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How does it feel to be in a profession dominated by women? :p

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by psych844, May 3, 2012.

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  1. Rivi

    Rivi

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    I am the only male in my program and one of the few at my workplace. Personally, I don't really like it. I prefer having more of a mixture, as I click better with dudes. Also, if some some patient gets aggressive at work, it's great to have backup (although a lot of women I work with are great about that, many are not).
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  2. TNS1991

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    I've been reading this forum for some time, and this thread I have found particularly interesting. As an undergraduate student it is very clear that Psychology is not the only field that has become female dominated. I was a communication disorders and sciences major before switching (a degree in that leads you to grad school to become a speech pathologist or audiologist) and only two men were in those classes out of about 100. The same thing can be said about pre-physical therapy, pre-occupational therapy and even biology at my school. The vast majority of students who want to become physician assistants, lawyers and anything else that requires a higher degree are now women. It's not just at my school, there are numerous articles that support this trend in higher education. A professor once told my mom that the average graduating grade point for women is almost one full point higher then men's graduating GPA. All the women that I talk to know exactly which career they want, where they want to go to grad school, etc. All my male friends and classmates tell me, "Uh, I dunno." when we discuss are futures. Also, I am an honors student. I don't think there are over 20 men in the honors college with several of those men being forced to drop out due to low GPA's every year. Even as a woman who is very pleased to see other women gain better employment and getting an education, I find this to be almost horrific. There is no reason why any discipline should be male or female dominated as it does nobody any good. There is also no reason why fewer men should be graduating from college and getting masters and PhD s.

    So to sum up my point after all this yapping. :) The field of psychology is not the only field in the world that is becoming male dominated, it is a trend that is being seen in a lot of disciplines, especially in health care. To fix this we need to address the problem that fewer men are now graduating and earning higher degrees. If we do not fix that, we will never fix the gender imbalance.
  3. sabaijae

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    Interesting since sometimes I tend to feel frustration (due to others' reactions) when I don't behave in accordance to the 'masculinity norms' of others. I also don't find myself trying to defend masculinity norms - only when I forget things or don't want to go shopping. :smuggrin: We're talking about the same thing, right?

    Regarding women being treated as second-class citizens in Asia: I've been living in East Asia for the last nine years, and women can at times be treated as second-class citizens, this is definitely true - to an extent. While women have been/are quite well-respected for the traditional role they play in family life, today, the more nurturing ('Yang' in Chinese) aspects of family life - something that is extremely important in China since so, so much importance is placed on the family (looking at it this way you can understand the implicit power of many women in China) - are shared by both men and women. Women are also taking up a larger percentage of the workforce, and many are taking managerial/leadership roles. At the hospital where my fiancee currently works (here in China), a good number of the administrators are female, and are well-respected ...

    I'm not too familiar with feminist or multicultural theory in psychology, although what would bother me (and likely many other people) about it is a focus on 'empowering' women or certain ethnicities through objectifying them; ie, focusing on a dichotomy, self vs the 'other', etc.

    I'll soon be moving back the the US with my fiancee (who could be categorized as a BBC - British Born Chinese), and I'm having mixed feelings; being a highly-educated Asian female, part of me feels that she'll have excellent employment (and salary:thumbup:) opportunities in the US. Call it racist/sexist or whatever, but part of me feels that she'll have better employment opportunities for being Asian and female ('brainy' Asian stereotype, etc). On the other hand, I'm a bit worried about the sexual harassment issues in the workplace, etc...
    Last edited: May 5, 2012
  4. BlackSkirtTetra

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    It's not just Psychology. In many Social Work classes around the country there are no men at all, and especially no straight men. But I don't think that overall Psychology is an outlier. I think higher education in general is trending toward becoming majority female, if it hasn't already.

    Fields such as Engineering, where the majority of folks are male, are really the exception nowadays.
  5. sabaijae

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    I like this idea.

    Well, from a different angle: once this becomes a 'norm' influenced by social pressure, wouldnt that leave many men already 'in touch with their feelings' as just persons succumbing to social pressure to be 'emotional'/'normal' (political correctness, etc)?
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  6. Pragma

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    I consider myself a feminist in the bell hooks sense of where the ultimate goals is to end oppression.

    But I have mentioned in another thread in the past that favortism can go both ways. Almost all of my bosses have been female, but there was one where I had an absolutely terrible experience and it was quite clear that I was not only being held to a different standard than my female colleagues because I was male, but my masculinity was questioned as an argument tactic.

    Just sayin - women can be total jerks themselves and gender roles can be equally harmful, although I wouldn't say it is institutional or systemic at this point.
  7. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    I don't understand your argument. You presented anecdotal observations and then said it needs to be "fixed"--why? Pragma is right on when he says:

    Perhaps it will need to be "fixed" when the oppressive forces of feminism (and I'm not totally sarcastic here) establish a systematic history of keeping men out of certain professions, resulting in their inability to achieve equal status. :laugh: Oh, keep dreaming!

    We need to think multi-dimensionally when it comes to the imbalance in higher education between the genders/sexes. Feminists sometimes celebrate that more women are getting degrees and here someone is implying that it is unfair that men are not graduating with higher degrees. Um, isn't it possible that this could be a bad thing? Might men be going where the money and power is (such as into business, finance, and construction, etc.) and abandoning higher education because it is not as good of an investment?! What if the infiltration of women into professionalism and academia, while once celebrated as a sign of equality, is now associated with the lowering wages and status of such roles? Note that I'm not saying one caused another--it could go in many directions.
  8. Rivi

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    I too have read several times that females are outnumbering males in higher education, but is this translating to higher salaries, more jobs, etc.? Can anyone speak to this?
  9. TNS1991

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    Sorry if maybe I wasn't clear. I don't think more women graduating from college and getting higher degrees is necessarily a bad thing. However, if people want to complain about the gender imbalance they need to fix the issue at it's core. If men feel like higher education is becoming "feminist" then they need to encourage more young men to go to college and actually take it seriously. If few men have PhD's, then only few men will be professors in the future. It's the same thing with psychology and other fields, if no men are qualified, no men will get the job. Now if you don't see any problem with it, that's great. I too think that nobody should be forced to go into higher education or get anything above a bachelors degree if they do not want to, whether they be male or female. However, what I am afraid is that young men who have great potential to become excellent psychologist, professors, health care providers, etc. will be turned away in the future by the thought that they are "female only" jobs. I will always see that as a problem because I believe the ability to thrive in certain fields depends on the person and not their gender.
  10. TNS1991

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    I don't know what you've seen, but everyone I know that did not go to college is not making big money and they certainly don't have any power. Don't get me wrong I know that there are exceptions to this, and there are many people with college degrees working at Starbucks. Anybody that is lucky in the business and finance worlds have a college degree, and if not they've been working for 20+ years. It is largely becoming popular to only higher managers who have an MBA or a masters degree in a business related area. While it is possible to have a successful, high paying job without a college education, those stories are few and far between.
  11. Pragma

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    Are you implying that you would force everyone to get a bachelor's degree? Because it has been a bad investment these days and I know a lot of people who did not go to college and are perfectly happy in their chosen professions. Let's not be elitists here :D
  12. Pragma

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    Yeah it is harder or certain fields may be off limits. But come on - lots of folks have good jobs. These folks also aren't carrying around debt. TBH, I feel worse for the graduates from 4-year liberal arts Universities who have no job to show for it. The education is valuable, but it doesn't necessarily translate into making an immediate impact at work. There is so much on the job training that people need in most types of jobs.
  13. JeyRo

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    Probably a lot more people would be happy not going to college if employers stopped requiring it for entry-level jobs, and if it was easier to be an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurism and entry level employment for the non-college-educated has only gotten harder over the past decade or so.
  14. psych844

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    A bachelor's is only a waste if you have unrealistic expectations.

    Degrees mean nothing without practical experience. That is why so many people feel that Bachelor's are worthless.

    If you want to work in an office environment, be prepared to bring people their coffees, work as a file clerk, an admin assistant to start...don't think you'll be at your ideal job right away.

    Your degree will allow you to move up quicker and get your employers to have more confidence about your overall ability. And eventually that degree will come in handy as a lot of the top jobs do require college degrees.

  15. Pragma

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    Sure but depends on what type of job. Maybe that is the case for a lot of white collar jobs.

    I know lots of people who didn't go to college or went to trade school. I think there is something to be said about the practicality of that, and they seem to feel fulfilled in their work. A lot of these folks weren't really "school" people anyways.

    To advance further, a degree may be necessary, but many people aren't interested in that.
  16. TNS1991

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    No I'm not, but unfortunately it seems like getting a college degree is entry level for the vast majority of jobs these days. I don't think this is good, and don't get me started on the fact that so many colleges scam liberal arts majors by telling them they will have a job after graduating, when they know very well that job will be cashiering at Walmart. While you may know people that have not gone on to college and are happy with their jobs, I do not. I'm not discrediting your opinion or trying to be elitist, and I apologize if I came off like that. I'm just saying that it is a harsh reality in our world that you need to get a degree to have a decent chance at getting ahead in the job market. You also have to make those four years count by doing well in school, making connections and doing internships. The days of graduating with a 2.3 GPA and finding a decent job automatically is over. Is that right? Absolutely not. But it's a reality that we unfortunately have to deal with.
  17. zensouth

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    I was talking about things more like restricted emotional expression between men, focusing on career achievement vs. family, etc. But you are right . . . exhibiting behaviors counter to expected norms can also lead to frustration or isolation in certain contexts as well, kind of a lose/lose at least until society at large is able to shift perspectives about masculinity.
  18. JeyRo

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    I think it is - it's pretty uncontroversial to state that in the USA today a bachelor's degree is pretty much a base-level requirement for, say, entry-level data entry work. Which is ridiculous when you think about it - better to just have a literacy test be the requirement. Not sure why an undergraduate degree in (say) Philosophy makes one a better data entry clerk than a literate, motivated high school graduate. Anyways.

    I'm not against college at all (I had a great time in college) but I really think that the obsession with credentialling in American society is completely out of control. I don't want my kids to feel like they have to go to college in order to succeed in life.
  19. Pragma

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    Bold part #1: Got data? I am sure that most jobs do require this, but more commonly a GED is the main requirement. A "vast" majority really depends on how we are defining "jobs" here. So many folks have not gone to college.

    Bold part #2: I have trouble understanding what you mean here. Sometimes an advanced degree is needed, but typically after you get your foot in the door that matters less. I know someone who is a VP at a bank (in their 20's) who never finished their BA.

    Bold #3: I'd rather have no degree than graduate with a 2.3.
  20. TNS1991

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    #1. Myself and a few of my friends went through a phase where we did not know what we were going to do with our lives after college so we went through job listings daily to see what kind of jobs and qualifications were out there. NOT ONE SINGLE JOB in the months that we did this had a requirement of only a high school degree of GED, and if they did they preferred somebody with an associates or even 4 year degree. And we were not limiting ourselves to jobs that required a college degree, we were just looking generally. I don't doubt that there are jobs out there for high school graduates. They are just in fast food and retail. Nobody that I know that is under 30 without a degree beyond high school has a full time job that pays a decent wage. Most have worked part time and never had full time employment in their lives. I am not the only person in the world that can say this too. There is much evidence out there that says the bachelors degree is the new entry level degree. If you do not believe me, you can google it yourself, or you can not even bother and just disagree with me.

    #2. I know that an advanced degree is needed for many jobs, but it is no longer after you get your foot in the door. It is required to get your foot in the door. The only jobs that a high school diploma or GED will get you is low paying jobs with no hope of advancement without a higher degree. There are also several people, with mostly liberal arts degrees, who have trouble finding good paying jobs at first too. But they are more likely to be hired and then promoted just because of their degree. Again, you can disagree all you want, but I still stand by this. Why do you think unemployment is still lower for college grads than people with only a high school degree?

    #3. I agree with you on this, which is why it's such a shame that a 4 year degree is now the entry level requirement for so many jobs. It's pathetic to know that somebody from a rich family who slacked off all through college and graduated with a 2.3 GPA has a better chance of getting a job than a hard working person who cannot go to college do to financial reasons.
  21. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    TNS, just because you don't know people, doesn't make it non-existent. I could easily argue with you that I know many people who do not have a college degree and who have held high-paying full-time positions (because I do). Also, the economy sucks and, if you are under 30, it has for your entire post-college adult life. Everyone is suffering, not just college grads.

    Two words: Vocational schools. Your average community college certification, of so many varieties, can get someone a job in oh so many places. This is the wave of the future. College degrees are outdated for many current jobs, and I'm not just talking about retail and fast food (which aren't really jobs anyway). I doubt anyone, in the future, will be able to be employed in their undergraduate field without seeking additional specialization--which also means that the UG degree was probably not needed, anyway. People will either need to plan to continue to go to graduate school or just not bother to begin with.
  22. BlackSkirtTetra

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    Not quite. Some BA-level degrees still retain job prospects and prospects of licensure. I think of the BSW and the BSN right off the top of my head. I'm sure there are more.
  23. paramour

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    +1. I managed to land f/t jobs without a degree that paid quite well once upon a time, and I know plenty of folks who have done similarly. They do indeed (or did so once upon a time) exist. Times sucketh for everyone nowadays. :thumbdown: Even then, I personally know folks < 30 who are recently landing jobs (without any degree) that are paying more than I'm likely to make fresh out of grad school. :oops:
  24. TNS1991

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    I guess I'll just have to respectfully agree to disagree with you and Psychedelic because I really don't see it this way. I think if you don't bother to get at least some type of training, whether it be a bachelors or associates degree, vocational school, etc., you are doing yourself no good. Unless of course you get extremely lucky or know certain people I still believe the chances of you finding a decent job are unlikely. Not impossible, but unlikely.

    And while I do think an associates degree or training in certain fields will be better than a "useless" bachelors in history or English, associate degrees are unfortunately not that much better. At least where I live. You can never convince me that vocational school is the answer to everything, and will be the wave of the future. Because it just will not be. People unfortunately have a bias towards prestigious universities and four year degrees. Why else would anybody, unless they wanted a job where higher education was required, go to school for four+ years when vocational school would be good enough? It's not good enough for everyone and every field and every job, and it never will be.

    But anyway, back to the original point since this thread got a little off topic. :) Psychology is not the only field to be "female dominated" it's happening in a lot of different fields and professions. That is all. :cool:
  25. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychology Fellow Moderator

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    I'm going to disagree that vocational schools aren't the "wave of the future." The dearth of individuals trained in the skilled labor fields, combined with the (at least as I perceive it) increasing proportion of individuals with bachelor's degrees that haven't directly prepared them for any specific position, in my opinion is eventually going to lead to the latter being viewed more negatively than it is today. That, and a push for the former will help to remove some of the negative stigma associated with it (although I don't think it's currently quite as bad as you've pointed out in your post, and each person's take on it is going to be HEAVILY influenced by their circle of friends, where and around whom they grew up, etc.).

    Quite honestly, not everyone wants to, or should, go the traditional four-ish year bachelor's route. We need to get out of this mindset as a country that bachelor's = better, and that view is going to start to change over the next generation. But again, that's just my opinion.
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  26. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    Sure, BSN is one good exception that retains licensure abilities, but that is unique because it is not needed for licensure--sub-baccalaureate vocational training leads to an RN as well. But a BSW? Where the heck can a BSW get a license??
  27. Pragma

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    Agreed. The 4-year (liberal arts) degree was mostly about identity formation IMO. It's a place people send their kids to now where they don't have to grow up fully yet. Personally, I don't view that part of my education as particularly efficient and lots of things I learned about have never been helpful in my work life. I know the higher education model operates differently in other countries where the training is more specific.

    There is a lot of variability and I think with the degree vs. no degree argument, it really depends who you know. If you have friends among a variety of SES groups, it is not hard to find people who are successful from various educational backgrounds. More does not always equal better - I think TNS underestimates how much employers actually value results compared to credentials.

    This does create an interesting interface with the thread topic. Within this field, we aren't really in it to get a ridiculously high salary except for maybe the most prestigious of positions. One could argue that, from an opportunity cost standpoint, it is really kind of worthless/minimal worth education. I could easily be making a lot more money had I spent the 7 years of training I am wrapping up on my fellowship elsewhere. The high amount of women in this field may reflect discrimination in more profitable career tracks.

    Anecdotally, I also see this degree as one that lends itself to flexibility. I had a couple of other men in my cohort, and we all had "sugar mamma's" as we half-joked about it (female spouses are the breadwinners). When they had kids, the men took on more childcare responsibilities than the women, as the men's work was not as profitable. I know some women in this field who choose to work part time and play more of a caregiver role at home. Basically, I am saying that this psychology PhD can offer some more flexbile options (and lower pay) which naturally lends itself to perhaps relying more on the other person's income in a partnership. It is a good and fulfilling degree, and a way to be the "non-breadwinner" but still be a professional. My wife makes more money than me and you can guess who will need to be more flexible about their job when we choose to have children.
  28. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    Well, people live in worlds where they think these things are important and they are unwilling to stray from the status quo :rolleyes:. Lemme guess--this is what is valued in your surroundings? Really, it's not like this everywhere. There are many jobs in many fields where a certificate is all that is needed to fill the spot. Yes, these are working class jobs. Yes, they are relatively low-paying, especially for the typical SDN-er (i.e., $30-40,000 tops...:eek:). But they are careers that people can fulfill and use to support themselves and their families. Occasionally, these jobs will allow someone to make in the upper 5-digits, especially when the economy is good and after years of experience.

    Are you old enough to compare your high school yearbook and your Facebook account? When I do, most people did not go to grad school. Many, many did not even finish college! Yet, they are working in either generalist working class jobs or have specialized in something. They're working, though. It's widespread. I know it's hard, but this is reality. I know. It's hard.
  29. paramour

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    +1.

    I know a whole heck of a lot of people who managed to receive "skilled training" without a bachelor's degree, vocational degree, or degree of any kind and working in their profession of choice making a decent salary. I know a whole heck of a lot of people with bachelor's degrees who work at retail stores struggling to make a living. I love the straight out of college grads who come in and think they can demand whatever position and salary they wish because it's owed them. :rolleyes: Many of these people should have never gone to college to begin with but felt obligated or pressured by family and/or society (and I've rambled about this in other threads, so I shan't continue).
  30. psych844

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    The people that don't work and gain practical experience because they think their Bachelor's will hand them a job are the ones that find the degree useless.

    Degree is just part of being competitive.
  31. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    That doesn't make sense. If someone needs to work and gain practical experience just to get a job, then the degree is useless. How does it make someone competitive in this type of scenario??
  32. paramour

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    Have you ever actually worked a day in your life? In the "real world?"
  33. psych844

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    You can get a job with a bachelor's but a piece of paper doesn't prove you are responsible, or that you can work with others, etc Therefore, the need to start low and prove yourself, the need to have practical experience, will always be there.

    But, that individual with the bachelor's has a chance of moving up much quicker then someone with high school. In fact, for many jobs, you will see that a person with just high school needs 5-10yrs experience to have a shot at a position, the person with college, often couple years. And there are many other positions, where again experience is needed, but you must have a college degree.

    Nobody can escape practical training...the fortunate part is that for us who are in graduate studies, it is our marks that allows us to get into good programs which gurantee that we get training. We don't have to go into the real world and find that practical experience and battle with others to get it.(this is totally true but in part) Which is in essence why graduate school is so special.



  34. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    Who are you asking?
  35. Psychadelic2012

    Psychadelic2012 PhD Student

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    I do think it's impossible to escape practical training--even with a graduate degree. Rare that someone will just walk into a job without any experience (at least an internship). But a degree depends on the field and can be useless. So many employers, though, don't give a rat's butt if you have a college degree or not. If it doesn't apply to the job, it doesn't apply.
  36. JeyRo

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    For jobs that require relevant experience, I think this is a valid point, and a college degree that demonstrates some relevant experience (however indirect) in a field in which you're applying to is certainly a leg up for many jobs, absent previous direct experience in a field, that is.

    But there *is* such as thing as truly entry-level work, and for truly entry-level work (aside from unpaid internships, which apparently some employers are being sued for even offering), employers will be essentially making a potentially costly bet on whoever they hire for a position. However, many employers are willing to do it because there's not an endless supply, by definition, of employees with relevant experience in the particular field they're hiring for. All employees have to get their first dose of actual, on-the-job experience somewhere.

    When you have to pay these workers 8,9,10 dollars an hour for such work (when, say, the employee may initially bring only 2-3 dollars of actual value back to the employer), employers will naturally want to hedge that bet as much as possible. Hence, the reliance by many / most employers on de facto requiring a college degree of applicants. Yes, I'm nudging this thread off into the purely political direction here, I realize :smuggrin:
  37. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychology Fellow Moderator

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    I'd say that's one of the main purposes a college degree serves when it's used in a field not related to the course of study. Basically, it serves as a quasi-objective reference of sorts, showing that the individual is capable of completing undergraduate-level work to an extent sufficient to earn the degree. It suggests some basic level of persistence, responsibility, etc. (whether or not that's actually the case is debatable, of course). And when the economy is horrible, as it has been over the past few years, if a company has a choice between hiring a college-grad and non-college-grad, unless the latter has demonstrable experience in the area, to "hedge their bets" as JeyRo put it, the company will probably look more strongly at the former.

    However, I see things playing out a bit differently in the future. As more and more people enter and graduate from college without any true idea of what it is they want to do, minimal prompting from said college to give this any thought, and minimal direct preparation for a career path, companies are going to start noticing that a degree in and of itself no longer serves as a good indication of some of the above-mentioned characteristics/qualities in applicants. This, coupled with continually-increasing costs of college, may lead to a shift of focus to a more efficient post-HS educational/training system. This is where the vocational-type "tracks" would come in to play, offering more-focused and appropriate training for a variety of occupational fields for which a generalist college education isn't necessary.
  38. Pragma

    Pragma

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    Hulk....SMASH!

    Sorry, I saw the Avengers over the weekend and couldn't resist :D
  39. TNS1991

    TNS1991

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    Yes I am and none of my friends who graduated have full time work, And just to clarify, I don't really see a part time job with no benefits as a career, unless you live with somebody who has a full time job and can give you benefits with that job. They have never gone up the latter with their job either. Now they may be fine with the work they have, and all the more power to them if they are. I just don't understand how you could be, but maybe that's just me. The people that have graduated either from community or a four year college all have full time jobs, mostly in management. Just because they have a degree they were "better prepared" in the employer's eyes for a management position. I don't agree with this one bit but it's the reality in the area I live in. Granted, I live in the mid-west which I think is different from where most people live from what I gathered reading posts on SDN for a few months. So maybe it's different in the north east or other areas in the US.
  40. BlackSkirtTetra

    BlackSkirtTetra

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    Um...Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, Kentucky, Oregon, Arkansas, West Virginia, Hawaii, and a bunch of other states. They're named different things (LSW, LBSW, CSW, RBSW) and regulated by the individual State Boards of Social Work, but in a lot of places an undergraduate degree in Social Work does lead to licensure. Social Work and Nursing are the two fields I think of immediately because I have the most experience with them, but I'm sure there are others where an undergraduate degree leads to licensure and employment.

    The bottom line is that to say that, "I doubt anyone[...]will be able to be employed in their undergraduate field without seeking additional specialization[...]the UG degree was probably not needed, anyway." is not accurate so long as there remain fields where the UG degree leads to licensure, and neither Nursing nor Social Work seem to be changing their Bachelors-level licensing. Both fields also have excellent employment prospects (although pay varies).
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  41. TNS1991

    TNS1991

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    :thumbup:

    This is exactly what I have seen. In the retail store I used to work for, managers and district managers cannot be hired unless they have a degree of some kind. Whether it be business management or basket weaving. I'm not saying a agree with it, it's just a reality from what I have seen. The only chance somebody has if they don't have a degree is working there way up, training, and then if they are super lucky, nobody who wants their job will have a degree. The degree craving was so bad in my company that even district managers without a college degree who had worked with the company for 20+ years were told that they would lose their jobs if they did not show proof that they were trying to get a degree of some kind. Again, I don't think this is right as I believe experience beats book smarts any day of the week. But everyplace that I have been and every person that I talk to it is the reality. I hope that things change because I think a 4 year degree in the humanities prepares you for jack crap. But, and again this is just where I live, more and more people are flocking to colleges because if they don't have a degree (whether it be something useful like accounting, or useless like history) they just don't have a chance of getting up the latter with their work.
  42. AcronymAllergy

    AcronymAllergy Neuropsychology Fellow Moderator

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    This is more of a general point, so I'm not at all saying you were implying this in your post--but re: the bolded portion above, not everyone can (and should) be involved in management, which is fine. It's definitely possible to have a career in a non-managing/non-supervisory position. Beyond that, as you've mentioned noticing above, some/many people are ok with not moving terribly far up the corporate/professional ladder; as with eating, some people work to live while others live to work.

    Speaking just from my own experiences, looking back on my high school classmates, the majority either never attended college or left before graduating. The majority are also employed full-time, and have been essentially since high school. With people I've actually remained friends with since high school, it's right around a 50/50 split; most did at least attend college, but approximately half actually graduated and half did not. All of these people are currently employed full-time.

    I would say that the idea that a college education is necessary in order to "succeed" is certainly thoroughly enmeshed in U.S. culture, perhaps to our own detriment (at least as I would argue). Whether or not that actually accurately reflects reality for the majority of Americans isn't quite as clear. I would support the statement, though, that a college degree is hardly ever going to hurt your chances of finding a job, and that companies often prefer candidates with college degrees to those without. And if management is a goal, then yes, obtaining a degree is generally the shortest/most efficient route to get there.
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  43. TNS1991

    TNS1991

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    I know that not everyone should be in management, trust me I worked in retail for almost four years so I know this! :D I just said that to make the point that mostly college grads are taking the management positions away from people who have worked for the company for many years and could do such a better job than a person fresh out of college with no real world experience.
  44. JeyRo

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    I don't see where the market and/or cultural pressure for vocational training is going to come from, or pressure for high school grads to start getting hired over college grads (for entry level work that is) again.

    I don't blame employers for wanting to hedge their bets, as I put it. They're forced to pay above what would otherwise be market wages for entry-level work, so better to pick the college grad than the non-college-grad. So, it behooves high school grads to go to college so they can get their collective feet in the door.

    However, if all college does for many is just let them get their feet in the door to entry-level work, then I don't see college as being anything but a money suck for most young people. They'd be better off economically just being able to undercut the college grads for wages (which they can't, legally), getting experience, and moving up the ladder rather than spending 30-60 grand or more on a BS degree just so they can compete for entry level work.

    BTW, IIRC the official unemployment rate BLS quotes for HS grads is hovering around 15 percent right now, which probably is a considerably conservative estimate (e.g., they don't tend to count the underemployed and those who haven't looked for work for awhile).
  45. Markp

    Markp Post-Internship (ABD)

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    This is so true it bears repeating. Skills and knowledge pay the bills, not a degree that has little environmental validity. An undergraduate liberal arts degree typically does not ensure that the recipient has any particularly useful skills or knowledge when it comes to business.

    Yep, liberal art undergraduate degrees without additional evidence of skills or knowledge are worth about the same as toilet paper to many employers. If you want an undergraduate degree with value you need to have one that ensures that you have valuable skills that an employer is looking for. The key here is the following statement: "skills that an employer is looking for."

    Many times at the Bachelor's level the degree is useless.

    Don't take offense to that, but understand that without skills, knowledge, and attributes that are required in the workforce you are worthless. It's that simple. Unlike some government sector jobs where demonstrated value is of secondary or even tertiary concern, in the private sector if you cannot justify your value to the organization (as tied to profitability or some passion that the corporate leadership has chosen to incorporate) you're not worth hiring. That simple.

    Your worth (generally in the private sector) needs to be much higher than the cost to the company, if it's not, you're probably not worth hiring. Generally, if Employee Cost / Employee Benefit * 10 < 1, you aren't really worth hiring. Yes, companies expect to make money on you, and quite a bit of it. For example, Target reports a revenue of $191,000 per employee with an average per employee salary of less than $9,000 per year. Amazon.com reports a revenue of an astounding $914,000 per employee with an average salary of less than $12,000 per year. Even more amazing is that some of the NASDAQ 100 are doing double that number.

    Many of these "kids" have not. Many are shocked when actual work is expected of them as well. It's a tough world out there, and while a college education is certainly a good thing, it doesn't guarantee that you will have anything an employer is looking for in the job market. If you can't demonstrate that you have the requisite skills, you won't get a job.
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  46. mclash

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    Apology completely unnecessary. I have more or less internalized that sentiment, and it is how I attempt to approach every day of my life.

    Those numbers are astounding while somehow not surprising at all. Can you point me to your sources? I would love to read up more about this disparity.
    This probably has a lot to do with my critical-of-capitalism lens, but I have a tremendous amount of ethical trouble framing the question of "worth hiring" as a matter of whether they can make ridiculous amounts of profit off your labor. For some fields, such as luxury/entertainment/retail, sure, that makes sense; but dear god ... I hope that the numbers look drastically different when it comes to healthcare. Unfortunately, I suspect that that is the predominant factor in fields tangentially/indirectly related to healthcare, such as in pharmaceuticals or insurance. I imagine there are probably also some immediate providers who make hella bank off of providing people healthcare services too.

    Bleh, our system is so broke. I hope some day that people can buy into the idea that it makes economic sense for the people in your society to be healthy (physically and mentally), and accept the need to operate on a deficit.

    Wow, this thread has certainly drifted off into very tangential territory, with no help from me to keep it on track. It kind of feels like some of my lab meetings.
  47. Markp

    Markp Post-Internship (ABD)

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    Sure, but only if you took the red pill. Finding out how deep the rabbit hole goes might not be for you. Viewer discretion is advised, may not be suitable for young idealistic Marxists and Socialists.

    Source: http://www.jbryanscott.com/2009/02/07/nasdaq-100-revenue-per-employee/

    Vertex Pharmaceuticals $175,000 per employee.
    Teva Pharmaceutical $316,000 per employee.
    Henry Schein Health Care Products and Services $493,00 per employee.
    Amgen $862,00 per employee.
    Intuitive surgical systems $1,145,000 per employee (DaVinci Medical Monitors, very nice.)

    Gilead Sciences, Inc. $1,790,000 per employee.

    Gilead's primary areas of focus include human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS, liver diseases, such as hepatitis B and C and cardiovascular/metabolic and respiratory conditions.

    I think you get the point... Plenty of money in medical, no one is going broke anytime soon. However you have to remember, that's revenues, and NOT profits. These are 2009 numbers.

    And how do you think that's gonna work? Think it through please.
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  48. Sanman

    Sanman O.G.

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    Well, I will say that the tangents have made for some interesting reading.

    Regarding college degrees, I do think that vocational or skills focused training will take over in the future. As college expenses continue to mount and more substandard educational facilities begin to offer bachelors degrees (University of Phoenix, DeVry, etc) that really are not giving students the necessary skills, I do see a greater need arising in certain areas of skilled labor. However, quality training for skilled labor can be hard to acquire. In NYC, there are many programs that let one train as an LPN/LVN/RN, rad tech, phlebotomist, etc. The truth is that a liberal arts degree, while nice, is a poor investment compared to an engineering, nursing, computer science, social work or other degree that is training one for a specific job area.

    As far a psychology goes, The proliferation of women into the field really do seem to have reinforced a bifurcation in the field. I see a large group of psychologists working at college counseling centers, schools, part-time, etc that place more of an emphasis on benefits and time off and those that are trying to have more of a high-powered career with larger earnings (faculty, program directors, private psychology group directors,etc). IMO, the latter are the ones really taking advantage of the their doctoral training and title.
  49. ClinicalABA

    ClinicalABA

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    I have to argue this point a little. Toilet paper, when used for its intended purpose, actually is quite useful and you get more uses (and comfort) per roll than you do with an undergraduate degree (which are typical printed on a single-use piece of course paper, often with a scratchy foil embossment that negatively impacts the overall absorbancy).

    On a more serious note, in my agency this really is the case with entry level positions (direct support staff in residential and day programs for adults with developmental and significant psychiatric disabilities). Under their current union contract, base rate of pay on hire for direct support employees is about $10/hour. With a four-year degree, base rate of pay is... about $10/hour! On the other hand, if you have 4 years full-time work experience at a similar position, you are eligible for an additional $1/hour.

    This is a new union/contract for our employees, having gone into effect in January of this year. Prior to this contract, we did offer this additional $1/hour for 4 year degree as well. I guess the Union didn't feel it was something worth bargaining for. (At an average cost of $60,000 for a 4 year degree at a public institution- not even including opportunity costs of not being able to work full time for that 4-years, that additional $2,000 a year wasn't really a benefit anyways).
  50. wigflip

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    I'm thrilled that the "women's domination" silliness (sort of) died out. Regarding the value of undergrad ed: there's been much talk of the declining value of the BA in mainstream media, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and particularly on education scamblogs (the latter of which extend many of the critiques present in the former to various types of professional training as well, especially law). Of possible interest:

    http://chronicle.com/article/Should-Working-Class-People/131283/

    I presume you're suggesting that the first group of careers (or as is implied, mere jobs) are "mommy-track" options that are embraced by women, while the latter are higher powered career opportunities...embraced by whom? The remaining men and select group of women who are "really taking advantage of the their [sic] doctoral training and title"? You're not explicit, but that seems to be the implication.

    Here's an article for those interested in an analysis of actual data associated with the alleged "feminization of psychology":
    http://pwq.sagepub.com/content/15/3/349.abstract

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