When Will Millennials Start to Realize a College Degree Is Not Enough?

A recent poll from the conservative youth organization Young America's Foundation found that over half of graduating seniors are "nervous" about what their future holds, and 39 percent say they are not optimistic at all that they will be able to find a job in the first few months after graduation.

As a rising senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I have (anecdotally) noticed a pattern: Many of the people who complain about their job prospects are the same ones that graduate with nothing on their resume other than their major and their GPA.

There is a myth on campuses that being in possession of a college degree is the only validation a person needs to be handed a job. Many college students feel that sitting in classrooms and listening to lectures for four years will somehow teach them the skills that are necessary to get ahead professionally. This misguided sense of entitlement falls right in line with the increasing demand for political correctness that is sheltering college students during one of the most crucial developmental periods in their lives, creating a dangerous disconnect between their current college experience and the real world experience that awaits them.

As student debt, currently tipping the scales at $1 trillion nationally, continues to pile up and more college graduates move back in with their parents, a cultural shift in the way we view higher education is necessary. The college experience should move away from credential acquisition and pure learning in lecture halls and libraries towards real world experience, skills acquisition, and helping students develop interests and passions that transcend the classroom experience.

Lazlo Bock, the head of H.R. for Google, articulated this well in an interview with Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times earlier this year. He told the columnist that "when you look at people who don't go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings. And we should do everything we can to find those people." Far too often, colleges "don't deliver on what they promise. You generate a ton of debt, you don't learn the most useful things for your life. It's [just] an extended adolescence."

Watch "The Case Against College Entitlements" with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.):

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  • Paul.||

    Lazlo Bock, the head of H.R. for Google, articulated this well in an interview with Thomas L. Friedman of The New York Times earlier this year. He told the columnist that "when you look at people who don't go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings. And we should do everything we can to find those people."

    *waves hand in the air*

    Right here, Lazlo, right here. Let's talk salary...

  • Mr. Soul||

    present!

  • Rhywun||

    This is nothing new. The college degree I got in 1993 was good for nothing but hamburger-flipping jobs until I finally realized I had to claw my way up in the world on my own. That said, some majors are obviously more geared toward "finding a job" than others.

  • ||

    Yeah, my two useless degrees didn't get me my first job. What got me the job was programming and IT experience obtained while working for a friend. I was actually told this explicitly by the guy who hired me.

  • Paul.||

    What are your degrees in, if I may ask, oh defiler of everyone's mother.

  • ||

    BS in Biology and a BA in Anthropology. Like I said...useless.

  • Paul.||

    The Biology one could have paid off if you'd have gone into... Oh come on, Biology is at least real science. Throw me a frickin' bone here.

  • Sudden||

    Psh, life sciences are for women.

    Kinda makes sense that's what Epi went into.

  • ||

    I just want to feel a life growing inside me! Is that so wrong?

    Maybe if I can find some Xenomorph eggs...

  • AlmightyJB||

    Isnt the gerbil enough?

  • ||

    With Biology, you either get a PhD to make money (corporate work, or academic research), or you can get a lab assistant job that pays pretty shittily. One thing I had been looking at was a job in a lab deconstructing drugs that had just had their patents expire and figuring out how to make them as generics (I did a lot of molecular and cellular bio and had pretty extensive lab experience). The pay was...terrible.

    Forget the Anthropology degree, you get nothing with that. I only got it because I did some analysis of all the courses I had even taken, and realized if I stayed just one more semester and took 3 specific classes, I also made all the qualifications for a separate Anthro degree, and just did it to have it.

  • Paul.||

    I also made all the qualifications for a separate Anthro degree, and just did it to have it.

    All so you could say, "Back off, man, I'm a scientist..."

    I respect that.

  • ||

    Back off, Paul. I'm a computer scientist.

  • Paul.||

    Back off, Paul. I'm a computer scientist.

    Well, so am I, I just don't have a degree in it. 0A0D

  • Riven||

    I'm a mad scientist... Miskatonic University, class of 2009. Ia ia!

  • Hyperion||

    Is your company currently recruiting any new 'mad scientists'? Because I am willing to make the transition from IT to mad scientist. I already have the mad part down.

  • Paul.||

    I'm making the transition from IT to Unemployed Mad Scientist.

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Still waiting on an invitation to your pool party.

  • BCG||

    I just had a PhD in Anthropology apply for a job here, as a half-time supply clerk, and was practically begging me to hire him in his cover letter, if that tells you anything about the demand for PhD's in anthropology.

  • SIV||

    Botany is good for environmental compliance fieldwork.You get paid to go hiking. It pays well to start and you can learn to write reports, manage projects, and secure permits all on the job.

  • ||

    Junior criminology, law and society major here. Heavily considering either joining the foreign service (no qualms about being assigned to Pakistan) or completing the Marine Officer Candidates School. My interest in the latter is not because I have a massive war boner or strong desire to "serve my country", but rather because I think it would look damn good on my resume, and because they'll pay for my school costs. If none of those work out, maybe property appraisal.

  • SIV||

    joining the foreign service

    Taken the exam yet? I don't know if it has changed but the English test is not easy. It is nothing like a standardized test verbal section and more like one I took to proofread law books, only much harder. The general background were super easy. I passed 8 out of 9 and you only need 2. Then comes the oral exam...

    In my experience (ancient) the first test should be a multiple choice on which college you attend(ed) listing a handful of mostly Ivy League schools.The answers "None of the above" or "anything with State in the name" will weed out the undesirables who can actually pass the exams saving them a whole lot of trouble. YMMV

  • ||

    Scheduled to take the test on June 16th. But shit, I got to UC Irvine, so maybe I should just cancel and save myself the time. I actually did purchase the study guide, and took the practice test on my phone in a pub, and passed, albeit barely. You seem to know what you're talking about, so any decisions based on a career with the foreign service will be based solely on your advice. No pressure.

  • SIV||

    Good luck! I wish you the best!

    Practice the English
    Panama is in North America.
    Have a back-up plan

  • Hyperion||

    Panama is in Central America, (;

  • SIV||

    FAIL

    Central America is not a continent.

  • Paul.||

    Central America is not a continent.

    *waves SIV off*

    Neither is Canada...

  • Hyperion||

    FAIL

    Central America is not a continent.

    No, it's a thin strip of land connecting North and South America, which are both continents. However, Panama is in Central America.

    It is you who fail geography.

  • Vincent Milburn||

    Central America is technically counted as part of North America.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_America

  • SIV||

    Technically, France is a part of Europe.

  • R C Dean||

    If the question is "what continent does Panama belong to", North America is the correct answer.

    Personally, I think the northern/western part of Panama is in North America, and the southern/eastern part is in South America, because of the canal.

  • Hyperion||

    f the question is "what continent does Panama belong to", North America is the correct answer.

    Oh, this is too much bullshit, and most definitely racist!

    It's sort of like the argument over whether Maryland is in the south or north. Well, it's south, arse faces!

    If ya'll are gonna continue to insist that Panama is in North America, I'm taking my football and going home!

  • SIV||

    Maryland was arguably "the south" until 1861. "The South" is best defined as the former-Confederate states.

  • ||

    I have plenty of plan B's. An electrician would be a trade I'd definitely look into should it come to that. I realize that I have to be willing to learn skills that are in demand to be able to secure a good job. Most people my age have no concept of that.

  • SIV||

    Everything north of Colombia. Remember that and you'll be the Ambassador to Libya in no time at all.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    My college buddy took it five times. Stay with it and study the interviewers. Figure out what they want.

  • ||

    Hmm, interesting advice. One of the sample essay questions in the study guide was something along the lines of "do you agree with Obamacare? Why or not why, and provide detailed and well thought out examples and reasoning to support your position." Shit, do I blow smoke up the State Department's ass and tell them how AWESOME obamacare is? Or do I provide them a libertarian-ish response on how healthcare isn't a right, but a commodity, and risk pissing off the interviewers.

  • SIV||

    Write a persuasive essay. Subject: the PPACA. Intro/body/conclusion. State the goals of healthcare reform and how the PPACA does or does not meet them. Demonstrate some familiarity with the subject material but mainly that you can write a coherent persuasive essay. Like they asked you to.

    You could agree or say a single-payer or a market-based private sector plan (or aspects of each) is better. You're not being tested on ideology.

  • ||

    Just a thought, but you do know which branch of the services guards our embassies, consulates, etc? So you might want think about that OCS a trifle harder.

  • ||

    Yes, that would be the Marine Corp. But from what I've read, they're guarded by enlisted marines. I wouldn't be enlisting.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    If you can get a commission, do it. Difficult these days as the job market is bad and the military is downsizing.

    I procured a commission in the Army a few years ago, however was enlisted prior. I have a law degree, but after looking at the shitty legal market and my fellow layers, I decided a tour in Afghanistan would be more fun and productive. Speaking to other lawyers, I was right.

    Most of my buds who are smart and left the Army in droves bailed right into great paying jobs. As an officer you get a shit ton of leadership opportunities and experience, just don't be a doucher.

  • ElevenOnly||

    Enlisted Marines do guard embassies, but they still need officers as commanders. However, Marine Security Guard is a secondary MOS, and usually is offered as an incentive for re-enlistment for second-tour Marines (second four year contract).

    The Diplomatic Security Service (part of the State Department) also provides security for Embassies, but mostly is personal security for ambassadors and diplomats. When I was a contractor in Iraq, we worked under the DSS.

  • Rhywun||

    It turns out that a linguistics degree is only good for... studying more linguistics.

    I know one or two folks who are going the humanities PhD route - man are they insufferable.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Worked for me.

  • Rhywun||

    Are you insufferable?

  • Paul.||

    You new here? HM is the insufferabulest.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Insufferablest", you mean.

  • Paul.||

    Insufferablest", you mean.

    No, I meant what I said. There's nothing blest about you.

    *ducks*

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Probably. But that's because I strongly believe linguistics is properly classified under the humanities and the syntax guys with physics envy don't like that.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It turns out that a linguistics degree is only good for... studying more linguistics.

    A lot of it depends on what you studied. You have a B.A./B.S. in Linguistics with Farsi, Dari, Arabic, Chinese, or Russian (or any combination of the five) under your belt? I can introduce you to some folks who will be happy to pay you six figures as a cryptologic linguist or intelligence analyst.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    There is certainly this. I have a relative with Serbo-Croatian, Russian, and Dari in their inventory and finding work was not a problem.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Yeah, my two useless degrees didn't get me my first job. What got me the job was programming and IT experience obtained while working for a friend.

    You're bending the truth like Somaly Mam.

    Your first job was "working for a friend".

  • ||

    You're right, it was for your mom. Well, more like in your mom. You know what I mean!

  • Invisible Finger||

    You must have done a shitty job. My mom did nothing but complain.

  • Invisible Finger||

    My first full-time 9-5 job was because of the experience I got from the part-time job I had while working my way through school.

    The pattern is the same as our parents (or grandparents) being pissed that their high school diploma wasn't enough to get them a full-time job (compulsory education used to only be thru grade 8).

    You have to demonstrate your willingness to work AND study over the same timeframe. A kid with a high school diploma is not as valuable in the workforce as a kid with a high school diploma he got while also having a part-time job. A few months of summer employment doesn't count. Nor does six months at McDonald's - spend three years at McDonalds and then you'll impress employers.

    Of course, this is the exact opposite advice that is given by high-school guidance counselors who told me I should do more extra-curricular school activities because it impresses college entrance boards. Which I'm sure it does; it just doesn't impress people who will actually give you money for most of your life in return for work. The high school guidance is great for the 0.25% who can spend their whole adult lives in academia - and that mostly produces nothing but Krugmans.

  • ||

    ^ This. I've been working since I was 16 (22 now) and saw absolutely no reason to cease something that brings me money and go off to college and jump into an enormous pile of debt, top ramen, and stupid fraternity antics. Which is why I took the junior college/transfer route and paid astronomically less than a private four year (was going to attend Fordham for biology), all while working the entire time. I firmly believe that the workplace is where you learn the most valuable skills, not necessarily the undergraduate university.

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    What is new is how much colleges charge. Rate of tuition increases in the past 20 years has far, far outstripped inflation. Colleges are basically funneling money from you, the taxpayer, into the pockets of over-compensated deans, administrators, and faculty.

  • Paper Wasp||

    Well, that, and window-dressing to lure in the next batch of wide-eyed victims. I'd love to hear about a college in the U.S. where they aren't constantly remodeling administrative buildings (i.e. never the buildings that students ever have to live in or use), and completely redoing the landscaping and sod every year. I went to a private school that cost $4,000 a quarter (this was back in 1989), and I swear, $2,000 of that was for landscaping. Of course, there's the famous John Stossel bit about what colleges really spend money on...

  • ||

    It's amazing what happens when you setup a pipe of "free" money...

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    As student debt, currently tipping the scales at $1 trillion nationally, continues to pile up and more college graduates move back in with their parents, a cultural shift in the way we view higher education is necessary.

    Too big to fail, Treasury & the Fed will step in to save their buddies, taxpayers will get the bill. Been there, done that.

  • Sudden||

    Admittedly, if the Fed steps in it's less taxpayers that get the bill as much as dollar holders. Those on fixed income govt dole will be hardest hit.

  • WDATPDIM?!||

    You have a point, Sir.

  • R C Dean||

    Correct. When the Fed starts looking around for fodder for a big QE expansion, student loan debt will be a slow-moving target.

  • 110 Lean||

    When Will Millennials Start to Realize a College Degree Is Not Enough?

    I'm thinking very soon.

  • JWatts||

    From the linked article:

    "It’s official: Theology and religion majors are among the least likely new college graduates to get a job in Minnesota."

    Then I look down at the chart. Education is worse and had 7 times as many graduates as Theology.

    Hmmm, let me guess the author was an Education major.

  • Mt low rider||

    Lots of substitute teachers when you see less than 20% are full time/year round.

  • DJK||

    I was a bit surprised by the results here. Engineering at the top - not at all surprising. However, physical sciences way down there at ~$35k? Do that many physical science majors pursue PhDs? Or is the job market shitty for physicists, etc?

  • entropy_factor||

    Student Loans have been used to placate what otherwise should be a very restless youth generation.

    Poor economy etc has robbed many of opportunity. Instead, society pushes kids to stay occupied and keep their mind busy in grad school- at a very high cost, might I add- because otherwise, there would be significantly more turmoil in the streets with a large disaffected, unemployed youth population.

    But the bubble will pop, the kids will graduate and the bills will come due. Then it is all downhill.

  • Caleb Turberville||

    STE (ironically, mathematicians are doing well) graduates aren't doing too well either. Most are encouraged to participate in research, but even that's not giving them a competitive advantage in the job market.

    College is all about over-saturation and conformity. They are pumping out way too many graduates that all look the same.

    If you can finish your degree quicker and enter the job market sooner in something that's desirable for employers, you're probably among the most competitive of college graduates

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    College is all about over-saturation and conformity. They are pumping out way too many graduates that all look the same.

    Holy shit, isn't this the truth.

    A lot of people confused the earning power that came with getting a degree with the actual degree itself. They did this during a period of perhaps 4-5 decades where a demand existed for college graduates, but not quite enough existed at the time to fill demand. That situation is now reversing, with people who get degrees now just as likely to be worse off financially, because they're stuck for YEARS paying off the loans, which for damn sure is a drag on your ability to buy a house, support a family, and all the other markers of financial stability. It's why Obama and progs in general were pushing so hard for loan forgiveness for civil service, and why Fauxcahontas has been pushing to allow student loans to be refinanced at lower rates.

    The government-educational complex has been hell-bent-for-leather trying to cram as many people through college as possible, treating degrees like a magic talisman. They never realized that supply and demand works the same for education as it does for any other market force.

  • Mr. Soul||

    you sir or madam, are my hero. My usual rant is about the Academic-Industrial Complex, but I'm willing to take Government-Educational Complex, file down the serial numbers and use it as my own.

    College is nothing more that a very efficient wealth transfer mechanism where the money moves from Right-to-Left.

    The message from the Govt-Edu-Cmplx seems to be "We defrauded you out of an elementary education and we defrauded you out of a secondary education, but this time we really are not going to defraud you. How about some more?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    When will Arne Duncan hold a press conference and say,
    "You fucked up. You trusted us."

  • The Late P Brooks||

    when you look at people who don't go to school and make their way in the world, those are exceptional human beings.

    Bullshit.

  • Paul.||

    Hey!

  • gaoxiaen||

    I had the right idea when I was five years old.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

  • Caleb Turberville||

    I'm not sure what it's like now, but I know a bunch of people who went into Healthcare Management or Communications 20something years ago.

    Not all of them ended up liking it, but they found jobs.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I don't know about Communications, but with the graying Baby Boomers, Healthcare Management seems like a no-brainer.

  • Tevake||

    I went to Northeastern in Boston. Didn't learn much there, but had co-op experience at Stop-n-Shop supervising Teamsters on a loading dock,and suit and tie experience at IBM and Honeywell when I graduated. Getting a job was easy with that experience.

    Tuition in 1986 was around $16K a year. Today $55K. All so you can party in Boston.

  • JWatts||

    "Didn't learn much there, but had co-op experience at ...."

    That's the ticket. Any co-op program where you actually do something worthwhile and the company actually pays you, is generally going to be a pretty good signal to prospective employers.

    Would you rather pick:
    Candidate A who spent the summer working 40+ hour weeks in a relevant job or;

    Candidate B who took "summer classes" that consisted of 3 easy classes that account for roughly 20 hours of his week.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    All so you can party in Boston

    And that's exactly what you're paying for, the fitness center, and the movie theater, and the 24-hour microagression counseling hotline, etc. etc.

  • Sudden||

    I recall my alma mater (UC Davis) featuring a veritable potpourri of different campus offices for every grievance industry known to man on campus, many of which were full time staffed by multiple professional outrage activists funded through student fees. This was in 2004 when I graduated. I can only imagine how many more professional outrage activists are being paid $85k per annum with pension bennies and three month holidays to put on puppet shows demonstrating the patriarchy and the glory of obese woman vaginal poetry today.

    And yet all the progressives on campus think the rising cost of tuition is some evil GOP plot to eliminate all colleges not named Hillsdale.

  • #||

    The Northeastern model is great. Even mediocre students graduated with actual job experience. Everyone I've even known to go there has had no trouble finding work.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I don't like where this is heading. I call for any student who does not attend a state-sanctioned school of higher learning be charged with truancy.

  • Paul.||

    Why doesn't Obama just make a college mandate?

  • R C Dean||

    The Student Protection and Affordable Education Act.

    An idea so bad, its inevitable.

  • Lord at War||

    The Student Protection and Affordable Youth Education Department.

    The SPAYED.

  • Paul Spomer||

    People should focus more on useful skills and technical programs. Plumbers make as much as white collar jobs these days.

  • Rev-Match||

    There is a myth on campuses that being in possession of a college degree is the only validation a person needs to be handed a job.

    I graduated last year and did land a job in my field of study pretty soon after graduating. That said, most of what I do on a daily basis I could have learned through experience. If I didn't have to have that piece of paper, I could've saved tens of thousands of dollars and, instead, made money for those four years.

  • DJK||

    Except that your resume probably wouldn't have been given a second glance if you didn't have the degree. As much as I agree that most college degrees are worthless, it's damned hard to get someone to look at your resume without one.

  • Hyperion||

    It depends on the degree, and on yourself.

    I was working in my field nearly 2 years before I graduated. People I was in class with seemed to be shocked that I could already be working before finishing school. I was just very aggressive when seeking employment and I didn't give up. I also took the first thing I could find to get my foot in the door. I haven't been unemployed since then, for even a day.

    Don't believe any shit that anyone selling a degree tells you. Their job is to sell a degree to you. Do your own research and get some realistic expectations based on that. Then work your ass off.

  • Trials and Trippelations||

    Go Tar Heels!

  • Almanian!||

    BA in Psych. Worked for a Fortune 500 doing computer programming via a subcontracted consulting firm in the late 80's after I dropped out. Figured out quickly I wouldn't get a job without finishing my degree - went back after 3 years off and finished.

    Got a job at same Fortune 500 in Training an d Education - 25 years later, I'm bonus and stock management.

    Agree people can make it without a degree. Do not agree *everyone* should go that route. Depends what you want. I'm the last of a dying breed - the BA hired directly. Almost 100% Masters now. I got hired cause I had experience with the company. Thanks to my orig contracting firm for hiring me and assigning me there. Thanks to ME for teaching myself how to program and making myself infinitely more marketable.

  • R C Dean||

    History and Philosophy undergrad.

    Law degree.

    I've been no-kidding unemployed for a month or more twice.

  • Libertymike||

    R C, for some reason, I like that you do not come from a STEM background.

    Of course, you have made no secret of the fact that you share the same profession as me and that to which Bo Cara, Esq, aspires.

    Me, Russian Studies and Econ undergrad followed by Law degree and MBA.

  • Pompey||

    Not a law guy, but I check this out every once in a while because it never ceases to make me chuckle. Mostly because it's scatological.

  • Tony||

    The unemployment rate for college graduates is half that of non-college-graduates. But it's hard to justify going if you have to pay for it. Or if you're afraid you might be exposed to subversive anti-libertarian views.

  • Pompey||

    Please recount the occasion when you and your mommy - hand in hand - plunging into the abyss, converted to socialism in a burst of ecstasy.

    It was a good anecdote and I quite enjoy anecdotes. Would you kindly oblige again?

  • Tony||

    My mother is more liberal than I am. I was a Republican until about 8th grade; we all were. We have money and don't like taxes. That used to be good enough. Then the crazy fucks took over and all non-crazy people were forced to jump ship and reevaluate things. In my college philosophy courses I was disproportionately exposed to the major theologians, was taught the classics by a prominent neocon, and only barely touched on pragmatic and liberal philosophies. I learned about identity politics as a member of diversity clubs, and have been developing my overall politics ever since, seeing absolutely fucking nothing in libertarianism or other variations of right-wing reactionaryism but fear and stupidity. Now the only person in my family who talks exactly like you guys is my elderly grandmother closing in on dementia who watches FOX News 16 hours a day.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I learned about identity politics as a member of diversity clubs, and have been developing my overall politics ever since, seeing absolutely fucking nothing in libertarianism or other variations of right-wing reactionaryism but fear and stupidity.

    So you traded in right-wing reactionaryism for a left-wing version.

    I think I'm beginning to see the problem here.

  • Tony||

    Only because of facts on the ground. One had to be reactionary against the Bush II regime. It was so bad as to be radicalizing. I'd much prefer two moderate choices that could counter each side's excesses. But one side is all excess, and that's a road too many places with too many mass graves have gone down before.

  • Dweebston||

    If you start talking us into embracing a Republican Congress and Democratic presidency, because gridlock, you'll have unmasked yourself, PBP.

  • Tony||

    Absolutely not. Never vote for any Republican.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    But one side is all excess

    And the other side clearly lacks any self-awareness whatsoever.

  • Pompey||

    What "you guys" are you referring to, Tony?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Nothing like the sweet, pure logic of socialism. Excuse me, "mixed" economies where the government really controls just about everything. There's absolutely nothing rational about your idols on MSNBC and Salon.

  • ||

    Tony?

    /squints.

    Is that...

    /shakes head.

    You?

  • Tony||

    I do take vacations.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    The unemployment rate for college graduates is half that of non-college-graduates

    We'll see how that statistic looks in about 10 years once the baby boomers (who benefited the most from the unique supply/demand dynamic of their most high-earning years) start kicking off and the current crop of high-debt-holding Milennials dominates the labor force.

    Furthermore, we'll also see how wide the disparity in earning income and debt is as well.

  • Tony||

    I have faith that my fellow millenials, having rid society of the barnacles of right-wing voodoo economics forever, will do whatever it takes, in an evidenced-based way, to fix things as best they can. We don't expect our Reagan worshiping elders to give us so much as an apology either.

  • Dweebston||

    Is Reaganomics the one with QE4ever?

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    HAHAHA. Right. Time for another we-want-some-indeterminate-free-shit OWS protest to demonstrate your economic illiteracy. Just the same broken windows but now in 140 chars. You're staring down the same path that gave France a structural 25% youth unemployment rate. You're just too stupid to realize that's a bad thing.

    You get an apology after you get a job and make a net contribution. On second thought, that's what we all had to do, so you get to say thank you.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    I have faith that my fellow millenials, having rid society of the barnacles of right-wing voodoo economics forever, will do whatever it takes, in an evidenced-based way, to fix things as best they can.

    Funny, that's the same thing the baby boomers said, and our society has only become more solipsistic and FEELZ-based since then.

    I doubt a generation raised on being perpetually outraged about everything will have the emotional fortitude to deal with the adversity of not having a job that pays them a "living wage" while not demanding much more than recess.

  • Bush League||

    I just graduated high school. I'm going to get a degree in mechanical engineering because I like math and science and assumed that the private sector will always need engineers. Am I wrong to think this? Any engineers here that can tell me I'm dead wrong, because right about now is the time I need to here it.

  • Tony||

    You could do a lot worse than an engineering degree, just make sure you minor in philosophy or something like that. Learning how to think, not just what to think, is liberating and important.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Tony giving advice on learning to think. How cute. Minoring in philosophy is a complete waste of time. You'll have to take enough lib arts credits to make you "well rounded" regardless. Use your minor on something useful like math or one of the sciences if you go down that path. Or you can double major for slightly more work.

  • JEP||

    I second what NotAnotherSkippy said. Don't listen to Tony. He couldn't think his way out of a paper bag.

    I'm a EE three years out of undergrad working for an aerospace company. EEs have to take a lot of math anyway, so I would have only had to take two more math classes and I would have had a math minor. Same with physics.

    You're not dead wrong, but the economy is bad even for engineers right now. I'm casually looking for another job/career and it's been harder than I thought it would be - some of that is because my current job doesn't actually require me to be an engineer, so I've been dead in the water not learning anything professionally for two years.

    This article was absolutely correct that the degree alone won't get you a job. Get internships, join engineering clubs, network, keep track of your projects so you have a nice design portfolio, etc. Also, larger companies will head hunt the high GPAs in the hopes that one out of ten is worth something. Smaller companies actually want to hire a good engineer and a good person - they don't have the luxury of being able to take the time to fire bad engineers.

  • Bush League||

    I was actually considering a math minor because of all of the math I'll be doing for an engineering degree, anyway.

    And I don't really know much about this Tony fellow but there always seems to be a few comments referring to him under every article. He may or may not be an idiot, but I agree with him here that knowing how to think is important. I just don't think I'll get a philosophy minor. I took a philosophy class in high school for college credit, and that's where I first learned about libertarianism. Michael Sandel (Harvard professor) did a lecture on it and it's on youtube if you'd like to see it. Maybe you guys can tear it to shreds if it doesn't represent libertarianism well enough.

  • Bush League||

    I was actually considering a math minor because of all of the math I'll be doing for an engineering degree, anyway.

    And I don't really know much about this Tony fellow but there always seems to be a few comments referring to him under every article. He may or may not be an idiot, but I agree with him here that knowing how to think is important. I just don't think I'll get a philosophy minor. I took a philosophy class in high school for college credit, and that's where I first learned about libertarianism. Michael Sandel (Harvard professor) did a lecture on it and it's on youtube if you'd like to see it. Maybe you guys can tear it to shreds if it doesn't represent libertarianism well enough.

  • Bush League||

    I was actually considering a math minor because of all of the math I'll be doing for an engineering degree, anyway.

    And I don't really know much about this Tony fellow but there always seems to be a few comments referring to him under every article. He may or may not be an idiot, but I agree with him here that knowing how to think is important. I just don't think I'll get a philosophy minor. I took a philosophy class in high school for college credit, and that's where I first learned about libertarianism. Michael Sandel (Harvard professor) did a lecture on it and it's on youtube if you'd like to see it. Maybe you guys can tear it to shreds if it doesn't represent libertarianism well enough.

  • Bush League||

    What the hell.

  • np||

    It's the squirrels.

  • np||

    If you like math and like a bit of philosophy, then I'd suggest a branch of discrete math called under various names: meta-mathematics, foundational math, or first order and second order logic.

    Very interesting and truly fundamental stuff. Ironically it's the kind of math I think should be taught earilier since it actually does not rely on any other advanced math and forms the foundation of all math, but is usually reserved for high level courses.

    Instead, unless majoring in computer science, the applied (continuous) math is taught first and focused on, though it's understandable since that is more applicable to empirical sciences and most fields.

  • DJK||

    Seconded. Mathematical logic (often offered at a grad level, but definitely accessible to an advanced undergrad) is awesome. Another good option would be numerical analysis. I can't stress this one enough. High-performance computing is becoming a huge component of engineering. Having an understanding of the mathematical principles here would be a huge advantage.

  • DJK||

    Beyond that: ODEs, PDEs, multi-linear algebra. You probably don't know anything else.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    MechE or ChemE. Both are portable. I would lean towards the latter as they tend to the higher end of the pay scale. EE can be OK depending on the subfield you go into. The silicon world isn't great these days so think more biomed. Just be ready to hop around during your career regardless.

  • DJK||

    Hopping around is one reason why I think it's a really good idea to get a degree in a pure science, maybe in addition to an engineering degree. If you get a degree in EE or MechE, it would be good to have another major or minor in physics. If it's in ChemE, chemistry. This gives you a much more thorough grounding in basic principles which you can draw on when you change fields.

  • ||

    They neglect to tell you in the brochures that in addition to your giant pile of non-dischargeable debt you also need to budget for working for free for 2-3 years while you're attending school full time so that you can actually become employable. And while it's easy to blame slack ass millennials for being entitled little cunts, but they got sold a line of absolute shit. When you can't get qualified for a job that pays a buck an hour over the minimum wage without a bare minimum 20k worth of student debt and the undergrad degree that comes with it, and then when you apply for the job after spending the 4 years and racking up the 20k worth of debt to get past the gatekeeper the HR manager tells you you've wasted your time and money and should have been accumulating work experience instead, it's not hard to see how that seeming contradiction might be frustrating to the 22 year old kid who just got done squandering some of the most productive years of his youth and mortgaging his financial future for the credential. Employers really need to make up their minds about whether an undergrad degree is really an actual proxy for knowledge or skill. If it's not - and they insist that it isn't - then they should probably reconsider making it a requirement for every job right down to the fucking mail room. The world needs ditch diggers, and ditch digging doesn't require a PhD.

  • RishJoMo||

    Dude thats what I call rocking and rolling!

    www.WentAnon.tk

  • Jull||

    Nowadays we have plenty of examples of people being successful without a colledge or university degree, but they often realize the necessity of acquiring knowledge just in the process of their development and business growth. When you have already enough money and motivation to get certain education, to my mind it's much better than when your family struggles with debt of all kinds,as not only student loans, but payday loans are often taken, to provide a degree to a young individual.

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