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Angst for the educated

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Replies to: Angst for the educated

  • polarscribepolarscribe 3200 replies32 threads Senior Member
    I have never taken a math class beyond algebra II and statistics, and never once have any of my employers cared - or even asked.

    Some people are stronger at some things than others, and I don't believe it's helpful to criticize students for picking an educational path that connects with their skills and interests. If that involves math, great. If not, great.
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  • englishjwenglishjw 382 replies23 threads Member
    Engineering is cyclic. Different forms of engineering have different demand curves and different utility decay rates. There are times when it is superb to be a xxxx engineer and other times when you can't find a job with a xxxx degree. Nonetheless, it is a degree with a high probability of employment upon graduation and a career beyond it. There is the added complication that comes with age - higher levels of compensation and technological obsolesce. Older engineers are therefore at risk if they don't maintain the cutting edge competence.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81169 replies728 threads Senior Member
    As Lemaitre1 notes, liberal arts degrees are good business for colleges - high demand, low cost to deliver.

    Not all liberal arts are low cost to deliver. Biology is an extremely popular major at some schools, but it is a high cost major, since it requires substantial numbers of lab courses that are more costly to the school than lecture and discussion courses (like humanities, social studies, business, and math).
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  • mregomrego 994 replies44 threads Senior Member
  • ExengineerExengineer 44 replies0 threads Junior Member
    "Older engineers are therefore at risk if they don't maintain the cutting edge competence."

    This is very heavily dependent upon the company they work for. If the company is not involved in extremely current and emerging businesses and technologies, their employees will also not be. Most people will stay current with what their company is doing at the moment but trying to stay ahead is guesswork and may lead you into subjects of no value.
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  • englishjwenglishjw 382 replies23 threads Member
    I agree that the employer may help accelerate the engineer's obsolesce thereby truncating his/her career alternatives. Unfortunately, this clearly puts the responsibility on the engineer to maintain his/her skills and knowledge.
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  • bruno123bruno123 1349 replies41 threads Senior Member
    The 2011 edition of the annual Education at a Glance report includes very interesting data on the tertiary education earnings premium across the different OECD countries plus a few select emerging nations.
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  • bruno123bruno123 1349 replies41 threads Senior Member
    Talking about "fear of math" and student demand for engineering degrees, Table A4.4 in one of the OECD report's data sheets actually seems to show that the percentage of students enrolled in engineering/manufacturing degree courses at the tertiary-type A and advanced research levels in the United States in the reference year 2009 was actually the lowest among all OECD countries.

    The table, however, also shows an unusually high percentage of US-based students enrolled in "not known or unspecified" fields, suggesting there may be some problem in data collection as far as the US is concerned. In other words, I can't tell how reliable those enrollment percentages are.
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 81169 replies728 threads Senior Member
    bruno123 wrote:
    "not known or unspecified" fields

    Freshman or sophomores who are not yet declared in a major?
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  • englishjwenglishjw 382 replies23 threads Member
    I know this is only one case but my son falls into this "unspecified" class since he hasn't declared a major going into college. He won't have to do so until the end of his sophmore year. He didn't declare because he is not yet sure if he wants computer science or math. I assume he is not alone. Cases like his will impact the numbers. He loves math.
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  • vienneselightsvienneselights 395 replies16 threads Member
    I love this thread. It's like, WHY CAN'T WE ALL JUST LEARN MULTIVARIABLE CALCULUS AND BE HAPPY?!!!

    Dear Concerned Middle Class Fathers,

    Math is great, but nobody cares. This hysteria about STEM majors is just that: people think that by satisfying some arcane list of requirements, they will purify themselves before the nebulous ether and gaim entry to heaven on earth. Before, people used to buy great artwork for the churches in order to buy out their souls, and even before that, they did rain dances and sacrificed virgins. Now everybody's advised to put themselves through the Majors of Hell, for a propensity for the humanities is Original Sin, and only linear algebra could possibly save you from the inferno/not being decent enough to enter the middle class.

    But the fact is, the world was always as it is right now, in the sense that, to succeed, one must hustle. A piece of paper, whether it says that you go to confession regularly or that you completed pre-med requirements, will not save your ass unless in a bathroom situation. Unfortunately, there is no substitute for hard work, and there is no medicine for uncertainty.

    p.s. Multivariable calculus is pretty legit, tho
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  • IBfootballerIBfootballer 2220 replies30 threads Senior Member
    ^Eloquent and insightful wit like that, in my opinion, is more marketable than being a dime-a-dozen dullard whose resume is distinguished by containing a line saying 'Multivariable Calculus.'
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  • IBfootballerIBfootballer 2220 replies30 threads Senior Member
    The value I see in having quantitative credentials is that you have the skill set to think critically about data instead of relying only on a computer output or the analysis which someone else puts on your desk/computer screen. I'm looking to go into International Relations, but I hope to distinguish myself by having taken a statistics course, perhaps working in some econometrics, and taking a course in Geographical Information Systems. I figure I'll be better able to do whatever job I end up with if I'm able to come to an understanding of inputs on my own.
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  • englishjwenglishjw 382 replies23 threads Member
    IBfootballer - your approach seems fine and should achieve what you are hoping to accomplish. Best of luck with everything.
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  • DreburdenDreburden 277 replies20 threads Junior Member
    IBfootballer and Viennese, you guys sound like you have huge inferiority complexes lol
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