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For those considering going back to school

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by WaylonJennings, Jun 4, 2009.

  1. A tremendous column by Emily Bazelon recently on Slate.com (Bazelon is some sort of law professor at Yale along with being a bigwig at Slate. She's a sharp cookie, in other words).

    Anyway, the money quote comes from an MIT economist named David Autor: "When things recover, it's going to be the highly skilled who are still in greatest demand (as has been true for the last three decades. So, for someone considering engineering, medicine, computer science, economics, law, biology, etc., I would say, 'go.' ... The recession makes education look like a better deal than ever because the opportunity cost of investing in your human capital has not been this low in some time."

    The whole article isn't sunshine and lollipops, but with all the pessimism (my own brother, an attorney, tells me every day that I'm making a "huge mistake") going around, it was nice to read something different:


    Now, on the other side, here's a Chronicle of Higher Education article that says do NOT get an advanced humanities degree right now:

  2. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    I'd love to go back to school. No way to pay for it.
    Those who can go, I agree. Go.
  3. No one can afford to pay for it. Otherwise, why go in the first place? And for the debt-averse, kill the entrance exam and ride in on scholarship.

    Professional degrees shouldn't be the exclusive province of the already privileged. We don't want a caste system in America.
  4. I'm beginning courses for my MBA in two weeks. I'm both excited and horrified. Luckily, I'll only add another 17K of tuition so long as everything goes as planned. I am hoping that in one year with a new job, I will make up that difference from the 20K I made this last year as a journalist. But if I'm one of those people who is done in two years with a new degree and still can't get a job, I don't know what I'll do then. Apply to be an officer in the military, I suppose. At 25 or 26, I might be too old for that by then.

    But thanks for putting that story up there. Interesting perspective.
  5. Jim_Carty

    Jim_Carty Member

    I'm not paying a penny for my law degree, and you don't have to either.

    An LSAT in the high 150s will earn you a full scholarship to a good Tier 3 law school. An LSAT in the low 160s could do the same to a good school in the top 100.

    Don't see obstacles, see possibilities.
  6. jfs1000

    jfs1000 Member

    How the F*** you pay for it? Wife and I got $40 grand in loans and I am a journalist. I am supposed to commit under $30,000-$50000 to get an MBA or a law degree?

    It's just not feasible for people anymore.

    Here is a quick anecdote from my wife's 10 year reunion a couple of years ago.

    All the "smart people who went to school" were 28 and all in the same boat. Not married, struggling to buy a home, choked with loan debt.

    The "dumb kids?" Some worked trades, other a janitor, and another in construction. They had children already and a couple of them owned homes as well as a summer home.

    So, who were the dumb people.

    All I am saying is that if you 3don't take student loan debt into account when you decide to go to college, and where, you are setting yourself up for pain. I wish I knew that 14 years ago. That's something guidance counselors never alerted you to. Glad I wasn't dumb and went to a public university.

    Imagine $80,000 debt with an English degree? WTF?
  7. No one is advising that.
  8. Jim_Carty

    Jim_Carty Member

    I think we just cross-posted, see my post above.

    And, yeah, if you took on $80k in debt for an English degree - or even a journalism degree - I feel bad for you. You made a big mistake. If my kid comes to me and says, "Dad, I want to be an English teacher," I'm going to encourage her to do 2 years at community college and 2 years at the state teacher's college and come out with minimal debt.

    But, trust me, with a little LSAT prep, you can go to law school for free if you want to. Free, of course, being a relative thing, since you have to learn to live without an income while you're doing it.
  9. And let me add that the LSAT, despite its mystique, is learnable. Don't be one of the people who goes to Borders, studies a (useless) Barron's or Kaplan's book for a few days and walks in expecting a 170. There is a course of study, particularly a set of prep books, most by obscure publishers, that can get you where you want to be.

    At some point, if there's enough interest and I have some time, I'll start an LSAT thread with tips and links to the study materials you should be buying. My percentile was in the high 90s, which I bring up not to boast, but to remove some of the mystique about the test that says that you have to be a philosophy major from Harvard to have a shot.
  10. Jim_Carty

    Jim_Carty Member

    Ditto for the GMAT.

    You get out of it what you put into it.
  11. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    Where does one live if one has no job, no more savings and owes more than he's worth but sees opportunity (rather than the obstacles of no longer being able to afford rent or health insurance)and gets to go to law school for free? They'll put you up in.a dorm?
  12. Andy _ Kent

    Andy _ Kent Member

    Well Jim and Waylon, thanks for those last few posts. And Jim, I just sent you a PM that I think Waylon helped answer but feel free to respond anyway.

    And Waylon, go ahead and start that LSAT thread whenever you're ready because I think it'll get a good response.
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