Another article on debt/youth.....

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Post by Bertrand » January 18th, 2006, 7:57 am
Date: 1/17/2006 7:56:54 AM
Author: rainbowtrout
Now, who is making the most money right out of college? NOT the engineers, the 'technical' education, although they tend to find a secure job. The people who went to my school, the most expensive of the bunch, majored in (generally) a humanities subject such as economics or political science and are getting payed 90,000 a year starting to consult with Mackenzie or Baine. The business school kids seem to do quite well too.
 I am going to have to question that statement. As it has been since I attended college - engineers have been on top for starting salaries.

Here is a link that supports this 

I think many young people don't research these kinds of things. The costs of public vs private vs out of state, the type of degree and salary you can expect, long term trends for people in those fields etc..

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."

Post by njc » January 18th, 2006, 8:42 am
If it wasnt for DH who is an engineer, we wouldnt be making ends meet. His salary is double mine and steadliy growing (unlike mineImage). Out of all our college friends who have various degrees including engineering, he got and still has the best gig.

I agree that costs need to be researched and weighed when choosing schools, esp when you have to take out students loans, but some states just dont offer what you want or what you know is best for you. DH and I went to the same college, except he had to pay out-of-state tuition (to the tune of triple my in-state cost) but for him, it was a must... his home state didnt have the schools he was looking for or that he felt were appropriate for him.

Post by CaptAubrey » January 18th, 2006, 5:49 pm
Interesting thread. Mrs. Aubrey and I have a comfortable lifestyle but we don't kid ourselves that we aren't very lucky to be where we are. Though I like to think we've made good decisions, a lot of things could easily have gone the other way.

I have always had an abhorrence of debt, bad debt at least. Credit card debt for me is bad, as are things like ARMs and anything with a floating interest rate.

I was fortunate to have parents who taught me good money management skills. I had an allowance (and chores to earn it), and thus learned from an early age that money doesn't grow on trees and that you have to work and save for what you want. One thing my mother told me that has stuck with me my entire life is, "It's not what you make but what you have to spend." Financial independence is about managing your expenses, not maximizing your income.

Post by perry » January 19th, 2006, 12:36 am
Thanks for the link Bertrand.

I have not had much time to find good links for my previous statements which some do not want to believe, and will add a few more now.

You are right that most people do not research things - but in some ways it is not that important.

I do believe that there is value in having a well rounded education - and would not want to see other degree programs die just because there are not good jobs at the end.  I do wish that people would understand that a college education is not necessarily the best way to go for long term earning power and financial stability:  Building a business is.

If you look at the statistics of the most financially sucessfull people (say millionairs) you will find that something like 80% of them started and built their own business.  In many cases these are rather "mundane" business that you see arround town (auto repair, laundry, etc, etc).  Of course, all of these are really good about minimizing debt and saving $.  (note the average millionaire is unlikely to own a new car, or a real fancy one, or a lot of lavish stuff).

You will also find that about 75% of all jobs in America are provided by small businesses (I believe the relevent definition is those that employ less than 50 people).

Guess what, you do not need a college education - or good grades to be able to build a business (and I do not relate grades to the level of effort as some others have - some of us just do not have the skills or brain cells necessary to get "A''s" in everything - no matter how hard we work).

I will admit that building a business has its ups and downs - and the fact is that most "successfull" business people had several business''s fail  as they learned about what it takes to run a business.

In the end, if you want to earn $75,000 or more a year - the best chances of you doing that is by owning your own business and not by holding a job (the median US income is arround $44,000 per year - latest data).  Yet, schools tell you that you should get a good eduation and a good job; and that was back when people got jobs that lasted decades.  Now jobs rarely last 5 years.

Concerning how attractive those Engineering degrees are - you also need to consider something else about engineering:  The Engineering programs in the US graduate 4 times the number of people needed to fill all of the engineering jobs in the US.  This is a long term (multi decade) statisitic I got from a major engineering orginization (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) several years ago.  In general, the article outlined how within 10 years, only 1 out of 4 people who graduate with an engineering degree are employed in engineering.  Only 3 of 4 graduates get a job in engineering.  1 of those drops out or is flushed out withing a few years because engineering is not their "cup of tea."  Then over the next 5-7 years the other (3rd to go) is eliminated as they either do not have the skills necessary to keep arround (people skills or an absolutely top notch pracgtical technical skills and knowledge).  Now some engineering fields have better long term retention (civil engineering is doing better than that currently according to my brother: he thinks that civil engineering is holding about 50% of the people who graduate).  I have hung arround in the Engineering field long enough to provide validation to those statistics about 1 in 4 surviving in engineering.  I was in fact one of those that got flushed at about the 5 year mark - and was able to re-enter engineering about 8 years later largly because I improved my people skills and learned a specialized field by starting as a general laborer working for a small Mfr of heat exchangers after I had been flushed out of engineering (people who later return to engineering are very rare).


The genearl statistic I heard recently was that 80% of college graduates are not working in their degree field 5 years after graduation; but that most still have large student debt at that time.  This ought to raise questions into why you go through college - what is the value of a college education.

It is true that their are a few cases of people in all fields making good money straight out of college.  There are also a few cases of people in most fields who work their way up the ladder to achieve good success; however, the real question is what does the average college grad make in that field in your area or nationally.  combine that with how long are people expected to stay in the field - are their other fields that do better.  It seems to me that many people with 2 year technical degrees do just as good - or better - than many college graduates without all the debt.  

In the case of lawyers cited above as example where people who do survive and work their way up the ladder in certain law areas can make good money - It seems that the average law school graduate makes about $55,000 the first year (the ones who get jobs).  It also seems that there is also a price to be paid for those who succeed at higher income levels as the high-earning practitioners in large private practices report the lowest average job satisfaction while the lower-earning types of practice ($30-$40,000 per year) report higher average job satisfaction.  This is almost directly related to the number of hours worked.  Lawyers in private practice tend to work massive hours - well beyond many other professions (what price that financial success?).  I have not seen any good statistics about how many law graduates are still practicing law after 5 or 10 years.  I do know several such people who are doing other things now.


Perry

Post by rainbowtrout » January 19th, 2006, 2:08 am
Date: 1/18/2006 1:57:14 PM
Author: Bertrand
Date: 1/17/2006 7:56:54 AM

I am going to have to question that statement. As it has been since I attended college - engineers have been on top for starting salaries.

I think many young people don''t research these kinds of things. The costs of public vs private vs out of state, the type of degree and salary you can expect, long term trends for people in those fields etc..





Well, my experience of this comes from living with a group of about 100 engineers for four years, as well as having the boyfriend''s family pretty much all be engineers. I will also say that we are not the best school for engineering so my perspective may be biased---my friends who went to GA Tech or MIT are having an easier time of it.

This is just my experiance from watching people go through job searches, and I have seen the engineers find jobs and be comfortable with great regularity, but it is not they who seem to find the insane starting jobs, it''s the wharton kids and the econ/ibanking ones.

I will also say that as I large percentage of the engineers I know are computer systems people, the market is pretty saturated in some respects (as perry was saying there are a lot of engineers).


As for the grades bit which has been snarked on--

The best you can do is the best you can do, and more power to you. I just feel that the educational system does not push a lot of people to do their best. And if you ARE going to pay the money to go to college you are there to learn, and you should be trying as hard as you can, not binge drinking or partying all the time as I see many people do.
It is rare in my experiance to meet someone at a good college who just doesn''t have the brain cells to do well in some subject. Usually they''ve been muddied by beer...


Post by rainbowtrout » January 19th, 2006, 2:18 am
Date: 1/19/2006 6:36:00 AM
Author: perry

Guess what, you do not need a college education - or good grades to be able to build a business (and I do not relate grades to the level of effort as some others have - some of us just do not have the skills or brain cells necessary to get ''A''s'' in everything - no matter how hard we work).


Perry




I totally agree with this. People DO put too much value on a college education and it is not necessary to build a good business. What IS sadly true is if you are not the kind of person who wants to do that, it is getting harder and harder to get your foot in the door sans BA, which I find silly.

In my opinion what we need to work on is a high school system with solid history, science, and business training with an attached trade school. And unless you NEED specialized knowledge or just want it, society shouldn''t expect you to go to college. You do need to know how to do basic math, and the basic accounting skills to hold that business (as I have been trying to whack into my brother''s head), and an awareness of world history couldn''t hurt your chance of casting a good vote in elections.

One fact I do know is that the numbers of people going to college has been radically increasing. And why? people think it is a magic cure-all pill. It just isn''t.

I know that my career plan is a long shot, but I also know I had to come to college and get in debt to do it. It''s what I want to do, end of story. I do think it''s important, so much that I do realize I may never be well off or even get a tenured job. But I am gambling on (as people have noted) one''s inflated opinion of luck and talent in one''s twenties. We''ll see if it goes off.



Post by rainbowtrout » January 19th, 2006, 2:20 am
Re: Bertrand and starting salaries:

the cnn survey is of many colleges; I was speaking of my own college and the few others with which I have experience. 54,000 is the figure a lot of my engineering friends have quoted or thereabouts.


Post by rainbowtrout » January 19th, 2006, 2:24 am
one final note:

the high paying (80-90K) starting salaries I was speaking of should be elaborated on a little. They are not long term gigs--you work for two years and if your performance is satisfactory they pay for your MBA and you come back to the company after the degree.

I should also note that not a lot of people get these jobs, they are highly coveted. However, it is the econ/ibanking or wharton people who get them.

I think the misunderstanding here comes from the fact that I am speaking of the exception to the rule in some ways--i.e., depending on *which* college you go to these stats may be affected bc of soceital perception or better training in your area. I'm not talking about all colleges in the US together.

Yes, people don't do their research. I do other people's research for a living, and I can understand why they don't want to sometimes!Image

Post by fire&ice » January 19th, 2006, 3:31 am
Again, the focus should not be the salary one makes out the gate.  The *opportunities* & *experience* one gains with their first job should be the focus. 

Sad to see this doesn''t seem to be the case. 

Post by Bertrand » January 19th, 2006, 11:38 am

RT - I guess in certain schools with certain majors - their will be significant differences. My comment was in general looking at all schools.Did not mean to seem rude.


I think what I was trying to say in my first post was that perhaps someone racking up $20K in debt and majoring in film studies was not as wise as someone with the same debt who majored in engineering. Income and debt - you need to look at both


---------------------------

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts."

Post by Dancing Fire » January 19th, 2006, 3:28 pm
Date: 1/19/2006 6:36:00 AM
Author: perry


If you look at the statistics of the most financially sucessfull people (say millionairs) you will find that something like 80% of them started and built their own business. In many cases these are rather ''mundane'' business that you see arround town (auto repair, laundry, etc, etc). Of course, all of these are really good about minimizing debt and saving $. (note the average millionaire is unlikely to own a new car, or a real fancy one, or a lot of lavish stuff).


Guess what, you do not need a college education - or good grades to be able to build a business (and I do not relate grades to the level of effort as some others have - some of us just do not have the skills or brain cells necessary to get ''A''s'' in everything - no matter how hard we work).


Perry
true....i think out of the top 10 riches in the U.S.,only Warren Buffet has a college degree.sometime i wonder Image is it worth getting into a $100k college debt.
it is harder to find a "MIND CLEAN" stone than a eye clean stone !!


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