Going to College -- Or Not. Going to College -- Or Not.

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Thread: Going to College -- Or Not.

  1. #1
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  2. #2
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    Great article Rip and Nick. I've been going through the following exercise for my cousins and relatives for a few years. It may not have changed their mind, but it did give them something to think about.

    Before even taking any college course or considering it for a specific field (any field), the interested party (17 year old senior in high school) should be able to answer the following questions:
    1) What job will you have when you exit college (with a degree or not)?
    2) What do actual practitioners of that job recommend you do?
    3) What do people who hire actual practitioners of that job recommend you do? Contact at least 10 hiring agents
    4) What will the total cost of education be?
    5) What is the annual salary of that job?
    6) How long will it take you to pay off that college debt with the annual salary?
    7) Is that number of years acceptable to you?
    8) If you change your answer to number 1 halfway through college, how salvageable is your time and money or it just a sunk cost?

    There is a solid chance that the answer to number 3 will not be "get a degree" but you don't actually know until you ask.

    If you can't answer all of those questions, you have no business asking for a loan of any size.
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    I agree with this, but I have found that even for the STEM courses that the lectures are usually not worth it. I received a bachelor's in mechanical engineering and a master's in computer science over the last decade, and they were very few lectures worth attending. Most lecturers resort to powerpoint slides, which I found to be useless. I found more value from the rare course where the professor used a chalkboard.

    I would also add that while calculus is certainly valuable for learning basic logic and thinking, I think an introductory programming course does it a lot better and is more fun, too.

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    Why Only Idiots Don’t Go to College! - YouTube

    JP weighs in...same conclusion.

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    Somebody send JP the article.

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    For someone like me who knows basic algebra. Is there a textbook or source for learning calculus that would be useful? or does it need to be taught by a tutor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewLewis View Post
    Great article Rip and Nick. I've been going through the following exercise for my cousins and relatives for a few years. It may not have changed their mind, but it did give them something to think about.

    Before even taking any college course or considering it for a specific field (any field), the interested party (17 year old senior in high school) should be able to answer the following questions:
    1) What job will you have when you exit college (with a degree or not)?
    2) What do actual practitioners of that job recommend you do?
    3) What do people who hire actual practitioners of that job recommend you do? Contact at least 10 hiring agents
    4) What will the total cost of education be?
    5) What is the annual salary of that job?
    6) How long will it take you to pay off that college debt with the annual salary?
    7) Is that number of years acceptable to you?
    8) If you change your answer to number 1 halfway through college, how salvageable is your time and money or it just a sunk cost?

    There is a solid chance that the answer to number 3 will not be "get a degree" but you don't actually know until you ask.

    If you can't answer all of those questions, you have no business asking for a loan of any size.
    The students who don't already think like this are the ones who just don't want to get a job yet. They don't snap out of the Peter Pan shit till they have to start paying bills.

  8. #8
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    I think the recommendation to expose yourself to economics is a good one, but taking only Macroeconomics may not necessarily allow you to "know when you're being lied to by politicians about current events", as it says in the article. Macroeconomics is not settled science and there are many competing schools of thought, including those that say government spending is pretty much always good for economic growth. So if that's the only school of thought you are exposed to, you may not become a more discerning citizen.

    My recommendation for a college-aged student looking for an introduction to economics would be to read "Basic Economics" by Thomas Sowell. No charts or equations, minimal jargon, and clear writing on every page. it will help you develop your economic intuition and think beyond first-order effects. In fact, I think it does for economics what the blue and gray books do for weightlifting: gives readers a clear foundation and exposes the "silly bullshit" that abounds elsewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Subby View Post
    For someone like me who knows basic algebra. Is there a textbook or source for learning calculus that would be useful? or does it need to be taught by a tutor?
    Calculus Made Easy

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    starting strength coach development program
    Quote Originally Posted by Subby View Post
    For someone like me who knows basic algebra. Is there a textbook or source for learning calculus that would be useful? or does it need to be taught by a tutor?
    You'll need some prerequisites before jumping into calculus; trigonometry, and analytic geometry. Analytic geometry can be pretty rough without an excellent instructor, but if you get through that, the calculus isn't too bad, although there was calc 1 through calc 4; it's going to take a fair amount of time and effort.

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