Degree or disagree: Your field of study matters

Maclean’s Infographic: A sobering look at post-secondary study


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Degree or disagree: Your field of study matters

  1. Amazing. A national magazine actively trying to discourage education.

    I don’t think any other country in the world is doing this,

    • Could be that an arts degree just isn’t paying off the way it used to. No sense in hiding that fact from the kids. If they’re going to make informed decisions, they need accurate information. How about dealing with the world the way it is, not the way you wish it were? Arts grads aren’t in demand anymore (and I should know). That’s reality. Deal with it. I had to deal with it a generation ago, and wish I’d have been steered down a different path. I don’t wish to mislead another generation of kids into an expensive detour that will take a decade to correct. Why you want that is anyone’s guess.

      • We don’t need arts grads anymore eh? You might wanna rethink that.

        That would involve journalists, politicians….including Harper….writers, artists, sociologists, psychologists, lawyers,historians. teachers, linguists…..all of whom make 30% more than high school grads.

        If you want a specific skill and an immediate job, go to trade school.

        If you want an education and a life-time career….go to university.

        Oh…and if we want to do anything to make this a better-educated country….then it’s the 42% of Canadians that are functionally illiterate we should be concerned about.

        • The fact is, we need fewer arts grads. Far fewer. And many of those are needed only because we’ve set up a credentialist system where they are “needed”.

          You don’t need an arts degree to be literate. And if you’ve seen the writing quality of many BAs, you’d know that. And there is no such job as “sociologist”. That exists in academia only and requires a Ph. D. so you can teach it and/or do research. Practicing psychologists require Ph Ds, not just BAs. You don’t work as a P doc with just a BA or even just a Masters. Historians likewise require Ph Ds and university tenure or no one takes them seriously. A BA in archeology or anthropology might get you invited on a dig for $11 per hour plus accommodations, if you’re lucky. Writers and artists are people with innate talents regardless of whether or not they went to university. Your examples betray a 1960s-era mentality that all education pays off. Not all of it does.

          • The fact is we need more….just as we need more STEM grads. We are now in the knowledge age, and other countries are pushing education like crazy.

            You want us to be left behind..

            As Sir Ken Robinson said….we don’t know what to educate people for any more…..we can’t imagine what jobs there will be 5 years down the road much less 20….so what we need to encourage is creativity.

            Education and creativity are the route to success.

            I can see why you’re a failure….anyone who can make statements like ‘You don’t need an arts degree to be literate’ isn’t too bright.

            You follow that up with a bunch of rubbishy statements… a BA isn’t a PhD….you need a BA to qualify for a PhD

            And artists and musicians don’t just ‘happen’

            Yes, all education pays off.

          • “The fact is we need more”. Your opinions aren’t facts. Facts are based in reality. And I love how you completely change the topic to STEM grads, as though Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are in any way related to a discussion about BAs.

          • We’re in the knowledge economy….that’s a fact

            To function in such an economy, you need knowledge. That’s also a fact.

            If you couldn’t make anything out of a 4 year BA….it wasn’t the degree that was the problem, it was you.

          • The market tells us what our economy needs, and with these statistics it’s not being very subtle. The good news is, we can all just sit back and watch this oversupply fix itself.

          • No, the market does not. The economy is changing….and by the time we figure that out, we’ll have 15-20% unemployment.

          • Wages and prices are the ways the market tells us what is oversupplied and what is undersupplied. So you think we should ignore these signals and ram more people through oversupplied programs because we know better? Sounds like a great recipe for lower wages and higher unemployment.

          • But Emily does know better. She’s spent the past five years telling us as much.

          • I’m in global economic development….yes, I do know better.

          • I now understand why Nassim Taleb has written entire books making fun of the likes of you. You should read them sometime. Start with The Black Swan (his best in my opinion – Fooled by Randomness was limited to the financial markets, and you’ll likely find Antifragile a little too advanced.) If you learn anything from him, it will be to avoid speaking with such cerrtainty about an unpredictable future.

          • Then you have totally misunderstood Nassim Taleb.

            But goodness yes, Canadians….especially women….should never speak with authority on anything.

          • And now, out of nowhere, an accusation of misogyny. Why not throw in an accusation of racism while you are at it?

          • Well you’re no woman Emily, what do you know about it.

          • Oh boy!

          • Hahahahaha!

          • Ahhh so you’re one of those that wants the Soviet style of education.

          • I was advocating not to ram more people through oversupplied programs using a top down ‘we know better’ approach. I was saying that the market will naturally lower wages of oversupplied programs making them less desirable and resulting in less people taking them.

            If you think free market capitalism is a Soviet system, you are absolutely lost.

          • Insisting people go to trade school instead of university if that’s where their interests lie….is ‘ramming’ people through something unsuitable solely for state purposes. That’s Soviet.

          • Uh… exactly where did PJ even mention trade school? I took him to mean university-bound students should think hard about choosing an academic field that offers the best chance of employment.

          • Putin is very popular at the moment.

          • You need to stop using the word Soviet – now.

          • I calls em like I sees em.

          • Actually Emilly at a posting count of 7,706 big ones, I figure you calls em whether you sees em or not.
            When we hold the next annual dinner of “The Old Emilyians” we’ll make sure you get the 2013 Hair Trigger Award.

          • No worries. The provincial governments stop funding education spots for over-subscribed programs that don’t offer employment. Even though Emily doesn’t want to admit it, this has happened in her own province of Ontario. The government there has cut back on the seats for education students. There are no jobs for teachers and so they are not going to educate and graduate as many. Emily is in denial but government is not.

          • And now you’re contradicting yourself. On the one hand you are saying we need more BA grads; on the other you are saying continuing to let so many students graduate with BAs will mean higher unemployment.

            Make up your mind.

          • Knowledge. What is knowledge?

            Common sense is good knowledge to have.

          • How much education is needed to be a left wing paid troll at 2 bucks an hour?

          • Ah… the “knowledge economy” mantra again! And yet you argue at other times that the kinds of jobs filled by BA grad are NOT part of the knowledge economy.

            RR is right; you don’t need a university degree to be literate. When we hire editors, we apply a standard grammar and editing test; more degree holders than non-graduates pass, but the margin isn’t that great. Though we tend to look to the university grads first because university has, usually, made them a little more independent and creative in finding solutions to problems.

            So in my field at least, RR is sort of correct that we have set up a “credential system” and – strictly speaking – a degree isn’t required. Can’t speak to the wider experience though.

          • Fewer arts grads. Many of those.

            You may not need an arts degree to be literate but it could help you differentiate between less and fewer and between much and many.

          • See Mordant_Malovsky’s comment below. It appears Emily makes similar grammatical errors (‘that’ instead of ‘who’). I’d wager a guess that we all do when posting online, where our comments tend to be written and submitted very hastily in the flow of discussion. Except for you of course. Your comments will always be perfect.

          • Jeezus, is that the worst you could find? I’ve made numerous posts. There must be a tonne of errors like that. I’m commenting on the Internet, not gunning for a Pulitzer Prize.

        • Politicians do not need an art’s degree. They don’t even need a university degree.

          Arists don’t need an art’s degree. They don’t even need a university degree.

        • Says Professor Emily, “it’s the 42% of Canadians that are functionally illiterate we should be concerned about.”

          Only in your confused world could people be things, so try it this way Emily, “it’s the 42% of Canadians who are functionally illiterate we should be concerned about.”

          Too bad about your functional illiteracy Emily, you’re such a lovely person otherwise.

    • Well read the topic carefully …. its not all about discouraging education

      • It’s just one more in a long-rnning series of such articles in Macleans.

  2. Welcome to Stephen Harper’s Canada, where uneducated bumpkins make more money than university-educated citizens. When I lived in Europe, most trades people were unionized employees of large companies. They earned a livable wage regulated by the government, and their fees were also regulated. And their managers were… you guessed it… university educated, and they earned a salary commensurate with their education (in other words, more than the blue collar workers in their charge). Not surprisingly, most Europeans would prefer their kids to be the managers some day, not the blue-collar tradespeople.

    Returning to Canada, I found a country where most tradespersons are “independent contractors”, i.e. tax dodgers and extortionists. They answer to no one but themselves, there is no regulation of what they charge or what they’re allowed to make. Just call a plumber or electrician to do some minor repairs and you’ll see what I mean. First thing they’ll do is offer to work under the table to save you the HST, then charge you through the nose anyway. Of course that also means they won’t declare the income. And al too often they out-earn the person for whom they’re doing the work. Worse, people are starting to notice this, and even educated people are now hesitating to send their kids to university, steering them into trade schools instead.

    Those of you dissuading kids from pursuing higher education are being awfully short-sighted. I am confident that some day the educated class will wrest control of this once-great country back from the rednecks currently running it. We won’t waste any time fixing things. We’ll set about creating an economy that rewards education and achievement, creativity and excellence, culture and erudition, not the ability to drive nails or turn wrenches. Why we’ve allowed an increasing proportion of the economy to fall into the dirty, calloused hands of uneducated hicks is anyone’s guess. But a country that allows blue collar workers to out-earn its educated, cultured citizens is doomed to failure. It has already made us the laughing stock of the world, and it must change. I have faith that it will.

    • Must be tough for you to live in a world where your lessers are making more than you. People just don’t know their place anymore. Goddam proles.

      • What’s with the Victoriana?

        • I wasn’t talking about antiques. Sorry to confuse you. I was mocking the loser who cries about his inferiors making more money than he does.

          • Yes, betters and lessers….common in the Victorian eta. And part of Communist doctrine in fact.

            Today you upgrade your education….and change class level.

          • Common today as well, if Mr. Ghost is any indication.

          • He’s talking about education being a determining factor….not your birth.

            The Queen doesn’t have a degree….but she makes a great deal more than a PhD.

          • Did you even read his comment? He’s moaning about the lack of income for our allegedly educated, cultured classes, and how unfair it is that uneducated types make more money than he does. In fact, he’s moaning about something you deny exists – educated people with low earnings.

          • Well do you think it makes sense to pay teachers less than hockey players?

          • If someone is willing to shell out the money to pay them more, then yes. 20,000 fans pay money to watch a single hockey game (some of them teachers) and they all make less money than the guys on the ice. Are you suggesting because the fans pay the players, the players should make less than their “employers”? That’s what Ghost thinks. He says that in Europe, the tradesmen work under the supervision of educated people and make less. They aren’t allowed to rise above their allotted station in life unless they too decided to get more education. And he claims that governments there actively enforce such a rigid class structure. Bizarrely, he seems to desire that here too. Is that what you desire?

          • Hockey players make less than the owners….however we need teachers more than we need men playing games.

            In Europe they select the best students to become teachers. It’s a cultural difference. One we should adopt.

            No, a welder, plumber, carpenter should not be running the company, unless they have more education….that’s not a class difference, that’s an educational one….and entirely in the hands of the workers.

          • A welder should be running the company if A) It is a welding company, and B) he owns the company. To believe he needs a university graduate to guide his uneducated arse around his own line of work is foolhardy at best, grossly elitist at worst. And fortunately, it will never happen in this country. Poor Ghosty doesn’t seem to realize that even before Harper came along, we did not have, nor desire, that sort of bureaucratic meddling here. Even Trudeau couldn’t have succeeded in enforcing such a system (though I’m sure he thought of it).

          • We are talking about companies….not small businesses.

            And yes, they need business education. Most small businesses go under in 5 years.

            Germany btw has always done better than Canada….right through the Great Recession….no matter what Harper said

          • Then that doesn’t square at all with what Ghost is complaining about. If they’re going under due to mismanagement, which in turn is due to their lack of business education, then he’s got no reason to complain that they make more than he does. Yet his entire post did just that.

          • Now you’re just quibbling to quibble

          • There are some pretty useless business degrees being handed out these days – even at the MBA level.

          • LOL that’s true.

          • Students should not assume a university is offering anything valuable in terms of education or future career possibilities. Before wasting time and money they really need to research what they are offering. Things have changed a lot since we went to university.

          • I don’t recall universities ever saying you’d have a job skill when you got a BA. What they said was that you’d have a better education….and that would earn you more money than having just a high school diploma.

          • But a degree meant more than it does now. Students aren’t getting a good education unless they’re going to good schools which are harder to get into – and of course cost more. Graduates are being churned out.

          • Which is why people are moving up to Masters degrees….BAs are now entry level.

          • Sigh.

          • Even MBA level? I’d say MBAs are a particularly egregious example. How many Harvard MBAs did it take to nearly bankrupt the world financial system over the past decade?

          • That was greed at work – not incompetence. I don’t know how you screen that out of people.

          • It was both greed and incompetence. And you cannot screen either out when the screeners themselves are both greedy and incompetent.

          • Nice bit of misdirection there Em! Not that you fooled any of us by trying to shift the discussion…

          • By the way, European soccer players are just as overpaid as North American hockey players. So much for your “cultural difference”. As usual, you’re spouting a bunch of pseudo-intellectual drivel with no basis in fact.

          • The cultural difference is that they pay teachers well….we don’t.

          • $90,000 per year for 9 months work is plenty.

          • Ahhhh, so you’re just jealous….it has nothing to do with value at all

          • Not jealous as I make more than that. The $90,000 quote was from someone I know (my wife’s cousin actually) who teaches and earns that much, so I know it was accurate.

          • Then what is your problem??

          • I was countering your statement – the one where you say we don’t pay them enough. Yes, we do pay them enough, and I provided evidence that I myself am familiar with. Exposing the gaping holes in your assertions is never a problem.

          • You aren’t countering anything….you simply whined about their pay.

          • Okay, Em, how about you countering his point with salaries of European teachers? You, after all, are the one saying they earn more; back up your claim.

            Oh – and links to your evidence please, as you are not above making stuff up.

          • “No, a welder, plumber, carpenter should not be running the company, unless they have more education…”

            Define “education” in this situation. Does only university count?

            I have a friend who does not have any formal education beyond high school. He went to work in the towing industry, learning the business from the inside. He now owns his own heavy towing company (big rigs and heavy equipment moving – not the highway vultures; mostly contract work) and does reasonably well for himself.

            By your standard, he should still be a grunt, working for someone else.

          • And suddenly YOU are arguing Soviet-style.

          • I have 6 emails this am from you Bram, all full of nonsense like this….however spamming the board won’t incline me to mercy…..Ciao

          • Em, I only replied to a select few of your comments. And mine are certainly no more nonsense-filled than yours.

            If number of comments is the criteria for spamming, then you, holding positions One and Three among the Top Commenters, are far and away the Spam Queen.

          • The 20,000 people paying $40, $50, or even $200 to watch hockey are participating in a consensual transaction. The people paying taxes to pay a teacher’s salary are participating in a non-consensual transaction. Were the funding of teacher’s sourced solely from consensual transactions, you’d likely find that the average teacher’s salary would drop by about a third. From that, we can reasonably ascertain that teachers are actually overpaid, as their compensation exceeds their market value and must be supported by the coercive and confiscatory power of the state.
            Based upon your vaunted superior education, would you agree or disagree with this hypothesis put forth by a lowly high school grad, and upon what basis might you ground your disagreement?
            Call it a challenge.

          • Teaching is the only way we have of passing on our knowledge as a society…..if we lose that knowledge instead of adding to it…..we will go backwards and disappear.

            We have agreed to teach our young….from earliest times….so yes, it’s consensual.

            You are so concerned about taxes, you are blind to everything else.

            “If you think education is expensive, try the cost of ignorance.” Derek Bok

          • Teaching is consensual. The fact that teachers should be paid is pretty much universally consented to by the general populace. Yet, those who teach largely insist upon working under the umbrella of coercive and confiscatory authority. Again, if the teachers can only be paid what they believe they are worth, versus what society as a whole feels they are worth via a series of non-consensual and confiscatory transactions, are they overpaid or underpaid? And, if not overpaid, how so?
            Make your case. You want a debate, you got one. Convince the assembled horde of the veracity of your position in the manner I have mine.

          • Flash….most people would pay teachers more if they could.

            And kindly don’t try to hide anti-union crap under the guise of ‘debate’. This isn’t one. This is just you being cheap again

          • That’s bold talk for a one-eyed fat man, and a bold assertion. Care to enlighten us? Cite at least one verifiable instance where taxpayers have either initiated a school tax increase, lobbied a legislative body for a tax increase, or created a volunteer fundraising organization solely dedicated to providing additional financial resources strictly for the purposes of increased teacher salaries. Bonus points for any – ANY- evidence that such movements might have broad support of the citizenry.
            Relatedly, all economic theories hold that any product or service has a ” market value”, above which the product/service will not sell at all, or in quantities sufficient to make the provision of said product viable. Any student even moderately familiar with chaos theory can tell you that supporting the price of a product above market value via the coercion of the state will inevitably lead to the collapse of the marketplace in which said product is exchanged. This is basic stuff here.
            The geological equivalent of this is evident along the Mississippi River at it’s closest juncture to the Atchafalaya River. Market forces are as inexorable as geological ones, just faster.
            Ball’s in yer court, gringo ( or shall I say “gringette”?)

          • Doesn’t need it. Teachers are under contract. Raises are automatic. Nobody protests. Why on earth would they?

            Do you expect teachers to work for free, or minimum wage or something?

            Here’s some basic stuff for ya.

            We will always need education.

            We will always need to pay for schools and teachers…..even when they’re both online.

            And it will never be low-cost.

            You want market-forces? Education is like gold, platunum, lithium….rare, hard to get….and expensive.

          • Doesn’t need what? Again, a non-answer, crouched in a clumsy attempt at appearing erudite and sophisticated.
            Try again. Lean into it, at least a bit.

          • We don’t need ‘movements’ to get higher pay for teachers, this isn’t the US…

            You don’t mind paying cops and firefighters and plumbers…..but somehow you don’t think teachers should be paid.

          • I am simply astounded (though I really shouldn’t be) at your complete and utter lack of intelligence. Assuming that you are actually a university educated adult, I am profoundly astonished at your complete and utter lack of intellectual depth. I actually find it hard to believe you’ve even completed high school.

          • Your point being…?

          • How much does the Queen pick up as salary Emily?

          • I really don’t understand what the Queen’s education/income has to do with the topic?

          • There is no connection between the two…..she has high school equivalency, but she’s famous and wealthy because of her birth.

      • You’re telling me a guy with three Ford F-150’s, less than a high school education, semi-literate, making $100 000 a year in an Alberta oil field is not my social inferior? If so, you don’t believe in social superiority and inferiority and should just say so; but, actually, in the real world, it exists, and the fact is that the resource economy empowers working-class morons. Good for them and bad for us.

        • Why would he be your social inferior? Is a well educated lawyer with three Ferrari’s in his garage better, socially speaking?

        • No, it does not automatically make him your social inferior, any more than two arts degrees, $80,000 in student debt, and a job at Starbucks make you his social superior.

          And why is it “bad for us”? Are you really that myopic that you automatically see someone else’s success as an impediment to your own? Or have you bought into Mulcair’s “Dutch Disease” nonsense? Either way, how terribly small-minded of you.

        • He may not be someone with whom you share any interests, or someone with whom you would socialize, but that does not – in and of itself – make him “inferior”.

    • Yes, isn’t it horrible how those dirty peasants are being allowed to create their own wealth and improve their standard of living?

      People who are in engineering, law, medicine or the trades are doing well because they are in demand. But there isn’t the same demand for BAs any more so don’t go into those fields if you want a well paying job. I guess you didn’t pay attention in economics 101. Supply and demand is a thing. Deal with it.

    • Wow, you want to empower the government to prevent people from earning what they can, so that worthless paper-pushers like you can steal their money. Go back to Europe, you thief.
      What you fail to understand, is that what you consider to be worth a lot, that is worthless to most people. You fail to even understand that if you don’t like what trades people charge, then do it yourself! Nobody is forcing you to learn poetry while your toilet is overflowing! Nobody is forcing you to read history while the rain is leaking through the roof.

      But still, I’m sure those trades people will pay you back that money for the wonderful basket-weaving and international communications you learned in school that is just so darn valuable! They’ll love it.

      • Wow, must be labour day.

      • I think Rousseau’s Ghost is trying to pull some legs here.

        • I suspect you are right. Look at his/her screed down at the bottom. It’s even worse. Sorry, but as much as I despise progressive-style elitism, he’s just too cliched to be legit.

        • I think you’re right.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • “Just becuase your embarrassed of…”

          That’s quite something… If you have 4 years of “postscondary education” then you owe 3 years and 7 months worth of your subsidized tuition back to the public treasury. I’ve seen people make themselves look stupid before, but I’ve never seen it done so efficiently.


          • This comment was deleted.

          • If you want to be respected for your education then you have to write and think like an educated person. You write like a high-school dropout. And you jump to conclusions like a man falling down the stairs.

          • I have a BA in economics. Can I stay up and talk with the adults? Please please pretty please with sugar on top? Or is that just reserved for those with master’s degrees and higher?

            Your insistence that only “educated” people be allowed to partake in discussions about policies that may affect their lives would be sickening if you weren’t such a discreditable buffoon. As such, it is merely laughable. What next? Are you going to suggest that people be assigned weighted voting rights based on years of education? Whatever you gained in education years would be lost if they took grammar and punctuation into account. Might I suggest an adult literacy course as your next educational endeavor?

            By the way, you don’t weld copper pipes, you solder them. I know, only an uneducated knuckle-dragging hick would care about such a meaningless detail. I just can’t help myself.

          • Surely this is written in jest, or did Conrad and Babs have a child?

          • They have a dog, but I think he writes better than that.

        • So….why don’t you build houses like those “cave men”? If they’re the losers, why are they making more money than you?
          Look, if you work in a car dealership, you surely have been educated in the concept of “market value”. Obviously, your degree has limited market value, thus you are working selling cars in order to supplant the market value of your degree. Or, maybe you’re just plain lazy and stupid (or all three).
          News flash, bright boy. If you have such disregard for the people who pay your bills (that would be your customers) they know it, and one thing they won’t likely do is send you the referrals you need to make a living doing what you do.

        • I’ve had plenty of educational opportunities, and I’ve used them. I’m not a tradesperson. I’ve got nothing against them, and if they are so much in demand that they can charge a lot of money, then good for them. On the one hand we have whiners like you who don’t wish to pay people what they’re worth, then on the other hand there are whiners like you that complain that you can’t earn a living wage. Make up your mind.

          “I work in my uncles car dealership and I sell cars to some of these cavemen who build houses and I can’t even afford to buy the vehicles there trading in.”

          Obviously you’re not as smart as you think you are. There’s a saying that you can teach an education, but you can’t teach common sense. If you took 4 years of education and came out of school with nothing useful, then obviously you’re not as smart as you think you are.

    • The only thing I can partially agree with is that there is a lot of abuse of the tax system by those who are not really independent contractors.

      The rest of your post is absolutely reprehensible. The reason some tradesmen make more than the university educated is because their professions are oversupplied. This has nothing to do with Stephen Harper, he can’t just tweak the wage dials to fit your superiority complex.

      What I am most disturbed by is the undertone of your argument. The only way the educated can ‘wrest control’ of the country back is by giving crushing powers to the state to control all aspects of life. Make no mistake, you are supporting the creation of a totalitarian state which controls the division of labor, wages, and prices. That system has been tried and failed.

      • Exactly. I know for a fact that many independents either hide income or abuse deductions. And I think we’ve all had the experience of someone offering us “no HST” so that we save 13% while they save perhaps 40% in income tax. So yes, he was right about that.

        Actually, I’ll give him credit for a second point. The prices seem “extortionate” right now in part because the low interest rate environment has created a massive building boom – and likely a bubble. This is not the fault of the tradesmen, they were just in a position to take advantage of it. Good for them. But it won’t last forever. At some point, interest rates will rise and a lot of tradesmen who are raking it in right now will be in for some awfully lean times.

        These two points are simply an acknowledgement of economic realities, certainly not something I would say because I feel I’m better than someone who does necessary work. Why Ghost feels he is entitled to a higher income than the guy who does his electrical work, simply because “he works for me, and I’ve got a degree”, is a puzzlement to me. I find it difficult to imagine such arrogance.

        • “I find it difficult to imagine such arrogance.”

          Even after your discussions (for lack of a better term) with Emily?

          • I find it difficult to imagine such arrogance from anyone other than Emily.

            Thanks for catching that. It’s an important distinction.

      • Many posters here want the Soviet system of education….at 10, the state says we need more carpenters/welders etc or statistician/biologists etc….and that’s what you’re slated to train in. Your interests are irrelevant.

        By insisting Canadians take trade training, instead of their own interests….we are doing the same thing.

        Didn’t work for the Soviets and won’t work for us

        • We’re arguing the exact opposite. Nobody should be forced or “streamed” into anything. Rousseau’s Ghost is the one who argued in favour of a system where the government regulates the trades and their salaries, and you agreed with him.

          • That’s what most posters….including you….are insisting on.

          • Emily- You are well and truly stupid. Throughout this and other threads, not one single person has advocated NOT getting an education. What we have all pointed out is that you can’t isolate the post secondary education market, and it’s resultant product, from free-market economic forces. A degree in the arts or humanities will have lower real world value simply because the individual holding it has little to offer (by way of education) the commercial world of consensual monetary transactions. (I.e, not only do they have anything to sell, they have no way of helping a potential employer in that world.)
            I look at it in automotive terms. If you’re looking at two ratty 1970 Mustangs to restore to absolute factory originality, and one is a Boss 429 while the other is a 351 2-bbl Mach 1, you restore the Boss. Both will cost the same for parts, trim, and paint, but the Boss 429 will bring 5 times the money. Unless, of course, you legislate that the Barrett-Jackson crowd be obligated to pay the same no matter what goes over the block. The liberal arts degree is a 2-bbl Mach 1 in a Boss 429 world.
            You seem to have an innate inability to grasp simple economics. For example, you claim that an NHL owner makes more than his players. Last time I checked, there wasn’t an owner in all of pro sports that made anywhere near what his total team payroll was. Just like my old boss. He made a couple million a year, but his payroll (and his steel bill) was considerably more than he made in any given year.
            Maybe we’re the idiots for trying to get you to acknowledge reality. My take is that your grasp on reality is as tenuous as your supposed field of expertise.

          • This is a discussion that has gone on for months….and every single time the topic has come up, people like you make the case for being anti-intellectual, anti-science and…..anti-education.

            And yet I believe you’re the one that claims civil servants don’t pay taxes.

            The lot of you NEED education….!

          • We don’t make any such case. We say that there are a range of jobs and we need to find people to fill the vacancies, not create more well-educated unemployed.

            If people are going to pursue a university degree as a way to improve their odds in the economic lottery then they would be wise to choose a path other than a BA. If they are taking a BA because of an interest in the subject rather than to improve their employability, fine – but they shouldn’t then whine when they can’t find a good-paying job.

            And despite your claims to the contrary, some people just aren’t suited for the intellectual rigors of university. For them, if they have an aptitude for the trades (or, for that matter, even if they are intellectually capable but have zero interest in university and a strong interest in a trade) then there’s no reason why they should not pursue that avenue – esp. when the job prospects are good.

          • You’ve now sent me 11 posts this morning alone, Bram…..and as I’ve said I am not remotely interested in listening to your outdated high school nyah nyah stuff. You’ve turned into FV.

            I’m now blocking your posts from my email. Talk to yourself. Ciao+

          • So, let me get this straight…You, a supposedly university educated “global economic development specialist” lack the intellectual depth to grasp that it is the discussion board mechanism itself that sends you the e-mail updates on this and other discussions you are participating in, AND you lack the intellectual rigour to to hold your own in the very discussions you dive into. Interesting…
            You continually fail to rise above simply regurgitating the same old left-lib mantra and dogma, with out ever providing supported rationale to bolster your position beyond, of course, the tired old cliche that “I am an educated, credentialed, individual, thus my intellect trumps your experience.”

          • LOL I know what does it. I can also block it.

            I do so, because there’s no point talking to monkeys. I only talk to people willing to carry on a rational discussion.

            I love your final comment though. You’ve actually announced you’re part of the ‘cult of ignorance’

            “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.’

            Isaac Asimov, Newsweek interview. 1980.

          • So, we present well thought out and rational arguments, based on theory, fact, and anecdotal observation.
            You, on the other hand fail to rise above name calling and insults. Yet, in your mind, you’re the rational one.
            Riiiight. Where’s Alan Funt?

          • LOL you have that exactly backwards Bill.

          • And now we see Emily do what she typically does after she’s made too many statements she cannot defend. She brings up the “cult of ignorance”, (or sometimes she’ll call it the “culture war”). First she fabricates some intellectual line in the sand. Just so we aren’t forced to take her at her word that such a line exists, she’ll usually provide some pithy quote as “proof”. Then she makes it clear on which side of that intellectual divide she stands. That established, she then trots out the entirely logical conclusion that because she is on the side of science, knowledge, education and learned culture, any disagreement with her must be anti-science, anti-education, and anti-knowledge. It’s all very neat and tidy and it appeals to her binary nature. It also demonstrates how wide the gap is between how she sees herself and how the rest of the world sees her. I believe this is what they call ‘hubris’. More crudely, it’s called believing your own bullshit.

          • None of you are actually discussing the topic. You are all, in your juvenile way, just discussing ‘Emily.’

            And you are sure that someone female….gasp….and with more knowledge and credentials than yourselves….gasp, choke, wheeze….can’t possibly…by all the Laws of Nature….[otherwise known as cranky ole white guys] do that.

            So you waste time thinking up nonsense to post.

            However, no one is interested in listening to belligerent crackers brag about their macho. So bugger off. You’re boring.

          • None of you are actually discussing the topic. You are all, in your juvenile way, just discussing ‘Emily.’

            Well I can’t imagine how that came about. And thanks for once again reminding us how knowledgeable, capable, educated and intelligent and you are, and how this makes you completely qualified to tell the rest of us what to think and when to think it. However, I would remind you that a truly intelligent (or educated, or knowledgeable) person never has to openly state how intelligent he/she is. In fact, the very act of doing so – repeatedly in your case – tends to give the impression of the exact opposite. Telling someone how smart you are is like telling them how sober you are, or how funny you are. That turd just doesn’t polish – people will immediately suspect the opposite. They will judge your intelligence on the sum total of their interactions with you. There is nothing you can tell them that will change that.

            If you wonder why you so often become the topic of conversation here, there it is. Your bizarre insistence on being recognized as the preeminent authority on every subject makes you a lightening rod for criticism. Throwing up the old sexism charge misses the point entirely. Your screen name could be EdwardOne and we’d react precisely the same way. For your own good, learn to discuss things as just another participant, with opinions that are open to challenge, and perhaps even -*GASP* – fallible. You can’t always be the smartest person in the room, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

          • It comes about because you are teenagers mentally….who don’t have any real discussion ability, much less answers.
            Nyah, nyah stuff is so much easier.

            I have posted under both male and female names for 20 years. Only female ones get this reaction. Ever.

            I don’t remember one male on here….no matter how wrong factually he is, or how high he sounds, or how mentally unstable he obviously is….having his credentials questioned.

            And absolutely none of them get stalked, harassed or attacked. Especially out of the blue and for the most idiotic of reasons.

            I’m too authoritative/arrogant/confident/positive/outspoken etc?

            FN culture requires people not to stand out from the crowd, to keep their eyes down, to speak quietly, better yet to sit down and be quiet…..I was unaware Canadians ….especially women….were supposed to have adopted that cultural behavior.

            Again, you have just wasted everyone’s time on macho rubbish.

          • I can see why you’re a failure….anyone who can make statements like ‘You don’t need an arts degree to be literate’ isn’t too bright. – EmilyOne to Raging Ranter after he dared to disagree with her.

            So when you said that to me, you were just trying to engage in real discussion? My apologies for mistaking it for something else. And now, you’ve got the audacity to cook up some maudlin, rambling statement in which you paint yourself the victim? Of misogyny?

            You know, I almost decided that you are bipolar. Many bipolar sufferers, after years of alienating others by socially sabotaging themselves, develop the same sort of persecution complex you just demonstrated. But you can’t be bipolar. You’ve only got one pole.

          • Well now that’s FV, Bram and you….in the bin.


          • I don’t remember one male on here….no matter how wrong factually he is, or how high he sounds, or how mentally unstable he obviously is….having his credentials questioned.

            Rick Omen. Nuff said.

          • Emily, I’m fascinated by this business of you posting under male or female names.

            So what are the logistics? How do you prepare for the day?

            For example: have you got an “Emily Suit” that you put on before you sit down at the console? You know what I mean, a nice gingham dress with big apron pockets to carry your empties in or do you really take the bull by the horns and simply plunk yourself down at the keyboard in your birthday suit? That would be guaranteed to frighten the mailman.

            You’ve made thousands of wordy comments here Emily. Why don’t you do a long one some time and tell us what your normal day looks like.

          • Maybe she is bipolar. Perhaps I haven’t noticed the other pole because it manifests itself under some other online persona. Fascinating.

          • You don’t suppose he’s “no polar” do you?
            Any John Bobbit impersonators out there would certainly be dealng with a few issues.

          • I’m sure I’m one of the ones you think stalks, harasses and attacks you. I admit I do make more snarky comments to you than anyone else I reply to – but that’s due to (a) the fact that you post far more often than anyone else and (b) a much higher portion of those comments are nonsensical.

            Have I questioned your credentials? Yes I have. Because the comments you post do not encourage one to believe you could make a living in the field you say you work in. It’s a field that requires nuance and the ability to see multiple viewpoints – something you are clearly incapable of. Even so, I did not publicly question them for a long time – even though you repeatedly questioned mine and made spurious comments about my being racist &/or sexist multiple times over, and called me stupid because I’m not an atheist like you.

            My treatment of you has nothing to do with your sex. There are plenty of female posters on here and you are the only one to call me sexist (and many male posters have been upset with me for taking the female point of view on a number of issues). The way I treat you has everything to do with your behaviour towards me and just about everyone else on here.

            What goes around comes around. Show some respect and maybe you’ll get some.

            Ciao Em!

          • If you want to get a “Ciao” from her, ask about her job as a Walmart greeter. She usually finds that such an insult (that whole class thing of hers – she just can’t handle the idea) that she goes away.

          • Never mind; looks like she just “Ciao’d” you anyway…

          • Naturally I’m devastated.

          • But what scares me so, is the belief that EmilyOne is not the only person who thinks like that. There are so many others like her, and it`s not getting better anytime soon, imho.

          • I love your final comment though. You’ve actually announced you’re part of the ‘cult of ignorance’

            No, what he said is that you are too intellectually lazy (or simply incapable) to actually engage in a discussion. You make your (often contradictory) claims and when challenged, rather than defending your stance,you make accusations of racism, or sexism, or call them names ( there’s no point talking to monkeys).

          • I believe what she meant is that his refusal to acknowledge her superior intellect automatically labels him one of the “ignorant”. It’s that phony intellectual divide of hers again. It drives her nuts when we refuse to recognize it.

            Unlike others, I have zero difficulty believing she does in fact have a Ph. D. and does work as a global development analyst. The world is full of people who think that a few letters after their name and a fancy title serve as verifiable evidence that they are indeed smarter than others who don’t have these things. When I point out that perhaps she shouldn’t be so forceful and eager to tell us how much smarter she is, she has no clue what I’m talking about. She becomes defensive and accuses me of wanting women to stay in their place and not step out of line.

            Her problem is not a lack of credentials, it’s an inability to see the fine line between confidence and arrogance, between knowledge and hubris, and worst of all, between fact and opinion. You can’t win with someone like that. IMO, we’ve all shown a remarkable patience in trying to point out where she goes off the rails and how she could be a more productive forum participant. But she won’t listen to those who she considers her intellectual juniors. Which is all of us.

          • Boy, he’s in trouble eh?

            I guess you haven’t heard about it but there’s an association of your rejects out there called, “The Old Emilyians,” they have 7,633 members and hold an annual dinner.

            The Old Emilyians hold their annual dinner on the evening of the first full moon in September and give “The Ciao-Chico Award,” to the honourable member who’s done the best job, during the previous year, of making you look like a fool.

            Any member who’s been Chico”d more than six times during the previous year gets a free dessert.

          • I like how you chose her number of comments as the number of members. Highlights a rather unhealthy obsession she has with spamming every Macleans thread.

          • So, by my count you have 33 comments on this thread; I’ve responded to 1/3 (OK, just a bit more than 1/3 with this one).

            Yes, my responses to YOU tend to be a bit on the juvenile side; that’s because I’m catering my responses to the comprehension level of the intended audience (one OE). Or at least I’m trying; it takes a lot of effort to “dumb down” that much, that often.

            Ciao, Em!

          • No; most are saying we should present the evidence as to where the job market is when they are choosing their field of studies, and hope they chose wisely. That is what articles like this are about. You, with your “knowledge economy” mantra and active discouragement of anyone entering the trades, are doing exactly the same thing, but in a more authoritarian fashion than those of us you accuse of “Soviet style” approaches to education.

            My daughter will be going to university in a few years. Right now she is looking at a range of options. Some have far more opportunities now, come graduation, than others. There is no guarantee that this will be true when she graduates; all we can do is look at the trends.

            So yes, I will encourage her to consider first those areas where the chance of employment – good employment – is greatest. At the same time, I won’t push her into a field if she really wants to try a different one. Money isn’t the only key to happiness; I found that out the hard way.

          • Well said.

        • My argument is for the exact opposite of the state controlling the division of labour. Market wages are set by the principles of supply and demand. In case you didn’t know, this is a capitalist system.

          When a certain accredadation is oversupplied wages and unemployment will increase in that field which causes less people to choose to enter it.

          When RG said that the government set wages, based on some definition of merit (which I imagine he would like to define) he was suggesting that the state be given totalitarian power to direct wages and prices by controlling production and the division of labor (forcing people into selected careers). In case you didn’t know, this is a communist system.

          • Then let people take arts and humanities at university if they want.

            A national board that sets wages for unions prevents strikes,,,,,, which cripple the economy.

            It doesn’t control production or the division of labour.

            In Germany both management and labour are on the board….and their system works well

            I’d like to see you tell Germans they’re communists.

          • The German system is not perfect either. Lots of problems there too.

          • “Then let people take arts and humanities at university if they want.”

            No one is suggesting that people couldn’t take whatever courses they would want. The argument here is about what prospects of jobs are out there with those kinds of education credentials in hand. That is what the discussion is about.

            If you claim to have a university degree, I sure don’t understand how it would be so difficult for you to understand the most basics of concepts being the topic of debate here.

            Perhaps is it true that students just get pushed through.

          • Folks, (Francien, RR, Keith, M_M, et al…) I believe what we have here is the working definition of poor ol’ Em getting her intellectual backside handed to her on a platter. (Feel free to invoke Strother Martin from “Cool Hand Luke”…)

    • “dirty, calloused hands of uneducated hicks…”
      You, Rousseau’s Ghost are a pretentious snob. This country of ours was built on the backs of men and women who were not afraid to get their hands dirty or build up callouses by doing hard physical labor. To suggest that someone who works with their hands is not creative, cultured or intelligent is a ridiculous, unfounded generalization. You and your ilk should take your should take your sanctimonious selves and leave the country immediately because rednecks like myself will not be going anywhere.

    • Your rant is completely false! I have many university educated nieces and nephews living in Europe (and having been educated there, too!) Most, if not all of those nieces and nephews have found NO work in the field they choose at university.

      Question: if all European parents want their off spring to be managers and such, what then to do when everyone is a manager??

      • I suspect his rant is more fiction than fact as well. He comes off as just a little too arrogant, a few too many cliches about the “great unwashed”. It’s almost as if he was trying to get a rise out of us. It worked anyway. And notice that Emily gave him a thumbs up (you can hover over his single plus vote to see who it was).

        • Ah, yes, I have been following the ‘ global economic development specialist’ (aka EmilyOne) for some time. No wonder our global economy is going downhill!

          Not to worry: people who possess common sense will come out ahead in any case. :)

    • What part of Europe are you talking about? I’m from Germany and it certainly doesn’t work that way there. For a tradesperson to open and run a business he or she needs to be a master of that trade – not a university degree holder. The key difference between Germany and here is that in Germany you can get trade qualifications to the master level, here you can only become a journeyman – and a master tradesperson in germany has as much prestige (and can earn as much, if not more) as someone with a university degree. German parents are happy if their child pursues a skilled trade and very proud of anyone who manages to earn a master level (it is tough). The ” blue collar” distinction (and the need for them to be properly managed by uni grads) which you are making is very insulting to anyone who has been exposed to real skilled trades. The cultural bias in canada toward pushing your children to get a uni degree (and aversion to the skilled trades) is leading to unfortunate outcomes – too many people with soft, low demand degrees and not enough people with high demand skilled trades or hard STEM degrees.

    • It’s supply and demand. Or were you too busy at a wine tasting or art gallery to notice?

  3. There seem to be a lot of self-hating arts grads in Canadian journalism.

  4. Although I’m a dropout who never finished high school I “majored” in philosophy, metaphysics, and literature at an early age. But I didn’t take an interest in those three disciplines because I thought they’d help me get a job. To the contrary, they helped me when I began developing ideas of my own. Hopefully, that’s what a ‘higher education’ is supposed to do. Build a strong foundation of understanding.

    • That somewhat mimics my own experience. I did get a four year BA, but my real education started only after I was done. Education involves intellectual curiosity and a desire to learn. Formal schooling has nothing to do with education. It is just a way of being recognized for being educated. Such is the credentialist system we’ve set up.

      • Well see, when you’re ‘secretly brilliant’…nobody else can tell.

        In fact, they have no way of knowing if you even have basic knowledge of the field.

        Hence the need for credentials.

  5. Seems I’ve touched off something of a debate. This is a good thing. I assure you I am no troll. It might come as a surprise, but the world is a lot bigger than North America. In Europe they scoff at the kinds of nonsense that we accept as normal here. Nonsense like dry-wallers and oil rig workers getting paid more than university graduates. Students in France would shut the country down in a heartbeat if a politician dared suggest they accept lower salaries than common tradespeople. This is not Soviet at all, it is democracy in action. In any case, Europeans aren’t dumb enough to allow such gross misallocations of capital to occur in the first place, so the point is moot. And my “attitude” that you find so troubling? Well my dears, I’m not going to apologize for being the only commenter here whose spent time in more sophisticated, more socially advanced environments. It is hardly my fault that, with the notable exception of Emily, I am the only one who can see how far behind Canada is. And I see little reason to adopt a more humble demeanor in the face of such outright hostility towards educated people as I’ve witnessed here. My father tells me that back in the 1960s and 70s, Canadians looked up to educated people. They looked to them for leadership. A tradesman would never just assume he knew more than an educated person. Now I can go to any number of websites and find mechanics and rig pigs more than willing to tell me how things should be run. They seem little bothered by the fact that I could argue circles around them in four languages, drawing on knowledge gained from 3 degrees (one at the masters level) from two separate universities, or that I’ve worked in 6 different countries and traveled in more than 60. In a properly functioning society, education and culture garner respect, not derision from raging misogynist nut jobs hiding behind monkey avatars.

    Why ‘misogynist’? I’m so glad you asked. I refer you to the Globe and Mail, where a recent article laments the lack of good marrying material for educated women, since they have vastly outnumbered men in universities since the late 1980s. It dawned on me that this is what the modern Canadian aversion to education is all about. Naturally, as more women get educated, red necks of both genders start to push back, and denigrate education, belittling those who pursue it. This happened in Europe too when women started attending university in large numbers. The difference is, those ugly reactionary forces were quickly quieted in Europe, whereas here in North American they actually succeeded. In light of this, it makes perfect sense then that a hard working school teacher or HR professional must part with a massive chunk of her salary just to get some wiring done in her house, or get her car fixed. The CONservatives have come up with their own bastardized income redistribution system that allows the uneducated knuckle-draggers (and their stay-at-home wives) to extract economic rents from all those uppity female school teachers, doctors and lawyers who dared to get ahead. LOL. The irony would be delicious if it weren’t so tragic.

    • I gotta hand it to you buddy, you had me going there for a bit. But I’m calling BS. Nobody who would go through such effort to write that much would throw away their credibility by being such an arrogant tool. The most insufferably elitist progressive the world over would have more tact than that. The theory about misogyny is just so far over the top, you cannot possibly be serious. You got us. Hats off to you my friend.

      • I guess it bothers you to see in print what the educated really think of you, eh ranter? I can tell you he’s not a troll, hes reflecting what a lot of us think of you unedcuated morons. Almost every one of my friends feels exactly the same way, and yes the blame lies at the feet of Harper for turning back the clock and making us a resource economy again. the liberals had millenial scholarships (NOT available for trade school monkeys), research chairs and other programs to encourage education. Harper has done nothing but subsidize tar sands developments and pipelines and the military at the expense of education and healthcare research, and made the world hate us too. that’s precisely what illiterate uncultured rednecks do they can’t help it, there just not civilized or educated enough to realize it. Not everyone who spells it out is a troll im not.

        • Do you not realize that most, if not all, of us on here countering the nonsense posted by you, Emily & RG have degrees of our own?

          • That doesn’t count apparently.

    • Dear Rousseau Ghost,

      Let me reply in kind:

      When I was young and naive, Rousseau was one of my favorite philosophers. Why? Just because the name ‘Jean Jacques Rousseau’ simply sounded so…..what could I say…….trustworthy……or elitist, perhaps. As if the connotation between ‘names’ and ‘trust’ could indeed be found so readily. But alas, as I have said: I was young and naive then.

      Not anymore. I have come to learn (without a full university degree) that if one cannot think logically enough, one does not think well enough.

      So here we are, trying with all our might to be logical. Logic tells us that we should be consistent when coming to conclusions. If the consistency is not there, the idea in question is not a viable one. So either consistency must be found in order to validate the idea or the idea must be altered so that consistency remains as part of the idea to be validated.

      Your idea that well educated (formally, of course!) people should always be paid more and should be valued higher than any other human in action, is inconsistent with the workings of a free society. For if a society were to be really free, it could not possibly have an artificial system in place by which the partake of humans can be statistically formulated as to what human action is better or worse for any society’s well being. Only real, and not artificial, solutions (or benchmarks) are a hall mark of a free working society in action. Always!

      What an artificial formulation of societies will amount to, is an oversupply of statistical none sense. But perhaps that is what artificial societies amount to when too many students graduate from universities with no real jobs to go to: simply create more departments where more statistics can be created and formulated. EmilyOne, no doubt, would be able to suggest lots of ideas about what new statistical information will be helpful in keeping the artificial system going. And she would do so for free! Now, how interesting is that, eh!

      In any case, I still think the name Jean Jacques Rousseau is an interesting one. It sounds so good! But it’s just a name. The rest, as they say, is history.


      Francien Verhoeven

      (not a ghost)

    • Your argument, mon frere, is undermined completely by a few simple questions. You say all “educated” individuals should automatically earn more than less educated folk. What if the “educated” one also happens to be just plain stupid? Should he/she still earn more than a bright, entrepreneurial, albeit lowly tradesman? Should those who take on the financial risks of business ownership have their income limited, by legislative fiat no less, based solely upon their educational achievements? Should a more productive tradesman, lacking any formal education beyond his trade skills, be paid less than someone with a university degree working in the same field but less productively? (I have actually worked alongside degree holders as a machinist. I made more than they did, simply because I got more done every day.)
      As for the second part of your argument, there is ample evidence that women with relevant degrees- mostly in law, commerce, and engineering- earn equal incomes as their male counterparts in the same field. The same holds true in trades. (Billable hours are billable hours. Economic output is economic output. If my $500,000 5-axis mill needs to generate $250/hr worth of production, I can’t afford to care if the machinist operating it has a vagina or not. If the girl can program the machine efficiently, and continue to tweak the programs with an eye to continuous improvements in quality, speed of operation, and tool life, she’ll get the same hourly rate and bonuses as the guys. That’s just smart business.)
      Where the supposed income inequality for women with degrees comes into play, is the overly common tendency for women to earn degrees with low economic potential, i.e arts and humanities.
      In spite of “progressive’s” best efforts to the contrary, there is still a market economy out there, and you can rig the system until the cows come home but it will inevitably fail in the face of economic reality and talent and necessity will always trump education and ideals.

  6. Wow… Did those of you who advocate a caste system learn nothing in the hallowed halls of advanced education?
    Does a degree make you smarter than the next person? Maybe in your chosen field of study and only if you’re in the top percentile
    The arrogance of some of you is sickening… A degree doesn’t guarantee management skills, diplomacy, intellect, or the drive to succeed.
    A lot of the educated are still dimwitted about many topics and life in general.
    What I read into these comments is envy, pure and simple…
    If you can’t get a decent paying job in this country, you are the problem.. Perhaps those of you snivvling are the dysfunctional ones that society would be better off without.
    Your elitist comments are truly an embarrassment to all, your professors must be proud that you learned SOOO much.
    What’s next? Only those with blond hair and blue eyes are allowed to rule?
    YOU delusional and pampered clowns are selfish, elitist, and an embarrassment to ‘educated’ people.

    You belong in the senate you weasels

  7. It’s pretty clear the problem here is we subsidize education to much. People take psychology, humanities, and social sciences because they are artificially cheap and that puts to many on the market and the oversupply drives down their wages.

    • Not all of us were aware of that when we went to University. Instead, we were told that a degree opens doors (many of my fellow high school graduates went on to university). We were told “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” If I could talk to my high school self I’d suggest going to college instead, getting a skill, making sure to base decisions on whatever field has the best chance of finding a quality job. I would love a good paycheck , job security, a chance to work hard, a chance to advance in my job, and could care less about whether I feel like I’ve worked a day in my life.

    • Obviously we’re not subsidizing it enough. If we were, perhaps you would have taken some and been able to read the article rather than just the headline and the pretty pictures.

      Because had you done that, you might have come across point 2, which tells us that the cost of a post-secondary education in Canada is nearly *double* that of the average in the OECD group of countries, and has been increasing at over twice the rate of inflation year over year.

      • Actually, there is more than ample evidence that the increased funding of post-secondary education has simply led to increases in pay for educators, far above what inflation would warrant, and unchecked growth in the cost of administration for post-secondary institutions. This, in turn has led to dramatic increases in tuition costs during lean years when govts. try to reign in expenses. Those who work in the colleges are never willing to endure cutbacks themselves, so they downlaod their economic expectations on to the students.
        Simple question- Why should taxpayers and the students always- ALWAYS- take the financial hit when funds are tight and colleges and universities are supposedly strapped for cash? Why shouldn’t educators be expected to take cuts to pay and benefits when times are tight, in the fashion that private sector workers do?
        I’ll be blunt. The public sector workers have been indulged by both governments and media in their decades long class war. I’m fighting back.

        • If there’s more than ample evidence of that, perhaps you could have provided some?

          I mean, you know, other than crap pulled from your arse.

          Hell, don’t bother. Even if what you say is true, you still are arguing the same thing, that it’s not the subsidies that have lead to this “too many graduates” problem the original poster was talking about, because if we take your view of it, the students don’t see those subsidies anyway.

          • You should probably figure out what country we’re in.

            Might do you good to get outside, period.

          • So, if we in Canada have gone down essentially the same path as the United States, vis a vis post secondary funding, and much of the same problems have become apparent- rising tuitions and student debt, etc- please illuminate us as to what makes you believe the situation in Canada might be different from the American. What makes you believe circumstances illustrated in the Washington Post series might not apply up here, beyond the usual “we’re Canadians and they’re not” crap?

          • I don’t accept your if.

          • And, in true liberal fashion…..
            I wasn’t asking you to agree with the facts. I was asking you to suggest a plausible reason why our circumstances might be different than the USA’s, (which they aren’t) given that we have largely followed the same post-secondary formula. Or do not possess the intellect necessary to rise to the challenge, young feller?

          • No. You were asking me to accept your assertion that “if” we’re going down the same path as the US, a bunch of conclusions would follow.

            I do not accept that assertion. So unless you can present evidence thereto, you have no argument.

            If you understood the basic premises of logic you’d understand this. I can point you toward a few good post-secondary classes that can teach you these basics if you want.

          • So, in other words you didn’t read the Maclean’s article, the WSJ article, or the Washington Post article. And you’re participating in this discussion why?

  8. Whatever. Students entering school now know what they will be faced with.

    If you want to pursue your passion and earn a degree in Latin or something, then I commend you. But be aware of your job prospects afterwards, and don’t whine when you are an over educated barista.

  9. Wow. So you mean to say the faculties that cost the most and restrict entrance the most have fewer people entering them? And that, with fewer people entering, there are fewer graduates available so they can command higher salaries?

    Woah.. talk about mind-blowing. Who’da thunk it?

    I mean, other than anybody with half a brain who took a moment to think about it, of course.

    What else did we learn? That less than a quarter of university graduates make less than the median income.. a figure determined by looking at the incomes of all the population, including the massive boomer population, the bulk of whom are at the peak of their careers. Of course, what’s left out of that figure is how many of those university graduates are at the start of their careers, rather than the end. Odd how people who are starting their careers might tend to make less than those people who are rapidly approaching retirement. It’s like seniority might have something to do with it almost.

    Seriously, this article *is* anti-education. By using poorly thought out stats and not looking at some of the reasons behind the figures, we’re getting only a portion of the picture, and yeah, that portion doesn’t look great for those going into post-secondary now.

    But it’s post-secondary education that gives people the ability to properly analyze and critique crap like this so as to be able to see — if not the full picture — at least what might be missing. And in this age of advertising driving journalism, we need that more than pretty much anything else.

  10. The income inequality between sexes be it male and female or vice versus is bull. As for wages for trades vs university degree it all depends on how hard you work and demand – as well as what your willing to give up. For example my sister was a lawyer for one of seven sisters law firms and had the potential of making up to 2 mill a year. The only catch was you had to give up the rest of your life. As for trades being worth less than university degree – my brother in law is a millwright up north and from a business standpoint if one of their machines breaks down it cost them $150,000/hr – so it’s worth paying him $80,000/yr to fix whatever on site with materials available instead of waiting 1-6 days (weather depending) for a part to come in.

    This article is false though if you are a true genius – like one guy I knew who was getting job offers for US $600K salary before he went to get his masters (that was at 12 years into university) – then again the majority of the population university trained would not be able to get a 4.0 in quantum physics.

  11. As a succesful executive working in the US, I can tell you that the quality of education I received from Trent and Seneca gave me great advantage in building my career to where it is today.