1) They are expensive and rely on their students getting gov't loans,
2) They don't adequately prepare students for the work place, and
3) The teachers aren't very good.
I think those are all great reasons to not go to ITT. But, I think those reasons could also apply to a whole lot of other schools, profit, non-profit, private, and public.
Certainly, I think #1 applies to a whole lot of schools and student #2 applies to any school that has majors with poor job prospects. And I think nearly every college student has experienced #3 with at least some of their professors -- sometimes because they dont know the material well and other times because they are completely uninterested in the teaching aspect of their job.
These are businesses where the "admissions counselors" are salespeople who are told to lie to people and strongarm them into attending, taking out massive government loans and effectively stealing money from the federal government when they inevitably default.
"In 2011, 22% of student loan borrowers from ITT Tech defaulted on their federal student loans. In contrast, the average default rate for 4-year public institutions was 8.9%. For private student loan borrowers, ITT’s projected default rate is a whopping 64%. This is primarily because of the high tuition, low graduation rates, and low job placement."
The instructor of my accounting class was a former used car salesman. He said that his customers didn't want to hear about total cost, they were only interested in the monthly payment. He'd try to explain, and they'd cut him off and go for whatever had the lowest monthly payment.
What if this were a rational decision? For a person with low disposable income and no savings choosing the lowest monthly payment is the most rational decision.
For example, if you need to buy a car now (eg because you rely on it for work or something and can't wait to buy), then sure, it might very well be. On the other hand, if that's not true, then saving the monthly payment until you can buy it outright is much more rational (and cheaper). I understand that many people can't do that, however.
They certainly believed they were making the most rational decision. It didn't help that used car salesmen don't have a reputation for honest dealings.
So I would check those stats with a careful eye looking for bias.
Meta: I actually prefer opinion pieces to news articles. In an opinion piece, the author has to state a thesis, then defend it with facts and an argument. Makes for honest reading. What I don't like is the proliferation of persuasion pieces masquerading as news items -- and it is by no way limited to political action groups. Even the MSM gets in on the action.
So as far as I know these guys may have a point. But they also carefully choose what to present with an eye on influencing public opinion. This is not the site that would ever have an article saying "Ooops! Turns out ITT Tech wasn't so bad after all!"
One interesting statistic, <20% of CC students take out loans for school (the cost is generally low enough they can pay out of pocket), but ~20% of those students also default.
My experience with Bootcamp grads has been pretty lackluster to say the least. They get taught the absolute basics with a "guarantee" for employment after, but not many tech companies will take someone with no education, no experience, and only a light grasp on the basics of programming.
My town has been getting a lot of Bootcamp grads lately applying for jobs in the tech sector. According to a friend, his company interviewed a bunch of them and didn't find any of them met their requirements in the least.
My opinion of bootcamps is that they are little better than something like ITT. High cost, very little reward. You'd be better off teaching yourself.
The problem here is with the government instead of ITT in my opinion. If you are lending money to someone who is taking significantly more risk it is your fault if the person fails to pay it back and not of the consumer or the business selling the service.
In fact it makes sense for the government to do better credit risk analysis for every college-course-student instead of providing loans for any student, college course. The private banking industry already has this system and it makes sense for government to just leverage that.
As such, the private student-loan sector in the US is no longer a going concern, and no student loans accurately price risk - a neat little wealth transfer to buy votes from students. It's also a scary credit bubble; apparently we learned nothing from FMAE and FMAC and just blamed big evil banks for following the perverse incentives. Hilarity ensues.
One thing the government does that the private sector won't is prioritise the needs of society over financial results. Say, for instance, that "teachers" and "nurses" were underperforming groups of student-loan takers. Private sector would say "OK, stricter controls on student-loans for those!" Meanwhile the government would say "OK, but we really need more teachers and nurses in society, so we'll keep giving them student loans like today." This is of course a fictional example, but you get the point.
But to give an example: lots of people in lots of countries traditionally get support from their families for education and are expected to help out their parents financially later in life. This kind of financing never even hits the markets---but on the other hand, parents are probably the people knowing their kids the best.
Getting young people into more debt does not prioritize the needs of society.
If you want to prioritize the needs of society, provide young people a tuition free, or at least very low cost, education. Current system only really benefits scam operations like ITT.
Even though MS is significantly less risky you need to factor in the huge gap between value of that in money in USA v/s India.
Market signals works pretty strong here. Stanford can charge you whatever they want while the F1 visa factory college charge a modest 10K for a 2 year M.S.
The "invisible hand" is not what should be guiding society. The "invisible hand" has declared that it's more worthwhile to be a Kardashian than it is to be a teacher or nurse.
What you propose is to guide society by deliberately lowering the pay of teachers and nurses even more. So are you saying that the invisible hand is right? That a Kardashian should be expensive (which reduces how many are available) and that teachers should be cheap (meaning we can afford more of them)?
No, I'm not. So your response has lost all credibility right there.
If you want more teachers, you can either increase budgets to pay them more, or you can use some artifice to increase the supply of teachers so that wages get suppressed. You implied having more teachers would be nice, with your comment about Kardashian. So your own views here are self-contradictory.
Look, teacher pay is in control of the government, not the market. And nurse pay and nursing demand has already had demonstrable impact on students' selection of what to study. (You can observe this by looking at the real world.)
Is there a particular hypothesis that you're arguing against? Is it that increasing pay won't attract students to the line of study? Do you disagree with the equation (Teaching Budget) = (Teacher Pay) * (Number Of Teachers) in a material way?
In fact I ... wait a second.
Me: > I proposed increasing their pay,
You: > No, you didn't.
Me (upthread): > let their salaries increase.
Well now, looks like I did. (You can observe this by looking at the real world.)
The response to your "let their salaries increase" pointed out that there are districts (and counties and states) where this simply does not and can not happen given how government policies are structured. Much of that the result of quite deliberate "starve-the-beast" anti-tax policies, but also frequently a simply quite inadequate economic base.
In the deep south of the US, say, the state of Mississippi, you have a de-facto segregated school system. Whites, even poor whites, attend private schools, largely religious, known as "Segregation Academies". Public schools are almost wholly the domain of blacks.
Markets don't exist independent of power constructs, a fact explicitly recognised by Adam Smith: "Wealth, as Mr Hobbes says, is power." Much of Smith's Wealth of Nations is about those dynamics.
This thread reads as if two ideological agendas are being pushed on the other, rather than some seeking of greater truth. I'm finding your line of argument the less pesuasive and less sincere.
We need lot of teachers and nurses and that is possible only if they are cheap. If the teachers and nurses are expensive we will have few of them making education and healthcare more expensive.
The probability that some celebrity would earn disproportionately more than a conventional career will always be 1 in a fairly free society. Even in sports like say sprinting 1 player often is far better than rest of others.
And I don't. The invisible hand has said that the Kardashians are more valuable than teachers. So to me, any argument that says the "invisible hand" should be used is completely invalid.
What would the criteria be to determine loan eligibility for a student fresh out of high school?
Of course, none of this is as accurate an indicator as a FICO score which is why student loans are federally guaranteed, otherwise who would offer them?
All of this goes to underscore just how destructive the "college for everyone" concept is. The government is making junk loans so that naive young people can pursue useless degrees and graduate directly into crippling debt servitude. Consequently, colleges have transformed into bloated profit machines, happily ratcheting up tuition in response to this inflated demand.
Sadly, reform will only happen once this system collapses in on itself.
What is inaccurate about your FICO score? Maybe it results in false negatives (meaning your score is low when it should be high), but if the opposite was true across the board (bad borrowers getting high scores) then the credit industry would collapse.
My credit report often has accounts that aren't mine listed. Balances can be wrong for months. Accounts occasionally show late payments that were on time. The dates are often wrong (sometimes by years) for items, and then little things that are used to verify my identity by many companies can be quite wrong, like past addresses.
Colleges aren't really "profit machines" though, and growth in tuition hasn't paced enrollment increases, so it is more likely that aid levels are being increased in response to rising tuition, rather than tuition being raised due to increased aid. Interestingly, one of the dominant factors in the growth of personnel costs for colleges is healthcare for employees.
Between 1975-2004, enrollment increased by 65% in four-year colleges while cost increased by almost 200% over the same period.  It's not really a demand-driven phenomenon because colleges have capacity to support the number of students attending, so the marginal cost of accepting additional students is low. The more likely cause is that loans (private or public) turn students into consumers, forcing colleges to compete with each other to attract paying customers. Look at the facilities and amenities provided at German universities (which are 100% publicly funded) compared to public universities in the US. We spend tremendous amounts of money for health centers, gyms, sports, clubs, etc., that require increased spending on construction and administrative support staff. 
It's Keynesian demand-side stimulus at its core. With the national dialogue focused on how college should be available to everyone, along with unlimited, federally guaranteed student loans, demand skyrockets and prices rise to meet them.
This is categorically false. Schools would maintain whatever price point achieved equilibrium with the market's ability to pay. It would not necessarily require any school to reduce their prices.
> ...demand skyrockets and prices rise to meet them.
But that doesn't make any sense in the context of the higher education market..."supply" is neither fixed, nor constrained (within reason). Schools could easily expand their supply to accommodate additional students because there is actually an over-abundance of adjunct labor (rather than full-time faculty) in most fields that are trained and available to teach classes now, at much lower costs than traditional tenured faculty. The costs of providing education have actually fallen during the same period that the costs of running a college have risen. It's not being driven by "demand" from prospective students -- cost growth is being driven by competition between schools.
Schools also can't choose to compete on price because the availability of "free money" in the form of loans makes students less price sensitive. Instead, schools end up competing based on maximizing overall "quality of life" factors within a fixed price.
No, it shows how destructive the US policy response to that concept is, not how destructive the concept itself is.
Neither difficult-to-discharge loans without substantial cost or quality controls, nor an extensive role for private, for-profit institutions are demanded by the "college for everyone" concept.
> Consequently, colleges have transformed into bloated profit machines, happily ratcheting up tuition in response to this inflated demand.
I don't think its true that "colleges have transformed into bloated profit machines", so much that "colleges that are bloated profit machines have expanded and taken a larger market share".
Then, the California state government banned all new student enrollment at ITT campuses in California.
Forbidding ITT from pursuing collections, leaving that to an industry which has experience with loans (banks), and instead, leaving it to modify what it can control -- the control, the recruitment of students and instruction standards -- might result in a successful incentives alignment.
You'd have to police and very heavily penalise any kickbacks or covert communications between ITT and lenders.
Um no. They can't. That's the problem with American student loans. It's the only contract you can enter into under 18 and you can never declare bankruptcy on them. It's the most bullshit type of loan there is.
In grad school I put part of my car on Student Loans because it was 0%. My car load was 5.2%. After I graduated, my student loans shot up to 6.8%! I quickly dumped all my savings onto them and squashed them in three months. Even if I hadn't been able to to that, I probably had the credit to get a cash loan for under that and pay them off. Most students don't have that option.
Please stop repeating this myth. It is, in fact, possible to discharge student loans in bankruptcy. (It is particularly difficult to do so compared to other forms of debt, but there is an enormous difference between that and "you can never declare bankruptcy on them.")
See, e.g., http://www.studentloanborrowerassistance.org/bankruptcy/
Students are offering up zero collateral and usually have minimal credit history for a loan in the tens of thousands of dollars. For better or worse, if students could default on their student loans, fewer banks could/would make those loans.
> Transportation (cost of travel to/from school, but not for purchase of a vehicle)
> Room and board costs can include one of four allowances, depending on where you live:
> On-campus in housing that is owned or operated by the college
> At home with parents (only applies to students without dependents)
> In housing on a military base or for which a basic housing allowance (BAH) is provided (allowance restricted to board; room is excluded because it is already paid for)
No "Durable" goods like houses or cars may be bought with student loan money in the US.
"You may use the money you receive only to pay for education expenses at the school that awarded your loan. Education expenses include such school charges as tuition, room and board, fees, books, supplies, equipment, dependent child care expenses, transportation, and rental or purchase of a personal computer"
It would be interesting to find an official statement on this... I couldn't find anything on the Dept. of Ed website and my search for the actual laws didn't turn up anything...
I was given paperwork when I got my undergrad student loans, and it was very clearly spelled out.
If the loans are private, I am not 100% if all of the same rules apply.
Totally not related to the discussion. The rule does not say "If you live in a place served by busses, you cannot buy a car with student loan money"
In the case though they effectively put up a "Free Money" sign with nearly zero strings attached.
So if you're at a place that costs $30,000 in tuition, as many do, when you max out your federal loan and your parents max out the PLUS loans you need to go into the private market. None of those loans offer public service options or IBR as part of a standard deal.
The post to which I'm responding explicitly mentions federal US loans -- thank you. Lots of other folks here are not making that crucial distinction.
I cant imagine any private student loan for IIT that wasnt co-signed with massive interest rates.
(Last section of article mentions it...)
I'll save you the surprise of discovering that Ctrl+F'ing for "HVAC" yields zero results.
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In a way universities are competing for a finite resource (smart and hard working students). Unless we as a society find a way to increase the supply of smart and hard working students.
Hard working we can do by more social pressure.
Smart,... Hum. We get into the nature vs nurture debate, on which philosophers and sociologists fight over, but which should really be settled by neuro-scientists!
My plan was never to work in the field, but rather take classes that I enjoyed and could learn more to become a more well rounded individual. With that, the onus is upon the student who takes a major that does not have incredibly great outlook upon graduation to develop a plan to survive in the real world.
I'm a mid level software engineer now, and the courses I took around I/O Psychology, Human Behavior Psych and many other Social based Psychology courses have paid incredible dividends within my career.
I know n=1, but as someone who worked nearly full time through out college to afford it even with student loans I'm tired of hearing about the blame being on colleges. The student has a responsibility to harden the "f" up and prepare themself for the realities of the real world.
So why stop at ITT?
Wanting to try to make over minimum wage, I went to an ITT-like trade school to talk with an "admissions counselor" seeing if they would accept me (of course they would, for a price). I took a fairly simple "placement exam" (which of course I passed). I told the counselor I didn't have any money (no problem!) I was then shown a variety of ultra high-interest loan options which would guarantee I could get through the "program" (just sign here!). I remember getting odd, cagey, answers about the accreditation of the trade school, and couldn't imagine how I'd pay back a loan that large if I took it on.
I had the presence of mind to "let me think about it" instead of giving in to the hard pressure sale the guidance counselor was offering, went on to work my crappy jobs for a couple more years before accidentally running into an old friend who grew up in a similar situation as me and ended up going the community college route.
It was "real" college (for some value of "real" and "college"), was a tiny fraction of the cost of the trade school, and graduation guaranteed placement in a state school of my choice. That sounded too good to be true, at least the trade school had some kind of real cost associated with it. But I went and checked it out, it was all true. A.S.->B.S.->M.S. and now I have a career, no student debt and choice of great high-paying jobs.
Later, while I was attending community college, a coworker was going to that same trade school, hemorrhaging money and then one monday came in and told a story where they had gone out of business, didn't tell anybody, and just padlocked the doors over the weekend.
Of course he still owed all the money for his loans.
I'm not sure why schools like ITT or Phoenix even exist or how they attract "customers/students".
This may sound arrogant, but for me, an ITT or Phoenix degree is worth less than the piece of paper it's on. I would actually pay money to have my name never associated with them on a resume or otherwise. Buying a fake diploma in a subway might be a better investment.
Having a school like that on your resume is pretty much the best way to signal to potential employers to never hire you for the kinds of jobs that will let you move up the financial and social ladder.
Also, some foreigners literally do not know any better.
I had far more terrible professors at the state school level than at CC. But I also had the best of the best there as well. So CC professors seem to come in somewhere in the middle in general -- very solid.
I always knew that tuition was orders-of-magnitude more expensive across the Atlantic but now it's a bit clearer why.
Here (Northern Ireland, but it applies to the UK as a whole), students don't start to repay their loans until their earnings are over a certain threshold, then repayments are proportional to how much they earn over that level. If their annual earnings ever fall below it again, payments stop until they're back on their feet.
I can't remember exactly what my interest rate was but I know it was fixed BELOW the central bank rate at the time.
Standard financial advice here is to max the loan out even if you weren't in need of it and just put it in a savings account for the interest (probably not worth it these days).
Lastly, if the loans aren't fully repaid by retirement age, they're written off.
So yeah, you folks are really getting screwed over there.
However I don't think "good loan terms" is the cause for your low tuition prices at all.
At least in other contexts, the reverse is usually true: When people have easy access to capital, prices go up. This happens for example in Finland with government rent subsidies (for people with trouble paying for a place to live in): When the subsidies go up, the rents go up as well, and apartment owners pocket more.
It has a really strange effect though of putting a floor of £450/month on almost anywhere (even the nastiest dive you could think of), but the sweet spot seems to be the next 25% up to £600. The difference between a really nice, new house, and a really crappy apartment in a bad area is about £100/month, solely because of the bottom on rents provided by the subsidies.
I suspect it's a really nice racket for modern day slumlords to be honest.
It turned from being a good socialist system that helped everyone to being a forced means of talent retention.
In the same way, American student loans are really aimed at keeping people trapped in industry they might grow to hate. Everyone has to pay the mortgage and all that.
As an example, I received 6 years (equivalent) of University education, earned two A.S. degrees, a B.S. degree and an M.S. degree in that time for around $26,000 or an average of around $4,400/year. It got more expensive as time went on, I switched from local community college to state school and went for my M.S., but my salary also increased rapidly during this time.
Today, that amount would barely cover 2 years of education. Even with inflation this is terrible growth in expense.
The current calculation for the interest rate on UK student loans is (RPI + X)% (where X varies from 0 for people earning less than £21k, to 3 for people earning £41k pa or more).
There have been some moans about the interest rate; firstly because RPI is consistently higher than CPI, and secondly because both are consistently higher than the BoE's base rate. Still, it's a darn sight better than the other side of the pond.
This was in 2010, shortly before I graduated they made it impossible to ever get out of these loans with the new bankruptcy thing.
I don't count community colleges here, I know those can be very good. My wife went to one, got great education, was able to pay it by just budgeting money every month out of her part time work. Then switched to a 4 years univeristy, transfered credits and graduated with honors after 2 more years (with minimal loans).
Would it be hard for any of these for-profit school to also do a good job?
You have a situation where the quality of the thing (in this case teaching) isn't easily known ahead of time, so the success of the organization isn't dependent on the quality of teaching, but instead is dependent on the quality of marketing (roughly).
So now you have a bunch of organizations with limited resources competing in the same space, and we'd like it if the organizations who provided the best education were winning. And providing a good education isn't opposed to also having good marketing, in principle.
The problem is that the organizations that try to be good at both teaching and marketing are competing against organizations that are trying to ONLY be good at marketing. The marketing organization will tend to win over time because it's easier to be good at one instead of being good at both, and the organizations that are just good at teaching die because they are bad at marketing.
tldr; Teaching is hard. Marketing is hard. Both at the same time is hard squared.
The ecosystem for HVAC schools is a competitive one where the winning HVAC program gains on the losers through a marketing advantage, not a teaching advantage.
My only critique is that they accept ANYONE. This leads to a large number of dropouts. You have people that haven't been able to grasp basic algebra and they bust their butts learning basic math and then hit Cal I, Cal II, Signal Processing, etc and they just can't hack it. By the time they flunk out they've wracked up tens of thousands in student loan debt.
We lost something like 60-80% of the students we started with in the first 2 years.
That seems immoral on the face of it to take advantage of those people, but at the same time this happens (albeit to a much lesser degree) in all schools, and I was grateful for the opportunity DeVry extended to me as a student with terrible grades in highschool.
A few weeks before graduation an army of potential employers came and interviewed at the school. I received three offers. Everyone in my class who graduated had at least one offer. The education we received was solid, as evidenced by the demand from employers who knew the reputation of the school. I got a good job and paid off my loan.
It is true that the attrition rate among students was pretty high. Lots of people were admitted who weren't the least bit interested in attending class. Some even repeated a term a couple of times while they hung out and partied. They shouldn't have been there. If they were on a FISL they probably either defaulted or someone else paid it off.
I don't know what DeVry is like these days. But if I had to do it again in the same situation I was in back then I would do it. It opened a good career path for me.
I think, cost aside, I do have to acknowledge that without DeVry I'd probably have never gone to college at all. I was definitely exiting high school hovering over the cracks and ready to fall through them, I had no resources to help me even visit any other colleges, let alone navigate enrollment or filling out forms for financial aid. DeVry recruiters might have been sales people, but they made sure I was able to navigate the process and because of that I had 4 years to self-study and learn and came out of it at least able to say that I have an accredited degree.
Of the schools he had investigated, he said DeVry was unusual because it was trying to operate like a real educational institution.
Federal loan money has distorted for-profit and non-profit institutions. But it's depressingly uncommon to find for-profit trade "schools" that actually care about educating students.
My understanding of the for-profit institutions is that the able sort of division exists, but it tends to be a lot more stark.
After a bit more discussion I think it's safe to say that DeVry is (or was between his time in the 80s and your time) a different breed of school than ITT. They seem to be a real school that just accepts anyone. Drop out/Graduation rates be damned.
Soooo many questions. so few answers.
I'll start with my immediate thoughts.
High dropouts are not absolutely a bad thing. In fact its pretty normal in all western schools that have zero focus on "how to learn". The "problem" is clearly earlier on in the education system, wherby students are reaching college age not knowing "how to learn", and suddenly finding its important.
Next up - the cost of learning/knowledge material.
I know of textbooks from the US being priced in the multi thousand dollar range (or simply not available for student purchase). "Teachers/Lecturers" aren't that important (I say that having graduated with a joint 1st from a top UK university having acquired a lot of warnings criticizing me for hardly ever attending lectures, but I wasn't skipping the material, I was skipping lecturers reading from textbooks).
All that said, I am left feeling these stories are more about attacking education that provides chances for the lower classes in the US to become middle and upper classes. Nothing about this ITT tech story addresses this one way or the other. Where are the employment stats for those who successfully graduate? Where are the interviews with graduates? I just see a ton of hyperbole he said she said. And whenever I come across that I automatically assume its a political power based decision, rather than a rational "good for everyone" one.
I know that all sounds a bit confused - that happens with "immediate thoughts". Its a first attempt at thinking about something we haven't really been allowed to think about.
Why am I thinking along these lines:
Education was set up as a "production line" into large public institutions. But the politicians destroyed the "large public institutions", and education doesn't teach people to be their own institution.
"If you are interested in the model of learning you don't start from this production line mentality"
There are also legit apprenticeship programs for trades.
The for-profit schools have a decades long record of charging 10x community college rates, paying teaching staff poorly, and almost always having poor standards of education. If government loans were ineligible, most of these institutions would close over night instead of trying to continue with poor friendly community college rates.
Isn't that true of any education system based on tuition fees?
So I found
Relatively few recent high school grads attending school full time flock to the halls of for-profit schools. These schools typically cater to nontraditional students, including older students with full-time jobs, parents, military veterans, at-risk students and those who need flexible class scheduling.
So is this really about "fixing" schooling, or just "fixing spending on people who don't deserve an education".
Feels much more like the later than the former.
There is probably a good pattern of going there but studying yourself and then get an official paper there (as long as it states accredited).
I did that to a certain extent at an average state school. Got grades from there but also used to study in depth other things I was interested in -- learned Python, security stuff, networking. It was really knowing those extra things that got me the job later, but if I didn't have the official paper, would have not gotten through the door (unfortunately).
But yeah accepting anyone might seem nice "we don't reject people like those mean state schools" but they don't do it from the goodness of their heart obviously.
I went to a private ABET certified school for an Aerospace Engineering degree. My class was maybe 80-100 students when I started, and at graduation there were only ~20 of us. Everyone who left early was also stuck with a metric tonne of student loan debt.
There are so so many of these colleges that the pool of quality teachers are almost all going to be in universities.
I took a business course for a year and all of the teachers were at most middle managers, marketing managers, or long retired company-men from IBM or other big corps.
They all just read off of powerpoint slides and rarely provided any valuable insight on their own, by design.
Mostly just a sea of mediocrity by people who were well intentioned but never made it far in industry so they got an easy job that's likely personally rewarding but not exceptionally valuable to the students vs reading a few books or any level of experience on the job.
And besides 50% of my class was Chinese kids who paid 5x as much as me in tuition to be there and had a poor grasp of English. These kids were the real target market. So quality wasn't necessarily the goal. Just filling seats and offices.
Schools like that are where the "Tighten up the graphics on Level 3" meme came from!
There have been a number of times I have sat staring at my monitor thinking that I just don't know enough to solve the problem at hand. That instead of spending days on the issue for someone better educated it would take hours.
Now that they exhausted the supply of trade schools, they're moving on to buying bootcamps.
One experience involved a recruiter who wanted a compete rewrite of a CV portion outlining a SQL project from planning to continuous implementation models I built.
This on top of 8 years of other experience in data design and management.
The recruiter wanted to pass on my resume because I had failed to indicate my experience with flat CSV files and thought I needed more experience with them as a "highly specialized software stack".
I decided not to pursue that company further, maybe it was ego getting in the way but insisting I rewrite a technical resume covering 10 years of database experience over the omission of operating with flat files seemed like refusing to hire a qualified electrical engineer because he didn't list AA Batteries on his resume.
LOL! It won't be long before the majority of EEs under 25 won't even know what an AA battery is. In fact, I bet it would be pretty hard today to find someone in their 20s who knows what a 9-volt is.
Remember, their phones and tablets charge from a cable but their toys and remote controls use 9-volt, AAA, AA, and D batteries.
Edit: I guess you were emphasizing the obscurity of the 9-volt in particular, but I think they probably have several things that use 9-volts.
Now if you said 4.5V flat pack lantern batteries, then yes.
I've seen like 1 before, and it was dead.
I know it sounds silly because it's written clearly here, but in a spoken interview it's possible an interviewee can miss a detail and suddenly think they're faced with travelling salesmen. Or are worried about I/O
Of course in those situations, the "right" thing to do is ask for clarification, or think out loud. And an interviewer should make sure the interviewee is solving the right question (in the real world, people help each other).
One proposed open-ended interview question in particular (these recruiters utilize both coding exercises & open-ended questions, plus some other stuff), "What's the difference between the stack and the heap?" was shot down for a number of reasons - colloquially, these refer to two different pools of memory wherein variables can be allocated. But stacks and heaps are also specific data structures, so there's some ambiguity. Most importantly, it's surprisingly difficult to answer that with anything that's 100% correct (e.g. "the stack is for variables with known lifetimes, whereas the heap is for those with unknown lifetimes" is really just a convention, and there are plenty of exceptions w.r.t. data structures of size that isn't compile-time constant, or dealing with polymorphism in certain languages). And since the question is rooted in fact, vs something that's intended to be debatable, lots of people won't throw forward the thoughts they have that are only 80% correct - they effectively freeze.
Should programmers in interviews know that?
After the second semester, CS students divide into three groups:
1) stressed out hobbyist programmers having their mind blown by the complexity of what they're learning,
2) people with no programming experience failing to learn to program (because the intro courses don't actually have any lectures about the basics of programming) and switching majors to business or engineering (because they've already taken calculus), and
3) other previous non-programmers who are copying other students' work or googled answers from the internet.
Type 3) eventually graduate, get jobs based on having the degree, and never finish a project in a programming role by utilizing a combination of charm, excuses, and transferring between jobs before they have to show their work. If they can paula = "Brilliant" long enough, they can get into management before they are exposed.
So many of the people I did CS with never even learned basic programming skills before they got their diploma. This is at a major state university with a very well-regarded program.
Chalk it up to yet more evidence of how tech interviewing/hiring is utterly broken.
Both seemed to really liked hiring odd canidates but were no slouches on coding.
You aren't doomed or damaged if you haven't programmed before hitting college. Claiming that is slandering a generation of engineers.
I can see why my comment could be seen as slandering all non-hobbyist programmers rather than programs that don't bother to teach programming because they expect you to already know when you arrive, but you would probably have to skip the second sentence of the first paragraph, and the first parenthetical in item 2).
Thanks for the rage, though.
Again, I watched people graduate who couldn't fizzbuzz. They got jobs, and they still couldn't fizzbuzz. These were friends, who I liked very much as people, and I'm as happy that they got good jobs as I am sure that anybody who hired them should be fired.
No, I think you're just poor at communicating. Your claim was "After the second semester, CS students divide into three groups", and then listed those three groups, zero of which involved a person who was new to programming doing well. You had every opportunity to hedge your statement, and you did not.
People that have worked in brown fields are often selected out by recruiters because they think it's harder to build a system than to maintain one.
Said candidate did not know what a unit test was and could not figure out how to write one, even after the concept was explained.
I have no idea how this could ever happen.
Should they know about unit tests though? That's a developers job.
I also would be shocked if a CS grad could not complete FizzBuzz, but apparently that happens.
I met someone when I was at college who went to ITT and said that he paid $30k and learned nothing from unqualified instructors, he felt (and clearly was) scammed.
I told them I wanted to be a computer programmer, they said "Oh, you want a Computer Science major, then." I didn't realize until after graduating that I'd learned about electrical engineering and processor architecture and compiler design and lots and lots of math, but almost no actual, y'know, computer programming. Pretty much had to start from scratch to make an actual career.
Programming is hard, and for some people it´s hard bordering on impossible. A surprising number of the latter still manage to get CS degrees.
Part of the problem, IMNSHO, is that we have widespread disagreement with the profession of software 'engineering' (such as it is) about what is mandatory, what is excellent, what is good, what is minimally acceptable and what is intolerable. We even see that what some people think is mandatory others think is intolerable, and vice-versa.
I don't know that we'll be able to have an actual proper software engineering profession for at least another two decades, but honestly closer to a century.
CS is the only field where this happens, as far as I can tell. There's plenty of degrees that aren't really useful career prep, but they're generally well-known--no philosophy major expects to graduate into the highly-paid world of professional philosophy. But if you're studying law or medicine or architecture, you absolutely do expect to be learning career skills.
There's this bizarre hole in CS where students come looking for a law degree and somehow get philosophy training instead. And then we have a thousand blog posts complaining about how fresh CS grads can't code FizzBuzz, and nobody at the universities ever makes the connection.
While, or right after, taking these theoretical courses in Java or graphics or whatnot, I would launch a project in that area to ground all that theory in something I could then manifest. I don't think this occurred to many of them, but to be fair, they are young and have been in school all their lives, and I went to class with a lot of (mostly non-programming) experience in the IT business already under my belt.
I was pretty intimately familiar with CVS by the time I graduated (very late in the 90s). But now that I think about it, it was probably introduced in an "Intro to C and Unix" which was a 1-credit class one of the faculty forced as a pre-req for certain higher-level courses like those on compilers. It was a crash-course on C (for students who had mainly used Pascal in their first year or two), Unix philosophy, and some associated tools (make, cvs, vi/emacs).
It only met the first third of the semester, so it could be taken concurrently with the class the required it. I wonder if other schools do something similar. It worked quite well, since by the the time you got up to speed, it was time to start building lexers in the compilers course.
I should mention, also, that our programming exercises were in C++ exclusively, on the campus Unix system exclusively, and the only development environment we were ever officially taught was vi. Not even Vim. IDEs, debuggers, webcode, and GUI libraries were never mentioned. Hell, they didn't even teach us anything about CLI or vi beyond the absolute minimum needed to create a file, compile it, and run it. I spent some time trying to figure out how to just get a C++ compiler on my desktop so I wouldn't have to mess with vi anymore, with no help whatsoever from my classes.
I have never had to use C++ in my entire career since.
I've heard the same complaint from a lot of my classmates. The ones who were successful right out of school were the ones who were working on their own projects outside of class, and learning that way--which some people will say that I "obviously" should have been doing myself, but in my teenage naivete I assumed that the curriculum I was paying so much to receive would actually teach me what I needed to know.
I suspect you were down voted because there are a lot of people who went the traditional route into programming who now feel threatened by (or at least indignant towards) people coming in via accelerated routes like bootcamps and self-teaching.
The reality is that the universities _should_ be doing a better job.
Personally, I think splitting the two roles into different kinds of institutions with different goals makes a lot of sense, and we already have this with universities vs. trade schools and community colleges, but (unfortunately, IMO) employers have consistently shown that they prefer to hire people from places that at least make a show of being more of the "higher education" persuasion than the "job training" persuasion. Sooo, yeah, you're probably right that in the current world, universities should just do a better job of teaching job skills.
I dropped out of the CS department after I screwed up my math pre-reqs, studied history, and spent what time I wasn't drinking beer or playing basketball, fooling with game programming. That actually left me in good stead when I managed to leverage the few programming-centric courses in the CS department into a minor - I still can't do proofs, but I can sling code and I read enough Joel on Software and Coding Horror to pick up some software engineering and architecture by osmosis.
even better, learn programming on your own before college. then hacking out assignments is easy, and you can form a great appreciation for the theoretical work.
Focusing on practice or theory alone misses some of the magic, imo.
The only one I know which doesn't charge is 42. Are there others? Which ones?
We* do the opposite and offer a 100% refund if the student isn't employed as a developer within 6 months of graduation.
As for the original comment, some coding bootcamps are starting to publish stats on graduate rate/outcomes (a few of which are also 3rd-party audited). The industry as a whole still has some bad eggs, but it's getting better.
What real-world skills does a typical Thinkful grad possess?
You can dig more into the curriculum/day-to-day schedule here: https://www.thinkful.com/bootcamp/web-development/full-time/. If you have questions not answered or clarified enough by that page, you can reach me by email (in bio) for anything else. Always welcome to constructive feedback as this specific program is only 7 months old.
In fact many are quite proud of not being that.
California is basing its move on a US Department of Education decision, which itself was based on a history of previous litigation, which started because of concerns over ITT's accreditation. Basically: no accreditation, no loans, which given ITT's business model would basically put them out of business. And if a school's accreditation is threatened in some way, the Fed can step in and require the school to post a bond, so that the USG isn't left footing the bill (students are already protected by law).
This, from what I can tell, is what happened to ITT: their accreditation was looking sketchy, so the Feds started to get concerned, and required them to post progressively larger bonds to protect the government against a closure, and also cut off new Federally-funded students from starting. This may or may not be enough to kill them as a company. CA is using this concern over future viability, combined with what appear to be some pretty strong consumer-protection laws, to prevent them from registering new students at all in CA. (I'm somewhat surprised they can do this, if you were just going to pay cash-on-the-barrel-head and not get anyone else's money involved, but they must have some particularly stringent laws about higher ed in CA. Probably not a bad idea all in all.)
It's been speculated that what the US DOE is doing is a rare example of the administrative "corporate death penalty" in action; that the moves are designed not just for the immediate regulatory ends, but actually to kill ITT. Pour encourager les autres, as the saying goes. Of course they can't come right out and say that, but it would fit with some of the evidence.
And personally, I'm ready to throw some rotten vegetables as they're climbing the scaffold to the noose.
I have no particular reason to trust or distrust ITT. But it strikes me as a trade school that presents itself as a college, and that seems like one viable approach to our credentialism issues, so I want to know if it's being attacked for legitimate or political reasons.
Here's 101 reviews that rate the institution 1 and 2 stars:
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit against ITT Educational Services, Inc., accusing the for-profit college chain of predatory student lending. The CFPB alleges that ITT exploited its students and pushed them into high-cost private student loans that were very likely to end in default. The CFPB is seeking restitution for victims, a civil fine, and an injunction against the company.
A recently unsealed whistleblower lawsuit against for-profit college chain ITT Technical Institute accuses the school of operating a “systematic scheme” to defraud the government by using a litany of abusive, deceptive practices to enroll students.
For-profit educational giant ITT Technical Institute inflated its job-placement rates by counting “any job (graduates got) that somehow involved the use of a computer” and misled prospective students about the quality of its programs as part of its high-pressure recruitment tactics, the Massachusetts Attorney General alleged in a lawsuit announced Monday.
direct link to complaint: https://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/lipscom...
A separate suit was filed by the SEC around the same time alleging that ITT deceived investors and auditors regarding the financials of its student loan program:
There are others.
So what ends up happening is the government pays the school and the students lucky enough to graduate end up with massive debt, no useful skills, and a degree that actually counts against them on the job market as employers think, "They were dumb enough to fall for that scam?" Other students who leave part way through are often surprised to learn that none of their credits are transferable to a real college because other schools know how bad these are.
Notably, they advertise heavily on Comedy Central and Cartoon Network during the Adult Swim "burner hours". It's not a good look when you're targeting the same demographics as phone sex lines...
So either classes are dumbed down so they can eventually graduate or fail many leaving them with a gigantic loan amount(most schools try to max this out) and no education cert.
Also, they tend to pay fairly low for teacher faculty while having little prestige or oversight: quality is unlikely in this environment.
However they have top notch recruiting and sale teams.
Why would California attack ITT for political reasons?
The problem with ITT is the same problem with all such schools - profit above all else. Whether their students learn anything is secondary.
That said, it doesn't sound like this is one of the high performing schools.
For-profit universities ... aren't. They're owned and operated by for-profit companies, the accreditation is usually terrible and in no way comparable to other universities, and they deceive students into thinking they'll be getting something similar to a university degree.
For example, ITT is run by ITT Educational Services Inc
What really needs to happen, is the US needs to restrict federal student loans to programs on a whitelist of accreditors (whitelisting the accreditation organization not the program, like ABET for example) as well as restricting organizations calling themselves "institute", "university", etc. as well as giving out "degrees" without matching the whitelist.
I have _no_ problem with the concept of a for-profit university, but they're being allowed to exist with very low standards and it needs to stop.
In fact I think the whole university system needs to tighten it's belt and be made smaller and more elite. Too many people think that ticking a university box is necessary to get a job / to hire a person, especially when so many people get such low quality degrees.
I'm not even railing against soft degrees, but their contents instead. "Liberal Arts" ... if you deconstruct that you can get to the original meaning which might be rephrased something like "the skills necessary to live a free life" which a whole lot of university degrees these days do not do at all.
University has poor standards? Don't hire their graduates, or at least, don't weight their qualifications as heavily.
I don't understand why you think Government action - that is, force - is necessary here. Or is it that you think they are defrauding their students by calling themselves Universities?
It's just an external audit, and there's nothing at all wrong with that. These for-profit organizations are defrauding students by providing very low quality and very expensive educations, all the while passing the low quality standards set by a broken accreditor.
Market solutions don't work when the target audience are young people investing a huge chunk of their lives in education. If a new brand of coffee and it's horrible, you can just try a different brand. A college student doesn't have the same luxury.
These schools have high pressure sale teams who target the bottom of the barrel or the clueless leaving the tax payer on the hook for defaulted loans.
Its no different than scammers who target the elderly or children with false claims.
Yes, that is what I think
As to why theyre ellegible for student loans (unlike most code bootcamps)....excessive lobbying.
Hence why their credits rarely transfer to other schools.
The second difference is one of structure. For-profit universities are, well, for-profit companies, meaning their top priority is to hit earning targets and satisfy shareholders, many of whom may very well put their own short term financial interests ahead of the long term well being of the school or its students. Private universities tend to be set up as non-profit trusts, answerable to a board of trustees who's priorities should be more aligned with the long term reputation and well being of the school.
Of course this is all on some sort of sliding scale and there may very well be well-run accredited for profit schools with share-holders with a long term vision for the school and there are no doubt terribly run private universities with trustees whom try to use their position to wring out personal profits. But that is the basic gist of it.
"the U.S. Department of Education formally recommended that the accreditor's recognition be withdrawn. (June 15th 2016)"
So I guess they won't be accredited for long.
For better or worse when people see "Approved by The US Department of Education" they have (perhaps unreasonable) expectations that that means something.
The Department of Education just needs to give a little bit less leeway to low quality accreditors. (and even then, the decisions should be made by career bureaucrats led by an appointed secretary, not by legislation)
I once looked at art Institute and each campus location varied greatly in accreditation.
This is not how I'd categorize ITT.
This metric is a gradient which can be used to rank undergraduate educations. ITT Tech falls below the vast majority of other institutions by this metric. If this were not the case, credits from ITT Tech would easily transfer to other institutions. Beyond that, they are in danger of losing their accreditation. This suggests to me that their already low standards have been declining in recent years and look unlikely to improve.
The problem may be precisely that it is a trade school presenting itself as a college. If it were actually a college, the program quality would be higher. If it were presenting itself as a trade school it wouldn't be misleading its students about program quality.
These institutes typically recruit anyone eligible for a government student loan and lobby hard for the ability to recieve them.
When the student fails (common), the school keeps the loan and the student owes the feds. If he graduates, the school still wins becuase they spead very little on education unlike a traditional non-profit.
Its a textbook definition of a con game.