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# Is a degree the answer to reducing poverty?

In 1960, 7.7% of adults above the age of 25 had a degree, today 37.5% over the age of 25 have a degree. Almost 40% of 25 and older have a degree, yet poverty remains unchanged. Is a degree really necessary to make a good wage? Is a degree valuable in the workplace? Just something I stumbled across and questioned.
wildbill83 · 36-40, M Best Comment

OldBrit · 61-69, M
I never had the opportunity for degree - well I missed that opportunity if it ever was there. I joined a company straight from school and was trained up. I took professional exams to move up etc. and achieved chartered status. So in many ways I proved you didn't need a degree. However I pushed both my kids to get one as it gives you distinct advantage.

However - the problem with poverty isn't linked to education it is linked to how people are exploited. all the time we accept very low "living wages", continue to not tackle the black cash-in-hand economy etc. etc. we'll not tackle poverty.

One side note is that poverty is measured as [quote]Households are considered to be below the UK poverty line if their income is 60% below the median household income after housing costs for that year.

Poverty definitions and thresholds | Trust for Londonhttps://www.trustforlondon.org.uk[/quote]

So poverty can never be eradicated by that definition as there will always be people 60% below the median line, that's simply a mathematical reality.
ninalanyon · 61-69, T
@OldBrit [quote] there will always be people 60% below the median line, that's simply a mathematical reality.[/quote]
No it isn't. The median is just the value of the middle item when they are arranged in ascending order.

In this sequence
[quote]1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9[/quote]
the median is 5.
60% below 5 is 2 so if we raise each of the first two items to 3 we have
[quote]3 3 3 4 5 6 7 8 9[/quote]
Now none of them is 60% below the median which is still 5.
wildbill83 · 36-40, M
college doesn't teach success, it teaches conformity

The problem is that there are too many people getting useless degrees for fields with limited vacancies and incurring debt that takes them several years to pay off...

especially when they do it straight out of high school with no other technical/ojt skills to fall back on.
PatKirby · M
@wildbill83
^Bingo^
redredred · M
I’ve got three degrees but if I had it to do over, I’d have gone to technical high school and apprenticed myself as an electrician, HVAC tech or a plumber. Everybody needs such services, one can leave the work on the job, move anywhere and retire to part time work on any schedule.

Almost everything I learned in college and grad school one can get with a library card.
Roadsterrider · 56-60, M
@redredred That is an interesting perspective. I have taken some courses at a local college to learn something I wanted to learn but never pursued a degree and dropped it once I got finished with some electrical courses I wanted to have a better understanding of. I do not have a degree, started in the military and moved to civilian aviation and never looked back. I make 6 figures as a mechanic and other than getting my hands dirty once in a while, I spend most of my time in an office answering questions from other less experienced mechanics. I know so many guys who have chosen the careers you mention, electrician, plumber or HVAC who have worked as an apprentice for a few years, then started their own business and done very well for themselves. A mechanic can bill out at \$100 an hour. It was hard to talk to my kids about college, wife is a vocational nurse or LVN. So, neither of us went to college. Both of us grew up poor and now we are middle class and climbing.
SatanBurger · 36-40, F
Colleges are rife with as much corruption as landlords, there's such thing as predatory loans and other things colleges do to make access to them even harder than they are now. The answer to reducing poverty is more of an economic question, education should be publicly available but most people fight against any change therefore making any proposal of change irrelevant because people don't want it.
ninalanyon · 61-69, T
Of course not. The key to reducing poverty is a willingness by society as a whole to pay people enough to live a decent life instead of using market forces to keep wages for the least skilled down at poverty levels.

A relevant degree and the knowledge and capabilities that go with it are valuable in jobs that need those capabilities and the piece of paper itself makes it easier for employers and employees to find each other without having to do extensive tests or probationary periods.

But the proportion of such jobs is relatively small. More people are needed who can safely operate dangerous machinery, safely install electrical equipment, clean lavatories, deliver goods, etc.; tasks for which a degree is pointless.
SW-User
A degree isn't at all necessary *unless* you're going to study medicine, nursing, engineering, teaching, or law. The reality is that most students don't study any of the above, and just get really useless degrees in the arts and other subjects. It's a total waste, but is actively encouraged by naive parents and stupid teachers who think that going to college just for the sake of going to college is a good thing. It's abundantly apparent now that a university education doesn't make you more intelligent or rich, yet people still put so much emphasis on it.
SW-User
@ViciDraco "self-enrichment" is subjective.

Most people would say that they don't feel particularly enriched by half (or probably most) of university graduates, especially when they study such shitty degrees.

If people don't want to work for a living, they don't have to. I'm just curious about what kind of alternatives you propose though? If some people refuse to work, for example, should we subsidize them?
ViciDraco · 36-40, M
@SW-User yes. We have the resources to provide basic housing, food, Healthcare, and education to all citizens. We should start there and improve what is made free as we automate more and more of the workforce and need fewer and fewer people to work to keep society running.
SW-User
Jenny1234 · 51-55, F
À degree no. a skilled trade might be more useful. Education is the key to reducing poverty
Northwest · M
It depends on the degree. For some jobs, especially in the technology, financial, and medical fields, a degree is required. It's not a formality, you need that kind of education to be able to do the job.

If you want to flip burgers, or fix HVAC units, then no.
SW-User
Fairer wages and a higher minimum wage could do the job too.

Degrees can get one in higher paying jobs for sure or just for having a job one is passionate about.
heavyone2 · 61-69, M
A degree don't mean crap for today's workforce.... no "degreed" people are making 6 figures, no problem and only with technical skills.....
Handfull1 · 61-69, F
It’s definitely not a requirement but necessary in many fields. I don’t think one size fits all. More important are work ethic, determination to learn, finding a career one can be reasonably happy doing, etc. Advanced education can help that goal but no guarantees.
No. That's naive.
QuixoticSoul · 41-45, M
Worked for me.
I think a lot of people go to college and find the hob they're learning to do is not for them. But it took college to find that answer.
Peaches · F
NO, standing up to the rich and elite is!😏It has to end sometime....
Roadsterrider · 56-60, M
@Peaches Which "rich and elite" are you talking about? Is it the "shadow government" or is it the Gates, Musks, Soros, and Rockefellors who are really running the show? Maybe the 70% of senators and congressmen who become millionaires in office making \$150K a year?
Peaches · F
@Roadsterrider All of them and MORE. They are pulling the strings. The military isn't innocent either.👽
ViciDraco · 36-40, M
Trade schools or a degree for most decent jobs. The number of jobs that pay a living wage with just a diploma are way down. But there are other routes for certifications that also help