I overreacted VinTek, quite frankly, I was visiting this site while in panic mode about something else and read into your statement too much. I apologize, frankly in retrospect, I was an ass.
No you weren't. You did overreact, but we've all had moments when we do that. No hard feelings.
Here's a couple more interesting articles. I suppose your criticisms of my statements make sense (and will apply to these articles) in that they produce few conflicting numbers; however, I think they provide another way to interpret the numbers. I believe college is an investment like any other, one that can be helpful or harmful based on luck and savvy. I think the numbers we get are largely misread and misunderstood. I sincerely believe that if someone who is predisposed and able to go to college chooses not to, in general, they will do fine without it. It's the predisposition, the discipline, the means (money/family example) that really help, and college degree is a plus, but in the end people in this category are more likely to attend and graduate. If those same people instead learned for free with this intrinsic motivation I bet they would make substantially more than an average high school grad without a degree.
I feel like I could explain it more succinctly, but again I find myself running out the door. These articles will help explain my position more articulately than I can.
Let me address your first article first. As you pointed out in your earlier post, there are scads of articles that support both positions. The real key is finding articles that are backed by useful information rather than random factoids cherry-picked to support a position. The foxnews.com article is pretty hard to take seriously in that it doesn't provide any data whatsoever
. Seriously, how many people are Michael Dells, Bill Gates(es), Mark Cubans, Richard Branson, Simon Cowell and Peter Jennings(es) actually exist? A few hundred in the world? A few thousand? Out of a world population of 6 billion plus? Cherry-picking a few well-known names is interesting gee-whiz trivia, but it doesn't make for a compelling argument.
The author of the article goes on to say the following:
John Stossel wrote:
"There are 80,000 bartenders in the United States with bachelor's degrees," Vedder said. He says that 17 percent of baggage porters and bellhops have a college degree, 15 percent of taxi and limo drivers. It's hard to pay off student loans with jobs like those. These days, many students graduate with big debts.
Again, he's cherry-picking little factoids. From those statements I can determine without a doubt is that you don't need a college degree to get a job as a bartender, baggage porter, bellhop, or taxi/limo driver. I'm sure that almost every profession that doesn't require a college degree has participants that have college degrees. You might as well throw waiters and truck drivers into the mix. So if you aspire to one of those jobs, yes, college isn't worth it. And while the author cops to his degree in Princeton, it would be interesting to find out how many of his peers in economic journalism have a degree vs. how many don't. I'd guess that the answer would probably eviscerate his contention that college is a scam.
What you need is not so look at small segments, but the big picture. This table
, from the US Bureau, is pretty compelling:
Median income for a person with less than a HS diploma: $18,432
Median income for a person with a HS diploma: $26,140
Median income for a person with an Associate degree or some college: $31,906
Median income for a person with a Bachelor's degree: $47,510
Median income for a person with Graduate or Professional degree: $62,313
That's pretty compelling data because it covers the entire nation. Also, it's completely neutral. It doesn't support anyone's conclusions. It just is what it is. Of course, the flip side of the "is college worth it?" issue is the cost. But let's face it, you're much more likely to be paid a higher wage with a degree in accounting than one in art history or French literature. Also, if you start with 2 years in a community college and finish the final 2 years of your bachelor's degree at a public university where you have residency, a bachelor's degree is often quite affordable. The choice to attend college out of state or go to private school is a personal choice and one that affects the cost/benefit ratio considerably. Same goes for the course study a person chooses.
Of course as you point out, there are no guarantees. But clearly the odds of earning more are in higher if you have a degree than if you don't. And because college and life don't offer guarantees, all we can do is play the odds and try to follow the course that gives us the best chances of succeeding.
The author also says:
John Stossel wrote:
But Darren Zhu, a grant winner who quit Yale for the $100,000, told me, "Building a start-up and learning the sort of hardships that are associated with building a company is a much better education path."
I agree. Much better. Zhu plans to start a biotech company.
And is Mr. Zhu going to staff is biotech company with people who only have a HS diploma, or is he going for folks with postgraduate degrees?
and once again, I'm very sorry. I don't know what got into me, that kind of behavior is a-typical of me, I promise!
Don't worry about it. Let's just stick to having a stimulating discussion the subject at hand. I believe we can both learn something from each other.
Now because of the 1-link limit, I'll address your 2nd link in a separate post and add a link of my own.