College doesn’t always equate to better pay

Based upon reliable news reports and every other speech made by our new president, most American families are having a difficult time scraping together enough money to send their children to college. And even after the kids have saved all they can from part-time work, the parents have contributed the last of their retirement funds and every possible financial aid and scholarship has been exhausted, many college grads stumble away from their alma mater so far in debt it’ll take the next 20 years to pay it off, especially in today’s tanked economy. Indeed, a surprising number of modern grads won’t be able to find jobs in their chosen field and will, consequently, decide to continue their education into graduate school, as if this will necessarily increase their marketability – when, in fact, it may simply be throwing more money down the drain.

  • Tuesday, May 12, 2009 1:11am
  • Opinion

Wally’s World

Based upon reliable news reports and every other speech made by our new president, most American families are having a difficult time scraping together enough money to send their children to college. And even after the kids have saved all they can from part-time work, the parents have contributed the last of their retirement funds and every possible financial aid and scholarship has been exhausted, many college grads stumble away from their alma mater so far in debt it’ll take the next 20 years to pay it off, especially in today’s tanked economy. Indeed, a surprising number of modern grads won’t be able to find jobs in their chosen field and will, consequently, decide to continue their education into graduate school, as if this will necessarily increase their marketability – when, in fact, it may simply be throwing more money down the drain.

My friends, what’s going on here? If you’re attending college to increase your monetary potential, and that appears to be the main reason parents want their offspring to go, then it may be time to rethink certain traditional assumptions, or at least be a bit more selective about your major. If you’re majoring in anyone of the social sciences, social work, education, art, any of the humanities, sports, computer programing, business, chug-a-lug contests, or half the other fields available, you better plan on working an additional job, marrying someone who’s working or inheriting a sizable fortune because that’s probably the only way you’re going to live the solidly upper-class lifestyle college has promised in the past.

It never used to be like this. Thirty or 40 years ago when I was casting away my years in grad school, I wasn’t that intent upon finishing or majoring in anything in particular. I simply enjoyed the university life and environment. When the administration would no longer accept me and I had to go out into the real world, I was only $400 in debt. And furthermore, back then a college degree still made you rather unique so, even if the degree was in underwater basket weaving or late-night skydiving, you could get a respectable job. (I suppose life as a “professional student” is still possible, but it surely isn’t very practical and today it can get damned expensive.)

In years past, people often felt college students were more intelligent and innovative than working kids. Even high school teachers seemed biased in this way. Of course, that was so much bovine excrement even back then and it’s blatantly so today. In fact, a significant number of college freshmen are only in school because someone is paying the bill and they’re too lazy to go to work.

Of course, there’s much to be said for the college experience. The professors who might inspire you, the knowledge might enthrall you, and the camaraderie that might delight you. But if you think college will necessarily enhance your earning potential in the future, you better be skilled in mathematics, hard science, or a handful of other professions that computers haven’t yet replaced. Otherwise, you’ll probably be better off operating heavy equipment on a construction site.

More in Opinion

Living in an era where emotions, opinions outweigh the facts

If you have enough money and political power, you can probably find an expert to endorse your position.

Even with postage paid, voters couldn’t send ballots on time

While those ballots don’t get counted, taxpayers still must pay the Postal Service for delivering them.

Spotting outsiders in our little city

There’s always a way to tell who’s new and who’s ‘in-the-know’ in Enumclaw.

We must move away from identity politics

Mr. Trump recognized the legitimate concerns of the “working class” and socio-economic middle class which have born a disproportionate negative impact from many of Washington’s policies.

Polarizing politics works to squash the moderate middle

The definition of identity politics: “Political attitudes or positions that focus on… Continue reading

Enumclaw VFW cites long list of community service

Our post, although one of the smallest in the state, consistently ranks near the top of all state VFW posts in the amount of community service we provide.

A victory they didn’t want means a fight they worked to avoid

De-Escalate Washington needs to restart the machinery of a campaign to pass I-940.

Deeply held religious beliefs do good in the world

It is truly disheartening to see the eagerness with which people jump on the bandwagon to Christian bash.

Economy rises and falls, regardless of who’s in the Oval Office

History from the time of Harry Truman teaches us that presidents have very little influence on the economy.

SPLC accurately labels hate organizations and people

The SPLC has received my support for many years and will continue to receive my support for their efforts to defend the civil rights of all persons.

Rumbling and rambling on the way to November

The short columns for the upcoming mid-terms.

Shakespeare and sex jokes, Act II

How exactly did you think he became popular with the masses back in the time of the Plague?