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Article: Business is the most popular major but that doesn't mean it's a good choice.


Replies to: Article: Business is the most popular major but that doesn't mean it's a good choice.

  • boudersbouders Registered User Posts: 1,822 Senior Member
    @Canuckguy @BingeWatcher There are 336 schools in Ontario offering AP classes. https://apcanada.collegeboard.org/participating-schools

    Although the curricula is standardized across each province, grading isn't. A student with a 99 in calculus isn't necessarily better than a student from a different school with a 95. Some high schools are known for grade inflation. The universities do keep track of how well students from each high school do in their university, and adjust the bar for admissions appropriately.
  • CanuckguyCanuckguy Registered User Posts: 1,107 Senior Member
    ^^Thanks for the update. I have no idea that AP even exist up here. The only university that I know keep data on high schools is Waterloo; I know for a fact they do that for their precious engineering spots.
    SOME business majors are fine at SOME colleges. Others are a content-heavy/analytically light major which do not lead to the type of outcomes parents think.

    I think by simply asking for standardized test scores such as the GRE + subject as an initial screen would solve the problem. Employers can then simply look through the remainder for specific skills they want and interview.

    Kid2’s present employer asked for, among other things, 4 years of experience in supply chain/ operations and a degree in business/engineering. That eliminated wordsmiths with few other skills to offer. Next, they brought the survivors in for testing. Since the job deals with contracts, the candidates were given a contract and were asked to “find all the mistakes”. This step took care of a lot of “techies” as well. Then and only then they start the interview process. Clever.
  • DungareedollDungareedoll Registered User Posts: 911 Member
    I apologize ahead of time if this has already been discussed. ..........People are complaining that business majors have terrible writing skills. As a whole I think most kids coming out of high school write poorly. That's actually the bigger issue here. Writing skills develop in elementary school and into middle school. The problem is the education that kids are receiving in those grades. Rarely is grammar taught and writing. In truth, the elementary education course curriculum needs to be overhauled completely at the college level. Its one of the least competitive programs to get into. There are far and few universities that have an entrance requirement into the elementary education programs. Meantime, as much as people are complaining that the business degrees are weak, at least there are schools like Wharton, Ross and McIntyre that require a selective admission. Sadly, many young people go into elementary ed because they will only work 180 days a year and have all the major holidays off. I'm not saying that there aren't good teachers out there, but even for those, there needs to be more rigor at the college level, so that the youth of today come out of high school better prepared.
  • MYOS1634MYOS1634 Registered User Posts: 31,484 Senior Member
    edited February 17
    ^actually, teachers don't work 180 days a year (you forget inservice days, summer school etc). I'm not a teacher, I'd like to work fewer days, but no way am I going to be one, nor will I encourage students to go into teaching in the current climate.
    I agree we need rigorous content and skills for teachers at all levels. (I especially envy French preschoolers/kindergartners, who have teachers with Master's degrees offering their actual syllabi to parents to want to follow term-level outcomes in developing motor coordination, fine coordination, social skills, citizenship, math sense, geometrical sense, the environment, "graphism", visual arts, poetry, language arts... I don't think a Master's degree is necessary but rigorous college work leads to rigorous thinking and planning and thus teaching.)
    More importantly than days worked: not many people want to become elementary school teachers because 1° they're caring, creative people who've got a college degree but are treated like assembly line workers who can't be trusted with their time and approach 2° their promotion depends on arbitrary criteria that change depending on fads or who it may profit or other random events 3° the job has become more externally controlled (with all the 4-8 standardized testing, state tests, common core, etc..) 4° when there's a problem (low test scores, unhappy parents, budget crisis) they're blamed, and they're easy targets, for everyone - see how your explanation that young people entering that career do so, essentially, out of laziness... 5° they have to take all of that for way less than they'd make in business.
    HOWEVER we NEED to have teachers, there can't be a shortage (imagine parents if the district superintendent were to say "well, this year at Jefferson Elementary there won't be any math in 6th grade, no teacher for kindergarten and second grade, and non-English speaking students will have recess instead of ESL"...); public universities in particular need to hit a specific target number of trained/educated teachers graduating each year in some subjects, in general elementary education, in ESL/special education: when you have too few candidates and you have target numbers at the end in relation to your state's or district's needs, you admit as many future teachers as needed, even if you know some aren't that good students. If teaching becomes more desirable (and it's not just a matter of pay, but also a matter of image, working conditions, and professional treatment) then the situation won't be as problematic.
  • gwnorthgwnorth Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    edited February 17
    @Canuckguy wrote

    I remember Waterloo’s elite computer engineering, and even more so, systems design engineering, had such strong applicants that even the toughest senior course combination offered by the province was unable to separate them, that Waterloo resorted to asking for the results of the Euclid math competition (Waterloo’s math competition for Canadian seniors) as a 7th course and tie breaker.

    It's gotten even crazier. Now there is:

    a mandatory AIF that can add up to 5 points
    an interview
    ranking of the applicant's high school
    possible demerit points for re-taking a high school course or for taking it outside of day school (ie night school, summer school, private school etc.)

    There is so much demand to get into Waterloo's engineering programs that admission is starting to look more and more like the requirements to get into the tippy tops in the U.S.
  • GoNoles85GoNoles85 Registered User Posts: 781 Member

    Regarding post #184, thanks for posting that link. The link takes you to a blog of a Duke grad who is exposing the "Ivy Lie." That, of course, is just as anecdotal as what cobrat and a few others relied on to start this thread but, unlike them, I won't draw conclusions from anecdotal data even though it supports my own position.

    The author/blogger's main point is, without merit aid, paying $200K+ for a bachelor degree is a poor bet for a middle class family. I've been saying that for years and years based mostly on common sense not empirical data. I also said virtually the same thing upthread before I even read post #184.

    My point is not to diminish great schools like Duke, the Ivies and a bunch of the LAC's. They are great schools that offer students great educations although, in some cases, depending on the major, not particularly useful for a vocation without some serious help, mentoring and training on the job. Give that same mentoring, help and training to some middle class kid who went to the state U and then you'll find out real quick why some folks with good old fashioned common sense would rather not pay $200K+ for four years of pillow fights and glorified summer camp.

    Take away the merit aid and the elite schools are exposed for what they are. The only thing unusual about that blog is that it is honest. Normally, someone from a $50K+ per year school is too embarrassed to admit the truth. And, even worse, the COA annually for some of these places is now closing in on $70K+ per year. It's insanity. As the blog points out, if you have the money to burn that is fine but for the middle and lower class that doesn't get in without merit aid to help pay for it, if they try to cover those costs themselves, just to by a brand name school, they often end up in debt for the rest of their adult life. Thank God for merit aid.

    I guess this complaint/concern shouldn't be directed at the Ivies since they have generous aid based on need from what I understand. But there is a whole wave of schools that cost as much as the Ivies and Upper Elites that cut the cost in half to get you in and make you feel like you are getting a deal and even then it is twice as expensive as State U would have been. And let's not forget what poor Junior has to go through to get that 8.5 weighted GPA and EC's and so forth to get that near perfect SAT score. No wonder a lot of these kids even up basket cases later. No thanks. Not interested. Maybe I'm jealous. Maybe I'm too dumb to get into one of these places. My oldest son could have gone to one of those elite schools, to play football, but he didn't want to go to a cold weather state.

    I've said it before and I'll say it again on this board. If you live near a community college that has a good reputation you should strongly consider getting the first two years out of the way there and then transferring to the U of your choice that has a program you trust and believe in. Grad school is pretty much part of the deal so factor that in from the word go. Finance most of it with prepaid tuition plans and Education IRA's. On the PP plans you might be paying $75 a month if you get the plan when the child is young. Then read the IRS pub on education credits so you can get the max credits while your children are in school. If you do all that you will have 85% of it paid all the way through grad school and you will wonder why so many other parents put themselves through the ringer about college costs and get so stressed out about it. Planning is the key to life. I'll be at the beach if you need me.
  • GoNoles85GoNoles85 Registered User Posts: 781 Member
    Full disclosure: I teach at a CC. We don't need more students. Classes are full every session. Also, I think a bachelor degree should cost about $10,000. I think MOOC's and other technologies along with external exams to enter a profession (e.g. the CPA exam) should replace brand name expensive degrees. In other words, you study when and where you want for $10,000 and as long as you pass the exam that qualifies you to enter a professional, such as the bar exam for lawyers, you are in at the entry level. It would replace a whole lot of anguish, save money, and allow people to compete on an equal footing. It makes so much sense it will probably never happen.
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 8,075 Senior Member
    GoNole- you really live in a dream world if you think everyone goes to grad school. (or needs grad school).

    And the community college near me is a great choice for a kid interested in early childhood education, allied health, or IT (not computer science- but IT). It's a lousy choice for lots of other kids- because the 2 years spent there won't cut 2 years off of the degree program at most of the four colleges in this area.

    Enjoy the beach.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,948 Senior Member
    GoNoles85 wrote:
    I think MOOC's and other technologies along with external exams to enter a profession (e.g. the CPA exam) should replace brand name expensive degrees. In other words, you study when and where you want for $10,000 and as long as you pass the exam that qualifies you to enter a professional, such as the bar exam for lawyers, you are in at the entry level. It would replace a whole lot of anguish, save money, and allow people to compete on an equal footing. It makes so much sense it will probably never happen.

    It won't happen because the incumbent professionals want to limit the number of new entrants for economic reasons, so that educational prerequisites before taking the licensing exam tend to trend upward. For example, the educational prerequisite for the CPA exam is now 150 credits including a bachelor's degree, instead of just a bachelor's degree that is normally 120 credits or similar. For law, it used to be that one could go to law school without a bachelor's degree, but now a bachelor's degree is a prerequisite for law school which is a prerequisite for the bar exam.
  • gwnorthgwnorth Registered User Posts: 92 Junior Member
    @BingeWatcher wrote:
    @Canuckguy, Do ya'll have AP classes "up there"? From "down here in Texas"
    @Canuckguy wrote:
    @BingeWatcher I am not aware of schools offering AP

    We do have AP in Canada though has not been very widespread until recently. There is an Canadian arm of the College Board's AP program that is actively promoting it and it is growing quickly. There are enough students now with AP credit applying to Canadian universities that most schools have an AP credit policy. For the most part AP courses are treated the same as IB HL courses. BC and Alberta have had IB & AP programs the longest so the universities there are the most generous. Ontario universities have been much slower to recognize the program and generally will only give credit for 2-3 courses with a minimum score of 4. Some courses require 5 and some programs (like engineering at Waterloo) will not offer any credit. The maritime universities tend to be generous as well. Quebec's policy is similar to Ontario's.

    DS15 is in grade 10 in a congregated AP program. He is in the first cohort of students in the program at his school as it started just last year. There is only one other high school in our board (further north) that offers a congregated program though there are a few schools that offer the occasional course as a one off. At his school admission to the program is by application and is highly competitive. In his year he was one of over 600 applicants for approximately 85 spots. There was an initial pre-screening based on his grade 7 report card and then 2 1 hour assessments, 1 in math and the other in English.
    @MYOS1634 wrote:
    U/M classes are similar to AP classes.

    Grade 12 U/M classes maybe similar to AP classes in the U.S., but they are not similar to AP classes in Canada. In Ontario we have 3 academic streams for grades 11 & 12 depending on the ultimate post-secondary destination: workplace (E), college (C&M), and university (U&M). Grade 12 U or M level courses are prerequisites for admission to university. AP courses are equivalent to Canadian 1st year 1st semester university courses. How that compares to high school courses in the US I don't know, but the way they are being taught at DS15's school they go beyond the 12U curriculum.

    At DS15's school the AP track is structured so that for grades 9 & 10 they take the Ontario curriculum at an accelerated pace in the 5 mandatory core courses: English, Math, Science, French, Geography (grade 9) and History (grade 10). In grade 11 accelerated courses are continued to be offered in math (functions), biology, physics, chemistry, and french and AP English Composition is offered in lieu of grade 11U English. The students can choose which courses they wish to continue with in the accelerated "AP track" and which they prefer to take at the regular U level. The acceleration is structured so that they will have covered the majority of the grade 12 Ontario curriculum by the end of grade 11, in essence compacting 4 years of high school into 3 years. The AP curriculum is then covered in grade 12.

    For grade 12 there is a combined accelerated Advanced Functions + Calculus 12U full year course leading to the AP Calculus BC exam. The remaining are 1 semester courses which will also grant 12U course credit for graduation purposes but go beyond the 12U curriculum. In addition to AP Calculus BC his school is offering:

    AP Biology
    AP Chemistry
    AP Physics 1
    AP English Literature
    AP French Language
    AP Psychology
    AP European History

    The other high school with an AP program has been running it for 2 years longer and offers a few more additional courses.

  • GoNoles85GoNoles85 Registered User Posts: 781 Member

    So because the CC near you sucks they all suck? Good logic there. There are some great CC's across this country including the three I've worked for over the years. One as an adjunct, for one year. The second in Texas and my first tenure track position and the third the one I work at now in the city I grew up in. We have an honors program at this school that is beyond excellent and routinely sends kids to all the big, brand name schools so believe me a CC can work. Even if a kid isn't in Honors, the CC can get you to the 4-year public in good shape there are so many examples all you have to do is look. The beach, by the way, is fine. Good luck with the stress and ulcers though.
  • GoNoles85GoNoles85 Registered User Posts: 781 Member

    The CPA has had the 150 hour rule for a long time. It isn't a conspiracy to exclude people from the profession, however, to your point there is "degree and credentials creep" meaning you might need an external designation, such as a CFA, to enter a profession that didn't used to require it. Why? Exactly what you said to limit the number of people who can enter the profession protecting the ones already in the profession. They will tell you it is to ensure customer service. No. Baloney.
  • GoNoles85GoNoles85 Registered User Posts: 781 Member
    By the way, for any parents and students reading this an honors program at a CC is the best of both worlds. A CC is an open door institution. It is the opposite of elite. It doesn't take the best and the brightest and act like it taught them to read. It takes anyone with a HS degree or GED and does amazing things with them even if many students waste the opportunity in front of them.

    But, think about it.

    You are given a chance to do elite work at an open door institution and it costs about half of what a U costs and even less if you live at home. It is the ultimate even playing field. It is democratic. You are judged based on performance not pedigree. Okay, commercial over.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,948 Senior Member
    edited February 17
    GoNoles85 wrote:

    So because the CC near you sucks they all suck?

    Seems like the quality and value of CCs varies considerably by state and sometimes by region, locality, or school within a state.

    For example, California has one of the strongest CC systems in the US, with in-state tuition that is among the lowest in the US. State university policy is to admit lots of transfer students from CCs and have well defined course articulation and transfer paths, although not every major at every state university has its frosh/soph courses well covered by most CCs (transfer students in those majors tend to need more "catch up" courses after transfer). Even California privates like USC and Stanford recognize the suitability of transfer students from CCs.

    But some other states have much weaker CC systems in terms of course offerings to prepare to transfer to a four year state university. Some also have relatively high in-state tuition for their CCs (e.g. Vermont).
  • GoNoles85GoNoles85 Registered User Posts: 781 Member

    Yes. The thing is, it isn't that hard to set up the articulation agreements between the CC's and U's. That way the CC's cover the freshman and sophomore classes and the U's devote resources to the junior, senior and grad level classes. Who wins? The students. The institutions. The taxpayers.

    If you live in a state in which the CC's and U's don't have articulation agreements ...... I'm speechless. I rally don't know what to say. That is like saying you stop your car with your feet like Fred Flintstone. Your state needs to join the modern age.
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