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Yup. 

 

There was a great ROI study done in various degree programs, gathering information from state and private academic institutions. 

 

On average, the only fields that had a positive ROI were in STEM fields. And my first degree (Biology) was actually just below the neutral ROI. Chemistry was the first on the list to have a positive ROI. The list was dominated with engineering and programming fields. 

 

Also, PhD programs were woooorthlessssss. But you shouldn't get into a PhD for money. That's a fool's errand. 

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So since we are on the subject of education, how does education work in the US, and any other country for that matter?

 

 

Here in Norway we first have primary school, from age 6-13,  but you can begin at age 5 if you request it.
Then middle school, from age 13-16. Here you begin getting grades, these are needed to get the school or line you want.
From here on out, you have several options:

First, you could join the army, but you need to apply and get approved for that.
Second, you can go straight to becoming a apprentice if you want get a contract with a company.
Third, in a extreme case, you can take all your subjects as a external candidate during middle school and go straight to University or college.
Fourth, you can go to high school and do general studies, these come in a million variants. With this you can go to university or college, if you have good enough grades that is.
And fifth and lastly, you can go to trade school, where you will spend on average 5 years learning a trade and getting a certificate, and in theory a job. Usually it is 2 years of school, and 2,5 years as a aprentice. Though some fields are exceptions, but the overall time is still 5 years.  When entering trade school, you can chose between about 8 lines for the first year. These are electricity and electronics, Technic and industrial production, Construction, Restaurant and service, design and health. In the second year you specialize into a specific trade, like plumber, healthcare worker or electrician. Since you have 5 years of potential free high school, you can also in the fourth year do add-on, which gives you general studies and allows you to go to university or college. If you want to be a engineer we got the Y-course, which allows people that got a trade certificate to take a pre-course over the summer, instead of add-on, to become a engineer or civil engineer. 

If you have no idea what you want to be, you can go to a people's college for 1-2 years, which is basically just paying to have fun and get a few points. Or you can apply for a free year were you can work. Alternatively, you will be called in for military service as a conscript for 18 months. Here you technically got no choice, but since we got way to many applicants, the army simple can't pay for them all, and has to be very picky, and will rule out uninterested people.

 

If you do decide to do higher education, you have 3 choices. You can go to a trade college, and become a trade worker or whatever it is called, basically a more educated tradesman.   This requires you do have 5 years in the field or a trade certificate of the same trade.
Alternatively, you can get another trade certificate, and as long as it is inside you area of work, you only need about 2,5 years as a apprentice and to pass 2 exams. 
Or, you can go to university and take a bachelor degree, which is 3 years, or a master degree which is 5.  To give a example: engineers take bachelor, civil engineers take master. Even longer educations can happen as you build on your trade, like a surgeon.  Or become a scientist. 

 

All of this is free, except around 300 USD a year for campus fee, and living costs. And books, the books can easily cost 2000 USD. 

 

This education system has worked out well for Norway, considering we rank at the 11. highest amount of billionaires per capita in the world. For comparison, the US is the 10.  And this is a pretty good feat considering the extremely high labor costs and the very poor environment for companies here in Norway. 

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19 minutes ago, Xoon said:

So since we are on the subject of education, how does education work in the US, and any other country for that matter?

 

Well, in the US, our educational institutions center around fleecing the next generation for all they're worth, while keeping them largely copacetic by turning campus life into a sort of 4-to-10-year debt-funded vacation.

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25 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

 

Well, in the US, our educational institutions center around fleecing the next generation for all they're worth, while keeping them largely copacetic by turning campus life into a sort of 4-to-10-year debt-funded vacation.

Sounds like a huge waste of money. 

 

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5 hours ago, Xoon said:

 

I'm in the circuit for another month, so I guess I'm pretty qualified to answer this one.

 

The Typical American Education Track 

Preschool: Up to Age 4-5
Kindergarten: Age 5-6
Elementary School(Grades 1-5): Age 6-12(Roughly)
Middle School(Grades 6-8): 12-14
High School(Grades 9-12): At least until 16 or 17, then dropping out is permitted though looked down upon. Typically graduates are 17-18

 

High School Content

High School content is generalized largely. Students that graduate are expected to take away at least basic knowledge about

  • Sciences: Earth Science, Basic Biology, Organic Chemistry, Mechanical Physics
  • Mathematics: Algebra(2 years) & Geometry(1 year), Pre-Calculus if they’re sharp, Algebra III if they’re not(or lazy)
  • English: Four years of English, most of it spent on mechanics such as grammar and syntax, with the last year spent on synthesizing thoughts in Essays and reading some older books each year
  • Foreign Language: At least a year of experience. In America this typically means taking Spanish, either by cliché or because it’s the only option. I decided to be different and speak the language of Krauts instead.
  • Some elective experiences in the arts or computer fields is also required.


Students are expected to search for future education options and financial assistance under their own prerogative, though some schools may offer some guidance and minor assistance. For example, my high school budgeted three days to each student per school year for visits to college.

 

Your Future After Highschool

Where I live, typically if you drop out or are “low GPA” or "Low ACT/SAT" then you hop onto the military track(National Guard or Federal Military branches), and after a time in service the GI Bill can cover your college costs when you complete your service contract.

If you’re sharp enough to graduate with decent grades, the general sense is that you go ahead to community college and get a 2 year Associates Degree, though many kids don’t have the direction to pick something they can really build on and many of the 4-year colleges look down on the community college’s degrees due to their teaching discipline(In a sense, several of the classes are basically just High School Plus, a rubber stamp factory so to speak)

If you’re really on top of things, you’ve either been scouted and invited to a 4 year college based on your SAT/ACT scores, or you’ve applied to one and been accepted. Tuition costs in my experience are triple the community college rate, applied to a student’s bill based on credit hours(i.e. community college tuition in my state was $123 in 2015, it was $324 at the state college 50 minutes down the road. Bear in mind this is prior to textbook, travel, or boarding costs. A standard class at a state college can run you over $1000, a full time student is expected to take 12-18 credit hours or 4-6 classes per semester, and the costs are continually inflating each year). A Bachelor’s program typically requires 120-128 credit hours applicable to the degree before it can be awarded.

Once you graduate your bachelors program, typically the college has some office to help you find a job and sharpen yourself for interviews and networking, but the hiring is up to you and it depends on how “saucy” your resume is on if you can be hired sooner rather than later. In the background to all of this, your probable student loans are ticking away(though you can file to delay payments for a few months and consolidate them).

If you’re REALLY, REALLY on top of things, you hop into a trade school, take a 2 year program where you'll probably net an internship while you learn and come out already hired and earning a good 5 figure salary with job security in the long term.

 

Your Future After College

After a Bachelor’s degree, you can join a Masters degree program, for another 2-4 years(depending on the field), and further that still for a Doctorate(another 4 or so years). The costs of these courses is progressively higher for each level.

If you’re chasing a higher degree, it’s either because:
- You got fucked by your bachelor’s program, which only offered the theory side and all the real skills are in the masters program(Or you get double fucked, where the bachelors program didn't qualify you for entering a masters level program)
- Someone else is paying for your trip
- You have more time and money than sense
- You already have a strong paying job and you’re taking the program to raise your pay grade(Teachers for example take a Masters program on the side because upon completion it automatically raises their annual income by a sizeable chunk)

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As for France education is mandatory and free from age 6 to 16 but practically everybody (at least for my generation born in the 90s) start at 3 and goes at least to the Baccalauréat (referred as Bac from now on)  which you get at 18:

 

1200px-EducationFr.svg.png

 

Secondary education is divided in two:

 

"Collège" in green and "Lycée" in red.

There is an exam between the two but nowadays it's a joke since most people get enough point simply by attending the class and not being really bad at school (and I mean really extreme case). It has the advantage to give a first experience of what an exam is at the age of 14.

 

When you start the "Lycée" at age 15 you have several choices:

 

-Géneral study (top middle), divided in three sections: Literature (L), Economics ans Sociology (ES) and Science (S)

 

Choosing science you can potentially access any kind of higher education, ES will restrict your choice a bit and L is a trash section unless you really really want to get a PhD in the field: basically zero job opportunity at the end of the line (which most 14 yo kids don't have a clue about).

All sections will get the same subject, but the hourly ratio and the level of the lesson will change greatly:

 

Subjects being:

  • English + a secondary language
  • French
  • History-Geography
  • Physics-Chemistry
  • Biology-Geology-Mineralogy
  • Maths
  • Philosophy (1 year only)
  • Economics and Sociology
  • Various electives for your personal interest

 

-Then you have the Technologic Bac (top right). It drop all of the Biology-Geology-Mineralogy as well as economics and sociology, chemistry and philosophy. It is a bac which focus solely on engineering, teaching you stuff that the more general scientist will learn only during higher education.

 

-Finally there is the Professional Bac (top left) which is here to teach you a job. It is in general highly frowned upon and regarded as the trash of the trash by the society which is a bad thing since not everybody is good at studying and some are better off learning a job( and it will be more enjoyable for them too).

 

In the end even getting your Bac won't get you a job which require even the smallest qualifications ever (not even talking about people dropping school at 16), even for the professional Bac.

So most people go on with higher education:

 

tableaucompFrance-en.jpg

This chart start right after you get your Bac (18 yo).

From then you have to choose between short study or long study.

Unless specified all those formations are free since they are managed by the state (you only pay the campus fee which is between 300 and  1000 € a year)

Nowadays most of those formations can be done in part-time training, and if not they at least include mandatory internship of various duration.

 

For the short study:

 

-BTS (2 yr) which is what you do after a professional bac and want to work ASAP (Baker, Qualified industrial worker, salesman/woman, etc)

-DUT (2 yr) which is what you do when you come from the general bac (either ES or S) and want to work as technician in a lab, an informatician, etc : Basically a salaryman

-Licence pro (3yr) can be done after a DUT (sometimes a BTS but most of them will fail) for those who want's to be salaryman+ (small bump in your wages)

 

You can on with long study after a DUT or a licence pro if you want and have the level.

 

For the long study:

 

University, nothing particular Licence then Master degree.

A particularity that makes for strong controversy is that in France access to higher education is considered to be a basic right if you managed to get your Bac (no matter which section).

Which mean that a literary person can go into a science major and vice-versa, someone coming from a professional formation can go to science major etc, and the university cannot refuse it.

Obviously most people doing that fail which lead to a failure rate of 46% for the first year in university, and that's a problem (plus the cost of the formation assumed by the state is just wasted on those person).

 

CPGE which are 2 yr of prep school in order to pass a competitive exam for "Les grand écoles" (Great school literally). The higher your ranking the better your chance to access a renowned school.

Some of those school have their own prep shcool and recruit people directly after their bac if they are promising.

 

Now those "Grande écoles" are made up of famous engineering school, business or management school, architecture, high level administration, veterinary, etc.

Business and management school are the only one that aren't free (most of the time).

They educate up to the level of master and those engineering school are the only one allowed to deliver an engineer degree (if you come from a master in university you only have the same level but a vastly inferior wage in comparison).

Basically when coming out of those school you are supposed to be part of the "Elite of the Nation": Most of our politician comes from 2 administration school, and most top manager in the industry comes from a few, top ranking, engineering school (don't even try to get to a high position in the industry coming from a mere management school). Most of those people know each other since they went to the same school and so the population see them as the "Establishment".

 

On one hand the assumption that the education in those school is better is true since they can select their students while the university cannot. On the other hand you can be as smart as those guys and go through university successfully, but still be discriminated because you didn't go through prestigious school.

 

Finally we have the PhD or "Doctorat" which can be done after a master degree or a "Grande école"

 

And then we have all the medical profession (on the right of the chart).

 

You start with one year of general education (in the medical field of course) which end with a competitive exam to choose your specialty (general and specialized medicine, odontology, or pharmacy).

Only 10% of the student manage to pass the exam on the first year and about 20 to 40% (depending of where you are taking the exam) will get it on the second try (there is no third try).

Those who fail on their second try can always go to a nurse (or other paramedical professions) school

 

After that you get into your selected specialty (assuming that you rank high enough on the exam to get a spot before it's full) and study another 5 year followed by an internship of various length and reach at least the level of a PhD if you want to be called a "Doctor"

 

Unconventional path like mine (see below) are still quite rare. Most people go through university for their whole study or through CPGE then renowned schools.

 

-Scientific bac (the one which keep biology and chemistry on top of physics) (year 0)

-DUT in applied physics and measurement process (year 2)

-Engineering school in nuclear engineering done in part time training (year 5)

-Master degree at the university in materials for nuclear applications (year 6)

-PhD on the tribo-corrosion of stainless-steel AISI 316L under irradiation (starting this year and for the next 3 year)

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Good luck with your PhD!

 

18 hours ago, Xoon said:

So since we are on the subject of education, how does education work in the US, and any other country for that matter?

 

In the UK, it mostly doesn't :P

 

All this is for england, the other nations have their own systems.

 

Formal schooling starts at 5 years old, and continues till you're 16. In most regions this is in two schools, one for 5-11 and one for 11-16, but some areas of england have 3 schools (5-9, 9-13, 13-16) just because they can. There are tests spread out throughout all of the education, starting at age 7, although these are just for comparing schools rather than students. The last two years are devoted to studying for your GCSE's, and as long as you passed at least 5 subjects (including english and maths) they're generally ignored in later life. At this stage you're allowed to leave school, but must remain in some kind of education until you're 18 - either at college, in an apprenticeship, or part time education.

 

College covers the ages 16-18, and is spent working towards your A-levels. This is where you start specialising, which I've heard is very different to the US system. Typically students will do just 3-4 subjects, chosen to meet the requirements for the university courses they're interested in, and most students choose a very narrow range (I did just physics, maths and further maths). This is where you'll start encountering calculus in maths, and I have no idea what it's like in non-STEM subjects. The international baccalaureate is offered by some colleges, but I avoided it because I wanted to specialise/hide from essays.

 

Apprenticeships are very varied depending on what local industry is available, and they're looked down on as a rule - I gather this is a universal western thing.

 

After A-levels, about 30% of all young people go on to university. Courses cost £9000 per year, not including accommodation, and typically take 3 years for a bachelors degree (some unis offer foundation years, for students who didn't meet the grade requirements - basically an easy way to get extra money from students). It is possible on some courses to go straight to a masters degree (commonly engineering, as you need a masters to apply to be a chartered engineer in many fields - eg iMechE) and those take 4 years; converting a bachelors to a masters (unusual, as student finance only covers your first degree - this is generally only people who are getting paid to do it) takes a year. This helps us attract international students, as they can upgrade their degree relatively quickly.

 

PhD's are what you'd expect - nominally they take 3-4 years.

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6 minutes ago, Xlucine said:

Good luck with your PhD!

 

 

In the UK, it mostly doesn't :P

 

All this is for england, the other nations have their own systems.

 

Formal schooling starts at 5 years old, and continues till you're 16. In most regions this is in two schools, one for 5-11 and one for 11-16, but some areas of england have 3 schools (5-9, 9-13, 13-16) just because they can. There are tests spread out throughout all of the education, starting at age 7, although these are just for comparing schools rather than students. The last two years are devoted to studying for your GCSE's, and as long as you passed at least 5 subjects (including english and maths) they're generally ignored in later life. At this stage you're allowed to leave school, but must remain in some kind of education until you're 18 - either at college, in an apprenticeship, or part time education.

 

College covers the ages 16-18, and is spent working towards your A-levels. This is where you start specialising, which I've heard is very different to the US system. Typically students will do just 3-4 subjects, chosen to meet the requirements for the university courses they're interested in, and most students choose a very narrow range (I did just physics, maths and further maths). This is where you'll start encountering calculus in maths, and I have no idea what it's like in non-STEM subjects. The international baccalaureate is offered by some colleges, but I avoided it because I wanted to specialise/hide from essays.

 

Apprenticeships are very varied depending on what local industry is available, and they're looked down on as a rule - I gather this is a universal western thing.

 

After A-levels, about 30% of all young people go on to university. Courses cost £9000 per year, not including accommodation, and typically take 3 years for a bachelors degree (some unis offer foundation years, for students who didn't meet the grade requirements - basically an easy way to get extra money from students). It is possible on some courses to go straight to a masters degree (commonly engineering, as you need a masters to apply to be a chartered engineer in many fields - eg iMechE) and those take 4 years; converting a bachelors to a masters (unusual, as student finance only covers your first degree - this is generally only people who are getting paid to do it) takes a year. This helps us attract international students, as they can upgrade their degree relatively quickly.

 

PhD's are what you'd expect - nominally they take 3-4 years.

Are blue-collar workers looked down upon in the west? 

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1 hour ago, Xoon said:

Are blue-collar workers looked down upon in the west? 

Not the workers themselves since anybody who has worked as a white collar in the industry (and isn't a total ass) will recon that the skills of qualified workers are an absolute necessity and that it itsn't the kind of skills that can be acquired quickly but require extensive practice.

 

But most parents push their kids to do long study because it make them feel better about their kid future.

A degree is, factually, still a huge help to get a job (2016 data):

 

Unemployment rate after 1 to 4 year after the end of the degree or stopping school:

 

No degree (dropping school at 16) : 52 %

Baccalauréat (Finishing secondary education but no higher education): 25,5 %

Any higher education degree (age 20 and above): 11%

Those are overall stats, number will vary depending on the field and and various socio-cultural factors

So it's easy to understand why parent want their kids to go on higher education

 

And indeed a lot of people get a degree of higher education (data 2012, people between 25 and 29 yo)

 

Long study : 26% total (Licence/Bachelor 10% ; Master 14% ; PhD 1% number rounded up)

Short study (DUT, BTS 2 year study): 15% total (DUT 2% ; Paramedical formation 3% ; BTS 11%)

Secondary degree (Bac of any kind) : total 41%

No degree: 18%

Like I said most people go on higher education, doesn't mean everybody manage to get a degree.

 

Back to the topic, since parent don't want their kids to be unemployed, they push them to study as much as possible, and since taking the professional path doesn't allow you to continue your study for long they tend to push their kids on the section that give you the widest array of opportunity : general scientific section.

 

But some kids don't like science or simply don't have the right mindset for it so they often come to dislike school, lose self confidence and sometimes behave like shit at school. By default they are sent to a random professional formation (since they can't study in the mind of educators) and the professional section get filled with kid with trash behaviour and who think that everybody look down upon them (and they aren't totally wrong about it) and that the society is their enemy.

All of that create a feedback loop that degrade the society's image of professional formation more and more.

 

But they are sector where the industry can't find any new qualified workers while the old ones are retiring (The average wages of a welder became huge to attract the few available on the job market, companies are fighting over a good welder).

 

On the other hand we train more psychologist each year than the needs of the country.

 

So some people with a master degree won't get a job in their sector because they are too many graduates, while some specialization in the industry are in dire need of qualified workers.

That's why the government want to increase the number of people going through part time training, it give a break from school to those who don't like it, show them the purpose of what they learn and allow them to make some money for starting in life while the industry can have qualified workers that already have some experience.

 

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59 minutes ago, Alzoc said:

Not the workers themselves since anybody who has worked as a white collar in the industry (and isn't a total ass) will recon that the skills of qualified workers are an absolute necessity and that it itsn't the kind of skills that can be acquired quickly but require extensive practice.

 

But most parents push their kids to do long study because it make them feel better about their kid future.

A degree is, factually, still a huge help to get a job (2016 data):

 

Unemployment rate after 1 to 4 year after the end of the degree or stopping school:

 

No degree (dropping school at 16) : 52 %

Baccalauréat (Finishing secondary education but no higher education): 25,5 %

Any higher education degree (age 20 and above): 11%

Those are overall stats, number will vary depending on the field and and various socio-cultural factors

So it's easy to understand why parent want their kids to go on higher education

 

And indeed a lot of people get a degree of higher education (data 2012, people between 25 and 29 yo)

 

Long study : 26% total (Licence/Bachelor 10% ; Master 14% ; PhD 1% number rounded up)

Short study (DUT, BTS 2 year study): 15% total (DUT 2% ; Paramedical formation 3% ; BTS 11%)

Secondary degree (Bac of any kind) : total 41%

No degree: 18%

Like I said most people go on higher education, doesn't mean everybody manage to get a degree.

 

Back to the topic, since parent don't want their kids to be unemployed, they push them to study as much as possible, and since taking the professional path doesn't allow you to continue your study for long they tend to push their kids on the section that give you the widest array of opportunity : general scientific section.

 

But some kids don't like science or simply don't have the right mindset for it so they often come to dislike school, lose self confidence and sometimes behave like shit at school. By default they are sent to a random professional formation (since they can't study in the mind of educators) and the professional section get filled with kid with trash behaviour and who think that everybody look down upon them (and they aren't totally wrong about it) and that the society is their enemy.

All of that create a feedback loop that degrade the society's image of professional formation more and more.

 

But they are sector where the industry can't find any new qualified workers while the old ones are retiring (The average wages of a welder became huge to attract the few available on the job market, companies are fighting over a good welder).

 

On the other hand we train more psychologist each year than the needs of the country.

 

So some people with a master degree won't get a job in their sector because they are too many graduates, while some specialization in the industry are in dire need of qualified workers.

That's why the government want to increase the number of people going through part time training, it give a break from school to those who don't like it, show them the purpose of what they learn and allow them to make some money for starting in life while the industry can have qualified workers that already have some experience.

 

I really find the statement that "getting a Phd, higher education or alike gets you a job" is pretty much bullshit. Job opportunity gets you a job.

I does not matter if one spends 3-8 years extra on education if there is no work.  

 

Here in Norway, if you go get a certificate as a welder, industrial mechanic, carpenter, construction worker, electrician ect, you are guaranteed a job. Why is that? Because the industry is in need of these workers, a job opportunity. And because you do 2,5 years of apprenticeship at one of the companies, they will most likely hire you when you are done.

 

Compare this with a person following their parents wishes and goes for higher education, but have no idea what they want to do in life, just that higher education gets them a job. They will do general studies, take the most fun and effortless subjects, giving them the least amount of possibilities. Then when they finish high school they are forced to take a choice, they extend the time with people's college. Then finally they are forced to take a choice and they do some field they find fun, like community economics or psychology. Both which we have in such a huge demand that they will have a really hard time getting a job.  Or in the worst case scenario, they take something like music and philosophy, which makes them seem really cool during their campus years, but won't accomplish anything.

 

This is the reason the Norwegian government introduced the Y-way. Because the industry really disliked having engineers designing things  they had no idea how worked. This often caused cases of what we called "quality engineering", when a bolt is only able to be turned 1 degree at the time with a weird angle with a wrench, or a time when the engineers have a great idea of putting a air compressor under a train, causing it to continuously break down because of dirt and wear.

 

For clarification, I do see the statistics. But that is more because of signal theory and the tendency for more intelligent people to take higher education than average.  Some of the main reasons the industry cares about phds and such is because if is a sign of intelligence, the best pointer after IQ, which is illegal to put as a job requirement. 

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