kitchen table math, the sequel: Paying for college is top priority for parents

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Paying for college is top priority for parents

In the eyes of parents, being able to pay for their children’s college education is just as important as being able to own a home or live comfortably in retirement. And it’s more important than being able to leave an inheritance to their children....
A parent’s own educational background does not have a significant impact on the importance they place on being able to provide for their children’s educational needs. Parents who never attended college are just as likely as those who earned a four-year college degree to say being able to pay for their children’s college education is extremely important.
The vast majority of parents expect that their children will pursue a college education. Among those with one or more children under age 18, 94% expect at least one of their children will go to college. There are no significant differences across racial or ethnic groups—white, black and Hispanic parents are equally likely to think their children will go to college. In addition, there is very little variance across income groups. While 99% of parents with annual household incomes of $75,000 or higher think their children will go to college, 93% of those with incomes between $30,000 and $74,999 say the same, as do 91% of those making less than $30,000 a year. Again, parents’ own educational experience does not seem to influence the aspirations they have for their children. Parents who did not graduate from college (93%) are just as likely as college graduates (97%) to say their children will go to college.
The most surprising part of these results was that parents across the board have high expectations that their children will attend college.  However, these expectations are unrealistic according to the ACT study that found only 24% of high school graduates are prepared to do college-level work.  Colleges are adjusting, with 36% of first-year students taking at least one remedial class.  Meanwhile, high student loan default rates and graduation rates of under 50% suggest going to college is not the right path for everyone.

In a future post I'll address the issue of how many parents have actually started saving for college. 

(Cross-posted at Education Quick Takes)

40 comments:

gasstationwithoutpumps said...

I started saving for my son's college within weeks of his being born. I've been putting away 9-10% of my gross salary every month since. By the time he gets to college, we will probably be able to afford it—unless tuition keeps growing at 50% every 3 years at UC.

VickyS said...

Why have we as a country decided college is the only viable step after high school? This, combined with how poorly our high school students are prepared for college, makes it pretty clear that college is the new high school. And an outrageously expensive one at that.

What happened to a good votech school as an honorable destination after high school? Jobs in the trades (electrical, plumbing, etc.) or bookkeeping, beauty school, med tech, construction, etc. are in demand, pay pretty well, and satisfying.

I read an article just a day or two ago that said some 40% of 2010 college grads have taken jobs that they say did not require a college degree to hold. And, these jobs are probably not in heating/cooling companies, TV or radio stations, or as massage therapists...they are probably working at Blockbuster.

Allison said...

Why? Because there are only so many votech jobs--the numbers aren't enough to match the number of people who need to be employed.
None of those jobs have job security. None of those jobs has a future for the bulk of the entry level people in it--and you age out in those fields far younger than you do with a college degree. and the examples of really excellent pay in these fields came from bright, hardworking people in these fields, not from these fields just offering any average person that opportunity.

Not that a college degree makes you definitionally employable, but it is clear to most adults that the days of high paying secure votech jobs for huge swaths of folks is over.

Look at the building trades: how many highly skilled electricians and plumbers do you need when illegal immigrants account for a huge portion of the people in the building industry? The grunt work is not high paying or high skilled for construction or the trades; one master to several apprentices, and those apprentices aren't going to rise--they will be replaced by new, young illegals at wages that keep the legal "market" rate low.

Similarly, how many skilled med techs are needed any more, if the tech part is handled by software? Again, one master and many apprentices, where the computer does the diagnostic work and analytic work, and the apprentices don't rise in pay or experience, but are replaced by new apprentices.

The second reason is because the really top paying votech jobs still go to the smartest and hardest working people. It was just more likely in the past that smart people went into these fields and were able to make a lot of money, not that anyone in these fields was able to do so. Now, those smart people have the opportunity to go into white collar well paying fields. Votech for the dumb isn't going to be well paying--it won't help make you able to pass the master's test for plumbing or make you able to land that top beauty school position. Can college fix that? No, but what choice do parents have for their children?

Grace said...

putting away 9-10% of my gross salary

Wow, you're way ahead of the game. And I can't see how college costs can continue on their crazy trajectory of the past 20 years; it's simply unsustainable.

Grace said...

About graduates taking jobs that do not require a college degree:

Sum said mal-employment has significantly increased in the past decade, making it the biggest challenge facing college graduates today. In 2000, Sum said, about 75 percent of college graduates held a job that required a college degree. Today that's closer to 60 percent.

Grace said...

So what are we going to do with all the "dumb" people? I don't know, but at least we should make sure they don't start off their working careers loaded with college debt.

SteveH said...

Vocational schools aren't like the old days. This is from our area (very well regarded) private technical "college". I don't think they even call them vocational colleges.

Bachelor’s Degree
First Academic Year: $19,725.00
Second Academic Year: $20,325.00

At least these kids know what they want to do and there are good jobs out there for them. You don't train to become an electrician. You get an associates degree in "Electrical Technology".


Our state community college tuition is about $3600 per year. If you plan carefully and do reasonably well, you can guarantee a transfer to the state university after two years. For the university (in-state), the tuition is about $10,500 and room and board is about $10,800. It's not too bad if you live at home and pick a good major.

The problem is that there are a lot degrees that aren't so great. The piece of paper gives you some advantage, but it's no guarantee. My niece got a degree from UCONN in film studies or editing or something, but two years later, she is still a waitress. You can have debt (that can't be forgiven) even if you never end up getting the degree or are working in a job that never required a degree.

This has always been a problem, but the costs are proportionally higher now, and people seem more willing to take on debt rather than downsize their school choice and commute. You pay a lot to get the college experience. I commuted to UCONN for two years before transferring.

The mal-employment change is interesting. People talk about the statistical advantage of a college degree, but has anyone ever seen that analysis broken down by degree? How about statistics on the amount of debt for those who dropped or flunked out? With the push to send more kids (like lemmings) to college, I would expect this number to be growing.

Bonnie said...

Some of the underemployment of recent college grads is because of the poor economy rather than some fundamental shift. I graduated from college into the Reagan recession, which was just horrific. It was impossible to find a job. Everyone back then was questioning the value of college degrees too. I had a CS degree with good grades and internship experience, and could find NOTHING. I think I had 2 interviews during a 6 months search period. I ended up doing lots of temp jobs answering phones and doing typing which was still a viable stopgap in those days. Other friends who had recently graduated were employed as supermarket baggers, waiters, and debt collectors. One good friend joined the postal service as a letter carrier. Many of us ended up going to grad school. That is what I did, and I bet lots of todays grads are doing the same. I think all this hand-wringing is misplaced - this is not much different from the awful economy of the early to mid-80's. We wrung our hands too.

Bonnie said...

I do see lots of students at my university choosing majors in areas with no reasonable hope of employment. I cannot fathom why our journalism program is booming while CS is shrinking. I think it has to do with the fact that today's families see college as a sort of country-club experience rather than an academic experience. Majoring in something difficult would interfere with all those extracurriculars and party-abroad experiences.

Anonymous said...

Not that a college degree makes you definitionally employable, but it is clear to most adults that the days of high paying secure votech jobs for huge swaths of folks is over.


At least to have your "vo-tech" type job taken away, the cheaper laborer has to move here. You can have your white collar job taken away without the "usurper" having to leave their home in another country. I'd argue that most any job that mostly requires thinking and writing about it is the *most easily* offshored!

Anonymous said...

I cannot fathom why our journalism program is booming while CS is shrinking. I think it has to do with the fact that today's families see college as a sort of country-club experience rather than an academic experience. Majoring in something difficult would interfere with all those extracurriculars and party-abroad experiences.

I remember when learning and thinking were assumed to be the goals of a college education. Sigh. For students that have a burning desire to follow a certain career, a career-minded college degree is great.

I do think that colleges could do a FAR better job of advising students than they do. Professors are really not trained in it. Some of them become very good at it, but it's truly hit or miss. If students had helpful resources who actively engaged them in discussions about career paths vs. jobs vs. grad school etc. we might have fewer floundering students.

Bonnie said...

You should realize that professors no longer do the advising at most schools, including mine. It is now an administrative job, and we have an army of "advisement" specialists who constantly misadvise our majors. I was shocked, but when I asked colleagues at other schools, was told that this is the norm these days. I think it has happened because there are so few tenured professors left in many schools who could do the advising. Many students don't see a "real" professor in a course until they are juniors. Adjuncts can't do advising because they are only paid to show up and lecture.

Allison said...

--Some of the underemployment of recent college grads is because of the poor economy rather than some fundamental shift.

The poor economy is a fundamental shift. The public sector is dominating the private. The private sector is finding it's too expensive to do business here, and the result is jobs moving of the US, less new businesses created here, and the remaining companies spending their resources on rent seeking.

It's going to be at least a lost decade, maybe a lot longer.

College education is still on top because the public sector hires people with college degrees, and that sector still has job growth--and job security for now. If you try to shrink the public sector, where would those employees go? Into what? Producing what? Innovating what?

Colleges can't engage in discussions with students about career paths because they live in the academic bubble--they know precious little about the private sector and how it works. Whether it's the advising dept with a person whose only job was in the dean's office or it's a professor who never left academia, they can't advise what they don't know.

Anonymous said...

"I cannot fathom why our journalism program is booming while CS is shrinking."

Um ... I can take a guess.

(a) Relatively speaking, a major in journalism is easy and a major in CS is difficult (not as difficult as EE or physics or math, but still difficult).

(b) The universities tell the incoming freshman that ten years after graduation, the kids from all the majors earn roughly the same amount.

(b) is a lie, of course, but it gives the 18-20 year olds easy justification for doing what they want to do anyway, which is to avoid the hard/nasty classes that require math and have right/wrong answers.

-Mark Roulo

Bonnie said...

Allison - my department prefers to hire people with real world experience. I myself worked in industry as a software engineer for 12 years before I took my current teaching job. In most computer science and engineering departments, there is a lot of interaction between faculty and companies on various projects. Please do not assume we all live in an "academic bubble". Maybe it is true in philosophy, but not in the STEM fields.

Crimson Wife said...

My 8 y.o. has her heart set on becoming a fashion designer (sigh). If she really wants to study fashion, we're pushing Cornell with a double-major in something marketable like business. That way she'll have a degree that she can actually fall back upon if she doesn't become the next hot designer. DH has a business school classmate who makes a good living in some sort of managerial position at LVMH.

Bostonian said...

SteveH wrote, "The mal-employment change is interesting. People talk about the statistical advantage of a college degree, but has anyone ever seen that analysis broken down by degree?"

Yes -- see a recent NYT articleThe College Majors That Do Best in the Job Market . I am surpised by the low earnings attributed to physical science majors.

Grace said...

Just saw this.

Employers say a talent shortage has saddled their efforts to fill jobs, according to a survey by ManpowerGroup.

More than 50% of U.S. employers reported having difficulty filling "mission-critical" positions within their companies, up from 14% in 2010. Among the hardest positions to fill included jobs in skilled trades, sales and engineering.


Talent is getting harder to find

Bonnie said...

"Among the hardest positions to fill included jobs in skilled trades, sales and engineering"

I am not sure that the skills needed for sales are even teachable - I think that people are born with those skills.

The only reason employers say they need more engineers is to justify raising the H1b visa cap.

So that leaves skilled trades - but is there really a shortage, or just a shortage at the salaries employers are willing to pay? Actually, the same goes for engineering.

lgm said...

Agree.

Engineer shortage is due to low compensation plus all the required overtime (w/no add'l compensation). There are several other career fields that pay more at midcareer as well as allow a person to get home at a reasonable time plus not be on call. Very few people in my graduating class are still in private industry engineering...they went into law, teaching (much more lucrative in this area), finance, management, or started their own businesses.

Many parents in my district see union jobs as the answer...they don't require the high grades and college and are well compensated. Civilian Gov't jobs are next due to the compensation schedule; there is a realization that there will be wait time to acquire that job & in the mean time the student will likely be steered to community college or to work while taking classes at night.

Catherine Johnson said...

Some of the underemployment of recent college grads is because of the poor economy rather than some fundamental shift.

Ditto that.

I'm a fan of Scott Sumner's <a href="http://www.themoneyillusion.com/>Money Illusion</a> blog, which he recently stopped writing.

It's filled with data showing that unemployment that looks structural suddenly becomes un-structural when the economy grows strongly -- and with alternative analyses of current unemployment.

I'm convinced both by his analysis of the crash and the non-recovery recovery and by his argument that the Fed should target NGDP.

(Obviously I know very little about economics. I'm not arguing his case, just saying I'm persuaded by his arguments.)

If Sumner **is** correct, I'm pessimistic about the recovery picking up much steam.

Catherine Johnson said...

My question with C. is: what should you be majoring in if you think the economy is going to be bad for a long time?

I have no idea.

Catherine Johnson said...

Very few people in my graduating class are still in private industry engineering...

I hate to ask this question, but what is private industry engineering?

What does a private industry engineer do, and why is he/she on call -- ?

(Talk about being in a bubble.)

lgm said...

Private industry - working for a private company as opposed to a government organization. Sorry, poorly phrased.

Why on call - the factory or business may be working nights & weekends or have operations in other time zones that come under that person's responsibilities. The factory has cut costs by making one engineer on call rather than hiring another person. Engineers are hired for the job, not by the hour, so they may end up working long hours. Eng. techs are paid by the hour so many times the tech will be told to leave while the engineer stays. Or maybe both stay and work on the project and the resulting paycheck difference leads the engineer to find a more lucrative line of work.

Anonymous said...

"My question with C. is: what should you be majoring in if you think the economy is going to be bad for a long time?"

I have a general piece of advice that I give out when this subject comes up: Major in something that you really like that has a reasonable hope of leading to reasonable paying employment.

So ... in general, I would not recommend majoring in art history. If you love it, get a minor (or just take lots of classes). If you *REALLY* want to major in this, you also need a very concrete plan for not working at a minimum wage job after college.

Between things like engineering, physics, accounting, computer science, etc. my strong suggestion is to go with what you really want to do. The reason is actually quite practical: You are going to be competing with people who *WILL* love doing this and they are going to voluntarily spend a lot of time getting very good at it. You do *NOT* want to be in a position where you are thinking 40-hours-and-I-get-the-weekend-off and your competition is thinking 40-hours-and-I-get-to-learn-even-MORE-about-this.

I was in the second category coming out of college. I had the wrong major, but picked the correct field (for me). Lots of hours outside the job learning was GREAT! And I got very good at what I do because of this.

The really good people tend to stay employed even when their field is under pressure (e.g. outsourcing to India has, I think, mostly not hurt the truly good programmers).

And it is difficult to predict meaningful industry trends 10+ years out. Some trends, yes. I might not plan on paid journalism as a growth field. But EE vs. CS vs. accounting? No idea.

The biggest problem with this advice is that most 18 year olds have no idea what they really want to do with their life. Hanging out with their friends doesn't count :-) And a chunk of this is picking a field where you kinda like even the grunt work. Because you are going to do a lot of that in the beginning, and probably still have to do some of it even when you are senior.

If the kid doesn't know what they really want to do (sigh ... which is common, I think), then I have no good suggestion other than to take lots of math classes. These are very hard to "pick up" later.

-Mark Roulo

Anonymous said...

"I hate to ask this question, but what is private industry engineering?

What does a private industry engineer do, and why is he/she on call -- ?"


We drive trains for Southern Pacific instead of Amtrak.

Wait? What?

Oh! ... we do engineering for industry rather than a government agency.

So ... Intel has lots of electrical engineers working on designing the next CPUs they want to sell. Ditto for AMD.

Boeing has mechanical (and electrical and software and aeronautical and ...) engineers working on their next generation airplanes.

"On call" really depends on the specific job.

I have been programming computers for 20+ years and have only been "on call" a few times. These times were when we were finishing up a release (and the schedule was tight ... the schedule is always tight) and if bugs were found by the testing group we did *NOT* want to wait to get them analyzed and fixed.

In general, however, I have not been on call.

Nor have I routinely worked overtime.

I've worked overtime for the last few months of a big release, but then tend to slack off a bit once the release is over. This is pretty typical (and understood and expected) where I work.

I do work with some co-workers who work lots of unpaid overtime. But I don't notice that they are getting promoted any faster than the people who don't do this. Some people are just workaholics. Maybe these are some of those people.

My read is that management is perfectly fine with people working lots of unpaid overtime. Why not? But if you are getting you job done in 40ish hours, then they mostly don't care that you go home at reasonable times. This is what I have done for most of my career.

Were there exceptions? Sure. For six months I worked a 2 or 3 PM until about midnight shift. There was limited machine availability, and so we were trying to get maximum use out of that machine. Not great, but not horrible.

The plus side is that I also have lots of schedule flexibility to leave work early for things like Little League games. I can come in early, or work late the next day. Or put in a few hours on the weekend.

I'm sure that there are lots of places where 60+ hours/week is expected (think Oracle and Electronic Arts for starters). But I've never been in that environment. I think that if you are pretty good, many companies are fine getting 40ish hours/week out of you instead of trading you in for a bozo willing to work 60+. But I don't have lots of experience across a wide range of industries.

-Mark Roulo

Catherine Johnson said...

Eng. techs are paid by the hour so many times the tech will be told to leave while the engineer stays. Or maybe both stay and work on the project and the resulting paycheck difference leads the engineer to find a more lucrative line of work.


Interesting.

My brother just changed jobs for a lower-ranked position in the IL state government because union workers are earning quite a lot more than management.

Another dumb question: what is the difference between an engineer & an engineer tech?

Obviously, I know nothing about this field.

Bonnie said...

My husband is a software engineer in the financial industry, and fields a lot of 3am phone calls because his group has to support applications for traders in Singapore. He is also required to be in the office for 10 hour days. I used to work in industry as a software engineer myself, but got out because I was sick of not being able to predict my hours. Of course now I am in academia, where I can predict my hours very well - simply work all the time that I am awake :-)

Anonymous said...

In general the difference between an engineer and a tech is that the engineer is supposed to be better at design. Think the guy who designs the new engine versus a very practical hands on guy who manufactures/assembles it (and often helps work out the bugs in the design).

The engineers often know more theory.

-Mark Roulo

Anonymous said...

Bonnie,

The financial sector (and gaming sector) is insane.

Fortunately, not all the others are :-)

-Mark Roulo

TerriW said...

My husband is an engineer, and like Bonnie's husband, he not only works his "normal" hours, but often has quite a few round-the-clock hours due to having to interact with the teams in China and Russia.

When I was a unix sysadmin during the go-go Internet years, it was pretty clear at the time that companies were only interested in young (less than 40) programmers and IT folk.

Now, at the time, you could sort of see what they were thinking, even if you didn't agree with it. They wanted someone who:

A. hopefully didn't have a family, so they could work a bazillion hours.

and

B. someone who had "grown up" with modern computing during their obsessive, immersive years.

(The only thing they wanted less than an "old person" was someone with an advanced degree.)

Now, I suspect things did change a bit after the bust (though I had personally nestled in to a position at Stanford by that point), I can't imagine things now are *anything* like my years in Seattle/SF/Silicon Valley during '95-'02.

But, those of us who started our careers just as the boom was starting are now becoming the age that companies didn't want to hire back then. I'm using "we" a little liberally here since I have already bowed out of the labor market to mother & homeschool, but this is something my husband and I talk about quite a bit -- what's his career path going to be in 10 or 20 years?

Allison said...

--Now, I suspect things did change a bit after the bust (though I had personally nestled in to a position at Stanford by that point), I can't imagine things now are *anything* like my years in Seattle/SF/Silicon Valley during '95-'02.


The frothiness is back there now. It's go-go-go all over again. And much like then, the working-all-hours came from a culture that said to do that less than from an actual need to work that hard to give your customer what they want--competent teams without drama don't get kudos the way those who snatch victory from the jaws of self-created defeat do.

The palatable hatred for "breeders" by those without children is still there, as they expect or believe that the "breeders" aren't pulling their weight and aren't willing to work hard enough.

Your husband will need to have moved on from engineering, whether that's into management or something else. And the clock isn't 10 years out. It's a lot sooner. It will again be "add value or go away", and it is going to be painful when the current bubbles burst yet again.

SteveH said...

"what is the difference between an engineer & an engineer tech?"

You need a degree from a college of engineering to call yourself an engineer (lower case). An engineering degree requires many math classes above calculus, and most engineering classes are math and theory-based. Engineering tech is not well defined, but it implies something less. Those taking Project Lead the Way classes in high school who aren't strong in math will end up in the 'T' track of STEM. The 'T' provides a way for K-12 education to be successful in STEM without fixing math education.

A Professional Engineer (upper case) is an engineer who has passed additional tests (usually) in the area of his or her specialty. There is an organization that controls this, but the tests are developed by the individual areas, usually by the leading technical society. You can't take the tests without an engineering degree. I believe that you still need several years of experience before you take the test. A Professional Engineering license is only needed (legally) for some types of engineering work. A PE license is usually applicable to work only in one state. Since it's used as a legal requirement, the states get involved to define exactly what that means.

I took the test years ago although it was not required for any work that I needed to do. Since then, there has been a push by some in my field to require the license for some types of work. This really pissed off other college-educated engineers. The test is not meaningless, but it's no guarantee that the work will be better. Worse, it might limit in which states you could work.

The first business I set up used the word Engineering in the name, and it was only later that I found out that you can only do that if you have a PE license. This is true even if you never have anything to do with jobs that require the license.

SteveH said...

"add value or go away"

This is only partly a supply and demand issue. In a start-up, there will be additional peer pressure if potential stock options are in play. However, in just average companies, employee expectations are being pushed. You can have very important added value skills, but that doesn't stop companies from pushing. They are pushing the limits on what employees will put up with before they decide to leave.

Also, valuable skills won't allow you to demand less work. You can't go to a company with exactly what they want and tell them that you will only work 40 hours a week or that you want 6 contiguous weeks off in the summer. My wife's company hassled her about taking off two contiguous weeks last summer. That's because they've cut personnel down to the bone.

I find it ironic that my wife's company (in insurance) goes through very elaborate disaster recovery plans that don't seem to include the risk factor of losing key employees. Her billion+ dollar comapany has very little overlap or backup in personnel. They talk about cross training, but employees don't go out of their way to do that. Besides, the company doesn't set aside time to do that.

Being a salaried professional means that you will put in the extra work when necessary. Of course, companies now push that for as much as they can get. It really pays off for them. People get laid off, but the work doesn't go away. Even the best employees who could get a job elsewhere feel the heat. And, if they were to go to another job, what would they get? They might get more money but never less stress.

People costs for a company are huge. If they can get more work out of fewer people, they win, even if they have to pay them higher salaries. Supply and demand is still at work, but there is no supply of jobs that offer less stress. While driving through a fancy neighborhood that seemed almost deserted in the middle of the day, a friend of mine said that they were very expensive dog houses.

High tech jobs are even worse because of technology change. It's much easier to become overpaid and obsolete. Forget experience and critical thinking skills. Management is perhaps a less sensitive path, but it's no guarantee. Who wants to hire a laid off middle manager who has long lost his/her technical skills?

Allison said...

Yup, Steve, companies push, and they will continue to do so because what alternatives do employees have? There's no job security at the competitors' place either, no matter how much they woo you at the start.

I know many companies who are choosing to hire no more FTers or FTEs in the US and instead are hiring contractors to do that work. The contractors are generally people who used to be FTers, but who got laid off, and immediately got their act together to become contractors or self employed subs or S corp holders. So the company basically hires its own but no longer pays their payroll tax or health insurance. These were the folks who were the highest performers--because otherwise, they couldn't handle the requirements of forming an S corp, hanging out that shingle, building those contacts. Those who didn't take those jobs, who didn't juggle all 6 balls in the air but kept holding out for more stability found nothing. And being out of work for a year or more is a kiss of death in a tech field.

Just a few months ago, Morgan Stanley put in hiring freezes in the US and said the next 50k jobs will be overseas--the reality means that the people here will be competing with people from all over the world for those positions. Same at 3M. Same in lots of places. I spoke recently about how my husband was in Japan pre-tsunami and how the Japanese companies he was working with weren't even hiring Japanese engineers anymore, but hiring Nepalese, Indians, etc. as software engineers and they were being paid a max of the equiv of $20k a year. Who here in the US can compete with that? This isn't the case of working with China and a lack of IP rights or with quality fade. They were just as skilled as their equivalents here.

There isn't going to be less stress when you realize that to keep your job, you're competing with millions around the world. And if your education precludes you from even entering this game because your math knowledge is so weak, what does that leave you?

Crimson Wife said...

Morgan Stanley having a hiring freeze in the U.S. would be news to a friend of mine who just got a job there and who immediately turned around and started interviewing folks for a junior position on his team. Now, I think that MS did have a hiring freeze last year, but it sure doesn't have one now.

Allison said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allison said...

Oh, let me try once more. My point was this:

A few months ago, MS had a hiring freeze in the US WHILE discussing large overseas employment growth.

The point being that large companies are able to find highly skilled, advanced degreed employees who will have the requisite knowledge of their business sector, management, technical details, etc. and who cost less. These people will clearly be competing with their US equivalents for higher up positions within their industry--in this example, the finance sector, but it's true in many engineering sectors as well.

So yes, the hiring freeze may now be over for rock stars but those employees will be competing with a whole lot of talent globally as they attempt to move forward in their career. This isn't just an "outsourcing" issue where a relatively localized product can be created and sent back to the US. This is a fundamental change in the size of the applicant pool for professional career tracks.

Anonymous said...

On techie company hiring freezes in the context of off-shoring:

Often a hiring freeze is more accurately described as a "headcount" freeze. The company in question will continue to hire in the US, but will actively *NOT* increase overall US employment.

My guess is that this is what Morgan Stanley is doing (but I haven't bothered to check). Over time the total US workforce may still shrink as the policy doesn't *require* hiring in the US.

So, one could still have a headcount freeze and continued hiring.

-Mark Roulo

gasstationwithoutpumps said...

US tech companies are actively hiring engineers, particularly in computer engineering and computer science.

I don't see the insanity of spiraling college tuition going on forever, but it doesn't have to—my son is going to college in about 3 years, and I suspect that tuition is easily able to keep climbing at insane inflationary rates for the next 3 years—as long as the Republican party in California remains the lapdog of the fantastically rich.

The only secure jobs in the Republican paradise involve carrying a gun (police and military are all they want to fund, and they're not willing to interfere with drug lords' profit by decriminalizing pot).