, on time, is probably more important than being a genius.
This. Exactly this.

For my entire working career in tech, I saw people get pushed into “computers” by everyone from well meaning parents to well meaning vocational rehab counselors. A lot of those people didn’t have the kind of interest or aptitude required to sustain them through a 30 or 40 year career, and they usually went on to something else within a couple of years, having wasted their educational dollars on a narrow topic that they weren’t all that interested in.

Pick a topic you’re actually interested in. We can’t tell you what that is. You have to figure that out for yourself.
I disagree. Some people learned to code in their mother's womb, most of us did not. This is the typical passion myth that people hold on to, and that has probably clouded their decision making process in the examples you cited.

For the rest of us, you don't "love" to code initially. You develop love for it as you get better, advance through the ranks and get paid more. Also, most people in this field don't need or have a 30-40 year career. There are no old 'normal' techies in the world, those that are old are like Director level or higher. People quit after 20-30 years because of rapid ageism, but also because they hopefully have made a boatload of money to go do whatever they want in life.

Pick a topic you're interested in is terrible advice. Do you like history? Enjoy living on the streets. I'd say pick a topic that you don't hate.
This seems to be common specifically in tech and programming that you need to be passionate? Any idea why this is? You hardly hear it about any other jobs/ careers e.g you don't say people need to be passionate to become a plumber, accountant, lawyer, engineer etc.

tibbitts
Posts: 10730
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by tibbitts » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:06 am

alex123711 wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:56 am
TechFI wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:55 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:59 am
robphoto wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:37 am
Somewhere up in the replies, it was noted that your working life is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, you've really got to like running (or whatever the activity of the field is).

If you don't find writing code enjoyable, you probably shouldn't sign up to be a programmer because it's a hot field.

I started out (in 1974!) at a top engineering school, and after a while was spending more time doing photography than working on problem sets homework (which for me were painful, I just couldn't grind it out)

I eventually transferred to art school, got a BFA in Photography, and I've made plenty of money and still really enjoy the work.

Of course, your mileage may vary, and in any field, being pleasant and delivering work of high quality, on time, is probably more important than being a genius.
This. Exactly this.

For my entire working career in tech, I saw people get pushed into “computers” by everyone from well meaning parents to well meaning vocational rehab counselors. A lot of those people didn’t have the kind of interest or aptitude required to sustain them through a 30 or 40 year career, and they usually went on to something else within a couple of years, having wasted their educational dollars on a narrow topic that they weren’t all that interested in.

Pick a topic you’re actually interested in. We can’t tell you what that is. You have to figure that out for yourself.
I disagree. Some people learned to code in their mother's womb, most of us did not. This is the typical passion myth that people hold on to, and that has probably clouded their decision making process in the examples you cited.

For the rest of us, you don't "love" to code initially. You develop love for it as you get better, advance through the ranks and get paid more. Also, most people in this field don't need or have a 30-40 year career. There are no old 'normal' techies in the world, those that are old are like Director level or higher. People quit after 20-30 years because of rapid ageism, but also because they hopefully have made a boatload of money to go do whatever they want in life.

Pick a topic you're interested in is terrible advice. Do you like history? Enjoy living on the streets. I'd say pick a topic that you don't hate.
This seems to be common specifically in tech and programming that you need to be passionate? Any idea why this is? You hardly hear it about any other jobs/ careers e.g you don't say people need to be passionate to become a plumber, accountant, lawyer, engineer etc.
I think you hear it about medicine too. In the case of tech I believe it comes partly from personal experience: people who do tech (well at least) tend to do it in all parts of their lives. They spend a large percentage of their lives outside of work involved with tech in a way similar to what they do at work. I'm not sure accountants spend a large percentage of their time outside of work doing accounting - maybe, I don't know. But I think the point is if you don't have some of that passion, you need to know you'll be competing with people who do, and are essentially working (gaining somewhat work-related knowledge, whatever) perhaps twice as many hours a day as you are.

User avatar
AAA
Posts: 1329
Joined: Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:56 am

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by AAA » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:20 am

alex123711 wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:56 am
This seems to be common specifically in tech and programming that you need to be passionate? Any idea why this is? You hardly hear it about any other jobs/ careers e.g you don't say people need to be passionate to become a plumber, accountant, lawyer, engineer etc.
I hadn't heard that, but can speculate based on my comment above about how a programmer's knowledge base must be continually updated due to languages, operating systems, etc. becoming obsolete on a regular basis. So if one's attitude is "oh crap, now I have to learn a completely new operating system" that person might not fare as well as someone whose attitude is "I can't wait to dig into the new features."

stoptothink
Posts: 7869
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by stoptothink » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:27 am

tibbitts wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:06 am
alex123711 wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:56 am
TechFI wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:55 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:59 am
robphoto wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:37 am
Somewhere up in the replies, it was noted that your working life is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, you've really got to like running (or whatever the activity of the field is).

If you don't find writing code enjoyable, you probably shouldn't sign up to be a programmer because it's a hot field.

I started out (in 1974!) at a top engineering school, and after a while was spending more time doing photography than working on problem sets homework (which for me were painful, I just couldn't grind it out)

I eventually transferred to art school, got a BFA in Photography, and I've made plenty of money and still really enjoy the work.

Of course, your mileage may vary, and in any field, being pleasant and delivering work of high quality, on time, is probably more important than being a genius.
This. Exactly this.

For my entire working career in tech, I saw people get pushed into “computers” by everyone from well meaning parents to well meaning vocational rehab counselors. A lot of those people didn’t have the kind of interest or aptitude required to sustain them through a 30 or 40 year career, and they usually went on to something else within a couple of years, having wasted their educational dollars on a narrow topic that they weren’t all that interested in.

Pick a topic you’re actually interested in. We can’t tell you what that is. You have to figure that out for yourself.
I disagree. Some people learned to code in their mother's womb, most of us did not. This is the typical passion myth that people hold on to, and that has probably clouded their decision making process in the examples you cited.

For the rest of us, you don't "love" to code initially. You develop love for it as you get better, advance through the ranks and get paid more. Also, most people in this field don't need or have a 30-40 year career. There are no old 'normal' techies in the world, those that are old are like Director level or higher. People quit after 20-30 years because of rapid ageism, but also because they hopefully have made a boatload of money to go do whatever they want in life.

Pick a topic you're interested in is terrible advice. Do you like history? Enjoy living on the streets. I'd say pick a topic that you don't hate.
This seems to be common specifically in tech and programming that you need to be passionate? Any idea why this is? You hardly hear it about any other jobs/ careers e.g you don't say people need to be passionate to become a plumber, accountant, lawyer, engineer etc.
I think you hear it about medicine too. In the case of tech I believe it comes partly from personal experience: people who do tech (well at least) tend to do it in all parts of their lives. They spend a large percentage of their lives outside of work involved with tech in a way similar to what they do at work. I'm not sure accountants spend a large percentage of their time outside of work doing accounting - maybe, I don't know. But I think the point is if you don't have some of that passion, you need to know you'll be competing with people who do, and are essentially working (gaining somewhat work-related knowledge, whatever) perhaps twice as many hours a day as you are.
I'm sure this is the case for the real rock stars in tech, but otherwise I don't know that it is any different than any other career in this regard. My wife is in tech (cyber security) and she isn't really into tech much at all outside of work. One of my best friends is the director of auditing at her employer, he's an ethical hacker who has very little interest in tech outside of work. They are both very high achievers, but not people who are chasing FAANG jobs. I'm sure if you want to climb the ladder at a Bay Area/Seattle megacorp, it's probably a little different.

Keenobserver
Posts: 286
Joined: Thu Aug 13, 2015 1:05 pm

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by Keenobserver » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:33 am

cybersecurity is indeed the future

Normchad
Posts: 669
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:20 am

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by Normchad » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:46 am

stoptothink wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:27 am
tibbitts wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:06 am
alex123711 wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:56 am
TechFI wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:55 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:59 am


This. Exactly this.

For my entire working career in tech, I saw people get pushed into “computers” by everyone from well meaning parents to well meaning vocational rehab counselors. A lot of those people didn’t have the kind of interest or aptitude required to sustain them through a 30 or 40 year career, and they usually went on to something else within a couple of years, having wasted their educational dollars on a narrow topic that they weren’t all that interested in.

Pick a topic you’re actually interested in. We can’t tell you what that is. You have to figure that out for yourself.
I disagree. Some people learned to code in their mother's womb, most of us did not. This is the typical passion myth that people hold on to, and that has probably clouded their decision making process in the examples you cited.

For the rest of us, you don't "love" to code initially. You develop love for it as you get better, advance through the ranks and get paid more. Also, most people in this field don't need or have a 30-40 year career. There are no old 'normal' techies in the world, those that are old are like Director level or higher. People quit after 20-30 years because of rapid ageism, but also because they hopefully have made a boatload of money to go do whatever they want in life.

Pick a topic you're interested in is terrible advice. Do you like history? Enjoy living on the streets. I'd say pick a topic that you don't hate.
This seems to be common specifically in tech and programming that you need to be passionate? Any idea why this is? You hardly hear it about any other jobs/ careers e.g you don't say people need to be passionate to become a plumber, accountant, lawyer, engineer etc.
I think you hear it about medicine too. In the case of tech I believe it comes partly from personal experience: people who do tech (well at least) tend to do it in all parts of their lives. They spend a large percentage of their lives outside of work involved with tech in a way similar to what they do at work. I'm not sure accountants spend a large percentage of their time outside of work doing accounting - maybe, I don't know. But I think the point is if you don't have some of that passion, you need to know you'll be competing with people who do, and are essentially working (gaining somewhat work-related knowledge, whatever) perhaps twice as many hours a day as you are.
I'm sure this is the case for the real rock stars in tech, but otherwise I don't know that it is any different than any other career in this regard. My wife is in tech (cyber security) and she isn't really into tech much at all outside of work. One of my best friends is the director of auditing at her employer, he's an ethical hacker who has very little interest in tech outside of work. They are both very high achievers, but not people who are chasing FAANG jobs. I'm sure if you want to climb the ladder at a Bay Area/Seattle megacorp, it's probably a little different.
There are certainly successful people in tech that aren’t passionate about it.

I’ll remind everybody though that it can be a brutal field as you age. The skills don’t age well. And everything changes frequently. The folks that are passionate about it, have an advantage. They love this stuff and are always tinkering with new stuff, etc.

I get loads of resumes from people aged 45 and up. It’s usually the same story. They were really good at their job, but nobody cares about the tools and technologies they know. It’s easy to find a comfortable groove in tech and sort of just stay there for ten plus years while you start a family, etc. whole they are doing that, the entire world moves ahead, leaving them behind.

They’re accustomed to a certain wage, and there just isn’t any place in the market for an essentially unskilled 45 year old who wants $150K. I suspect the passionate people don’t end up in that situation as frequently.

KlangFool
Posts: 16657
Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by KlangFool » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:54 am

Normchad wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:46 am

They’re accustomed to a certain wage, and there just isn’t any place in the market for an essentially unskilled 45 year old who wants $150K. I suspect the passionate people don’t end up in that situation as frequently.
Normchad,

I disagreed. There are folks out there that are too passionate about doing their job well and taking care of their existing system. Because of that, they did not have the time and energy to learn the new stuff. The problem is they do not realize that the employer does not care what they had done for the employer. As soon as the employer assumes that they can get a cheaper alternative, they were abandoned.

The younger millennial learned from this. They are no longer willing to work on any job with older technology. They jump ship to new technology and refuse to maintain any older technology.

In summary, your career is on your own hand. Do not count on the employer to take care of you.

<<They were really good at their job, but nobody cares about the tools and technologies they know.>>

The tools and technologies might be different. But, it is not necessary different enough that they cannot be retrained to work on it. The employer believes that they can get away by hiring younger and cheaper folks with the new tools and technologies. Hence, they do not care to hire older folks.

KlangFool

oldfort
Posts: 1053
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:45 pm

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by oldfort » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:28 am

alex123711 wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:56 am
TechFI wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:55 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:59 am
robphoto wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:37 am
Somewhere up in the replies, it was noted that your working life is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, you've really got to like running (or whatever the activity of the field is).

If you don't find writing code enjoyable, you probably shouldn't sign up to be a programmer because it's a hot field.

I started out (in 1974!) at a top engineering school, and after a while was spending more time doing photography than working on problem sets homework (which for me were painful, I just couldn't grind it out)

I eventually transferred to art school, got a BFA in Photography, and I've made plenty of money and still really enjoy the work.

Of course, your mileage may vary, and in any field, being pleasant and delivering work of high quality, on time, is probably more important than being a genius.
This. Exactly this.

For my entire working career in tech, I saw people get pushed into “computers” by everyone from well meaning parents to well meaning vocational rehab counselors. A lot of those people didn’t have the kind of interest or aptitude required to sustain them through a 30 or 40 year career, and they usually went on to something else within a couple of years, having wasted their educational dollars on a narrow topic that they weren’t all that interested in.

Pick a topic you’re actually interested in. We can’t tell you what that is. You have to figure that out for yourself.
I disagree. Some people learned to code in their mother's womb, most of us did not. This is the typical passion myth that people hold on to, and that has probably clouded their decision making process in the examples you cited.

For the rest of us, you don't "love" to code initially. You develop love for it as you get better, advance through the ranks and get paid more. Also, most people in this field don't need or have a 30-40 year career. There are no old 'normal' techies in the world, those that are old are like Director level or higher. People quit after 20-30 years because of rapid ageism, but also because they hopefully have made a boatload of money to go do whatever they want in life.

Pick a topic you're interested in is terrible advice. Do you like history? Enjoy living on the streets. I'd say pick a topic that you don't hate.
This seems to be common specifically in tech and programming that you need to be passionate? Any idea why this is? You hardly hear it about any other jobs/ careers e.g you don't say people need to be passionate to become a plumber, accountant, lawyer, engineer etc.
I think it’s mostly nonsense. Sure, there’s startups where everyone works 80+ hour weeks, but there’s a lot of companies which offer a more reasonable work life balance.

stoptothink
Posts: 7869
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by stoptothink » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:35 am

oldfort wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:28 am
alex123711 wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:56 am
TechFI wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:55 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:59 am
robphoto wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:37 am
Somewhere up in the replies, it was noted that your working life is a marathon, not a sprint.

So, you've really got to like running (or whatever the activity of the field is).

If you don't find writing code enjoyable, you probably shouldn't sign up to be a programmer because it's a hot field.

I started out (in 1974!) at a top engineering school, and after a while was spending more time doing photography than working on problem sets homework (which for me were painful, I just couldn't grind it out)

I eventually transferred to art school, got a BFA in Photography, and I've made plenty of money and still really enjoy the work.

Of course, your mileage may vary, and in any field, being pleasant and delivering work of high quality, on time, is probably more important than being a genius.
This. Exactly this.

For my entire working career in tech, I saw people get pushed into “computers” by everyone from well meaning parents to well meaning vocational rehab counselors. A lot of those people didn’t have the kind of interest or aptitude required to sustain them through a 30 or 40 year career, and they usually went on to something else within a couple of years, having wasted their educational dollars on a narrow topic that they weren’t all that interested in.

Pick a topic you’re actually interested in. We can’t tell you what that is. You have to figure that out for yourself.
I disagree. Some people learned to code in their mother's womb, most of us did not. This is the typical passion myth that people hold on to, and that has probably clouded their decision making process in the examples you cited.

For the rest of us, you don't "love" to code initially. You develop love for it as you get better, advance through the ranks and get paid more. Also, most people in this field don't need or have a 30-40 year career. There are no old 'normal' techies in the world, those that are old are like Director level or higher. People quit after 20-30 years because of rapid ageism, but also because they hopefully have made a boatload of money to go do whatever they want in life.

Pick a topic you're interested in is terrible advice. Do you like history? Enjoy living on the streets. I'd say pick a topic that you don't hate.
This seems to be common specifically in tech and programming that you need to be passionate? Any idea why this is? You hardly hear it about any other jobs/ careers e.g you don't say people need to be passionate to become a plumber, accountant, lawyer, engineer etc.
I think it’s mostly nonsense. Sure, there’s startups where everyone works 80+ hour weeks, but there’s a lot of companies which offer a more reasonable work life balance.
My wife is in cyber security. She does not have a degree and only 4yrs of experience, and makes (low) 6-figures working <40hrs/week. She has managed to go to school full-time (graduating this fall) while being the most productive member of her team. I don't know about c-suite, but nobody else there is working 60hrs/week (or even close).

HawkeyePierce
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 10:29 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by HawkeyePierce » Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:45 am

stoptothink wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:27 am
tibbitts wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:06 am
alex123711 wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:56 am
TechFI wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:55 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:59 am


This. Exactly this.

For my entire working career in tech, I saw people get pushed into “computers” by everyone from well meaning parents to well meaning vocational rehab counselors. A lot of those people didn’t have the kind of interest or aptitude required to sustain them through a 30 or 40 year career, and they usually went on to something else within a couple of years, having wasted their educational dollars on a narrow topic that they weren’t all that interested in.

Pick a topic you’re actually interested in. We can’t tell you what that is. You have to figure that out for yourself.
I disagree. Some people learned to code in their mother's womb, most of us did not. This is the typical passion myth that people hold on to, and that has probably clouded their decision making process in the examples you cited.

For the rest of us, you don't "love" to code initially. You develop love for it as you get better, advance through the ranks and get paid more. Also, most people in this field don't need or have a 30-40 year career. There are no old 'normal' techies in the world, those that are old are like Director level or higher. People quit after 20-30 years because of rapid ageism, but also because they hopefully have made a boatload of money to go do whatever they want in life.

Pick a topic you're interested in is terrible advice. Do you like history? Enjoy living on the streets. I'd say pick a topic that you don't hate.
This seems to be common specifically in tech and programming that you need to be passionate? Any idea why this is? You hardly hear it about any other jobs/ careers e.g you don't say people need to be passionate to become a plumber, accountant, lawyer, engineer etc.
I think you hear it about medicine too. In the case of tech I believe it comes partly from personal experience: people who do tech (well at least) tend to do it in all parts of their lives. They spend a large percentage of their lives outside of work involved with tech in a way similar to what they do at work. I'm not sure accountants spend a large percentage of their time outside of work doing accounting - maybe, I don't know. But I think the point is if you don't have some of that passion, you need to know you'll be competing with people who do, and are essentially working (gaining somewhat work-related knowledge, whatever) perhaps twice as many hours a day as you are.
I'm sure this is the case for the real rock stars in tech, but otherwise I don't know that it is any different than any other career in this regard. My wife is in tech (cyber security) and she isn't really into tech much at all outside of work. One of my best friends is the director of auditing at her employer, he's an ethical hacker who has very little interest in tech outside of work. They are both very high achievers, but not people who are chasing FAANG jobs. I'm sure if you want to climb the ladder at a Bay Area/Seattle megacorp, it's probably a little different.
It's really not different even at the tech megacorps. I work for a major Silicon Valley company and I haven't written a line of code outside of work in years. I'm far from alone in that respect.

tibbitts
Posts: 10730
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by tibbitts » Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:09 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:27 am
tibbitts wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:06 am
alex123711 wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:56 am
TechFI wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:55 pm
quantAndHold wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:59 am


This. Exactly this.

For my entire working career in tech, I saw people get pushed into “computers” by everyone from well meaning parents to well meaning vocational rehab counselors. A lot of those people didn’t have the kind of interest or aptitude required to sustain them through a 30 or 40 year career, and they usually went on to something else within a couple of years, having wasted their educational dollars on a narrow topic that they weren’t all that interested in.

Pick a topic you’re actually interested in. We can’t tell you what that is. You have to figure that out for yourself.
I disagree. Some people learned to code in their mother's womb, most of us did not. This is the typical passion myth that people hold on to, and that has probably clouded their decision making process in the examples you cited.

For the rest of us, you don't "love" to code initially. You develop love for it as you get better, advance through the ranks and get paid more. Also, most people in this field don't need or have a 30-40 year career. There are no old 'normal' techies in the world, those that are old are like Director level or higher. People quit after 20-30 years because of rapid ageism, but also because they hopefully have made a boatload of money to go do whatever they want in life.

Pick a topic you're interested in is terrible advice. Do you like history? Enjoy living on the streets. I'd say pick a topic that you don't hate.
This seems to be common specifically in tech and programming that you need to be passionate? Any idea why this is? You hardly hear it about any other jobs/ careers e.g you don't say people need to be passionate to become a plumber, accountant, lawyer, engineer etc.
I think you hear it about medicine too. In the case of tech I believe it comes partly from personal experience: people who do tech (well at least) tend to do it in all parts of their lives. They spend a large percentage of their lives outside of work involved with tech in a way similar to what they do at work. I'm not sure accountants spend a large percentage of their time outside of work doing accounting - maybe, I don't know. But I think the point is if you don't have some of that passion, you need to know you'll be competing with people who do, and are essentially working (gaining somewhat work-related knowledge, whatever) perhaps twice as many hours a day as you are.
I'm sure this is the case for the real rock stars in tech, but otherwise I don't know that it is any different than any other career in this regard. My wife is in tech (cyber security) and she isn't really into tech much at all outside of work. One of my best friends is the director of auditing at her employer, he's an ethical hacker who has very little interest in tech outside of work. They are both very high achievers, but not people who are chasing FAANG jobs. I'm sure if you want to climb the ladder at a Bay Area/Seattle megacorp, it's probably a little different.
We have to define what "interest in tech" means - I think we might not be on the same page on that. What I'm saying is that a heavy equipment operator is less likely to constantly tweak backyard landscaping at his house using his personal excavator than a tech person is to set up and tweak a sophisticated open-source firewall at home. I'm specifically not talking about writing code, unless maybe you consider entering a formula into a spreadsheet or scripting something to change your PC's startup behavior "coding."

oldfort
Posts: 1053
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:45 pm

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by oldfort » Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:14 pm

Normchad wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:46 am
stoptothink wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:27 am
tibbitts wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:06 am
alex123711 wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:56 am
TechFI wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:55 pm


I disagree. Some people learned to code in their mother's womb, most of us did not. This is the typical passion myth that people hold on to, and that has probably clouded their decision making process in the examples you cited.

For the rest of us, you don't "love" to code initially. You develop love for it as you get better, advance through the ranks and get paid more. Also, most people in this field don't need or have a 30-40 year career. There are no old 'normal' techies in the world, those that are old are like Director level or higher. People quit after 20-30 years because of rapid ageism, but also because they hopefully have made a boatload of money to go do whatever they want in life.

Pick a topic you're interested in is terrible advice. Do you like history? Enjoy living on the streets. I'd say pick a topic that you don't hate.
This seems to be common specifically in tech and programming that you need to be passionate? Any idea why this is? You hardly hear it about any other jobs/ careers e.g you don't say people need to be passionate to become a plumber, accountant, lawyer, engineer etc.
I think you hear it about medicine too. In the case of tech I believe it comes partly from personal experience: people who do tech (well at least) tend to do it in all parts of their lives. They spend a large percentage of their lives outside of work involved with tech in a way similar to what they do at work. I'm not sure accountants spend a large percentage of their time outside of work doing accounting - maybe, I don't know. But I think the point is if you don't have some of that passion, you need to know you'll be competing with people who do, and are essentially working (gaining somewhat work-related knowledge, whatever) perhaps twice as many hours a day as you are.
I'm sure this is the case for the real rock stars in tech, but otherwise I don't know that it is any different than any other career in this regard. My wife is in tech (cyber security) and she isn't really into tech much at all outside of work. One of my best friends is the director of auditing at her employer, he's an ethical hacker who has very little interest in tech outside of work. They are both very high achievers, but not people who are chasing FAANG jobs. I'm sure if you want to climb the ladder at a Bay Area/Seattle megacorp, it's probably a little different.
There are certainly successful people in tech that aren’t passionate about it.

I’ll remind everybody though that it can be a brutal field as you age. The skills don’t age well. And everything changes frequently. The folks that are passionate about it, have an advantage. They love this stuff and are always tinkering with new stuff, etc.

I get loads of resumes from people aged 45 and up. It’s usually the same story. They were really good at their job, but nobody cares about the tools and technologies they know. It’s easy to find a comfortable groove in tech and sort of just stay there for ten plus years while you start a family, etc. whole they are doing that, the entire world moves ahead, leaving them behind.

They’re accustomed to a certain wage, and there just isn’t any place in the market for an essentially unskilled 45 year old who wants $150K. I suspect the passionate people don’t end up in that situation as frequently.
This might be more true if you want to be a code monkey until the day you retire. If you've been successful enough in your career to move through the management ranks by 45, it becomes a lot less important to know the syntax of the newest language.

tibbitts
Posts: 10730
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by tibbitts » Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:33 pm

HawkeyePierce wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:45 am
stoptothink wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:27 am
tibbitts wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:06 am
alex123711 wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:56 am
TechFI wrote:
Sun Jun 28, 2020 2:55 pm


I disagree. Some people learned to code in their mother's womb, most of us did not. This is the typical passion myth that people hold on to, and that has probably clouded their decision making process in the examples you cited.

For the rest of us, you don't "love" to code initially. You develop love for it as you get better, advance through the ranks and get paid more. Also, most people in this field don't need or have a 30-40 year career. There are no old 'normal' techies in the world, those that are old are like Director level or higher. People quit after 20-30 years because of rapid ageism, but also because they hopefully have made a boatload of money to go do whatever they want in life.

Pick a topic you're interested in is terrible advice. Do you like history? Enjoy living on the streets. I'd say pick a topic that you don't hate.
This seems to be common specifically in tech and programming that you need to be passionate? Any idea why this is? You hardly hear it about any other jobs/ careers e.g you don't say people need to be passionate to become a plumber, accountant, lawyer, engineer etc.
I think you hear it about medicine too. In the case of tech I believe it comes partly from personal experience: people who do tech (well at least) tend to do it in all parts of their lives. They spend a large percentage of their lives outside of work involved with tech in a way similar to what they do at work. I'm not sure accountants spend a large percentage of their time outside of work doing accounting - maybe, I don't know. But I think the point is if you don't have some of that passion, you need to know you'll be competing with people who do, and are essentially working (gaining somewhat work-related knowledge, whatever) perhaps twice as many hours a day as you are.
I'm sure this is the case for the real rock stars in tech, but otherwise I don't know that it is any different than any other career in this regard. My wife is in tech (cyber security) and she isn't really into tech much at all outside of work. One of my best friends is the director of auditing at her employer, he's an ethical hacker who has very little interest in tech outside of work. They are both very high achievers, but not people who are chasing FAANG jobs. I'm sure if you want to climb the ladder at a Bay Area/Seattle megacorp, it's probably a little different.
It's really not different even at the tech megacorps. I work for a major Silicon Valley company and I haven't written a line of code outside of work in years. I'm far from alone in that respect.
I understand but writing code in the traditional sense isn't what most people "in tech" do, at work or outside of it.

dh
Posts: 492
Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:01 pm

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by dh » Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:37 pm

KlangFool wrote:
Sat Jun 27, 2020 11:35 am
OP,

Life is a marathon race. So, please do not prepare for it like a 100-meter dash.

A) In general, there is no career/job that would last 20 to 30 years.

B) You may change jobs, careers, industry, countries over the course of your whole working life.

C) So, another way to look at this is

1) Which degree would prepare me the best for the marathon race?

2) What degree would provide me with the best foundation that I cannot achieve with on-the-job training?

The bottom line actually comes down to this. There are only 3 meta-skills essential to be successful.

A) Ability to THINK

B) Ability to LEARN

C) Ability to COMMUNICATE

KlangFool
Agreed! Well put, KlangFool. Learning to be a lifelong learner (adapter) may be the best strategy.

capran
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:45 am

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by capran » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:12 pm

Is it worthwhile to obtain a degree to maximize the probability of acquiring a career that you may not even be interested in? I was a counselor, for almost 40 years, and the last 26 of it as a guidance counselor. Better to ask yourself what combination of interests and skills do you have and can develop and acquire, in a field that interests you. I agree with others that said there is value in education, exposing you to a wider variety of ideas and experiences, but if it's purposeful, have an idea of what kind of career journey you might enjoy. Our youngest finished his Masters in Education last year and was immediately hired to teach high school kids on the Autistic spectrum. He loves it. But it may not be for many.

oldfort
Posts: 1053
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2020 8:45 pm

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by oldfort » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:16 pm

capran wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:12 pm
Is it worthwhile to obtain a degree to maximize the probability of acquiring a career that you may not even be interested in?
Interesting is overrated. The purpose of a career is make money.

capran
Posts: 111
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:45 am

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by capran » Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:38 pm

oldfort wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:16 pm
capran wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:12 pm
Is it worthwhile to obtain a degree to maximize the probability of acquiring a career that you may not even be interested in?
Interesting is overrated. The purpose of a career is make money.
When I taught career guidance, I used to say "You will likely work about 40 or so years. if you get two weeks off, that comes to about 10,000 days of work/career. You better find something that you enjoy, otherwise, getting up and going to work for 10,000 days is going to lead to misery." If you are saying it is only about money, maybe interesting is in a field of investing or money management. But I would defer to the collective whether the purpose of getting a degree and a career is strictly about the Benjamins. I hope it's more than that. (Not that I don't love what money can buy. Monday I'll go get on my boat and sail away for much of the summer.)

novemberrain
Posts: 321
Joined: Wed May 09, 2018 12:26 pm

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by novemberrain » Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:45 am

This is the best all weather college degree

Rhetoric : https://rhetoric.berkeley.edu

stoptothink
Posts: 7869
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 2010 9:53 am

Re: Which College degrees are worthwhile?

Post by stoptothink » Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:59 am

novemberrain wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:45 am
This is the best all weather college degree

Rhetoric : https://rhetoric.berkeley.edu
That department focus seems to be totally different than most "rhetoric" programs I am familiar with. My former editor is currently getting her PhD in rhetoric and composition at the University of Utah https://writing.utah.edu/graduate/index.php. With a BA in English and MA in creative writing, her job opportunities were limited so she was a contract editor and adjunct professor, just barely making ends meet. She's absolutely brilliant, so I'm sure she'll figure it out, but when she told me what she was going to pursue a PhD in, I definitely wondered how that was going to improve her ability to support her family (she has a deadbeat husband who is a mid-30's undergrad student and a daughter).

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