dwilterd

S/O of Non-College Jobs thread: Attitudes toward college among homeschool/church circles

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dwilterd

In the thread about alternatives to a college degree, a few people mentioned differing attitudes toward college in general among people they know. It seems some people actively discourage their children from going to college or even outright forbid it. What have you observed?

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Merry

I've heard of that (online) but haven't really seen it in my local circles. Most people just want their kids to do what they are interested in (and can afford), whether that's college or a trade. I think you do hear more of the talk about not everyone needing college, but a lot of that has to do with how outrageously expensive it is. Sometimes I also hear of kids taking longer to decide what they really want to do--I think it can be confusing to some kids. 

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dwilterd

When my dd scored a 35 on the ACT, a woman in my homeschool group hinted that the fact that she's a girl made it not such a good idea to send her off to college. Kind of a "gee, what do you do with that score since she's a girl?" type of comment. I was pretty surprised. 

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Blessed Mommy

I don’t regret college or graduate school, even though I ended up homeschooling my kids instead of pursuing a profession. The experience sharpened my mind and taught me how to juggle a tough schedule. I had to delay gratification over and over and over by choosing to study when there was a plethora of more fun choices to do. I did work in restaurant jobs from 14 to 22, and that did teach responsibility, but it did nothing to sharpen and expand my mind. I never learned to think deeply or wrestle with ideas in my K12 education, but college provided that. I’m a different person because of the experience, so it makes me sad that someone would say it is a waste for a girl. I did end up working as a speech language pathologist and special education teacher for a few years before kids. I’m now a part-time history teacher at the hybrid school my kids attend two days a week. All of these jobs require degrees.

6 hours ago, dwilterd said:

When my dd scored a 35 on the ACT, a woman in my homeschool group hinted that the fact that she's a girl made it not such a good idea to send her off to college. Kind of a "gee, what do you do with that score since she's a girl?" type of comment. I was pretty surprised. 

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Countrymom9
7 hours ago, dwilterd said:

When my dd scored a 35 on the ACT, a woman in my homeschool group hinted that the fact that she's a girl made it not such a good idea to send her off to college. Kind of a "gee, what do you do with that score since she's a girl?" type of comment. I was pretty surprised. 

What, really? I wonder whether she was genuinely trying to start a conversation about views on girls and college or was actually wondering this or, of course, picking a fight.

 

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dwilterd
4 hours ago, Countrymom9 said:

What, really? I wonder whether she was genuinely trying to start a conversation about views on girls and college or was actually wondering this or, of course, picking a fight.

 

The more I think about it, the more I'm just not sure! I think it was more of a situation where she was pondering what she would do in my shoes. I mean, what is a girl supposed to do if she does plan to stay home with her kids, but at the same time has been gifted with pretty significant academic abilities? The woman who said this to me does have a college degree, but maybe she has changed her mind about college in general as many in my generation seem to have done.

Another woman in my homeschool circle also has a pretty negative view of college. Her own daughter went to community college and her son (who is a year older than my son) will likely skip college altogether and go into a trade of some sort. She has a degree (graduated with honors) but feels she isn't using it and it was pretty much a waste of time and money. We began a discussion at one point about the value of college for our law enforcement-inclined sons, but it ended up getting a bit emotional and I had to drop it. Sigh. 

My brother-in-law and cousin are both entrepreneurs in the tech industry and I spoke to them about the possibility of our daughter not going to college but instead learning languages and attempting to break into the industry without a degree and they all but laughed in my face. My cousin said it's pretty much the first wave of filters companies use to comb through their job applicants; if you don't have a 4-year degree, you'll be rejected outright. Frankly, I think that's the biggest issue these days in a host of careers. Even for careers that didn't use to require a degree will now use that as a mechanism to whittle down their applicant pool. Perhaps it's unfair, but it's the world we live in. Hate the game, not the player, right? 

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Bendxap

My homeschool "group" consists mostly of colleagues. In those families, at least the husband but often the wife, too, has a college degree. I think the "normal setting" for them/us is for kids to go to college although I don't think it's forced on the kids.

One mother (with a teaching degree) seemed to think the most important thing for her oldest son in college was to "have a blast!" And I wasn't surprised when he quit (or flunked out, not sure which) college. So far none of her other children have gone to college either. (Three or four are out of high school. And for the record, her oldest is now in seminary.)

Another family: the mom told me that her mistake was telling her son how smart he was so when he was in college, he believed his roommate that it wasn't necessary to go to classes. Yeah, he quit school, too.

And there are lots of families whose kids did go to college and did well. Some are using their degrees, some in something else, some continue studying.

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mominindianapolis

The only objections I have observed (and pondered myself) is in spending (even if they don't go into debt), thousands of dollars on obscure degrees that it's not real clear what you actually do with the degree. I don't want to elaborate as I would hate to offend anyone. 

I have a family member that was going to get either a second major or minor in a "practical" field as well but then after trying a high school course in the subject decided he just wants to pursue his love. The question is - at what point do some of these things become a hobby? I don't have the answer but I think it's awfully hard for young people to choose a career or major without having had any actual work experience of any kind and certainly not any life experience. 

If they don't even do laundry or help around the house or much of anything how can they truly grasp what it would mean to work at anything day in and day out - often with frustrating circumstances or co-workers? I don't fault the young people. In many ways there was merit to the idea of apprenticeships in years gone by. 

So back to the original question - objections to students going to college for obscure degrees they may not be able to use are all I have heard and most people agree that employers don't always seem to care what the degree is so it may not be an issue at all. I don't know. 

 

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SewWhat?
1 hour ago, mominindianapolis said:

So back to the original question - objections to students going to college for obscure degrees they may not be able to use are all I have heard and most people agree that employers don't always seem to care what the degree is so it may not be an issue at all. I don't know. 

 

THIS is why college is so expensive I think, because it's assumed the janitor is going to come in with a degree now! All applicants being completely equal the one with the degree will edge out, not matter what it's in, no matter how completely unrelated to the job being applied for. It's a crying shame. As I'd said previously, supply and demand. 

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mominindianapolis

Yes, the degree always wins it seems. Especially now that most applicants apply online and are weeded out sight unseen. 

Yesterday I was at Sam's Club and a young adult looking like he just rolled out of bed in print jogger pants (looked like pj pants to me) and a Pokemon (as in it made him look like a life-sized character) hat that had the long sides hanging down was behind me at customer service. He wanted to know if they were accepting applications. They told him to apply online. I guess they have no way of knowing how likely he is to come in ready to work from that process but I know most online applications also involve strange online personality tests/questions. These must not be as effective as companies want to believe because customer service and service in general is definitely a thing of the past in today's world if you ask me. I often think I could save them a lot of trouble and money but of course it's not my circus or my monkeys.....

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Little Women
5 hours ago, dwilterd said:

My cousin said it's pretty much the first wave of filters companies use to comb through their job applicants; if you don't have a 4-year degree, you'll be rejected outright. Frankly, I think that's the biggest issue these days in a host of careers. Even for careers that didn't use to require a degree will now use that as a mechanism to whittle down their applicant pool. Perhaps it's unfair, but it's the world we live in. Hate the game, not the player, right? 

This is very true.   Since a high school diploma in some cases doesn't even mean the applicant can READ, they have required more and more.  At least a college degree means they had some stick-to-it-ive-ness, some gumption, and have been able to pass a bunch of classes with definitive requirements.    Also, the fact that there were so many millennial that couldn't get jobs in their fields means that more college grads were available for them to pick between.   It remains to be seen how that will play out in the current environment where it is harder to find workers.

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Little Women

I have once heard a homeschool speaker say that kids shouldn't go to college because it's so secular.   I have heard OF home school gurus saying girls shouldn't go because they are just going to be at home and boys should only go if they really need it for a career, also because it's so secular.    The vast majority of home school speakers I've heard are a lot more about making sure your high school is rigorous enough. 

BUT, I have heard a LOT of comments by homeschoolers in general, both here on this forum and on other homeschool forums, about how college is over-rated, nobody really needs it, and nobody should feel pressured to go.    These are around to the extent that my National Merit dd, whose first college prof spoke of her as, "when you are a college professor....." wondered if she should go to college, since "everybody" seemed to think it wasn't worth it.   That actually made me angry (and I don't get angry very often!)    

It's one thing to say, "not everyone needs college" and even 'there is a good market and good payment for other skills like plumbing," but the fact of the matter is that very few of these good-paying, non-college jobs are suitable for most girls, and NONE would be a good fit for the kids who ARE good at school!    The constant voices of "you don't have to go to college" are detrimental to most kids, who will wind up not having an actual trade either--there are few decent careers for guys or girls, if they don't have some sort of skill or trade or degree beyond high school.   If they pursue a trade, then, sure, they don't have to go to college, but they'd better plan on something!  And let's not denigrate those who really are cut out for more academic pursuits, along the way.   

I should also add that I have NEVER heard ANYONE outside of homeschooling circles say that college is not important.  Even my friend in Iowa said, "all the farmers want their kids to have college degrees--they know it's important!"     I suppose there are groups and churches where saying one doesn't need it is more common, but the ones I've heard have all said, "I didn't get one, but I really wish I had--my body is giving out on me, I have been laid off a bunch of times, and I can't find anything that pays enough to support my family."    

 

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dwilterd
47 minutes ago, Little Women said:

I have once heard a homeschool speaker say that kids shouldn't go to college because it's so secular.   I have heard OF home school gurus saying girls shouldn't go because they are just going to be at home and boys should only go if they really need it for a career, also because it's so secular.    The vast majority of home school speakers I've heard are a lot more about making sure your high school is rigorous enough. 

BUT, I have heard a LOT of comments by homeschoolers in general, both here on this forum and on other homeschool forums, about how college is over-rated, nobody really needs it, and nobody should feel pressured to go.    These are around to the extent that my National Merit dd, whose first college prof spoke of her as, "when you are a college professor....." wondered if she should go to college, since "everybody" seemed to think it wasn't worth it.   That actually made me angry (and I don't get angry very often!)

My dd is in a similar situation. She honestly doesn't know what she wants to "do" after college (job-wise), but she does want to go and she has many interests and a true love of learning. She's also responsible enough to get enough of a job after school is done to pay off whatever loans she ends up with. We'll do what we can to keep those loans to a minimum, but I know there will be a few thousand dollars to pay off at least. Yet, it'll never be cheaper for her to go than it is right now. She would never get the scholarships she has for this coming year if she took a year off or something first. 

    

It's one thing to say, "not everyone needs college" and even 'there is a good market and good payment for other skills like plumbing," but the fact of the matter is that very few of these good-paying, non-college jobs are suitable for most girls, and NONE would be a good fit for the kids who ARE good at school!    The constant voices of "you don't have to go to college" are detrimental to most kids, who will wind up not having an actual trade either--there are few decent careers for guys or girls, if they don't have some sort of skill or trade or degree beyond high school.   If they pursue a trade, then, sure, they don't have to go to college, but they'd better plan on something!  And let's not denigrate those who really are cut out for more academic pursuits, along the way.   

I should also add that I have NEVER heard ANYONE outside of homeschooling circles say that college is not important.  Even my friend in Iowa said, "all the farmers want their kids to have college degrees--they know it's important!"     I suppose there are groups and churches where saying one doesn't need it is more common, but the ones I've heard have all said, "I didn't get one, but I really wish I had--my body is giving out on me, I have been laid off a bunch of times, and I can't find anything that pays enough to support my family."    

 

Dh's dad was a drywaller until his back and mental acuity couldn't keep up anymore. Then he had nothing. He was definitely NOT cut out for college (likely had an undiagnosed learning disability), so he really was doing the best he could, but most of the skilled labor jobs do require a healthy body to perform and there is obviously no guarantee of that in the long-run. 

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Countrymom9
3 hours ago, dwilterd said:

Dh's dad was a drywaller until his back and mental acuity couldn't keep up anymore. Then he had nothing. He was definitely NOT cut out for college (likely had an undiagnosed learning disability), so he really was doing the best he could, but most of the skilled labor jobs do require a healthy body to perform and there is obviously no guarantee of that in the long-run. 

My dh is running into that in looking for a job right now. He still has a slight limp and looks his age. He looked much younger than his age until he broke his leg last year, but this has really taken a toll on him. There are still jobs he can physically do (and mentally he's fine now that he's off pain meds), but the trick is getting hired for them. He can go back to his old job when another guy retires at the end of the year. In the meantime, it may be up to me. I don't look my age and there is more leeway in that when it comes to office work! 

Even though dh has earned a decent living for many years (we invested in children instead of retirement funds...we could have actually done both, but we didn't), I think if he had finished college he might stand a better chance now. He could teach some kind of STEM courses, for example. His parents were wealthy and wanted him to go to college, so he would have had no student loan debt at all. I wish we'd managed money better too, but hindsight is always 20-20. I still don't think college is for everyone. I'm very glad ds17 chose a trade over college at this point. He can still go later, if he chooses, and has not ruled the idea out. Right now, he just isn't ready, and taking a course that will fit him for a pretty lucrative career is a better choice than his lounging around working retail or something till he "finds his way".

Most of the people I know are very eager for their kids to go to college, and for many families, it's a given. The homeschoolers seem more realistic about minimizing the money involved than the brick-and-mortar-schoolers. People seem to think I have "arrived" and have some extra ability bc one of my dds is a doctor. I think most people I know are concerned with their child's ability to be useful and to support themselves or a family and with his or her spiritual growth and character, whatever career path that child takes.

 

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Menke
10 hours ago, dwilterd said:

I mean, what is a girl supposed to do if she does plan to stay home with her kids, but at the same time has been gifted with pretty significant academic abilities?

I suppose this depends on the girl, but for me it means that I am currently an online college student while also homeschooling my kids. I did also go to college straight out of high school, but due to personal/health issues, I couldn't complete that initial attempt at getting my degree. Although this time around I am taking things slow, I actually really enjoy the ability to do college at this time. It really helps me to stay intellectually challenged while mostly interacting with young kids at home. I know that it might seem a waste of money to some people as I am also planning on homeschooling for the next 18+ years, but I don't think it is. I do only take courses when I can afford them, as I am not expecting to immediately go into a high paying job to be able to pay off college debt. 

As far as views I have ran into, it actually quite varies. I am originally from The Netherlands, and there the expectation is basically always to go to college. This is not a specific view from homeschoolers as there basically are no homeschoolers there, but it does include churches. My family's views have been a little different in the fact that we are aware that going to college immediately is not always the best option - though both me and my two brothers did at least try to. We all changed course several times, however, and eventually all took a route that fit us. For my oldest younger brother this means that he has now completed his masters, while for my youngest brother this means that he is now going to college 1 day a week while working a job in the same field 4 days a week. We are all in our late 20's now, so we haven't been the fastest, but I do think it is more important to find the route that fits the child, then to try to fit the child into a a specific pre-determined path. I really appreciated that we got that freedom from our parents, though we have always been encouraged to go to college, and that, overall, they were never very disappointed if something that we tried didn't work out immediately or if we realized that we needed to change direction (or in my case move to a different country) along the way. 

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Merry
12 hours ago, dwilterd said:

The more I think about it, the more I'm just not sure! I think it was more of a situation where she was pondering what she would do in my shoes. I mean, what is a girl supposed to do if she does plan to stay home with her kids, but at the same time has been gifted with pretty significant academic abilities?

Plans don't always work out. Spouses can die, become disabled, have serious injuries, lose their jobs for other reasons, etc... 

 

12 hours ago, dwilterd said:

My cousin said it's pretty much the first wave of filters companies use to comb through their job applicants; if you don't have a 4-year degree, you'll be rejected outright. 

One thing that often comes up at our local job fair is that employers see the ability to get a degree (even an Associate's) as a way of showing responsibility and that a person can set a goal and achieve it. I was a bit horrified when my son got his first job, to learn what kinds of things employers put up with these days (like how many "no shows" without calling they allow and so on). Back in my day (using my "I'm older than dirt" voice) one no-show without calling would typically get you fired! Maybe they figure if you can get a degree, you're at least likely to come to work?! 

 

11 hours ago, mominindianapolis said:

They told him to apply online. I guess they have no way of knowing how likely he is to come in ready to work from that process but I know most online applications also involve strange online personality tests/questions. 

We haven't run into strange personality tests yet, but almost every place locally seemed to want online applications and uploading a resume etc... They screen people before they ever see them in person once! I'd think that would screen out some good people accidentally myself. There's a lot to be said for seeing an applicant in person. LOL about the full-size pokemon garb!

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HannahB
8 hours ago, Merry said:

Plans don't always work out. Spouses can die, become disabled, have serious injuries, lose their jobs for other reasons, etc... 

 

 

This. Everyone should have some way of supporting themselves or getting a job. And sadly I've seen women marry men who seem to steady, responsible Christian men only to have them turn out otherwise. No one wants to think about that but it happens. 

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daveswife

In my area, homeschoolers seem to be a little more academic, and most of my kids' friends have either chosen college or tech school. I haven't seen any "stay at home daughters" in the Duggar or Maxwell style.

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Countrymom9

That's true as well for me.

 

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