r/Economics • u/DifficultResponse88 • 4d ago • 1
American colleges in crisis with enrollment decline largest on record Newshttps://fortune.com/2023/03/09/american-skipping-college-huge-numbers-pandemic-turned-them-off-education/amp/
u/throwaway272292727 4d ago
Daniel Moody, 19, was recruited to run plumbing for the plant after graduating from a Memphis high school in 2021. Now earning $24 an hour, he’s glad he passed on college.
Is this really a bad thing? Other essential areas of our economy are getting filled.
u/YK5Djvx2Mh 4d ago
I think its dumb as hell to make the distinction between college and trade schools in these conversations. Both are higher education, and both lead to a more skilled work force. As long as people arent giving up on their futures and choosing the bum life, there is no need for alarm.
Of course, Im assuming that he went to trade school for plumbing, and I dont know if its concerning if he didnt.
u/Ok_Paramedic5096 3d ago
Yeah see the problem isn’t trade schools or education, the problem is traditional colleges have become profit centers. This is threatened now and they don’t like it.
u/timothythefirst 3d ago
The university I went to spent millions of dollars building a giant statue of a tree in the middle of campus my sophomore year. On a campus with thousands of actual trees all over the place. I always felt like that embodied everything wrong with the current system.
u/iforgotwhereiparked 3d ago
But man it sure just makes the dean look cool to his network, that’s all that matters!
u/goes231even 3d ago
Pinkies are extended from the cocktails at the social gatherings, surely→ More replies
u/WWYDWYOWAPL 3d ago
The football team at my former university operated at a $3 million annual net loss and regularly paid other teams $100-300,000 to beat them to pad their record. Another example of the tremendous scam that is the university system.
u/questionsaboutrel521 3d ago
Oh man. I could go on many rants about college athletics. For most schools (90% of Division I) it is a total drain on the main mission of the college. A few brands are profitable but overall even what people would argue to you are the “profitable” sports (men’s football and basketball) are usually not. Yet athletes get away with alarming behavior and terrible academics, and the money spent on it could be spent on instructional time.→ More replies→ More replies
u/RiverDangerous 3d ago
Well, that and the justification for college has long been half industrial and half philosophical. There's social benefits to having formal adult education available because if nothing else there are circumstances where people aren't in a position to really maximize their educational opportunities until later in life. So I'd argue that the problem is we price people out so hard to begin with more than it is a matter of colleges being superfluous.→ More replies→ More replies
u/Beautiful_Spite_3394 3d ago
My uncle is a plumber and he will teach you everything while you work for him and then pay for your cert when it's time. You just will do the grunt work while you're learning. That's perfectly acceptable to me I feel like
u/ConvivialKat 3d ago
This is the Journeyman process, and it works very well. Hands-on learning with an expert teacher is great.→ More replies
u/MowTin 3d ago
It's an apprentice. That's how it was in the old days for every trade. The apprentice assisted the craftsman and learned in the process.→ More replies→ More replies
u/oilchangefuckup 3d ago
Yeah. There isn't anything wrong with it.
It's how most positions are, really.
Doctors do the same, 5 years of residency doing grunt work getting paid shit to learn how to doctor.
I always thought the trades vs university was stupid. Trades are important. English teachers are important.→ More replies
u/realityfooledme 3d ago
A lot of positions used to do this until the profit driven trade schools became the norm.
All those ads you see and hear to become a chef or become a mechanic took the place of being able to work your way into a career. Of course there are exceptions, but it’s rare and sometimes more predatory than educational (but persists because the opportunity is rare)
The extra kick in the pants is that if you go to a shop and ask about how to start they tell you to go to the school. If you talk at any length about it they will tell you that you won’t actually learn anything and that the trade schools are bullshit.
I hate living in this era.→ More replies
u/walkandtalkk 4d ago edited 3d ago
Some people are not meant for a traditional, four-year college. Most people should probably go to at least a two-year community college or a four-year program. Then again, if high schools were more rigorous, there might be less need for community colleges.
It is a bad thing that college is so expensive that it is reasonable for many people who are cut out for college to pass on the opportunity.
Of course, Mr. Moody has no idea whether skipping college was a good idea. Most Americans seem to think college today is a mix of drinking, protesting, and taking shots of HRT. Unless you've actually been to a decent college, you can't know what you passed up.
u/Middleclasslifestyle 4d ago
This comment resonates with me because I did a year and a half of community college. Had one semester to go in order to graduate with an associate's degree for teaching.
Then I made the line for a plumbing apprenticeship because my family wasn't well to do and I was already 10k In student loan debt .
Got accepted into the apprenticeship. Paid of my college debt. Never finished it. Then finished an associate's degree in science that my union completely paid for. All I had to do was show up , do my work and purchase w.e books the professor wanted, the degree is from a state university as well instead of a city community college which in the academia eyes in my area holds more weight, a degree in science which to others holds more weight.
Due to my apprenticeship I learned a skill I will forever have for life, a skill that through hard work has paid me fairly well after I became a journey, allowed me to purchase my first home which none of my friends /family own .
I was 100 percent academia inclined . Only had 1 class which I got a B+ on and was told by the professor that I was maybe one 15 students in her 20 years to get a B+, she was extremely hard grader etc. Not that it makes me special or super smart just that in academia I managed fairly well. But I took the blue collar life and it has worked out for me . But I also see it's a young man's game and I'm slowly looking to transition into maybe a city job so I can save my body .
You either pay it in debt, or blood sweat and tears and a messed up body eventually. They get us one way or another
u/Eion_Padraig 4d ago
Good luck. I hope things continue to go well with your path.
One thing I don't hear talked about when people discuss careers like plumbing, carpentry, construction, electrical work, and other similar jobs is the physicality of it. I had an acquaintance, whose wife was a teacher where I also worked. He did a degree at university in criminal justice or something like that, but while he was attending university he worked with a carpenter. I don't know if it was something more formal like an apprenticeship. I assume not as he was attending classes full time. When I got to know him in his early 30's he was headed back to school to do an engineering degree. He said that the money was very good doing carpentry, but even at the age of 30 it was taking a big toll on him physically. I would have said he looked to be healthy and in good shape, but he said there were starting to be persistent physical ailments he was dealing with. I do wonder whether that's a significant issue in these fields.
I'd guess in some cases, as people get more experienced and they decide to start their own company they may do less direct work and do more supervision of others. But to do that effectively may require other skills that not everyone has and running your own business involves further obligation and responsibility that not everyone wants to take on.
Is that something that people talk about in your field?
u/eagle114 4d ago
Yes, trade jobs do take a huge toll on the body over time depending on the trade. You can do it for decades but I have seen the trade guys that have been doing it for 30 years. Stone masonry, carpenter, dry wall guys, roofers, etc that are moving heavy objects all the time and repetitive motion will hurt you after decades, if you get no injuries. Very common to see them carry long term and short term disability insurance, even knew a number with long term care insurance. Just need to cover yourself because it can break your body.→ More replies
u/NoMooseSoup4You 4d ago
Trades can take a toll but a lot of tradesman neglect common sense safety measures. Ive personally seen concrete guys working in a cloud of dust with no mask, carpenters not using hearing protection when using saws, etc.
If a person comes into the trades, uses PPE, doesn’t take dumb risks, and takes care of themselves it’s not the crippling career path some people make it out to be.
u/artificialavocado 4d ago
IME most of the corner cutting is done because you constantly have a boss breathing down your back to go faster faster faster. Then when something happens the company says “well on page 27 it says you aren’t allowed to do that. Rogue employee. Bad apple. We aren’t responsible.” They think they are being cute.→ More replies
u/iamthetim5 4d ago
This is the correct answer. I own a landscaping company. Along with ppe we use equipment to lift as much as we can. Sure it’s still physically demanding but most days aren’t that bad at all. Technological advancements in equipment are making job sites safer, more efficient, and less taxing on the body than ever.→ More replies
u/AW-43 4d ago edited 4d ago
There are also lots kinds of technical jobs in these fields that take very little toll on the body. Especially in the inspection/examination of job tasks versus job specifications. I work in weld inspection/examination, and also conduct non-destructive examinations in about half a dozen different disciplines. I went to talk to a welding class at a Vo-Tech where my friend is an instructor. After explaining the basics of ultrasonics and magnetic particle testing, one kid asked me why I don’t work in a hospital or the medical field. His jaw dropped when I told him I wouldn’t get out of bed for what ultrasound, MRI, or X-ray specialists in the medical field make. There’s money out there. It’s just imperative to find your niche. Now I’m teaching my 17 yo nephew to do what I do, and he’ll be making 250k when he’s 30. While actually physically working about twenty hours a week.
Anyone who wants to know a little more is welcome to PM me.→ More replies→ More replies
u/disaster_moose 4d ago
It doesn't help that a lot of these guys just don't take care of thier body's. I've got guys at work crying about thier backs and knees but then you look at them and they're 70+ pounds over weight and haven't done a crunch or leg lift in 20 years. They aren't doing them selves any favors.→ More replies
u/Budget_Detective2639 4d ago edited 4d ago
Hazards are still a bit of a taboo topic in industrial fields ,I mean it's discussed, just rarely addressed before bad things happen. Lot's of gaslighting. There's more awareness than there use to be, but culturally it's an issue and I find it to be one based in a mix of pride and greed imo. My experience is in control panels/robotics, and even dealing with just that it's rough on the body and hazardous.→ More replies
u/Inevitable-Place9950 4d ago
Agreed. Also that even a minor accident can easily wipe out your earning ability. That can happen with some degreed jobs too, but with a degree you typically have more options to pivot to.→ More replies
u/Californiadude86 4d ago edited 4d ago
I work in construction. I’m still an apprentice but this is what I’ve seen on job sites.
I see mostly two types of people, the guy who have a piece of fruit in the morning and stretches, or the guy drinking a Monster and having a smoke trying to fight off a hangover.
The first guy is having some salad and protein for lunch, the other guy is having a another Monster and a smoke for lunch then maybe something from the food truck.
The old timers drill into everybodies head “take care of your body! Take care of your body!”
I feel like there are a lot of people out there now who are really heading that advice. Even when our safety guy comes out for a visit he’s talking about healthy diet and exercise (obviously it’s in corporates best interests to have healthy workers) but still, there definitely seems to be a more health-conscious cultural shift happening.→ More replies
u/Eion_Padraig 4d ago
Interesting point. Thanks for sharing.→ More replies
u/brastafariandreams 4d ago
I’d also like to point out that “the trades” are often pushed harder on minority students. Additionally, it someone working in the trades doesn’t understand how to invest properly they’ll be working until their body crumbles. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with working the the trades, however there needs to be an education based around producing income without using your labor for everyone because you never know when your body is gonna go.→ More replies
u/Nathan_Wind_esq 4d ago
I went to college and aside from a stint in the military and a failed run at owning a business, my entire career has been white collar office work. I’ll be 50 this year and find myself sometimes fantasizing about walking away from my white collar world and learning to work on cars. I love cars-especially old cars. I get such a sense of accomplishment when I do some minor thing like changing the oil or changing some cosmetic feature. Im really drawn to that. But then after doing something like that, my arthritic back, knees, hands, feet, etc all thank me for having a sedentary job. I’ve made some good investments over the years and have gotten lucky. I may be able to retire this year. I’m waiting on a deal that should produce a large cash influx. If it works out, I’ll for sure be able to retire. Im thinking that I might go to a community college and take some automotive classes and try to learn enough to flip cars. Sounds like a lot of fun. That way, I could just do it when I want.
u/LittleMsSavoirFaire 4d ago
You guys might really enjoy the book Shop Class as Soulcraft. It was written by this think tank whiz kid who dropped off the Beltway bubble to restore cars and stuff. It's a really thoughtful examination of just what exactly is so satisfying about this type of work.
Not just that you have a tangible sense of accomplishment when you succeed, but that you interact so fully with reality. In middle management you can invent problems and then solve them, or you can identify problems but then avoid doing anything about them. But a carburetor either works or it doesn't, and if it's your job to make it work you don't get to champion your theory of what might make it work and survey stakeholders to achieve buy-in. You test your theory against reality, and reality tells you whether or not you were right. In a world full of grey areas, ambiguity, and alternative perspectives, dealing with mechanical problems is wonderfully clarifying.→ More replies→ More replies
u/g0d15anath315t 4d ago
I love the tangibility of physical work. Here are these objects, now go build or repair something and at the end of the day you feel properly tired and your eyes can see what you've accomplished.
Office work can be very abstract.
Everything is digital, sometimes you need to make some SOPs, other times contribute knowledge to this corner of a larger project, other times negotiate x/y/z thing with a vendor or other internal group. It's mentally but not physically exhausting so you're out of sync there and a lot of times it's not clear what "finished" really is.→ More replies
u/Collegenoob 4d ago
My dad installed window treatments and draperies for 40 years. I even worked with him a lot. He just recently finally got the job selling the stuff rather than installing it.
Even that job took its toll and most days he is constantly seeking a way to avoid the pain.
I'm glad I got the worksite experience, know how to get my hands dirty, and the just get the job done attitude.
But I went to school for stem and just reached middle class, and even have room to go upper middle class with my current job. I'm much happier than I would have been in trades, which I could have inherited from my father.→ More replies
u/South_Try_7986 4d ago
That's how my dad did it. Was a mechanic for awhile then got his MBA and does project management in the auto industry. I think that's actually one of the best ways to do it as he can be the glue between the business people and the engineers and such.→ More replies
u/poloheve 4d ago
All we were told through highschool is that we were going to college next. The trades never really were shown as a viable option (for my highschool/area at least).
After trying out college I decided I wanted to go into the trades, after being in the in trades for a few years I decided I wanted to go back to college. What’s important is that you find what you don’t like and than not do that .
u/Sexual_tomato 4d ago
I think Germany (?) Had the right idea- pure academic education is over at 16. The last 2 years of school are either an education in trades or the equivalent of an associate's degree, shortening college to ~3 years.→ More replies
u/EmergencyCourage5249 4d ago
And (in Germany and other countries) the college you select is based on the field you want to be in. Very efficient, and a lot less of the gen ed classes that seem like a waste of time at a lot of US colleges.
Also important to note that choosing to go into trades shouldn’t really mean that you get no further education, it just means a different type of education. You are educated in your trade. I think many young Americans forgoing college think of it as “I’ll go get a job” instead of going to college, but having a trade should come with education, training, apprenticeship, etc. In Switzerland they still have guilds, so if you want to be a baker, for example, you learn, apprentice and join the guild when you meet the standard.
Edit: to fix bad grammar→ More replies
u/eclectique 4d ago
One downside is that you kind of need to know where you're going when you are 16. I used to work with college age students, and so many complained about knowing what to do with their lives at 18.
u/ipsok 4d ago
I feel this comment in my soul right now... my oldest is 16 and trying to help guide him right now is frustrating to say the least. He doesn't really know what he wants to do (not his fault, he's 16 ffs) and my wife and I grew up in the "you have to go to college or you'll be screwed" era. My BS in computer science has served me well, my wife's masters in biology has been ok but not particularly lucrative... looking at what colleges cost today though it's really hard to justify most degrees. 100-200k for a degree that tops out at $65k/yr (not uncommon these days) isn't a bargain. However, I have family members in the trades though and almost all of then have used up their bodies well before retirement... and even if you make it to retirement what do you have to look forward to? Sitting around because your body is too used up to enjoy life? Ugh.→ More replies
u/Oceans_Apart_ 4d ago
Part of the problem is that students aren't exposed to a wide variety of subjects. I had to study four languages, physics, math, chemistry, history, biology and earth science. High school was far more comprehensive than in the US.
The other problem is that a lot of career paths are simply not viable. American labor is far too undervalued. Why get a master's degree to make less money than a plumber?
Perhaps, kids would love to be librarians, teachers or historians, but they know that their interests would not offer them a chance of making an actual living.
I think most students in the US just don't have enough opportunities.→ More replies
u/dissonaut69 4d ago edited 4d ago
Have you attended high school in the US?
Can’t speak for all states, but those courses were required in mine (except for four languages, you needed 2-3 years of a language).→ More replies→ More replies
u/zcashrazorback 4d ago
No one knows where they're going at 16, and even if you do, it probably isn't going to work out the way you think it will. I.E. I wanted to pursue business when I was that age, but when I took those classes in HS and college, I was bored to tears.
Obviously, I went in a different direction that I was more passionate about, but even then, you're going to want something out of life at 25 than you did at 18, something different at 30 than 25.
Not only that, some "bulletproof" career fields like tech for example turn out to be not so bulletproof.
I don't blame the 18 year olds for not knowing what to do.
u/Dryandrough 4d ago
Being in college definitely got debt. Would pass it up if I knew.→ More replies
u/DontPMmeIdontCare 4d ago
Then again, if high schools were more rigorous, there might be less need for community colleges.
This is my biggest qualm with our education system. High school feels like such a waste of time, when an AA is easier to obtain than a high school diploma in many instances. I should be able to automatically go straight from highschool to job training without all the extra bullshit→ More replies
u/EvoSP1100 4d ago
High schools need to reopen and expand shop classes and stop demonizing blue collar work as work for people who are beneath college, they should also be partnering with community colleges to feed students to programs that educate them toward journeyman status.
Source: Me my father was carpenter and GC, I started with him pretty young and worked all through high school summers, so I apprenticed then. I used most of the money I earned to put myself through college. Guess what I do today? Carpentry! Why? Because it pays better than what I got a degree in, and I enjoy the fact that my work has the potential to literally last 100 years from now. I leave a legacy of high quality work behind, and that makes me proud.→ More replies
u/Utapau301 4d ago
They reason they cut shop is because of budgets. Small class sizes, large labs with lots of equipment costs, and instructors who can make more in the industry = programs too expensive to run.→ More replies
u/No_Demand7741 4d ago
All fun and games in the land of makebelieve, but have you ever had a company evaluate your candidacy based on your education? If you think academia deals poorly with the concept of a worthwhile curriculum wait till you find out about Human Resources→ More replies
u/walkandtalkk 4d ago
I'm not sure what you mean. I think employers have certainly looked at my degree when evaluating my candidacy. But I'm not applying to be an engineer.→ More replies
u/No_Demand7741 4d ago
Employers don’t know their ass from their tits in terms of evaluating candidates. The fact we have to send out hundreds of resumes to get hired at a place that wasn’t even paying attention to your credentials to begin with is a fucking joke
u/bjb3453 4d ago
It's mostly luck (timing) and who you know (networking), everything else in the job search process is BS.→ More replies
u/Ok_Skill_1195 4d ago
I work for government so it probably stricter than private sector, but the minimum education requirements are set in stone, you are automatically not considered if you don't meet them→ More replies
u/CrimsonBolt33 4d ago
And most regular jobs use automatic filters before looking at applications as well...→ More replies→ More replies
u/FloatyFish 4d ago
and taking shots of HRT
Taking shots of horomone replacement therapy?→ More replies
u/Eco_Blurb 4d ago
Some people think college is indoctrination into lgbtq circles. Reality is that many suppressed students simply come out of the closet in college because they find people like themselves and other types of support, and they aren’t trapped by their parents anymore→ More replies
u/systemsfailed 4d ago
24 an hour to "run plumbing" Are trades getting completely fucked now too lol→ More replies
u/CoolLordL21 4d ago
He must be an apprentice, because yeah that seems low.→ More replies
u/Droidvoid 4d ago
Not really a bad thing if you don’t mind the American population being further bifurcated than it already is. We already experience essentially two different realities and often that line is defined by whether somebody went to college or not. College goers will meet more people, have more opportunities, and largely out-earn their non college educated folks. Just another thing contributing to a world of haves and have nots. We should be trying to figure out how to bridge the gap not widen it due unaffordability. Why can’t a plumber be a historian as well? A more educated populace has positive ramifications beyond the individual and these externalities are never factored when evaluating the value of college.
u/Notsozander 4d ago
The argument tends to be cost of debt/cost of loan versus the money earned and job experience in most circumstances. I didn’t go to college and have done pretty well for myself thankfully, but also a big lucky as well. Seeing my friends with mountains of debt in some scenarios hurts→ More replies
u/vinsomm 4d ago
I went to college. Busted my ass. Even got into a scholarship program that essentially paid for it. Now I’m 36 and I’ve been working in a coal mine for 6 years. Double what I’ve ever made and living in the cheapest area I’ve ever lived. My girlfriend has a masters degree in development and design and can barely afford her minimum payments on her $100K loans. That’s us. This used to be a bit of a niche story but it’s becoming more and more ubiquitous. Shit is utterly bonkers right now.→ More replies
u/National_Attack 4d ago
Seeing as this is an econ sub- did your girlfriend stop to question what return the masters would bring her? I see this a lot when the college debt conversation is thrown around. If you’re applying for a masters you really should contemplate the value it will add to your career - why would she do that if she’s not able to lift her pay demonstrably? Again, no offense to your gf specifically but I was raised on the college return on investment was a education/cost trade off, so I never understood this from another POV.
u/non_clever_username 4d ago
did your girlfriend stop to question what return the masters would bring her
Problem is that you can’t look at it from that perspective when a Master’s is nearly a requirement in your field if you want your career to go anywhere.
If you can’t get hired without one, the benefit of $0 versus whatever you end up making seems worth it.→ More replies→ More replies
u/vinsomm 4d ago edited 4d ago
Most kids who are explicitly told by everyone who they trust in life to pick their life career at 17/18 years old usually don’t have that level of foresight. I certainly didn’t well into my 20’s. Hell most 20 year olds can’t even grasp just how much $100K or more even is.
Anyways- She’s fairly sought after too. Top pay just isn’t anywhere near the buying power that it was when she chose this path. Hell just 5 years ago $70K went a lot fucking further. Not everyone can be doctors, lawyers and engineers. That shouldn’t be the goal post for happy and healthy life.→ More replies
u/Dantee15backupp 4d ago
Heck not the kids it’s the parents. My mom used to be obsessed with the SAT’s. I got a 1700/2400 without breaking a sweat but that’s as good as I can do. However once I got to college neither of my parents who also are college educated could even help me with financial aid.
Parents just like to know they can tell their friends their son or daughter is at such and such school and many parents will use these bragging rights while you you’re self go into debt
And you’re 100%, it’s one thing to tell people they chose a wrong career path but let’s not act like Covid didn’t price out everybody making under 100k→ More replies
u/PRHerg1970 4d ago
Why would a plumber need to go into debt to be a historian/plumber? He could be spending that loan repayment on a new car, or a new house. You’re not going to have a bifurcated system if you’re producing highly skilled tradespeople. My brother’s close friend is an electrician. He runs his own shop. He makes 163.00 an hour and he gets his rate all day long. For every five tradespeople that retire, we train one. That’s not sustainable. There’s no scenario under which we can provide people with high priced college degrees for free that doesn’t break an already overburdened government.→ More replies
u/pamar456 4d ago
Make colleges just higher ed they all don’t have to be resort utopias that you can bum around in for 4 years→ More replies→ More replies
u/Trashy_Pizza_Stealer 4d ago
I think you're going to see a shift away from those statistics in the future. People are realizing that college is opening fewer doors than ever before. Furthermore, due to demand, other sectors which do not require a degree are paying par or better with average jobs requiring a degree. As for the social aspect, tradespeople learn fundamental people management skills on the jobs, in diverse situations often spanning several regions due job locations.→ More replies
u/HolmeonSpaulding 4d ago
Colleges teach skills.
Where for you think trades people learn trades? If you aren't lucky enough to have a dad or uncle to teach you and bring you in?
Community colleges teach welding, auto repair, carpentry, medical trades, plumbing aling with math etc which you need.
Also exposes someone to a million other choices so you can figure out if it's right for you -- because most trades aren't a life long gig. 30 years of being on you knees in a disgusting attic or basement can mean an electrical or plumber might not be up for it much after 50 years old.
It's important to be able to use your brain because bodies fail and social security doesn't start till your 70s.
You better figure out a job you can do sitting down.
u/SoundsLikeANerdButOK 4d ago
Except there are other essential parts of the economy that do require a college education. Look at the constant shortages of teachers and nurses. This decline in college attendances isn’t just because kids all decided to go into the skilled trades.
u/numbersarouseme 4d ago
it is because the pay in those jobs is too low and the requirements too high.→ More replies
u/resultsmatter1 4d ago
Go to college for four years and rack up 50-100K in debt, study some more after that to get your credential. Become a teacher struggling to make 50K a year. What a deal!
u/Sgt-Spliff 4d ago
Don't forget that everyone treats you like garbage and you have to buy all the school supplies and also if your kids are poor you may need to help out with basic necessities like winter coats and backpacks (my mom is a teacher and has paid for all of these things for students before)→ More replies→ More replies
u/hoxxxxx 4d ago
yeah anytime i hear about a teacher shortage i think yeah, no shit there is!
all you have to do with almost any job is look at the job itself, the pay, and what it takes to get the job. all that stuff is out of whack when it comes to being a teacher. it makes total sense that there is a shortage.→ More replies
u/Batmans_9th_Ab 4d ago
Look at the constant shortages of teachers and nurses
If teachers actually got paid anything there wouldn’t be a shortage.→ More replies
u/rg4rg 4d ago
The other day on a teacher forum discussing the topic of shortages, some articles were saying to increase teachers staying in the profession:
1) pay. 2) have students face real consequences. 3) respect.
Some districts are good in two or all of these, but many are not.→ More replies→ More replies
u/Unrully_Rully 4d ago
As a current elementary teacher, I always tell folks considering getting into the teaching profession to run away while they still can. It doesn’t surprise me that there’s a teacher shortage that will only get worse over time. Mediocre pay, awful behaviors and constant disrespect, never ending responsibilities, minimal lesson planning time.→ More replies
u/ArgosCyclos 4d ago
For now. But with automation right around the corner, and China racing to pass us in technology, this is a terrible long term solution. Their prices and curriculum should have been reigned in a decade ago.→ More replies→ More replies
u/h2oman67 4d ago edited 4d ago
Yes and no. On one hand, it's great that people feel fulfilled and are making good money from manual labor jobs, they are necessary and we need people to fill them. On the other hand, we will likely see a drain from necessary educated jobs which are already under extreme duress, such as teaching positions. It's a warning sign that the economy and our education systems as we know them are on a path to collapse and will not be the same afterwards, for better or for worse.
The real issue isn't that everyone is suddenly going for manual labor instead of college, but that our economy is based off of the assumption of continual exponential growth and consumption, and that isn't happening. While businesses are pretty rich, the average American isn't doing so hot, which means less money to better their lives and to have families, and because of that, spending and population are going down. Companies are scrambling to find dozens of workers who will work for low wages, but they don't really exist anymore, not in bulk. That drive to find as many cheap workers as possible is driving people away from working in certain fields, and we don't have the excess population to facilitate. Currently, people are just going where the money is (that's understandable, it's not their responsibility to keep the economy and society afloat), not where society desperately needs workers, and eventually, that is going to catch up with us.
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u/untranslatable 4d ago •
College got turned from a service society valued and supported to a business model that valued assets and growth and buildings. Students and teachers were tolerated, then monetized by administrations who kept up an arms race of price increases totally disconnected from the reality of wage stagnation in the larger economy. New potential students have to decide if their studies are worth decades of crushing debt. Returns on wealth demand an ever increasing portion of all production, and college becomes ever more reserved for the wealthy. College when I went in 1988 cost $3000 a year at a state school, and I made $12 an hour delivering pizza. You couldn't design a better systemic disaster to destroy the future of the US if you tried to do it on purpose.
u/AsInOptimus 4d ago
College got turned from a service society valued and supported to a business model that valued assets and growth and buildings
I didn’t go to college, so I have no personal point of comparison, but my youngest is a freshman this year. We went on tours to help narrow down options and every single school, regardless of division, size, rank, or ability, would spend a not insignificant portion of the tour highlighting the student gyms (to be fair, some were extraordinary) and athletic facilities, or would share plans for future growth (one school was in the midst of securing ownership/access to an NFL stadium that was no longer being used). They would also touch on a recently renovated lab or the library, but it almost felt like those parts were included because the tour was following a rubric and had to.
Then, as soon as my kid committed to a school, the donor appeals began and there’s no sign of them stopping. It feels disingenuous when tuition is what it is, or the football coach is most likely the highest paid state employee, or every recently built facility is named after somebody who owns a hedge fund and/ or professional sports team.→ More replies
u/ProfessorrFate 4d ago
My university is recruiting more international students. There is huge overseas demand for US higher ed. Just gotta get the student a visa...→ More replies
u/Tough_Substance7074 4d ago
Extra great for employers too, since workers on visa can be more easily exploited.→ More replies
u/Not_FinancialAdvice 4d ago
I'd argue these are not the same populations of people. A good fraction (not all!) of the international students who come to the US for school are relatively well off (because they're often paying full cash price).→ More replies→ More replies
u/Neowynd101262 4d ago
Pizza delivery still pays the same 🤣→ More replies
u/bootorangutan 4d ago •
It’s not uniform. Top 20 colleges and even large flagship state universities are seeing huge application increases - like in the tens of thousands. The smaller schools are getting crushed. Kinda like Walmart eating small businesses. One issue is that many state legislators have political pressure to keep small universities running. They don’t just go out of business.
Also there is a down cycle demographically. Baby “bust” that peaks in like 2026.
Trends mentioned by article are definitely real, but it’s also more nuanced. Rich are getting richer, like in a lot of segments in society.
u/GammaDoomO 3d ago
There’s just too many schools. I can name like ten no-name schools within a 20 minute driving radius of me that no one should ever bother with. I don’t get why anyone would ever go to those. We have two large state universities (one is a flagship too) and a few community colleges that pretty much cover every discipline from culinary arts to computer science. Get rid of the bs ones and be done with it.→ More replies
u/2109dobleston 3d ago
Because the other schools are full up.→ More replies
u/Rum____Ham 3d ago
The smaller schools are getting crushed.
I hate to say it, but a lot of those small schools are absurdly expensive and do not come with the sort of non-academic support (think mental health, career services, large alumni networks) that the bigger schools have and many of them do not meet the same sort of academic rigors as the larger state schools→ More replies
u/mtarascio 3d ago
Yep, this is absolutely the private system facing a reckoning.
u/quarabs 3d ago
I go to a state university (U of Idaho) and we had our largest enrollment on record this year.. I think it’s the tuition prices causing this, as we have $10k tuition, cheapest in the state.→ More replies
u/sno98006 4d ago
Good. It’s mind meltingly stupid to see a teensy no-name usually liberal arts university charge 60k or 70k or even 80k. No I don’t care if I may have just described your school.→ More replies→ More replies
u/underdestruction 3d ago
Makes sense. Good schools are still a good investment, not to mention highly sough after for foreign students. Small private schools that are in the top 40-100 still charge like they’re prestigious even though they really aren’t. No one cares that you went to a top 100 school when it was fucking Tulane.→ More replies
u/turtlecove11 3d ago
Why the Tulane hate 😭→ More replies
u/MasChingonNoHay 4d ago
It’s called a tipping point. Universities have overinflated their prices compared to their value and new options will be coming in to take their place. No college. Trade schools and other channels that don’t put you in forever debt.
u/ZadarskiDrake 4d ago •
Trad schools are going the same route as college. My friend went to a 2 year HVAC trade school and it put him $16,000 in debt to earn $18 per hour. People love praising the trades but don’t tell you how much they suck. He quit after working 2 and a half years because he was breaking his body everyday for $20 per hour. When retail stores here pay $17-18
u/Jalor218 4d ago
Everyone saying "forget college just learn a trade" either had a connection to get them into a good union, or isn't actually in a trade themselves. Half the time I click a profile of someone saying the trades are better than college, their last post was in r/CScareerquestions.
u/ZadarskiDrake 4d ago
Trades suck from what I’ve seen. My dads friend is a plumber with his own plumbing company and said he would never let his kids enter the trades. He said it’s better to earn $50,000 per year sitting in an office than it is to be like him making $130,000+ per year breaking your body and needing knee and hip replacements by age 50
u/rocketman7249 4d ago
Same mindset I see all over. The biggest motivation for me to stay in college is because I worked a year doing HVAC sheet metal during Covid. I was told flat to my face by my boss and other field install guys to finish school and DO NOT be a tradesman as the wear on the body is so high.
u/Topken89 4d ago
I'm in the trades. You can overcome the tax on your body IF you do everything right. Proper PPE, healthy diet, stretching, and a high baseline of physical fitness. If you aren't physically fit enough, some work you do is similar to going to the gym for the first time and only trying to find out your max bench with no warmup. You are likely to get injured. Having a high baseline of physical fitness helps reduce a lot of the toll on your body.
You still need to be careful about physical injury, shady coworkers/ environments, other negligent workers, or some jobs that require you to contort your body in painful ways. Physical fitness isn't a magical protective barrier, you can still get injured/ killed, but a high baseline of physical fitness will help avoid an early retirement. I have other family in the trades their whole lives who are 60+ in age and they don't complain about body aches/ pains because they took care of themselves when it came to physical fitness.→ More replies
u/dbdemoss2 4d ago
Honestly, just stretching helps so incredibly much and that’s easily the most neglected thing in working out or normal day to day activities→ More replies
u/JamonDeJabugo 4d ago
Best thing I ever did was work a summer in college in a screen printing business. Holy shit, scared the fuq out of me right back to getting my bsba in accounting and finance...cube life wasn't great for 15 years but it made a lot of money and I wasn't on my feet 10 hours a day around chemicals, fumes, hot ovens. I was so tired every night, I'd basically eat, shower and go to bed to just do it all over again every day for 3 months. Really opened my eyes.→ More replies→ More replies
u/cum_fart_69 4d ago
plumbing has to be one of the least desirable trades out there, pays alright but the work is disgusting and hard on your body. plenty of other trades that won't cripple you or cover you in shit→ More replies→ More replies
u/ihopethisworksfornow 4d ago
For real. Go break concrete in the sun in July at a non-union job with no health benefits or PTO.
Do that for 12 years.
Come back and tell me “trades are great” lol.→ More replies
u/ItsJustMeJenn 4d ago
I went to trade school for medical assisting. Paid $36,000 to make less than $15 an hour top out. I went back to school online to upgrade from an associates to a bachelors for $4,000 and now make double. Still hardly making it but I have growth potential now.→ More replies→ More replies
u/HillAuditorium 4d ago
was the trade school through a union branch?→ More replies
u/Murdock07 4d ago
Their staff are also criminally underpaid. We have researchers with degrees working for the University of Pittsburgh, in the department of medicine, making $35,000/yr. I don’t know when, but academia is at a tipping point. They don’t offer much of anything for anyone that makes up for the cost of participation
u/LeisureSuitLaurie 4d ago
Pitt/UPMC are something…A recruiter from Pitt once contacted me about a more senior role than I had.
This would have been a 75% pay cut.
I cannot fathom how Pitt hires anyone. Maybe they luck out with parents of teenagers who are looking for a tuition break?
Education in the US, from early education to higher education, is a broken market. Consumers say tuition is far too high. Employees say salaries are far too low. Ownership/leadership isn’t getting rich compared to comparable corporate positions.
u/SlowCapitalistDeath 4d ago
I worked as a recruiter for UPMC for two years. They are a 30 billion dollar a year evil empire. We were directed to low ball any medical personnel we were hiring. They had a formula for “equity” that kept everyone underpaid.
They constantly have staffing issues and are understaffed but instead of raising wages they will bring in agency personnel at a much higher rate because they can write it off.
Lastly, they chew you up and spit you out because they are the largest employer in PA. They literally told me to find a babysitter during the height of the pandemic because my productivity was dropping due to my kids being home. They’re evil beyond explanation.→ More replies
u/Front-Pepper-7429 4d ago
Can confirm. I worked for the UPMC Health Plan when they expanded to the rest of PA and it was a hot ass dumpster fire. When our director told us we were turning a profit on medical assistance it was time to exit stage left.→ More replies
u/bilgediver 4d ago
Universities hire from within. They are filled to the brim with people who literally have never really operated out in"the real world"
u/nwatn 4d ago
It's surreal getting a MBA education from people who have never worked in business or managed anyone besides TAs→ More replies
u/NinjaLanternShark 4d ago
Out of college I started a small (3 person) consulting business and my friend went on for an MBA -- one time he tried asking me all these questions based on stuff he was learning and when I answered everything he's like "you didn't go to business school -- how do you know this stuff?"→ More replies
u/CircLLer 4d ago
Bloat at the top is a big part of it, same as anywhere→ More replies
u/Soup-Wizard 4d ago
Administrators are not criminally underpaid. It’s the professors.→ More replies
u/spicytackle 4d ago
It’s more basic than that. It is demographic driven and 2025 has been circled on college calendars as time to find a new career for a while. There just aren’t the population replacements for older gens.→ More replies
u/Fisterupper 4d ago
Exactly. Shits overpriced and the customer is voting with their feet.
u/Wolvey111 4d ago
They are like any other industry- product became subpar, they didn’t adapt to the needs of consumers, they overcharged, etc…this is what for profit education looks like
u/Meperson111 4d ago
Fuck around: ~1990 to 2020
Find out:→ More replies
u/saintshing 4d ago
Young people not going to college. Teacher shortage. Book ban. Gen Z spending 12.4 hr on TikTok per week on average(20% spend more than 5 hr per day).
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u/rigobueno 4d ago
Watching TV and consuming and creating social media are very different→ More replies
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u/saintshing 4d ago edited 4d ago •
You realize they are completely different forms of media, right? It's not just about media addiction.
Not saying TV only has healthy content but TV has way higher barriers to entry. Anyone can create tiktok videos. Andrew Tate only got banned after videos featuring him had been viewed over 13 billions times. Many dangerous challenges on tiktok wouldnt be allowed to be broadcasted. https://www.indy100.com/viral/tiktok-most-dangerous-challenges
Tiktok recommendation system is designed to just push anything that is viral. It doesnt care if the topic is suitable for teenagers. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/dec/15/tiktok-self-harm-study-results-every-parents-nightmare
The length restriction of tiktok videos makes it hard to have indepth discussion and encourages shallow content that catch people's attention.→ More replies→ More replies
u/actuallyserious650 4d ago
Reminder that colleges used to be federally funded. Then Republicans pushed control to the states to “save money” then the states promptly dropped funding for their schools. Now they desperately want to defund high schools and grade schools.
Education is a public good. We all benefit from an educated population.
u/doabsnow 4d ago
Has government funding of colleges declined? Absolutely, but that's not even close to the full story.
The truth is government backing student loans has made it easy for colleges to overcharge and the costs at universities have ballooned.→ More replies
u/ExistentialPeriphery 4d ago edited 4d ago
And the student loan program was pushed by conservatives, particularly Nixon. The student loan program is the conservative free market alternative to direct government funding of education, and it is a complete failure.→ More replies
u/liquidpele 4d ago
Uh, democrats pushed it too, as a means for upward mobility. It was a good program but with obvious negative side effects that need to be addressed.→ More replies→ More replies
u/OpalBooker 4d ago
Except for those in power who benefit much more from an uneducated population.→ More replies
u/epgenius 4d ago
Almost as if becoming increasingly cost prohibitive increasingly prohibits those who can’t afford the cost.
How strange. How utterly, utterly strange.
u/CollegeTiny1538 4d ago
Did they think they could just keep raising the cost indefinitely and people would keep paying it? 🤔 This was never sustainable. Same with housing. Both are too expensive.
u/Songbird1529 4d ago
Not to mention you basically have to beg schools to go there. “Please please let me collect massive amounts of debt to learn at your state university. Pretty please with a cherry on top?”
u/caelanhuntress 3d ago
Yes, they did think they could raise costs indefinitely, so long as students could borrow it all from the federal government. The loans are protected from bankruptcy, so they are immortal pieces of debt with no limit.
Colleges forgot they were institutions of education, and have spent the last three decades as institutions of money.→ More replies
u/jackson12420 4d ago
You'd have to go to college to figure that one out.→ More replies
u/Nocturne444 4d ago
It’s easy it’s because tuition are too expensive, people don’t want to pay thousands of dollars for a piece of paper that will put them in debt and won’t even give them a salary to pay rent and feed them. Solution: ask students to pay less and you’ll see an increase in enrolment. How simple is that.
u/vermilithe 4d ago edited 4d ago
See, here is the thing about college debt specifically: when you take out debt to buy a house, if you can’t make your payments anymore, you still have the house that you can sell to make up your losses. If you take a loan on a car, you can sell the car.
If you take out a loan for a four-year degree and can’t finish it, you get nothing. If you finish your four-year degree and it gets you nowhere, you’re screwed.
You have nothing to sell to recoup your costs, a partial college education is comparably competitive in the job market as just never having been to college at all, except now you have thousands, or tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt that you must pay back, with interest rates around 3% if you’re lucky, 7% if you’re not, and you will never be able to discharge this debt, more or less. Bankruptcy cannot help you with this. Death cannot even absolve you.
As college costs rise and the amount skimmed off the top of your check each month in student debt interest increases, the more it makes sense to choose lower salaries with little to no debt. Even if you earn less, if you’re taking the same or more of it home, you’re better off without sinking 4-8 years of your life into a piece of paper.
If costs come down it would be a different story.→ More replies
u/hour_of_the_rat 4d ago
Death cannot even absolve you.
Ae they really getting money from a corpse?→ More replies
u/vermilithe 4d ago
Well, they’re not shaking your corpse down for lunch money in the pockets, but they’ll go after your estate. Federal loans can be discharged on death but private loans depend on the issuer (unsurprisingly a lot of them want their money so they give themselves the power to skim your estate).→ More replies
u/cjrun 4d ago
Community college + Pell grant = at least two free years if you’re broke. I think CC is one of the underrated institutions that we don’t talk about enough. Many lives, as adult nontraditional students, are changed by CC.
u/dylanarchuleta 4d ago
I was young and dumb and went to a private school and got a degree in nursing. An insane amount of debt but travel nursing has still made it worth it for me although I’d go your route if I could do it again→ More replies
u/IroshizukuIna-Ho 4d ago
Not everyone who needs it gets it. Plenty of people don't realize just how shitty some people's parents are. There are families with parents making several hundred thousand a year in LCOL areas that refuse to give their children a cent because they're narcissistic pieces of shit. Those children get left behind because they can't pay, can't take enough in loans, or can't justify the amount in loans just for an undergrad degree
u/HermioneGrangerBtchs 3d ago
My parents made just enough for me to not be able to get any relief money. Though they did have a college savings for me but they spent it on their divorce. I did not go to college.→ More replies
u/SlowCapitalistDeath 4d ago
-Make tuition as high as possible.
Push the youth to take full student loans.
Further push them to take private loans
Force pre-req courses for no good reason other than money
tell a whole generation with degrees to “just work harder.”
Colleges: I don’t know why people aren’t falling for our scam anymore.
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u/Trollz4fun 4d ago
It's almost as if every industry has charged the absolute maximum and paid their staff the absolute minimum. So now no one can afford to keep the scam going. All the wealth of this make believe system sits at the top. They won the game, theres nothing left to sell, and no one is buying anyway.
u/LeeroyTC 4d ago
I'd argue this is a good thing based on where we seeing the biggest declines in enrollment - specifically lower ranked high tuition private 4-year liberal arts colleges. We aren't really seeing a degradation in flagship research school enrollment because those schools continue to offer a good value proposition to prospective students.
These small private liberal arts schools do not impart their students with marketable skills that increase earnings enough to justify their tremendous tuition rates. They disproportionately saddle students with all of the cost and debt but none of the payoff.
This isn't an attack on the liberal arts as a field; it is just me saying that those degrees need to come with a sensible tuition that is far below what these schools are charging.
u/JuanOnlyJuan 4d ago
I'm on the engineering advisory board for my local private university and their enrollment has been in steady decline for years. They can't get any STEM involvement from local schools. Kids come in less and less prepared in math. The professors blame cash strapped schools and kids who all have the teachers manuals and apps that do their math work.→ More replies→ More replies
u/Droidvoid 4d ago
I agree but also see the non-tangible value of a college education. I can’t tell you how many kids I met that entered freshman year ardent libertarians and sometimes blatant racists, only to leave as believers in institutions and far more tolerant. If we don’t educate our populace, we won’t have a democracy or any semblance of one for much longer. And what does it matter if you got a job if you live in some fascist plutocracy→ More replies
u/LeeroyTC 4d ago
To frame this in an economics context (as this is an economic sub):
Over time, a product (like an education) must offer utility to customers (students) in excess of its market price.
To your point, utility =/= dollars generated. An education has some experiential, social, and intrinsic value that customers will value subjectively.
Very importantly - utility derived from college is quite variable and hard to pinpoint ex ante. It is highly dependent on the individual student, school, degree, and timing.
Students are notoriously overly optimistic in their estimates of financial benefits. This will upwardly skew their willingness to enroll and pay.
Education's utility and costs both have fairly long tails that need to be present valued. Consumers tend to struggle with this and tend to be inconsistent in how they weigh future costs and benefits.
With all that said, prospective students are getting better at estimating the utility of their educations as more data become available.
What you are seeing is students who believe they have a higher probability of not receiving excess value from an education opt towards other paths. This is probably a good thing. We don't want consumers making negative NPV decisions.
The obvious solution here is for universities to lower their prices to a point where their customers can be highly confident that the utility from their degrees exceeds the price.
u/errdayimshuffln 4d ago
Education also creates generational wealth because being educated can equip you with the knowledge and tools to be better educators of your own children and can inform you on how to raise children to become educated and skilled adults.→ More replies
u/chaun2 4d ago
To your last point, the administration bloat that has occurred over the last 40+ years needs to be dealt with. There are far more administrators in higher education than are needed, and they have been directly responsible for most of the increase in tuition costs.→ More replies→ More replies
u/Comprehensive-Two 4d ago edited 4d ago
Education doesn't only benefit the individual being educated, it also benefits society as a whole. We know that countries with more educated people have higher GDPs and often command a lead in various industries that strengthens their bargaining power (see the recent political moves surrounding cpu production).
Thus, if there is a monetary incentive to invest in citizens, it only makes sense to spend some tax dollars on it, provide a strong public option, or otherwise lower the costs.
u/loiteraries 4d ago
In NYC, public school education is so bad that 50% of its graduates require remedial courses in community colleges. At this rate, there is no point of having these masses in colleges earning degrees that bring no skillsets to current market and saddle people with debt. Most college degrees that people acquire to avoid STEM are utterly useless. The higher education bloat needs to shrink. Our society needs to weed itself off from the mentality where everyone is pressured into believing that a four year degree is a guarantee to success in life or makes someone more intelligent and competent.
u/jawshoeaw 4d ago
Back in the day (35 years ago!) I was attending what had advertised itself as a selective private college. I was on a scholarship but that meant I had to work as a tutor. I discovered that many incoming freshman had what appeared to be a middle school education at best. What was going on was they were not selective with students who were paying full price. I doubt anything has changed.
u/A_Drusas 3d ago
This is why international students are increasingly being targeted. $$$→ More replies→ More replies
u/VegetableMajor9250 3d ago
I mean even stem is kinda of a pipe dream. Yes its respected. But ik plenty of friends in math, bio, chemistrry, etc. anything thats not hard applicable science degree like engineering are getting shafted. Even engineers are finding its rough. That these ppl end up learning other skills to land a job unrelated. If they want to continue on their path. They are required to do further education. So even stem has its own share of problems.
u/IIIlllIlIIIlllIlI 4d ago
I graduated college in 2010, and in those four years visited a lot of friends at a lot of other schools. Every single one of them was under major construction, and in most cases the effort was to build sports facilities and/or additional dorms. I think we’ve witnessed a bubble in higher ed, and it’s interesting to think what may be in the near future for a lot of these schools as attendance continues to drop. Meanwhile many of us are stuck holding the bag, a product of runaway costs and diminishing returns for getting the once coveted and now nearly meaningless 4 year degree.
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u/leoyvr 4d ago
Good. Objective of higher education is to get ahead in life and get a job. That was true for boomers regardless of the degree they got but not true for today's young people. If people can't get ahead after all that hard work and money, what is the point. Something is broken. Education is one of the most inflationary things I have seen. It is criminal what some institutes are charging. Some universities in Europe are FREE.
u/theblacksmith__ 4d ago
I hear you on the costs, that part is wild. But the vocational aspect is part of college, but not all of it.
If it were entirely vocational then we wouldn't have to take GEs that had nothing to do with our area of focus.
Part of modern American higher education is exposing people to a range of ideas and concepts that they would have otherwise not have encountered.
Generally it makes people better critical thinkers. And a populace that has better critical thinking skills usually build stronger societies.→ More replies→ More replies
u/Gloopann 4d ago
I study in Europe (mechanical engineering) and I pay a ~30 USD enrollment fee per year, as well as have great benefits such as having a complete warm meal daily that costs a dollar.→ More replies
u/hellotopeople 4d ago
College tuition went through extreme inflation for twenty years. It’s time it sees a major pullback and a major reduction in tuition cost. There is a simple explanation. Education shouldn’t cost people that much. Also manufacturing will only increase with de globalization occurring for the next fifteen years.
u/IsJoeFlaccoElite 4d ago
My university received one of the largest private donations ever given by a single donor. A lot of it going to athletics, particularly the football program.
I worked for our department head in the mechanical engineering program and still keep in touch with him. He’s since retired but tells me there’s budget cuts looming on the engineering school.
Colleges and universities aren’t really in the business of educating anymore. Look at the army of adjuncts that major universities with multi billion dollar endowments are employing at near poverty level wages. Who and what is this system serving?
u/aqua_tec 3d ago
Admin. Like any product, downgrade quality while inflating marketing and admin and eventually the name no longer carry’s the weight. The chickens come home.
u/Yohorhym 4d ago
As someone who’s painted houses for 10 years
Anyone who recommends a trade absolutely better have been in the trade
And I do not recommend house painting to anyone,
Fun fact: drywall compound that painters mix and apply to joints is made with asbestos
Painters have a stupid high nerve issue rate
u/spacetimeboogaloo 4d ago
Growing up middle class American, college was never thought as optional. It was treated like an expected and normal stage of life. It’s interesting that in just 2-3 generations, college went from aspirational, to the norm, to a high financial risk. Now I’m glad that my anxiety stopped me from going to those 30k a year schools.
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u/beefchuckles42069 4d ago
Crisis! Ha! That’s hilarious to me. Education for profit is almost as repulsive and healthcare for profit. US college can suck my balls. Kids are years away from being able to have a beer but can sign on for a life of debt slavery at 17 or 18? Fuck you.
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u/bcanddc 4d ago
That’s what happens when you raise your prices too high. People fail to see the benefits of spending $120k on an education to then get a job that pays $45k a year.
Lower your prices and people will come back, not at the levels they did before mind you because most businesses are starting to realize degrees don’t mean much.
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u/coutjak 4d ago
More and more people don’t believe that education leads to more income despite what studies show. Older millennials and Gen Z don’t believe working hard gets you anywhere. More importantly, it’s what zip code you grew up in and what’s you sir name opens more jobs than any degree you’ll spend six figures on.
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u/Justdudeatplay 4d ago
Looks like a market correction. To much money from easy loans created a demand shifter, in many cases the price doesn’t make up for the gain, so demand will fall. It’s classic stuff. I took loans out for school, but the truth is that it does force the price up.
u/BabyLlama-Drama 4d ago edited 4d ago
Partially, this is a second / third order effect from the new cold war with China. I remember walking around Indiana University around 2013-14 and thinking, man half these kids are from China. Thats not nearly as common now.
Then with nobody having kids here in the US. It's going to cause a lot of small colleges to go bankrupt and shutter. There's nobody to fill seats, lack of demand, too much supply.
u/Normal-Flower4437 4d ago
We had a huge college bubble in the 1990s/2000s, then the financial crisis crashed enrollment, and China made up a huge chunk of the loss. COVID wiped out American AND Chinese enrollment
u/MakingItElsewhere 4d ago
I started community college in 2008. I was told enrollment had grown 24% over previous year. Lots of people who lost their jobs from financial crisis were attempting to go to school to get into new career paths. Old and Young alike.
If there is another sizeable economic downturn, you can expect people to look towards small colleges with fast programs that promise employment. Trade schools especially.
Let's hope we don't get more For Profit schools like Art Institue, ITT, etc.
u/Normal-Flower4437 4d ago
It’s gonna be community and city and state colleges mostly. People are not going to private colleges again in the same numbers, probably ever again.
The college where I work was at 20% it’s normal incoming enrollment last fall→ More replies
u/EtadanikM 4d ago
While Chinese students did make up a significant fraction of students, I can’t see them being the main cause for the larger decline of college attendance in the US. It’s more to do with the end of the college bubble as young people are realizing the vast majority of degrees give them no great benefit in life, and the ever increasing costs of attendance just aren’t worth it.
u/Alkereth1 4d ago
I took Japanese in my freshman year at IU around that time and I remember half of my classmates being weebs like me and the other half was Chinese students looking for an easy language credit.→ More replies
u/ANUS_CONE 4d ago
My university had a huge problem with academic dishonesty specifically from the international students from China. There was no way to allow them to use the translators without them figuring out a way to cheat with it. They couldn’t just outright ban the translators either. This was 08-12.→ More replies
u/salty_scorpion 3d ago
Who TF wants to spend $100k+ on mediocre state college education? The state school I went to 20 years ago now had the same tuition rate as MIT did back then. Now I’m sure that MIT has raised tuition since then too, but 20 years ago was not that long.
u/NoBrains-NoGains 3d ago
20 years ago
Don't forget to schedule your prostate exam→ More replies
u/Sawfish1212 4d ago
Government subsidies for college tuition has come back to bite them. Good. There are a few careers where the debt is worth the degree, otherwise people should be smart and refuse the debt.
Even with government subsidies (federal student loans) the market will sort itself out. You cannot just raise tuition way faster than inflation and expect to continue to find customers, especially with so many useless degrees.
I would bet nursing and Similar useful degree programs are not seeing a lack of applications.
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u/Clear-Ad9879 4d ago
Yup, count on click bait media to always highlight the bad part of natural process. Structually low unemployment makes the opportunity cost of a 4 yr degree higher. That's basic economics. Now throw in the reluctance of foreign students, particularly from China, to come to the US and of course there is a drop in enrollment. Deal with it.
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u/chasemuss 4d ago
Good. College has become a scam in recent times. We need to move some courses (like finance and tech) college to high school as well. There is too much fat in high school courses.
u/Ahugel71 4d ago
It makes sense. Speaking as a student I know that many of my peers are exploring European universities as the price difference is just crazy
u/Realistic-Cut-3766 3d ago
This trend will probably flip back when the labor market is in the shitter again. People tend to go back to school when their options are poor.
u/salmiakki1 4d ago
This is great. Teachers have been pushing unqualified kids into collage for decades.
I hope it's better now, but when I went to school, teachers would literally tell you that you will end up being a garbage man if you didn't go to collage. They never told me the garbage man makes more than they do. Hard work should be respected, regardless of the education level of the person doing it.
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u/PurelyLurking20 4d ago
Even with a degree you're barely earning enough to live between rent food and your payments. A bachelor's should mean your pay starts at around 30/hr but that just isn't the case, so why would people get one outside of STEM? Fuck even in STEM you aren't making enough to pay the bills in some cases at this point.
If I'm going to be broke I might as well be broke and not in debt.
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u/awildjabroner 4d ago
At worst, it could signal a new generation with little faith in the value of a college degree.
Or possibly a generation that realizes the quantifiable value of a college degree has plumetted while costs have inversely sky rocketed. Basic supply and demand, while its good for the larger populace to be more educated the rising costs and amount of degree holders has largely diluted the worth of an undergraduate degree.
The upside to this is that (I hope) more young people will research and enter the skilled trades - pursue an apprenticeship and get paid to learn a real, tangible skill, and ideally join a trade union and continue the trend of labro re-organizing to address the plethora of inequalities that have manifested in the past 30-50 years following the regulatory period of the early-mid 70's.
u/DontToewsMeBro2 3d ago
There was a guy who was interviewing for a very specialized coding position (this young guy had already worked for Disney) and when it was brought up about his lack of education / expertise with so many languages he responded “it’s all syntax”.
Great coworker but full of himself like a super skinny ugly nerdy jared leto, cant stop that level of confidence & his ability to point out everyone’s weaknesses was always a treat for newcomers.
Anyways, everything he knew was from reading books & just attending some college classes (but not paying for any of it)
u/Pillsburydinosaur 3d ago
I went to a 4 month trade school after Covid. I'm now making more per hour than I ever had at any other job.
I'm in my late 40's. And I went to college after high school.
I don't regret going to college it was one of the best times of my life and it made me a more open minded person. But I wish I had this opportunity back then.
After many decades I finally like what I'm doing for a living.
u/Robynvpowell 3d ago
After high school my father died and I couldn't afford college after all the medical bills hit our family (thanks, American healthcare!) It was a blessing in disguise. On the job training and employer sponsored technical courses got me where I am today - I make control panels for industrial automation and robotics, and I make over 60k a year. Skilled trades are where it's at. I know people working in HVAC and plumbing who make more than people with masters degrees and have no student debt.
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u/VoltronicEnergy 3d ago edited 3d ago
Good. I have a college degree. I know lots of people with college degrees. We disagree on a lot but pretty universal that a college degree prepared you for jack shit. An internship teaches more and is more useful.
American businesses has become entirely too reliant on making a degree a requirement, often in roles in which the idea is truly absurd (like say manager of a store). It’s times to reign in back in where a degree is less common and with that less common a requirement.
Only main value a college degree brings to average person is exposure to variety of people and backgrounds. Many go from being surrounded by one type of person, religion, etc. and discover “oh shit all those horror stories are wrong” (or what conservatives call indoctrination). So if come up with way to encourage that experience without the excessive cost, that would be great.
u/kwtffm 4d ago
Maybe that's because it's absurdity expensive and a degree doesn't get you a job or better pay, I've met PhD holders that have to work at Starbucks and grocery stores.
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u/HyperboliceMan 4d ago
Higher ed needs a fundamental redesign. Somehow disconnect learning from the "social experience" of undergrads. Let older people go back for specific skills they need. use lecture materials from the best in the world (digital) and use in-person instruction for tutoring. measure and advertise job placement
u/neildegraciadyson 4d ago
I work in PM. I went to college. I know many others that did not and are working on huge products for 6-9 months out of the year and making well over 6 figures. You don’t need college unless you want to be a lawyer, doctor, engineer or scientist.
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u/Arubesh2048 4d ago
Yeah, that’s what happens when you overcharge people. They kept raising tuition and instead of offering better education, they funneled that money into the pockets of upper administrators and football programs.
(To be clear, I’m all for a college education, but they overplayed their hand and now people can the same sort of pay without having to go into debt for college.)
u/hoyfkd 4d ago
This may be a good thing.
Universities have become stupid expensive, and spend stupid money on frivolous things.
https://deadspin.com/cal-is-fucked-because-of-its-stupid-stadium-deal-1795896858 half a billion dollars on a football stadium at UC Berkeley.
It's cool, though, because the are now closing fucking libraries.
https://www.nj.com/union/2014/11/kean_university_conference_table.html quarter million dollars on a fucking table for meetings.
https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-uc-davis-chancellor-katehi-resigns-20160809-snap-story.html Presidents getting 7 figures and living like a Kardashian.
The whole while, they are pumping money into sports at the expense of academia - hiring non-tenure track faculty, closing programs, shuttering libraries - they wonder why people aren't getting the "education is important" message. The highest paid state employee in Calfornia is an employee of the UC. Not a professor. Not even an administrator. A fucking football coach. Making 6 million dollars a year on the taxpayers dime. https://transparentcalifornia.com/salaries/2021/ But please, tell us how education is the top priority at these institutions.
I think it's time we switched from a sports franchise that offers some classes model to a fucking university model again. Basic, affordable dorms, slimmed down administration, classes, support services, and yes, fucking libraries. Sports can be extracurricular activities, not the top priority.
With fewer universities, maybe a bachelors degree can mean something again. When ever brain dead, didn't pay attention in class and can barely read dumbass can get a bachelors degree because the colleges will accept anyone and punish professors for handing out F's, it's no wonder that a degree is more and more useless.
u/Impressive-Floor-700 3d ago
Colleges and universes have priced themselves out of the market in many cases. I graduated high school in 1985 and went to Paducah Community College the price they charged was 27.00 dollars per credit hour. That would equal to 324.00 for 12 hours full time, adjusted for inflation that would be 889.34 a semester today. After only one semester I transferred to Murray State University Full time tuition, dorm fees and a 5/2 meal ticket was 1501.00 for the spring on 1986 that equals 4120.08 a semester today, but a semester today is almost double that. They have outpaced inflation to the point where a college degree is a burden. A former president of Harvard was let go when he publicly questioned the value of a Harvard degree given the expense.
After a year of university, I decided it was not for me and became a truck driver. I know some may denigrate the profession it is hard work and long hours, but I am 56 and have been retired for 2 years.
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u/DifficultResponse88 4d ago
If less people go to college, would the US innovate less in the future? Financial Times recently reported its World Rankings and China universities are now near the top tier. As the US continues to go toe to toe with China, a less educated population, would mean…?
u/gamedrifter 4d ago
A lot of innovation comes from top colleges like Stanford and MIT. I think at one point I read that businesses founded by Stanford alumni combined would be the sixth largest economy in the world or something along those lines. The top schools accepting 5%-30% of applicants will likely not be seeing a decline in enrollment. Top public research universities like Berkeley and STEM focused universities like the Tech and A&M schools also drive a lot of innovation. Essentially any rank 1 research university will maintain enrollment. Those are the schools where most innovators are nurtured. The U.S. has something like 1,600 private colleges and universities. Around 1,600 public universities, and around 1,000 private for-profit scam universities. I'd wager the bulk of the enrollment drop is among those that don't really provide much value or opportunity while being as or more expensive than better schools. Namely the for-profit scams and the private schools that give you a teaching degree for $180k tuition. The better schools also often have much better financial aid. So for instance a top liberal arts college will often cost next to nothing for students in the lower income brackets. However the costs climb steeply for lower quality private colleges.→ More replies→ More replies
u/LeeroyTC 4d ago
It depends on where the decline in enrollment is in terms of cost, area of study, and marketability of skills learned.
If we lose people gaining high value degrees and entering into high value add professions, it is a tremendous loss to US society.
If we lose people putting themselves into life changing debt for a B.A. Underwater Basketweaving degree that confers no marketable skills, the US benefits. That degree is non-productive spending that has a large opportunity cost and debt service burden.→ More replies
u/Jazzlike-Equipment45 4d ago
Largely a net positive that needs to happen The push in public schooling that college is needed has both driven up the cost of college and has increased to need of credentials. This has led to a local courier service in my area fucking requiring a degree for $12 and I want to cry.
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