Friday, June 10, 2011

Markets in Everything: Econ BS from LSE for $5k

Via Academic Earth:  

The London School of Economics(LSE) offers a Bachelor of Science in Economics that can be earned entirely through distance learning. The program is administered through the University of London External System.

Requirements and Costs: The degree can be completed in three years through full-time study, with 12 total year-long courses. Total tuition expenses for the degree are approximately $5,000 for the entire three-year program (3,237 GBP).

Qs: Why go to Harvard or Yale, where just one college class costs about $3,500, or almost as much as the entire BS degree from LSE?  Is this the college degree of the future? 

HT: Buddy Pacifico

44 Comments:

At 6/10/2011 7:32 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Everyone I've ever met who graduated from LSE is a socialist if they're really conservative and a Marxist if he's typical.

BS indeed.

Why go to Harvard or Yale or Michigan?

Because, unlike at LSE, there's a small chance you'll get to take a class with a professor like a Mark Perry.

 
At 6/10/2011 7:55 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

Methinks comments are striking, because the London School of Economics is home to England's largest student libertarian organisation. The LSE Hayek Society is the school's largest intellectual society. What is the goal of LSE Hayek Society?

"Our aim is to defend and promote classical liberalism and free market economics, while encouraging the free-flow of ideas."

The school probably does have quite a few lefty graduates since it was founded by the leftist Fabian Society. Obviously the place must be contentious. Some notable grads are Paul Volker, John and father Joseph, Kennedy as well as Mick Jagger.

 
At 6/10/2011 7:59 PM, Blogger Michael E. Marotta said...

... well that would be UM Flint, not Ann Arbor...

I have had good econ profs to left because teaching is more than the recitation of ideology. Teaching is a skill of marginal utility.

Besides with an LSE degree, you can say honestly that you did not know Mick Jagger.

 
At 6/10/2011 8:21 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Yo, Buddy. What percentage of the econ students are in the Hayek society?

Also, I don't think Mick Jagger ever graduated. He (wisely) dropped out to be a Rolling Stone. I think rock stars still get more chicks than economists (especially if they're as ugly as Mick).

 
At 6/10/2011 8:40 PM, Blogger Jose said...

I'm a big fan of separation between teaching and certifying knowledge: lowering the conflicts of interest and allowing for specialization: those who like to explain things become teachers, those who like to deal with plagiarism, cheating, and accusations of unfairness become certifiers.

With the U London approach (univ as certifier), a student can learn from classes, from textbooks, from the web/youtube/WP. Knowledge is key. (Most technical subjects are not learned in class, they are learned when the students do problem sets; presumably a market for problem set tutoring would appear if needed -- right now there seems to be a market for cheating on problem sets, as they are part of grades).

Also "good teachers" become those whose students learn rather than those who the students like (though these sets overlap a lot, they are not equal).

JCS

 
At 6/10/2011 8:57 PM, Blogger Jose said...

Better version of my comment (if Blogger has a way to edit comments, it's well hidden):

http://josecamoessilva.tumblr.com/post/6403829980/comment-on-carpe-diem-markets-in-everything-econ-bs

Corrected some minor grammar/style and added:

In fact, isn’t this what “good teacher” means? Somehow, with the ride of the fast-food franchise customer satisfaction survey-like evaluation of teachers, the idea of teacher as the one who is responsible for the students learning has been replaced by that of one that the students find agreeable.

It’s true that — especially with grown-up students — the students tend to reward good teachers, but that is at best an indirect measure. Independent certification is a direct measure of teacher effectiveness. Of the whole higher learning edifice really.

One wonders why so many universities are opposed to it…

 
At 6/10/2011 9:11 PM, Blogger Buddy R Pacifico said...

"Also, I don't think Mick Jagger ever graduated. He (wisely) dropped out to be a Rolling Stone."

The LSE claims Mick Jagger as an Alum. Also, LSE started as night school(1895) as a way for the working class to gain an education. $5000 seems to be a great price if one can get in. On-line degrees like this are very cost effective, but my classes from full and tenured professerors, in the room or lecture hall, were the best in my university exp.

 
At 6/10/2011 9:20 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

The LSE could claim its a Martian organization come to take over the earthlings for all I care. An alumnus is a graduate and Mick Jagger only attended the school for a short time. He did not graduate.

lso, LSE started as night school(1895) as a way for the working class to gain an education.

Educate or indoctrinate?

 
At 6/10/2011 10:33 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Educate or indoctrinate?"

These are equivilent when recieved from socialists.

 
At 6/11/2011 2:50 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Students may learn less in a more convenient and casual setting.

 
At 6/11/2011 3:06 AM, OpenID Sprewell said...

Something like this is the future but unfortunately they still cling to the notion of a "degree." Much of the blame also goes to companies that hire the students though as they crudely filter resumes looking for a degree, rather than looking at the transcript to see what the student actually learned. I suspect that not only will the university be destroyed in the coming years, but many current companies will not survive the online transition, as they still have stone-age hiring practices that were already antiquated and useless in the industrial economy, let alone the coming information economy.

 
At 6/11/2011 3:19 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

Also, there may be too many distractions in online education.

The best learning environment may be living almost like a monk.

Or at least keeping priorities in order.

 
At 6/11/2011 7:37 AM, Blogger Sean said...

Much of the blame also goes to companies that hire the students though as they crudely filter resumes looking for a degree

Exactly. The education system really more of an accreditation system, and so reputation (whether justified or not) is where the difference in value lies.

 
At 6/11/2011 7:53 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Because, unlike at LSE, there's a small chance you'll get to take a class with a professor like a Mark Perry.

So? If you want to learn about real economics you can read on your own or listen to the Mises Institute lectures for free. A degree does not mean that you know anything useful. It only means that you had the discipline to do the work necessary to get it.

Would anyone really want to go to Yale and have someone like Bernanke as a professor? That idiot has been wrong about everything and has shown to be a total incompetent. Instead of wasting money get the cheap degree from the BLS and supplement your education by reading credible economists instead.

 
At 6/11/2011 8:12 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

That would be $416.67 ($5,000/12) per class so each professor who taught 200 students per year (a huge, huge number) would bring $83,333.33 in revenue per year. His or her wages and other compensation would have to be paid out of that in addition to any overhead from any other support needed such as registration, advertisement/recruitment, advisement, Web support and computer server maintenance, curriculum development, and student and institutional internal and external assessments. The total wage for each professor would probably be in the $40,000 -$20,000 range per year.

Are there any other streams of revenue besides the $5,000 student tuition to change my analysis? If not, is this model really sustainable or just an experiment?

 
At 6/11/2011 9:13 AM, Blogger AIG said...

"or listen to the Mises Institute lectures for free"

So that we can be as silly as you? No thank you.

Guys, lay off your obsession with attacking 'degrees" and "certifications". You are making inherently uneconomic arguments. A "degree" is a means of certifying to a potential employer of a fresh graduate, that this person has passed a certain set of requirements to certify that the knowledge they claim to have...is indeed there.

This simply serves to lower transaction costs for a potential employer.

If you were hiring a new engineer, or a new economist, all you have to judge their performance is their resume and degree. You COULD administer a test of their knowledge, but that would cost you time and money. Instead of hiring anyone off the street who claims to have the knowledge you want, and then keep them for 6 months to see if they indeed do have that knowledge...you rely on an external body to...certify. And you can pick and chose amongst the thousands of certifying bodies (schools). And of course not all schools are considered equal, as neither are all degrees.

A degree serves an important purpose. It shows that a 22-23 year old, can and has applied themselves for 4 years +, passed their tests, and now YOU don't have to test these things. It also shows, equally importantly, that this young person has some degree of personal responsibility and stamina to complete mildly complex tasks.

These are not insignificant benefits for an EMPLOYER. If your interest is to doodle on the internet like Mr. VangelV...than free BS videos from mises.org are all great and fine. They are not so, however, to an EMPLOYER. So lets think in terms of real world work, rather than internet doodling.

 
At 6/11/2011 9:24 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

So that we can be as silly as you? No thank you.

I saw the housing crash and commodity booms coming but Bernanke missed them. Like Gross and Buffett I see the treasury bond bubble but Bernanke does not. I retired at 42 because I could see the signs in the markets while the Keynesians who dominate the US education system do not. Getting a degree in which you learn nonsense does not really help in the real world unless all you want to do is to work for the government or as a charlatan who sells to suckers.

Guys, lay off your obsession with attacking 'degrees" and "certifications". You are making inherently uneconomic arguments. A "degree" is a means of certifying to a potential employer of a fresh graduate, that this person has passed a certain set of requirements to certify that the knowledge they claim to have...is indeed there.

Correct. For 99% of the population it makes little difference where you get the degree from.

If you were hiring a new engineer, or a new economist, all you have to judge their performance is their resume and degree. You COULD administer a test of their knowledge, but that would cost you time and money. Instead of hiring anyone off the street who claims to have the knowledge you want, and then keep them for 6 months to see if they indeed do have that knowledge...you rely on an external body to...certify. And you can pick and chose amongst the thousands of certifying bodies (schools). And of course not all schools are considered equal, as neither are all degrees.

But there is nothing similar between an engineering degree and an economics degree. If you hire an engineer from an accredited university you can be certain that the bridge that he designs will not collapse. That is not a true for an economist because most of what they are taught is total nonsense that has nothing to do with reality.

These are not insignificant benefits for an EMPLOYER. If your interest is to doodle on the internet like Mr. VangelV...than free BS videos from mises.org are all great and fine. They are not so, however, to an EMPLOYER. So lets think in terms of real world work, rather than internet doodling.

You don't read well. I said that getting the cheap degree from the BLS made sense even if what was being taught was crap. I simply pointed out that a sharp mind does not need a university course to learn what is essential. When it comes to getting a real education academics actually make very poor teachers.

 
At 6/11/2011 10:23 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"When it comes to getting a real education academics actually make very poor teachers."

That's because content experts and teachers are not necessarily the same people. This really comes into play when a half-dozen online instructors are teaching the same courses which are part of a series of courses ultimately leading to certification in a professional field. Some administrator has to map all that together or you have a bunch of drivers going different directions and ending up at different destinations.

No one wants to comment about where the money will come from to support the expense of the degree from LSE? Five grand per student is realistically not going to be enough money to do the job.

 
At 6/11/2011 10:56 AM, Blogger morganovich said...

a couple of things strike me here:

1. is this degree really the same as one gained by a full time on premise student? will employers look at it the same way? keep in mind that just getting into harvard is a kind of certification. you've already passed through an incredibly intensive screen. i would not look at a student who just signed up for distance learning in the same way at all.

2. this degree seems very limited in that it is only econ courses. no full time university would give you a degree for only 12 courses. you would have had to take 20 others as well.

3. much of what you learn in college does not come from class. one of the benefits of being at a world class university is the exposure to the other students and to the faculty. much of the most interesting stuff i learned in college came from doing projects with faculty outside of the curriculum.

i think courses like this are a great idea, but they are nothing like a substitute for 4 years at a serious university.

 
At 6/11/2011 12:33 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich,

1) Online degrees from accredited programs are currently widely accepted by employers.

2) Those are year-long classes which would equate to 36 to 48 classes for programs on the semester system. That's about like most U.S. bachelor degree programs.

3) You network wherever you can.


Where else can you get a bachelor degree for $6.66 per day? That's the price of a McDonald's value meal, but if sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This program is either heavily subsidized, shares resources, or is set up for financial failure.

 
At 6/11/2011 1:03 PM, Blogger AIG said...

"I saw the housing crash and commodity booms coming but Bernanke missed them."

You're a genius. There's little doubt about that. No need to keep proving it.

"Correct. For 99% of the population it makes little difference where you get the degree from. "

Oh. Right when I thought you were such a genius, you go and say something so idiotic. You think employers are absolutely as clueless as you are...and don't differentiate between schools??

"Getting a degree in which you learn nonsense does not really help in the real world"

Again, this is an utterly stupid thing to say.A degree in nonsense, surely doesn't help in the real world. And surprise surprise...it doesn't!

A degree in, something, helps to demonstrate to an employer of an ENTRY-LEVEL individual, that they have the basic qualifications.

Now, in your brilliance and genius-ity, you can't quite seem to differentiate between a degree in, say, engineering, and one in women's studies.

"But there is nothing similar between an engineering degree and an economics degree. If you hire an engineer from an accredited university you can be certain that the bridge that he designs will not collapse. That is not a true for an economist because most of what they are taught is total nonsense that has nothing to do with reality. "

Again, what utter stupidity! In one breath you say that schools are useless, but that somehow...in engineering...you can be CERTAIN that the bridge won't collapse (yes because there's a lot of entry-level engineers designing bridges!), simply because they have a degree.

But that somehow, this doesn't translate to "other fields".

Thats not what a degree does. At the entry-level, the degree, for an engineer as well as an economist, or a psychologist, or a finger-painter...serves only to alleviate the employer from having to weed out incompetent candidates and candidates without the required level of intelligence, to do the task at hand.

An entry-level economist isn't hired to formulate industrial plans for the Republic of Korea. He's hired because of his ability to do data entry and run regressions without having the need for his boss to explain simple steps to him in the first 6 months of work.

"I simply pointed out that a sharp mind does not need a university course to learn what is essential."

My mind is not as sharp as yours. I can't help it if I don't get your brilliance.

"When it comes to getting a real education academics actually make very poor teachers."

Again, with the dumb-as*s-ery. All the "lectures" and BS at mises.org are from "academics" and PhDs.

You people are silly.

 
At 6/11/2011 1:13 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"1) Online degrees from accredited programs are currently widely accepted by employers."

not at the high end. try walking into google or goldman sachs with one. those degrees are certainly worth something, but not anything like what a real top flight degree is. mark made the comparison to harvard. none of these degrees carry anything like that weight of that, nor should they.

2. 12 year long classes = 24 semester equivalents.

that's pretty paltry. most of us took 5 classes a semester and sometimes i took 6. i graduated with 42 semesters of classes in 4 years.

3. your networking opportunities taking classes from home in talahasse are nothing like what they would be at princeton. you also lack the personal outside of class access to professors.

i'm not saying that the LSE opportunity is bad or even that it is not a great deal.

what i am taking exception to is marks's absurd question about "why would anyone go to harvard if you could do this?"

it may be a great deal for the money, like a tata car, but comparing a tata to a 911 turbo is silly if you are going to race them.

 
At 6/11/2011 1:43 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich,

You buy what you need or what you can afford. I doubt you will see many $5000 bachelor degrees because it simply can't be properly done without money from somewhere else. I would like to see the numbers from someone who says it can.

The accredited program I am helping set up to go from an associate’s degree to bachelor degree is $25,600 in tuition (2 years with no federal or state subsidies). It is half online and half onsite. We could not provide this program at $2500 per student even if we had volunteer instructors and it was 100% online.

 
At 6/11/2011 2:05 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

VangelV's problem is he believes his own nonsense, because it makes perfect sense to him.

I doubt he even knows what economists do, including proving conventional wisdom wrong.

 
At 6/11/2011 5:30 PM, OpenID Sprewell said...

AIG, nobody attacked certification, only the currently useless concept of a "degree," ie the currently dominant form of "certification." Thank you for the basic explanation of what a degree is supposed to certify, now please go back and look at what it actually is and how it's actually used in the real world. You have people listing a bachelor's degree as a requirement for a warehouse manager or various other jobs that don't really require it, ie a crude filter just to throw out resumes. As an engineer, every company that I interviewed with actually did ask me technical questions to verify what I knew- I guess my degree from a top 5 institution was worthless for that ;) - one even had me take a test on-site. I actually think the probationary period you dismiss would be a much better method than what most do now, after some sort of pre-qualifying test. I know that my friends who worked for Intel had a 9 month probationary period exactly like that.

The fundamental problem with the degree is that it's currently just used as a checkbox and the contents of that degree are ignored most everywhere. This is a huge problem for current degree-granting institutions as it opens the door wide open for new and fine-grained online certifications that actually work, as I've commented earlier. As for the bunkum about diligence or whatever, anyone who passes other certifications than a "degree" can claim the same.

Walt, it can be done for $500, let alone $5000. The difference is that students can choose how much to spend on live tutoring or instruction. Some will pay $50 to communicate with a grad student over IM for a semester, others will pay $5000 to a researcher to video conference. The cost will be completely variable, as opposed to the fixed pricing usually forced on students today. Since I attended very few lectures in college, I would have saved at least $50k in tuition costs if this had existed back in the '90s or if I had been smart enough to realize how worthless my college education was.

 
At 6/11/2011 7:41 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

That's because content experts and teachers are not necessarily the same people.

While I agree with this point that is not what I intended to imply. What I am saying is that the 'experts' are incompetent empty suits who are incapable of understanding the real world and mistake it with their incomplete models of it.

This really comes into play when a half-dozen online instructors are teaching the same courses which are part of a series of courses ultimately leading to certification in a professional field. Some administrator has to map all that together or you have a bunch of drivers going different directions and ending up at different destinations.

A capable mind can overcome bad teaching and learn what is important. One that does not measure up will never be adequately prepared no matter who is the teacher and how well the material is presented.

No one wants to comment about where the money will come from to support the expense of the degree from LSE? Five grand per student is realistically not going to be enough money to do the job.

This may be a valid point. I am assuming that there will be test fees and other charges that cover some of the costs of assessing the capability of the students. If not the system will fail.

Gary North has written a lot about this. From his latest posting on the topic we read, "I introduced a young man who is a member of my church. He turned 18 last December. His combined birthday and high school graduation present was a B.A. degree from an accredited university that specializes in quizzing out and portfolio courses. His total cost: $11,000. He beat the system. So did his family."

Even if the BLS program does not pan out there are other ways to get a degree from a decent accredited university for little money at a very young age. A young man or woman with such a degree would have many more opportunities as a four year head start would be very valuable. Imagine being able to land a job that you like and find useful because you can afford to take a lot less thanks to a younger age. You could learn on the job, pay your dues because you do not have the same obligations as those with families and children, and move up several rungs up the ladder before your classmates ever enter the job market. Or you could use savings to try and go on your own and take a few risks that an older individual with a heavy debt load could never take.

The entire issue of adolescence is a big fraud. Children are capable of learning more and faster than we assume and should be able to obtain their degrees and pursue careers at much younger ages.

 
At 6/11/2011 7:57 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

1. is this degree really the same as one gained by a full time on premise student? will employers look at it the same way? keep in mind that just getting into harvard is a kind of certification. you've already passed through an incredibly intensive screen. i would not look at a student who just signed up for distance learning in the same way at all.

Most jobs being done do not require a degree. They require certain skills that can be acquired without going to university. At $50K plus per year for Harvard, that degree in African and African American Studies, Anthropology, Chemistry, History, Music, Psychology, Sociology, or Women, Gender, and Sexuality is unlikely to ever pay back the initial investment as compared with a degree from an accredited university that is much cheaper. After a while the employer will look at the skills and habits of the employee, not his degree. And if you can get a degree faster and enter the workplace a few years sooner you may be able to always stay ahead of the Harvard graduate that has the same abilities as you do because you got the opportunity sooner and have more experience.



Much of what is 'learned' in the university is related to scoring with the opposite sex and drinking. I would rather learn by doing a real job in the private sector instead of hanging around the faculty and other students who do not have a clue what the real world requirements may be.

i think courses like this are a great idea, but they are nothing like a substitute for 4 years at a serious university.

Really? Think of that four year sociology degree from Harvard that cost you $200K. Compare it to the degree that you got from a decent accredited university for $15K that allowed you to graduate three years sooner and the extra experience and earnings that those three years gave you.

 
At 6/11/2011 8:27 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

not at the high end. try walking into google or goldman sachs with one. those degrees are certainly worth something, but not anything like what a real top flight degree is. mark made the comparison to harvard. none of these degrees carry anything like that weight of that, nor should they.

You mean that Google will value the four year accounting degree from Harvard more than it will a degree from an accredited institution that charges a lot less? I do not think so. Accountants have to pass a series of tests before they become accredited and once the designation is received it does not matter what university provided the training.

What about a job in advertising sales? Do you really think that a $200K degree from Harvard will mean more than a cheaper degree from a lesser accredited university and a few years of experience because that degree was obtained earlier?

The case would be hard to make even for programmer jobs because skills with Java, C++, or some other language and proven experience and accomplishments will count for as much as a four year degree.

If you have two people with equal abilities and one hits the work force much sooner because he can get a degree two years earlier it is very likely that that individual will get more opportunities. And even if there is a slight difference in pay the massive investment difference and debt service costs will set the person with the expensive degree so far back that it will be difficult to catch up.

In the real world actual abilities and skills matter far more than the school that provided the degree.

 
At 6/11/2011 8:29 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

I doubt he even knows what economists do, including proving conventional wisdom wrong.

I know that they don't know what they do. And that is not a surprise given that most of them thought of Samuelson's book as the economics bible and worship at the altar of Keynes. I make my living by betting against the conventional economic wisdom. How much I know or don't know is determined by my gains and losses.

 
At 6/11/2011 8:56 PM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

VangelV, does that mean you bet against economists similar to Keynes, Buffett, Soros, etc.?:

Keynes and the Market: How the World's Greatest Economist Overturned Conventional Wisdom and Made a Fortune on the Stock Market

"One of his lesser-known talents was the ability to make vast sums of money on the stock market.

Keynes became one of the world’s first value investors, the forefather of a long line of venerable and highly successful stock market practitioners such as Warren Buffett and Sir John Templeton."

Perhaps, economics doesn't make much sense because math doesn't make much sense:

Paul Krugman on his Nobel Prize paper (which is 10 pages):

According to Krugman the value of creating these mathematical models is that “once you have the clear statement of how the pieces fit together you can apply it to numbers...It required the math to get to the plain English.”

 
At 6/12/2011 1:02 AM, Blogger mike250 said...

VangelV's problem is he believes his own nonsense, because it makes perfect sense to him.

this coming from a guy who blurts out trash from each one of his comments

 
At 6/12/2011 1:47 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

mike250, obviously, you have the same problem.

 
At 6/12/2011 8:54 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

Buffett does not make macro bets. He actually uses interventionism by government as one of his principles because he loves regulatory rules that provide barriers to competition and make his companies more profitable. But what is good for his profitability is bad for consumers and ultimately will turn out to be bad for the country and his portfolio. Companies that make a great deal of money because regulations create a big moat around their operations tend to fall hard when someone figures out a way to overcome those regulations.

As for Soros is a gambler who makes bets based on sentiments in the market, not economic theory. That said, one of his biggest wins came when he did bet against British socialism and shorted the Pound.

Keynes and the Market: How the World's Greatest Economist Overturned Conventional Wisdom and Made a Fortune on the Stock Market

"One of his lesser-known talents was the ability to make vast sums of money on the stock market.

Keynes became one of the world’s first value investors, the forefather of a long line of venerable and highly successful stock market practitioners such as Warren Buffett and Sir John Templeton."


The fact that Keynes was a good speculator did not mean that he was a very good economist. He certainly did not make bets according to his economic theories. I do not think that Princeton teaches Keynesian investing strategies. If course if it stuck to that and ignored Keynes' economic theories the students would be better off.

Perhaps, economics doesn't make much sense because math doesn't make much sense:

Paul Krugman on his Nobel Prize paper (which is 10 pages):

According to Krugman the value of creating these mathematical models is that “once you have the clear statement of how the pieces fit together you can apply it to numbers...It required the math to get to the plain English.”


You can't model reality if you do not understand the important factors. And you certainly do not get anywhere by ignoring case-probabilities and assuming that aggregate class behaviour is all that matters.

Krugman and idiots like him know that individual actions are too difficult to matter so they assume that such actions are not important and ignore them. As such they underestimate risk and their models fail spectacularly. Ironically, it is those episodes of failure that offer the greatest opportunity for the thoughtful speculator who sees reality as it is and takes small bets against the empty suits and their models. During such instances even the smallest of bets can provide spectacular gains.

We note that the institutions who used the type of modelling that Krugman is cheering took massive losses and needed to be bailed out by the central banks and taxpayers. In the absence of temporary intervention those institutions would be bankrupt right now. Of course, it is very likely that once the intervention ends we will see another phase come to play and those institutions will become insolvent once again. So much for models.

 
At 6/12/2011 9:00 AM, Blogger VangelV said...

VangelV's problem is he believes his own nonsense, because it makes perfect sense to him.

The objective evidence supports my view. The Keynesian based economic profession turned out to be a failure in predicting the huge problems that the Austrian School saw coming. It was the Keynesians who cheered on a succession of bubbles created by the Fed and the destruction of the USD.

People like Krugman were telling the Fed to blow a bubble in housing to offset the problems created when the Y2K driven IT bubble burst. In the financial media the Keynesians cheered on the madness and made fun of the Austrians who were telling viewers and readers that the bubble would have dire consequences for the real economy.

Who was right again?

this coming from a guy who blurts out trash from each one of his comments

Empty words. For a proper critique you need to provide specific examples in context.

 
At 6/12/2011 1:36 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"In the real world actual abilities and skills matter far more than the school that provided the degree."

not when you are starting out.

then you lack those skills.

try walking into goldman with a degree from a non ivy.

you are presuming that the world doesn't have tracks that you get slotted into.

no one goes from the back office to the trading desk anymore.

 
At 6/12/2011 1:39 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"I doubt you will see many $5000 bachelor degrees because it simply can't be properly done without money from somewhere else."

you can get a $5000 degree from harvard.

if you earn under 60k, it's free.

if you make a bit more, they index it to be 10%$ of you income.

that means that even at 100k a year, you pay only 10k.

that extra 5k is well worth it compared to online learning.

 
At 6/12/2011 1:44 PM, Blogger morganovich said...

"You mean that Google will value the four year accounting degree from Harvard more than it will a degree from an accredited institution that charges a lot less?"

yes.

that is exactly what i mean.

would you value a chef's degree from the cordon bleu more than one from "bob's cookin' academy"?

or a medical degree from john's hopkins more than one from grenada?

or a law degree from harvard as opposed to one from mississipi state?

be serious v.

not all degrees are equal.

why do you think people compete so hard to get into the top schools?

hell, benji claims to have an econ degree. would you claim it to be valuable?

 
At 6/12/2011 4:18 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"if you earn under 60k, it's free."

Not to the other people who subsidize the expense and cost. I doubt if 100% of the people attend Harvard for free. Price discrimination only works when some pay much more than nothing. Some department at LSE is eating a lot of cost to provide that $5000 degree.

Readers of Carpe Diem are not naive. Families cannot be fed for $10 a week just as bachelor degrees cannot be provided for $5000. So, where is the extra money for the program coming from, and what does LSE get out of the deal?

 
At 6/12/2011 4:45 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

not when you are starting out.

then you lack those skills.

try walking into goldman with a degree from a non ivy.

you are presuming that the world doesn't have tracks that you get slotted into.


The world doesn't have tracks. We get slotted all by ourselves.

The kid that Gary North talked about has four years to get experience in the finance sector before he will compete with the Ivy League graduates who have no experience. Young men who show the initiative to get a degree when kids their age are just heading off to university tend to get quite a bit of attention from employers because they have clearly shown to be smart enough, hard working enough, and persistent enough to contribute.

 
At 6/12/2011 5:41 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

that is exactly what i mean.

As I pointed out, accountants have to get certified and meet a number of criteria to get their accreditation. The kid who finished two years sooner is more likely to achieve professional standing faster and would have an advantage over the inexperienced Ivy League graduate.

would you value a chef's degree from the cordon bleu more than one from "bob's cookin' academy"?

Actually, it would not matter as much as the cooking skills, which are easy to compare. The customer cares about the taste of the food, not where the chef learned to cook.

or a medical degree from john's hopkins more than one from grenada?

First, you can't obtain a medical degree on-line. Second, if a physician is Board Certified it does not matter where he obtained a degree. The AMA considers him competent.

or a law degree from harvard as opposed to one from mississipi state?

Juries do not care about where a lawyer got his degree. That tends to matter more in academia, public relations, or lobbying. But given what the Ivy League educated Supreme Court Justices have done the the Constitution is this what you really want to argue?

But once again, if one can graduate a few years sooner and has what it takes it is a lot easier to do better than people who don't have as much time to earn as much money and are starting loaded up with debt. This is why a decent plumber or electrician has a higher standard of living than the average university educated middle manager of the same age.

be serious v.

not all degrees are equal.


As I said, an accountant is an accountant no matter where s/he was educated because the certification is handled by an independent body. And what is so great or special about a university or arts degree obtained from a university where most of the professors have a Marxist view? Or an economist educated in a university that uses an economic textbook that claims that savings are bad and that government planning is necessary?

why do you think people compete so hard to get into the top schools?

Signalling. Say that you have 50 people in your department. You need to fill a position and get down to two candidates. One is a Harvard grad with little record of performance but has an MBA and dresses and talks good. The other is a top notch performer who has a degree from some minor outfit that nobody has heard of. Who do you hire?

Well, under such a scenario most managers would hire the Harvard grad not because of productivity but because they can claim to have a Harvard MBA working for them and by doing so raise their own status in the eyes of others. After all, in such a large department one individual will not make a huge impact even if he is 50% more productive than the rest. And such high achievers tend to be threats.

Of course, the Harvard grad has a problem. First, it took him a lot more time than our hypothetical competitor who got his degree much faster and was able to accumulate experience and savings. Then there is the opportunity cost associated with the quarter million that would be required to earn the degree in the first place. And the fact that after a few months the status of the degree is offset by actual skill sets and performance.

Imagine our two accountants with an identical designation. One has four years of experience while the other has one. The one with the four years of experience has real savings and no debt. After four years he is the accounting manager at a software outfit where he has been dealing with difficult problems for the past year and a half. The Harvard grad has owes $200K in loans. He is bright but just got his designation so he has no record of performance and has had no real responsibility. They are both 24 and have applied to Google, Microsoft, and a biotech start-up. Who do you think has the advantage? And who do you think will be better off in ten years?

 
At 6/12/2011 6:07 PM, Blogger VangelV said...

hell, benji claims to have an econ degree. would you claim it to be valuable?

Not at all. He is a Keynesian so it would not make any difference which school taught him or how much money he paid for it. It would still not be valuable except as a way to fool people into thinking that he had a clue about what is going on.

 
At 6/12/2011 7:00 PM, Blogger Ian Random said...

Degrees are the easiest way an HR department can verify you are remotely qualified in larger organizations. I remember something about testing being risky legalwise (firefighting tests anyone?). I wonder at times if that's why start-ups work, they can verify qualifications outside of a degree. Proctoring is the real problem I see with online degrees, although you could make the same argument for megasized introductory college courses too. I am interested in some kind of online degree completion without dealing with moronic drunk 18 year old students. I have an associates and enough credits that would theoretically equate to a master's degree but multiple undiagnosed disorders over 20+ years ruined that opportunity (if you've never felt good, how do you know if you're sick?).

 
At 6/13/2011 8:26 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

morganovich is leaning toward credentials and VangeIV is leaning towards experience in the job market. It's best to have both, but if you only have one, that will vary according to each employer and each job opening.

My educational credentials got me a program manager's job over someone with 40 years in the field and no college degree who started the program. What's worse for him, we couldn't even hire him to teach a bachelor's degree level class in his own field.

 
At 6/13/2011 9:09 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

There's a lot of different ways to get an excellent U.S. job in the 21st century. Here’s a report I am referencing in a presentation for our program.

Vocational Education

 

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