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Facepalm. Forehead smack. College degree “investments”

May 5, 2012


College is the best investment you can make, President Obama told students last month at the University of Colorado….

Two big caveats: The College Board math assumes everyone goes to a public college. Those usually cost less than private ones—often a lot less—and that skews returns higher. The report also doesn’t account for dropouts or extra college years. Only 56% of students who enroll in a four-year college earn a bachelor’s degree within six years, according to a report last year by the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

…Returns vary sharply; they are negative for more than 100 schools and over 11% a year for ones like Harvey Mudd College in California, the Georgia Institute of Technology and the University of Virginia.

Now, overly educated people are promoting this crap as if any college degree from any university is an assurance of better pay. It’s so bad, that even the WSJ is dancing around the obvious in their article. Have we reached the point where the Wall Street Journal has forgotten that even in college degrees, the reward is a matter of supply and demand?

The worst returns tend to come from schools whose programs focus on nursing, criminal justice, sociology and education, says Katie Bardaro, an analyst at PayScale. The best returns are often from schools with strong engineering, computer science, economics and natural-science programs.

There’s a flip side: “It’s a lot harder to successfully graduate from those engineering programs,” says Ms. Bardaro.

So perhaps – just perhaps, those universities have a higher return rate on an investment in their degree programs because GRADS ARE MORE IN DEMAND because there are fewer of them???!!!!

I can’t believe they had to even take the space for this part of the article

High school students with high grades and excellent test scores are likely to go to good schools and earn high returns on their investment, says Mr. Vedder.

Really. You don’t say? A degree in feminist studies doesn’t get you a high paying above average creative job at Apple?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Lynn Comp permalink*
    May 9, 2012 8:21 pm

    I think the issue w/nursing is that the pay is highly variable between areas that are union and those that are not, and it’s similar to teaching in that there are tons of them. The difference between nursing & teaching is that there are more unhealthy people than there are high birth rates :0)

  2. May 7, 2012 3:36 pm

    A degree in nursing is bad investment? Really? Compare to other professional degrees? Even then, nurses I know like their profession because they know that in the event they have to move, they will be able to find another job.

    • May 8, 2012 7:29 am

      Now that you mention it, that one caught my eye as well. It seems to me like med tech and nursing would have better returns.

      But that said… if you want a job that can translate anywhere you move, become a barber or hairstylist.

  3. May 6, 2012 9:27 am

    Success is based on your desire to be successful. Not significantly indebting yourself to any agent, and keeping a job seem to be pretty much all you need to really do.

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