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Old 06-27-2013, 12:28 PM   #1
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anyone feel university is massively overrated?

i must preface first by saying - having a degree itself is not overrated, in the sense it is proven that on average, having a degree makes it easier to find jobs, and is pretty much the bare minimum these days. also, this is post has more to do with social science degrees than STEM ones.

the skills and knowledge taught to you by a university are by and large, completely overrated. in my 4+ years of my degree, i have learnt much more from watching movies, reading and going out and socializing then i ever would have inside a classroom.

the system of learning stifles creativity and individualism, and at the same time is founded on some very shaky pseudo science that only attemps to be emprical (marketing, psychology, sociology, economics, finance etc etc).

it just seems ridiculous to me in that even in post secondary, "learning" is comprised of fact regurtation them without any real thinking done

thoughts/opinions?
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:36 PM   #2
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I wouldn't say it's massively overrated. A lot of degrees are highly specialized and can take you straight into a career that you studied for.

I think the problem with it is, most people enter university still quite immature and fail to realize how important their studies are. I'm guilty of that. lol.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:45 PM   #3
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Being a BCIT graduate, I dont know about traditional universities, but I know for a fact that I gained a lot from my two year program. Which is why I chose to return to BCIT for my degree.

The thing is what they try to teach you and what you think you are learning may not be what is actually important or what you will need to recall on when you have a job.

Once I graduated and got my first job in the construction industry, I was asked a series of simple questions, stuff that anyone would not know unless they had a background. I knew the answers to these questions, but it had nothing to do whatsoever with what I studied. It was simply stuff I picked up because I had to know in order to study what I was actually required to know for tests and such. For example Abbreviations for general terms in the construction industry. I was never asked what certain abbreviations meant on a test but you kinda had to know in order to understand.

My point is that what universities focus on might not be what you actually pull away from the experience, but what you get from it is still very important.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:47 PM   #4
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it's overrated because it's too cheap. If you make university 10 times more expensive then it wouldn't be overrated, because only a few would able to go and those who went will surely value it more and get more out of it;
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:56 PM   #5
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this is something i came across coming out of highschool... i often heard people excited about going to school, or worried that they dont know what to take...

post secondary to me is only useful if there is direction, if you are just doing it because your parents signed your student loan and you have no idea what you want to do... there is a good chance you are wasting that education... school is important to propel your career if it is a prerequisite, otherwise i dont see it being of much use... i know too many people that went to school for years and never ended up getting a job in that field..

sure its an experience... but at $10,xxx + thats a pretty expensive experience.. you could have been living or making money rather than wasting that time and money...

one day i would like to go further my education, but im not about to waste my time unless i really know what its for and how it will help me
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:03 PM   #6
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If you only have a highschool diploma you won't get far, a monkey could graduate. Getting a degree shows hardwork and ambition, not going into post secondary is the easy way out
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:06 PM   #7
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It depends on your field really.

That's the best way I can put it. I'm in a field where industry designations hold more weight.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:06 PM   #8
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If you only have a highschool diploma you won't get far, a monkey could graduate. Getting a degree shows hardwork and ambition, not going into post secondary is the easy way out
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thats such a myth its not even funny, experience in a job will get you much further than a certificate, it also depends on the job, my dad was clearing over 100g a year with just a high school diploma. It is easy for anyone to become successful at what they do with just hard work. i have done some apprenticeships and you learn 10x more on the job than you ever will in a classroom.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:20 PM   #9
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it's overrated because it's too cheap. If you make university 10 times more expensive then it wouldn't be overrated, because only a few would able to go and those who went will surely value it more and get more out of it;
$15k a year for tuition, fees, and books are considered cheap nowadays? how did you pay for you education? no wonder UBC and SFU are able to increase tuition every year above the rate of inflation.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:22 PM   #10
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The key thing university teaches you is critical thinking. its up to you to put a price tag on that.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:23 PM   #11
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I think the answer is very dependent on what study you're taking. If you're going into trades or a specialized science-related field, it's very important. However, I know plenty of people who have taken a generalized Arts, Music or Language degree that did so simply because they didn't know what else to do. I went straight into post-secondary right after high school because I needed that piece of paper to prove to companies that I knew what I already had learned through experience in my field. It was a complete waste of time and money for me, but the jobs I were interested in required that I had that stupid piece of paper so I stuck through it.

I think a lot of learning has to do with the teacher. I noticed that the professors that simply recited the textbooks and went through the motions were far less capable of providing students with good teaching compared to those that actually interacted with everyone and went out of their way to make their lessons comparable with real life careers and how they could apply to a specific field or job. And unfortunately the latter are getting fewer and fewer.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:25 PM   #12
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Here's what I've gained. Your mileage may vary.

Disclosure:

1 year of business at a university back east. Dropped out to move to BC
Took a couple of classes at UBC and BCIT just to stay in the schooling mind
Completed a 2 year program in Operations Management at BCIT

Looking at university purely as job preparation is short sighted, but important. I'll tell you the difference in a conversation, attitude and knowledge is different between people that have been educated vs. those that have not.

That said, there are exceptions to every rule. I have met people that have a degree that are narrow minded and short sighted. I have met people without formal education that are smarter than most that have. But talking averages across the board, education in a formal setting opens your mind to new thinking processes and ways of handling problems and situations that you will be hard pressed to replicate alone. Hollywood my friend, is a poor substitute.

Quote:
i have learnt much more from watching movies, reading and going out and socializing then i ever would have inside a classroom.
And, I'm sorry to do this, but:

Quote:
I have learned <omit> more from watching movies, reading and <omit>going out and socializing than I ever would have <learned>inside a classroom.
See?

In regards to BCIT...I find it a passable option for a school choice, but I'd really have to sit and think about if I would complete a program there again. I find that my program was aimed at middle management positions with someone else looking over a greater area than you were educationally prepared to do.

I also found that my colleagues lacked a maturity that I found when I went to a full university. I still remember the silence of the classroom on my first day of classes without an instructor present. People just sat there and either read, or quietly talked among themselves. It was so eye opening compared to high school a short 2 months before.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:26 PM   #13
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If you only have a highschool diploma you won't get far, a monkey could graduate. Getting a degree shows hardwork and ambition, not going into post secondary is the easy way out
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You won't get far with a highschool diploma? I know how many people with degree's that don't have any real working experiance and they can't get a job in their field for the life of them.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:27 PM   #14
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I wouldn't say it's massively overrated. A lot of degrees are highly specialized and can take you straight into a career that you studied for.

I think the problem with it is, most people enter university still quite immature and fail to realize how important their studies are. I'm guilty of that. lol.
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Originally Posted by meme405 View Post
Being a BCIT graduate, I dont know about traditional universities, but I know for a fact that I gained a lot from my two year program. Which is why I chose to return to BCIT for my degree.

The thing is what they try to teach you and what you think you are learning may not be what is actually important or what you will need to recall on when you have a job.

Once I graduated and got my first job in the construction industry, I was asked a series of simple questions, stuff that anyone would not know unless they had a background. I knew the answers to these questions, but it had nothing to do whatsoever with what I studied. It was simply stuff I picked up because I had to know in order to study what I was actually required to know for tests and such. For example Abbreviations for general terms in the construction industry. I was never asked what certain abbreviations meant on a test but you kinda had to know in order to understand.

My point is that what universities focus on might not be what you actually pull away from the experience, but what you get from it is still very important.
yea, this topic is directed more towards general social science and liberal arts degrees than vocational and specialized degrees. those are legit.


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it's overrated because it's too cheap. If you make university 10 times more expensive then it wouldn't be overrated, because only a few would able to go and those who went will surely value it more and get more out of it;
i argue that it is already too expensive. you're not really receiving much value in terms of what you are offered. most of the information is free online.

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thats such a myth its not even funny, experience in a job will get you much further than a certificate, it also depends on the job, my dad was clearing over 100g a year with just a high school diploma. It is easy for anyone to become successful at what they do with just hard work. i have done some apprenticeships and you learn 10x more on the job than you ever will in a classroom.
the thing is, in this economy it isn't really an either or situation. almost all jobs require a good mixture of both work experience, skills AND post secondary education. hell you need to have a post secondary degree to be a manager in some retail stores!
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The key thing university teaches you is critical thinking. its up to you to put a price tag on that.
actually, i would argue that university actually decreases your ability to critical think due to its structure. this is why the "arts" (i.e. music, literature, visual arts, etc) should be more incorporated into each degree - these do a much better job of teaching critical thinking than a textbook
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:33 PM   #15
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thats such a myth its not even funny, experience in a job will get you much further than a certificate, it also depends on the job, my dad was clearing over 100g a year with just a high school diploma. It is easy for anyone to become successful at what they do with just hard work. i have done some apprenticeships and you learn 10x more on the job than you ever will in a classroom.
Your dad is from a different generation. A time when people could get bye without a degree. If you don't have a degree in this generation then goodluck
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:38 PM   #16
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Like what a lot of people have already said it really depends. The area of study you are going into might or might not prepare you for the career you choose. I don't think the time I spent in university was not overrated at all. I learned many things while doing my engineering undergrad. However, that being said I do feel that the structure or the methods used in universities to teach you is crap sometimes. I know a lot of people who sometimes come out of a course (I am guilty of this as well) not knowing shit all because we memorize the crap, spit it out on an exam and then forget about it the next day.

To summarize, university has helped me in my career but not as much as it could have (there is a shit ton of improvements that could be made). Then again running a university is also a business I guess? So maybe they're just trying to spit out as many smart ass students as possible with as much profit as possible... I dunno someone correct me if I'm wrong lol.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:52 PM   #17
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Gridlock has some insightful comments (as usual) about the difference between people with university degrees and those without. Call it classism, call it elitism, etc: the fact is that university does teach you how to think differently.

I think that people like to pick on the liberal arts graduates because they don't understand what they study. I did a BA in Politcal Science, which is a pretty typical Arts degree. Do I apply what I learned in International Political Economy 301 to my daily job? Of course not. However, I do a lot of writing in my job and I did a ton of writing in university. A lot of people here like to go on about the fact that they didn't have to go to university to make a good living; this is commendable. On the other hand, I would challenge anyone on here to do an analysis of what people write and argue on these forums. You'll be able to conclude, pretty easily, who has a university education and who doesn't. Everyone can point to an example in which someone has defied the odds and become successful through hard work, etc. These people are outliers/anomalies and they are certainly not average. When push comes to shove, who are the decision makers at any major company or organization? The people who can't string more than two sentences together or the people who are articulate and can argue as if their life depended on it?

University is definitely not for everyone, but for people who aspire to be better than average, you will definitely benefit from a university education at some point in your lifetime.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:55 PM   #18
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That said, there are exceptions to every rule. I have met people that have a degree that are narrow minded and short sighted. I have met people without formal education that are smarter than most that have. But talking averages across the board, education in a formal setting opens your mind to new thinking processes and ways of handling problems and situations that you will be hard pressed to replicate alone. Hollywood my friend, is a poor substitute.
this. yes this is the point of university.

to ascend one's thinking, and even consciousness to a higher level. now that you cannot put a price tag on

also, it is the type of people you get to meet. esp if the school is more known globally, you will get to meet a better cross section of people from all across the world. to share different experiences and foundations of knowledge.

to have this refined cosmopolitan knowledge really makes you stand out.

now i think the problem with university graduates is this:
1. they choose a faculty or area of study with no real job prospects. what they learnt/people they have met may have been mind ascending, but they cannot find a money making application to it. (my advice is, take a secondary degree or even go to BCIT after graduating)

2. the system of education is not perfect of course. alot of it has been bastardized, and is now a money making factory. education is a HUGE industry. but with almost everything in life, almost everything beautiful is surrounded by a plot of shit. it is up to the individual to be able to extract the goodness out of anything.

We could make the argument that the university school system is overrated, but educating oneself to higher planes is never a bad investment.
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:58 PM   #19
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Here's what I've gained. Your mileage may vary.

Disclosure:

1 year of business at a university back east. Dropped out to move to BC
Took a couple of classes at UBC and BCIT just to stay in the schooling mind
Completed a 2 year program in Operations Management at BCIT

Looking at university purely as job preparation is short sighted, but important. I'll tell you the difference in a conversation, attitude and knowledge is different between people that have been educated vs. those that have not.

That said, there are exceptions to every rule. I have met people that have a degree that are narrow minded and short sighted. I have met people without formal education that are smarter than most that have. But talking averages across the board, education in a formal setting opens your mind to new thinking processes and ways of handling problems and situations that you will be hard pressed to replicate alone. Hollywood my friend, is a poor substitute.



And, I'm sorry to do this, but:



See?

In regards to BCIT...I find it a passable option for a school choice, but I'd really have to sit and think about if I would complete a program there again. I find that my program was aimed at middle management positions with someone else looking over a greater area than you were educationally prepared to do.

I also found that my colleagues lacked a maturity that I found when I went to a full university. I still remember the silence of the classroom on my first day of classes without an instructor present. People just sat there and either read, or quietly talked among themselves. It was so eye opening compared to high school a short 2 months before.
sorry, i was in a hurry and kinda pounded out that post, but usually my grammar is flawless.

the problem is with academia is that often just assigns complex terminology to common sense logic or everyday occurences, i wouldn't really call this expanding my mind

to really expand your consciousness and understanding of this world, you need to experience and live it with all your senses with a wide variety of media. this is why art is so powerful. also certain, um substances help
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:58 PM   #20
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If you only have a highschool diploma you won't get far, a monkey could graduate. Getting a degree shows hardwork and ambition, not going into post secondary is the easy way out
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guess I took the easy way out, oh well, guess it was a good thing for me! I didn't figure out that I wanted to be a fire fighter until it was 5-6 years after I graduated high school, and by then, it was a field that didn't even require a degree. all I need is a class 3 license, high level of first aid, and construction experience. scuba diving, rock climbing, and basically any other outdoor sport helps you out as well though. im still trying to get on to the fire dept as im still young (mid 20s), but I sure have saved myself some money instead of taking random classes that I would never put to use.

those people that don't go far in life like the ones you said, are the ones ive found who live the happiest easy going stress free lives possible. lot of my friends work longshore/fire dept/construction/city workers. we show up, stay for 8 hours, we leave, and we don't think about work until the next day. but, to each their own, some will say that's a horrible way to live life.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:01 PM   #21
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I went to university after high school because that's what Asian kids are supposed to do, right? My parents were unable to get a university degree, so I have to make them proud, right?

Well that shit ends here. My son is free to do as he wishes after high school graduation. He can go travelling, go to college, go into trades, get a job etc.

The bottom line is most young adults don't know what they want, and pushing them into university is NOT the correct thing to do. I encourage them to take some time off and explore the world.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:12 PM   #22
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sorry, i was in a hurry and kinda pounded out that post, but usually my grammar is flawless.

the problem is with academia is that often just assigns complex terminology to common sense logic or everyday occurences, i wouldn't really call this expanding my mind

to really expand your consciousness and understanding of this world, you need to experience and live it with all your senses with a wide variety of media. this is why art is so powerful. also certain, um substances help
funny you bring that up. i was thinking this over not too long ago came to somewhat the same conclusions. but then the realization came as to why we have complex terminologies

it is to be able to communicate at a higher level. more efficiently , and more precisely.

what might take someone who is not as educated, say 100 words to describe, than say someone who can describe the same thing in 10 words is a world of a difference [numbers may be unrealistic, and are certainly circumstantial, but hopefully you get the point]

to better visualize, try speaking to a foreigner with no real strong grasp of the language. see how long it takes for them to convey an idea

i myself do computer software programming. and it is here where we learn what is literally machine languages. this gives good insight also into how human languages are used as well in terms of efficiency, verbosity, and flow. i also got back into chinese school (i can speak, but my reading and writing of classical chinese is shit) and it gives good contrast between the usage and strengths of different languages.
--this foray in languages showed me just how important language really is. and that is needs to be refined and polished. it is difficult to be taken seriously in this world if you cannot speak the part

communication is supremely important. it is part of what makes the human species sit atop of the animal kingdom despite the physical disparity
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:13 PM   #23
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sorry, i was in a hurry and kinda pounded out that post, but usually my grammar is flawless.

the problem is with academia is that often just assigns complex terminology to common sense logic or everyday occurences, i wouldn't really call this expanding my mind

to really expand your consciousness and understanding of this world, you need to experience and live it with all your senses with a wide variety of media. this is why art is so powerful. also certain, um substances help

Yeah, on the grammar..I totally get it. It was low hanging fruit that just had to be picked.

I don't know. It sounds to me like you want a group of people to re-inforce a decision you made, or want to make.

Well. I don't know what you want to have said. Don't want to go to school? Don't go. Think its useless and over-priced? Ok.

Make it work for you.

I don't think you are going to find that you'll have a majority reaching out saying that their degrees are shit and wish they had the wisdom of going without before it was too late.

I really don't.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:19 PM   #24
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$15k a year for tuition, fees, and books are considered cheap nowadays? how did you pay for you education? no wonder UBC and SFU are able to increase tuition every year above the rate of inflation.
It's not as high as you put it. For me, it's around ~$6000/yr for around 10 courses not including books (the tuition was much lower when I first started).
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:21 PM   #25
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Yeah, on the grammar..I totally get it. It was low hanging fruit that just had to be picked.

I don't know. It sounds to me like you want a group of people to re-inforce a decision you made, or want to make.

Well. I don't know what you want to have said. Don't want to go to school? Don't go. Think its useless and over-priced? Ok.

Make it work for you.

I don't think you are going to find that you'll have a majority reaching out saying that their degrees are shit and wish they had the wisdom of going without before it was too late.

I really don't.
well, i already have my degree so that point is moot. unless you plan on doing a specialized trade...a degree is just a prerequistie in the way high school was 20 years ago.

what im trying to say is that university is simply a method of communicating and teaching knowledge. and the fundamental system we have right now in north america is flawed beyond belief. in some cases teaches people to be lil more than human xerox machines. in addition, many students develop a superiority complex which is hardly justified. it can, and should be better.

hopefully this will get some people who are the fence to reconsider whether its worth the investment
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