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Student loans kill "American dream" for millions


By tovarichpeter   Follow   Sun, 14 Apr 2013, 6:18am PDT   856 views   29 comments
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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-12/american-dream-eludes-with-student-debt-burden-mortgages.html

Play Moness's Kroll on Equities, U.S. Housing (Corrects spelling of name in last two paragraphs.) Luke Nichter of Harker Heights, Texas, said hes not a renter by choice. The Texas A&M University history professors $125,000 of student debt means he has no hope of getting a mortgage. Nichter, 35, whos paying $1,500 a month on loans for degrees from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, is part of the most debt-laden generation to emerge from college.

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APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch   Sun, 14 Apr 2013, 11:12am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (4)   Dislike (1)     Comment 1

Die, American Dream, Fucking Die!

adarmiento   Sun, 14 Apr 2013, 11:20am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike     Comment 2

True, student loans can be like having a 30 year mortgage payment. So that means they are paying off a student loan in the 20's and 30's instead of making allocating resources toward a home purchase or other investments.

At least with medical school loans, you an reasonably pay it off within 7 years of finishing your residency.

Seems like nobody wants to take on the college education industry in regards to college costs and student debts.

Rin   Sun, 14 Apr 2013, 12:59pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (1)     Comment 3

Snooze .... isn't this topic getting old?

Corporate America doesn't not need education in literature, political science, history, philosophy, or even advanced thermodynamics or plate tectonics! The whole BA/BS thing is a human resources, cultural barrier to entry into the white collar world.

THIS IS AN OPEN SECRET, known to practically everyone who'd worked in corporate America for decades. What you learn in school does not translate into serving your corporate overlords. I remember this secretary, taking classes in astronomy, American literature, psychology, and other topics so that she could get a humanities BA and advance her career. Well, it hasn't happened yet because despite the degree, all she ever did was admin work for the past 7 years.

The idea is to SEPARATE the white and the blue collar labels associated with workers, by virtue of one's college diploma. And then, you have those marketable skills: DBA work, LAN administration, sales support, etc, which make your career.

adarmiento   Sun, 14 Apr 2013, 1:07pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (3)   Dislike     Comment 4

Rin, I studied marine engineering. Math like Calculus taught critical thinking skills. Engineering courses like material science helped me to understand such concepts as corrosion control. So I would not broad brush and say that college education is a waste of time.

Rin   Sun, 14 Apr 2013, 1:13pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 5

adarmiento says

Rin, I studied marine engineering. Math like Calculus taught critical thinking skills. Engineering courses like material science helped me to understand such concepts as corrosion control. So I would not broad brush and say that college education is a waste of time.

My degree is in Applied Chemistry/Chemical Engineering and I'd worked in biotech, before leaving for IT and Hedge fund work. In biotech, cell biologists ran all the programs. They were the P.I.s., since transfected cells, produced all the proteins (drugs), Applied Chem/ChemEs were seen as "tools". The only skills I'd used was the fact that I was experienced in lab work, data collection, and doing analytics on the data. I'd say that it wasn't my education but the fact that I was a science & engineering type, a consummate problem solver, which got me to where I am today. I haven't used 80% of the chemical engineering curricula in the real world.

adarmiento   Sun, 14 Apr 2013, 1:31pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 6

Rin, I would safely claim that I used about 50% of the information I learned studying marine engineering in college. It gave me a good background. Now, I see your point about college being more of a vocational experience. I think my studies in marine engineering were both vocational and academic.

yup1   Sun, 14 Apr 2013, 1:36pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (4)   Dislike     Comment 7

adarmiento says

Rin, I studied marine engineering. Math like Calculus taught critical thinking skills. Engineering courses like material science helped me to understand such concepts as corrosion control. So I would not broad brush and say that college education is a waste of time.

I got paid to learn about and operate nuclear reactors, serving my country in the US Navy!

College for many many students is a waste of money. You should not pay tens of thousands of dollars for a degree that only gives you the hope of not having to work in the retail sector for $12/hour for the rest of your life.

Rin   Sun, 14 Apr 2013, 1:40pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 8

adarmiento says

It gave me a good background. Now, I see your point about college being more of a vocational experience. I think my studies in marine engineering were both vocational and academic.

I understand having a good background in various technical subjects, however, if you were to let's say, start as a paralegal or a real estate appraiser, could you honestly say that you were applying your college knowledge? In both situations, you could either take the Patent Agent exam or the P.E. certification and laterally move into a licensed field where you can either be signing off on Patent work or building/facilities schematics.

Rin   Sun, 14 Apr 2013, 1:41pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 9

yup1 says

I got paid to learn about and operate nuclear reactors, serving my country in the US Navy!

Yes, and that's a very well known program. I knew a couple of engineers who went Navy Nuclear Program, directly after college.

New Renter   Sun, 14 Apr 2013, 2:01pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 10

Rin says

In biotech, cell biologists ran all the programs. They were the P.I.s., since transfected cells, produced all the proteins (drugs), Applied Chem/ChemEs were seen as "tools".

Let me guess, they were Ph.D. + post doc while you were undergrad only.

Rin   Sun, 14 Apr 2013, 2:15pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 11

New Renter says

Rin says

In biotech, cell biologists ran all the programs. They were the P.I.s., since transfected cells, produced all the proteins (drugs), Applied Chem/ChemEs were seen as "tools".

Let me guess, they were Ph.D. + post doc while you were undergrad only.

I was undergrad, my peers, others in chemistry/applied chemistry/chemical engineering, had MS and PhDs. Still, they were *tools*, next to cell biologists in biotech. This is what bifurcated labor pools look like.

New Renter   Mon, 15 Apr 2013, 5:58pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 12

Rin says

New Renter says

Rin says

In biotech, cell biologists ran all the programs. They were the P.I.s., since transfected cells, produced all the proteins (drugs), Applied Chem/ChemEs were seen as "tools".

Let me guess, they were Ph.D. + post doc while you were undergrad only.

I was undergrad, my peers, others in chemistry/applied chemistry/chemical engineering, had MS and PhDs. Still, they were *tools*, next to cell biologists in biotech. This is what bifurcated labor pools look like.

Managers and individual contributors.

Funny, most cell and molecular biologists had a HELL of a time finding a "real" job. What part of the country was this?

Rin   Tue, 16 Apr 2013, 1:34am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 13

New Renter says

I was undergrad, my peers, others in chemistry/applied chemistry/chemical engineering, had MS and PhDs. Still, they were *tools*, next to cell biologists in biotech. This is what bifurcated labor pools look like.

Managers and individual contributors.

Funny, most cell and molecular biologists had a HELL of a time finding a "real" job. What part of the country was this?

Northeast, but what you're forgetting is that not ALL biological specialists were in the hiring pool. Many of these PhDs in { cell biology/physiology, structural molecular biochemistry, etc} have specific advisors, specific labs, etc. In a sense, they were kind of cronies to the main P.Is in the company whereas the so-called applied chem work were more generalists, lab or pilot plant smart fellas, who made a lot of contributions but were always viewed as a lackey than someone of importance. Thus, the best applied chemists/chemical engineers needed to deal with insults at meetings, being called "math freak" or "plant genius", by higher ups on the social ladder. When I'd transitioned into IT work, the word "freak" was never aimed in my direction.

Rin   Tue, 16 Apr 2013, 4:49am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 14

donjumpsuit says

Ph.D. with many years experience in the plant biology/ molecular biology field only marginalizes you when it comes to finding employment.

A PhD normally equals a postdoc placement parachute and little else.

From what I'd seen in biopharma, those specialized biologists are a part of a clique. In other words, they hire among *friends* of certain advisors, labs, etc. The idea here is to preserve an insider's association and thus, eliminate other biologists with additional experiences and educations from the outside.

Thus, a position of "junior investigator" at an XYZ biosciences can go unfilled for months and even years. All and all, if one is in the bio field, please, please, please, switch to some alternate healthcare venue and get a real paying job, instead of latching onto postdocs with no future.

New Renter   Tue, 16 Apr 2013, 5:28am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 15

Pretty much. The shortage is only of employees who went to them "right" school, are in the "right" discipline, have a with a 100% skill fit to the job in question, have no family obligations, and will work for food. That eliminates a LOT of otherwise qualified applicants.

Of course that's would not happen if there was a really STEM shortage.

CaptainShuddup   Tue, 16 Apr 2013, 5:34am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 16

Hey I gotta an idea, lets fix it, but end up making it even more expensive.
It's the perfect plan, because everyone will be expecting the exact opposite.
And the beauty of it is, if anyone complains, why we'll just marginalize them by calling them a racist, and FOX viewers.

CaptainShuddup   Tue, 16 Apr 2013, 5:35am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 17

Nah! That'll never work, because there are too many people now paying on student debt they'll never pay off in their lifetime, so they wish the same fate for all future generations. Ain't the Entitled generation just grand?

Philistine   Tue, 16 Apr 2013, 7:02am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 18

It's easy, take out a bunch of credit cards, and divert your income to paying the student loans off, not the credit cards. Then file bankruptcy for the CC debt. I don't know why nobody has figured this out yet.

P.S. College should not be viewed as some job service center. That's when everybody got the wool pulled over their eyes.

CaptainShuddup   Tue, 16 Apr 2013, 7:37am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 19

They should ask you at college like they do at the job interview.

"Why do you want to go to school here?"

"Why are you choosing this profession?"

Then turn them down for the same reason that future employers would based on their answer.

drew_eckhardt   Tue, 16 Apr 2013, 7:46am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 20

Getting an education which opens job opportunities (software engineer, McDonald's cashier in Massachusetts, or whatever) does _NOT_ require going to an ivy league school or other pricey private institution.

As a Colorado resident (like my kids) you could spend $30K total to get your degree for two years at Front Range Community College ($105/credit hour, $3150 a year, plus a few hundred for fees) followed by two at the University of Colorado ($11K per for tuition and fees). Your degree would still say "CU Boulder" and Summa Cum Laude. Other situations have price tags in the same ball park.

Living with your parents instead of someplace fun, applying your savings from high school jobs, and a half-time minimum wage job as a student (been there, done that) would let you do that with no student loans. Choosing a room in a house shared with other students over your own apartment allows for minimal loans where that's not a viable choice.

UC Santa Cruz (from whence I hired my newest minion) is a few thousand dollars a year more expensive than CU but shouldn't lead to six figure debts for in-state students.

Where you want a graduate degree many institutions have teaching and research assistant positions with benefit packages that include full tuition plus a stipend for living expenses.

While you can pay a lot for an education and do your part in boosting profits (special student loan treatment in bankruptcy letting lenders profit on loans you can't afford and federal loans guaranteed by the tax payers also increase the money supply) you don't have to.

I don't give any weight to where people went to school when hiring software engineers because I've found the significance to vary too much with the current administration's policies (a CU professor who reputedly failed a third of her class no longer being allowed to teach a weeding out course meant my group's rejection rate of graduates went from not much to over half) to enhance tuition revenues (they get a lot more when they don't force people out of the department in their sophomore year). People I've dealt with tend to do the same.

Rin   Tue, 16 Apr 2013, 8:29am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 21

drew_eckhardt says

Getting an education which opens job opportunities (software engineer, McDonald's cashier in Massachusetts, or whatever) does _NOT_ require going to an ivy league school or other pricey private institution.

Couple of points ... if (and only if) you want to work at a management consulting or investment banking firm, it may not be a bad idea to get an ivy league/brand name type of school on one's resume. These firms, i.e. Lazard, McKinsey, GS, etc, typically screen out people from non-prestigious universities. This is the culture of those places; they are class-ist bigots.

One cheap way to accomplish the above is to mix and match on the prestige issue. London Univ has a low cost, international distance program for the Commonwealth. Some of these programs are sanctioned by the London School of Economics, the "Wharton" of Europe, others are not but hey, beggars can't be choosy. Someone can get a BA/BS from UoL and then, do a one year masters at a Penn, Chicago, or Duke at a significantly reduced price. If you network correctly and take advantage of all alumni resources at your final school, you can land one of those types of jobs.

If the above is NOT one's trajectory then the prestige of one's overall institution is not THAT important for much of anything. That's where you need CO-OPs, a few connections, know-how, etc, to land your first job out of school.

Rin   Tue, 16 Apr 2013, 10:20am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 22

drew_eckhardt says

I use what they taught in my data structures and operating systems classes every week, sometimes apply things from the computer architecture curriculum, and occasionally use something from compiler construction.

Ok, 3-4 classes out of 35-36 for a BA/BS degree. And in many IT shops, a lot of folks don't even know the quicksort or the layers of TCP/IP.

I could just as well say that 3-4 classes in ChemE were used in biopharma, but does that mean that I needed a degree in applied chemistry/chemical engineering, to be useful in the industry?

And these are technical tracks, just think about those in higher paying fields like management consulting?

Rin   Wed, 17 Apr 2013, 4:32am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 23

Ppl, I'm all fired up about this topic. Can we keep it going?

New Renter   Thu, 18 Apr 2013, 11:31am PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 24

Rin says

I could just as well say that 3-4 classes in ChemE were used in biopharma, but does that mean that I needed a degree in applied chemistry/chemical engineering, to be useful in the industry?

No, but that is true for any STEM job. Trade school is what you want for minimal education for a specific job.

Rin   Thu, 18 Apr 2013, 12:57pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 25

New Renter says

Rin says

I could just as well say that 3-4 classes in ChemE were used in biopharma, but does that mean that I needed a degree in applied chemistry/chemical engineering, to be useful in the industry?

No, but that is true for any STEM job. Trade school is what you want for minimal education for a specific job.

Yes, trade school is a type of bare minimum and then, consider this ... STEM fields are suppose to be the be-all in the work world which require educational credentials. But now, if a lot of STEM work is really 3-4 courses, then ask yourself this big question ... why is it, that all white collar workers (STEM or not) are expected to be college graduates? You see, this is the big lie. The idea that education, not the art of credentialism { collecting degrees/certificates }, but education, is needed for the white collar workforce.

New Renter   Thu, 18 Apr 2013, 2:48pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 26

Why do you think STEM is the be all end all? In case you haven't noticed FIRE is kicking STEM' s ass.

Rin   Thu, 18 Apr 2013, 10:52pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 27

STEM is the *be-all* in terms of the educational shortage propaganda machine, "We need more STEM educated workers"

If what you mean by FIRE is hashish planters, well, Johnny Appleseed's done all the education for that, centuries ago :-)

New Renter   Fri, 19 Apr 2013, 2:12pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 28

Rin says

STEM is the *be-all* in terms of the educational shortage propaganda machine, "We need more STEM educated workers"

There was a great "This American Life episode a few years ago, "The Giant Pool of Money."

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/355/the-giant-pool-of-money

In it IRA glass interviewed a bartender recruited to sell sub-prime mortgages. The guy claimed to have been pulling down $120k A MONTH.

Until I see that kind of crazy money being thrown at similarly unqualified people to do STEM jobs the shortage is bullshit!

New Renter   Fri, 19 Apr 2013, 2:13pm PDT   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 29

Rin says

If what you mean by FIRE is hashish planters, well, Johnny Appleseed's done all the education for that, centuries ago :-)

???

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