Why do employers want degrees.

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  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 1,998 ■■■■■■■■□□
    diablo911 said:
    @chriscurtis83 for me its because i cant remember anything i learn there, i completed trig last semester and someone asked me what the area of a circle was, didnt remeber, so i googled it, even then i found myself still lost, so that was 5 months and 1200 bucks out of my pocket, for what ?.
    You remember nothing?  I'll admit I don't remember all the details analyzing malware because I took my GREM 18 months ago, and haven't had much practice in the art since, but I still remember the basic process.  If refresh my memory looking at the books I can still do it, if you remember nothing about what you learned, I question if you really learned it at all. We may forget the details for stuff we learned, but should still remember enough about the basics to pick it back up with a quick refresher.    
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • paul78paul78 Member Posts: 3,016 ■■■■■■■■■■
    kaiju said:
    I know more than a few people who make $150k ~ $300k without a degree. 
    That may be very true and I've shared my income here before so I fall into your category. But I do think that it's an anomaly versus the norm. And it requires a mindset and perseverance to invest the time and effort to get there. But I agree, it's all possible with hard work.

    @chriscurtis83 - I don't necessarily agree with your assertion that having a degree implies that someone is educated. Having a degree doesn't equate wisdom or being educated. Or vice-versa. Education can come in many forms.  

    @diablo911 - I am truly trying to be empathetic but after re-reading several of your other threads and posts, I am guessing that you are either a brilliant troll or you are simply lackadaisical. If you are truly despondent about the courses you have selected - why don't you pick more relevant courses to your choice of vocation. Why don't you transfer to WGU and work on certifications? You own your choices.


  • StrikingInfluencerStrikingInfluencer CISSP, PCNSA, AWS-CSAA, AWS-CCP, A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, Project+, Storage+, CIW garbage, others Member Posts: 35 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Wow I think a lot of people here have really lost track of what college and higher education was really about.  50-60 years ago the college attainment rate for the percentage of adults holding a Bachelors degree was something like 6%.  College and higher education used to be about becoming well-rounded and was pretty much only for the extremely wealthy and elite.  For everyone else, a high school diploma was adequate for a vast majority of the jobs.  In this time the US economy has also shifted from being a country that manufactured and exported most of its goods, to being a country that imports many of its goods.  We've slid from a manufacturing based economy to a services based economy.  

    Many children (including myself) grew up in the early 90's with parents who saw firsthand the changes this country went through (my dad is a baby boomer).  My dad got his first job in 1973 with only a high school diploma and this job was a manufacturing job.  His very first job adjusted for inflation, paid $25 an hour.  Many years later when he climbed the ladder his company gave him an ultimatum -- stay in your current position and receive no more promotions or go to college, get a degree, and move into management.  My dad was forced to go to night school in his 40's and it sucked but he did it.  Because of this he also put an extremely high value on me going to school and all of my siblings going to school.  

    So the point I'm trying to make is a high school diploma isn't really adequate enough for a lot of the modern workforce.  Although some public school systems are fantastic, many are not and leave young adults woefully unprepared for any a job in almost any field.  As our society has shifted away from manufacturing and labor jobs, so does our workforce and so many of these new jobs require very specialized skills that are difficult to just pick up.  Tech is sometimes very different from other fields and so a lot of people who go the four year route will complain about generals. I for one didn't really mind them.  I liked the idea of learning about philosophy and economics and being more well rounded.  However, some people just want the piece of paper and I somewhat understand that.  Nowadays most four year colleges are glorified trade schools anyways but I still do not regret my degrees at all.  I wouldn't be where I am without them.  
  • DFTK13DFTK13 Member Posts: 174 ■■■■□□□□□□
    diablo911 said:
    @chriscurtis83 for me its because i cant remember anything i learn there, i completed trig last semester and someone asked me what the area of a circle was, didnt remeber, so i googled it, even then i found myself still lost, so that was 5 months and 1200 bucks out of my pocket, for what ?.
    You remember nothing?  I'll admit I don't remember all the details analyzing malware because I took my GREM 18 months ago, and haven't had much practice in the art since, but I still remember the basic process.  If refresh my memory looking at the books I can still do it, if you remember nothing about what you learned, I question if you really learned it at all. We may forget the details for stuff we learned, but should still remember enough about the basics to pick it back up with a quick refresher.    


    I don't remember whole classes that I've taken at college either. Honestly, the vast majority of the mandatory core classes are equivalent to tripe. Even a good portion of Math that is taught simply isn't used in tech jobs, even alot of software engineering. The only useful college classes I'd say are Discrete Mathematics, statistics/probability and some algebra and that's about it. The rest could be tossed because they're just rehashes of HS classes and ultimately filler classes to generate cash for the colleges. Sure, there's some Software Engineering jobs that require intimate knowledge of arcane maths/physics, so make that optional for those who feel they'd benefit from it. Just focus on the necessary Math, and then jump into the major. Of course, I speak with regard to Tech-related careers as most on here are pursuing. 
    Certs: CCNA(200-301), Network+, A+, LPI Linux Essentials
    Goals: CCNP Enterprise(ENCOR + ENARSI), AWS CSA - Associate, Azure AZ-104, Become better at python, learn docker and kubernetes

    Degree: A.S. Network Administration
    Pursuing: B.S. in I.T. Web and Mobile Development Concentration
  • TechGromitTechGromit GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 1,998 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Nowadays most four year colleges are glorified trade schools anyways but I still do not regret my degrees at all.  I wouldn't be where I am without them.  
    Trade schools? A trade school teaches you skills that are actually useful in the market place. Like a HVAC tech trade school graduate actually knows something about fixing HVAC equipment. The same can't be said for a typical college graduate, sure they have a well rounded education, and some of what they learned such as English courses could be applied to job functions in the market place, but they are far from useful to the typical employer the first day on the job.  
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Member Posts: 399 ■■■■■□□□□□
    Higher education (just like most of our educational systems in the US) is all about who can memorize the best.

    The better you can memorize, the better grades you get and the faster you can finish a degree.

    It's become a necessary evil in our society now because of HR.

    Don't worry about what you will and will not remember. Just do the work and get it done.

    Just grin and bear it ... you've only got 1 more year left. The bulk of it is already over.
  • StrikingInfluencerStrikingInfluencer CISSP, PCNSA, AWS-CSAA, AWS-CCP, A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, Project+, Storage+, CIW garbage, others Member Posts: 35 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Nowadays most four year colleges are glorified trade schools anyways but I still do not regret my degrees at all.  I wouldn't be where I am without them.  
    Trade schools? A trade school teaches you skills that are actually useful in the market place. Like a HVAC tech trade school graduate actually knows something about fixing HVAC equipment. The same can't be said for a typical college graduate, sure they have a well rounded education, and some of what they learned such as English courses could be applied to job functions in the market place, but they are far from useful to the typical employer the first day on the job.  
    I actually agree and believe more people would be better off going to trade schools as I went to one myself and it was incredibly affordable and relevant.  I also might be bias but I am part-time faculty for a technical college and teach Linux+ and CCNA level classes.  As far as 4-year college graduates go, I think it varies greatly.  I've come across extremely talented grads and some that barely knew how to use Excel.  I still digress to what I stated earlier, and that is that most four year colleges have tried to turn into more like trade schools where they award these oddly specific degrees but usually leave students saddled with a lot of debt and a tiny bit of knowledge in a lot of different areas (a mile wide and an inch deep).  Whereas real trade schools cut out all of the filler classes and focus intensively on maybe one or two subjects.  Like my AAS degree was basically Computer Networking, Linux administration, and Windows administration.  Those were the core classes and they were covered in-depth throughout the entire two years of the program.  By the time I graduated I knew shell and iOS in my sleep.  

    When I compare the degree I got (AAS Network Admin) to the degrees the new incoming interns have at work, it seems their education is very washed down.  Many of them have B.S. degrees in Info & Cyber Security from smaller state colleges but when you break down the actual courses they took it amounts to nothing more than Security+ level of classes.  Extremely high level overview and basics with zero hands on whereas the technical college I got my degree from stills teaches networking and not only that but they will actually teach you hands-on security with ASAs and Palo Alto firewalls.  

    I think the role of a traditional college is kind of in this weird limbo right now which is why we're even here debating this.  Every high school student is basically told that if they want to be successful they need a four year degree.  So every student of every background will try to cram into a four year school and these schools are now basically extensions of high school in certain aspects filled to the brim with students who have no business being there.  I mean seriously I've been to some of the smaller state level universities and visited friends and family and it's downright comical what some of these schools teach and sell.  BUT, people are willing to pay for it and take out loans, therefore schools will continue pumping out unqualified grads in record numbers.  Meanwhile the technical colleges like the ones I work at, teach very real skills but struggle financially because they are the red-headed step-child of the education world and no one really champions them like they do four year schools.  One of my biggest goals this upcoming year is to help develop a real-world hands-on cyber security program for my local technical college but it's difficult.  
  • MontagueVandervortMontagueVandervort Senior Member Member Posts: 399 ■■■■■□□□□□
    ... usually leave students saddled with a lot of debt and a tiny bit of knowledge in a lot of different areas (a mile wide and an inch deep). 

    This sums up university perfectly.

    Unfortunately, I've seen the same issue in two-year colleges also. Everything is about just skimming the surface.

    Two-year colleges are beginning to focus on the fact that they are just there as the first half of a four-year degree (continued somewhere else) so are turning into "mini universities" now also, so I'm certain we'll just continue on this current trend.

    Should I add "unfortunately" at the end of that last sentence? I don't know ... it just is what it is.
  • StrikingInfluencerStrikingInfluencer CISSP, PCNSA, AWS-CSAA, AWS-CCP, A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, Project+, Storage+, CIW garbage, others Member Posts: 35 ■■■□□□□□□□
    edited June 2019
    ... usually leave students saddled with a lot of debt and a tiny bit of knowledge in a lot of different areas (a mile wide and an inch deep). 

    This sums up university perfectly.

    Unfortunately, I've seen the same issue in two-year colleges also. Everything is about just skimming the surface.

    Two-year colleges are beginning to focus on the fact that they are just there as the first half of a four-year degree (continued somewhere else) so are turning into "mini universities" now also, so I'm certain we'll just continue on this current trend.

    Should I add "unfortunately" at the end of that last sentence? I don't know ... it just is what it is.

    Yes, as someone who teaches at a technical college you've really hit the nail on the head.  So many students now just see two year colleges as "Part A" and its sad because I truly do think there are AAS degrees that bring more value than most of their BS counterparts at a fraction of the price.  Tuition at the college I teach at averages around $4,500 a year.  At $4,500 a year most of our students don't even take out loans, they simply go on payment plans and graduate debt free.  

    But also the washing down of even four year degrees has gotten horrible from what I've experienced personally and sadly it's even getting to the graduate level courses.  I have a really good friend who was going for a Masters in CompSci at a reputable state school but eventually dropped it because of how entry-level he said it was.  He is now obtaining his degree elsewhere but it's still mind boggling to me that at a graduate level they would teach such low level concepts.  

    I also hate to say this because I am a WGU grad but WGU has gone down this path and it's quite frankly for the worst.  I graduated right on the cut over of their BS in IT.  I had to learn JavaScript, Java, MySQL, Linux+, Project+, etc..  I will say honestly that most of these classes have directly affected my work and contributed to me being a well rounded tech.  Because of these classes I've been able to automate processes at work with bash, create simple web sites with JavaScript  and so on and so fourth. When I was a few classes away my mentor showed me the new BS in IT curriculum out of disgust and I had to say I agree with him.  MySQL was basically replaced with 'using Excel', Java was taken out completely, Linux+ was replaced with Linux Essentials, and CIW JavaScript Specialist and CIW Web Design Specialist (although not great certs themselves) were replaced with some even lower level certs.  I'm not sure if the program is still like this as I haven't looked in a long time but sadly many schools are like this now.  Another good friend of mine got an IT degree from a very well known state school and basically for 40K he learned Excel, basic web design, client-server computing, and took an MTA Network Fundamentals class with some other fillers.  It's quite sad.


  • DFTK13DFTK13 Member Posts: 174 ■■■■□□□□□□
    @MontagueVandervort

    I agree about skimming the surface, that’s why I’ve had to turn to other sources such as udemy and read more in depth textbooks. I mean it’s ridiculous, the gap of knowledge between college grads/interns to the actual requirements in job postings these days. Honestly a lot of colleges are using old technologies/methodologies to teach students. For instance, a lot of front end/full stack web development jobs use ReactJS with redux and require extensive knowledge in JavaScript and Postgres and deploy to amazon web servers or azure. The web dev classes I’m taking taught none of that, just very basic html/css and only a tiny section of MySQL and php. It was pathetic. They don’t teach modern and relevant stuff and I feel it’s a huge disservice to students who have paid out of their pockets. I feel online teaching platforms are profiting massively from this gap of knowledge. Treehouse, udemy, Udacity are way better options for learning actual tech, at least it worked out for me that way. 
    Certs: CCNA(200-301), Network+, A+, LPI Linux Essentials
    Goals: CCNP Enterprise(ENCOR + ENARSI), AWS CSA - Associate, Azure AZ-104, Become better at python, learn docker and kubernetes

    Degree: A.S. Network Administration
    Pursuing: B.S. in I.T. Web and Mobile Development Concentration
  • StrikingInfluencerStrikingInfluencer CISSP, PCNSA, AWS-CSAA, AWS-CCP, A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, Project+, Storage+, CIW garbage, others Member Posts: 35 ■■■□□□□□□□
    DFTK13 said:
    @MontagueVandervort

    I agree about skimming the surface, that’s why I’ve had to turn to other sources such as udemy and read more in depth textbooks. I mean it’s ridiculous, the gap of knowledge between college grads/interns to the actual requirements in job postings these days. Honestly a lot of colleges are using old technologies/methodologies to teach students. For instance, a lot of front end/full stack web development jobs use ReactJS with redux and require extensive knowledge in JavaScript and Postgres and deploy to amazon web servers or azure. The web dev classes I’m taking taught none of that, just very basic html/css and only a tiny section of MySQL and php. It was pathetic. They don’t teach modern and relevant stuff and I feel it’s a huge disservice to students who have paid out of their pockets. I feel online teaching platforms are profiting massively from this gap of knowledge. Treehouse, udemy, Udacity are way better options for learning actual tech, at least it worked out for me that way. 
    Yup, I also use udemy, uCertify, and many other similar sites to stay up-to-date and learn new technologies.  The problem is traditional colleges cannot move at the speed of the industry.  Even schools like WGU, which are online and quite adaptive, still have very dated course ware.  The amount of time it takes to create courses and content, have it all reviewed and then officially taught as a 'credit class' for a college is insane.  Even brand new courses released by many colleges are still years behind which is why the future of learning seems to be going to more dynamic content and certifications like udemy and uCertify. 
  • DFTK13DFTK13 Member Posts: 174 ■■■■□□□□□□
    No kidding, a lot of my courses taught from books that were at least 5 years old, I think there was content that one of my teachers taught that was from 2011 :open_mouth: that’s like 2 life cycles for some software...
    Certs: CCNA(200-301), Network+, A+, LPI Linux Essentials
    Goals: CCNP Enterprise(ENCOR + ENARSI), AWS CSA - Associate, Azure AZ-104, Become better at python, learn docker and kubernetes

    Degree: A.S. Network Administration
    Pursuing: B.S. in I.T. Web and Mobile Development Concentration
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