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post #91 of 170
Personally, I think a college diploma is overrated, at least in my career of computer programming. Some of the worst computer programmers I've worked with have advanced degrees. Some of the best I've worked with don't have degrees, or have degrees in music, English, math, etc. For me, I thought programming classes in college was difficult, until I started working. Most of what programmers use is learned on the job.
post #92 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by scompton View Post
Personally, I think a college diploma is overrated, at least in my career of computer programming. Some of the worst computer programmers I've worked with have advanced degrees. Some of the best I've worked with don't have degrees, or have degrees in music, English, math, etc. For me, I thought programming classes in college was difficult, until I started working. Most of what programmers use is learned on the job.
I agree. While I did not make the most of my college and post graduate years, I believe higher education costs a lot more than it is worth. After college two months in an adult night class and my income tripled--total cost: $1200.
post #93 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodgy View Post
The absolute distribution is details and for the most part doesn't matter. The 50% of the population that is below average are not going to be stellar engineers, professors, physicians, computer programmers, etc. Unless you've ever worked retail or customer service, it's hard to appreciate just how dull people in that bottom 50% can be... but a well-constructed society needs jobs for those people too.
But who's to say if that 3% of the population that scores 99 on an IQ test are not smart enough to become an engineer? Likewise, I'm sure there are people who work in retail who do have an IQ of 100. I know plenty of smart people who I find dull to talk to. IQ tests can only tell you so much. I think they can help shed light on how much of the population is truely incompetant (ie that 9% that's under 80). It has almost as much coorelation as wealth: basically a high IQ score means that you can take an IQ test. It doesn't mean that you'll become a brain surgeon or rocket scientist....it also doesn't mean you'll become a millionaire.

I have one friend who's extremely book smart, but I know won't make it far in life: he just has no common sense when it comes money.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wodgy View Post
I agree with you there. Expectation and standards do make a difference. For instance, despite stereotypes, research has shown that Asians are roughly as intelligent as everyone else, but being "stupid" is not well regarded in Asian cultures, and thus people are pushed to achieve to the limits of their inherent intellectual horsepower, which is a positive thing. Likewise, there are socioeconomic groups in the US where learning is socially discouraged, and it shows.

However, the idea that college is for everyone is the same flawed idea that economists have been selling, just in different clothing. Not everyone is suited for intellectual pursuits, and a well-constructed economy needs jobs for those individuals as well.
I never said college is for everyone.....I stressed the importance of a primary education. Even if there are a certain percentage of people who can't move on to college, they'll still get a better education for finding a better salaried job.

I do think that economics has a lot to do with our current education standards....rich kids can be dumb but still breeze through our school system. Poor kids who are dumb stay dumb and die early (from gangs). My mom helped tutor underprivileged kids at a local high school: she met many who were very smart but had simply given up on school. Who's to say that if circumstances were different, that these kids would have the ability to have a successful career.

Cultural background can be part of it too......I'm Jewish and have noticed that we get lumped in with Asians for being instilled with intellectual pursuits. Even if traditional scholars were ones who just focused on the Torah
post #94 of 170
Some of the dullest to talk to people I've met were members of Mensa. They basically used Mensa as a badge to prove how smart they were

My freshman year of college, I had a senior roommate that was among the people who couldn't find the US on a map. He couldn't even find New Jersey, the state he grew up in, on a map of the US. Except for college, he'd never been farther from home than 15 miles. He was completely ignorant of anything that fell outside of engineering. He was the only graduating senior that I met during my 2 years at the college, that couldn't get a job upon graduating. He could never get past the interview. He ended up going to grad school and is probably a professor somewhere now
post #95 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by scompton View Post
Personally, I think a college diploma is overrated, at least in my career of computer programming. Some of the worst computer programmers I've worked with have advanced degrees. Some of the best I've worked with don't have degrees, or have degrees in music, English, math, etc. For me, I thought programming classes in college was difficult, until I started working. Most of what programmers use is learned on the job.

What are you talkin aboute? I werk at a colledge, and a colledge degree is an i-urn-clad endoresemint of one's intelligince, and qualificashun at whutever majer they studdied.

Seriously, I am always in a state of amazement at the students that pass through my office, with 3.5 and 4.0. These kids have a lack of comprehension of many, many levels.

The best education is the education a person seeks on their own. Anything learned in college can be learned more effectively employing alternative methods (excluding medical, unless you have a really hi-tech back alley )
post #96 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by scompton View Post
Some of the dullest to talk to people I've met were members of Mensa. They basically used Mensa as a badge to prove how smart they were

My freshman year of college, I had a senior roommate that was among the people who couldn't find the US on a map. He couldn't even find New Jersey, the state he grew up in, on a map of the US. Except for college, he'd never been farther from home than 15 miles. He was completely ignorant of anything that fell outside of engineering. He was the only graduating senior that I met during my 2 years at the college, that couldn't get a job upon graduating. He could never get past the interview. He ended up going to grad school and is probably a professor somewhere now

(alt text: "Ray can only name three Beatles")
post #97 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by scompton View Post
Personally, I think a college diploma is overrated, at least in my career of computer programming. Some of the worst computer programmers I've worked with have advanced degrees. Some of the best I've worked with don't have degrees, or have degrees in music, English, math, etc. For me, I thought programming classes in college was difficult, until I started working. Most of what programmers use is learned on the job.
Completely agree. As I mentioned eariler in the thread that I just had a talk with 4 college students who didn't know what a pedophile was. These students get good grades in class and can memorize a textbook the night before finals, but ask them questions about the real world and they are absolutely clueless.

I got my college degree a few years back and am currently working on a graduate degree and most of the time I wonder what the hell I'm doing all this for. I'm in massive debt while some "dumb blonde" who can't find the U.S. on a map is probably making more money then I'll ever see by smiling pretty for the cameras and getting on youtube.

Yes, I'm in a bitter mood this morning.
post #98 of 170
I had a roommate who had a Masters in Social Work and it used to bother her that I made 3 times as much as she did and I didn't have a degree. I used to always wonder why she majored in social work if money was what was important to her. If money is the primary factor, go into finance. Friends from high school who went into finance are now retired in their late 40s.
post #99 of 170
Fun huh? A few years ago our youngest daughter was considering attending a local business college. She was looking closely at attending to get a two-year degree to become an office receptionist.

After two years she would be qualified to greet folks at the door. They also had more elaborate courses of study to become a full-fledged Secretary.

.....with a minor in copy machine, I guess.
post #100 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by scompton View Post
Personally, I think a college diploma is overrated, at least in my career of computer programming. Some of the worst computer programmers I've worked with have advanced degrees. Some of the best I've worked with don't have degrees, or have degrees in music, English, math, etc. For me, I thought programming classes in college was difficult, until I started working. Most of what programmers use is learned on the job.
Sometimes it's true in this profession, it's all about how your mind works, or doesn't. I'm a Programmer Analyst and I know that most of the people who graduated from my program were intelligent enough (40% dropout rate per semester), unfortunately, I work with 2 senior level programmer analysts with a university degrees in computer sciences who are dumber than a garden vegetable! Another weirdest thing is that I have a senior level manager, by far the smartest person I've ever had the opportunity to work under, and he's got a PhD in Chemistry

Some degrees really are overrated, but the education you can get in the programs is not. Some people can get something out of school, others just go for the paper that says they know it. It's a shame that some managers are so slow to fire the idiots when they manage to sneak into a team.
post #101 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davesrose View Post
How can we break what is ingrained in the American psyche: it is way too "uncool" to be book smart.
It's not just that, but people (kids) are having harder times dealing with school due to outside factors. I actually started off relatively intelligent when I was young, but I drifted away and became quite average in the academic department. Why? I had to deal with bullying, violence, and loneliness (which ultimately led to depression), so I really didn't care about studying. (Especially since most of those things occured *in* school) Education just became less and less of a priority. I couldn't even stand showing up to class, I wanted to drop out so I could save myself.
Quote:
These students get good grades in class and can memorize a textbook the night before finals, but ask them questions about the real world and they are absolutely clueless.
So true, I've met so many kids who were incredibly book smart, yet lacked common sense and decency.
post #102 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by F107plus5 View Post
Fun huh? A few years ago our youngest daughter was considering attending a local business college. She was looking closely at attending to get a two-year degree to become an office receptionist.

After two years she would be qualified to greet folks at the door. They also had more elaborate courses of study to become a full-fledged Secretary.

.....with a minor in copy machine, I guess.
Actually this isn't so far-fetched as it seems on the surface.

....after giving it a moments thought.

There have been so many middle-management types taken out of the chain since the take-over of computers, that the secretary types have taken over many of the middle management responsibilities at that. What a middle manager did in hours of expensive tedious labor at his desk a few years ago is now accomplished by a couple of keystrokes by the secretary who used to work for him.

Interesting turn of events.
post #103 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirosia View Post
I actually started off relatively intelligent when I was young, but I drifted away and became quite average in the academic department.
Never mistake academics for intelligence. They may sometimes be tied together, but they are not the same, so don't measure your own intelligence based upon your academic career. Good academics and intelligence do not always go together, and vice versa, and it seems the gap is growing.
post #104 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by EyeAmEye View Post
Never mistake academics for intelligence. They may sometimes be tied together, but they are not the same, so don't measure your own intelligence based upon your academic career. Good academics and intelligence do not always go together, and vice versa, and it seems the gap is growing.
True, but perhaps it does not carry the weight you stress on it. I would consider intelligence the ability to solve problems quickly, effectively and efficiently. I would think that this skill is usually acquired through practice and most likely to be done during a person's academic career. There would definitely be exceptions to this, when people with a great capacity for intelligent do not gain it through education (and lots of people who are simply incapable of being intelligent gain nothing in the sames ystem), but I do believe that a "bright" or intelligent person, through education will achieve much more than without.

Oh, and about the growing gap between academics and intelligence, I absolutely agree, but it is not because they are so different, it is because the public primary and secondary school systems are a complete joke! It's embarrassing to hear what they put in the curriculum these days. Last time I checked they actually had mandatory community service and fitting into society courses!
post #105 of 170
Quote:
Originally Posted by EyeAmEye View Post
Never mistake academics for intelligence. They may sometimes be tied together, but they are not the same, so don't measure your own intelligence based upon your academic career. Good academics and intelligence do not always go together, and vice versa, and it seems the gap is growing.
Academics is a measure of "book" smarts, isn't it? In that sense, I was pretty crappy.
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