Monday, November 5, 2007

Life choices 101


"YOUNG STRIVERS" IN WASHINGTON find that being a "professional world-saver" doesn't pay as well as they'd hoped.

And they're not getting much sympathy.

UPDATE: A reader emails:

Geez, we’ve been dealing with this in academic science for decades now.

I wish these people would do the math: Doing something that’s stimulating and fun, sounds great at a cocktail party, and is supported by charity or tax money means that you will probably be making peanuts. (In my field, there are usually about 200 applicants/permanent position, all with Ph.D.s.)

Don’t like being broke? Do something that makes you a profit center instead of a cost center.

Good advice anywhere.

Sounds eerily similar to this item:

I am 24, live with my parents, can’t find work and am floundering in a sea of debt five figures high. I think of myself as ambitious, independent and hardworking. Now I’m dependent, unemployed and sleeping under the same Super Mario ceiling fan that I did when I was 7.

Why is that, we have to wonder? Well, maybe this can give us a clue:

Upon graduating, I was helplessly launched headfirst into the “real world,” equipped with a degree in history and $32,000 in student loans. Before ricocheting back home, I would learn two important lessons: 1) There are no well-paying — let alone paying — jobs for history majors. 2) The real world is really tough.

I can not help but love this line:

I had no intention of living in a society that was as unfair as this one.

There it goes again, that bit about society being unfair because it does not hand a newly minted collage graduate with a HISTORY degree a job in history, paying $100K, where he wants to live and where he wants to work. Boo Friggin Hoo. The real world is like that. It allows you to stand or fall on your own and tends to reward those skills that are needed and it doesn't so well reward those skills that are not so needed. This is called supply and demand. He should have learn about this while in collage but maybe they no longer cover that lesson cause it is so, you know "old school". What in the world did he think he could do out in the real world with a history major? Be the CEO of a video game company? Head of Starbucks? What?

This is also a good one:

Suddenly, living at home didn’t seem nearly as degrading as selling out. But sadly, other graduates don’t have any choice but to work for temp agencies and retail stores to eke by.

Yeah, don't sell out and support yourself at just any old job! That is too much like being an adult. It is much better to stay at home and mooch off of your parents. His closing statement says it all:

My loan payments can’t wait much longer, and soon I must leave home to find work that doesn’t compromise my integrity. Although I sometimes wonder what it would be like if I had declared as an accounting major and got a cushy job punching numbers somewhere, I’ll take my history major, my debt and my mom’s cooking any day of the week.

So, an honest day's work compromises his integrity and (having NEVER been an accountant) he knows that accountants have cushy jobs punching numbers all day. Well he showed them didn't he! Living at home, off of his parents with a nearly useless (but apparently fun) history major degree, crying in his pillow cause HE choose to go to school and get an nearly useless degree (but had fun) and didn't immediately get the "grand easy life" he feels he is entitled to. Yep, he is certainly ready for life in the real world. After reading his diatribe, I for one am glad that he had a chance to go off to collage and grow up some. I would have hated to see what he was like before that maturing experience.

Let's see if we could have helped him make some better, more informed decisions if he had asked, shall we?

Well first off, he could have gone to the local community or 4-year collage instead of initially to Alfred University (a pricey private school) and then to University at Buffalo. That decision could have turned his $32K in dept into a slightly more manageable $2.2K to $5.8K per-year. Going high end, that would have been $23.3K. A savings of at least 9K in loans.

Another choice he could have improved on was NOT being a history major. What is the world did he think he was going to do for a living with a degree in history? If we assume he has some brains, then he must have given some thought to what he was going to do the day after he graduated. For history majors that generally means teaching or research. Nether one a career choice known for the big bucks. That being the case, he should have expected to either spend a long time looking for a job in his career field or spend some more time getting a teaching certificate. Can't really tell cause he doesn't really say.

All in all a nice little peak into the mind of the average collage graduate today. Picked a fun degree, went to an expensive school and didn't think much about the cost of the degree, didn't give much thought to what would happen the day after graduation, feels it is the governments job to "fix the problem" with the cost of education, lives at home with mommy and daddy cause he doesn't want to compromise and wants his parent's standard of living handed to him. Well we can't all be Paris Hilton now can we?

No comments:

Post a Comment