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tlfamm
01-30-2017, 11:01 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/education/edlife/factory-workers-college-degree-apprenticeships.html

<quote>
When the German engineering company Siemens Energy opened a gas turbine production plant in Charlotte, N.C., some 10,000 people showed up at a job fair for 800 positions. But fewer than 15 percent of the applicants were able to pass a reading, writing and math screening test geared toward a ninth-grade education.

“In our factories, there’s a computer about every 20 or 30 feet,” said Eric Spiegel, who recently retired as president and chief executive of Siemens U.S.A. “People on the plant floor need to be much more skilled than they were in the past. There are no jobs for high school graduates at Siemens today.”
...
<endquote>

Max McGrumpy
01-30-2017, 11:24 AM
I tried to tell people that ignorance is not a virtue. Bragging that you've never had to use that "fancy math" or "read another book" since school locks you out of far far more jobs than you realize.

On top of that it's not just reading you need to comprehend. Too many people don't comprehend what they read. The ability to gather disparate datapoints and create a conclusion then act on it... it's sadly not present in a majority of people I encounter. "How do you know how to do that --" Uh it's not hard, I look at it and I know that this needs that and that needs that too and this part goes over here. It's an innate talent, learned thought process and a desire to be more than a button pushing moron who consumes whatever the media is pushing right this second.

Friend of mine got out of the Army applied to a gas-turbine factory. He had extensive experience in GT technology and repair and they turned him away. Why? Because while he could DO he couldn't pass the reading and comprehensive math test. I recall him telling me that it was "bull****" that he had to know things like the metric system, decimal division and simple equation solving.

Well dems da breaks. You have to be up with what employers demand because they decide who gets the job, not you.

EddyCurr
01-30-2017, 12:34 PM
Friend of mine got out of the Army applied to a gas-turbine factory. He had extensive experience in GT technology and repair and they turned him away. Why? Because while he could DO, he couldn't pass the reading and comprehensive math test.I think that BOTH parties lost out on that occasion.

Maybe the company happened to be all stocked up with guys w/ extensive experience on that day.

Maybe.

But more likely, someone in middle management had signed an order stating "Thou shalt have attained a certificate/degree in such & such from an accredited institution...", leaving HR no choice but to comply.


I recall him telling me that it was "bull****" that he had to know things like the metric system, decimal division and simple equation solving.If this was his general outlook and not just the result of frustration from being turned down, then no, he would likely NOT be a good fit in a progressive firm.

OTOH. The guy obviously has a clue or two in order to have achieved the present level of experience he possesses. Organizations are foolish to pass up opportunities to bring guys like this into the fold and provide them with the training they need to fill in the gaps.

Max McGrumpy
01-30-2017, 12:45 PM
That company missed out. He found a job suited to his unique personality and skills a few months later.

garyhlucas
01-30-2017, 12:50 PM
Yep I made the mistake of not completing college 40 years ago and it still haunts me. It took me 4 years to find a new job despite the fact I was the top designer at the job I already had. I didn't get that job directly, I worked there part time in the shop. When I turned down the offer to go full time they decided to try me in the engineering position.

While working there I was asked to give a moments notice presentation to the California Plumbing code board on Ultrafiltration and Reverse Osmosis membrane systems. Afterwards one of the six Phds in room said "Wow you really know your stuff! Where did you go to school?" Gotta love it. As if I didn't learn anything in the following 35 years!

DR
01-30-2017, 12:57 PM
Yep, things are changing, even on the production floor.

Long time ago I was looking for a couple of machinists. Two guys came together to talk about the jobs. They both claimed to be journeymen machinists, meaning they must have gone through some sort of lengthy apprenticeship. I asked if they had worked in a shop with CNC machines. The reply was, "we ain't got no use for computers". My immediate thought was, I "ain't" got no use for you.

I felt sorry for them, mid-fifties, laid off from a shop that now needed computer and CNC skills. Their mistake was not keeping up with coming technology even if it wasn't a requirement of their current positions. Their long ago earned journeyman status wasn't serving them anymore with the rapid changes in machining and manufacturing.

Same is going to happen to workers expecting their high paid manufacturing jobs to come back to this country. No doubt, the work will come back with automation, not the jobs though.

I always tell young guys interested in machining to learn CNC's/CAD/CAM and forget the nonsense about needing to know manual machining skills prior to CNC.

projectnut
01-30-2017, 01:04 PM
This is nothing new in industry. Back in the 1980's the company I worked for was opening new production plants across the US. One of the primary qualifications was to have a 4 year degree for those applying for maintenance positions. For the roughly 80 maintenance positions in one plant there were over 1,000 applications.

All of the applicants that were hired did have a 4 year degree. The starting wage at the time was only $9.00 per hour plus benefits that included a pension plan, health and life insurance, vacation, sick days, etc, etc. A few years later the pension plan was replaced with a 401K with a company match up to 6% of the employees salary. Those that made it through the 90 day initiation period got substantial salary increases.

Over 90% of those hired during the initial phase stayed with the company over 25 years. Over 60% remain with the company and will be retiring within the next 5 years. It may sound like the companies are asking a lot, but when you hire the right people for the job it's win for both the company and the employee

EddyCurr
01-30-2017, 01:12 PM
He found a job suited to his unique personality and skills a few months later.Steps to upgrade in the interim, or since ?

Machine
01-30-2017, 01:27 PM
...German engineering company Siemens Energy opened a gas turbine production plant in Charlotte, N.C....[applicants need] to pass a reading, writing and math screening test geared toward a ninth-grade education... “There are no jobs for high school graduates at Siemens today.”

Maybe it's my 8th grade reading skills, but something seems "non-sequiturish" with these two statements.

fjk
01-30-2017, 01:48 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/education/edlife/factory-workers-college-degree-apprenticeships.html

<quote>
When the German engineering company Siemens Energy opened a gas turbine production plant in Charlotte, N.C., some 10,000 people showed up at a job fair for 800 positions. But fewer than 15 percent of the applicants were able to pass a reading, writing and math screening test geared toward a ninth-grade education.
<endquote>

Even scarier than the implications for production/blue-collar/factory/"maga"-jobs, is that less than 15% of the people applying could pass a test oriented towards 9th grade-level reading/writing/math.

EddyCurr
01-30-2017, 01:52 PM
Maybe it's my 8th grade reading skills, but something seems "non-sequiturish" with these two statements.
Nope.


Expert: Most US College Freshmen Read at 7th Grade Level (http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2015/01/03/expert-most-us-college-freshmen-read-at-7th-grade-level/)
by Merrill Hope
Breitbart 2015.01.03

EddyCurr
01-30-2017, 01:54 PM
... is that less than 15% of the people applying could pass a test oriented towards 9th grade-level reading/writing/math.But watch your back going up against them in O/L FPS games.

Edwin Dirnbeck
01-30-2017, 02:01 PM
I tried to tell people that ignorance is not a virtue. Bragging that you've never had to use that "fancy math" or "read another book" since school locks you out of far far more jobs than you realize.


Well dems da breaks. You have to be up with what employers demand because they decide who gets the job, not you.
Country music and now,rap music has been celebrating low living and ignorance for years.Edwin Dirnbeck
,

tomato coupe
01-30-2017, 02:04 PM
I think that BOTH parties lost out on that occasion.

Maybe the company happened to be all stocked up with guys w/ extensive experience on that day.

Maybe.

But more likely, someone in middle management had signed an order stating "Thou shalt have attained a certificate/degree in such & such from an accredited institution...", leaving HR no choice but to comply.

If this was his general outlook and not just the result of frustration from being turned down, then no, he would likely NOT be a good fit in a progressive firm.

OTOH. The guy obviously has a clue or two in order to have achieved the present level of experience he possesses. Organizations are foolish to pass up opportunities to bring guys like this into the fold and provide them with the training they need to fill in the gaps.


That company missed out. He found a job suited to his unique personality and skills a few months later.

A lot of jobs are disappearing. In many areas it's a buyer's market, so companies can afford to be picky with their hires. Why would a company hire someone that can't pass basic reading and math tests, when they can hire someone else with the same technical skills that can also read and do math?

Hopefuldave
01-30-2017, 02:15 PM
That company missed out. He found a job suited to his unique personality and skills a few months later.

Sometimes it's the unique skill set...

My current job I applied for twice, the skill set was ME - IT skills in depth, optical networking, satellite comms, electronics test and measurement, I suspect there are perhaps a dozen or so matches in the UK? I wasn't even put forward by the recruitment agency because... I don't have a degree.
Four months later, the same job spec. advertised direct, put my CV in by email, called within a half hour to see if I could come in for an interview... on the way home, call to a second interview, when I got home from that, call "are YOU still interested?"

But... both the company and I could have missed out purely because a recruitment "professional" followed a script, and wasn't looking for a Journeyman.

Dave H. (the other one)

DEVILHUNTER
01-30-2017, 02:38 PM
Finished my aerospace engineering degree a few weeks ago and currently looking for a job in the machining world. Have an interview on a couple of days with a high preccision machining company, wish me luck.

Evan
01-30-2017, 02:53 PM
I am very concerned about our current standards of education. It seems I needn't worry too much about lecturing young post grad students. When I attended the lecture by the professor I am working with he was putting up a map of the world to show us where Mt. Everest is located. Most of us at the lecture were around my age group or just a little younger. The professor then commented "I guess I really don't need to show you this, you aren't my students."

Also, when I whipped up a nice looking graph in Excel the professor was nearly astounded at how good it looked. It was nothing very special, I just used the available methods that Excel provides, no programming at all. I am considering teaching the lab partners how to create graphs. I am also considering making a separate app to produce the graph in my current project. It is able to handle very short to very long data strings and automatically adjusts for amplitude and labeling.


While working there I was asked to give a moments notice presentation to the California Plumbing code board on Ultrafiltration and Reverse Osmosis membrane systems. Afterwards one of the six Phds in room said "Wow you really know your stuff! Where did you go to school?" Gotta love it. As if I didn't learn anything in the following 35 years!

Very much like myself. In my 23 years with Xerox I was a constant "professional student". Combined with my studies at Berkeley I now have about 230 semester credits but the type of training and engineering education I had was not structured to lead to a degree. I was thinking of challenging for one or two but the cost would be too much.

J Tiers
01-30-2017, 04:15 PM
The degree thing can also be a matter of job classification.

The EEOC generally requires non-college degreed folks to be hourly, unless there are special issues. College folks are assumed to be smart enough to know when they are being taken advantage of with long hours and no overtime.

So, for that, or other reasons in the same vein, if the job is classified in certain ways, it may require a degree to avoid EEOC issues. The HR department lawyers will make sure things are in compliance with the law. And they are not, in a large corporation, going to want to take on special cases to handle as exceptions, unless there is one whale of a good reason.

Lew Hartswick
01-30-2017, 04:46 PM
I think there is a flaw in this business of saying college freshmen have 7th grade reading skills. :-) It's almost by definition that when the majority of a group
are at some "level" that defines the "Level" . The big problem that I see is the Level keeps getting lower all the time. :-)
The "capability" for math I see in high school students recently (over the last 10 years or so) is what USE to be lower grade school, but they are now
"level" high school. It's just the definition. I wish there was some way to make this an "Absolute" measurement rather than just a relative one.
...lew...

danlb
01-30-2017, 05:06 PM
Many hiring managers use basic high school skills as a measure of how well the person will be able to acquire new ones. If a person could not learn to read well in 12 years of public schooling, then how well will that person learn to run new machines without bringing in expensive consultants to do intensive training? When I was hiring, the idea was to chose people who were trainable and who would make the company a career.

I was never in the armed forces, but it seems that they are more than happy with taking a year or two to teach skills that will only be used for a year or two more. When I worked at AT&T (THE phone company) they were more than willing to send me to training that took 1 to 6 months out of each year because I planned to stay till medicare kicked in.

mattthemuppet
01-30-2017, 05:14 PM
Nope.


Expert: Most US College Freshmen Read at 7th Grade Level (http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2015/01/03/expert-most-us-college-freshmen-read-at-7th-grade-level/)
by Merrill Hope
Breitbart 2015.01.03

oh man, please don't use Breitbart as an "information" source to support an argument. I trust that site even less than I trust a stranger on the internet.

if you have the direct sources (surveys/ research/ well sourced reports) please cite those, not a loony website peddling pizza based conspiracy theories.

Rich Carlstedt
01-30-2017, 06:16 PM
If Seimen's offers enough money, they will find their employees.

The Education System today does not support employment. look at what they teach in school. It's quite simple.
Look at the number of high schools that have dropped shop and technical classes. Look at the colleges that require absurd classes -- all this in the name of "providing a rounded education"
Rounded education, means 'no Specialty"
No specialty means "unqualified" for most work except for playing video games.
I went to a high school with 4 years of Math, 4 years of science , and 4 years of shop, and 2 years of technical drawing.. That high school no longer exists. Couple that with a lack of apprenticeships, and you have the current hand wringing .
I taught a few classes at our local tech college. I do not do it now, as when I told the brass that I wanted to drop two students for lack of energy and interest ( in machining ) , I was told I could not. They occupied space that could be used by some student who wanted to learn. I know when I ran a shop, those machinists would be fired. Alas, the schools are not interested in producing employees. but producing income instead. When the public wakes up to this fact, maybe it will get better.
Rich

polaraligned
01-30-2017, 06:18 PM
The parents are letting these kids down. They are too damn busy with themselves nowadays to worry about their children and their education.
My oldest is 19 and in her 2nd year at college. I have 3 more to follow. They all do good in school. I would prefer them to get the B.S. degree (yes, that is what it is B.S.), then they can move onto whatever interests them for a career.

tomato coupe
01-30-2017, 06:43 PM
The Education System today does not support employment. look at what they teach in school. It's quite simple.
Look at the number of high schools that have dropped shop and technical classes ... I went to a high school with 4 years of Math, 4 years of science , and 4 years of shop, and 2 years of technical drawing. That high school no longer exists. Couple that with a lack of apprenticeships, and you have the current hand wringing.

Yes, it's sad that these things aren't taught much anymore. Maybe the schools are doing the right thing, however, by shifting their focus to subjects that better prepare students for today's job environment.


Look at the colleges that require absurd classes -- all this in the name of "providing a rounded education"

I don't understand what you mean when you say colleges require "absurd" classes. Can you cite some examples?


Rounded education, means 'no Specialty" No specialty means "unqualified" for most work except for playing video games.

Getting a rounded education is not the same as having "no specialty."


I taught a few classes at our local tech college. I do not do it now, as when I told the brass that I wanted to drop two students for lack of energy and interest ( in machining ) , I was told I could not. They occupied space that could be used by some student who wanted to learn. I know when I ran a shop, those machinists would be fired.

I can sympathize. Deadbeat students are a real drag. You can't "fire" them, but there is a built-in mechanism that deals with them -- it's called flunking out.

Cheers

mattthemuppet
01-30-2017, 06:55 PM
there is also a strong "anti-education" undercurrent in this country, which doesn't help. Learning is frequently viewed as unpractical or not useful, people who strive to be educated are often ridiculed whereas those who can catch a football are applauded, not to mention the constant attacks on science and scientists, whenever their findings contradict what someone "feels" is right.

The fact of the matter is the jobs of the future are not the jobs of the past. The days when a high-schooler can walk into a well paying, low skill job in manufacturing are over. Now you need an engineering degree, critical (and lateral) thinking and an ability to work across fields. But still we're stuck in the mindset of "we can be like the 1950s again, if only we had the right policies". That's just wishful thinking.

mklotz
01-30-2017, 07:01 PM
there is also a strong "anti-education" undercurrent in this country, which doesn't help. Learning is frequently viewed as unpractical or not useful...


Sounds a lot like many folks on this and other metalworking fora.

Machine
01-30-2017, 07:08 PM
if you have the direct sources (surveys/ research/ well sourced reports) please cite those, not a loony website peddling pizza based conspiracy theories.

Breitbart is a very reputable website for accurate information and I openly accept the validity of Eddy's link/info. Certainly moreso than CNN, MSNBC, NYT or any number of MSM sources.

J Tiers
01-30-2017, 07:16 PM
....

The fact of the matter is the jobs of the future are not the jobs of the past. The days when a high-schooler can walk into a well paying, low skill job in manufacturing are over. Now you need an engineering degree, critical (and lateral) thinking and an ability to work across fields. But still we're stuck in the mindset of "we can be like the 1950s again, if only we had the right policies". That's just wishful thinking.

Well not everyone is suited to that, even if they are smart.

So, it looks like a lot of people, perhaps 60%, or more, depending on what the robots don't take, are gonna be on welfare, with you and me paying for them. There are only so many spots for groundskeepers and gardeners.

That amounts to a subsidy for the manufacturers, which we will pay, just about the same as the government assistance we pay to folks that Walmart "officially employs" for 10 minutes a week short of full time (no matter how long they are actually in the building working).

Speaking of manufacturing, where are they going to sell goods when everyone is on the dole? Strikes me they must be planning to get theirs and split before the crap hits the fan. There is documentation of a number of very rich folks setting up alternate houses, and even bunkers, in other countries. Australia seems to be favored by some, for it's remoteness and comparatively low population. They know something we don't?

Frankly, the best you can say for 60% unemployment is that it is "destabilizing". Probably a lot of folks will end up "employed" in armies. Official ones, and unofficial ones.

I'd view the whole thing as a National Security Problem.... And not just in the US.

vtcnc
01-30-2017, 07:19 PM
Watch this "degree required" mandate swing in the other direction as these college graduates need +60k starting salary just so they don't default on the crushing debt they have out of school. Can't run a factory on high cost college education especially when much of the factory knowledge and expertise is grown from within to begin with.

fixerdave
01-30-2017, 08:03 PM
... I can sympathize. Deadbeat students are a real drag. You can't "fire" them, but there is a built-in mechanism that deals with them -- it's called flunking out.

Cheers

HAAA! That made me laugh. You have obviously never been to a "student retention" meeting. They don't have meetings to decide if they should flunk students any more, they have meeting to try to figure out how to keep them interested in staying. Doesn't really matter what the grade... can't fail the student because there will be one less student next semester. Can't have that. There's no economic sense in throwing away someone that's willing to fill a seat (even if they don't show up to keep it warm). Yes, some programs will actually fail students (while usually consulting with said student about an alternative track such that they can continue). I know an instructor that regularly fails students because they're not interested in doing any work, or are just so flat out stupid they can't do it, and then they have the meeting, and then the next instructor asks why this student is in that class, totally unprepared.

When I went to college (same one I work at now), the first instructor in the first class said "look at the person sitting next to you. In 6 weeks, they'll be gone." And, they were. They had 2 colleges with first year programs feeding into a single second year program. 170 something students started, and 36 graduated second year. What kind of insane student would sign up for something that crazy these days? Would you risk a mountain of student debt on those odds? Not happening. College programs go into high schools to compete for student interest to get them to come. Can't fail them in first year because there won't be any in second year. Make it too hard and your enrolment won't be max'ed out. If the enrolment isn't max'ed out, your program might get cut. Have to keep the product coming in and going out, it's a business after all, right? Yeah, I'm getting old and cynical.

Things have changed, at least around here,

David...

wierdscience
01-30-2017, 08:07 PM
there is also a strong "anti-education" undercurrent in this country, which doesn't help.


I wouldn't say there is an anti-education undercurrent,just a growing hatred for what's being passed off as an education.Let's face it,if our schools were serious about educating children those "students" even mentioning "gender fluidity" and "safe spaces" would be shown the door on the first day.Instead too much attention is paid to the student's feelings out of a need to avoid a law suit from the special snowflakes parents.

wierdscience
01-30-2017, 08:12 PM
Country music and now,rap music has been celebrating low living and ignorance for years.Edwin Dirnbeck
,

Yes,and the government via the taxpayers has been subsidizing that behavior for decades.

PStechPaul
01-30-2017, 08:51 PM
There are many problems with the US that will prevent young and middle-aged people from earning enough to support a lifestyle to which they feel they are entitled, and which at one time was "promised" to continue to be better than that of parents and grandparents. Disdain for traditional education is a major issue, and more important may be the lack of social skills that enable people to work well with others. There seems to be a sharp decline in politeness and peaceful conflict resolution, which should be taught by parents. Similarly, good work ethics and moral character are no longer seen as necessary and desirable - instead there is an attitude of entitlement and aggression instead of cooperation.

As I have mentioned previously, the only long-term hope is to adjust the paradigms of the social structure to embrace a more cooperative lifestyle, with an acceptance of sufficient rather than lavish housing, shared resources, sensible transportation, energy efficiency, and enjoyment of free time and nature, instead of material wealth and social status. It seems obvious, from the article and other sources, that the demand for workers by employers is diminishing, and the jobs that they offer require a high set of skills and education, as well as good attitude. Otherwise, most jobs will be in low end retail and service where there will still be less need as on-line options like Amazon and eBay diminish the need for brick-and-mortar stores and the sales people who work there. Also, as people have less disposable income, sales of non-essentials will decrease until many people are spending all they have on essentials like food, housing, and health care. It is possible to live comfortably on a minimum wage equivalent of $10-$15/hr, but it requires a major change of lifestyle.

Hopefully this will not be seen as political. It is just my view of the present economic and social conditions under which we are living, and some ideas on how people may be able to survive in the future.

flylo
01-30-2017, 09:03 PM
The option that everyone get's free 4 year of college won't help a bit either as the kids will think go to work or go to college & party? I didn't go to college but learn almost everyday & did fine. I taught my sons you can learn from everyone, what to do or what not to do. Do more than's called for, be early or you're late, debt is stupid, etc. Both had a full 4 year ride at Michigan State Everything included & it broke my heart they didn't go but both are doing fine in high paying jobs but would have many more choices with a 4 year degree. IMHO I think everyone that quits school goes straight into the military until they're 21. Everyone who graduates high school goes into the military for a year or 2 to get the structure & discipline many don't get at home. While in they earn college credit & gain practical experience. Just my opinion.

JRouche
01-30-2017, 09:13 PM
the only long-term hope is to adjust the paradigms of the social structure to embrace a more cooperative lifestyle, with an acceptance of sufficient rather than lavish housing, shared resources, sensible transportation, energy efficiency, and enjoyment of free time and nature, instead of material wealth and social status.

Heck no.. Sounds a lil hippe 1960s. Thats going backwards. Plus I like my lavish house and lifesyle. Thats why I DID get educated and married a highly educated woman. JR

tlfamm
01-30-2017, 09:27 PM
...
IMHO I think everyone that quits school goes straight into the military until they're 21. Everyone who graduates high school goes into the military for a year or 2 to get the structure & discipline many don't get at home. While in they earn college credit & gain practical experience. Just my opinion.

I left college out of boredom and joined the Army in 1967. Against all odds, it had a profoundly positive impact on my life, especially the year I spent in language school. I mastered the language, and found that I liked the feeling of mastering a skill. When I was discharged (after a year in Vietnam), I went back to university with the GI bill and 17 college credits (for my army language) in my back pocket, as well as a much improved study ethic. I had good fortune that sadly many others of that era did not.

We live in an era in which national service (need not be in the military) is ridiculed and disparaged, by too many.

tomato coupe
01-30-2017, 09:37 PM
HAAA! That made me laugh. You have obviously never been to a "student retention" meeting. They don't have meetings to decide if they should flunk students any more, they have meeting to try to figure out how to keep them interested in staying. Doesn't really matter what the grade... can't fail the student because there will be one less student next semester. Can't have that. There's no economic sense in throwing away someone that's willing to fill a seat (even if they don't show up to keep it warm). Yes, some programs will actually fail students (while usually consulting with said student about an alternative track such that they can continue). I know an instructor that regularly fails students because they're not interested in doing any work, or are just so flat out stupid they can't do it, and then they have the meeting, and then the next instructor asks why this student is in that class, totally unprepared.

No, I've never been to a retention meeting, however, I have seen plenty of students flunk out of college.


When I went to college (same one I work at now), the first instructor in the first class said "look at the person sitting next to you. In 6 weeks, they'll be gone." And, they were. They had 2 colleges with first year programs feeding into a single second year program. 170 something students started, and 36 graduated second year. What kind of insane student would sign up for something that crazy these days? Would you risk a mountain of student debt on those odds? Not happening. College programs go into high schools to compete for student interest to get them to come. Can't fail them in first year because there won't be any in second year. Make it too hard and your enrolment won't be max'ed out. If the enrolment isn't max'ed out, your program might get cut. Have to keep the product coming in and going out, it's a business after all, right? Yeah, I'm getting old and cynical.

Things have changed, at least around here.

So, in your day the college was okay with 4 out of 5 students scrubbing out after two years, but now they are afraid to lose any students after the first year? That's a pretty extreme change.

elf
01-30-2017, 10:03 PM
Nope.


Expert: Most US College Freshmen Read at 7th Grade Level (http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2015/01/03/expert-most-us-college-freshmen-read-at-7th-grade-level/)
by Merrill Hope
Breitbart 2015.01.03

Actually, the guy from Siemens implied that a grade school education was enough since they weren't hiring high school graduates. :p

mattthemuppet
01-30-2017, 10:59 PM
Breitbart is a very reputable website for accurate information and I openly accept the validity of Eddy's link/info. Certainly moreso than CNN, MSNBC, NYT or any number of MSM sources.

hmm, that's not a cry of "lugenpresse" is it? We all know where that lead. Oh wait, that unpractical education thing again :)

fixerdave
01-30-2017, 11:05 PM
... So, in your day the college was okay with 4 out of 5 students scrubbing out after two years, but now they are afraid to lose any students after the first year? That's a pretty extreme change.

Yup, same program, from one stupid extreme to another. Admittedly, it's taken 30 something years for that pendulum to swing, but it did. Edit: note that a couple of years after I went through, they changed to a 3 year (with coop terms) program instead of 2. They were losing too many students and they knew it.

As an aside, we're talking about the electronic technology program here (though the student retention push is college wide) and the instructors have collectively noted that over the last few years the quality of students has been tanking badly. There are still good students, but most are simply not motivated. On the other hand, a mechanical engineering instructor I was talking to said the last couple of intakes have totally impressed him. He even said the students had skills far outside what he expected, like in Arduino-based control systems. Hmmmm...

My theory... the people that used to line up to take electronics in college are learning everything they want from the internet. Getting a job requires certifications that they can just go write. They don't need a college diploma to get a job, just a Cisco (or whatever) certification. The less hands-on practical ones go get a university degree instead of college. The ones taking college electronics now are those that heard that they might get a job with the diploma. They just want the paper and they're too ignorant to realise the industry has moved on to certifications.

On the other hand, the people interested in mechanical engineering... yeah, I'll admit I've learned a lot here, but without the toys at home it's pretty hard. And, even a toolaholic like me doesn't have a Tormach sitting there to play with. The people the mechanical engineering program is getting are the ones that taught themselves basic electronics, etc., and then they wanted more, they wanted the electronics to do stuff. They're motivated to learn.

But, you know, I don't work in Data Management nor Program Research... so what do I know,

David...

mattthemuppet
01-30-2017, 11:10 PM
Well not everyone is suited to that, even if they are smart.

So, it looks like a lot of people, perhaps 60%, or more, depending on what the robots don't take, are gonna be on welfare, with you and me paying for them. There are only so many spots for groundskeepers and gardeners.

That amounts to a subsidy for the manufacturers, which we will pay, just about the same as the government assistance we pay to folks that Walmart "officially employs" for 10 minutes a week short of full time (no matter how long they are actually in the building working).

Speaking of manufacturing, where are they going to sell goods when everyone is on the dole? Strikes me they must be planning to get theirs and split before the crap hits the fan. There is documentation of a number of very rich folks setting up alternate houses, and even bunkers, in other countries. Australia seems to be favored by some, for it's remoteness and comparatively low population. They know something we don't?

Frankly, the best you can say for 60% unemployment is that it is "destabilizing". Probably a lot of folks will end up "employed" in armies. Official ones, and unofficial ones.

I'd view the whole thing as a National Security Problem.... And not just in the US.

I think such a dystopian view of the future isn't warranted. You could have said something similar back when mechanical looms replaced hand driven looms, the production line replaced hand built motor cars and computers replaced people acting as computers.

spending more money on re-educating displaced workers would be a better idea, as the US ranks waaaay down the list of OECD countries in retraining/ re-education, but who would want more government spending?

mattthemuppet
01-30-2017, 11:11 PM
I wouldn't say there is an anti-education undercurrent,just a growing hatred for what's being passed off as an education.Let's face it,if our schools were serious about educating children those "students" even mentioning "gender fluidity" and "safe spaces" would be shown the door on the first day.Instead too much attention is paid to the student's feelings out of a need to avoid a law suit from the special snowflakes parents.

I'm sure your parents probably said the same thing about sex-education back when you were at school :) I'm sure you spent as much time on it as students do today on "gender fluidity"..

tomato coupe
01-30-2017, 11:19 PM
Yup, same program, from one stupid extreme to another. Admittedly, it's taken 30 something years for that pendulum to swing, but it did.

...My theory... the people that used to line up to take electronics in college are learning everything they want from the internet. Getting a job requires certifications that they can just go write. They don't need a college diploma to get a job, just a Cisco (or whatever) certification. The less hands-on practical ones go get a university degree instead of college. The ones taking college electronics now are those that heard that they might get a job with the diploma. They just want the paper and they're too ignorant to realise the industry has moved on to certifications...

Okay, I think we might be discussing slightly different things. You seem to differentiate between colleges and universities - are you calling two-year schools colleges? If so, I've been referring to four-year universities. (I don't know anything about two-year schools.)

fixerdave
01-30-2017, 11:39 PM
Okay, I think we might be discussing slightly different things. You seem to differentiate between colleges and universities - are you calling two-year schools colleges? If so, I've been referring to four-year universities. (I don't know anything about two-year schools.)

Yes, we're a bit different up here... In BC, where I live, there are apprenticeship programs, certificates, diplomas, and degrees, then all the standard post-degree stuff. Universities grant degrees that usually take 4 years, and very bookish. Diplomas are granted by colleges, usually in 2-3 year programs, much more hands-on. My college has a technical side that offers various apprenticeship programs... what would have once been called a vocational college. But, it's murky as my college also offers 4 year degree programs in business. 'Degree' and 'Diploma' are government mandated terms which institutions earn the right to grant. Certificates are whatever, anybody can give a certificate for anything they want. Apprenticeships are, as expected, tied to industry needs. Oh, just to make it more fun, some colleges (mine included) can offer Associate Degrees... 3 years :) I myself have a 2-year diploma of technology in electronic engineering (which is not an engineering degree, it's a diploma) and an associate of arts in philosophy (a 3 year thing which I spent 10 years getting... just for fun because I work here). So, yes, I can put 'AA' after my name now... :rolleyes:

David...

Evan
01-30-2017, 11:53 PM
Yep, I used to teach (instruct) at Cariboo College but that is now Thomson River University. That changes everything. Then there is the very big difference between "teacher" and "instructor". Even without a degree I can be an instructor in whatever I am good at at any level but I am not an official teacher. Quite a few years ago Xerox wanted to put "Engineer" on my business card but then discovered that since I do not have the "Iron Ring" from the engineering society here I cannot use that title unless I drive a train. I was not willing to pay the membership fees and neither were they.

Paul Alciatore
01-30-2017, 11:55 PM
The requirement for a degree may not be just a question of having a knowledge in some area, like math or reading or writing. At least in the past, a person had to be able to THINK for him or her self in order to get that degree. One final test I had to pass when I was getting my degree was called oral comprehensives. I had to be examined by a panel of professors, some of whom I had never even had a class with. In addition to the kind of stuff I expected, they threw some completely new questions at me. Questions that were not covered in any text or class that I had taken or even could have taken at that university. I was getting a degree in physics and one question that I remembered well was on atmospherics and weather. My first thought, in the midst of panic, was wait, the department, even the university does not even teach any courses on this. Fortunately the professor took a little mercy on me and told me that I had been taught enough to answer the question he had asked. I just had to think and put together the ideas that I had been taught. He gave me the time to think out loud and, in the end, was satisfied with my answer.

The point of this is that I was able not only to parrot back the facts and equations that I had been taught, but I could put them together in a way that was new to me. For me, this was perhaps one of the most informative moments of my whole four years there. I learned a very valuable thing.

Perhaps, just perhaps a company that is insisting on a degree is looking for people who can think. And people who can and WILL learn new things. This is the total opposite of the "I don't need any stinking xxxxx" attitude. Will they miss some good candidates this way? Probably. But overall they may get a better overall workforce. I am not a big fan of HR (personnel) people. Usually they are the scum of the earth. But in this, they may actually have something.

tomato coupe
01-30-2017, 11:57 PM
Yes, we're a bit different up here... In BC, where I live, there are apprenticeship programs, certificates, diplomas, and degrees, then all the standard post-degree stuff. Universities grant degrees that usually take 4 years, and very bookish. Diplomas are granted by colleges, usually in 2-3 year programs, much more hands-on. My college has a technical side that offers various apprenticeship programs... what would have once been called a vocational college. But, it's murky as my college also offers 4 year degree programs in business. 'Degree' and 'Diploma' are government mandated terms which institutions earn the right to grant. Certificates are whatever, anybody can give a certificate for anything they want. Apprenticeships are, as expected, tied to industry needs. Oh, just to make it more fun, some colleges (mine included) can offer Associate Degrees... 3 years :) I myself have a 2-year diploma of technology in electronic engineering (which is not an engineering degree, it's a diploma) and an associate of arts in philosophy (a 3 year thing which I spent 10 years getting... just for fun because I work here). So, yes, I can put 'AA' after my name now... :rolleyes:

I understand much betterer now ... two-year schools can have different motives/goals/principles than four-year schools.

flylo
01-31-2017, 12:01 AM
I left college out of boredom and joined the Army in 1967. Against all odds, it had a profoundly positive impact on my life, especially the year I spent in language school. I mastered the language, and found that I liked the feeling of mastering a skill. When I was discharged (after a year in Vietnam), I went back to university with the GI bill and 17 college credits (for my army language) in my back pocket, as well as a much improved study ethic. I had good fortune that sadly many others of that era did not.

We live in an era in which national service (need not be in the military) is ridiculed and disparaged, by too many.

So many kids go to college with no idea what they want from life, just because their "supposed to". I think they need some real life experience then go to college. If you earn it most appreciate it, if it's just given most don't. Living at home & going to high school & going off to college is a huge step many people just aren't ready for.

Evan
01-31-2017, 12:05 AM
The point of this is that I was able not only to parrot back the facts and equations that I had been taught, but I could put them together in a way that was new to me. For me, this was perhaps one of the most informative moments of my whole four years there. I learned a very valuable thing.

That is the mark of "fluid intelligence" and is also the mark of a high IQ. That matters a lot and is a big part of the SAT. The SAT is considered to be an IQ test and is directly correlated to IQ test scores. The very disappointing thing there is that some years ago they had to "normalize" the SAT scores because the average scores were going too low. So they recalculated how it is scored to raise the average back to where it used to be.

fixerdave
01-31-2017, 12:18 AM
So many kids go to college with no idea what they want from life, just because their "supposed to". I think they need some real life experience then go to college. If you earn it most appreciate it, if it's just given most don't. Living at home & going to high school & going off to college is a huge step many people just aren't ready for.

Research backs you up. The "take a break from school and go find yourself" approach, between high school and the next phase, produces measurably better outcomes.

Not everyone needs that and I didn't even consider the idea when in high school. But, most benefit from the space to grow up. I knew the college program I wanted to take in grade 11, like I knew the high school program I wanted to take in grade 9, like I knew the job I wanted before I graduated college. Of course, over the years I've change my mind a few times, but it was all deliberate planning. But, I'll be the first to admit I'm weird. Now... with the retirement clock ticking down... now I'm wondering what I should be when I grow up.

David...

fixerdave
01-31-2017, 12:25 AM
I understand much betterer now ... two-year schools can have different motives/goals/principles than four-year schools.

Yes... our current motive/goal/principle seems to be to efficiently attract and shove as many students through our institution as we can such that we can afford more senior management. And, yes, that's my cynical side showing through again.

Thankfully, we still have some great instructors that care about what they are doing and the students they are graduating. The pendulum will swing back, eventually.

David...

Mike Amick
01-31-2017, 01:26 AM
Breitbart is a very reputable website for accurate information and I openly accept the validity of Eddy's link/info. Certainly moreso than CNN, MSNBC, NYT or any number of MSM sources.

Lol .. that's priceless.

Just go there one time and read the comments following the articles .. and see the class of people the
site targets.

Again .. priceless

fixerdave
01-31-2017, 02:07 AM
Lol .. that's priceless. ...

All media is biased... of course. It used to be there was the newspaper that reflected your views and then there was that other paper. Back in those days, you could at least read the other paper and get a notion of how other people felt.

These days, there are so many news sources that it's impossible to understand the other person's views. Pick any position on any topic, doesn't matter what. If you search you will find blogs, pundits, news sources, celebrities, scientists, fans, whatever you look for, you will find them supporting that particular viewpoint. There is an entire ecosystem built up around every idea, a self-referencing belief system... no matter how bizarre the belief. Of course, 'bizarre' is a value-laden term... I fully expect others would feel my belief systems are just as nutty as I see theirs.

So many news sources, so many contrary beliefs, so many divergent viewpoints... they are becoming irreconcilable. I try to view sources that diverge from my worldview but it's now getting to the point where, because they are becoming so isolated, that the language is near incomprehensible. I read comments and honestly have no idea what they're on about, and the next commenter just carries on that conversation like it made perfect sense. It probably did make sense but it was written in terms and references I have no clue about.

This is problem for democracy. I saw it coming years ago, but there's no stopping it. It will get worse.

The only thing that can help is vertical-slice forums like this where, yes, politics is verboten. At least it can bring people with divergent views together enough so that they can build up a common language and perspective on benign topics where people don't argue. You know, like the difference between used western equipment verses new Chinese stuff.

Just remember... you will never argue to objective truth if you don't have a common frame of reference. You won't even be able to make sense of the other person, and they won't be able to make sense of you, and, you know, they might have some valid points to make too... if you're willing to be objective.

But, George is right... some topics should be set aside or all the rest will just fall apart.

David...

P.S. Yeah, that's my Associate of Arts degree in Philosophy coming through... putting this slightly back on topic.

J Tiers
01-31-2017, 02:09 AM
I think such a dystopian view of the future isn't warranted. You could have said something similar back when mechanical looms replaced hand driven looms, the production line replaced hand built motor cars and computers replaced people acting as computers.

spending more money on re-educating displaced workers would be a better idea, as the US ranks waaaay down the list of OECD countries in retraining/ re-education, but who would want more government spending?

I quite agree... but the fact remains that not everyone is suited to college, or technical degrees. Very few really are, in fact. What do you do with the rest?

And the dystopian thing IS a possible outcome.... Quite a lot of people are working hard at making it really happen, whether they realize or admit it, or not. We already have some models of that now, in the slums of Rio, and camps all over the middle East, although they were not all made that way by economic issues of automation, etc. Those places are a model of what you can GET when there really IS no work for a lot of people.

It's a fact that most all of the hotspots of trouble around the world are places where there is a lot of unemployment among folks who should be working. They WILL find something to do, and odds are you will not like it. It DOES radicalize people, make them look for meaning, and then if anyone can tell them that they can find the meaning of life by blowing themselves and others up in a holy war, they may buy it.... nothing else to do....

It IS a national security issue.. You WANT folks to be working and making a good living. We do not want them working 33.9 hours a week at low pay and getting welfare. That's not good for the economy, nor for the population as a whole.

Trying to automate everything is NOT good for either the economy OR the population. Robots and driverless cars,and so forth are being pushed with no thought about what that does socially. It is EXACTLY that sort of thing which is one strong driver for suspicion of technology and science It's really NOT like mechanical looms.... it is way too pervasive, IF it really happens, which is actually in doubt.

We've had a dose already with china... Took the jobs, left no money, and we still have unemployment in many areas on account of it, 30 years later. But at least we have some practice with it, although we learned NOTHING from it.

fixerdave
01-31-2017, 02:39 AM
I quite agree... but the fact remains that not everyone is suited to college, or technical degrees. Very few really are, in fact. What do you do with the rest?

And the dystopian thing IS a possible outcome.... Quite a lot of people are working hard at making it really happen, whether they realize or admit it, or not. We already have some models of that now, in the slums of Rio, and camps all over the middle East, although they were not all made that way by economic issues of automation, etc. Those places are a model of what you can GET when there really IS no work for a lot of people.

It's a fact that most all of the hotspots of trouble around the world are places where there is a lot of unemployment among folks who should be working. They WILL find something to do, and odds are you will not like it. It DOES radicalize people, make them look for meaning, and then if anyone can tell them that they can find the meaning of life by blowing themselves and others up in a holy war, they may buy it.... nothing else to do....

It IS a national security issue.. You WANT folks to be working and making a good living. We do not want them working 33.9 hours a week at low pay and getting welfare. That's not good for the economy, nor for the population as a whole.

Trying to automate everything is NOT good for either the economy OR the population. Robots and driverless cars,and so forth are being pushed with no thought about what that does socially. It is EXACTLY that sort of thing which is one strong driver for suspicion of technology and science It's really NOT like mechanical looms.... it is way too pervasive, IF it really happens, which is actually in doubt.

We've had a dose already with china... Took the jobs, left no money, and we still have unemployment in many areas on account of it, 30 years later. But at least we have some practice with it, although we learned NOTHING from it.

I have spent years thinking about this. Yes, we will get to the point where machines can make everything, there will no reason to work, and we will all have every physical need met, with lots to spare. We are already over 60% of the way there. We are not quite all the way there yet, so we have created BS jobs to consume the time of that 60%, to keep them working. We have to have work because some lousy jobs still require humans to do and, well, you don't want those grubby people becoming fabulously wealthy doing jobs that everyone else doesn't want to do. So, we make everyone work... we pay enormous amounts of money to people for doing jobs that nobody would even notice if they stopped doing, and we make the grubby people do the necessary jobs for just enough to survive.

However... what happens when ALL the jobs can be automated? What then? What happens when you don't want a maid to clean your home... it would be kind of creepy having a real person clean your personal stuff instead of a robot. What happens when the two oldest professions, soldier and prostitute, get automated... what then? Do we give up on wealth and let everyone be just as wealthy as everyone else, even the grubby people? I used to think that was what would happen, but something changed my mind.

What changed my mind was a video of some Arab guys in an SUV. It was swerving all over the road, getting up on 2 wheels, and then it stayed up on 2 wheels, driving down the road. Then 4 guys got out, sitting on the side of this SUV, as it drove down the road. And then those 4 guys, in an obviously practised manoeuvre, swapped the 2 wheels that were in the air., then they got back inside, the SUV got back on all 4 wheels, and there was much honking and celebrating. At that point I became convinced that humanity cannot function without people having to bust their proverbial butts to get what they want. If we have everything, we will just start doing very stupid things, and some of those things will not be as politically neutral as some highway stunt. We have to keep working.

So, instead of 60% BS jobs, it will be 100% BS jobs. I mean, humans seem quite good at making unnecessary work for humans. I expect we'll have no trouble getting to the point were every last one of us could drop dead at work and nobody else would notice. But, it will be oh so necessary for us to get to our office and do that thing we do.

When our computers get to be smarter than we are, I expect they will sigh a lot,

David...

wierdscience
01-31-2017, 03:04 AM
I'm sure your parents probably said the same thing about sex-education back when you were at school :) I'm sure you spent as much time on it as students do today on "gender fluidity"..

Nope,sex ed was a subject,I'm referring to everyone wanting to be an "activist" now.Parents,teachers,students all have assumed "rights" to be attention whores and disrupt the time of those who are there to get an education.

PStechPaul
01-31-2017, 03:22 AM
I think it is not the duty of society to make sure everyone is employed and making enough money to support a lifestyle based on individual wealth and material possessions. The utopian goal of the Industrial Age was to have machines do the dangerous and boring work and free people to enjoy leisure time. But it was more profitable for businesses to create demand for new and more expensive houses, cars, and electronic products, and they could sell even more stuff by encouraging longer drives in faster cars, and a desire for individual ownership rather than sharing. This has led to isolation and inability to function well in group settings that require cooperation. Team sports help counteract that somewhat, but people seem to be more fascinated by individual star players than teamwork, and this translates to cutthroat competition in the workplace and society in general. Getting ahead now seems to be less about education and work ethic, and more about ruthlessness and deception and unethical practices to claw ones way to the top.

I'm not saying that everyone must suddenly change their way of life and devolve into an egalitarian agrarian commune with minimalistic housing and primitive facilities, although that may make sense for some people, and perhaps everyone should experience it for a while. Such alternatives may be needed if the present trends continue, and it seems preferable to adopt a lifestyle requiring fewer resources and less money, in exchange for the freedom to simply enjoy life and nature. It speaks volumes about our values that so many people need to be constantly entertained, or busy working, or virtually tethered to their phones and social media, but rarely interacting in person, or collaborating on worthwhile projects. There is much to learn about our world, yet so many seem to have lost interest in history, reading, writing, mathematics, science, and the arts. Instead we seem to have become lost in the mad dash to make lots of money and buy lots of things, and many people seem to want a job where they can be trained to perform menial tasks and yet be paid $50,000 or more a year. A good education should provide the basic skills to think rationally, do good research, solve problems, and read and write clearly. And perhaps people need to learn basic survival skills, not only things like foraging and homesteading, but also use of tools, cooking, and financial knowledge.

reggie_obe
01-31-2017, 06:59 AM
You WANT folks to be working and making a good living. We do not want them working 33.9 hours a week at low pay and getting welfare. That's not good for the economy, nor for the population as a whole.

Even worse, many working for Home Dee, Lowes, etc., held to a cap of less than 30 hours, never to be made full-time, earning $11- an hour or less, not eligible for medical, not eligible for any kind of public assistance, making too much for Medicaid..... Many of them former white collar professionals. Where are the jobs that pay a living wage for an adult?