View Poll Results: Do higher-incomes work harder than lower-incomes?

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  • Yes, the higher-incomes work harder

    38 44.71%
  • No, higher-incomes don't work harder

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Thread: Do Higher-Incomes Work Harder than Lower-Incomes?

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    Re: Do Higher-Incomes Work Harder than Lower-Incomes?

    We need a return to the way things were. The truth is that things are opposite now - back then, when degrees were scarce, you could waltz into a job in your field (specifically white-collar). Nowadays, I would honestly tell new high school grads not to go to college. Enter the workplace right now, especially in a high-demand field. Find something that you can work up to. Preferably something that offers a paid internship if possible, and do that full time.

    Employers today are not the same as they once were. If two people walk into an office trying for the same job - one with a high school diploma and four years experience, and one with a bachelor's degree with no experience - the guy with 4 years working experience will get hired every single time out of the gate. Smart money these days go to those who graduate, get vocational experience, get a name for themselves in the working world, then perhaps go to school part-time on their own time while they continue to work - even if this means taking 6 or 7 years for a 4 year degree. They will be infinitely better off to climb the ladder than the wet-behind-the-ears college grad looking to cash in on an education most employers don't value, demanding a higher salary because they have 50 or 75 grand worth of loans to pay off.

    It's a frustrating time we live in.

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    Re: Do Higher-Incomes Work Harder than Lower-Incomes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    We need a return to the way things were. The truth is that things are opposite now - back then, when degrees were scarce, you could waltz into a job in your field (specifically white-collar). Nowadays, I would honestly tell new high school grads not to go to college. Enter the workplace right now, especially in a high-demand field. Find something that you can work up to. Preferably something that offers a paid internship if possible, and do that full time.

    Employers today are not the same as they once were. If two people walk into an office trying for the same job - one with a high school diploma and four years experience, and one with a bachelor's degree with no experience - the guy with 4 years working experience will get hired every single time out of the gate. Smart money these days go to those who graduate, get vocational experience, get a name for themselves in the working world, then perhaps go to school part-time on their own time while they continue to work - even if this means taking 6 or 7 years for a 4 year degree. They will be infinitely better off to climb the ladder than the wet-behind-the-ears college grad looking to cash in on an education most employers don't value, demanding a higher salary because they have 50 or 75 grand worth of loans to pay off.

    It's a frustrating time we live in.
    It totally depends what kind of work you want to do and what sorts of aptitudes you have. If you want to work in a trade, absolutely I agree vocational experience > education. If you want to be an accountant or a lawyer or a doctor or a teacher or something, you absolutely won't even get out of the gates without the proper education. There are some types of skills that are better learned through experience and others that are better learned through an academic environment. If you're a carpenter you can jump right into it, make mistakes, learn from them and correct them. You can ask people you work with questions. You can start out doing the simpler work and only move your way up into the more demanding carpentry as you are ready for it. So for something like that, I agree that school is just stalling the time when you get started learning. But, if you're a doctor, you can't make mistakes. You need to hit the ground already ready enough that people will put their lives in your hands. If you're a lawyer you can't ask people questions, when somebody comes into your office or a judge says something, you need to know what that means right away off the cuff from day one. Then there are fields where you just would never be able to gain some of the types of knowledge as quickly in practical work. For example, an accountant may never run into a particular type of accounting problem for 20 years of work and then suddenly encounter it. Without a broad accounting education they might not even recognize that it is an issue.

    So, I don't think it is possible to say either "college good" or "college bad". It all depends on what you want to do.

    And there is something less tangible to the value of education. The brain is a muscle that grows with exercise. The truth is that most work doesn't really give it the exercise it needs to develop. And frankly the world is just a lot more interesting if you have more education. Just watching the news is a lot more enlightening if you understand basic macro economics for example and you'll never get that understanding working as a plumber.

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    Re: Do Higher-Incomes Work Harder than Lower-Incomes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    We need a return to the way things were. The truth is that things are opposite now - back then, when degrees were scarce, you could waltz into a job in your field (specifically white-collar). Nowadays, I would honestly tell new high school grads not to go to college. Enter the workplace right now, especially in a high-demand field. Find something that you can work up to. Preferably something that offers a paid internship if possible, and do that full time.

    Employers today are not the same as they once were. If two people walk into an office trying for the same job - one with a high school diploma and four years experience, and one with a bachelor's degree with no experience - the guy with 4 years working experience will get hired every single time out of the gate. Smart money these days go to those who graduate, get vocational experience, get a name for themselves in the working world, then perhaps go to school part-time on their own time while they continue to work - even if this means taking 6 or 7 years for a 4 year degree. They will be infinitely better off to climb the ladder than the wet-behind-the-ears college grad looking to cash in on an education most employers don't value, demanding a higher salary because they have 50 or 75 grand worth of loans to pay off.

    It's a frustrating time we live in.
    Its called change.
    And its time that the youngsters started to use their heads and plan ahead.
    This includes communicating.
    Not doing this can be frustrating.

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    Re: Do Higher-Incomes Work Harder than Lower-Incomes?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    It totally depends what kind of work you want to do and what sorts of aptitudes you have. If you want to work in a trade, absolutely I agree vocational experience > education. If you want to be an accountant or a lawyer or a doctor or a teacher or something, you absolutely won't even get out of the gates without the proper education. There are some types of skills that are better learned through experience and others that are better learned through an academic environment. If you're a carpenter you can jump right into it, make mistakes, learn from them and correct them. You can ask people you work with questions. You can start out doing the simpler work and only move your way up into the more demanding carpentry as you are ready for it. So for something like that, I agree that school is just stalling the time when you get started learning. But, if you're a doctor, you can't make mistakes. You need to hit the ground already ready enough that people will put their lives in your hands. If you're a lawyer you can't ask people questions, when somebody comes into your office or a judge says something, you need to know what that means right away off the cuff from day one. Then there are fields where you just would never be able to gain some of the types of knowledge as quickly in practical work. For example, an accountant may never run into a particular type of accounting problem for 20 years of work and then suddenly encounter it. Without a broad accounting education they might not even recognize that it is an issue.
    Just to add, I think the college system would be much more effective if kids out of high school were expected to work in the real world for 1-2 years (maybe in an internship-type program), then attend college sometime after that.

    I think that 1-2 years of maturing and experience will lead to a college environment that is filled with much more education-oriented individuals, many of which will have a specific focus in mind for going to school, instead of the ‘heavy party’ atmosphere we see now on many of the college campuses. I think this will improve the value of an undergrad education.




    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    And there is something less tangible to the value of education. The brain is a muscle that grows with exercise. The truth is that most work doesn't really give it the exercise it needs to develop.
    Good point!

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    Re: Do Higher-Incomes Work Harder than Lower-Incomes?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil
    If you want to be an accountant or a lawyer or a doctor or a teacher or something, you absolutely won't even get out of the gates without the proper education.
    I'd still argue otherwise. Lawyers...well they not only need the school, but they have a "crowd-out" effect with the bar exam. Same can be said with CPAs (not just accountants). Anything else though, I'd argue a job out of high school. If you want to go into law, look into being a legal assistant at 18, or crash-course some community college and jump in as a paralegal while you do your pre-law regiment. If you want to be an accountant, learn QuickBooks and Excel and try to get in an office somewhere, or be a seasonal guy at H&R Block (then use offseasons to further educate yourself). Teachers can get into subbing in many states with a diploma, or they could also do the community college thing for a year and be qualified. Even in the professional route, that field experience with a degree a year or two slower than those who go full-time fresh out of high school will fare better.

    Lots of people are still deluded into thinking, this economy notwithstanding, that they can get their sheep skin at university and then plunge immediately into a job. Not the case.

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    Re: Do Higher-Incomes Work Harder than Lower-Incomes?

    Quote Originally Posted by David D. View Post
    Just to add, I think the college system would be much more effective if kids out of high school were expected to work in the real world for 1-2 years (maybe in an internship-type program), then attend college sometime after that.

    I think that 1-2 years of maturing and experience will lead to a college environment that is filled with much more education-oriented individuals, many of which will have a specific focus in mind for going to school, instead of the ‘heavy party’ atmosphere we see now on many of the college campuses. I think this will improve the value of an undergrad education.
    Yeah, I agree with that. I went to undergrad right away, but I'm currently in law school after having worked full time for about 14 years. Most people in law school come right out of undergrad never having worked. I absolutely think that gives me a huge advantage. I get a lot more out of it, I take it more seriously, I understand things in a much more real way. That said, in terms of my own economic interests, it's a bad idea. I'm walking away from a successful career and trading it in to start over from scratch at the bottom of the totem pole in another field with a boatload of loans. I can see why going right out of undergrad means the most lifetime earning potential. But, still, you get more out of the experience if you wait. Probably waiting a couple years would have a negligible impact on your earning potential while still giving some better insights.

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    Re: Do Higher-Incomes Work Harder than Lower-Incomes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    I'd still argue otherwise. Lawyers...well they not only need the school, but they have a "crowd-out" effect with the bar exam. Same can be said with CPAs (not just accountants). Anything else though, I'd argue a job out of high school. If you want to go into law, look into being a legal assistant at 18, or crash-course some community college and jump in as a paralegal while you do your pre-law regiment. If you want to be an accountant, learn QuickBooks and Excel and try to get in an office somewhere, or be a seasonal guy at H&R Block (then use offseasons to further educate yourself). Teachers can get into subbing in many states with a diploma, or they could also do the community college thing for a year and be qualified. Even in the professional route, that field experience with a degree a year or two slower than those who go full-time fresh out of high school will fare better.
    Oh, so you're saying get the degree, just do it after working for a few years or go at night while you're working or something? If so, I'd probably agree with that for most fields. Although going to school while you're working is really draining. And if you're shooting for really high end jobs they look for degrees from well respected schools, and most of those require full time daytime enrollment. I think it all depends on your goals. What I would say is don't just go to college because its the thing to do. Figure out some ideas for what your goals might be and work backwards from there to figure out if college would help you achieve those goals or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gipper View Post
    Lots of people are still deluded into thinking, this economy notwithstanding, that they can get their sheep skin at university and then plunge immediately into a job. Not the case.
    Neither is it the case that you can just automatically get a job straight out of high school though. It's not easy at present after college, but it is still easier than it is right out of high school.

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    Re: Do Higher-Incomes Work Harder than Lower-Incomes?

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil
    Oh, so you're saying get the degree, just do it after working for a few years or go at night while you're working or something? If so, I'd probably agree with that for most fields. Although going to school while you're working is really draining. And if you're shooting for really high end jobs they look for degrees from well respected schools, and most of those require full time daytime enrollment. I think it all depends on your goals. What I would say is don't just go to college because its the thing to do. Figure out some ideas for what your goals might be and work backwards from there to figure out if college would help you achieve those goals or not.
    If you're talking the upper echelon jobs, it probably takes more than that. I'd love to work for one of the Big 4 after I finish my CPA (specifically KPMG), but I'm not naive enough to believe that an MBA, a CPA license, and experience is enough. I need to shine like a diamond at 3 or 4 interviews, and even have a great deal of luck to get to that point. I'm just talking about getting your feet wet in the simple career drudgery.

    Neither is it the case that you can just automatically get a job straight out of high school though. It's not easy at present after college, but it is still easier than it is right out of high school.
    I'd still argue otherwise, and I have earlier. High school grads command a lower salary, because even with a college degree, you'll be relegated to doing a lot of gopher work and being the kickpost of wherever you work.

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    Re: Do Higher-Incomes Work Harder than Lower-Incomes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paschendale View Post
    What's also interesting to note is that some of the highest paid jobs in our society are those that produce the least benefit. Those who make the most are those whose occupations focus solely on making more money, not on producing a good product or providing a valuable service. Corporate accountants and attorneys just help some rich people become richer. A CEO's job isn't to improve the company's product, it's to raise the price of stock.

    Meanwhile, we're demonizing teachers for asking for a decent living. Endowments for the arts are always on the chopping block. Veterans' benefits are constantly slashed.

    It's strange how we gift such massive rewards on those who do nothing to help this country and the vast majority of people in it, but constantly undervalue those who do.
    Something to ponder next time you go to the movies or watch an NFL game, yes? Who contributes more to society--a nurse or an actor? A firefighter or a football player?

    I think the OP way overgeneralizes. What constitutes "hard" work depends on the job. What does "working harder" mean? More hours working or performing well or making lots of money? What about those who are well educated and in professions that don't pay well--the "caring professions"? Are they lazy/not working hard enough if they don't an area of their fields that pays better?

    I just don't think that it's all so cut-and-dried.

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    Re: Do Higher-Incomes Work Harder than Lower-Incomes?

    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleDude View Post
    most of us who are in white collar jobs learned that physical labor was not the way to go. Me, I spent a summer clearing scrub trees out etc. 6-9 hours a day with a chain saw or two man hand saw in 90 degree weather was edification enough. the next summer I worked as a "Gofor" and errand boy and filing clerk for a law firm. big difference and I made sure I got the kind of grades needed to go to a top law school
    Are you saying that you only worked during the summer? Last time I checked, that was afforded to only those who, either have scholarships, or who have parents who can pay their way through school. Everyone else works a job to live while going to school and some of them even get straight A's. So who worked harder, those who had their way payed for them or those who did not? What if a two identically talented individuals where put into a college, one person has his/her way payed and the other did not. Because the one who had to work and go to school did not have as much time to study, he/she didn't get as good grades. Now the odds that that person will go to the best school and make the best money is lessened due to poorer grades; the non-working individual has the advantage. So who worked harder again? And how was that situation a depiction of equal opportunity again? ... just some thoughts
    Last edited by MusicAdventurer; 09-07-11 at 02:44 AM.

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