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Master of Analytics Program Admission Rates Falling To Single Digits

samzenpus posted about 3 months ago | from the no-room dept.

Businesses 74

dcblogs (1096431) writes "The 75 students in the 2014 Master of Science in Analytics class at North Carolina State University received, in total, 246 job offers from 55 employers, valued at $22.5 million in salaries and bonuses, which is 24% higher than last year's combined offers. But the problem ahead is admissions. There may not be enough master's programs in analytics to meet demand. NC State has received nearly 800 applications for 85 seats. Its acceptance rate is now at 12.5%. Northwestern University's Master of Science in Analytics received 600 applications for 30 openings its September class. That's an acceptance rate of 6%"

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74 comments

Too funny (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839279)

Drawing a wider conclusion about analytics programs from the figures from a mere handful of analytics programs.

That's too funny.

Re:Too funny (1)

hax4bux (209237) | about 3 months ago | (#46839365)

+1

Twitter (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839425)

I think they should have used Twitter hash tags. I'm doing the Python script right now and I'll have it up on Amazon's AWS and we'll get to the real truth!

Re:Too funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46840185)

not only that the 22.5M / 300 offer figure is $75000 each. nice, but
not worth changing your life over.

Re:Too funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46840567)

What you're calculating is the average of all 246 offers, not the 75 that were accepted. That average base salary was reported to be over $95,000. Look here:
http://analytics.ncsu.edu/?page_id=248

Re:Too funny (1)

minstrelmike (1602771) | about 3 months ago | (#46841811)

The report doesn't sound analytical at all to me.
Computing the average of all salary offers is like computing the student population based on average nr of students who apply to the university rated against the number who actually attend.
Since 3/4th of students don't accept (because students apply to 4 or more universities on average), then the "student" population of NC University is not 34,000 as stared in its brochures but "actually" 8,500--if you're going to use the same sort of "reasoning" and "logic" the salesmen for the Data Analytics program are using.

I only have a b.s. in math but this sounds like a completely different kind of bs, probably marketed toward folks who think buying a lottery ticket is a good investment.

Re:Too funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46843167)

If these degrees are so desirable/needed, I would think the offer/salary would be significantly higher.

Re:Too funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46844299)

The school reports an average base salary in the mid $80,000 and 3 or 4 job offers for students with 2 or less years of work experience--that's actually about as good as it gets for someone in that age demographic, on average. Candidates with experience get an average over $100,000 and up to $140,000. That's pretty reasonable for 10 months in school and low public university tuition. Signing bonuses alone payback a good chuck of the tuition bill.

Re: Too funny (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46897847)

Exactly. You must consider that this field has changed names at least three times in the past 20 years, so you must consider equivalent programs too.
In the '90s this practice was called Knowledge Discovery in Databases. Early in the '00s it was Data Mining. Then in the turn to the '10s a day up to today it changed to Predictive Analytics.
University programs do not change names whenever journalists invent a new term.

For those who don't know, Predictive analytics (the advanced one), is the application of a combination of two fundamental disciplines (statistics and machine learning) to a business or research problem. It is expected that you are a domain expert of the issue being solved, or are working close with one.

Notice that when you are a very good programmer (especially good in Java) and work on Hadoop doing simple analytics you can claim the title of Data Scientist. It is surprising how effective they can be. However, I wouldn't want a person with poor statistics and machine learning background doing the clinical trials of my medicines. Just ask professor Andrew Ng (Stanford, Machine Learning) about the incorrect implementations that he had encountered in Silicon Valley. Programming without a deep understanding of the math behind can be dangerous and costly is many industries.

Data analytics... what is it...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839309)

I have BS in CS & Math. Still have no clue what is Data analytics. Is it statistical analysis of big data sets ?

Re: Data analytics... what is it...? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839321)

To coninue. So if it is statistical analysis, why not hire statisticians ? I feel like Data Analytics is another made up science degree , similar to "cyber security", in which student that have no background in CS, write papers on cyber attacks.

Re: Data analytics... what is it...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839487)

I have a Master's in Cyber Security and we can run metasploit and write papers on cyber attacks you insensitive clod!

Re: Data analytics... what is it...? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839587)

We could already tell you weren't an English major.

Re: Data analytics... what is it...? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#46839735)

To coninue. So if it is statistical analysis, why not hire statisticians ? I feel like Data Analytics is another made up science degree , similar to "cyber security", in which student that have no background in CS, write papers on cyber attacks.

Based on the purposes it seems to end up being put to, "Data Analytics" is the synonym for "I completed reasonably advanced studies in statistics and/or computer science and then I went into advertising" that you can say without feeling the strong urge to end your miserable life.

Re: Data analytics... what is it...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46841719)

Which is the same thing as being able to say of a "computer science" degree, "I completed reasonably advanced studies in mathematics, and then I went into code monkeying," without feeling the strong urge to end your miserable life.

Reductio ad absurdam is so passé, son.

Re: Data analytics... what is it...? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#46841993)

The difference is that code monkeying, while much of it is pretty banal, can actually be honest work. Advertising, not so much.

Re: Data analytics... what is it...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46842095)

When was the last time someone said coders are bloodsucking parasites and liars?

Re: Data analytics... what is it...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839893)

I didn't know anything about this sort of program until I had to do physical therapy along side a quant who graduated from a program at what would be my future employer. He's done work on both the logistics side of the house and financial engineering later along in his career.

So, I now work at a large state school in the midwest that offers an MQA (Masters of Quantitative Analysis) that's been around since the 1970s which is being rebranded as a 'Data Analytics' degree. It's (apparently) a demanding program, and the graduates I've spoken to say that they're pretty much awash in job offers. It's offered by the business department in our case, and it appears as though it's applied math with a smattering of courses in applied business that each have a heavy integrated math component. It's not cakewalk to get in, but anybody who has had up through diffeqs, linear, and calculus based stats with better than a 3.2 will have a shot.

I do gag every time they call it a 'techno MBA' though.

Re: Data analytics... what is it...? (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 3 months ago | (#46840621)

Statisticians have this weird obsession with quantifying the uncertainty of their estimates. Data analytics is about answers, damnit!

Re:Data analytics... what is it...? (5, Informative)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 months ago | (#46839383)

Still have no clue what is Data analytics.

Or google, it would seem.

http://analytics.ncsu.edu/?pag... [ncsu.edu]

Looks like mostly stuff I'd expect a maths grad to already know[1]. Maybe not the specific applications, but it isn't that true of anything?

[1] ANOVA? I did that as a non-maths undergrad. With a slide rule, uphill in the snow.

Re:Data analytics... what is it...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839645)

I have BS in CS & Math. Still have no clue what is Data analytics. Is it statistical analysis of big data sets ?

Short answer: Yes. Curriculum for the program is available here
http://analytics.ncsu.edu/?pag... [ncsu.edu]

I have a BS in Computer Science and a BS in Statistics - both from NC State. CSC students are terrible when it comes to analyzing data sets, but great when it comes to designing software. Statistics students are great at analyzing data sets, but terrible when it comes to designing software. You need a combination of both to handle large data sets. There are PhD students in either field that tackle data mining but employers don't want to hire PhDs every time to fill in that gap. Hence the Master's program which is coursework only.

Re:Data analytics... what is it...? (1)

Minwee (522556) | about 3 months ago | (#46840983)

Perhaps this simple presentation will help clear it up:

Analytics According to Captain Kirk [sitelogicmarketing.com]

Need math degree for journalist too (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839317)

30 is only, but exactly, 5% of 600. Not 6%

Is that sensationalism ?

Re:Need math degree for journalist too (1)

Racemaniac (1099281) | about 3 months ago | (#46839353)

you can't possibly expect a journalist to get a single number right in an article?

Re:Need math degree for journalist too (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839385)

Obviously the writer is a disgruntled student who didn't get accepted for the course, who didn't realize his shit math skills were the reason he got denied.

Re:Need math degree for journalist too (2)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 months ago | (#46839445)

30 and 600 are suspiciously round. Maybe the 6% is based on the actual figures?

(Or, for those who are old enough, insert Pentium joke here)

Re:Need math degree for journalist too (2)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 3 months ago | (#46839651)

Well, 85 is not 12.5% of 800 either, so there!

Re:Need math degree for journalist too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46840191)

The "acceptance rate" is the number of candidates offered admission as a percent of the total number of applicants. The "enrollment rate" is the number of students who accepted the offer of admission (and enrolled) as a percent of the total number of accepted candidates. A 12.5% acceptance rate means the school offered admission to 100 candidates out of 800 applicants. The enrollment rate is 85%, or 85 of the 100 admitted candidates who chose to enroll.

what is a master of science in analytics? (2)

zennling (950572) | about 3 months ago | (#46839339)

is this master of science in analytics the same as business analytics or data science? or is it more stats or something?

Re:what is a master of science in analytics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46840177)

see here: http://analytics.ncsu.edu/?page_id=4184

You Fail IT... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839367)

M.o.A.P. (2)

Nyder (754090) | about 3 months ago | (#46839405)

Maybe they need to change it's name to something more exciting. Top World Analytical Tool. That would work better.

Analytics? (1)

bromoseltzer (23292) | about 3 months ago | (#46839741)

Analytics = !Synthetics Tearing stuff apart instead of putting stuff together.

600 applications for 30 openings -- 6% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839447)

"600 applications for 30 openings its September class. That's an acceptance rate of 6%"

Math fail. But I guess math skills aren't mandatory for analytics.

Degree In SUICIDE! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839451)

Don't like to think too much, it makes me think too much,
It keeps my mind on my mind
Don't wanna see too much, it makes me see to much
Sometimes I'd rather be blind

All the things that they're saying & doing
When they pass me by just fills me up with noise
It overloads me
I wanna disconnect myself
Pull my brain stem out and unplug myself
I want nothing right now, I want to pull it out

Chorus:
Yeah, I want to pull it out, yeah
I wanna break it all down, hey, I wanna pull it out
Yeah, yeah, disconnect myself, disconnect myself
I wanna see it go down, yeah, disconnect myself

A thousand miles an hour going nowhere fast
Clinging to the details of your past
Talking 'bout your damages and your wasting my time
Wanna be the king of pain, stand in line
All the numbers and the colours and the facts
Backed by the rumours and the figures and the stats
I think I'm gonna download my mind

Chorus

Too damn bad if at the end of the day the only thoughts
In your brain are all the things that they say, what a waste
Too damn bad if at the end of the line you got no idea
What's on your own mind, you got no one to blame but yourself
Too much to know, too much to see
It might mean something to you but it's nothing to me
Its just another ad for someone's version of how they think it should be

I wanna disconnect myself, pull my brain stem out, unplug myself
I want nothing right now, I want to pull it out!!!!!!!!

It's an acceptance rate of 5% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839453)

Maybe I'm nitpicking here, or just wrong:
(30 / 600) * 100% = 5%

Re:It's an acceptance rate of 5% (2, Insightful)

cmdr_tofu (826352) | about 3 months ago | (#46839501)

You must be one of the 5% with a masters of analytics!

Re:It's an acceptance rate of 5% (1)

Toad-san (64810) | about 3 months ago | (#46842695)

Finding the applicants is not the problem, as you can see by looking at the number of applicants for the very few seats.

Unless totally unqualified people were applying .. but that still begrudges the question: why aren't these Nawth Ca''lina universities teaching what the students want?

Oh .. yeah .. sorry, I forgot. All that money going for Black Studies.

http://espn.go.com/college-spo... [go.com]
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01... [nytimes.com]

Re:It's an acceptance rate of 5% (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 3 months ago | (#46847031)

begrudges the question

TWDNMWYTID.

acceptance, not admission (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 3 months ago | (#46840081)

They always overbook by a little to be sure all seats are filled. No doubt they have statistics to guide them...

QQ More (3, Interesting)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 3 months ago | (#46839545)

NC State has received nearly 800 applications for 85 seats. Its acceptance rate is now at 12.5%. Northwestern University's Master of Science in Analytics received 600 applications for 30 openings its September class. That's an acceptance rate of 6%

Try Med School. You might have 100 or more applicants per seat.

Re:QQ More (1)

Toad-san (64810) | about 3 months ago | (#46842725)

I've concluded for decades now that any shortage of med school students or graduates (and thus the number of doctors) is an artificial shortage, totally created by the medical profession itself. Wouldn't want to endanger those nice fat incomes, hmmmm?

http://healthland.time.com/201... [time.com]

assuming we mean engineering analytics. (3, Interesting)

nimbius (983462) | about 3 months ago | (#46839681)

There are a number of reasons why analytics is kinda a hard nut to crack. For poeple who genuinely enjoy physics and math as a discipline its frustrating to find yourself pidgeonholed in a single process as most analytics firms are outsource sweatshops for larger players like Boeing. Many firms just do one thing, like structure or fluid thermodynamics, and sometimes only on a single part or mind-numbingly enough a single subcomponent. Finding yourself staring at a combustor model or a bottle thread for 5 years is depressing and these firms will generally understand that. Expect to get short changed on licenses for software you use and your workstation wont come with super helpful things like a spaceball (navigation tool for 3d simulations)

the other problem with these outsource firms is theyre practically the only way to get a job at a larger firm, so youre going to have to do time in the trenches and hope some customer thinks highly enough of your understanding of their processes to steal you from the firm youre in. Until then expect a rather meager paycheck to be spent on your college debt. Your "laureate" or upper level engineers in some of these firms literally only work there for 30 years because theyre borderline incompetent and can simply go through the motions of bullying the IT department to help them launch simulation software. They know the customers products and terminology inside and out, but are too incapable as engineers to make it beyond approving your timesheets.

Re:assuming we mean engineering analytics. - no. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46839977)

They're talking about training "Data scientists". The folks who, for example, look at Twitter hastags to find out who will the PResidential election. [huffingtonpost.com] ; turned out the guy got it better than anyone - even the statisticians came in second.

Marketing people are wetting themselves over this type of shit so they can sell us more crap - there is a reason why our economy is 70%+ consumption and why more and more stores are demanding personal information. Not because they need it, but so that mind the data.

Re:assuming we mean engineering analytics. - no. (1)

Rich0 (548339) | about 3 months ago | (#46844161)

They're talking about training "Data scientists". The folks who, for example, look at Twitter hastags to find out who will the PResidential election. [huffingtonpost.com] ; turned out the guy got it better than anyone - even the statisticians came in second.

Would you be talking about them if they didn't?

How many projects like this were attempted but gave bad answers, and thus we don't talk about them?

The predictive power of something like this is far from proven.

Re:assuming we mean engineering analytics. - no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46847375)

so that mind the data.

WTF?

Mislabeled? (4, Informative)

argStyopa (232550) | about 3 months ago | (#46839701)

Is that really 'admission' rates? I mean, technically, semantically, I guess you could call it admission rates because it's literally the number of people of people entering the program because there are so few seats.

But really, in the vernacular, 'admission rates' have to do with the filtering process of who is allowed to enter based on qualifications, not if there's a seat available. Saying there's a low admission rate to me implies that their standards are too high, overfiltering applicants so that too few people are participating in the programs.

I guess I would have titled this article entirely differently, citing a lack of CAPACITY, not a low admission rate.

Re:Mislabeled? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 3 months ago | (#46839771)

It's hard to tell with just what TFA provides: is capacity low because of logistical constraints at the university? (even hiring helotized adjuncts isn't an instant process, and building a really top notch faculty, especially in an area where they can go get jobs in the private sector with the same skills, can be a long-term project) Is the number of seats limited because 90% of the applicants are pure chaff, grossly unsuitable, and the acceptance rate among people who, say, actually read the course requirements is more like 50%? (I've never done admissions; but we've done some hiring were the first step is weeding out the greater-than-half of the applicant pool who appear to have applied for some other job entirely and ended up in our box by some mistake. Those might 'count' for statistical purposes if you wanted to know our 'acceptance rate'; but they are really a rather different category, and mostly irrelevant.)

Re:Mislabeled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46840137)

The "acceptance rate" is the number of candidates offered admission as a percent of the total number of applicants. The "enrollment rate" is the number of students who accepted the offer of admission (and enrolled) as a percent of the total number of accepted candidates. A 12.5% acceptance rate means the school offered admission to 100 candidates out of 800 applicants. The enrollment rate is 85%, or 85 of the 100 admitted candidates who chose to enroll. Both rates are commonly reported in ranking methodologies. The capacity (number of available seats) would affect the acceptance rate. But capacity is almost always constrained, since adding capacity takes time and additional upfront investment. Both rates are only meaningful when evaluated along with students placement success. Admission is just one side of the equation.

Re:Mislabeled? (2)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 months ago | (#46840251)

The summary and the numbers say this: "OH NOES! ADMISSION RATES ARE DROPPING!" They give this evidence: "Ten times as many people applied, but we only admitted the same number of people!" ... yeah, your demand for education in a field increased, but the supply of education opportunities didn't. This is okay as long as the supply of job opportunities also did not increase.

I still dislike the school-college-job career path we've created with this faulty ideal of universal vocational education. School-job-college would take a hell of a lot of risk off people and allow more upward mobility, giving the poor a chance to dig through society's ranks and get a higher position (at some marginal cost to the existing middle and upper class--poor people becoming better off will displace the better-off, but in theory an economic improvement will make more room for more better-off overall... two rise, one falls, you're one ahead). This is what tax-funded or government-loan-backed education gets us: a fragile society that chews up and spits out the lower classes and fattens up the wealthy.

Re:Mislabeled? (1)

tomhath (637240) | about 3 months ago | (#46841911)

College is a filter, those with the aptitude and drive to study a field make it through. Trying to flip that around so anyone can be hired for any job and the successful can then go on to college doesn't sound like a very workable solution.

Re:Mislabeled? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 months ago | (#46842313)

College is a speculative market. When a job field is understaffed, demand increases. Salaries go up, and barriers to entry are minimal--know something about computers? YOU'RE HIRED, KID!

Work field entrants in this system will naturally seek to maximize their potential by selecting a career compatible with their self-perceived interests and abilities, but largely weighted toward profitability and stability. This is why we mock art students so hard: they dive right into art school with no career plan, come out with a degree in Greek Mythology with a minor in Sculpting Minotaur Penises, and ... then what? (Photography and fabric students often do have a solid career path--let's face it, they both go straight to Vogue, and you wish you could get that job.) They weight for their interests and abilities too heavily, and not enough toward a critical examination of viability; we feel superior because we've made intelligent, rational decisions about our career paths.

This becomes an issue of the Prisoner's Dilemma: there are 100,000 jobs for X and 500,000 students; optimally, you want roughly 100,000 of you to study for X and the other 400,000 to study other fields which collectively supply 400,000 jobs. Unfortunately, this is not coordinated *and* there is a knowledge deficiency: the field is growing, may grow faster or slower or shrink in 4 years, and you get on your degree path and come into a world with 350,000 X jobs or 20,000 X jobs or the same 100,000 X jobs and they're all filled. Ignoring that, you and 500,000 students come out looking for job X, with the relevant degree, and 400,000 of you can go fuck off somewhere.

Trying to flip that around so anyone can be hired for any job and the successful can then go on to college doesn't sound like a very workable solution.

I advise you to read Victor Harris' translation of Go Rin no Sho, by Miyomoto Musashi. The Book of Five Rings talks in the beginning about carpentry, about foremen, about wood and laborers. It points out that unskilled laborers can provide good labor: why should a highly-skilled and valuable carpenter spend hours cutting wedges when he could be carving intricate designs into expensive furniture? An unskilled laborer cutting wedges and shims will develop manual coordination and a good eye for measuring shims; he can then cut and lay floor joists effectively, and eventually will develop skills to lay and plane floor boards, to build furniture, and eventually to finish furniture and doors with carved designs. In the interim, he is useful for keeping skilled workers doing those things instead of cutting wedges.

Imagine hiring a data entry or formatting clerk. We hire unskilled temp workers to type bullshit into systems all the time, and to take piles of documents and pick them apart and assemble reports based on simple criteria that a trained monkey can follow. This occasionally gets passed to me because I'll take output from various programs, from Excel, Word documents, and so on and homoginize it with sed, awk, and grep. The homoginized data is then readily transformed, searched, sorted, and assembled by the skilled application of computer programming. I find sed, awk, grep, and some bash utilities extremely limited yet extremely suited for these tasks--unlike full languages such as Perl or Python, which are greatly useful for heavily repeatable tasks but not as useful for immediately defining a set of complex data transformations.

Imagine that your clerk is doing such menial tasks for accounting or finance, or for whatever reason. Importing data for sorting and searching to test a new computer system, or migrating data from one to another. He shows some promise and becomes familiar with the tasks at hand, so you send him to get educated in computer programming, system administration, accounting, or whatever set of relevant skills you feel would improve his viability to the company. Your company is growing, and perhaps you acquire two or three additional programmers; but you also hire two or three additional entrants who can take the growing grunt load from your skilled programmers so that you can pay them to do more useful work. Such clerks also learn the useful strategies from your clerk and your programmers, and become better clerks, and suited for more demanding work.

It is, in fact, readily possible to separate out workloads into classes of "Menial" and "Skilled", and then to move menial workloads to entrants with minimal skill so that you can avoid immediate hire of skilled labor. Small and growing businesses have models which facilitate this greatly; established businesses rarely hire new skilled workers, but by that token they are readily capable of a slow approach of keeping entrants (even a revolving door of entrants, who are cheap to replace prior to training) on hand and training them up as existing skilled labor moves on or additional labor is required. Sudden rapid growth tends to invalidate this model, requiring immediate hire or rigorous training of new skilled labor.

My point is that the model is not a complete and total obvious failure; it has some issues, but our current "educate and then graze labor from the pool of the unemployed" model has its own issues, such as flooding the market with certified but poor-quality labor. It falters when demand spikes, but labor should still be accessible; a demand spike in the current model tends to occur in a cold market, and then you have to wait 2-4 years for labor to make it through college. It moves risks onto businesses; our current model moves much larger risks onto students, onto high school graduates, onto individuals who must speculate on the job market. Neither is perfect, but I feel that the universal education model is worse.

Having established the argument that this model is viable and potentially better economically, I find it additionally problematic that the current model provides success for the lucky and minimal reward for hard work and dedication. The best way to increase your luck is to gain wealth such that you can have connections and show some sort of social influence (argumentum ad cumulum is extremely effective: if you're well-off, people respect you), both improving your resistance to risk events (reduction of severity) and improving your probability of success (reduction of probability of negative events). Such a model is slanted against the poorer, but on the whole it is a disincentive to work hard once it becomes common knowledge [theonion.com] that such effort [theonion.com] won't actually get you ahead [theonion.com] .

Re:Mislabeled? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 3 months ago | (#46843043)

Is it that common now that what specifically you get your degree in matters? Of my circle of friends from college, none of them are working in the field their degree would suggest. Now, they're still technical degrees for technical work, but that's a far as it goes. (Software dev with a physics phd, tech CEO with an environmental engineering degree, etc.)

Sure, your degree is important for landing that first job, but life rarely takes the path you imagined when in high school (and thank goodness for that!).

Re:Mislabeled? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 2 months ago | (#46858485)

The point of contention is college students coming out into the field with no ability to get any job, and/or eventually getting something they're unsuited for.

Beyond that, it makes a sort of economic sense that time spent acquiring useless skills is time wasted, and that economic activity spent on this wasted time makes the world poorer. If you get a biology degree and become a programmer of physics simulators, you have (in most cases, unless biology becomes a significant personal hobby) wasted a great deal of time and money studying biology. You should have studied programming, making yourself more viable for the field you landed in, allowing you to produce good results and move through the field more quickly, and thus maximizing the return on your educational investment.

Consider that a mismatched degree is, effectively, a glorified high school diploma. In my high school I learned calculus, statistics, programming, networking (full CCNA course), physics, and chemistry up to and including the basic quantum physics associated with electron orbitals and probabilistic subatomic state that's not taught until the third or fourth semester of dedicated chemistry study in college. The general education requirements for any oddball college degree are slightly--just slightly--beyond my public school education. I am engaged in dedicated study of writing and mathematics because of this deficiency. Specialist study--your core program classes--are not generally useful and, baring corner cases of tangential usefulness, are a complete waste when you land in a specialist field which does not utilize said skills.

Assembling these two facts, we realize that college degrees are worthless when missing your field. College degrees may have implied value, but the above estimates that they are overbought: the value attributed to college degrees is not real, and a BA in Management doesn't help you with Biology or Programming, etc. The value of a specially-trained specialist (through apprenticeship etc.) is much higher.

We can argue for education, but the current system causes many problems and supplies no benefits; I do favor broader general education and some changes to the education system as a whole, but my plans lead into direct and immediate class separation which bothers people. Interestingly, we already engage in class separation: I was, of course, a top-tier student labeled as Gifted and Talented, a step above Honors students, who are a cut above your regular crop, who are of course a better class than Special Education students. My GPA was damn near 16, while regular kids couldn't get above a 4.0.

Re:Mislabeled? (1)

lgw (121541) | about 2 months ago | (#46863379)

I think the important thing one learns in college from any STEM degree is "the engineering mindset". The ability to approach complex problems analytically and solve them a piece at a time with the tools available. It doesn't much matter how you learn this (what major), as long as you develop the skill.

I do wish there were more professional career-oriented vocational training in college, to help those who actually go into the careers their major suggests, but for many reasons people go a different direction after college. Some learn they don't actually enjoy the work they thought they would, others are finally escaping parental control only after college graduation, and so on. Still, it couldn't hurt.

I see non-STEM degrees as just a scam as this point.

Re:Mislabeled? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 months ago | (#46867315)

In high school, they taught us the "scientific method". They can certainly generally educate students to apply decomposition; in fact, the field of Project Management uses Work Breakdown Structures, which are defined by the PMBOK3e (also 5e, latest):

a deliverable-oriented hierarchical decomposition of the work to be executed by the project team to accomplish the project objectives and create the required deliverables. It organizes and defines the total scope of the project. Each descending level represents an increasingly detailed definition of the project work. The WBS is decomposed into work packages. The deliverable orientation of the hierarchy includes both internal and external deliverables.

A work breakdown structure may look something like this [blogspot.com] . Notice the absence of verbs: all things must be on the WBS (the one shown is incomplete), all things are broken down to understandable and manageable deliverables. Project Scheduling further breaks down work packages (the furthest-decomposed deliverables) into tasks, which are actions and may be assigned to people.

The general method of decomposition of a goal (Project) to individual deliverables and then to tasks to create those deliverables is easily learned. Project management encompasses requirements gathering, negotiation, communication, scheduling, cost management, and so on; the small technical skill of decomposition of work is only a fragment of the whole of Project Management and, as you have astutely noticed, greatly applicable to engineering projects.

This isn't a STEM skill; it's a management skill that most STEM people don't acquire, but imagine that they have simply because they can pick out a task from a huge effort and say "Well I can do this part next." Shearing it off from Project Management and teaching it as an independent skill would be valuable; everyone does not need to be a project manager, but everyone would benefit from the skill of hierarchical decomposition.

Technology degrees are mostly airy and fluffy, and it's well-accepted that once you get out of college most of your vocational training having to do with computers is useless. Science degrees are for researchers; Engineering degrees are for people who create things which can be reproduced; and Mathematics degrees are a sort of jack-of-all degree that allows you to go anywhere with Science or Engineering and learn that. Management degrees are, unfortunately, in-vogue as Technology degrees and, consequentially, airy and fluffy in a field which has so many concrete needs.

Re:Mislabeled? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 3 months ago | (#46879301)

"My GPA was damn near 16, while regular kids couldn't get above a 4.0"
And people wonder why nobody takes the grade-point metric seriously.

Re:Mislabeled? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | about 3 months ago | (#46879119)

"I still dislike the school-college-job career path we've created"
Well sure, but it does provide a handy way for clever congressmen to hand giant piles of money to teachers and their unions on an ongoing business, while SIMULTANEOUSLY looking great to voters because they're handing out "college money" to voters like candy.

It has NOTHING to do with education, or improving the workforce, or (laughably) the students.

Re:Mislabeled? (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 3 months ago | (#46879985)

Actually, providing for education creates a consistently oversupplied workforce, leading to unemployment and a crop of cheap skilled labor for businesses to choose from. Imagine if there were 300,000 CEOs out there and 15,000 companies. You have 30,000 well-above-average CEOs, and about 150,000 that are average or better, and 250,000 who are workable. Just give them $80k/year, if they bitch then throw them out and get another cheap CEO. No multi-million-dollar salaries.

We get this sort of setup with whatever's the "hot, high-paying job" of the day. You should be an accountant, because accountants are in demand. Everyone go to school, become an accountant. Now there's way more accountants, and the demand slumps, and we laugh at all you people and hire a few of you for $50k while you wonder where those $200,000 starting salaries went.

5% not 6% (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46840101)

but who's counting?

Tell students what classes will get them a job (2)

Karmashock (2415832) | about 3 months ago | (#46840269)

This is never made that clear to students. Sure there's a notion that the liberal arts degrees aren't worth much. But then you look at the other classes and you don't really understand what the salaries are or how in demand those people are... Furthermore, the liberal arts programs always tell everyone how useful and valuable they are to your life and career and etc.

Here is an idea, what about a job future's market akin to the commodities future's market only with a longer time horizon. Commodities futures tend to project out months to a year in the future. But to be useful a job future's market would have to project out four to eight years.

You could have various companies agree to pay the university fees of new students in return for getting a reliable labor force. At the same time, it might be reasonable to build in a pay reduction upon being hired and an understanding that you'd work for that company for X years. Remember, these are the people that put you through school and gave you a job before you even knew what you were doing.

the alternative is continuing to saddle graduates with huge amounts of debt.

Um, Go Pack? (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 3 months ago | (#46840271)

Just sayin.

Since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46840339)

Um, Northwestern admitting 30 out of 600 is a 6% admissions rate? I guess they use a different kind of math in analytics.

Re:Since when? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 3 months ago | (#46840755)

I guess they use a different kind of math in analytics.

No, they use a different kind of math in journalism. You know, the same kind of math that says that a 10% increase in government spending is really a 10% spending cut because the government had said that it was going to increase spending by 22%.

Re:Since when? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 3 months ago | (#46843299)

They said "single digits". Its pretty difficult to tell the difference between 5% and 6% when one counts with one's fingers.

Uh... 5%? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46840343)

"Northwestern University's Master of Science in Analytics received 600 applications for 30 openings its September class. That's an acceptance rate of 6%"

Hopefully the poster did not go to one of these programs...

Re:Uh... 5%? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 3 months ago | (#46843273)

3 / 6 = 0.6 for very large values of 3.

Admission rates!!! ELITE ANALYTICS (2)

netsavior (627338) | about 3 months ago | (#46840529)

Walmart has an admission rate of 2.6% for low wage employees.
http://time.com/43750/walmart-... [time.com]

We should hire some masters of analytics to explain to us that admission rates probably don't lead to the conclusions that you think they do.

Bubble inflating too fast? (2)

ErichTheRed (39327) | about 3 months ago | (#46841067)

Is it possible that we're just near the top of the Big Data bubble and that educational institutions haven't been able to bring specialized programs online fast enough?

It's starting to feel a little bit like 1999 again, just with different buzzwords:
- Social
- Big Data / Hadoop
- Cloud
- Internet of Things

In 1999, it was all just Web 1.0 and eyeballs. How far we've come :)

Good, here's why. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46841339)

The more people who qualify in a field the less each is worth in the job market.

I'd rather see the few make some fucking money than the many rush towards a field and fill it with those less-dedicated.

"meat demand?" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46843079)

Wow, those racists down there in North Carolina are idiots. Of course, if they weren't idiots, they wouldn't all be racist just like every other country ruled by Republicans. Seriously, does anything think a bunch of racist farmers can teacht analytics? I can just imagine the test questions. If Billy Bob lynched five niggers yesterday and six niggers today, how many niggers do you expect Billy Bob to lynch tomorrow? I know when in was in that shithole of a state except for in a small part of Asheville, the people there were constantly hateful to me because of my race. That is their way.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46843129)

THAT's why these companies need H1Bs.

Sad to see racists do this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 months ago | (#46844711)

That is a shit racist school with shit racist students with shit racist staff teaching shit classes. If you disagree then you are worse than shit. All they're going to use the analytics for is to justify their racism like Freakonomics. I know because I had an EE degree from that shit school. These racists shouldn't be allowed to learn tools that will help them spread their racism. That entire state is like this. They are run by Republicans.

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