Is the STEM push resulting in more failsons? -

Crunchy Leaf

cronch
kiwifarms.net
So I’ve been reading recently about ‘failure to launch’ programs, which are designed to get basement dwellers out of the basement. A lot of them struggled in college and may not have finished their degree.

Then I started thinking about how we’ve been telling kids STEM, STEM, STEM, ignoring that 1) American math education is across the board quite bad, and 2) hard science, engineering, and computer science are difficult subjects.

I met people at my university who switched from a science major that required a lot of math to one that didn’t, I’ve heard about computer related majors (like IT) being what people switch to when CS is too hard, and everyone knows about the slew of pre-meds not being able to hack organic chemistry.

So I’m wondering...is telling kids to major in STEM when they aren’t smart enough or don’t have a good enough math foundation to do so ultimately bad? Software developers make a lot of money if they’re good at their job.

Adding to this, there’s definitely an assumption that a young man who does nothing but game is going to go into CS (or worse, video game development).

If you disagree, what else do you think accounts for the rise of the ‘failure to launch’ young person? There’s clearly a lot of factors but I don’t think ‘bad economy’ is the only one.
 
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Salubrious

Feelin' Healthy
kiwifarms.net
I've been thinking about this with the BLM movement.

One of the big arguments is that black men don't have enough opportunities to go to college.

While that CAN be true and is to an extent, that doesn't solve the biggest problem. I can tell you from personal experience that I was constantly bullied by black men, mostly being called a sellout or one of dem smart niggas (Carlton was my personal favorite).

Creating opportunities for black men to go to college doesn't matter if you don't solve the key underlying issue that black men don't WANT to go to college; that being booksmart to large sections of the black community is a giant negative.

Same with STEM. The big push is "we need more women in STEM; companies need more women workers, et cetera". Do women even WANT to be in STEM? It seems like they are trying to shove a bunch of people that don't want to be there into it and are shocked when they fail.

TL;DR - People are confusing cause and effect like usual in the name of woke points.
 

Crunchy Leaf

cronch
kiwifarms.net
I've been thinking about this with the BLM movement.

One of the big arguments is that black men don't have enough opportunities to go to college.

While that CAN be true and is to an extent, that doesn't solve the biggest problem. I can tell you from personal experience that I was constantly bullied by black men, mostly being called a sellout or one of dem smart niggas (Carlton was my personal favorite).

Creating opportunities for black men to go to college doesn't matter if you don't solve the key underlying issue that black men don't WANT to go to college; that being booksmart to large sections of the black community is a giant negative.

Same with STEM. The big push is "we need more women in STEM; companies need more women workers, et cetera". Do women even WANT to be in STEM? It seems like they are trying to shove a bunch of people that don't want to be there into it and are shocked when they fail.

TL;DR - People are confusing cause and effect like usual in the name of woke points.
What we need is more good jobs for people without degrees. The ‘go to college for a good job’ thing is playing musical chairs. It only works if there’s a sufficient number of people who don’t have degrees.

My issue with ‘women in STEM’ is not that women don’t want to be in STEM, they do (it’s why Smith has an engineering program despite being a liberal arts college), but that it only serves to help middle class white and Asian women, who don’t need more help. If you wanted to improve the lot of women you’d be agitating for heavily subsidized childcare, not giving Silicon Valley even more workers they can make work 70 hours a week.
 

Sperghetti

#waxmymeatballs
kiwifarms.net
I would add that it seems like we never got past the whole "you have to go to college if you want a good job" mentality.

When I was in high school at the turn of the millenium, it was just kind of an unspoken thing that if you got semi-decent grades, anything less than a 4-year college degree was beneath you. I graduated from college straight into the Great Recession, seeing constant articles about college grads only being able to find minimum-wage service jobs, how Gen Y Millenials would be the first generation to do economically worse than their parents, how we'd never pay off student loan debt... and yet, over a decade later, that "go to college" mentality hasn't actually changed. They just upgraded it to "Oh you need to get a STEM degree."

It's like nobody stopped to think they we might be pressuring too many people into pursuing college degrees, when they'd probably be better off pursuing careers that involve shorter programs or trade school. Hell, those kind of jobs need some smart, reliable people instead of just getting the bottom of the barrel that couldn't even really hack high school.

So I think you have a good point, it's no wonder we have so many young adults who can't get started in life when they've been pressured into thinking that their only option for being successful is to specifically get a STEM degree. I'd actually be really interested to see what the economic demographics of the families are in most of these cases.
 

Crunchy Leaf

cronch
kiwifarms.net
I would add that it seems like we never got past the whole "you have to go to college if you want a good job" mentality.

When I was in high school at the turn of the millenium, it was just kind of an unspoken thing that if you got semi-decent grades, anything less than a 4-year college degree was beneath you. I graduated from college straight into the Great Recession, seeing constant articles about college grads only being able to find minimum-wage service jobs, how Gen Y Millenials would be the first generation to do economically worse than their parents, how we'd never pay off student loan debt... and yet, over a decade later, that "go to college" mentality hasn't actually changed. They just upgraded it to "Oh you need to get a STEM degree."

It's like nobody stopped to think they we might be pressuring too many people into pursuing college degrees, when they'd probably be better off pursuing careers that involve shorter programs or trade school. Hell, those kind of jobs need some smart, reliable people instead of just getting the bottom of the barrel that couldn't even really hack high school.

So I think you have a good point, it's no wonder we have so many young adults who can't get started in life when they've been pressured into thinking that their only option for being successful is to specifically get a STEM degree. I'd actually be really interested to see what the economic demographics of the families are in most of these cases.
I want to know where they got their degree from and how long it took them to get it.

A bachelor’s degree that took you four years to get from an in state institution, leaving you with say 35k in student loans, is a good investment. A bachelor’s degree that took you four years to get from a top private school that you got good financial aid for is a great investment. A degree that takes you six or seven years...or from an expensive private or out of state college...or a for profit school? No.

The four year graduation rate is way lower than you might think. https://www.npr.org/2019/03/13/6816...re-up-but-the-numbers-will-still-surprise-you
 

The Shadow

I am NOT a crackpot.
kiwifarms.net
It's bad enough that we pushed "college for everyone" on the Millenial generation (insane student debt, filling the coffers of colleges that keep jacking up their costs to take advantage of student debt, and poorly prepared people attempting to enter the workforce with garbage degrees...). A friend of mine that majored in mechanical engineering noted that there's a surplus of qualified degree holders in many STEM fields at this point. And not everyone is the best and brightest- you don't have to be just to finish your degree. They'll have an even harder time using their degree than the top of their class.

My oldest sibling is pushing their kids to go to college and I'm thinking- it's not my problem and it's not my job to help parent but PLEASE let them know there are other perfectly valid options.
 
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DumbDude42

kiwifarms.net
you're mixing two different situations here: failing stem students, and socially alienated nerds. there is some overlap between these phenomena, but they are not the same, and they have different causes.

about the college dropout types: from my experience, in more than 90% of cases, it's not an issue of them lacking brain power or smarts, but an issue of them lacking discipline and work ethic. these are often smart boys, who cruised through high school with zero effort on pure brain power alone. then, when that is no longer enough because college classes are actually challenging, they suddenly fail miserably. because throughout their entire life they never had to actually put effort into anything to succeed, and nobody taught them the importance of discipline and work ethic, it was always just "look at how much of a genius our boy is" and "work smart, not hard"
imo it's not so much a failure of the education system, more a failure of parenting.

about the socially alienated friendless basement dwellers: this is a huge and complex topic. some of it comes down to (lack of) parenting too, similar to the other situation, but there is more at play here. these dudes tend to be very introverted and shy, very self-conscious, and come off as clunky and awkward as a result. these types obviously do not mesh well at all with modern day pop culture / youth culture which is hyper-focussed on non-stop socialisation, extremely sexualized, and 100% geared towards extroverted people. being shy/awkward/introverted in this environment makes these guys outcasts and targets for bullying almost by default, and in the age of ubiquitous social media there is literally no way to avoid or escape this once it has started, so for many the only option is to basically retreat from society entirely, resulting in hardcore alienation, with all the problems that entails.
 

Crunchy Leaf

cronch
kiwifarms.net
you're mixing two different situations here: failing stem students, and socially alienated nerds. there is some overlap between these phenomena, but they are not the same, and they have different causes.

about the college dropout types: from my experience, in more than 90% of cases, it's not an issue of them lacking brain power or smarts, but an issue of them lacking discipline and work ethic. these are often smart boys, who cruised through high school with zero effort on pure brain power alone. then, when that is no longer enough because college classes are actually challenging, they suddenly fail miserably. because throughout their entire life they never had to actually put effort into anything to succeed, and nobody taught them the importance of discipline and work ethic, it was always just "look at how much of a genius our boy is" and "work smart, not hard"
imo it's not so much a failure of the education system, more a failure of parenting.

about the socially alienated friendless basement dwellers: this is a huge and complex topic. some of it comes down to (lack of) parenting too, similar to the other situation, but there is more at play here. these dudes tend to be very introverted and shy, very self-conscious, and come off as clunky and awkward as a result. these types obviously do not mesh well at all with modern day pop culture / youth culture which is hyper-focussed on non-stop socialisation, extremely sexualized, and 100% geared towards extroverted people. being shy/awkward/introverted in this environment makes these guys outcasts and targets for bullying almost by default, and in the age of ubiquitous social media there is literally no way to avoid or escape this once it has started, so for many the only option is to basically retreat from society entirely, resulting in hardcore alienation, with all the problems that entails.
How do you think that can be fixed? Or how can parents prevent it from happening?

I see your first scenario talked about a lot on r/college. I went to a difficult high school so it’s hard for me to grasp, but it does seem like there’s people who don’t even do the absolute bare minimum (go to class, do the homework). Professors rankle at mandatory attendance, but at the same time it seems like some people can’t handle not being explicitly told to go to class.
 

Otterly

Primark Primarch
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
A number of factors.
Housing is expensive and young people dont want to have a starter home, they want a ready made dream h
Schooling isn’t educating people. Very few need pure academic paths. Most need academic/technical like medicine, engineering and technical/vocational like plumbing /hvac etc. So you end up with people getting useless degrees and no practical skill or obvious career path and no one can find a decent plumber
There are no healthy rites Of passage any more. No national service, which would be a good thing. Not even military, just don’t something that benefits the community for a year’ but military would be good. Now all the traditional manly rites of passage are gone and masculinity is demonised. Women have kids later, so they also do t have the grounding event of a family.
People are adrift. They need purpose and direction and there aren’t the healthy outlets for it there used to be.
 

In Memoriam

kiwifarms.net
be strict and harsh with your children and force them to develop discipline from a young age, that's the only way really.
This is true but also hard. It’s human nature to protect and nurture your children and it goes against everything a parent has to make their life tough even though that is indisputably the best way to make them successful. Mandatory military service would probably help. Look at Israel - you don’t become Dear Leader’s favorite country without doing something right!
 

William Tell Underpass

#ApplesForHobos
kiwifarms.net
There's also an interesting question about the value of promoting more stem as computers become more sophisticated. Basically the 'why learn math when we have calculators' argument on steroids.


Creativity will become one of the top three skills workers will need. With the avalanche of new products, new technologies and new ways of working, workers are going to have to become more creative in order to benefit from these changes.
Robots may help us get to where we want to be faster, but they can’t be as creative as humans (yet).

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DumbDude42

kiwifarms.net
There's also an interesting question about the value of promoting more stem as computers become more sophisticated. Basically the 'why learn math when we have calculators' argument on steroids.

frankly, these sorts of articles are bogus and nonsense imo
the more things computers do, the more you need people developing, programming, administrating, controlling, operating those computers.
the more jobs machines take over, the more you need engineers to design, develop, control and operate those machines.

This is true but also hard. It’s human nature to protect and nurture your children and it goes against everything a parent has to make their life tough even though that is indisputably the best way to make them successful. Mandatory military service would probably help. Look at Israel - you don’t become Dear Leader’s favorite country without doing something right!
military service is good, but kicks in way too late. you can't coddle a kid into growing up as a lazy shitbag and then expect the army to take over at age 18 and magically turn him into a well disciplined hard worker over the course of a year (or two)
no, this effort needs to start a good 10 years earlier than that. discipline is a habit, one that needs to be built from a very young age to properly become ingrained in a persons character.
 

Fanatical Pragmatist

kiwifarms.net
The big push is "we need more women in STEM; companies need more women workers, et cetera". Do women even WANT to be in STEM?
Depends on the "STEM".
I've worked marine bio jobs where I've been 1 of 3 dudes in a cohort of 27 techs/workers/researchers. Whats more ironic is most of the 24 women in that group photograph will look at you and dead-face tell you that we need more wamyn in STEM.
By contrast my brother has told me engineering is a total sausage fest, but girls basically get easy pickings for internships.

The other issue, with my side of the (S) is that people think STEM = big money, so therefore we can get 65k into debt and pay it off counting sea turtle nests.
 

eternal dog mongler

kiwifarms.net
It's like nobody stopped to think they we might be pressuring too many people into pursuing college degrees, when they'd probably be better off pursuing careers that involve shorter programs or trade school. Hell, those kind of jobs need some smart, reliable people instead of just getting the bottom of the barrel that couldn't even really hack high school.
It honestly makes financial sense anyway.

Get your ADN, move to San Fran, make as much as I do toiling away in FL.
 

The Shadow

I am NOT a crackpot.
kiwifarms.net
you're mixing two different situations here: failing stem students, and socially alienated nerds. there is some overlap between these phenomena, but they are not the same, and they have different causes.

about the college dropout types: from my experience, in more than 90% of cases, it's not an issue of them lacking brain power or smarts, but an issue of them lacking discipline and work ethic. these are often smart boys, who cruised through high school with zero effort on pure brain power alone. then, when that is no longer enough because college classes are actually challenging, they suddenly fail miserably. because throughout their entire life they never had to actually put effort into anything to succeed, and nobody taught them the importance of discipline and work ethic, it was always just "look at how much of a genius our boy is" and "work smart, not hard"
imo it's not so much a failure of the education system, more a failure of parenting.

about the socially alienated friendless basement dwellers: this is a huge and complex topic. some of it comes down to (lack of) parenting too, similar to the other situation, but there is more at play here. these dudes tend to be very introverted and shy, very self-conscious, and come off as clunky and awkward as a result. these types obviously do not mesh well at all with modern day pop culture / youth culture which is hyper-focussed on non-stop socialisation, extremely sexualized, and 100% geared towards extroverted people. being shy/awkward/introverted in this environment makes these guys outcasts and targets for bullying almost by default, and in the age of ubiquitous social media there is literally no way to avoid or escape this once it has started, so for many the only option is to basically retreat from society entirely, resulting in hardcore alienation, with all the problems that entails.
I would argue the education system has something to do with it, though. I took College Prep and Advanced Placement courses in High School and didn't find them particularly challenging, but the similar level courses I took once I got to college (which were supposed to be analogous) were far more rigorous. I was able to adapt, though not without some speed bumps. I think that some of this comes from the whole "No Child Left Behind" mentality and curriculum getting dumbed down so schools can pass more students which, if I'm not mistaken is usually necessary for schools to get as much funding as possible.

Schools would usually rather pass bad students than retain them or lose them to dropout.
 

Johan Schmidt

kiwifarms.net
frankly, these sorts of articles are bogus and nonsense imo
the more things computers do, the more you need people developing, programming, administrating, controlling, operating those computers.
the more jobs machines take over, the more you need engineers to design, develop, control and operate those machines.
As an undergad starting my second year of genetics I can confirm that machines are doing loads of the grunt work. The issue is that what they are doing is producing more data than we as people can actually do anything with. I have to learn Linux, R, Python and Java to work the machines, get the data, and do anything with it. Interdisciplinary seems to be the buzzword for science as far as my course goes. I have to be a biochemist, a geneticist, a programmer and a lab tech all in one to get a job (according to my lecturers). If they cannot instill all these things into STEM students then the market for science graduates will probably explode into niche training rather than general degrees.
 

Get_your_kicks_with_30-06

I have become Based, the destroyer of Libs
kiwifarms.net
about the college dropout types: from my experience, in more than 90% of cases, it's not an issue of them lacking brain power or smarts, but an issue of them lacking discipline and work ethic. these are often smart boys, who cruised through high school with zero effort on pure brain power alone. then, when that is no longer enough because college classes are actually challenging, they suddenly fail miserably. because throughout their entire life they never had to actually put effort into anything to succeed, and nobody taught them the importance of discipline and work ethic, it was always just "look at how much of a genius our boy is" and "work smart, not hard"
imo it's not so much a failure of the education system, more a failure of parenting.
This is a very big problem in college right now. High school is pretty easy and very drawn out. College semesters can be easy (unless you are in STEM where there is a wide variety of difficulty), but are very quick. This creates a problem where smart high schoolers have no concept of time management/prioritization and have a serious procrastination problem. So when they come to college where you need to learn usually more information in less than half the time you have in High school these kind of people get very overwhelmed.

about the socially alienated friendless basement dwellers: this is a huge and complex topic. some of it comes down to (lack of) parenting too, similar to the other situation, but there is more at play here. these dudes tend to be very introverted and shy, very self-conscious, and come off as clunky and awkward as a result. these types obviously do not mesh well at all with modern day pop culture / youth culture which is hyper-focussed on non-stop socialisation, extremely sexualized, and 100% geared towards extroverted people. being shy/awkward/introverted in this environment makes these guys outcasts and targets for bullying almost by default, and in the age of ubiquitous social media there is literally no way to avoid or escape this once it has started, so for many the only option is to basically retreat from society entirely, resulting in hardcore alienation, with all the problems that entails.
People like this should avoid college at all costs (at least early on). These kind of people should find a trade that interests them and become heavily invested and educated in it. Not only will they have a job, but they will still have a good foundation of education to possibly pursue higher careers in the future. More importantly it will also give these people a community to be apart of and will give them personal and professional friendships.

The almost fetish that is getting your kids to go to college as soon as possible is very damaging in my opinion. There are a lot of things that are more important than getting an education. Getting any degree, even a STEM one, does not mean you will automatically be financially self sustaining and emotionally prepared to be in a place to take control of your life.
 

DanteAlighieri

I hate commies
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I would add that it seems like we never got past the whole "you have to go to college if you want a good job" mentality.
Part of that is the reduction in shop classes and blue collar skills stuff that feature in many 80s-90s movies. There's a fuckton of money in welding, electrician, plumbing, but those don't generate a ton of money for academia in the form of endless student debt.

Trades will always be needed but it's never discussed as a possibility for people.
 

Johan Schmidt

kiwifarms.net
Part of that is the reduction in shop classes and blue collar skills stuff that feature in many 80s-90s movies. There's a fuckton of money in welding, electrician, plumbing, but those don't generate a ton of money for academia in the form of endless student debt.

Trades will always be needed but it's never discussed as a possibility for people.
Hell, carpetlaying is a massive money making; it fucks your knees up worse than being a soldier though. I feel that probably doesn't help; the physical aspects of those jobs. A lot of people associate non office/lab work as being 'dumb' or low paying because they have little experience with it beyond giving money to the plumber. It's also probably just snobbery. Personally I'd love to be able to build a house from scratch, welding, electrical work, plumbing and all.

A plurality of skills is a great thing to have for day to day life as well. Education isn't focused on making a well rounded person with useful skills; it's focused on churning out people than can pass exams and do the barebones mathematics and english needed for office/store/ grunt work.
 
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