Interesting and telling poll on TV last night.

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KILTED COWBOY

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Saw an interesting, telling and frightening poll on TV last night.
It listed to top 5 jobs kids 8-12 years old wanted to have when they grow up.
Kids in China compared to kids in the USA. Do not remember them all , but the one that opened my eye was:
Number one job Chinese kids wanted to be was astronaut.
Number one job US kids wanted to be was youtuber or vlogger. . I don't even know what that is.
Scary.
 

Bat-mite

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"vlog" is a "video log," as opposed to a "blog," which was short for "web log." So basically these kids want to earn their living by talking about something.

Thankfully, my kids stay off the Internet, rarely ever watch TV, and get only 20 minutes a day of Minecraft as their sole video game experience. They love to play outside, and they can, by God, build and fly rockets!
 

jlabrasca

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LEGO commissioned Harris to poll 3000 kids from ages 8 to 12, in the US, UK, and PRC.



Teacher is in the number two spot in all three countries.

It is not scary. Between 8 and 12 you don't really know what grown-ups do. So, when asked "what do you want to do when you grow up" you pick from what is most visible to you. If China wasn't censoring YouTube, the Chinese kids would want to be YouTubers too.
 

Bat-mite

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It is not scary. Between 8 and 12 you don't really know what grown-ups do. So, when asked "what do you want to do when you grow up" you pick from what is most visible to you. If China wasn't censoring YouTube, the Chinese kids would want to be YouTubers too.
Very good points. Notice no one said "accountant," or "circuit board manufacturer," or "satellite TV technician," because kids just don't know anything about that stuff.

And hey, if they end up like Mark Rober, I'd say "Well done!"
 

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I'm reading about titled iGen right now. It's a fascinating and discouraging sociological study about the current state of our young people. The author's thesis is that smartphones and paranoid parenting have wrecked the generation of kids who are now in high school and college.

Baby boomers wanted to leave childhood quickly. The same was true for GenX (my generation), but then we extended adolescence (e.g. the stereotypical unemployed 30 yr-old living in his parent's basement). Somewhat counterintuitively, "iGen" is doing less drugs, dating less, having less sex, and drinking less alcohol. This may sound good on one level, but they also don't know how to drive, are obsessed with safety, and have very high rates of depression. In essence, they have managed to extend both adolescence and childhood. We have coddled them so much that they are scared of everything, and they are entirely dependent on their parents for all of their needs and their iPhones for social interactions.
 

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Substitute "journalist" or "writer" for "vlogger" and it becomes more respectable to the older generation. Same thing... different media. I don't see any values issues...
 

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One thing I consistently see with many members of the current generation is a complete lack of critical thinking skills. They believe whatever they are told by people they trust, and de facto disbelieve any opposing viewpoint. Their worldview is driven by emotions, and they are either unwilling or (more likely) unable to apply logic to decision-making. And my twilight years will be entrusted to them for care. Scary.
 

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I'm reading about titled iGen right now. It's a fascinating and discouraging sociological study about the current state of our young people. The author's thesis is that smartphones and paranoid parenting have wrecked the generation of kids who are now in high school and college.

Baby boomers wanted to leave childhood quickly. The same was true for GenX (my generation), but then we extended adolescence (e.g. the stereotypical unemployed 30 yr-old living in his parent's basement). Somewhat counterintuitively, "iGen" is doing less drugs, dating less, having less sex, and drinking less alcohol. This may sound good on one level, but they also don't know how to drive, are obsessed with safety, and have very high rates of depression. In essence, they have managed to extend both adolescence and childhood. We have coddled them so much that they are scared of everything, and they are entirely dependent on their parents for all of their needs and their iPhones for social interactions.
As someone who you would probably consider to be part of said generation (20, in college), I've got a few things I'd like to mention - the price of education has DRASTICALLY increased since the 'boomer' generation, and increasingly, a college degree is seen as the first step towards a good career, rather than something that will automatically get you a well-paying job with good benefits and long-term prospects. For example, in 1971 (just happened to be the first year I found with statistics), the average cost of a year of college (tuition, room, board, fees) was $1,410. Minimum wage was $1.60 per hour. In 2016 (3 years ago, it's gone up since then but I couldn't quickly find the numbers), the average cost of a year of college (again, tuition, room, board, fees) was $20,150. Minimum wage was (and still is) $7.25 per hour. Assuming you work a full 40 hour work week for a full year (which isn't really possible ontop of college, but let's just pretend), that's roughly 2,000 hours per year of work. In 1971, that means you would make about $3,200 per year at minimum wage, more than enough to pay for your college, even if you only worked part time. Contrast that to 2016, where the same 2,000 hours of work would net you $14,500 per year, or almost $6,000 short of being able to afford school.

The same sorts of analyses can be applied to healthcare and child care. You wonder why 20 and 30 somethings are living in apartments, with their parents, avoiding buying things like cars and homes, waiting longer to get married and start a family? It's because we can't afford to do things commonly associated with adulthood. We get saddled with so much debt from an education that's de facto required for the sorts of careers our parents had, and then have to spend most of our 20's and 30's paying that debt off.

Also, with all that stress, plus the knowledge that climate change is probably going to end up causing all sorts of global catastrophes within our lifespan, that our lives will probably for the first time in modern history be WORSE than those of our parents, and that our descendants will have it even worse, is it any wonder that we have high rates of anxiety and depression?
 

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When I was a kid the typical answer was policeman, fireman, or President of the United States.
Times sure have changed.
Scary.
 

Yukon@K-9 Rocket Tech

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Lot of kids want to be astronauts like when I wanted to be one too up till this point now that I'm in high school. No one probably wants too after they put into account that all the requirement. Like amount you need to study, need to be in good physical, and a whole host of. Also even if you pass the specs, only a few get chosen. Also 61% astronauts chosen are from the military, you have better experience. So I guess ya have to go to the military if you want to boost your chance. I heard NASA has 18,000 applicant in 2016, so good luck being that one dude. And let's not even mention how bad space is on your body, like radiation and zero gravity. To be honest, now that I'm in High school, I really don't want to be a astronaut, but rather stick to the engineering field. It's way more practical. I've heard plenty of stories of people working there whole life to be a astronaut, and not getting chosen at all. You know I think due to everyone saying that being a astronaut is cool and stuff to you when your little really washes away your thinking of how practical it actually is
 

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One thing I consistently see with many members of the current generation is a complete lack of critical thinking skills. They believe whatever they are told by people they trust, and de facto disbelieve any opposing viewpoint. Their worldview is driven by emotions, and they are either unwilling or (more likely) unable to apply logic to decision-making. And my twilight years will be entrusted to them for care. Scary.
Not to be a pain in the butt, but I see that same issue in people of all ages. This is particularly true about [insert any political topic here].

As someone who you would probably consider to be part of said generation (20, in college), I've got a few things I'd like to mention - the price of education has DRASTICALLY increased since the 'boomer' generation, and increasingly, a college degree is seen as the first step towards a good career, rather than something that will automatically get you a well-paying job with good benefits and long-term prospects. For example, in 1971 (just happened to be the first year I found with statistics), the average cost of a year of college (tuition, room, board, fees) was $1,410. Minimum wage was $1.60 per hour. In 2016 (3 years ago, it's gone up since then but I couldn't quickly find the numbers), the average cost of a year of college (again, tuition, room, board, fees) was $20,150. Minimum wage was (and still is) $7.25 per hour. Assuming you work a full 40 hour work week for a full year (which isn't really possible ontop of college, but let's just pretend), that's roughly 2,000 hours per year of work. In 1971, that means you would make about $3,200 per year at minimum wage, more than enough to pay for your college, even if you only worked part time. Contrast that to 2016, where the same 2,000 hours of work would net you $14,500 per year, or almost $6,000 short of being able to afford school.
One side effect of all of the focus on college is that the skilled trades aren't getting the numbers of people that they were, even though many apprenticeships are a straight-shot route to a living wage job. My favorite example locally is that Puget Sound maritime jobs pay an average of $110K/year and the average age of a maritime worker here is 55.
 
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BDB

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@jjwb22101 - I wouldn’t argue with any of the things that you mentioned. I’m a college professor, and I agree that college debt is going to crush my students’ chances for prosperity.

The baby boomers probably have wrecked the system. (The national debt went from $0 to $22T on their watch!) I thought it was my generation’s job to clean up that mess, but we don’t seem to be doing much better.

That said, I don’t predict that iGen’s smart phone obsession and risk-aversion is the answer, either. I hope I’m wrong.
 
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jlabrasca

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One thing I consistently see with many members of the current generation is a complete lack of critical thinking skills. ...
Not to be a pain in the butt, but I see that same issue in people of all ages. This is particularly true about [insert any political topic here].
Yeah, which is the "current generation"? I know plenty of credulous and incurious people of every age.

In any case, the whole notion of generational identity is nonsense.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...s-a-lie/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.2b00c918444c

FWIW, the Harris poll mentioned in the top post seems not to have been free-response. That is, it looks like the kids were presented with a list of choices and asked to pick 3. If "YouTuber" hadn't been on the list, we'd think that the kids all wanted to be teachers -- and we'd be cheering; "look how selfless and civic-minded they are, aspiring to a job that does not pay a living wage in a profession that is routinely derided as a publicly-funded conspiracy to indoctrinate kids in some morally degenerate ideology" (at least in the US).

That the kids in in the western countries didn't want to be astronauts might also be attributed to a greater familiarity with what astronauts do. If you've watched Station Life on NASA TV (and it still gets some play in the public schools in my city), "astronaut" does NOT look like a good gig.
 

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Substitute "journalist" or "writer" for "vlogger" and it becomes more respectable to the older generation. Same thing... different media. I don't see any values issues...
"Journalist" consistently finishes right up at the top of polls of "least desirable/ admirable" professions.

Many universities have dumped journalism as a degree program in the last 30 years, on the basis the degree is neither academically legitimate nor economically sustainable.
 

jlabrasca

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"Journalist" consistently finishes right up at the top of polls of "least desirable/ admirable" professions.

Many universities have dumped journalism as a degree program in the last 30 years, on the basis the degree is neither academically legitimate nor economically sustainable.
 

boatgeek

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"Journalist" consistently finishes right up at the top of polls of "least desirable/ admirable" professions.

Many universities have dumped journalism as a degree program in the last 30 years, on the basis the degree is neither academically legitimate nor economically sustainable.
While you're providing jlabrasca a citation, you might also want to check the name. At least at my local university, Journalism programs were renamed to Communications. So, yes journalism programs may be disappearing, but that doesn't mean that the program was eliminated--it may have just been renamed.
 

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To quote Raplhie "When I grow up, I wanna be a firetruck"...
 

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As someone who you would probably consider to be part of said generation (20, in college), I've got a few things I'd like to mention - the price of education has DRASTICALLY increased since the 'boomer' generation, and increasingly, a college degree is seen as the first step towards a good career, rather than something that will automatically get you a well-paying job with good benefits and long-term prospects. For example, in 1971 (just happened to be the first year I found with statistics), the average cost of a year of college (tuition, room, board, fees) was $1,410. Minimum wage was $1.60 per hour. In 2016 (3 years ago, it's gone up since then but I couldn't quickly find the numbers), the average cost of a year of college (again, tuition, room, board, fees) was $20,150. Minimum wage was (and still is) $7.25 per hour. Assuming you work a full 40 hour work week for a full year (which isn't really possible ontop of college, but let's just pretend), that's roughly 2,000 hours per year of work. In 1971, that means you would make about $3,200 per year at minimum wage, more than enough to pay for your college, even if you only worked part time. Contrast that to 2016, where the same 2,000 hours of work would net you $14,500 per year, or almost $6,000 short of being able to afford school.

The same sorts of analyses can be applied to healthcare and child care. You wonder why 20 and 30 somethings are living in apartments, with their parents, avoiding buying things like cars and homes, waiting longer to get married and start a family? It's because we can't afford to do things commonly associated with adulthood. We get saddled with so much debt from an education that's de facto required for the sorts of careers our parents had, and then have to spend most of our 20's and 30's paying that debt off.

Also, with all that stress, plus the knowledge that climate change is probably going to end up causing all sorts of global catastrophes within our lifespan, that our lives will probably for the first time in modern history be WORSE than those of our parents, and that our descendants will have it even worse, is it any wonder that we have high rates of anxiety and depression?
Ok...I agree on some points.
But when I (a boomer) was growing up, we were taught to "duck and cover" under our desk when the H bombs started falling. Life magazine actually had a "how to build a bomb shelter" one month. And there was Viet Nam hanging over our heads...as there was a draft and no volunteer Army at the time.
So there was a fair amount of anxiety then.
BTW: I graduated into one of the worst recessions ever in '76, and had to move back in with my parents for awhile until the job market improved. ….and then there was the Oil Embargo...and gas lines.
 

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LEGO commissioned Harris to poll 3000 kids from ages 8 to 12, in the US, UK, and PRC.



Teacher is in the number two spot in all three countries.

It is not scary. Between 8 and 12 you don't really know what grown-ups do. So, when asked "what do you want to do when you grow up" you pick from what is most visible to you. If China wasn't censoring YouTube, the Chinese kids would want to be YouTubers too.
Looking at the numbers, UK and US kids think they will only have one profession, while Chinese kids think they will have multiple professions, or perhaps a multi-discipline career.

Even at age 12, I barely knew what an engineer was, and most of what I perceived an engineer to be, I gleaned from reading SF. I had just started reading SF, and had never met an engineer. I knew what an astronaut was, but with only 20/30 vision I was never going to be a military pilot and qualify to be an astronaut.
 

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As someone who you would probably consider to be part of said generation (20, in college), I've got a few things I'd like to mention - the price of education has DRASTICALLY increased since the 'boomer' generation, and increasingly, a college degree is seen as the first step towards a good career, rather than something that will automatically get you a well-paying job with good benefits and long-term prospects. For example, in 1971 (just happened to be the first year I found with statistics), the average cost of a year of college (tuition, room, board, fees) was $1,410. Minimum wage was $1.60 per hour. In 2016 (3 years ago, it's gone up since then but I couldn't quickly find the numbers), the average cost of a year of college (again, tuition, room, board, fees) was $20,150. Minimum wage was (and still is) $7.25 per hour. Assuming you work a full 40 hour work week for a full year (which isn't really possible ontop of college, but let's just pretend), that's roughly 2,000 hours per year of work. In 1971, that means you would make about $3,200 per year at minimum wage, more than enough to pay for your college, even if you only worked part time. Contrast that to 2016, where the same 2,000 hours of work would net you $14,500 per year, or almost $6,000 short of being able to afford school.

The same sorts of analyses can be applied to healthcare and child care. You wonder why 20 and 30 somethings are living in apartments, with their parents, avoiding buying things like cars and homes, waiting longer to get married and start a family? It's because we can't afford to do things commonly associated with adulthood. We get saddled with so much debt from an education that's de facto required for the sorts of careers our parents had, and then have to spend most of our 20's and 30's paying that debt off.

Also, with all that stress, plus the knowledge that climate change is probably going to end up causing all sorts of global catastrophes within our lifespan, that our lives will probably for the first time in modern history be WORSE than those of our parents, and that our descendants will have it even worse, is it any wonder that we have high rates of anxiety and depression?
I don't even know where to start with this one except I will say this. Sadly school has increasingly become about being indoctrinated into a way of thinking, instead of how to think critically. So as an employer, I put little emphasis on a candidate's academic achievements and pedigree.

I did not continue pursuing a formal education beyond High School. Instead, I learned on my terms through observations, common sense and targeted research. So I cannot relate to your education debt woes. However, being a Gen X, when I entered the job market, primarily controlled by Boomers who felt the most efficient way to hire someone was to insist that they have a degree, I was forced to incur a lot of debt, three times in my life.

Because of myopic hiring policies within most companies, I was pigeon-holed. I was typically successful in the interview process, due to my strong track record as a top performer, but they ultimately limited me; this manifested as frustration that motivated me to plod my own path. Because my parents had no means, any debt I incurred was my debt. I would work for a company, come up with an idea, start and run a company for a couple of years and ultimately fail along with incur $60,000 - $70,000 of credit card debt @ 21% interest rate. The banks considered me a high risk without a degree, and although I tried, I could never get a consolidation loan to lower the interest rate and get a single manageable payment. I did this three times and in each case not only did I go back to a limited job, but I paid my debt off, saved enough to try again, took a lesson from my previous attempt, and started over.

I now run a small company with a growing staff located in two offices and two warehouses in Toronto, a satellite office in Montreal, and we are currently looking to open an office in the US.

Not my success story, but I do have one that directly addresses your complaint on student debt. My wife is a teacher with three degrees, and the same humble beginnings and independence as myself. She had three jobs all through High School and during University as well as had to take on student debt for her Post Secondary education. She ended up with a BA, a Teachers degree and a Masters of Education in Curriculum. She was also three months into her Ph.D. when she decided that she had enough. I met her in her mid-thirties, and she still had her student debt, but she was able to be completely independent and live in one of the most expensive cities in North America.

So as much as some may have sympathy for you in this regard, I certainly don't. I made my own breaks, and when people tried to push me down, I pushed back. I got married at 40, purchased my first home at 41 and had kids at 44. The fact is, as much as the Millennial generation complains about debt, they are also going to inherit the greatest amount of wealth of any previous generation. When my parents passed away, I inherited enough to go on a cheap vacation and raise a glass of red to them.

At this stage of my life, I am eternally grateful to everyone who held me back; it was the best thing that could have happened to me!
 

jlabrasca

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I don't even know where to start with this one except I will say this. Sadly school has increasingly become about being indoctrinated into a way of thinking, instead of how to think critically. So as an employer, I put little emphasis on a candidate's academic achievements and pedigree.
Pretty far from the topic of the OP, but some relevant excepts from Seville Chapman's How to Study Physics - - digitized by Don Simanek and re-posted by LOTS of physics instructors.

http://www.physics.csbsju.edu/105/chapman.htm

The first chapter, "Why Go to College" offers a rationale that is as valid now, 60 years after Chapman offered it, as it was when when Horace Mann started the common school movement, as it was when Thomas Jefferson presented his "Bill for the More General Diffusion of Knowledge" to the Virginia House of Delegates. And the idea was hardly new with him. If you are inclined, you can trace its development back to Roger Bacon's Opus Minus and, from there, to the professional teachers and academies of Athens in the 4th and 5th centuries BCE.
 

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Also, with all that stress, plus the knowledge that climate change is probably going to end up causing all sorts of global catastrophes within our lifespan, that our lives will probably for the first time in modern history be WORSE than those of our parents, and that our descendants will have it even worse, is it any wonder that we have high rates of anxiety and depression?

You really believe that crap?
 

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The funniest part I find in the generation vs. generation arguments is the older folks complaining about "kids these days" are part of generations that have raised them. They'll be quick to generalize the younger generations as lazy, unmotivated, etc... but will argue that they raised their kids right. Odd that the generalizations stop when it's personal, no? There are awesome people in every age group and just as many that aren't. I'll never understand the generational bickering. We're all part of the same system, crapping on certain groups isn't going to do much good for the whole. Asking if "you really believe that crap" probably isn't going to change anyone's mind, but talking to younger people about these things might.

That said, a college education is ridiculously expensive today, so much that I dropped out and joined the AF (just about have my two years of loans paid off...). I was planning on going back with my GI Bill, but I've been lucky enough to work some neat jobs based on experience. There's more than one path, but I'd agree that this mindset that you need a college education to be successful is misguided at best. I remember the last few years of high school and the insanity that was college admissions. It may just be my personal experience, but we had the idea that without a degree you'll end up flipping burgers and living at your parents house for the rest of your life pounded into our heads by faculty members. I think preaching that to kids is dangerous and sets more than a few up for failure.
 

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Even at age 12, I barely knew what an engineer was, and most of what I perceived an engineer to be, I gleaned from reading SF. .
I remember asking my dad, when I was about 12, what he did..
"I'm an engineer." he said.
"Cool, Can I see your train one day?" I replied
"Uhm, I'm not that kind of engineer. I'm an electrical engineer."
"Uh, OK, can I see your electric train one day?"
 

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Well what did you expect? When the American schools and colleges have to have "Safe Spaces" for the students to color in books, and cuddle soft plush toys. Then add the ambiguous crap on gender identity, and no bathroom designations, just use what you feel like that day.
This is destroying America IMO.
 

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This really is turning into a cranky old man thread, and I contributed to that.

So let me summarize a few salient points...
1) Stress among students is not a new thing. The baby boomers were being drafted to fight a foreign war that no one wanted.

2) Journalism has, indeed, been converted to Communications Studies. But, in my opinion, it was significantly watered down in the process. Comm is the major that students switch to when they realize that engineering or science is too hard.

3) Technology addiction (which we are all participating in right now) is the game-changer here. "Kids these days" arguments will always persist. But there is something significantly different about kids born after 2005. Just walk by any college classroom and take note of how many students are on their phones during class lecture. (You can do the same for any business meeting.)
 

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And now for a new rant...

I'm the chair of a committee at my university that is tasked with lowering the D, F & W grades in Chemistry 101. Through our investigations it has become abundantly clear that the issue is the math preparedness of our incoming freshman. Students only need to be comfortable with basic algebra in order to succeed in Chem 101, but less than half of our students meet that standard.

All incoming freshman take a math placement exam, and about half of them are not ready for pre-calcuuls. They are then often placed into a pre-pre-calculus course, which is, in essence, junior high math. That class last fall had a 53% DFW rate.

In speaking with a collection of local high school teachers, they said that they have to let students re-take tests until they pass. That system is obviously not working.
 
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