Self Pitting

I keep getting requests to sigh petitions on facebook, in my email, on the damned street - and I will sign some but one I have been getting pounded with lately is to end or reduce student loan debt.

If the little morons and their parents would sent the idiots to trade school where they could learn something like plumbing or HVAC repair they wouldn’t have the student loan. Instead of competing for nonexistant office jobs, they could take any number of trade jobs [or even nursing in some states, my mum-in-law is head charge nurse in a physical rehab facility and they are chronically short of nurses]

I understand the whole push for improving your kids lives so they don’t have to dig ditches for a living, but christ on a fucking crutch, somebody has to dig the fucking ditches [or repair plumbing, heating and air conditioning systems, industrial kitchen equipment, cars, boats, bodies] and there is no dishonor in a manual job. Hell, have you seen what plumbers charge lately? I wish we would go to the German system of sorting kids into trade or university channels early in high school so a vast number of kids wont end up as what someone is describing as “Student Loans, the New Indentured Servitude” by someone who clearly doesn’t understand what true indentured servitude actually was historically. If I had kids, they would not be encouraged to go to college, they would be sent to trade schools. They may get dirty instead of sit behind a desk or holding a McJob, but they will work an honest days labor for their money and not start out life needing to pay back $100 000 or more for a useless education.

I am putting this in the pit to save everybody the trouble of starting a new thread.

Sounds like your beef isn’t with school loan debt, per se, but rather the over-saturated idea that students need to seek out their career through higher learning via expensive universities and grad schools, rather than be encouraged, up-front, as to what they’d like to do for a living and seek out more pragmatic, cheaper, shorter and efficient schooling and/or apprenticeship focused along that particular interest; if not outright autodidactic.

If so, I’m with ya.

Granted, there are very genuine reasons to choose going to a university and earning a degree. But, it’s not for everybody.

Why is this titled “self-pitting”?

No, you don’t. The German system is absolute bullshit start to finish.

I have no problemm with the rest of your rant: buying pricy education credentials for everyone doesn’t result in improved students - it just means that employers jack up their default educational requirements.

Do trade schools and nursing schools offer free tuition where you live? If not, wouldn’t some graduates of such schools still have student loan debt?

Usually the relative costs of earning a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree at U of Whatever and a license or degree at a trade school are vastly different.

A loan is a loan, but is it worth getting yourself $100k+ in debt if you want to be an hygienist, photographer, carpenter or a commercial artist?

I agree with the OP in the sense that I think people need to end the delusion that education = success. People should see trade schools as just as professionally legit as any college degree, and really understand their options and the potential consequences of their choices.

I disagree in the sense that I think the problem of student loan debt isn’t something that can merely be addressed by reducing the number of kids who go to college. It may not be indentured servitude, but from my POV it’s basically class warfare. Even middle-class, academically talented students like myself end up with fuckloads of debt. It’s sinking this country’s future generation of professionals and if it continues I believe the consequences will be very dire indeed.

The ones that absolutely kill me, and I know someone in this position - are the ones who go into debt going to the goddamned “Culinary Schools” that have popped up all over the place.

Student loans so you can get a job making $8 an hour. Really fucking brilliant.

I don’t disagree with the principle concept here - trade schools should be promoted as a viable alternative to university, and the idea that everyone needs to go to college is ludicrous. But you are over-correcting here, IMHO. The solution is not to ensure that *nobody *goes to university - some kids are cut out for academics, and those who excel in academic disciplines can and do end up with good jobs in their fields.

I do think high-school kids should be better informed about their options, but not everyone who wants to go to university is a ‘little moron’ for making that choice.

Because in general if oyu are threatening someones self image of <whatever> even if you are correct they tend to rant and rage and throw you into the Pit. If I start out here, they don’t need to start another thread.

Trade schools are frequently 10%-25% the cost of traditional university education.There would still be some debt, but in the $25 000 range, not the $100 000+ range.

Exactly. I started my life working in a trade [inside/outside mechanic also known as a machinist] and I saw nothing wrong with it. I was also making $5.35 per hour when the minimum wage was $3.10 an hour as an apprentice, journeyman got me a couple bucks an hour more, and by the end when I was working for Henze Movats in nuke plants as a lowly valve mechanic I was making $17 an hour plus $65 per day as a tax free per diem.

Ug, I know. There just are not that many Tony Bourdain/French Laundry 6 figure a year cooking jobs out there. Now if you can write a popular cookbook and host at popular TV show, that is entirely different.

I didn’t want to stop everybody from attending university, I just wish kids would stop and think before they decide to major in underwater basket weaving, or comparative French Literature of the 16th Century, or other majors that have absolutely no ability to actually get one a real job that isn’t slinging burgers or waiting tables. Not that I have anything against waiting tables, hell I have done everything from being a bar back, hostess, wait tables when short of staff, buss tables, work everything from washing dishes to veggie prep to hot line to saucier and pastries in food service.

And I’m sorry, unless you are a trustafarian, getting a degree that doesn’t immediately lead into a profitable job upon graduation is being a moron.

I agree, in a way. Majoring in something that’s esoteric, with no clear idea of what you want to do, is a thing of the past–if it ever existed.

But there are plenty of people wiping counters, pouring drinks, and scouring toilets right now who did not study something esoteric. Maybe they majored in chemistry, believing that this could get them a job as a laboratory technician. And they would be right, except that hiring is down and lots of people who would have been retiring during better days are now buckling down. Are these kinds of college graduates morons too?

I’d be hard pressed to think of any degree that leads immeditately to a profitable job. We don’t live in that world any more.

As a former high school teacher, a holder of a BS in physics and an MS in Science Education, I can wholly get behind this pitting.

I was motivated and determined to go to college and study science. It was my passion, I loved it, and I got into a lot of debt so I could do it. And I don’t regret it one bit at all, even though I’ll be paying off student loans for years.

But I have a great paying job that I love because of it. And I would never encourage a student or child of my own to go to college unless they had a damn good idea of why they were going and were very motivated to do something, and understood the reality of student loans.

I think encouraging kids these days to go to vocational schools is a great idea, and Obama and others have done a good job of encouraging things like that (as well as encouraging college). People should not be chasing degrees out of a sense of obligation, or just going to college because they think it will be fun.

Not everyone is cut out for college, honestly, and college degrees are becoming more and more meaningless as Universities continue to water down curriculum in search of higher and higher success rates and lower drop out rates.

Physics, engineering… pretty damn easy to get a profitable job with those. I currently have a data processing job that I got with only my physics degree (my two years of high school teaching didn’t really mean squat to them), where I am making way more than I did as a teacher (and I was a pretty well paid teacher too). So, there are some valuable degrees out there.

I’m guessing it’s a passive-aggressive ploy to stave off criticism of the opinions presented in the OP by preemptively painting those who would disagree as meanies who like to Pit people for daring to disagree with them.

Hey, I guessed right!

aruvqan, I don’t give a shit about your OP, as it’s not a particularly interesting or controversial point of view, but next time have the stones to just offer it on its own merits. If everyone hates it and wants to call you names in the Pit, that’s their decision, not yours.

I will also note that helping your kids to a fairly quick way to support themselves enables them to pursue more education if they want, without such a high loan burden and with a clearer idea of what they’re looking for. It also gives them a fallback source of income. And, of course, gets them off your expense load sooner!

Agree with others about the poor title (vague among other sins). Posslbly in the wrong forum as well.

Your advice is akin to saying, “Become a doctor! That’s a profitable line of work!”

Of course it is. But there’s a reason why doctors command a six-figure salary and welders and manicurists don’t. Physics and engineering are difficult even for smart folks. I’m a smart person, pretty good in advanced math, and I wouldn’t voluntarily sign up to take differential equations if my life depended on it.

If everyone could go into physics and engineering, then you’d suddenly see the profitability drop from jobs in those fields. And I’m guessing most people who oriented towards the humanities will not decide to become engineers simply based on someone’s passionate plea to get a “real” job. Not any more than an Albert Einstein-type would be do well to major in Shakespearean literature, if science became unfashionable.

See, and I thought it was because she was more interested in starting some sort of anti-elitist mudslinging match than actually interested in the topic on its merits, and would in fact be sorely disappointed if the thread only attracted measured, reasonable, qualified responses.

Honestly? Yes. In the same 4 years you learned organic chem, you could have gotten a degree in plumbing from a trade school and set yourself up working as a journeyman for a plumber and be working towards masters certification. And then people bitch about the high cost of hiring a plumber because they are in short supply.


Look, with the availability of ‘continuing education’ you can go on and get a degree in underwater basketweaving after you get established in your regular moneymaking job. I know a fair number of people who are working on getting degrees in various things while working their regular job. Many companies actually will give you money towards continuing education - some want it to be in whatever field they happen to be, others don’t care what you want to study.

Just think twice before getting burdened with that much monetary crap. Not everybody can make money in their ‘dream field’. I would have loved to have been an egyptologist - back when the way you made money as an archeologist was working either teaching at university or working in a museum and digs were what you did on vacation unless you worked for the state identifying indian burials as not murder sites. I went trade instead of university and I never got saddled with thousands upon thousands of dollars of useless debt.

A lot of trades, (Electricians, IBEW for one) have apprenticeship programs where they pay you to work in the field while you go to school a couple of nights a week. If you’re a good egg, it is possible to command six figures in those industries and you don’t have any debt to pay off at all. My husband and I did it, although I didn’t stay in the field, my husband just came back to it after being away from it for 10 years.

I’m here to say that I don’t know why we ever left the field for the management side of things. What a crock of shit. Corporate American offices are unstable and soul sucking, and anyone who is in debt up to their eyeballs on top of it is asking for misery unless they have a passion for what they do.

There are so many other perks to mention, but honest day’s work for good solid pay is where it’s at.

The OP is way out of touch with the educational requirements for nursing, though. Where I am, an RN needs a bachelor’s degree before even attempting to get into one of the few nursing programs in the area. And any nursing degree less than an RN only qualifies a person for a low-paying job here.