MAILBAG: Misleading Mishpacha Parnassah Article

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mailMishpacha Magazine has always met the needs of its readership with high quality articles that are thought-provoking and highly informative. This is why Mishpacha’s Parnassah Poll article in its expanded Sukkos edition was particularly disappointing. This is not just my opinion; virtually everyone who I came across that read the article expressed a similar sentiment.

The sub-text of the piece, the design of the questions, and the carefully edited selection of what data to leave out subtly suggests that attending a college program just isn’t worth it.

What follows is a point by point analysis of the poll and article:

On page 245 the article has a pie chart of the level of education of the poll data respondents. On the very same page is also a bar graph of how much income is made by individuals and by total household income.

Yet nowhere is the information correlated. Let me repeat that. The data as to how much college-educated people are making versus the income of those who were not educated in college was not reported.

COLLEGE GRADS MAKE MORE MONEY: WHY WASN’T THIS REPORTED?

According to the February 2014 US News and World Report, the income gap between those people with a college degree and those with only a high school degree is a whopping $17,500 per year. $17,500 per year is significant, by any standard. Indeed, the gap is probably higher in the Jewish world than in the rest of the United States.

Mishpacha clearly had that question in their survey, and yet they apparent chose not to report the results of that question. This is very disturbing and demands both a response and a release of that data.

Also, the US News and World Report article on the topic shows that this is not only true now, but has always been true. The data in the article goes back to 1965 where the gap was $7500. Indeed, it is true all across the globe. Why is this information being repressed?

Instead, the bottom bar graph showed a comparison between personal income versus household income. Huh? Of course, families make more money than individuals. There are more workers when dealing with a family. What in heaven’s name could this bar graph possibly show?

COLLEGE DEGREES HELP IN RELATED FIELDS AS WELL

The question that appears on pages 246-247 also calls into question the design of the survey. It asks: Are you currently employed in the occupation for which you trained post-high school? The results are 54.2% said “yes” and 45.8% said “no.” The sub-text of this question is: “Look, college is not worth it because nearly 46% don’t go into that field anyway.” This ignores the more relevant question of: “Would you have gotten this position were it not for your college degree?”

There is no question that college degrees help in fields related to one’s original training, and even in a completely non-related field employers are more likely to hire college educated candidates than not. The stand-alone question is therefore quite misleading.

NO DEGREE = GREATER POVERTY

The statement that appears with the question on page 249 states: No Degree, No Problem! It is followed by a statement that Frum owners have no problem hiring candidates whose education ended at high school (at best). No problem? What about the problem of poverty? Or the problem of being recipients of various government programs? Shouldn’t we be “givers” instead of “takers?” Certainly this is the understanding of the Michtav m’Eliyahu of the pasuk, “Soneh matanos yichye.”

NOW WONDERFUL PROGRAMS EXIST FOR BNEI TORAH

Now, more than ever, there has been a proliferation of wonderful college programs for Bnei Torah. Touro College, for one, has been at the forefront of giving Parnassah opportunities to Bnei Torah in an environment that is free of the problems that plagued frum students in the early part of the twentieth century. FDU also has a program that fits with a Yeshiva schedule. Yeshiva University graduate schools also offer remarkable opportunities even for those who do not attend their own programs.

Mishpacha Magazine should rise to their well-deserved reputation of the past. It should release the actual results of the income gap that they collected in their own survey. It is a disservice to Klal Yisroel to suppress this information.

A Concerned Individual

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN

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32 COMMENTS

  1. I have hired over a thousand people in my career and NEVER found college to be a plus. A vocational school focusing on the computer skills they need is worth more. College wastes too much time teaching English and history. The employer wants someone who will do the required work well. He can get his ‘well roundedness ‘ from learning gemora and tanach.
    Furthermore the employee learns more in the first few weeks on the job than in all the hours in college. Go ahead, add up all the time spent studying the subject they need for parnossa (50 45-minute classes? 100?) As opposed to 2 or 3 40-hour weeks. College will only tell an employer whether you have an aptitude and it gives you the basics. Don’t overrate the value of college.

  2. Chaim,

    You are talking about only your company, which is probably Himisha Company, and simply has their own rules on hiring. However, I don’t need to tell you this, there are 1000s upon 10000s of stories on how the rich and famous got where they are only through education and a degree. Take medical institutions and universities for example. All of the higher ups are college educated. This is simply a fact. So the opportunities with a degree are endless. Your experience in your company is not the norm; usually, no employer has time for “on the job training”. I work in the corporate world, and can tell you unequivocally that most of the time the upward mobility is with education

  3. “ccording to the February 2014 US News and World Report, the income gap between those people with a college degree and those with only a high school degree is a whopping $17,500 per year. $17,500 per year is significant, by any standard. Indeed, the gap is probably higher in the Jewish world than in the rest of the United States.”

    Ummmm…probably not….I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s actually more money being made by the uneducated.ever hear the phrase the A’s and B’s work for the C’s and D’s?

    There is no conspirancy here.

  4. I agree with premise
    Let’s learn how to combine our learning with a solid secular education
    Too much poverty in our community
    We need more frum doctors and engineers

  5. We live in the UK my son is a qualified accountant with an addditional specialist tax degree.KAH. He went to Yeshiva at 16 and did all the neccessary exams after his chasunah while learning in Eretz Yisroel.(part time via internet etc.- after afew years learning full time) No college required. Doesnt always work but the point is that the fact that college degrees create better opportunities is not always true.

  6. The survey doesn’t acknowledge the careers GIVEN by means of a relative. One with a BA, MBA, and many years of geriatric experience proved ‘not good enough’ for the nursing home administrative field, where so many yidden are there because their father, uncle, brother, in-law is the owner or had connections. True, college doesn’t provide everything, but it’s rather disgusting (and a chillul Hashem) that a 22 year old BMG guy holds an nursing home administrative position because of his in-law, but those applicants that are well seasoned and experienced (also looking to support a family) won’t get a second look.

  7. Did we read the same article? What about the graph showing that older people are happy they spent money on higher education, with the (faulty-ed) explanation that young people will soon appreciate having obtained higher education?

    Aside: that explanation is probably incorrect. More likely older workers in fact gained more from higher education than younger workers.

  8. Chaimz: Why don’t you tell us how much you are paying these thousand people so we can decide for ourselves if college is worth it?

  9. ChaimZ,

    I am genuinely happy for you that you have found the opportunity to hire capable people regardless of whether they have a degree. However, with all due respect neither you nor all those like you can provide jobs for all the young people looking for them. Your comment helps further the basic misconception about which the authors of the Mishpacha article and many in our community remain in denial. And that is that there is a simple reality at play. College degrees are a REQUIREMENT of entry into a great many of the jobs available in the corporate world. To advise people that a degree is unnecessary or of little value is to do a great disservice to the many young people looking for jobs or advancements in parnassah and effectively eliminates them from even being eleigible for these jobs That is not good advice. This simple fact along with the fact that college degree holders earn significantly more than non-degree holders ON AVERAGE are inescapable no matter how many Chaim Zvis’s and Chaim Yankels there are in the frum community who will hire people without one. There simply aren’t enough of you to go around.

    I wish you great continued Hatzlacha.

  10. there are plenty of jobs that don’t require a college degree or higher and for those jobs going to college is a waste of time / money. but for most of the higher paying jobs that are out there, they require a college degree or better – doctors, accountants, lawyers, teachers, engineers etc. there really is no way around that.

  11. Either chaimz has one of the largest companies in the world – he had hired over 1,000 people! – or his comment gets right to the root of the challenge of working for some frum employers: poor pay, few promotional opportunities and poor benefits. This is something the author of the letter did not include but should have. The Mishpacha article asked about a “glass ceiling”, yet chose to break down the answer between males and females. It would have been much more interesting to see that answer broken down between those who work for frum versus secular employers. If chaimz is in fact telling the truth about his 1000+ hires, it is likely due to the high turnover for those who work in dead end, low paying jobs. Something that can be avoided by getting a degree and working in a secular environment.

  12. Chaimz, I have no doubt that what you’re saying is true. However, you are one person. The Mishpacha article was pretending to present a statistical analysis of the job situation. As the writer above states, relevant data was omitted. As with most pretending-to-be-objective-and-accurate articles, it was anything but.
    Disappointing? -Yes.
    Surprising? -No.
    When there are agendas to push, truth and accuracy take a back seat. (That’s if they’re invited to come along for the ride at all.)

  13. College is not OVER-RATED it is essential for parnassah. It is evident when meeting Bnei Torah who are employed in higher paying professional positions.

    A MBA or LAW graduate has doors open & interviews accessible that will never be available to a post high school certificate holding individuals. Nowadays most Yeshivos offer a BA which allows talmidim to continue into higher education & NO NEED to take excess English, sociology, philosophy & non essential college courses.

    Hands-on & job training & personality are essential pillars for advancement BUT no firm education equals NO foundation & all will flop.

  14. COLLEGE IS IMPORTANT. PERIOD!

    It’s about time men start getting educated, earn a degree, and make the parnassa in the home. Not the other way around. orgerwise stop complaining why women are more smarter and educated then men.

  15. As usual when pressed with hard facts and statistics there is always some jew who says well I did it differently. Yes who hired 1000 people and didn’t care about a college degree but in most cases it is not like that. mR. CHAIM Z unless you can employ the hundreds of thousands of jews who need jobs and need to pay expensive tuitions please do not hurt the jewish people!! Yes college takes a lot of time and probably teaches very little but $17500 extra a year is well worth it!!!!! As the letter writer writes even for the very frum there is a way to get that very piece of paper so unless you know that chaimz will give you a job ( and I assume pay you very well)GET THE DEGREE!

  16. I have never taken a college course and honestly I wish I had but life got hectic and now I would need to be wealthy to go back because it would mean putting my current parnassah on hold (read: no income) AND somehow fund my education.

    Having said that: I agree that as a general rule grads make more money than unskilled laborer but the Frum world plays by different rules. I live across the street from a busy Frum mortgage firm that employs roughly 60-70 people in house and more in other branches. The successful members of their team are making a base salary of 60K plus commission (that can run up to 50-60 a year too) this is the rate someone who is newish but successful told me he is getting. 120K a year is a typical salary of a successful OT/PT working full time after a few years of college. He/she needs to pay back loans though.

    I have worked for Frum advertising agencies. NONE had college grads on their graphics or creative directives team. All made 60-80K depending on hours and position.

    Has the author of this letter ever grilled some of the successful real estate developers in the Frum world? Or blue collar workers who are supporting their families nicely? Or office managers?

    A college degree is a must obviously if u are looking for a career in the professional fields or in the secular world.

    Signed

    A Couple Making A Middle Class Income Without Degrees

  17. chaimz….

    With all due respect. I can appreciate that you deal with a lot of hirings, but IMHO your comment unintentionally proves the point of this post.
    I also read and objected to the Mishpacha article for the same exact reasons as did this author. (Full disclosure, I am a Frum professional who graduated from graduate school).
    The jobs you talk about in your comment sound like they are NOT the jobs that will pay for yeshiva tuition for five kids. Yes, you could prob name me a few of your employees who have become manager level, but i strongly suspect that a majority of these hirees are perennial “worker-bees” and will never make the salaries that those who are reading the Mishpacha article are really searching for. If those seeking employment in the computer industry went to college and got advanced degrees in computer engineering, the salary scale would be far more than anyone hired with no degree. Advancement would also be a higher probability as well. No offense, I’m talking generalities, not your company in particular.
    Kol tuv, and Ah gutten Moied.

  18. I’d like to add a couple of thoughts to my earlier post.

    1. I think the author actually understates the income gap between college grads and non-college grads. While I don’t question the quoted US News article. These stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that on a percentage basis college grads earn about 75% more than non-college grads.

    http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2015/median-weekly-earnings-by-education-gender-race-and-ethnicity-in-2014.htm

    It is truly mind-boggling that so many people can look at this cold stark fact and still argue the point on the basis that “my uncle Shmerel can’t even read english and makes more than all the college grads”. I’m very happy for uncle shmerel but you guys really need to understand the difference between anecdotes and data. Advising young people on the basis of exceptions like Uncle shmerel rather than on the basis of the statistically demonstrated rule is misguided and frankly, cruel.

    2. Whenever this topic gets discussed, I am always puzzled by why so much of the contemporary rhetoric about the role of a college education in the lives of our young people is the seeming mass amnesia that we are experiencing as a community. We discuss the issue as if this generation is encountering it for the first time. Have we all completely lost sight of the fact that for several decades from roughly the 1950s through the 1980s, the model of the yeshiva educated Ben Torah learning by day and going to college at night was the norm for thousands of Bnei Torah attending our most respected yeshivos? Have we completely forgotten how many of these young men were talmidim of Rav Moshe, Rav Yaakov, Rav Hutner, Rav Schorr, Rav Kalmanovitz, and so many other gedolei Roshei Hayeshiva of the prior generation Zecher Tzadikim L’Vracha? Why are we willfully blind to the reality that so many of these same Bnei Torah, are now the lay (and in some cases Rabbinic) leaders of our own generation and are looked up to as pillars of the community who are mekedesh shamyim daily in their respective professions and fields, and who are routinely honored at the dinners of the yeshivos they attended, whose talmidim now largely eschew the path followed by their own fathers and grandfathers?

    We had a model that worked extremely well for decades and then for reasons I have never understood, knowingly cast it aside only to find ourselves scratching our heads about how to solve a problem that our grandparents and prior roshei yeshiva didn’t seem to know existed. I don’t claim to have all the answers. But it would seem that if we want to address this topic openly and thoughtfully, then a careful consideration of what that generation apparently did right and what we might be able to learn from it would seem to be in order.

  19. In response to tvt latest comment
    You seemed to purposely exclude r Aharon kotler in all those names of gedolim of previous generations. I think I know why. As we all know he fought what he called milchemes mitzvah against college. So very convenient for you to leave him out.
    You speak of data vs uncle shmerel well right there lies your answer to understand r Aharon opinion. Data reflects the norm (assuming it’s not manipulated which is not a fair assumption I’m sorry) uncle shmerel reflects the possibilities. In college today a person is exposed to all types of ideas that are contrary to the Torah even in the “frum Jewish programs” like touro etc. & if you disagree with this point it’s because you don’t understand the Torah. That being said the question here is do I sacrifice my yidishkeit & ruchnius to satisfy the norm or do I safeguard my yidishkeit and ruchnius and rely on the possibilities. If we believe that parnassa is completely min hashamayim & all we’re doing is hishtadlus then the answer is obvious. We safeguard the Torah. If you believe that we should follow the norm that shows that you don’t believe that parnassa is min hashamayim. You may say those words but it’s all lip service. If this comment makes you angry it just further proves my point. A gut moed to all

  20. After reading the article and the comments, it seems to me that the argument can be divided into two camps:Those who believe that without a regular college education, most will not succeed; others believe the opposite to be true, that although college may be helpful for some, it is neither  a prerequisite nor necessary for most to be able to provide for their families today.
    Those who believe that college is a necessity, point to the research provided by the author of this letter , which explicitly delineates the vest difference in economic potential between those who attending the college and those who choose not to do so.

    Those against making it a requirement, believe that there’s enough anecdotal evidence to prove that, at least an our communities, college is not the only way to make it.  
    This is besides the haskfic  problems that go along with college life, problems that have destroyed families and individual commitments to yiddishkite. 
    Although I went to a frum program, out of the roughly 50 individuals I went to college with, at least four have left our way of life. Yes, it’s anecdotal evidence. but it hurts nonetheless.

    Because The Yeshiva World does not allowed links to outside publications, the following is a copy of an article in Forbes magazine a little while ago.

    Don’t Buy The Hype, College Education Is Not An Investment

    By George Leef

    Hardly a day goes by without the publication of articles on the plight of recent college graduates. Large numbers are either unemployed or employed in jobs that don’t call for any academic preparation. Many are struggling with the burden of their college loans.

    In addition, the educational value of college is questionable. In their book Academically Adrift, sociologists Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa concluded that more than a third of recent college graduates had coasted through without adding anything to their human capital. Reports that employers often find graduates applying for jobs to be weak in basic skills are numerous.

    Nevertheless, higher education boosters continue to proclaim that college is undoubtedly “worth it” and “still a good investment.” A recent study by the Public Policy Institute of California is a good example of this sort of thinking. It purports to show that earning a college degree “remains a good investment.”

    The technique of this study (and dozens like it) is to compare average earnings of workers who have college degrees with average earnings of workers who don’t and conclude that because the first group does significantly better, having gone to college was a good investment. The degrees are regarded as causing the “earnings premium.”

    That analysis is extremely misleading. The most glaring flaw is that it draws a conclusion about future conditions (earnings that people who go college now can expect) from data based on earnings for college graduates going decades back. Conditions today, both with regard to college academic rigor and the labor market, are much different than they were 40 years ago.

    If a college degree were a regulated investment opportunity, it would have to bear the standard warning that past performance is no guarantee of future performance. The future won’t be similar to the past for many college graduates and telling young people that college will be a good investment is careless and irresponsible.

    In truth, going to college isn’t an investment at all.

    When college cheerleaders say that there is an earnings premium for graduates, they make it sound just like investing in financial instruments. “Buy this bond and you get interest payments in return; buy a college degree and you get higher wages in return.”

    But that isn’t the case. No one receives any payment or premium merely for having finished college. Employers do not reward workers just for having passed enough classes to earn a degree. They reward workers for their productivity. Going to college might increase a person’s productivity, but it’s neither necessary nor sufficient for that.

    Let’s consider three students to make that point.

    Student A was diligent in high school and enrolls in college with an excellent academic foundation. He concentrates on his work and substantially raises his level of knowledge and skill.  After graduating, he finds a good job in his major field and continues to advance. For him, college was worthwhile because it helped augment his human capital.

    Student B got through high school with a minimum of effort. He has little interest in or aptitude for academic pursuits, but still he enrolls in a college – many schools will gladly accept weak and disengaged students like him – because he’s heard that getting a degree will boost his earnings. Thanks to grade inflation and the watered-down curriculum, he coasts through college and obtains his degree in some undemanding field.

    After graduating, the best job he can find is working in a game store. He has nothing show for his college years but a piece of paper and lots of debt.

    Student C was a good student in high school, but instead of enrolling in college, she earns several badges and certifications in things she’s interested in, such as computer programming and (her grandmother’s native language) Portuguese. She assembles an online portfolio with those and other material showing what she can do. Shortly after her 20thbirthday, she’s offered a job by a Brazilian importer that needed a capable American representative.

    She is doing well without a college degree because she understood that you’re not rewarded for credentials, but for capabilities.

    College used to look like a good “investment” because earning a degree usually entailed at least some serious work and having done it set the individual apart. Having that degree was a competitive advantage in landing a job, but success always depended on personal performance rather than educational pedigree.

    These days, with the labor market saturated with college graduates, the time and money spent on college is often wasted. What young Americans should think is, “How can I raise my value and demonstrate it?” That might best be done in college, like Student A, or it might be done elsewhere, like Student C.

    College itself isn’t an investment, just one way of increasing your value.

    George Leef  is Director of Research at the John W. Pope Center for Higher Education Policy. He is a graduate of Carroll University in Wisconsin and Duke University Law School.

  21. ANON you nailed it. So many people who go to college end up thinking like these non religious “professionals”. Hashem provides parnossa and he will provide for you if you keep out the bad influences.

  22. To Anon 21:
    You are correct. I did not mention R’ Aharon zt”l because I am aware that he was against college. He was a Godol Hador and there is nothing I have any business saying in reaction to his shita. By the same token the other roshei yeshiva I mentioned included Gedolei Hador who had differing opinions, and I suspect that you have no more business opining on them and the way they were madrich their talmidim. But I don’t know you. You didn’t seem to be interested in contesting the basic facts of what I said about them and their talmidim so I assume you have nothing relevant to say on the topic. What is interesting about your comment is that you seem to recognize that parnassah is a complicated mix of bitachon and hishtadlus. You simply have your own ideas about what forms of hishtadlus are acceptable and which are beyond the pale. You believe that college today “even programs like Touro” expose students to ideas contrary to the Torah. I’m assuming that you never attended a college – Touro or otherwise. It also appears that you have little sense of what the atmosphere was like on college campuses in the 1960’s and 70’s during the heyday of the period when the aforementioned roshei yeshiva were allowing their talmidim to attend – and that was before Touro existed.

    You seem to feel business ventures are legitimate expressions of hishtadlus. So for example, if someone wants to get into Real Estate because Uncle Shemerel and several other people he knows did well in real estate and extrapolate that to his own circumstances, that is a legitimate form of hishtadlus, but if he picks up a magazine article that says computer programmers earn on average say $100,000 a year and for that reason decides to go to school to study programming then he has crossed the line into unacceptable hishtadlus that has drifted into kefira of the concept of parnassah min hashamyim.

    You apparently believe that the nisyanos associated with exposure to college are far worse than anything a person will experience in the business world. Excuse me for saying so but that’s naïve. Every parnassah has its nisyonos and businessmen often face much greater nisyonos in dinei mamanos than their professional counterparts. Is real estate legitimate hishtadlus? Why be so ambitious? Why not simply go the shul and hang up a sign saying you will pick up and deliver people’s dry cleaning for them. It’s a legitimate service and seemingly sufficient hishtadlus? In fact why go so far, why not simply offer an erev Shabbos shoe shining service? Or better yet stay home and wait for the parnassah to arrive at your door step? I’m sure there are people out there who would look at whatever you consider reasonable hisftadlus and call you a koifer for thinking that working that much is necessary in order for the ribino shel olam to give you parnssaah. It’s very easy to play the koifer game when it comes to hishtadlus, you simply draw the line where it suits you and everyone outside that line is a koifer.

    You wondered whether I proved your point by reacting to your post with anger. Actually my primary reaction is sadness. I have heard kefira charges like yours before. They don’t make me angry or impress me. They make me sad. Sad because people like you are willing to latch onto a single approach and hashkafa and quickly label anyone who doesn’t agree that Touro College is keneged the Torah as a person who doesn’t “understand the Torah” and anyone who disagrees with you about the precise point where legitimate hishtadlus ends as a “koifer in parnassah min hashamyim”.

    I suspect that somewhere in your life you use the services of a frum doctor, or dentist, or lawyer, or accountant. I’m wondering if after you thank them for their services you lecture them about their need to do teshuvah for going to college and for their lack of bitachon that they displayed by exposing themselves to the anti-torah atmosphere of college simply to get ahead.

    There continue to be many roshei yeshiva who are perfectly fine with their talmidim attending college programs in pursuit of parnassah. They maintain their relationships with them, they come to and dance at their chassunos and they continue to be mitztareif them to minyanim. Your comments have effectively taken the thousands of bnei Torah (and by extension the mechanchim who approved of their approach) who chose to pursue parnassah via a college education (as well as the wives of many kollel yugerleit) because they were guided to believe that a college education was a better way to make a living than the non-college alternatives, and charged them with kefira. That takes awfully broad “pleitzos”. I hope you can live with that. I’ll tell you this much, I don’t think Rav Aharon zt”l would have called these people kofrim. I’m sad for you. Klal yisrael needs achdus and at the moment , the olam hatorah is asking important questions about parnsassah opportunities for its young people. We need thoughtful contributions to the discussion, not mud-slinging.

    A gutten kvittel.

  23. Well written tvt & some good points there. Based on your comments I think the core of our disagreement can be summed up on the point of the ideas being exposed to in college and that’s where we differ. I don’t know who the roshei yeshiva that encourage college are nor do I know they’re students so I can’t comment on their opinions. I also don’t know what colleges looked like in the 60’s & 70’s so I can’t comment on that either. I do know what is being proliferated on college campuses today & if one is sensitive enough to the Torah hashkafos you can discern the clear differences. Hishtadlus never requires someone to do something against the Torah. Just like we understand that a retailer in Manhattan shouldn’t work on shabbos even though he’s obviously losing business by doing so.
    Regarding your business ideas to fulfill hishtadlus obligations like shoe shining etc the reason why those aren’t good ideas is because they’re totally unrealistic is supporting a family today (although if a person was on a higher level of emuna they would suffice as we find throughout the mussar world but this is not the forum for that) whereas the “uncle shmerel” ideas are totally feasible just not as common as the “norms”.
    And btw I didn’t call anyone a koifer. I just said that there’s something lacking in your emuna of hashgacha pratis and I stand by that comment.

  24. Anon21

    Thank you for the civil reply.

    BTW, I never said any roshei yeshivah ENCOURAGE college. I said there are and have been roshei yeshiva who by their words and/or actions clearly consider(ed) college to be as acceptable a path to parnassah as any non-college based field.

    As to your reaction to my shoe shining suggestion, that is where our difference lies. You feel you have the authority to decide where the line is drawn and I think that you do not. I feel that when we live in a world where 1) significant percentages of available jobs say “Bachelors Degree Required” 2) scores of young bnei torah are clamoring for ideas on parnassah, and 3) many talmidei chachomim consider college acceptable, then the conclusion is that we should at least consider college a viable option just as thousands of bnei torah of the prior generation did. Further, I have no problem with the idea that a young ben torah should discuss these decisions with his rebbeim. You speak as if there is unequivocal agreement throughout the olam Hatorah that college is assur and that no ben torah would ever be given permission to attend college by his rosh yeashiva and surely you must know that such is simply not the case.

    And by the way, you didn’t say “there is something lacking in my emunah in hasgacha pratis” the first time. Your precise words were, “you don’t believe that parnassa is min hashamayim. You may say those words but it’s all lip service.”

    And again if that’s what you think my position on college renders me (and by extension the many in the olam hachinuch who share this belief), then I can live with that as well. The question is whether you owe an apology to the thousands of shomrei torah umitzvos, yerei’im ushleimim, and their mashpi’im who disagree with you.

    I sincerely wish you well.

    Kol Tuv

  25. there is another point that has as of yet not been addressed. that is, that not every type of person is suited for for every typae of career.For the more entrepreneurial type of individual following an uncle into real estate is a fine idea however not everyone is made out of that type of stuff. there are people are much better suited to be professionals and for them a degree is often the better way.
    And with that I hope to add a little bit to what is ultimately avodas hashem, supporting yiddeshe families.

  26. To Anon21 Your spelling indicates your level of education. “They’re students”? Did you not learn the difference between there, their and they’re?

  27. I actually find the original post to be misleading and with very little thought other than tovent his own apparent frustration.
    Mishpacha, it would seem to me, was trying to deliver statistics that apply specifically to our society. Since US News has already covered income discrepancies, what would be the point of publishing that stat.
    Furthermore, as a standalone stat, it would be meaningless, because at what age does a college graduate actually earn enough extra money to pay off their investment AND support a family.
    Publishing that college grads earn more would give young people a feeling that if I only throw $50,000 (or more) into education now, I’ll be earning $17,500 more than my peers as soon as I graduate. I think even the OP realizes that this preposterous.
    College takes a few years to complete — years that someone can learn an actual TRADE rather than waste time and getting into the spiritual risk of taking liberal arts courses. In the meantime, not only will they be spending $50k or more, they will be forfeiting income that could be worth $150,000 or more EVEN in lower paying heimmish jobs. So college grads are starting out in the job market a few years
    later, already in serious debt, and often without having earned a penny in the years it took them to get a degree.
    Either way, apparently, one thing the OP’s college education did not teach him is reading comprehension and a decent vocabulary, because there was nothing misleading about the poll. Mishpacha never promised to deliver anything they did not deliver, and the OP’s title should have more accurately reflected their obvious agenda rather than attack a publication.
    It would behoove Mr. Concerned Individual to think through his arguments better before engaging in slander.
    And YWN, just one question : how would you feel if you opened Mishpacha and saw an article titled, “Yeshiva World News publishes misleading…”?

    Moderators Note: We would love the free PR!

  28. Ok tvt I stand corrected. On my first post I said you don’t believe. What I should’ve said was you don’t PROPERLY believe. That still doesn’t make you a koifer. It means something is lacking. & I continue to stand by that comment. & if there is someone out there that will look you in the eye & say that college today is not a spiritual risk & is totally justified then I stand by that comment regarding him as well regardless of what his title in the field of chinuch is.
    To return to the issue I think you’re misunderstanding my point. The first point I’m trying to make is that college is a spiritual risk. If you disagree with that then there’s no reason to continue the discussion. But if you can recognize the deep spiritual risk in college then you may understand why we can’t accept that just to gain percentage points of likely success.
    I sincerely wish you all the best too & I very much appreciated the spirited discussion
    & to noodleman I’m not sure why I’m even addressing your point but to quote ex president Bill Clinton “it’s the iPhone stupid”

  29. Anon21,

    We must then agree to disagree, at least in part.

    Correction accepted and mussar noted.

    And to paraphrase another thought that once came up in connection with the Clintons “words mean things”. They should be used carefully. Or as Chazal pointed out long before that”Talmidei Chachaomim, Hizaharu b’divreichem…”. Whether there are any inferences to be drawn I will leave to others.

    Kol Tuv