Friday, January 31, 2014

Avoiding Girlington

Dr. Helen Smith is interviewed by Forbes concerning declining male college enrollment:
Jerry: “You mentioned a number of institutions in which men feel uncomfortable – no, it’s actually not a matter of feeling uncomfortable, it’s a matter of actually being disadvantaged. There’s one you haven’t mentioned yet which is something that overlaps with an interest of mine and of your husband’s, Glenn Reynolds: the idea of a college bubble, the idea of a higher education system in which the value of the product has been become completely dissociated from the price of it. Talk to me a little bit about – what do you call it, Girltown or Girlingtown? – the universities as sort of a world hostile to men.”

Helen: “Right. I call it Girlington [in the book] and that’s sort of like Burlington. There’s so many women at the University of Vermont they call the place Girlington as opposed to Burlington. What’s interesting is that it’s something like 60% women going to college and 40% men, and I think you’re right. I don’t think that it’s just the higher education bubble – I know that my husband Glenn Reynolds is interested in that and actually has a new book called The New School coming out about that very topic – but I think that actually what’s happening is that not only is the [college] commodity much less desirable to men but I think that the environment itself is actively hostile towards men. So I think you’ve got two things going on there: you’ve got a commodity college which isn’t to men as important as it used to be, and there are other things that men are finding to do; and at the same time I think that the discrimination against men in these diversity-field, women-dominated schools is also acting as a kind of barrier to men. A lot of men don’t want to put up with it and a lot of people think, “Of course that’s not really happening,” but people have no idea what men face in our colleges today.
People simply have to stop thinking about college in terms of when they went to school. It is an entirely different cost/benefit structure than it was 20 or 40 years ago, and must be considered from the value proposition it offers now as opposed to what it offered then. And if one considers the lower quality education, the reduced value of the degree, the vastly inflated costs, and the anti-male discrimination, it is a dubious prospect indeed for most men.

There are other ways to punch the college degree ticket. Look into them.

35 comments:

jaybeespancakes said...

I'm sure you've covered previously over at VP, but there was a chart that showed the historical male college attendance rates, and the divergence was the influx of middle class men after America's wars, from WWII through Vietnam. Since the Left is stuck in a 1960s mentality, they still are stuck in a reality where there's an excessive number of men in college - because that's how Uncle Sam paid them for being shot at by America's enemies. I remember looking at that chart and saying - you know, the rate of men attending college is reverting to the old norm, but society has been restructured to send middle class girls off to college because they can't be married off anymore.

People don't want to acknowledge that, it's the old Tim Allen line for men - work or jail - whereas for women, it's work, marry, or welfare.

cybro said...

I have to admit, if it wasn't math, chemistry or physics, I couldn't stand the place and that was 20 years ago, yikes.

8to12 said...

Part of the college bubble is people are stuck in the brick and mortar mindset.

There used to be a guy named John Bear who for decades wrote "Bear's Guide," which was a manual on LEGITIMATE ways to earn a college degree without spending 4+ years on a campus (any paying big bucks). I believe he has retired; I'm not sure if anyone now is doing something similar.

For most jobs, all they want is a piece of paper from an accredited school. Unless you are going for something in the hard sciences or engineering, then most men would just as well off with a bachelor's in business from Troy University (a state school in Alabama that offers it as an external degree) as they would with an on campus business degree from any other school.

Bob Wallace said...

"for women, it's work, marry, or welfare."

Many of the highly-paid women's jobs are make-work (which is welfare) and the lowest-paid ones are supplemented with welfare....so for women it's basically either marriage or welfare.

Alonzo Avila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
cailcorishev said...

Ditto grade school and high school. People think it's all basically like it was when they went, with a bit more sex ed and political correctness. It's not; it's a whole different world.

aaron said...

That's hilarious. In the late 80s, when I was a high school freshman, some doofus classmate told us UVermont was the place to go, because of the women ratio. Of course, we were in Rust Belt Ohio, so most of would go no further than Columbus, if we were lucky. But the fact that it was a not so urban legend then is interesting.

Trust said...

The problem often is people making the rules we have to contend with is that they make assumptions based on how people behaved under the set of rules they lived under.

Marriage 2.0 was made by people who still think women behave as they did under 1.0.

Family law was made largely by people past child bearing years who never dealt with cuckholdrry and flee and fleece.

My grandpa went to his grave thinking all you have to do is treat women well. Bc when he dated and married in the 30s and 40s it worked.

I think this defines the fall of society too. An oppressed generation fought and passed in a free society. The free generation worked hard and passed on an adundant society. The abundant generation became complacent and passed on a dependent society. And the dependent generation will pass on a socialist hell.

Whether it be society, marriage, or college, seems we have a knack for inheriting blessings and passing on curses.

8to12 said...

"There are other ways to punch the college degree ticket. Look into them."

Unfortunately, you do have to punch the college degree ticket just to get past the HR department.

I know several kids that could step out of high school into a programming job, but they couldn't get past the HR department. "He never went to college; he doesn't have a degree; we can't hire him."

CarpeOro said...

"Unfortunately, you do have to punch the college degree ticket just to get past the HR department."

I would suspect that you may see more hiring in IT based on referrals from current employees instead of head hunters. Head Hunters and HR are largely clueless about the technical side of anything. This may require people to start with help desk work and progress upward, but this would actually be a huge benefit. The majority of the degree and certificate holding architects of huge corporate environments have never spent time in daily operations. They have no clue about how a large environment actually works, which means solutions they propose are ill-suited to the real world and cost companies billions every year in fixing thing that were designed broken.

Beefy Levinson said...

HR: an entire department comprised of useless jobs for chicks with useless degrees.

Patrick Kelly said...

"Many of the highly-paid women's jobs are make-work (which is welfare) and the lowest-paid ones are supplemented with welfare...."

" "He never went to college; he doesn't have a degree; we can't hire him.""

Both are examples of an ever creeping back door communism. The State role as gate keeper to education and employment ever increasing, rolling down hill like a snowball headed for hell, to quote Merle'.....

Patrick Kelly said...

"This may require people to start with help desk work and progress upward, but this would actually be a huge benefit."

That's how I worked my way back into a code monkey cage. Woo hoo.....

cailcorishev said...

Let's say you're applying for an ordinary programming job, and they say they want a CS degree. If you put on your resume that you got a CS degree from Podunk U. in some other state, what is the chance that they'll actually follow that up? Isn't the main purpose of the resume to check some boxes and convince them to interview you, at which point the interview takes precedence over that piece of paper? Besides, HR is often clueless about what the job actually requires, and completely incapable of determining whether an applicant is qualified, so they use things like degrees or lists of specific areas of knowledge instead. If you've been working in the field, odds are you can be a better judge of your qualifications for a particular job than anyone in HR can.

I'm not saying people should lie on resumes, but I can't say I'd lose much sleep over it if I did and got a job that I was able to do well. At some point, a system -- in this case, credentialism -- becomes corrupt enough that circumventing it seems more like self-defense than vice.

b1bae96e-6447-11e3-b6bb-000f20980440 said...

My mom (my kids grandparents) has that mentality that her grand kids must go to college. I personally think if the boys aren't planning on doing medicine, engineering, or swindling then it would be better to bribe a plumber or electrician to apprentice them and then "loan" them money for startup capital.

I haven't exactly figured out what to do with the girl. Ideally you want her to get a high status man she is attracted to capable of supporting a family on single income, but sending her off to a top notch college is like giving the devil and express pass to her soul. Fortunately, I have almost two decades to work it out.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

My first job after university in the mid-1990s was as an analyst for a major bank in NYC. A few months into the role I and a bunch of other recent recruits were asked to attend a lunchtime meeting with senior executives in one of the top floor suites. They wanted to know about our college education, how it had prepared us for the workplace, any suggestions or reforms we could offer. I remember telling them that there were too many colleges, too many people going to college, and most people would be better served by going to vocational training schools as in Germany.

The response: dead silence. You could hear a pin drop. After an uncomfortable few moments they moved on to another young banker.

Marissa said...

Cail Corishev, in speaking with one of my Chinese co-workers, he tells me there is a whole "degree mill" industry in China. It seems especially useful since American companies really have no way of ensuring that applicant attended that university and obtained the purported degree. Especially when the applicant is ten or fifteen years into the workforce with a great record and excellent references. Who then cares about your degree? It might be better for Americans to do just this sort of thing--put an accredited college from a completely different country, preferably one where English is not the default.

In regards to the hostility men face for simply being men--just see what is popular and trendy to write about for theses and dissertations under humanities departments. The recent Atlantic article bemoaning the racist, white man for growing beards in the post-bellum period is a perfect example. To be truly successful, especially in the post-graduate environment, just blame some obscure happening on a man, especially a white man with the merest hint of money, and you're golden.

cailcorishev said...

Marissa, that brings up another good point: many of the same corporations that demand college degrees in their job listings for Americans are also clamoring for more immigration so they can hire from countries where "college" might be roughly equivalent to high school here or some kind of short-term vocational school. They're full of crap, in other words.

8to12 said...

@cailcorishev said... "Let's say you're applying for an ordinary programming job, and they say they want a CS degree. If you put on your resume that you got a CS degree from Podunk U. in some other state, what is the chance that they'll actually follow that up? Isn't the main purpose of the resume to check some boxes and convince them to interview you, at which point the interview takes precedence over that piece of paper?"

I've told this story several times, and here it is again.

Decades ago (prior to my having a degree--which I didn't get till I was 35), I was facing a layoff. The head of a health insurance company (who was also a family friend) explained to me bluntly why he COULD NOT hire me, even though he had not doubt I would excel in the job. If he hired me (a fully qualified, but no degree white male) over a degree holding minority (female or racial minority), then his company not only get sued, it would be punished by the government.

It wouldn't matter if the degree holding minority applicant was completely incompetent. The fact that they had hire a non-degree holding non-minority over a degree holding minority was the only thing the government or courts would care about. Hence, they had to implement an iron clad rule for some positions: no degree; no hire.

He went on to point out that after you had some experience under your belt, it didn't matter at all what the degree was in or where it was from. A degree in pottery from the local community college worked just as well as a business degree from Harvard. They just needed to be able to check off "college degree" to avoid the lawsuits.

Which is why I advocate men get a degree in SOMETHING. Just to get past the legal hurdles. The reason I reference "Bear's Guide" above is that it shows examples of how you can get a college degree without (1) busting the bank and (2) without wasting 4 years sitting on a campus doing nothing else.

All men (and white men in particular) are at a serious handicap in the corporate world if they don't have a college degree in something. For example, if you're trying to slowly work your way up the ladder at any large company. You will eventually hit the "doesn't have a degree" glass ceiling.

We do live in a credential driven society. Unfortunately, the credentials required often have nothing to do with reality.

Brad Andrews said...

"They have no clue about how a large environment actually works, which means solutions they propose are ill-suited to the real world and cost companies billions every year in fixing thing that were designed broken. "

Yet the degree is normally required to get that position.

Cail,

I would never lie, especially with easy online search. Such things can bite you big time. It usually does so at the worst time as well. Not worth the "cost" of getting the job in that case. I would hate to work with a cloud like that hanging around that could both cost me my job and hurt my career.

A motivated individual can get a degree reasonably quickly at a reasonable cost. I see no reason to not do so if you want to work in a more technical field.

Jack Amok said...

the rate of men attending college is reverting to the old norm, but society has been restructured to send middle class girls off to college because they can't be married off anymore.

Colleges have become modern day finishing schools for girls. They teach the wrong things and cost way too much, but that's basically what they are. A socially acceptable place for upper-class girls to spend time before marriage.

The way to avoid the degree hurdle in HR is to be part of a small company that gets bought by a big corporation. You're acquired instead of hired, and they can justify keeping you over a degreed minority because you have special knowledge about whatever it is they bought. Of course that doesn't answer how you get into the small company, but connections and hard work help.

mickeypavic said...

College is the Madrasa of the atheists and HR is the religious police, only those with 'correct' religious beliefs are allowed entry into the service of the Commonwealth.

The regulatory bodies are the theological Schools that make sure only those espousing the correct religion are allowed to teach.

Uncredentialed men are the kaffir.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Another alternative--one that I've suggested to clients with college-age kids--is to attend university in Canada, the UK, Australia, etc. The costs are usually lower, PC-climate is usually less intense, and the international experience is invaluable.

Retrenched said...

"Having more women graduate from college than men is what Title IX is all about" - President Barack Obama

Eric said...

Cail Corishev, in speaking with one of my Chinese co-workers, he tells me there is a whole "degree mill" industry in China. It seems especially useful since American companies really have no way of ensuring that applicant attended that university and obtained the purported degree.

That's been my pet peeve for years. I had one Chinese coworker who was purported to hold a degree in electrical engineering. She wasn't a very good programmer, but that's not too uncommon so I didn't think anything of it. Until one day someone asked her to use a voltmeter to measure the voltage across a pair of battery terminals and she couldn't do it.

The biggest offenders are the Indians, though. Every Indian who applies for a job where I work has a masters degree in CS or EE. Either they're lying or a masters degree in India isn't as rigorous as a bachelors degree in the US. Either way, we don't have any way to verify whether or not they got a degree at all.

Eric said...

I would never lie, especially with easy online search. Such things can bite you big time. It usually does so at the worst time as well. Not worth the "cost" of getting the job in that case. I would hate to work with a cloud like that hanging around that could both cost me my job and hurt my career.

That's good advice. These days companies are afraid that they'll get sued if they didn't verify your credentials and you shoot up the office. Where I work we check everything (except on the foreigners. see above). In the past ten years I've seen three guys get walked out because they lied about their degree. It usually takes a few months to happen, too, so just because you made it through the first week doesn't mean you won't get caught.

cailcorishev said...

That's interesting; I wonder how the companies found out the guys had lied. It'd be odd to check someone's claims months after you hired him, if you didn't bother at the beginning. Unless he sucked, I guess; then you might start looking for an excuse to fire him. The last time I submitted a resume for employment was about 20 years ago, and I don't think anyone ever even called the references I listed. Sounds like things have gotten much tighter. Sad that it would be because you have to defend yourself against the charge of discriminating in favor of Americans.

Eric said...

They farm out the background checks to third-party investigators, which for some reason take that long. They verify your employment history, educational history, and criminal record. I'm guessing some of it has to be done by snail mail. It's not so much that they didn't bother checking in the beginning as they can't afford to wait that long every time they want to hire someone. You can't say to a prospective hire "Yeah, we want you and here's the offer, but we don't want you to start for three months while we do the background check."

The only ones to get walked out in the first week are the ones who piss hot. Had a bunch of those too.

PatrickH said...

Neitzche said, "If you see something slipping, push it." We should, as men, encourage young men to avoid university (outside the real degree programs) so that instead of only 57% of undergraduate degrees going to women, 75, 80, 90 go to women. Just as we are hearing talk of the higher-education bubble as women come to dominate the graduation rolls, that bubble will itself collapse once men really do disappear from the campus. I admire Dr Smith, but I think she is underestimating the rationality of young men not going into the worthless programs that continue to draw women. There's nothing for men there. So let's start pushing. Let's get young men out out out of the university, and watch the whole rotten edifice go slip sliding away.

After which, a great silence will fall...and men and women will begin to be able to think and talk and work again together, the way we have always been made to do.

Feather Blade said...

PatrickH has a point; as soon as the majority of men stop valuing and getting college degrees, most women will lose interest in them too.

artisanaltoad said...

@Jack

My brother works for a company that has a +90% share of the market world-wide for their product. They just bought a company in order to get the eight programmers working for the company. None of these guys would have made it past HR. Interestingly, the chain of command for this new acquisition is through sales instead of development. Top management evidently realizes that their business process and structure is killing them, so they decided to do something new.

John Cunningham said...

I spoke by phone with John Bear some years ago, what an amazing character! he boiled with enthusiasm for helping people get credentials with minimum hassle, long before the internet. he was big on Edison State in NJ and Empire State in NY, which granted lots of credit for CLEP exams, military courses, etc. currently, I think Western Governors Univ is worth a look. it is a fully accredited online school. their system charges about $5500 per semester, but you can take any number of courses, and progress at your own pace. you do the assignments, take the exams, and press on. there is no limit to number of credits you can get per semester. if you can be a self-starter, you can do well.

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