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University and College Education TODAY

August 25th, 2013

24 Comments »

I was born in 1979.

When I was growing up, I remember everyone around me saying that I NEED a university education if I don’t want to have a terrible life.  I believed it.  Almost everyone I knew believed it too.

At that time, university wasn’t SOOO expensive.  Students could pay for school with a good part time job.  They didn’t graduate with a huge debt and crazy student loans.

Things are very different now.  University is unbelievably expensive, and more and more students are going to school.  It seems that everyone believes that having a university degree will somehow just “magically” give them a good job when they graduate.  Well, with so many people having degrees, the “good jobs” are getting harder and harder to find.  Students in the US are paying an average of $27 000 USD per YEAR just to go to school.  Some students are paying a lot more.  When they graduate, they have an insane amount of pressure to pay back a crazy student loan, and it’s harder and harder to find a high paying job just by showing people your degree.  A lot of employers now realize that A) too many people have the same thing, and B) It’s really just a “fancy” piece of paper.

With technology changing so fast as well, colleges and universities aren’t really able to “keep up” with it all, and really prepare students with the proper knowledge they will need for the jobs of the future.

Chinese students have been going to the US in HUGE numbers over the past 10 years or so.  They are growing so fast.  I just read in a really interesting article from the Wall Street Journal that about 70% of them return to China after graduating to find a job, and less and less of them can find a good job.  They’ve almost “wasted” their parent’s hard earned money, and it’s not their fault either.

The price of education is going up fast, the quality is going down fast, and more and more people are joining the workforce with the same degree, the same piece of paper.

They have a huge debt/loan to pay off.  It’s almost like they have a mortgage, but NO HOUSE!

Students in America owe a total of over 1 trillion dollars in student loans.  That is $1 000 000 000 000.  Insane.  Thousands and thousands of students in the US owe more money just in student loans, than the price of a pretty decent house!  I’m not joking.

REAL skills (like learning high level English, computers/internet, and networking) are becoming more important (and not expensive)

Anyway……  Do I think that it’s a terrible idea to get a university education?  Of course not!  But I absolutely think that you should really think about this carefully, and don’t just be a sheep and think that your insanely expensive piece of paper will just magically help you.  You need to think ahead and think “smarter” than most of the other people who just believe whatever they are told by society.

I’d love to know where you are from, how old you are, and what your thoughts are about this topic.  Please share your thoughts about this important topic in the comments below.

I also just watched an AWESOME documentary about this situation and I put that video and the article about international students studying in China here in the VIP community for you guys to enjoy.  You will love both.  There is a lot of great stuff in there that is both really interesting AND will help your English.  I spend so much of my time looking for this kind of stuff for you guys.  I’m sure you’ll love it :)

Again, please let me know your situation, and your exact opinion on this.  If you completely agree or totally disagree with me, that’s totally fine.  It’s great practice for your English to get your thoughts down in writing, and it’s great for all of us (including me) to learn and think about different perspectives.  We can all learn from each other.

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24 Responses to “University and College Education TODAY”

  1. Kingfisher Says:

    August 25th, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    I gotta say I totally agree with you.
    I’m an undergraduate in Hong Kong.
    The fee for studying in university is about ten 100 thousand per year and that’s going up more and more every year. Unfortunately, the requirement for getting in universities drops which makes the cert less and less valuable. I believe the same thing is happening in the other counties and I would have to say it’s so fair. Think about this, which one of the president in world doesn’t know some rich people? They’ll have to collect a great sum of money for their election campaign. When they do do a president, they would be worried the money for being the next president. They just do simply whatever the rich people tell them to as they need $ from them. Who richer, who controls the world. That’s how the game is played always.

    I as a normal with not much can just accept the disgusting fact. (Sigh), I have to buy everyday stuff in the supermarkets run by Li Ka Shing because there are basically not any other options. If I choose to visit another grocery stores, I’m just putting money into another rich businessman and helping the 1% to destroy the society. The point concerns me is that how could they be so mentally poor even though they’ve been so wealthy.

    Love your blogs :)

  2. adamski Says:

    August 25th, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    i’d rather have university degree and a big loan to pay off which is ok when you have a decent job and a decent salary rather than don’t have a a chance to get a morgage cos simply you don’t earn enough money because you don’t have a degree…simple
    university degree won’t guarantee well paid job but it definitely gives you more opportunities in life

  3. Kingfisher Says:

    August 25th, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    I just wanted to apologize for the mistake I made about the fee thing. It should be 100 thousand annually. Sorry for releasing the misleading info.

    Cheers

  4. Taiseer Says:

    August 25th, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    I don’t agree with u Andy ’cause education is very important for everyone .. in my country, we have a free education from 1st primary school to graduation . I agree with u that not everyone graduate have a good job but at least he can face the hard world where he live . After all we should put a goal to our life and work hard to make it come true and that include how to earn money for education that make sense to your life .anyway thank u very much for this interesting topic .

  5. pashew Says:

    August 25th, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    i totally agree with you Andy! its true for all the country in the world . i am from kurdistan , i had already degree , i was looking for job for along time but i didnt get , then after i improve my foreign languages , computer … etc .then i could get the job ! which it tooks less time than my college time and much cheaper :-)
    thanks for your guys as well, i learnt a lot from you too !

  6. Daiana Says:

    August 26th, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Hello guys, it’s the first time I coment on the blog which is AWESOME! Congrats and thanks for it! I think this topic is very interesting, and I understand your point, but I don’t totally agree with you.
    I’m 26 years old Brazilian woman,I studied all my life in public school/university, and I’m going to start a PhD next month in England. Here in Brazil there are public schools and universities, but it doesn’t supports all the people who need(or want)to graduate. So, lots of people have to pay for their studies and it’s ridiculously expensive! And that expensive piece of paper isn’t so valuable when it comes to get a good job. So, I agree with your argument that a graduate degree is very expensive and isn’t guarantee a good job on the future. However, I believe that the importance of education is give new perspectives of life to people. I mean, learning another habilities such as that you referred is also important, and it’s what make the difference to achieve a good job. In other words, its up to the people make the difference and don’t think that a simple graduate degree is enough for their entire life.
    I don’t think we recieve just a piece of paper from the university,the achieviment of knowledge there has a high value to me. It made me a better person what is most significant to me than the guarantee of a high paid job.
    Again, I love this blog. You’re doing an insanely amazing job here.
    Best,

  7. Wal Says:

    August 26th, 2013 at 9:19 am

    It’s a fantastic article, Andy.

    People who have a power over money exactly know what to do to make people indebted to them. And majority of these people do not think at all.

    Just one more thing. How is it possible that single people take huge mortgages or loans, small, big and huge companies also take huge loans for their own purposes, even almost all countries in the world are hugely indebted and there are always “good uncles” who have this money to lend???

  8. Wal Says:

    August 26th, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Taiseer Says: “I don’t agree with u Andy ’cause education is very important for everyone …”

    Taiseer, did you read this article? Of course it’s obvious that education is important and this article doesn’t negate it at all. This article shows the price of education in USA – not your country – and the same happens in all Western countries. This article also shows that the level of education is lower and lower. I agree with this because it is a reality.

  9. Salivan Says:

    August 26th, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    ” It’s really just a “fancy” piece of paper. ”

    I totally agree with you. So many students now go to colleges to just get this piece of paper. What important now is your abilities. No one pay you for your education. I think entrepreneur is a good answer for this generation.

    ” it’s not their fault either. ”
    Believe me! I was watching an interview with a entrance exam speaker. Just made me laugh! and told my mom that we thought the world will be ours. Now I understood that I wish I work like this from long ago instead of wasting my time and being a book worm!

    As adamski said, “university degree won’t guarantee well paid job but it definitely gives you more opportunities in life.” I agree! But it does not worth it! You waste your time, and hope for a good job, but the result is not what you really wished!

    Daiana: “its up to the people make the difference.”
    Yes, knowledge is what we need, and it make us good and educated people. I was a university for awhile, but level of intelligence and behaviors of these students are not comparable to old days. Indeed they use much more technologies that we uses, but you can see the difference with your bare eyes!

    Thanks, I passed 30 a few years ago, and started to get a job last year, but it was awful! What the company needed was experience and resume. Also, the gap between my salary and someone uneducated was 5% of normal salary. Hopefully I started to work for myself and now really feeling happiness!

  10. Eduviges Says:

    August 26th, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Dear:

    I not totally agree with your opinion. I m man,brazilian, like Daiana, 57 years old, two graduate school (geologist an laywer). I studied both graduate schools in private school/university, and, today, do my job in public office, through publci proof. How told us Daiana, here in Brazil the public schools and universities, doesn’t supports all the people who need to graduate. The majority people (with me) pay for their studies and it’s expensive! But, depending on the course, is only one way to get a good job. My country is a country in development, and so, it need professional a lot for fill out vacancies in some economic sectors. So, only graduate degree will be possible guarantee a good job, giving new perspectives of life to people. The learning another habilities how I m doing (learning english language)is also important, but, in my country, make all difference to achieve a good job, with rare exceptions. Simple graduate degree not enough for their entire life, but,also. not is just a piece of paper from the university.

    Big hug.

    Thanks for all, and sorry for my mistakes in the text. I am a beginer in the English language and trying to improve my knowledge.

  11. Paul King Says:

    August 27th, 2013 at 12:16 am

    Hi guys, how have you been doing? I’ve been swamped at work. I’ve been working my ass off so bad, but now it’s getting better and I have time to write something on your blog. I think the degree is not everything. Not to mention, many students want to get one but they don’t realize that it’s not only about that. It’s ridiculously expensive. You have to have experience and without experience nobody will ever hire you. But where can you get experience when nobody wants you? I think its better if you get a certificate in certain areas then grow up in a company. Another thing is language. I can see on myself as I learned English, my life got way better and it’s really easy to communicate with everybody and everywhere in the world.
    By the way, you were right about students debt. It’s terrible!!! Actually, the average american has $10,000 debt on credit cards which is really bad. There are three huge debts in the U.S. :
    1st. Students loans
    2nd. Credit cards
    3rd. Mortgages
    Can you believe that mortgage is in third place? I couldn’t get over it when I heard about it the first time.
    Anyway, thank you for this great topic, I enjoyed it.
    I’ll talk to you next time.

    Paul

  12. ''Kobe'' Says:

    August 27th, 2013 at 3:38 am

    That’s true. Right now, i am in Missouri, studying in a public college. The tuition is insanely high. I talked about it with my roommates, they agree about my opinion. However,people have no choice.

  13. hoda Says:

    August 27th, 2013 at 8:50 am

    yeah the price of education in many countries is insanely high. in my country though, it is not as high of many countries yet. here (in Iran) free education still exists. there is a grand exam after high school, which depending on your mark, you can get into free universities run by the state. there are a few other universities run by the private sector which require money but they’re yet not as high as other countries. by this high fees, I think, they are saying that education is not for everyone, but it is for the higher class, the rich people, and that makes yet another gap between the rich and poor. it’s somehow like the past centuries when education was confided to the wealthy people.

  14. Kinga, 23, Poland Says:

    August 27th, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Hi,
    My name is Kinga and I’m twenty four. This year I graduated from university. The universities in my country are public or private so we could study for free if we have good marks and pass well the most important exams in college.
    Unfortunately, such as in US higher education doesn’t provide anybody good, well paid job. Moreover, in Poland unemployment among young, educated people is very high. A lot of young emigrate to other countries to work, they prefer work physically in foreign country although they have paper from university. It’s really sad because sometime in past they believed that hard work in school provide them position in the future.
    The true is that if somebody is really smart he don’t really need paper from university for making good money. Diploma is only some facilitation for clever people.

  15. rashmeet Says:

    August 27th, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    hi everyone ,
    my name is rashmeet and i am from INDIA…
    this is my first reply…. i really love to read the Andy’s blog.. the way he writes ,it is very impressive…i often read the blogs…
    i think being a graduate is very important, because where ever you go for a job, they ask for degree. if you are undergraduate , nobody is going to entertain you. Though getting a graduate degree is becoming expensive….. In our country there are many colleges and universities , but all are very expensive. if a student takes addmission and he does not get the job,,,its really terrible… personaly i feel that everyone should try to get technical education……where you have lots of opportunities to earn…

  16. ceylan Says:

    August 27th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Thank you for the article, I don’t totally agree with you, Andy
    You may right at some points that the cost of having a good education is ridiculously expensive and most students thinks of that when they get a diploma, they will have well-paid job and good career.
    But in my opinion everybody should go to university to attain perspectives of life and it should be free, of course!
    In my country, Turkey, we have two kinds of university such as state and private, the price of education in a state university is not really expensive but after graduation from a state university you may have a well-paid job actually it depends on your ability, comprehension and background! To get into university firstly you need take the general exam and according to your exam result you get into it.But if your result is not really good you can get into a private university that costs far much more than a state uni’s. As a result unfortunately we are the age when money talks!.. Sorry for mistakes…

  17. Juan Says:

    August 27th, 2013 at 10:54 pm

    My name is Juan, 33 years old. I majored in Electrical Engineering from a prestigiuos University in my country.

    I considered that education play an important role to go aheah in life. The Education makes the difference between those who may get more opportunities in life and those ones who not. The point is that there are other important skills that are necessary to learn in this competitive world to succeed that, most of the times,the university or the college do not teach you. For instance, learning a foreing language, getting along with the people, knowing how to handle the conflicts, how to become a leader or an entrepuenur, etc.
    On the other hand, the cost of the education goes up every year. As a result, less people are able to access to the college or what is even worse, once in college, others can not afford the tuition and end up dropping out. The education is a right and should be free for everybody.
    And, let me be honest in this point. After I left the college, it was really hard for me try to find a goo-paying job. I started out with just $300 a month and that was not enough to cover my basic expenses. Even thoug I had a good degree from a prestigious University , it doesn’t really help me to land a “good job”. This is because the experience is an important factor that most of companies consider when they look for new employees, as well.

  18. Yuri Says:

    August 28th, 2013 at 4:14 am

    It was very interesting to read this blog and all comments. Of course, education itself doesn’t give a well paid job, but I think it very important for being well rounded person and for self estimation. To tell of the expensis of education, I think, that it’s unfair,that if someone has money – has possibility to study, no money – no study. This restricts development of The World because a lot of clever guys who could be useful being educated, have no money to pay for study. On the other hand a lot of loungers,who have rich parents, but have no talent nor desire to study, take places in colleges and universities,which could be given to talented, hard-working, but poor guys.

  19. Mahsa Says:

    August 28th, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    I’m from Iran and i graduated in MSc economics.
    Actually i use free university and now i don’t have any loan(thank God!!!)and i have a part time job too!
    But i’m agree with you that we can’t find a good job, just by a university degree.you should prove that you are enough qualified for doing that job or may having experience and new idea,and so and so…

    I hope i can apply for a good American or Canadaian university too.
    anyway thank youuuuu

  20. user 123 Says:

    August 29th, 2013 at 7:20 am

    I am from IRAN , which is located in middle -east , a big country with over 70 million population, i have majored in commuter . In the past , about 30 years before , advance adjudication was totally free in Iran ,in each level BS,MS,PHD . now it is a different story , there are a lots of different type of university in IRAN which offer a educational system under a observation of a special ministry and . the ones we called state university are free of charge however are mostly difficult to accept in entrance exam. the graduated will have more chance to get good job or governmental jobs . the other ones are soooooooo expensive for average people. the level of education is not as well as first ones . these days because of economic issues here the state university tend to get some part of education from students.
    anyway thank you.

  21. Elena Says:

    August 29th, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Hi Andy! I think better to have education for free or rather dont have education. Because debts are terrible thing. It gaves you slave feeling. I am 29 years old and I have got the best education in Russia. I want only the best things in live so after school I desided go to the Federal University. They have some free vocansions for student which have very difficult. I was smurt in school and had only the best points so I desided try it. I was there 6 yers studing low. I am a lowyer. I was working after University but I cant say that it is good money. So if I needed pay credits it is not worth it. Now my life is changed. I live in different country and I work as an artist. I like it more(https://www.facebook.com/pages/Artistelenasosina/641809532505065?ref=hl).
    So what does your degree means if you suddenly deside that you are not what you thought when you finished school. You are somebody different. But anywhere my low skills helps me a lot in my life. And I think that education it is a positive thing. Just dont be silly, dont take money from bank if you are not sure that you will easilly pay them espessially so much money, dont fuck up your life like this. Rather go work first as a simle worker, earn some money and then deside if you still need education or rather open your owen bisness.

  22. Maciej Says:

    September 2nd, 2013 at 7:05 pm

    The point is that more and more people think that mentioned piece of paper is all they need to get well-paid job. They totally forget that there should be some knowledge and skills behind this paper, that they often do not care to obtain while studying – the ultimate goal is degree. In my country (Poland) lots of student graduate and then end-up working as a checkers for instance. Fortunately they did not end up having debts, nevertheless their lose their time, time is money so they lost their money too. Sometimes it is better to give up studying non-practical major in favor of getting some practical experience in less “noble” jobs.

  23. Alaa Says:

    November 15th, 2013 at 9:35 am

    You are very true in all what you said..
    but my view it is how important to go to school that make you learn lots of studies that make your mind open and think in good ways.

  24. Schlaumeier Says:

    April 21st, 2014 at 9:33 am

    I’m getting bachelor’s degree in Russia in the field of Management, directly – Logistic and Supply Chain Management.

    I assume that graduating from University became a mainstream particularly in Russian society. Old schoolers(high school pupils) don’t see themselves having a hard job on the plants or running another menial work and doing own business whatsoever..
    Today I’m on the cusp of 5th semester, I’ll definitely complete my education, however I can hardly imagine myself running somebody’s errands.

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