Scott Adams on how to get a real education.

That sounds pretty accurate to me for a lot of people, including myself. Is this supposed to be a controversial idea?

I’d say it’s not a widespread idea. You see people asking what practical value there is in getting a liberal arts or a history degree. The point is that it shows you can complete a liberal arts or history program. You’ll probably never have to use any specific knowledge you acquired about Manet or the Franco-Prussian War but you may be asked to develop, produce, and market a new product line - and a degree shows you’ve completed one major project.

My father always maintained that this was why he preferred hiring people with degrees, in ANYTHING. He said that getting a degree shows, at the very least, that the person is capable of seeing a project through to the end.

For the win.

To me, there’s always been at least two schools of thought on college: 1) Majors matter and college should be vocational; 2) Specific degrees don’t matter and one bachelors degree is as good as the next. The point is to get the degree. I come from a background where most people I knew ended up in category #2. If you hang around a lot of engineers or CS majors, you’ll probably hear school of thought #1 more. Neither is right or wrong, in my opinion.

Geez, why does everything have to be either-or in life? Can’t it be all of the above?

Regarding your comments - I agree. Some degrees are knowledge specific leading to employment (Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer). Others are not knowledge specific leading to employment (I knew a Bank President who majored in Shakespeare). You don’t really want to hire someone to be a Doctor just because they got any old degree, yah?

Sure can. I don’t mean to imply it’s a discrete choice between two options.

There might be something to that; I started a four-year program, changed to a completely different program after finishing one year, and have through the years accumulated enough certificates and diplomas at other courses to equal a degree, but I didn’t finish it. I’ve never worked longer at a job than 20 months (I’m 44). I work as a temp now because I have come to acknowledge my particular inclinations.

And Dopers are supposed to be smart. Or at least, able to read more than one paragraph before forming opinions.

Dislike him if you want - heck, I do. But you don’t have to read much of his blog to realise that, because you think the way you idiots do, he is laughing his arse of at you.

He’s not alone.

AllWalker, calling other posters idiots is not allowed in MPSIMS. Dial it back.

Ellen Cherry

This would be hilarious if, like one of the links suggests, I were actually a puppet of Scott Adams. That means half this thread has been about calling me an idiot.

Consider the insult withdrawn. Consider the rest of my post as is.

When I read that part of the story I did check if we had any users named plannedchaos or anything like that. We don’t - yet. :wink:

Whatever you say, Mr. Adams.

This is Adams’s (and a lot of trolls’) standard defense; if what I say turns out to be stupid, well, I was just kidding, and you’re stupid for believing it. It’s the ultimate No True Scotsman prevent defense.

The opinion that matters is that of the HR official who is contemplating whether or not to hire you. No doubt there are some jobs that can be had by anyone, but although I’m not an HR official, I suspect most jobs that require a college degree also require the specific knowledge that comes with particular majors. Example, you’re not likely to be hired for an engineering position if you majored in psychology.

In engineering that is true, but many jobs now require college education merely as a credential; a sort of combined IQ/diligence test. Which means there isn’t necessarily any reason that college courses are an effective way to learn stuff.

Otherwise, why are “prestigious” colleges the ones with high entering SAT scores and professors who do prestigious research, not ones who most improve SAT scores and have professors who are the best teachers around?

HR doesn’t hire anyone. They may veto a candidate, but their whole purpose in life is to fill a commodity for the hiring manager and prevent the company from being sued. HR are by and large not there to hire anyone and rarely do.

There’s been some interesting discussion of this recently - about groups who are measuring the bang for your buck you get at colleges, the school’s ability to improve students’ grades, that kind of thing. I think Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in the New Yorker a couple of months ago.

his point on less bitching, more strategy is a valid one. But he is ignoring the fact that some “men’s rights” folks are trying (with little coherence, organization and chance of success) to implement a strategy of collective action. They may be doomed, as far as we can tell so far, but they are trying. And in so doing they are behaving in a distinctly male fashion - willing to try new things, willing to die trying, so to speak.

I think that implied in his point is the proposition that strategy is up to the individual and just the individual. You succeed or fail by yourself, and that’s what you have to focus on rather than on trying to set up a group that would succeed or fail in some collective effort or endeavor. Hey, it worked and is still working for Scott Adams and for millions of other men, even though the failing economy may make the people for whom it did not work an ever bigger and more salient group.

Well, the individual survival strategy may work or not work depending on the circumstances. Men’s rights activists seem to think that in the face of collective action from various constituencies whose interests are hostile to them (incidentally, regardless of the gender of those involved - e.g. there are plenty of men in family law related bureaucracy) collective action strategy of their own is a proper response. Maybe. Maybe not (especially given their track record so far). Maybe the whole issue will become moot in the future because of some really unforeseen developments.

This requires more thought, and it is not getting that thought either from the men’s rights movement itself (some of whose representatives rise to the level of insightful social commentary and no further whereas the rest stick to aimless bitching) or from the not-so-sympathetic observers like Scott Adams.

Well, and come to think of it, Scott Adams himself is not in the business of achieving change or even seeking to see it achieved. He made his money from, drumroll, insightful social commentary, just like the above-mentioned best specimens of the men’s rights movement. He himself has never risen above that level, such as to trying to start a million Dilberts movement to reform the cubicles of America or something along those lines. So if collective action is far from his own worldview, it should not be surprising that he is not recognizing the tentative green shoots of the same in the social movements that he is observing.

Yeah, and I think it would be valuable to have that information. But the fact is that right now, most people aren’t yet looking at that, and aren’t really clamoring for alternative metrics. That speaks volumes about how college is now perceived and used for hiring.

This guy is not a huge fan of counting on 4.0 GPA students to move society forward. He feels they are inherently not all that creative, and are mainly useful as worker bees for the creative 3.5’s.

Tom Peters: Educate For a Creative Society

He may have a point.