How College Continues to Fail Us…

Boy oh boy do I have a rant for readers today! This blog is the result of years of complaining about how flawed our secondary education system is but I must be honest and admit that the final straw was the fact that I failed my CSET test by 5 points. 5 flippin points and now I have to take that thing all over again.

What is the CSET you ask? Why it’s the California Subject Examinations for Teachers. It’s a series of tests that one must take in a subject area in order to receive their credential and become a teacher, but here’s the kicker I have NEVER wanted to be a teacher. I can hear the questions now. “But Amber if you don’t want to be a teacher, why are you in a credential program?” Why? I’ll tell you why: It was the only graduate program that accepted me. See I didn’t really have set plans to go to graduate school. I had my degree in psychology and my degree in photojournalism. I was going to work in the field of counseling while I tried to make a name for myself as a photographer and end up in National Geographic magazine. It was a nice solid plan, except clinics don’t allow you to work with them unless you have a master’s degree or about a million intern hours and print photography is a dying medium as the internet takes over.

HA! Well done
HA! Well done

So there I was with two degrees that are basically useless while everyone made jokes that I was qualified to be the manager at McDonald’s and I thought to myself that I am totally freakin screwed if I don’t go to grad school. Why doesn’t anyone warn us of the uselessness of bachelors degrees in the Social Sciences? And it’s not just the social sciences. Liberal Studies, Humanities, Creative Writing, Studio Photography, Art History, Literature, Mythology and Folklore; these were some of the most popular majors at my college and these are the majors will set you up for failure. As I saw my impending doom coming towards me I thought man I better get my butt to grad school…WRONG. I had the best letters of recommendation, I had a great statement of purpose, I had taken all the right classes and then some, I even had decent GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) scores but it didn’t matter because my GPA was 2.97. No school would accept me, not even the school I had done my undergrad work in. I had interview after interview with program after program and all conversation ceased when they saw that GPA.

It was a tragedy to say the least. I had two degrees and an internship under my belt but I was not a strong enough candidate for a grad school program and I was running out of options. My bachelor’s degree in psychology did not provide me with enough field experience to get a decent job and every other day someone was picking up a camera claiming they were a journalist. Two years passed with me constantly being denied to grad programs and jobs alike. So finally I just gave in and applied for a teaching credential. This program did not require letters of recommendation nor did it require GRE scores. The minimum GPA requirement was 2.5…this is a program to teach people and all you need is a B.A. in anything and a C+ average. Does anyone else think this is ridiculous?

It’s funny because it’s sad…

I’m fed up folks. An undergrad degree is basically good for toilet paper, the good jobs require experience that college doesn’t provide you with, and master’s programs will deny you if you don’t have a minimum of a 3.2 GPA. So for those of you out there that plan to better yourself through secondary education THINK WISELY!  There are degrees that will help you and degrees that will end up being space fillers on your resume. Please do not fall into the trap of going to college and learning what you love because you will find yourself hitting the age of 27 and being unemployable.

Here are the top 5 majors that still suck:

1. Social Work: Average starting salary of $33,000

2. Drama: Average starting salary of $35,000

3. Psychology: Average starting salary of $35,000

4. History: Average starting salary of $38,500

5.  English: Average starting salary of $38,00

Enjoy your lower income lives if this is the direction you plan to head…and as if that tidbit wasn’t brutal enough, the average college degree now earns an hourly of wage of $10! You just wasted four years and up to $90,000 in student loan debt to make the same amount of money a high school graduate can make. Feel like smashing something yet?

But all is not lost my friends! There is hope on the horizon if you chose to be practical instead of whimsical. These are top ten paying majors as of 2012:

1. Computer Engineering: Average starting salary of $70,400

2. Chemical Engineering: Average starting salary of $66,400

3. Computer Science: Average starting salary of $64,400

4. Aerospace Engineering: Average starting salary of $64,000

5. Mechanical Engineering: Average starting salary of $62,900

6. Electrical Engineering: Average starting salary of $62,300

7. Civil Engineering: Average starting salary of $57,600

8. Finance: Average starting salary of $57,300

9. Construction Science: Average starting salary of $56,600

10. Information Science and Systems: Average starting salary of $56,100

So what is the moral of the story children? If you plan to go to grad school make the grades to succeed. I don’t care what you have to do, extra credit, volunteer hours, or even get a tutor just make sure you never have anything less than a B+ in a class or you’re done. Stay away from social science and liberal science as a practical career. If you just have to go into these fields have a back up plan! Business and marketing are no longer the major players, be an engineer!!! Yes these programs can be difficult but they are so worth it when it’s time to find a job.

Wake up because college is trap and you need to make sure you have the right tools to escape unscathed

Yours truly,

Amber Mosby…”Forgive me if I don’t get excited”

6 thoughts on “How College Continues to Fail Us…

  1. Iesadora says:

    Right now even engineering jobs are few and far between, with a huge influx of students in that degree area which will make it even harder to find a job for the next several years.

  2. Amber Roth Rhyner says:

    That is ricockulous!! Personally I think the better route is tech schools. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper, shorter and focused. Will you make big bucks? No, but you will have specialized skills in a specific trade and it will be plenty of money to keep a roof over your head and food in your belly.

    1. amosby85 says:

      It is a tragedy. Tech schools are great with a very focused curriculum but the key to most programs these days are internships! Do as many internships as you can during undergrad and you graduate with the experience you need to get a good job. It’s not about grad school, it’s about real field experience

      1. Iesadora says:

        Also, don’t work while being an undergrad. I didn’t get to know my teachers or visit their office hours (kinda hard to ask a stranger to write a letter of recommendation). I couldn’t join clubs or participate in department activities because I worked part-time, even though I worked on campus (grad programs like stuff like that). And yet 5 years after getting my BA in Psychology I actually see job postings requiring you to provide your GPA to apply.

  3. faith says:

    I agree. School is now a joke in America. I would never recommend a person to go to school to do the thing they love. School should now be used as a catalyst to make legit money. If I could do it over again I would have taken the money for tuition, invest in stocks, property, and land, let it appreciate while I live at home, and get rich in four years. But I’ve come this far in school, so I might as well ride it out and see what happens.

    1. amosby85 says:

      It’s tragic when you have to look at higher education as only a means to financial gain. College is supposed to be an amazing experience but with the job market today it’s no longer a good time unless it pays off

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