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 Post subject: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:46 pm 

Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:34 pm
Posts: 1
I have been a Chef for over 10 years now. I am 32 and about 1 year into my bachelors degree. I want to work with anything that will pay me to travel. Cruise Lines, Hotels.com, a CFO would be were I want to go. I want out of the Kitchen.
My question is this. Is college were I need to be. Is it worth it. Where do I start when I get my degree and have been nothing but a Chef for years.


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 Post subject: Re: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:03 am 
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trace wrote:
I have been a Chef for over 10 years now. I am 32 and about 1 year into my bachelors degree. I want to work with anything that will pay me to travel. Cruise Lines, Hotels.com, a CFO would be were I want to go. I want out of the Kitchen.
My question is this. Is college were I need to be. Is it worth it. Where do I start when I get my degree and have been nothing but a Chef for years.


You will have 0 chance of becoming a CFO without a bachelor's degree and you will likely need an MBA for that position as well.

I do not think college is necessary for everyone, though it is becoming that way. But with your stated goals, yes, you will need a college degree.


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 Post subject: Re: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:34 am 

Joined: Mon May 16, 2011 3:36 pm
Posts: 120
Where you think you need to start now, and where you think you will need to start when you are done with your degree will most likely be different. And to add to that, where you actually start may be different as well.

As far as needing the degree, as DH pointed out, most of what you sound interested in will require a degree. The bachelor's degree is basically the high school diploma of 30+ years ago. You will be hard pressed to find a job that leads to "the top" without one. Yes, there are fields where this isn't required, but there are SO many that won't even look at you without the paper to back your resume. That being said, that 'paper' can really be from any major (minus a few specific fields.) I had a handful of professors say that "it doesn't matter what your degree is in, over 80% of people work in fields their degrees have no relation to." And its true, they just want to know that you can learn, which is what a degree is supposed to represent (ontop of gaining knowledge in a few fields.)

However, today it feels like the Master's is the new Bachelor's. So if you want to get to CFO, you will most likely need a MBA as DH pointed out. There are some cases where this isn't true, but in a established company, this most likely will be required.


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 Post subject: Re: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2011 1:16 am 

Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:43 pm
Posts: 16
go forth. college is what you need to achieve your goal.


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 Post subject: Re: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 8:44 pm 

Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2008 4:39 am
Posts: 322
Location: Woodstock, CT
is college worth it? let me reiterate what you've probably been hearing a lot.
well it depend:
it's not worth it for the kid who's been cracking jokes for ever and found himself in a comedy club accompanied by his mother because he's under age but he's recognized as a protege (his parents hope he finishes High School before he makes it big)

it's worth it for the the little girl who's been winning science fair prizes since the 3rd grade (her parents started wishing for a full ride scholarship at any top ranked school since her first scientist kit.

as to you well you want a job that will pay for your travel, be a salesman no degree just some in depth knowledge of the products you're selling

_________________
When you're good to others, you're best to yourself - B. Franklin


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 Post subject: Re: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:59 pm 
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If you want to know if college is worth it all you have to do is look at unemployment rates. The unemployment rate for college graduates is about 4% right now. It is 9% for the general population, 16% for those who didn't go to college, and about 24% for high school dropouts.

If you think those statistics don't demonstrate that education has enormous value and makes a huge difference in your prosperity in life then you really need to educate yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Wed Jul 20, 2011 3:05 pm 

Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 11:10 am
Posts: 19
I often think the same thing. But I will say this, ultimatly yes it is worth it as you can always fall back on it or use it when needed.

I have a BS in Computer Information Systems, and I have an MBA. I was a Mechanic all my life (Im 33 now) and now I work for a job where Im the only one with college. It is a very technical job but only a HS diploma is required. We are in a rather small town and I currently make $80k and there is no chance of me moving out of here. So my college degrees sit idle and get further away in my past to when I do need them they wont be worth much(just my opinion). And If I were to quite my current job to take a new job using my degrees I would take a healthy cut as the median household income in my area is under $35k.

So what am I saying with all this....Go for it and make a move now while you are young. Most jobs want a college degree now a days to fill a square. You wont regret it at all even if you never use it.


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 Post subject: Re: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 01, 2011 10:21 am 

Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 3:59 am
Posts: 74
If you enjoy being a chef then you don't have to go into a new industry. There are many chefs that travel to push themselves etc..Who knows maybe if you consider traveling for the pure leisure of it you may find a new vocation along the way.


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 Post subject: Re: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 09, 2011 3:59 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:51 am
Posts: 44
I do not necessarily agree. From a purely monetary point of view, college is a high risk investment with no guarantees, the payoff often does not offset the cost, especially if one is investing money that would have gone into college.

Another option, especially because you already have a year of credit, is to get an associates degree. The earning potential of a 2 year degree is about 45% of a 4 year degree. In your current position you could possibly do that for a couple thousand. It's the most bang for your buck, at least potentially. If your state does not have many options for you to mitigate cost at a community college you can actually transfer your current credit and then implement unusual methods such as testing out (CLEP, DANTES) and alternative credit (ACE reviewed such as ALEKS, FEMA independent study, NFA training). Maybe supplement a handful of credits with community college work, and then transfer to a regionally accredited (the good kind) school with no residency requirement (requirement to take classes from the institution issuing the degree) such as Excelsior, TESC, COSC and then you can have a well accredited degree that utilizes the credit you already have.

In my opinion, traditional college is a difficult cost to justify in many cases and as one gets older the return diminishes (less time to utilize greater earnings, but just as much debt).

Online learning is full of possibilities for saving time and money. The degrees are well recognized now-a-days assuming you choose the right school. I got my degree with only a couple actual college classes, the rest was testing, ACE reviewed training (colleges may or may not accept this, so decide on the college before you take any ACE reviewed tests or training), and a handful of other sources. I learned about all this primarily from two websites:
degreeforum.net
degreeinfo.com

Once you have your associates you may decide to progress to bachelors, but know that you may have limited choice of schools for continuing education if you take this path. For me, that's not a problem. I just wanted a regionally accredited school with no stigmas attached, when/if I get my bachelors I will be happy to go back to Excelsior.

I hope this helps!
--------------------------------
lol, I just noticed that this post is like two months old. Oh well, perhaps it will benefit our google visitors. ^_^


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 Post subject: Re: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 8:38 am 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:14 pm
Posts: 1975
rickyjo wrote:
I do not necessarily agree. From a purely monetary point of view, college is a high risk investment with no guarantees, the payoff often does not offset the cost, especially if one is investing money that would have gone into college.

I suggest doing some research. From http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-looney-greenstone-is-college-wo20110815,0,2201593.story:

Quote:
First, we looked at what we call the Class of the Great Recession — those young adults who graduated from college during the last three years. The results surprised us. We've all seen the headlines about how difficult it is for new graduates to find work in these tough economic times. But almost 90% of these young college graduates were employed in 2010, compared with only 64% of their peers who did not attend college but went straight on to look for work. Even more astounding, the college graduates are making, on average, almost double the annual earnings of those with only a high school diploma. And this advantage is likely to stick with them over a lifetime of work. For example, at age 50 a college graduate earns about $46,500 more per year than the average person with only a high school diploma.

and
Quote:
By any financial measure, the investment in a college degree is the winning choice, with a rate of return of a whopping 15.2% a year on the $102,000 investment for those who earn the average salary for college graduates. This is more than double the average rate of return in the stock market during the last 60 years (6.8%), and more than five times the return to investments in corporate bonds (2.9%), gold (2.3%) long-term government bonds (2.2%) or housing (0.4%).


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 Post subject: Re: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:51 am
Posts: 44
I've read a thousand articles to the contrary, there are many ways of measuring the success or failure of this investment. I honestly find your comment extremely incendiary, I am extremely well-read on the topic. Furthermore, my statement was pretty mild and absolutely, irrefutably true. I spoke of possibilities in both directions, anyone who has ever researched the issue AT ALL knows that for many individuals college turns out to be a poor financial investment (for whatever reason). This is not a rule, but it happens, there is a great deal of risk! I strongly suspect that your calculations don't include lost earning potential, this is especially important for somebody who already has a career, not to mention that the OP is older than the usual college student so the potential pay-back is less. If I have time I will attempt to find my favorite article and post the link.

You can disagree with me, you can post articles with a contrary opinion (there are tons to the contrary of your opinion) but it's extremely inappropriate to start a post by insulting the person you disagree with.

Here's an article that has a lot of interesting points:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/09/AR2010090903350.html?sid=ST2010090904227
"There's a billion other things you could do with your money," Altucher says. One option: Invest the money you'd spend on tuition in Treasury bills for your child's retirement. According to Altucher, $200,000 earning 5 percent a year over 50 years would amount to $2.8 million."

The factors that go into this decision are extremely vast; therefore, I'm not trying to talk the OP out of college, there's a very good chance that it's a financially good investment. Unfortunately, from the information presented it definitely isn't a sure thing, and is less-so than some other more typical cases.

In any case, one must admit that the issue isn't black and white and must be tailored to the individual. That is what I was expressing, and it strikes me as odd that you would disagree with that, especially in such an exceedingly aggressive and insulting way.

I will not be responding to any further comments; however, if I can find it there's an article I want to share, but I haven't seen it for a year or two. Hopefully I can find it.


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 Post subject: Re: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:16 am 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:14 pm
Posts: 1975
rickyjo wrote:
You can disagree with me, you can post articles with a contrary opinion (there are tons to the contrary of your opinion) but it's extremely inappropriate to start a post by insulting the person you disagree with.

That is what I was expressing, and it strikes me as odd that you would disagree with that, especially in such an exceedingly aggressive and insulting way.

I will not be responding to any further comments; however, if I can find it there's an article I want to share, but I haven't seen it for a year or two. Hopefully I can find it.


And all I said was:
Quote:
I suggest some research.

I think I struck an nerve there. Remember, your original comment cited no articles or studies at all but made some rather sweeping (and in your post, unsupported) statements. There was certainly nothing there that suggested that you were well-read or had done research. None. Yet you found the suggestion that you might not have done so "exceedingly aggressive and insulting."

Most of these college doom stories are deceptive. Let's take your own example:
Quote:
$200,000 earning 5 percent a year over 50 years would amount to $2.8 million."

Who has $200K at the age of 18? What do they live on over the 50 years while the interest is accruing on the principal? What about taxes? That money can't start out in a tax-sheltered account. The whole exercise works mathematically but if examined in the real world, is bogus. And that's the problem. People read stuff like that and think they're well informed. But they don't really think it through. They just read it and swallow it whole, to the point where they have so much faith in it that they'll quote it in a forum.

Read http://www.npr.org/2011/06/18/137257390/making-headlines-since-the-70s-is-college-worth-itle and what it says:
Kevin Carey, policy director for the think-tank Education Sector wrote:
"You start with some kind of very alarming, attention-grabbing headline and then you find a recent college graduate in the worst possible circumstances to lead off your story," he says. "From there you start to broaden the thesis and say something like, 'People are increasingly questioning whether college is worth it.' You track down the experts. And then you finish with a quote saying, 'My life is terrible, I'm in a dead-end job, I'm sad, I'm hungry. What is to become of me?'"

Carey says he has a problem with this type of story heard over and over again.

"It's missing a lot of really important long-term trends," he says. "If you look at wage data, what you see is that people with college degrees are making more and more and more money, and basically everyone else is either staying the same or falling back."

Carey says college graduates were less likely to be unemployed before the current recession started and less likely to lose their jobs after the recession happened.

"And in fact, ... college graduates ... are the only segment of the economy where employment has actually gotten better during the first five months of this year," he says.


Really, you need to be less offended and engage in some real discussion. It's up to you. But making claims about being insulted and well-read, then running away, doesn't really reinforce your position.


Last edited by VinTek on Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:10 am 

Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:04 am
Posts: 1
Location: Chicago
College is definitely worth it! Start networking in the industry you would like to be in, even if it's not the ideal position, and find a mentor to help you develop the skills you will need. Leaders will reproduce who they are, so find someone with a career you would like to mirror and start building a relationship with them.

Best of Luck!


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 Post subject: Re: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2011 11:37 am 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2007 8:14 pm
Posts: 1975
Still more information about the value of a college degree, from US News and World Report:

Quote:
Those holding bachelor's degrees earn about $2.27 million over their lifetime, while those with master's, doctoral, and professional degrees earn $2.67 million, $3.25 million, and $3.65 million, respectively. That said, the major and industry a student selects ultimately have an enormous impact on lifetime earnings. Those with bachelor's degrees who work either in management or science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (NasdaqGM: STEM - News) earn more, on average, than people with advanced degrees of any level who work in fields like education, sales, and community service.

Those with bachelor's degrees, no matter the field, earn vastly more than counterparts with some college ($1.55 million in lifetime earnings) or a high school diploma ($1.30 million lifetime), indicating that no matter the level of attainment or the field of study, simply earning a four-year degree is often integral to financial success later in life.

"The payoff from getting a college degree is huge and is actually increasing," says Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation, a nonprofit focused on boosting America's number of college graduates. "For people wondering [if] a college degree [is] worth it: Not only is it worth it, but the premium is growing."


Data counts. Articles with anecdotal evidence and conjectural musings about investments don't really mean much.


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 Post subject: Re: Is College worth it.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:03 am 
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VinTek wrote:
Data counts. Articles with anecdotal evidence and conjectural musings about investments don't really mean much.


Yes it does. But so does another factor that has hardly come up.

College is not something you sign up for, complete a few tasks, check a few boxes, then get a sheepskin that says you are an instance success.

College is an opportunity. It is a chance to work hard, learn from others, professors, researchers, fellow students, and actually improve yourself. The data, though they support college being a good investment, are likely skewed to the downside because they include all the people who don't work hard, possibly complete their degree without learning much, then go out in the real world and find that they can't make it.

In my career I've seen and worked with plenty of successful people without degrees. It is certainly possible. But they have to work much harder to show their meddle. And, in my experience they often have a much harder time expanding beyond their initial experience. All those BS classes they made you take for your BS give a broader perspective and experience base that makes you think better when you are more experienced.

People that work hard usually succeed. College is a major stepping stone but may not be necessary. People who don't work hard rarely get very far. And for them, college is little help. Even if they somehow manage to make it through college itself, their laziness and the fact that they really didn't learn much catches up with them quickly in the real world.


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