Comments about ‘One third of millenials regret going to college’

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Published: Thursday, May 23 2013 11:45 a.m. MDT

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AlaskaCougar
Wasilla, AK

I would be very curious to see this survey redone in about 20 years. I would hypothesize that after gaining more life experience and seeing the average income difference between college grads and non-college grads over time if they have more appreciation for the education they received. I'm extremely grateful that I was able to work through college and didn't have to take on excessive student loan debt. I realize circumstances are different for each individual; however, many of my fellow students seemed to have no idea how to live with a budget or prioritize spending so as not to need as much in loans.

Oatmeal
Woods Cross, UT

With a poor economy and a willingness to take on large amounts of debt, small wonder that these young adults have such a perception. Alaska Cougar is right, let's wait a decade or two and see what the result is.

BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

I am now conflicted about having taken out Student loans in my name for two of my sons education too. Although both have good paying jobs now. One can't anticipate future events when one signs up for these loans. I didn't see myself being divorced two years after I signed these loans. Consequently, I will be working several more years this retire these financial obligations. Nobody's Life is perfect. Oh, to have prefect wisdom when one is making decisions with imperfect knowledge.

Brahmabull
sandy, ut

If graduates of college don't have a basic understanding of finances, shouldn't the degrees they are getting be called into question? I mean how would one obtain a 'degree' and not understand finances. It just proves how worthless and oversaturated colleges are becoming. You can learn everything and anything a college teaches by studying and reading on your own. And that doesn't cost money. Obviously there are some exceptions, such as medical, ect. No real world knowledge is being taught in most 4 year degrees. But colleges still gladly take the tuition.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

In my experience hiring both Gen Y and Millennials, there is a very general expectation that reward will quickly follow any sacrifice. "Show me the money, then I'll work".

They've seen loyal employees laid off en masse, and are reluctant to do work above and beyond what they're paid for, even if there is the potential for advancement, greater pay or more opportunity.

This generational "hesitation" to really work hard for unpromised future rewards is running headlong into international wage competition, which is ferocious. PhDs in India make about $15,000 a year.

Americans complain that we shouldn't allow more H1B visas for foreign workers in IT, as we already have plenty of IT workers looking for work.

Companies don't come out and admit this, but they're looking for people who are much hungrier and smarter in the technologies that are hot, people who will need less time to become maximally productive, with fewer family obligations, to counter the competition who is doing the same.

Apple & Google need to hire the crème of the international crop, not just upper tier American graduates.

Hence the call for more H1Bs.

Ironhide
Salt Lake City, UT

Some bachelor degrees pay well immediately. Most do not. The large company I work for has turned to "if you have a degree, any 4 year degree, you will get preference for any job". I just leap frogged my boss, who has been at the company 27 years but doesn't have a degree. He is more than angry about it. But he didn't want to go to college, he just wanted to work and start making money and now he is furious at the consequences. Now that you have a degree, do your very best at whatever you're doing and work HARD That's what I think young people don't understand. Opportunities will follow. With information overload, too often extremely rare stories get passed on about some young graduate who made it to CFO of a company in a year. That is a perfect situation born from a start up company that grew into success. This will not be the case for 99.9% of us. And that's ok. Just rock what circumstances you have and if nothing else, you will get glowing references when a better job comes along.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

I agree with IronHide. My degree is one of the "worthless" ones, but I started at the bottom and worked a lot of hours, made a lot of sacrifices, and worked my way up. I don't regret getting my bachelors degree, even though it is not directly applicable to my work. The ability to think critically and express yourself coherently pays off in many work contexts.

It's an interesting time of change in America, as the world economy seeps into ours, providing robust competition and a "leveling" of expectations. The economic uncertainty that is becoming the "norm" has an understandable impact on birthrate, young people's willingness to get married, etc. But it's the same way in other nations. The highest achievers get the Lion's share of the spoils, but it takes a very big sacrifice.

For everyone else, temper your expectations.

I tell the people who work for me that even if they aren't paid for working extra hours, the investment they make in themselves may pay off in the future.

At least it gives them a better chance against the competition, and gives them more time against economic displacement.

Hamath
Omaha, NE

Colleges (and I work at one so this advice will hurt me financially in the long run possibly) need to be held accountable for bad graduation rates and bad employment rates. Too many degrees are worthless. We graduate as many people each year with degrees in Communications as there are JOBS in Communications in the entire economy. No more free gov't $ guaranteed for people to get degrees in Communications and the like. No more free gov't money for colleges/universities that get people degrees but then do such a poor job of teaching that no one hires their graduates. If the university can't reach a certain % of graduate rate (say 60%) and a certain % of getting a job rate after 3 years (say 70% of graduates)... then the amount of money going to that university should be reduced. Seeking the money, the university will change or wither up and close eventually.

Bob A. Bohey
Marlborough, MA

The higher education system in this country is a scam. Just another Ponzi scheme to get the life savings of "middle class" Americans.

srw
Riverton, UT

What no one is mentioning (not even in the Forbes article cited) is that not all universities cost a lot of money. Most likely it is a bad idea to choose a school that costs $40K per year for tuition (or even $15K) if you need to rely heavily on loans to pay for it.

On the other hand, how can it be a bad idea to pay $5K or $6K per year for tuition and fees to get a bachelor's degree, which brings nearly a *million* bucks more in lifetime earnings, on average, than a high school diploma? It would be sad if an article like this one discourages someone from going to college.

As reported in the DesNews previously, “Degree and certificate holders are more likely to report personal happiness, to have a better perception of their relationships, to characterize themselves as having good families, and to report having better health than those without a degree or certification.” Also, unemployment rates are lower for those with degrees and certificates, even in difficult economic times.

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

I wish we could see the underlying data for this study, but I can't find it anywhere. I am interested specifically in whether there is a correlation between the subjects studied (i.e., the college major) and the regrets of going to college, or if there's a correlation between the schools attended and regrets.

Fred44
Salt Lake City, Utah

10CC,

The desire for more H1B visas has a lot more to do with the desire of American companies to find cheaper labor whether here or in other countries. For the last thirty years we have seen a shift of wealth from the many to the few. Most American companies have one interest, one objective and that is to maximize the bottom line. If you can move the operation to Indonesia and pay slave wages to kids and give them no benefits that is considered good business. If you can bring someone into this country for another country that will do a job for 25% than the going rate in this country, again that is good business.

There are some businesses who still place value on their employees, but those businesses are fewer and farther between all the time. The new America a wealthy ruling class, and working lower class.

Wayne Rout
El Paso, TX

It is a mistake to go into debt to get an education. It is a mistake to confuse a hobby with a profession. Graduating in literature, or English or similar degrees is a waste of time and money. Focus on those things where the prospects of employment is almost certain. It could be engineering or it could be welding. Take a bit longer to get through school by working rather than borrowing. Keep in mind that school is work, not play time. Other than for a dozen or so schools, where you go does not make a difference. Go to a cheaper state school rather than a pricing private school. Graduate with no debt and a degree that has a future. Not everyone should go to college, but everyone should have a meaningful career that will support a family.

RBB
Sandy, UT

Who is going to teach the financial literacy classes? Their parents who cannot pay off their credit cards of the government that spends 40 percent more than it brings in each year. The reason the rich get richer and the poor get poorer is a simple one - either you save money and you wealth goes up or you spend it and it goes down. There are plenty of relatively wealthy school teachers who lived on a budget who retire better than doctors and lawyes who did not.

iron&clay
RIVERTON, UT

Young LDS people, save and spend your money to go on a two year mission at the age of 18 or 19.
When you come home, you can be blessed with wisdom from the powers of heaven about educational institutions that may or may not have your best interests in mind.

LifeLibertyHappiness
Draper, UT

The higher education needs to be adjusted. Tenure for professors is a joke and it adds expense to the system. Some of the core classes required are superfluous. Having said that, no one is putting a gun to anyone's head to go to expensive colleges and take out debt. I made it through on my own with minimal student loans for undergrad and graduate school and paid them off within five years. My children are responsible for their own education. Work summer jobs, work part time during the school year and take out student loans in their own names if necessary. I have two kids that went through undergrad and graduated with no debt. I expect my other children will do the same. No one is entitled to higher education. Go out and earn it. It means more.

SLC gal
Salt Lake City, UT

Scary how many comments are about working for other companies. It's scary how even the upper echelons of our educational system simply produce more bean counters, and not more entrepenuers.

Get a good job, and work the rest of your life for the same company was good advice in the age of our grandparents when pensions, and lifetime benefits were around every corner. Corporate loyalty in this day and age rarely pays off. You only get older (and more expendable).

I'm a big fan of Robert Kyosakis "Rich Dad Poor Dad" theories.

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