A View from College, A View of College, and a Job

I ran across three lists that I found interesting the last couple of days:

The Beloit College Mindset
list is a run down of perspective. The list highlights life experiences, i.e. a freshman entering college this fall doesn’t know Magic Johnson without HIV. Here is an excerpt they prepared:

If the entering college class of 2013 had been more alert back in 1991 when most of them were born, they would now be experiencing a severe case of deja vu. The headlines that year railed about government interventions, bailouts, bad loans, unemployment and greater regulation of the finance industry. The Tonight Show changed hosts for the first time in decades, and the nation asked “was Iraq worth a war?” 

Each August since 1998, Beloit College has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college. It is the creation of Beloit’sKeefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and Emeritus Public affairs Director Ron Nief.  It is used around the world as the school year begins, as a reminder of the rapidly changing frame of reference for this new generation. It is widely reprinted and the Mindset List website at http://www.beloit.edu/mindset/ receives more than 300,000 hits annually.

As millions of students head off to college this fall, most will continue to experience the economic anxiety that marked their first two years of life just as it has marked their last two years of high school. Fears of the middle class–including their parents–about retirement and health care have been a part of their lives. Now however, they can turn to technology and text a friend: “Mom dad still worried bout stocks. urs2? PAW PCM”.

Members of the class of 2013 won’t be surprised when they can charge a latté on their cell phone and curl up in the corner to read a textbook on an electronic screen. The migration of once independent media—radio, TV, videos and CDs—to the computer has never amazed them. They have grown up in a politically correct universe in which multi-culturalism has been a given.  It is a world organized around globalization, with McDonald’s everywhere on the planet. Carter and Reagan are as distant to them as Truman and Eisenhower were to their parents. Tattoos, once thought “lower class,” are, to them, quite chic. Everybody knows the news before the evening news comes on.

Thus the class of 2013 heads off to college as tolerant, global, and technologically hip…and with another new host of The Tonight Show.

Here are some examples from the list:
01. For these students, Martha Graham, Pan American Airways, Michael Landon, Dr. Seuss, Miles Davis, The Dallas Times Herald, Gene Roddenberry, and Freddie Mercury have always been dead.
04. They have never used a card catalog to find a book.
05. Margaret Thatcher has always been a former prime minister.
06. Salsa has always outsold ketchup.
44. There have always been flat screen televisions.
52. They have never been Saved by the Bell
75. There has always been blue Jell-O.

US News and World Report each year come out with their somewhat controversial rankings of colleges and universities. It is fun to look at and provides a particular point of view, but for the most part I wouldn’t use them to factor into my higher education decision. Here is what they say this year:

For the second year in a row, Harvard University tops the U.S.News & World Report rankings of America’s Best Colleges, but this time it has company. By edging up slightly in the 15 indicators of academic excellence that U.S. News uses to compile the rankings, Princeton University tied Harvard for first place on the list of national universities. Among the liberal arts colleges, Williams CollegeAmherst College. Last year, those two Massachusetts schools tied for first place in that category.

Here are a few I pulled out:
1a: Harvard
1b: Princeton
04: California Institute of Technology
12: Washington University in St. Louis
28: UNC Chapel Hill
28: Wake Forest
35: University of Rochester
102: University of Missouri

UBS every few years does a survey to baseline the amount of time worked and the pay in those areas. They call this Prices and Earnings. Here is some of their findings for this year:

UBS’s “Prices and Earnings” study has dubbed Oslo, Zurich,Copenhagen, Geneva, Tokyo and New York as the world’s most expensive cities based on a standardized basket of 122 goods and services.

“When rent prices are factored into the equation, New York, Oslo,Geneva and Tokyo emerge as especially pricey places to live. The basket costs the least in Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Delhi and Mumbai. The study was based on data collected in 73 cities around the world between March and April of this year,” UBS reports.

Earnings highest in Switzerland, Denmark and the US

The survey of 73 international cities found that employee
s in Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva and New York have the highest gross wages.Zurich and Geneva – the two Swiss cities in the study – top the rankings in the international comparison of net wages. By contrast, the average employee in Delhi, Manila, Jakarta and Mumbai earns less than one-fifteenth of Swiss hourly wages after taxes.

Zurich and New York: nine hours of work for an iPod nano

One vivid way to illustrate the relative purchasing power of wages is to replace the abstract basket of goods and services with a specific, highly uniform product that is available everywhere with the same quality, and then calculate how long an employee would have to work to be able to afford it in each city. The study determined that employees have to work a global average of 37 minutes to earn enough to pay for a Big Mac, 22 minutes for a kilo of rice and 25 minutes for a kilo of bread. For the first time, a non-food product was used in the study to compare working hours.

The iPod nano with 8 GB of storage is an ideal example of a globally uniform product. An average wage-earner in Zurich and New York can buy a nano from an Apple store after nine hours of work. At the other end of the spectrum, workers in Mumbai, need to work 20 nine-hour days –roughly the equivalent of one month’s salary – to purchase an iPod Nano.

Long working hours in the Middle East and Asia – shortest in France

People work an average of 1,902 hours per year in the surveyed cities but they work much longer in Asian and Middle Eastern cities,averaging 2,119 and 2,063 hours per year respectively. Overall, the most hours are worked in Cairo (2,373 hours per year), followed by Seoul (2,312 hours). People in Lyon and Paris, by contrast, spend the least amount of time at work according to the global comparison: 1,582 and 1,594 hours per year respectively.

Working Thoughts 08/20/08

Chinese Hiring of Graduates is Down

Working Thoughts 08/20/07

Migrant Workers and the State Department


Posted in:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: