COLLEGE IS (WELL) ORGANIZED CRIME: A THREAD. I am in the interview process for a great job, at a big company with great benefits and that pays well. If I get it, it will be on the strength of a test they gave that required the ability to do the following things. 1) Code well 1/x
enough to thoroughly analyze a provided data set, and do statistical testing using code. 2) Understand mathematics and statistics well enough to know which statistical test to run for which aspect of the data to test my hypotheses. 3) Written summary/presentation of findings. 2/x
If I get the job, college **as credentialing agent** will have paid off for me financially -- I'll be an above-median household on my own. But what will what I *learned* in college have to do w/ it? Let's examine. I did not learn to code in college. Spent last 13 months doing 3/x
it on my own with books, Udemy courses, YouTube videos, and the help of a programmer friend. Out of all the college mathematics courses I took to get a degree in math, the ones that applied to this test (and will apply going forward if I get the job) were Statistics 1 and 2, 4/x
and Business Statistics. I enjoyed writing before college and was reasonably good at it the day I started. That's 3 out of 40 college classes. The rest of college was *worthless *for job readiness. To "steelman" college and be as generous as possible: one could argue that the 5/x
calculus sequence taught me to think mathematically in ways that helped with this, a proof writing (math major) course taught me to make better arguments, and I had one TA in English 102 whose essay feedback was helpful to improve my writing. At most generous interpretation 6/x
possible, 8 of my forty courses helped with this job (and that's being VERY generous). I have $80,000 or so in debt for my bachelor's (at a state school). BTW, it could've been way worse--having PTSD got me out of the usual requirement to live on campus for four semesters. It 7/x
would be $115,000 or so if I had two years of university room and board charges too. The other 32 courses varied between actively insulting (like the one where I had to learn the genderbread person and literally calculate my oppression score) and a way to be introduced to the 8/x
material that was new to me--like some of the literature and history courses. Class discussions were mostly seeing who could be the coolest by deconstructing the hardest, esp. finding oppression in the material or analyzing the author or historical figures' race, class, 9/x
etc. As a reading list curated by an expert could've done the same introduction, I believe that none were *remotely* worth the money. None played any role in my becoming employable at a level that will make me the first in my genetic pool to become middle class. A person who 10/x
was driven could use Khan Academy, YouTube, and some used textbooks off Amazon to learn the statistics, Udemy and Free Code Camp to learn to code, and trade feedback with a friend to improve their writing: and they could learn what I just described in one year of hard work. 11/x
I did the math: I spent $184 on learning to code (THANK YOU to the people who sent Amazon giftcards in the last year -- you helped!!). A programmer friend helped when I got stuck. If I had been paying a tutor to answer those questions, my total cost would've been closer to around
$2,000. I'm not claiming I have an answer, because it's a fact that so many jobs require a degree to even look at a candidate. If innovators or social pressure or both can find a way to change that, we will ALL be better off. College is very well-organized crime, a massive 13/x
waste of time, energy, and resources that primarily exists, as far as I can tell, to provide high-status jobs for the professorial class and to graduate voters with Woke views who can't articulate the arguments of any other side--and therefore cannot think for themselves. 14/x
As I make payments for the 3-8 classes that helped and the 32-37 that didn't, I will hope that someone figures out the credentialing problem so others will not have to go through this absolutely astonishing waste. /end

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9 Apr
WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY: A THREAD. Several emails from parents of teenagers asking for my take on what I would've done differently, if I knew what I know now. I knew I wanted to work in something that used mathematics. Not knowing any better, I borrowed my way thru 1/x
the local state school as math major. If I could do it again, I'd take all the math courses at the community college. Calculus is calculus, stats are stats, etc. I'd have started coding sooner, taking at least one class at a CC (mostly to take advantage of tutoring). It 2/x
took me awhile to understand how I learn coding best -- projects. Get a data set, then think through how to analyze it. What are good questions to ask if I'm going to use this to make decisions? Then take those coding basics and add a lot of googling and question asking of 3/x
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