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Re: Benefits of a College education

Posted: Mon Apr 29, 2019 11:32 pm
by kewms
Now you've done it! You annoyed me enough to go in search of actual data. It turns out philosophy majors do pretty well, both as preparation for fields like business and law, and in financial terms. http://dailynous.com/value-of-philosoph ... nd-graphs/

Katherine

Re: Benefits of a College education

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:49 am
by Orpheus
kewms wrote:Now you've done it! You annoyed me enough to go in search of actual data. It turns out philosophy majors do pretty well, both as preparation for fields like business and law, and in financial terms. http://dailynous.com/value-of-philosoph ... nd-graphs/

Katherine


:D What started as joke is turning into something else.

Here is another along the same line that you posted. https://philosophyisagreatmajor.com/

My cousin has a PhD in philosophy, could not find any academic work in that field, she now teaches English in Korea.

Re: Benefits of a College education

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:54 am
by Orpheus
When we see a woman bartering beauty for gold, we look upon such a one as no other than a common prostitute; but she who rewards the passion of some worthy youth with it, gains at the same time our approbation and esteem. It is the very same with philosophy: he who sets it forth for public sale, to be disposed of to the highest bidder, is a sophist, a public prostitute.
Xenophon, Memorabilia, 1.6.11, T. Stanley, trans., p. 535


Apparently some philosophers are disenchanted with professional philosophers. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_careerism

Re: Benefits of a College education

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:36 pm
by gr
I'm out.

Re: Benefits of a College education

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:33 pm
by kewms
I believe the link I posted specifically noted that there are many opportunities for people with philosophy degrees outside of academia.

Also, the link I posted discussed opportunities at the bachelor's degree level, not for philosophy PhDs. In equating the two, I believe your cousin would note that you are engaging in a straw man fallacy.

Katherine

Re: Benefits of a College education

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:48 pm
by pigfender
Indeed. It’s easy to be unaware, especially if you’ve not been to college, that the main benefit of college isn’t the academic knowledge of your chosen subject. The main benefit is a framework for critical thinking and the proven ability to learn new concepts and apply them.

My first post-studying job was on a sought after grad scheme in a business environment. My peers held degrees in subjects as diverse as law, economics, politics, science, history, english, philosophy, music and foreign languages. All were very adequately prepared for life in the corporate world. You would not have guessed which-degree-went-with-who from work conversations.

Re: Benefits of a College education

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:29 pm
by kewms
pigfender wrote:Indeed. It’s easy to be unaware, especially if you’ve not been to college, that the main benefit of college isn’t the academic knowledge of your chosen subject. The main benefit is a framework for critical thinking and the proven ability to learn new concepts and apply them.


This is one risk of letting STEM-focused employers drive policy. For a lot of STEM jobs, the academic knowledge *is* important. Not necessarily the only or most important aspect, but someone who's spent the last four years writing code is obviously going to be further up the learning curve for the technical aspects of software development jobs. And someone who's spent the last four years writing code has at least had the opportunity to decide whether they want to continue doing it.

But that doesn't mean that less technical skills/topics/majors are "a waste of time."

Katherine

Re: Benefits of a College education

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:39 pm
by pigfender
Sure. There are careers where specific subjects are either a boost or a necessity. A law degree helps if you want to be a lawyer. A medicine degree is essential if you want to be a doctor.

If we let that limited use case drive our view on the validity and value higher education we’ll be hurting all of ourselves.

... and as a complete aside, I for one would hate to have my life dictated by what I thought was interesting at age 17.

Re: Benefits of a College education

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 6:47 pm
by lunk
Knowledge is easy to carry...
Without a high degree of education in society there would be no jobs for the plumber or electrician because no one would have invented the things necessary for these professions today.

Re: Benefits of a College education

Posted: Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:25 pm
by garpu
gr wrote:It think it is a common mistake for undergraduates to tacitly assume that the disciplines at college are something like a menu of jobs they are supposed to choose between. I don't know who or what is to blame for this mistake but we are certainly doing young people a disservice by not correcting it. It is also the case that memes like the one posted here perpetuate this mistaken picture.


Preach. When I graduated my undergrad degree, everyone was doing computer science as a second major because it was "safe." Then the dotcom bust and 2008 happened. The only people I know who still work in that field are those who didn't do it because it was a job, they're doing it because they have the learning and skills to convert that knowledge into something else. For instance, I don't know any of the people in music with doctorates I graduated with who're teaching college. One is a software developer, another does research, and so on.

I do think we (in the US) need a better system of vocational schools, but the systemic underfunding of education at all levels is another thread for another time.

ETA: my uncle (Ph.D in geostatistics, so hard science with a lot of math) said the classes that helped him the most in his doctorate were actually the liberal arts classes he took as an undergrad. He'd say that for every hour he spent crunching data, he spent another two writing about it.

Re: Benefits of a College education

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 1:11 am
by Orpheus
kewms wrote:.

Also, the link I posted discussed opportunities at the bachelor's degree level, not for philosophy PhDs. In equating the two, I believe your cousin would note that you are engaging in a straw man fallacy.

Katherine


I am not equating the two. They are not equal. She came from a family of tenured academics and actually wanted to work in her field as an academic. Didn't happen.

But what really puzzles me is how a joke has morphed into what is starting become a contentious discussion.

Whoever made that image that I originally posted chose someone with a BA in Philosophy. It could have been an MA, or PhD and in other subjects like English, History, Classics, Anthropology, Archeology, Assyriology, etc.

BTW I have nothing against these subjects, but rather am a student of them. And though I don't agree with him I respect some one like the late Dr. David Pingree (Brown U.) who started out as a mathematician, and then, following in the footsteps of Otto Neugebauer, became a historian of the exact sciences leading him to delve into ancient astronomy and astrology which required him to get into a variety of languages including those in Cuneiform, Greek, Latin, Arabic and Sanskrit. His translation and commentary of Yavanajataka is in all the foregoing languages minus Cuneiform. You would be hard pressed today to find someone with such an interdisciplinary approach. Unfortunately most of the programs he started are being shut down because of lack of funding. It is a fascinating subject but apparently not seen as valuable by university admins who increasingly view university as a business.

Re: Benefits of a College education

Posted: Wed May 01, 2019 1:35 am
by Orpheus
An older friend (89 to be exact) commented on this same joke thusly:

Back in the days before student loans only wealthy people could afford university or college education. Because the education was to enrich their lives not to make money as they had plenty. After WWll and student loans made higher education available to more people. A lot of people went for degrees in social work and the arts with many more graduates than jobs were available. And the gap between graduates and employable became greater. People were still being sold on the higher status of the univ degree. When you have to work for a living the univ degree is not worth much if their are no jobs available and you are left with big debts .