Useless University degree : numismatic

Discussion in 'Ancient Coins' started by Ocatarinetabellatchitchix, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

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  3. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    Almost as useless as Egyptian Archaeology and Languages! (my undergraduate degree). Then I went on to get an MBA and landed in the private equity world.

    Studying hieroglyphics, hieratic script, and demotic is at least as hard as statistics and calculus. In my opinion, younger folks should not be dissuaded from obscure major courses of study - you end up learning more and become a well-rounded person. To me, business is something you do, not something you have to study between ages 18-22 based on job market prognostications. End of lecture.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  4. Svarog

    Svarog Well-Known Member

    Gotta Love PE World - Models and Bottles:)
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  5. chrisild

    chrisild Coin Collector

    Come on. Yes, you can study numismatics in Vienna. But the way that text - or at least the part about numismatics - is written suggests that you should not take the article all too serious. ;)

  6. David@PCC


    Not as useless as a general business degree in the United States a.k.a. my first degree. Wish I could return it for a refund. At least a numismatic degree would have been fun if nothing else.
  7. Nicholas Molinari

    Nicholas Molinari Well-Known Member

    I agree 100%
  8. lrbguy

    lrbguy Well-Known Member

    I cannot believe how shortsighted the reviewer (Thomas Vorreyer) was in his comments on numismatics. He mentions the study of ancients, but no one peep about the utility to archaeology (the teams in Israel frequently hire numismatists as participating consultants). He wasted a lot of space describing the eclipsing of hard currency by virtual ones, and completely ignored the modern interest in the ancient world. Niche perhaps but hardly nonexistent. My advanced degree is not in Numismatics, but it was not out of the question.
  9. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    The problem with a lot of college degrees is that they're basically hobbies. If you want to learn art or music, these are things you could study for very little money by hiring a private art or music teacher (or even cheaper if you join a class at a studio rather than hiring a private teacher just for yourself). Literature, history, sociology, philosophy, and art history can be studied by buying books on Kindle on the subjects, or going to conventions, etc. There really is no need to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a degree in those areas.

    Tell me, why spend $65,000 to study classical history, when for $7000 you could buy dozens of Kindle books and dozens of computer lectures on the subject, visit several museums stateside with ancient artifacts, and go on a European trip to visit and experience many of the sites and artifacts for yourself. Not only will you end up learning as much or more than those who paid for the expensive degree, you'll also have way more hands on experience than them.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
  10. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    Yeah, for history books I have read "America BC", "Gold Of The Gods" and "Chariots Of The Gods"
  11. Kentucky

    Kentucky Supporter! Supporter

    My favorite "useless" degrees include sociology and art history
  12. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    I couldn't disagree more. :D @Kentucky makes a good point: the beginner/amateur isn't in a position to decide what books to learn from, never mind being able to understand where there is and isn't consensus and what that consensus is. They're not in a position to figure out a priori how to think about a particular subject. They can't tell where they're getting it right and where they're getting it wrong. Just reading something often isn't sufficient to understand it; you're just as likely to get the wrong end of the stick.

    All of these things need an expert guide, at least for most people. (Looking at recent research, it seems that massive online courses are also inadequate.)

    For a genius it may be another story. ;)
  13. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    Some universities have also posted a whole semester of a particular class online for free. You can get free semester's worth of lectures on topics like Roman history, Literature, Philosophy, etc. on YouTube and other websites from universities such as Harvard or Yale.

    Again, no need to waste tens of thousands of dollars on a mere hobby. At least for 95% of the people getting these degrees that is true. Unless you intend to go all the way through a PhD and become an academic, don't waste money on getting a degree in what is basically a hobby.
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  14. Severus Alexander

    Severus Alexander Blame my mother. Supporter

    A recent review:

    Some of its conclusions:
    • Students in online education, and in particular underprepared and disadvantaged students, underperform and on average, experience poor outcomes.
    • Online education has failed to improve affordability, frequently costs more, and does not produce a positive return on investment.
    • Regular and substantive student-instructor interactivity is a key determinant of quality in online education; it leads to improved student satisfaction, learning, and outcomes.

    (So blended courses, i.e. with a mix of instructor contact and online, are OK.)

    Another recent paper:
    "Using an instrumental variables approach, we find that taking a course online, instead of in-person, reduces student success and progress in college. Grades are lower both for the course taken online and in future courses. Students are less likely to remain enrolled at the university."

    And that's with formalized online learning. The contrast with pursuing a subject as a hobby will be even starker. Getting zero feedback & guidance from a professor makes a big difference.

    I don't have any problem with pursuing a subject as a hobby, of course. You'll learn a lot more than you would if you played video games instead. :D But we should be under no illusions you will achieve a similar level of understanding as you would if you took an in-person degree at university! Not to mention the general advantages of a liberal arts degree like improved critical thinking skills, writing skills, broadening your perspective, and generally becoming a better citizen.
  15. ancient coin hunter

    ancient coin hunter I dig ancient coins...

    The main benefit of getting a degree in a research field such as history, classics, and archaeology is this: you get access to some of the world's leading scholars in the field in the classroom and at seminars. This kind of close access and dialog cannot be replicated through an online experience, IMHO. I would consider some of that access almost priceless as one moves forward in life. Also, you can go in many different directions - stay in the field and get a Ph.D., get a professional degree so long as you do well on the GMAT or LSAT, or do something entirely different.
  16. RichardT

    RichardT Well-Known Member

    You are missing the point of a liberal arts degree. They are not professional degrees like Law, Engineering or Medicine. Liberal arts degrees train one to think. to recognise and to look behind assumptions among others.

    Looking at a semester's worth of lectures and thinking you can afford to skip classes is very shortsighted. The liberal arts are very difficult to excel in.
  17. lrbguy

    lrbguy Well-Known Member

    Graduate study isn't about courses and class outlines. It is about learning critical thinking, how to navigate the existing and future literature on topic and separate the wheat from the chaff, it is about learning how to articulate an argument so concisely it could become a course outline, and then going ahead and teaching it. Is that any different from the intended outcome of law school? More to it than racking up hours in a classroom.
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  18. Orfew

    Orfew Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus Supporter

    Reading a bunch of books on your own is a very good way to reinforce one's ideas about the world. You have no one to challenge your perceptions, interpretations or understanding. A learner needs someone to point out the pitfalls and mistakes and to show them alternative paths of understanding. A liberal arts degree will do this.

    Here is a passage from Richard III, the first few lines in fact.

    "And now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of York, and all the clouds that loured upon our house in the deep blossom of the ocean buried"

    Many people will get some meaning from this the first time they read it. However, without guidance they may not realize that there is more than one way to read it. As an academic one of the most difficult ideas to get across is that when writers write they may in fact intend for the reader to understand several meanings at the same time. Do you really think reading a bunch of books will teach you to do this?

    For example, let us assume that the above passage is a soliloquy, a speech to one's self that explores thoughts and ideas. How would you read the above in that case? Shakespeare gives us a clue. He is famous for using word play. "Sun of York" should be read as synonymous with "Son of York". That is, the inheritor of the throne, a descendant of York is also the life or the sun of the country. Try reading the passage in an angry brooding way. If you do you might see that "sun of York" is sarcastic in tone. Now apply this to the entire first phrase. He is in fact saying that the heir to the throne will not be the saviour of the country. The problems of state will not be dispersed as the clouds are by the sun or son.

    Now let us change the assumptions. Instead of a soliloquy let us make this a speech to a crowd which includes the heir to the throne. Now try to read the lines as a celebration. Instead of a sarcastic tone the words are now laudatory and positive. Now look at the word buried. What does it mean if Richard utters this in disgust or anger? What does it mean if he is in a celebratory mood? Is it possible that the word buried gives us a clue? Even in a positive context the word buried stick out as being negative. Does this foreshadow the deaths to come in the play?

    Okay what is the point? The point is that Shakespeare meant for us to understand both these possibilities at the same time. If he had not there would be no need for the word play. In the end I think he makes it clear which is the most probable, but that does not mean that the ambiguity should be dismissed. Ambiguity is good because it forces us to consider other interpretations.

    What ambiguity does one encounter when they are the sole voice considered?
  19. hotwheelsearl

    hotwheelsearl Well-Known Member

    I received an MA in East Asian Studies from UCLA, which is consistently rated in the top 2 public universities in the USA.

    Now I work for $0.50 more than minimum wage at the local YMCA.

    Now THAT's a useless university degree
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  20. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    What, and you guys think books and journals don't offer contradictory views?

    Anyway, I don't want to argue here about this. Don't want the mods showing up and castigating us over this conversation, so I'll be a mature adult and leave it at this.... :p:rolleyes:

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  21. Ocatarinetabellatchitchix

    Ocatarinetabellatchitchix Supporter! Supporter

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