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Bachelor's degree useless?

I just finished a 4-year degree in engineering, AND have military experience as an aerospace mechanic, AND live in Conecticut - a hub of the aerospace manufacturing industry (think Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, Hamilton Sundstrand, Lockheed Martin in MA, Northrop Grumman in NY, and many others). Despite it all, after 5 months I've received a meager number of calls. This is a slap across the face, a big middle finger, a 'shove it up the ass' remark - not from the aerospace industry, or from any industry, but from a system that encourages you to sacrifice a substantial portion of your life and finances under deluded pretenses. Who benefits? Not me or those like me who are qualified and need a job; and not the industry, which is saturated with interested applicants (although sure, they can afford to lower the salary, but considering we're among the highest paid in the world, that is not a concern). It is the financial industry who benefits, and it is the academic industry who benefits - and yes, academia IS an industry, and many universities are wealthier than defacto corporations, while at the same time drawing federal, state, and corporate support. We're brought up believing there is a world of opportunities out there for us - if ONLY we'll spend a minimum of four years racking up a big debt which benefits only the universities and colleges and financial corporations. But when we're done, we understand: there is no world of opportunities like we thought, and the jobs available to us are barely different from those that would've been available to us had we spent these four years working as a technician somewhere. My message is this: Bachelor's degrees are largely useless, unless they come with 'connections' which get the privileged classes hired to privileged positions. These degrees, and the 'value of an education' comes across, to me, as a means of assimilating us into the prevalent social hierarchy of the privileged white collars and the struggling blue-collars, while creating the illusion that we too can succeed if we try. And while they're at it, 'the value of an education' has become nothing but a gimmick through which big-name and small-name universities, colleges, and trade schools exploit the struggling masses to turn a profit without providing the expressed service of providing a better life for the exploited. Who agrees?

Asked By: lifeson - 1/23/2009
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
My opinions on college degrees are complex. I just turned 26 and I went back to college at 25. I have had a lot of doors not open because I don't have a basic bachelor's degree. The bachelor's is the new h.s. diploma. They won't even interview you unless you have one these days... More
Answered By: the city of wonder - 1/23/2009
Additional Answers (10)
I agree, you can't trust what any of those people said. And it is who you know that gets you the job. Anymore, when I am picking out a prospective employer, I ask myself, "Who is less likely to lay me off?".
Answered By: Tessa - 1/23/2009
 
It's the economy. I wouldn't say a BA is useless, even though my husband, who didn't even finish high school by the way, makes more than I do! I graduated with a BA in English and Asian Studies and could have gone into teaching. Luckily I didn't and chose marketing (new teachers got laid off this year). Of course, the... More
Answered By: SenSou - 1/23/2009
 
Amen!! I graduated from Florida State in April of 08 and am STILL looking for a job. I know the economy is slow and all but somethings gotta give.
Answered By: malmerck - 1/23/2009
 
No, I don't agree at all. Did you have a low GPA? Because that will keep you from getting jobs even when they're not laying people off left and right. And while there are certainly useless college degrees, many of them are required to get a job in certain fields - like yours.
Answered By: eri - 1/23/2009
 
To an extent i do agree with the "it's not what you know, it's who you know" philosophy, but also keep in mind your timing. Not many companies are hiring right now. Also, if you look like you do in your avatar, you may want to consider getting a haircut.
Answered By: G. - 1/23/2009
 
Clearly you didn't pay enough attention in your statistics class. If every last one or even a majority of your classmates were having the same experience as you, that'd be one thing, but a sample size of one is not enough to prove a hypothesis. And even in your case, your job search hasn't been a total failure. You... More
Answered By: MM - 1/23/2009
 
From your tone, it seems as though someone, somewhere OWES you a reward... More
Answered By: derdaktari - 1/23/2009
 
Who agrees? I don't. You've got a 4-year degree in engineering, as you said. With just that, your employment prospects are very good. YOu're chances of getting a reputable job are noticeably lesser if you took classes toward a degree on one of those online schools. I sure hope you didn't do that, especially if you... More
Answered By: Jdubb - 1/23/2009
 
mm i was still undecided on wat engineering major ill pursue but im sure cutting aerospace. Now im down to electrical, civil, and mechanical. thanks
Answered By: someguy - 1/23/2009
 
The funny thing is, our career counsellors always tell us to go into Science or Engineering, because there will always be jobs. Well, if you look at the numbers, Scientists and Engineers are making less (taking into account inflation) than they did 20 years ago! This is a distinct sign that the market isn't nearly as... More
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Answered By: Tahuti Reincarnate - 1/24/2009
 
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