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comment by ThatFanficGuy
ThatFanficGuy  ·  184 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Sex and Drugs Decline Among Teens, but Depression and Suicidal Thoughts Grow

    I know there's been studies linking social media and depression

I did a project for my Psychology course in the uni, a translation of a study. The point of study was that there are two ways in which people compare themselves to others: upward (when you look up to someone and feel sorry for not having it just as good) and downward (when you look down and someone and pity them for not having it as you good as you do). It's especially prominent in social media.

Upward comparison leads to narcissism and self-centeredness. Downward comparison leads to decreased self-esteem and is a contributing factor towards depression.

    Job prospects and having hope in the future are an issue too I'm sure

I can only speak for my country, but it seems like it's a problem present in both Russia and the US, to varying degrees. Here, most people insist that you need "the paper" (a uni or similar higher ed diploma) to get a job. Most people study just to get it, regardless of the degree or the university, because they believe it allows them the promised prospects.

Government jobs necessitate it, which is understandable, but there are plenty of jobs where skill is all you need yet where "the paper" is a requirement. Translation, for example: if you possess a decent level of the language, it's easy to see what is a good translation and what is not.

I don't have a clue whether it's as bad as people say it is. I've only ever been in semi-official positions: car wash, construction; neither asked me for the diploma. "Get to work". "Yes, sir".

My sister's first degree is in beer brewing. Her mother insisted she get "the paper", and my sister still had no specialty job; closest she got to beer was bartending. Her second is in legal; she had a migration service job for a while, then moved on to court office. She's been trying to get the education she wanted - social work - for a few years now, and every time there's a bump on the road - and she can't enter the uni that year. She's 33.

Our Economics 101 teacher, much as I dislike her, made a good point when she said that higher education gets devalued through the increase in student influx. When everyone needs a degree even to mop the floors (which a cliche people use when describing the situation), you get overcrowded classes, a ton of students who don't give a crap about the field and, therefore, more work for the same small staff of teachers. Her point was that, with more students who get into higher ed because they "have to", there are fewer genuine specialists ready to work in the field, and in an already-oversaturated job market, it can only lead to people working somewhere other than their field of expertise.




johnnyFive  ·  183 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Those are all true things, and are generally consistent with my own experience and what I've read.

Degree saturation is absolutely a problem. It kind of makes sense from the employer's standpoint, though: you can be basically outsoure verifying someone's competence, which I could see being especially nice in something somewhat more subjective (like translation). There's also a degree of standardization that comes from a formal education. You can be self-taught and good at something, but I think there are more likely to be skill gaps, and you also may not be able to communicate as effectively if you haven't been taught your field's specific vocabulary.

In the U.S., the big problem is student loans. It's far too easy to get what feels like free money, and so even as the economy and job market fell off a cliff, no one was doing the cost-benefit analysis (to the extent that you can gather enough information). Meanwhile, universities are too unwilling to fail people or to deny admission.

This is a big problem within the legal profession. Bar passage rates have been declining steadily for the last several years, and the American Bar Association (ABA), which accredits law schools in the US, has largely been asleep at the switch (when they're not being arbitrary). It may actually be good for the health of the profession in the long term, in that it'll reduce the number of lawyers to saner and more sustainable levels. But that doesn't help all the people who were granted admission to and graduated from law school but who simply lack the ability to pass the bar exam. The bar exam is hard.

My own experience is not inconsistent with this. I have a side job where I grade essays for a bar review class (this is a separate, privately-run course that prepares you for your state's bar exam). Basically every term, I have someone who is clearly a non-native English speaker, and who is simply incapable of passing. This person usually can't fully understand the question (you have to pay attention to very specific details a lot of the time), and then is unable to convey their answer with enough clarity and detail. (There are times when I don't even know what they're actually arguing.) Yet these are all people who have post-graduate degrees from ABA-approved law schools.