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Friday, September 12, 2014

Common sense about college from Robert Reich


Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of  Labor, has some common sense about our investment in four year liberal arts educations versus two year technical programs in this editorial.

Here are some of Reich's main points:

"For one thing, a four-year liberal arts degree is hugely expensive. Too many young people graduate laden with debts that take years if not decades to pay off."

"And too many of them can’t find good jobs when they graduate, in any event. So they have to settle for jobs that don’t require four years of college. They end up overqualified for the work they do, and underwhelmed by it."

"Consider, for example, technician jobs. They don’t require a four-year degree. But they do require mastery over a domain of technical knowledge, which can usually be obtained in two years."

"Yet America isn’t educating the technicians we need. As our aspirations increasingly focus on four-year college degrees, we’ve allowed vocational and technical education to be downgraded and denigrated."

Well said Mr. Reich!

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Friday, August 29, 2014

A College Degree and the Law of Supply and Demand


I don’t know how many times I have seen the statistic that a college education results in career earnings of more than $one million over the individual’s lifetime.  Well I call BS on this number every chance I get.  The figures do not factor in the IQ, family wealth and the socio-economic background of individuals that graduate from college versus those that do not.

But most importantly these amateur statisticians forgot one major economic factor – the Law of Supply and Demand.

The rarer the asset (in this case a college diploma), the more valuable it is.  The more common the asset, the less valuable it is. In 1960 about 8 percent of Americans 25 years old and older had college degrees.  By 2009 the percentage had reached 30 percent.

And here is where it really gets nuts.  Despite the fact that so many recent college graduates are back working as waiters where they toiled during college, some suggest that the answer to our economic challenges is for far more high school grads to attend traditional college.


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Saturday, August 23, 2014

David Letterman says "Send your kid to college."


"If you can, send your kid to college. So they get a degree, and at least then, they will know what kind of work they're out of." David Letterman on his monologue August 22, 2014

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

College debt can interfere with being an entrepeneur!


Any prospective or active entrepreneur should be reading Kevin Johnson's book: The Entrepreneurial Mind 


Here is a reminder from Kevin Johnson about the dangers of debt.  If you have any desire to start your own business, don't get stuck with $200,000 of college student debt.  Here is how Kevin puts it:

""Research indicates that the great majority of entrepreneurs will never receive money from a venture capitalist or an angel investor. Instead, they will fund their businesses with their own money and via credit cards. According to a report by the National Federation of Independent Business, in 2009, 83 percent of businesses with fifty employees or fewer used credit cards. This point is important, because how you manage your personal finances determines how much money you can borrow for your business and at what interest rate."

Peter Thiel the cofounder of PayPal, angel investor and venture capitalist adds this: "Learning is good. Credentialing and debt is very bad. College gives people learning and also takes away future opportunities by loading the next generation down with debt." 

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Self-education


"Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune." - Jim Rohn, entrepreneur, author, motivational speaker

Saturday, August 9, 2014

What you study matters in the job market.


Here is some data concerning Bachelor's Degrees conferred in the U.S. in 2012.* The interesting part of the data is that it is divided by sex. 

The majority of degrees awarded were in business, about 360,000 of which 52% were to men and 48% to women. In the social sciences there were about 175,000 degrees awarded, 51% to men and 49% to women. Now the next highest number of degrees awarded, about 160,000, was in health of which 15% were men and 85% were women followed by Psychology and Education, both with a bit over 100,000 degrees awarded. The former had 23% men and 77% women while the later had 21% men and 79% women.

Of interest is that of the 100,000 degrees awarded in Engineering, 82% were to men and 18% were to women, and of the about 90,000 degrees awarded in Visual/Performing Arts 39% were to men and 61% were to women.

Last were those degrees awarded in English. Just a few over the 50,000 mark and of those 32% were to men and 68% were to women.

Once again is the time to ask: “Do the career choices that women make have anything to do with the difference in income between men and women?”

Jerry White

* From the Digest of Educational Statistics, Table 318.3.


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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Study Finds that College is Still More Fun that Spending Four Years Chained to a Radiator!


Great fun at the Onion and this startling discovery!



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Investors, Traders and Entrepreneurs