If you were in your 20s in the 70s would you have likely attended university?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by waloshin, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. waloshin macrumors 68040

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    #1
    If so why? What has changed from then to now? It seems like everybody is pushed into going to university for what they assume is immediate success in the job market.
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    Just about every job today that is worth anything requires some form of post-secondary education. Not all post-secondary education is equal.

    If you have the cajones and the discipline, you can be successful regardless.
     
  3. eawmp1 macrumors 601

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    We sent ~40% of HS grads to college in 1970. Now some 70% go.

    In HS in the 70's there was an active vocational ED curriculum in many schools. There was a broad manufacturing base in the US. Many students prepared for and found jobs in the non-college track.

    Those jobs started leaving. School systems, facing budget shortfalls and under pressure to focus on college prep, pushed their voc ED programs out (often to community colleges).

    The HS diploma, once the benchmark to get a job, was replaced by the bachelors or associate degrees.
     
  4. Peace macrumors Core

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  5. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

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    Me too.

    And I'll agree with what eamwp1 said.
     
  6. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    If Wally was in his 70s in the 20s would Wally have likely attended university?
     
  7. waloshin thread starter macrumors 68040

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    Nope.
     
  8. ixodes macrumors 601

    ixodes

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    A masters degree will pay off handsomely. A timeless credential.
     
  9. thewitt macrumors 68020

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  10. Chundles macrumors G4

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    Hell yes I would've, it was free in Australia in the 70's.
     
  11. chrono1081 macrumors 604

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    I would have. I've been trying desperately to get my college degree since I was 19 (and just now got it three colleges later and at age 30 0_0) .

    Things like military service, or very well paying jobs that I couldn't say no to pushed my degree back a bit but better late than never.

    And its not like I wasted all my time from 19 - 30, I have a descent resume of work experience to show.
     
  12. Happybunny macrumors 68000

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    If you were in your 20s in the 70s would you have likely attended university?

    This is an easy one for me, it's not if, I did go to university started in 1968 the course was 4 years spread over 5 years. It was free. I had no idea what I was going to do afterwards, but hell I was young and it was the 60's.
     
  13. steve2112 macrumors 68040

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    Until degree inflation makes it the equivalent of a Bachelors, much as a bachelors has become the modern equivalent of a high school diploma.
     
  14. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    Very good analysis for the US; in some of the European countries, second level education became both much more accessible, and less vocational, which, in turn, made contemplating the idea of university entrance less daunting and difficult.

    Add that to the decline of traditional manufacturing, & heavy industry, and an increase in white collar service jobs; technology transformations; increases in the number of third level colleges themselves; changes in the position of women as social & cultural attitudes altered leading to increased opportunities in education and employment for them (and consequent increased economic independence), and one can see a variety of reasons why third level attendance increased hugely over the past few decades.

    Well, yes, perhaps. Credential inflation has been a feature of life, and becomes more prevalent when recessions occur; academic credentials (especially at graduate degree level) are less important during periods of economic prosperity.

    ----------

    In my experience as a third level teacher, I have to say that I loved teaching 'older'/'mature' or 'second chance' students; they were more interested in the stuff being discussed/taught and were far more motivated.

    This is because they generally did not attend university until they themselves wished to, - and were able to - rather than because, say, their parents may have wished it. Seriously, I don't think you'll have any difficulties when you go to college, and I expect you'll really enjoy it. Most of the 'matures' whom I taught, did.
     
  15. macquariumguy macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I went to college in the 70s. A time before AIDS and the War On Drugs, it was awesome. :D

    Now, what was the question again?
     
  16. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #16
    Back to the OP's question: Probably, yes, but I was a school-kid in the 70s. I went to college in the 80s, but I come from a family where it was always assumed and expected that we would all attend university.
     
  17. Shrink macrumors G3

    Shrink

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    #17
    I finished Grad School in the 70's

    Since my work requires a doctorate, not much choice.:D
     
  18. MasterHowl macrumors 65816

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    I think I would have. I've always had an academic mind and the drive to want to "find out more" about things, which is the main reason I'm studying for a masters in Geology with Planetary Science.

    On a different note, I hope the number of people doing degrees these days doesn't render my degree worthless...
     
  19. steve2112 macrumors 68040

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    All of those factors have played into the increase. It isn't just during down economic periods. For man reasons, people here in the US have got it drilled into their heads that they must get a degree. Or rather, the older generation got it in their heads that their children must get a degree. I don't agree with this idea at all. Some people simply aren't college material. I really wasn't, but I went anyway and ended up taking 10 years to actually earn a degree in a field in which I have never worked.

    When I went back to get a degree in something I was interested in, it was at a local community college in a technical program, not a university setting. Truthfully, had such a program been available when I first graduated high school, I never would have gone to a university. I work in IT, and I routinely see jobs such as help desk or desktop support that require a degree in Computer Science or a related field. Really? That is some serious de-valuing of a degree there.
     
  20. ender land macrumors 6502a

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    I've got bad news for you :(
     
  21. MasterHowl macrumors 65816

    MasterHowl

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    Yeah I was afraid someone was going to say that... seriously considering staying on after I've finished my masters to do a PhD...
     
  22. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #22
    I take your point completely, and this also happened in parts of Europe, such as Ireland, where I come from. Part of the reason for this, I suspect, is that education was seen as a means of social mobility, and access to better conditions and employment opportunities, especially in poor societies, or in socially fairly rigid ones.

    Precisely because education was a means of social mobility (and thus conferred increased status), the very idea of learning (and not just the qualifications) as well as those who worked in it, were accorded considerable respect and status in their respective communities (think of the 'respect' accorded to the schoolmaster, or school ma'm in traditional western societies). And, in turn, this meant that for quite some time, teaching and schooling attracted the ambitious poor.

    Indeed, this is why reforms enabling access to education for those hitherto denied it (women, African-Americans, Catholics in Northern Ireland, to name but a few) have often had, almost literally, explosive and revolutionary consequences in some societies, and why, to this day, denying certain groups access to learning and education is so controversial an issue (think of the Taliban for a recent example).

    However, your point that college may not be for everyone is perfectly valid. Yet, it can still be quite difficult for people to achieve social mobility, career satisfaction and respect unless they have access to higher education, which tells you more than is good for anyone's peace of mind just what is valued by our societies.

    Obviously, societies need to address their priorities, and ask how rewarding career paths can occur in the absence of traditional vocational training (and the old apprenticeship systems) and without the necessity of acquiring university degrees.

    For now, college degrees offer a ladder to a better life, which is why most people feel the need to have them. I readily grant it is a long way from Cardinal Newman's idea of a university, or the ideal of disinterested learning, but there you are. I may regret the passing of some of this (and I suppose I do) but that is life. Things change and we have to learn to live with it.

    Cheers
     

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