The Mental Militia Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Off to college?  (Read 4606 times)

Junker

  • Guest
Off to college?
« on: April 04, 2005, 10:18:53 am »

http://www.clairewolfe.com/blog.html

AN MIT GRAD WROTE to reflect on his alma mater losing a robotics contest to a bunch of illegal immigrant kids from an Arizona high school (the topic of one of yesterday's blog entries).

. . .[MIT alumnus writes:]

...from the kids who won. They worked hard, they did the better job, and they deserved to win. But I hope that none of them goes to MIT; they can almost certainly do better for themselves nearly anywhere else. That makes me sad.
- - -

I've noted that Robinson and most others still go for the college route. I don't agree. Nobody, nowhere 'teaches' you anything. You (or your kids) are the one to dig in and learn. You need the books and the mechanical gear. Of the books, the college texts are the worst. The best are usually found for free still at the library. For mechanical gear, innovation let's you learn more so go for the cheapest place you can afford to get access to the mechanical gear you really need for your work. What that may exactly be is part of the learning process and *your* design problem. Seldom do you need an atom smasher and empty food jars can serve as well for beakers and flasks.
Logged

debeez

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1070
    • The Deadly Nightshade
Off to college?
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2005, 04:17:01 pm »

Now that I have an Associate's degree it isn't quite so bad...but I've definitely noticed a trend with ALL of the companies I have worked for...the diploma ceiling.

Not unlike careerwomens' glass ceiling, this one stops you dead in your tracks for any of the big dollar positions.  All you have to have is the magic key to move forward, the erstwhile Bachelor's degree.  Without it, or at the very least an Associate's, you are considered little better than the local village idiot.

Why in the world this stupid little piece of paper makes such a difference, I will never understand.

Quote
Nobody, nowhere 'teaches' you anything

I agree with you there.  Colleges can be wonderful and exciting and really catch your interest.  They can also be deadly dull.  But in neither case did my Associate's degree studies in any way prepare me for a career.  Partly because I already had one, albeit a simple clerical existence, and partly because the studies just weren't applicable.  Medical school might teach you to be a doctor, but what about the rest of us?

Just like paying taxes keeps the PTB's out of your hair and obeying the laws of the land makes your life a little easier, so does earning a diploma...whether you will use it or not.  I think of it as the magic key and nothing else.

I've seriously considered several times LYING and saying I have a Bachelor's degree.  How often do they check these things after all?  Does anyone know or have any experience with that?  I haven't done it yet, but I figure I could pull it off...heck, life experience and innate intelligence have put me far ahead of the average college graduate on a bad day...and I usually have good days! ;)  
Logged
Christine
Auto-Didact, Writer, and General Malcontent
http://thedeadlynightshade.com/
http://homeschooladvocate.org

Bear

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7943
  • Curious Bear
Off to college?
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2005, 05:11:29 pm »

Having a BS or BA shows a certain amount of stick-with-it-ness. That's about the only useful indicator
I can think of to associate with a degree.

My degree is in geology. I've spent nearly all of my post college time working in software. Go figure.

As far as the paper cieling goes, that's simple ass-covering in action. The HR people gain nothing in
taking a risk on a undocumented hire, and if they do hire someone who has the paperwork and the
hire doesn't work out for the Company, it isn't their problem - how were they to know?

On the other hand, if they hire someone who has no credentials, and it doesn't work out, they look
incompetant.

My best luck with getting hired is to do an "end run"  around the HR department and to talk to the
folks who actually  need to fill the position. If they like the candidate, they can ram it down HR's
throat.

I have this fantasy of hiring for a small company. The potential hire comes in, I explain what the
job requires, and then simply say, "Convince me you can do the job."

Bear

 
Logged
"There is no good idea so perfect, so pure,
that Government can't do it badly."
-- Bear

byron

  • Guest
Off to college?
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2005, 05:30:51 pm »

In nursing, the Associate vs Bachelor degree RN argument, is just the type of superficial BS that has gone on for decades. One passes the same final exam for licensure. While the petty bitching goes on, the profession goes to crap and hospital patients are being taken care of by imported foreigners.

Stick-with-it-ness ... yeah, 4 1/2 years working my way through junior college makes me a slacker....just ask any BS degree nurse. (They are the ones who put their credential initials on their nametag...it impresses themselves)
Logged

H.M. WoggleBug, T.E.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1236
    • DuckBites®
Off to college?
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2005, 07:24:53 pm »

I think that modern degrees are not worth the paper they're [mass] printed on.

Of course, I don't have a degree. Thought about it several times, but was too busy working - and hiring and firing PHD's- to get one.

"Stick-to-it-ivness" may be an argument, but I certainly don't use it. I've had so many problems with clowns with masters degrees & doctors who don't know a damn thing about the real world.

Like Bear, I'm in software. Perhaps that last great bastion of white-collar work that one can work without going through college & licensure. But people are trying to change all that. That will certainly ossify the field even more.

My resume is so long and detailed, that I usually get hired before they even notice I'm not degreed. The ability to ship the product is ultimately the only thing that "real" managers want.

Also, unlike many of my degreed friends, I managed to weather the dot.com bust pretty well. I'm still an engineer - not a Roto-rooter man. I remained employed through the entire downturn. I finally scored what I consider the ultimate gig - permanent work as the "computer guy" for a friend and customer of mine and his myriad business concerns. He's worth over $100 million, and, uh, has not one day of college. Took him 30 years to earn that money. I would take business lessons from him long before wasting my time at Harvard having some imbicile talking about pert and gantt charts who has not earned as much money as I already have.

'Bug
Logged
Take care of the means, and the end will take care of itself.

Bear

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7943
  • Curious Bear
Off to college?
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2005, 07:35:06 pm »

A degree is no garuntee of competance. If I implied that, I'm sorry. Likewise,
not having a degree, does not mean the job candidate is not competant. It's just
a filter. You can check the box "can jump through hoops". This is  important
in some places*. While it pisses me off to have to play games with HR in order
to get a job, I can understand (that doesn't mean approve)  why they do what
they do.

In an the ideal situation you'd get your chance to talk face to face to the hiring
people, but in the real wold, that often doesn't happen. The procedures they
have - as shallow and stupid as they are - are designed to find someone
likely to do the job as quickly and cheaply as possible. This is not about finding
the best job for the worker, but finding someone to fit the work.

Bear

* If life were Just, none of us would work in a place like that.
 
Logged
"There is no good idea so perfect, so pure,
that Government can't do it badly."
-- Bear

byron

  • Guest
Off to college?
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2005, 08:49:22 pm »

Quote
A degree is no garuntee of competance. If I implied that, I'm sorry.
Bear, I did not read anything into what you said. I don't think you implied anything of the sort. You are spot on.

It doesn't matter what the job should be, or the credentials hanging on the walls. The customer just wants a decent job done for their dollar. Employers and customers are so focused on the window dressing, they lose sight of the quality. When I get a haircut or get my truck repaired, I don't care about the certifications or what the shop looks like. I just want things done right the first time. The customer, who is not superficial, will today MAYBE find that place for quality service. Sadly, most customers are as shallow about such matters, as employers are about the quality of the employee. A little over 20 years ago, I worked in an old VA Hospital (an 1100 bed psych facility). You go in the first building and the old red brick and brass building really sparkled. Kids come in and drop "Pop" off saying "look dad, this is nice" and wave good bye as Pop was wheeled away to the back 40, and the kids drove off in their inheritance. But once you left that facade, the reality was astonishing. Warehoused WWII,  Korean & Viet Nam Vets living like animals. And the caretakers were mostly pathetic beasts. When quality is considered quality because  a piece of paper and a lot of spent money says it is, things are screwy.

Things aren't made to last. Everything is disposable, including  people. Generations  don't have a clue: http://www.fishingspecials.com/hag/goodtimes.html
« Last Edit: April 04, 2005, 08:57:48 pm by byron »
Logged

RagnarDanneskjold

  • Four-Leaf Order of PSM
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6944
Off to college?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2005, 12:56:45 pm »

Quote
Like Bear, I'm in software. Perhaps that last great bastion of white-collar work that one can work without going through college & licensure. But people are trying to change all that.
They certainly are. It is getting more and more chronic that people want to see a certification. IMHO certifications are another damn racket. The companies that train to the cert are making a bundle and the companies that give the exams make a killing. I have known a few certified Cisco "engineers" (named "paper engineers") who can't find the damn routers with a map.
In a previous life I was a service manager in a small non-chain pc retail store. A-Plus certification was not yet even a wet dream at the time. Gee, how was I able to perform my duties without a certification?
Logged
The Mayor is the Problem
The flagpole is the answer
We hung the first one
We can hang another one

The Firesign Theatre - from the album Boom Dot Bust

Dear Government
You are a ass shit.

A note from my younger son when he was 3.

When rights are outlawed, only outlaws will have rights. - Me


Round up everybody who can ride a horse or pull a trigger. Let's break out some Winchesters.  - John Wayne (Chisum)

debeez

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1070
    • The Deadly Nightshade
Off to college?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2005, 01:01:26 pm »

The Darling Boyfriend should really respond to this...but he only checks the General Discussion.

A year and a half ago, he was working on getting his Certification for MS Server 2003 and looking to see if there were any jobs out there that required it.  One of them listed MS Server 2003 as a requirement for the job they were offering and stipulated that the applicant must have THREE YEARS experience with it.  

Frickin' morons.

HR Departments are so damn busy keeping their asses covered by certifications and diplomas that they are obviously not required to be able to perform simple addition.
Logged
Christine
Auto-Didact, Writer, and General Malcontent
http://thedeadlynightshade.com/
http://homeschooladvocate.org

RagnarDanneskjold

  • Four-Leaf Order of PSM
  • Administrator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 6944
Off to college?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2005, 01:27:54 pm »

Quote
One of them listed MS Server 2003 as a requirement for the job they were offering and stipulated that the applicant must have THREE YEARS experience with it.
Where's the lol smiley that has tears in its eyes and is rolling on the floor. :lol:  :wacko:  
Logged
The Mayor is the Problem
The flagpole is the answer
We hung the first one
We can hang another one

The Firesign Theatre - from the album Boom Dot Bust

Dear Government
You are a ass shit.

A note from my younger son when he was 3.

When rights are outlawed, only outlaws will have rights. - Me


Round up everybody who can ride a horse or pull a trigger. Let's break out some Winchesters.  - John Wayne (Chisum)

Roy J. Tellason

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5996
  • Techy Kinda Guy and Serious Bookaholic
    • Roy J. Tellason's Home Page
Off to college?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2005, 06:16:03 pm »

Quote
Quote
One of them listed MS Server 2003 as a requirement for the job they were offering and stipulated that the applicant must have THREE YEARS experience with it.
Where's the lol smiley that has tears in its eyes and is rolling on the floor. :lol:  :wacko:
Yeah,  I hear ya!

I don't have a degree,  either.  And while I've had occasional thoughts about getting one,  that hasn't been the case lately, and I doubt very much at this stage of my life that it's ever going to happen.  So I rely on the "or equivalent experience" instead.

Got six applications in this afternoon,  thanks to the computer and modem,  saved myself some running around.

Do any of you folks have any thoughts about how to get past idiotic HR departments and get to who you need to talk to?  I think this would help a lot,  if I could manage it.  I guess I need to focus on smaller companies,  or something,  anyway because I have SO little tolerance for hoops,  or the need to jump through them.
Logged
Member of the toughest, meanest, deadliest, most unrelenting -- and ablest -- form of life in this section of space,  a critter that can be killed but can't be tamed.  --Robert A. Heinlein, "The Puppet Masters"
--
Information is more dangerous than cannon to a society ruled by lies. --James M Dakin

H.M. WoggleBug, T.E.

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1236
    • DuckBites®
Off to college?
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2005, 08:07:41 pm »

This certification racket has a long and ignoble history. In medieval times, the guilds were the protectors of their jobs by requiring long unpaid apprenticeships. In the building trades today, you have to get licenses for each and every part of the work.

I was talking today to two contractors. I mentioned that I planned to do the wiring and plumbing in my house. They both rolled their eyes and informed me that I wasn't allowed to do that in NH - had to hire licensed electricians & plumbers. (at extreme expense, no doubt). We have a long way to go to break yet another bastion of "freedom" here.

I also found out about the local planning boards "Code Enforcement Officer". YIKES! What a title. Every where else I've been, they were called "inspectors". The tone of the new title is definitely antagonistic. Kind of like "Immigration and Customs Enforcement" (aka "ICE"). Even the TLA's are provocative.

Of course I'm in a foul mood because of all the problems I'm having with local ordinances and crap. And this place is easier than Oregon? If anybody's interested, I've been blogging it at:

http://homepage.mac.com/jollyprez/DuckBites/1/1.html

The maze is "incredible". And NOBODY that is in the way can be held accountable to ANYTHING. Absolutely amazing. Power without accountability. I understand Carl Drega's position more and more.

'Bug
Logged
Take care of the means, and the end will take care of itself.

Lightning

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2416
  • Heheheh...
Off to college?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2005, 08:34:33 pm »

I do have a bachelor's degree, a rather expensive one, which I paid for mostly myself (and with some private scholarships).  Burned out (from fatigue and disillusionment) working two jobs and going to school fulltime by senior year, and knew I'd never go on to grad school - wouldn't even want to.

Except for the few wonderful people I met, and the many new experiences I had, in college (which I could have found in many situations), I wouldn't spend the money on it if I had it to do over again.

I often think back to how, as a kid and teenager, I loved hanging out in houses under construction, and in my family's greenhouses.  But I was labeled "college-bound" in school.  I asked the guidance counselors several times about taking classes in horticulture and construction trades, and they were horrified at the idea.  They only put the troublemaker or "slow" kids in those classes.

I wonder today not only at the misery and humiliation those "slow" kids must go through, being limited in that way when they have much more in them, but also at the flip side - what happens when the not-so-slow ones are directed away from their natural inclinations too?

And I've been realizing for many years now that, just because you're good at one thing, people tend to think that's what you should do the rest of your life.  What a terrible trap.  I fell into it in high school, and allowed it to determine my college major, which I don't even use today.

Shoot, I could have rebelled, taken those plumbing and HVAC and carpentry classes, and been making a ton more money today - and without all the debt from college that dogged me for over a decade.  I could have bought land and built a house long ago.

Today I'm much wiser, and I realize the importance of the practical arts and sciences.  But I've had to learn them on my own.  I've got a lot of respect for those who "work with their hands," because if they're good at it, they're using their brains too.

 
Logged
I'm damn well free to dance through life even if 'they' expect me to cringe and crawl.

"Your life is an occasion.  Rise to it."  --Dustin Hoffman as Mr. Magorium, in Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

Junker

  • Guest
Off to college?
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2005, 08:45:24 pm »

'Bug,
Thanks for reminding me of Duckbites-- it gives a good story of the process you're going through. I've not lived in the east since I was a kid, but recently ran into Washington County, Virginia's Tax Setup. It surprised me what all they tax there. It seems the eastern bureaucrats have been at it longer. I can only wish you best of luck in NH.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2005, 08:56:22 pm by Junker »
Logged

Roy J. Tellason

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5996
  • Techy Kinda Guy and Serious Bookaholic
    • Roy J. Tellason's Home Page
Off to college?
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2005, 11:26:19 pm »

Quote
 
Quote
I was talking today to two contractors. I mentioned that I planned to do the wiring and plumbing in my house. They both rolled their eyes and informed me that I wasn't allowed to do that in NH - had to hire licensed electricians & plumbers. (at extreme expense, no doubt). We have a long way to go to break yet another bastion of "freedom" here.

Yeah well,  what they don't know about won't bother them...

Quote
I also found out about the local planning boards "Code Enforcement Officer". YIKES! What a title. Every where else I've been, they were called "inspectors". The tone of the new title is definitely antagonistic. Kind of like "Immigration and Customs Enforcement" (aka "ICE"). Even the TLA's are provocative.

We have them around here.  It was them sumbitches that told me I couldn't have an unregistered and uninspected truck sitting out back,  or $500/day in fines.  I wonder what that's adding up to these days?  We don't have one here in town, so when they got enough heat from our former neighbor they kicked it up to the county level.

I'm hoping that if I get sufficiently rurally situated this will become less of a problem.

Quote
The maze is "incredible". And NOBODY that is in the way can be held accountable to ANYTHING. Absolutely amazing. Power without accountability. I understand Carl Drega's position more and more.

Sounds typically bureaucratic,  all right.  I don't have time for that crap,  life is too short as it is without having to waste time on those sorts of folks,  who ought to be out there finding some honest way to make a living instead of living off the efforts of and wasting the time of other folks.
Logged
Member of the toughest, meanest, deadliest, most unrelenting -- and ablest -- form of life in this section of space,  a critter that can be killed but can't be tamed.  --Robert A. Heinlein, "The Puppet Masters"
--
Information is more dangerous than cannon to a society ruled by lies. --James M Dakin
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up