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Compared to my siblings ...

Displaying poll results.
I have notably less formal education
  2537 votes / 11%
I have notably more formal education
  7912 votes / 36%
I have a similar level of formal education
  7551 votes / 34%
I'm an only child
  2379 votes / 10%
What do you mean by "formal education"?!
  1502 votes / 6%
21881 total votes.
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  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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Compared to my siblings ...

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  • by Bigbutt (65939) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @12:36PM (#42087429) Homepage Journal

    There are three of us. Two of us are within 2 years in age but the youngest is 14 years younger than I am. My younger brother and I are self taught in much of what we know. I've gone to a few college classes for specific things but not an eye to getting a degree. My youngest brother has an MBA and a big house in the suburbs.

    So we poke at him telling him he was raised by a different dad. :) Ours was in the Navy and just getting started, dealing with trying to support a family, and a job that took him away half the year. His was well established, had a nice house and good income, and was able to devote time to him.


    • by fermion (181285)
      I definitely have a different idea about formal education. For instance my sister and I have the same level of degrees, but I consider her to have a higher formal education due to what she majored in and the school she went to. Likewise, I would not consider an MBA to be anything compared to the traditional formal education, i.e. humanities, maths, science, engineering, art. It seems to me too much like a technical degree or trade school. Valuable, but not what a university education is meant to do.
  • Middle one.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdot AT jawtheshark DOT com> on Sunday November 25, 2012 @12:46PM (#42087483) Homepage Journal

    My old brother had trouble learning. My parents did everything in their power to get him a decent education. They managed barely. I suffered my whole life because of him, because I had to be lenient because my parents said "please, understand, it's $firstname_of_my_brother". I didn't even dare to celebrate my high school diploma.
    He's a swell guy, I wouldn't want to miss him... I also understand my parents: both intelligent people with University degrees and they got much less than what they bargained for.

    Me? Did pretty much what was expected from me. Slept through high school, did University lazily, got through with not much effort.

    My younger sister was, let's say pretty alternative. Bright, but very very very lazy. She calculated her grades so to just pass. Of course, that went bad after a few years. Took a long of time to get her through high school (with a pratical part in accounting, so technically she can do an accounting job). She did follow her passion and did an (very expensive private) sound engineering school. Which she only absolved with a "did participate courses" certificate. She does the job she likes though, working for concert gigs.

    Formal degrees is one thing. My siblings actually lived and did some interesting stuff, met interesting people... I just did what I was expected to... Who made the right choice, I ask you?

    • by cayenne8 (626475)

      Took a long of time to get her through high school (with a pratical part in accounting, so technically she can do an accounting job).

      Err...where is this high school that teaches accounting? I've never heard of such a thing, till you got into college?

      • by ZiakII (829432)
        Err...where is this high school that teaches accounting? I've never heard of such a thing, till you got into college?

        FWIW my high school (Freehold Township High School, Freehold, NJ) 10 years ago had Accounting I and Accounting II. Stupid ALOE (Assets = Liabilities + Owner’s Equity). I still have it engrained in my head.
      • Europe works different than the US.
      • Took a long of time to get her through high school (with a pratical part in accounting, so technically she can do an accounting job).

        Err...where is this high school that teaches accounting? I've never heard of such a thing, till you got into college?

        During the 10th grade, I took "Record Keeping", which was essentially Accounting Lite. The high school I went to for my second two years offered classes in accounting, drafting, and aviation, the last taught by one of the language teachers who had a private pilot's license. I think the drafting classes were a similar case of a teacher offering a class in something related to his personal interests. A lot can depend on how interesting your teachers' hobbies are, how feasible they are for a school setting/bud

  • Lets see... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by shakezula (842399) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @12:58PM (#42087547) Homepage
    I've got a sister who's a MSW, she waits tables at a place called the "Haunted Hamburger."

    I've got a sister who's got a BS degree in "Landscape Engineering," she bakes bread for a living.

    I've got a sister who's got a BS in Geology and was recently making serious cheddar but the mine closed, so she decided to have a baby and is is out for the duration.

    I've got a brother who's a welder, owns some cows, and fancies himself a rancher in progress.

    Finally, I've got a brother who thinks that education is something the "man" uses to keep you down.

    As for me? Associates degree in business, bachelors degree in general studies in another 18 credits (been doing it in my 'spare' time) and the only one of the lot to have a long-term career, I've been doing computers for 18+ years now. From my experience, the degree doesn't do much but get you in the door for the interview in IT...90% of what I know by heart came from doing it and being a nerd, the other 10% can be determined via Google.
    • Having read the first two paragraphs in your post, when you mentioned your sis with the geology degree - for a couple moments I thought you meant she was making craft cheeses.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      ...90% of what I know by heart came from doing it and being a nerd, the other 10% can be determined via Google.

      Holy crap! Google is only 10% of what you know by heart? I bow to thee, oh mighty god of knowledge!

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      From my experience, the degree doesn't do much but get you in the door for the interview in IT...90% of what I know by heart came from doing it and being a nerd, the other 10% can be determined via Google.

      That's true for pretty much all fields of work. For starting positions companies look for fresh graduates, who have a degree (and with that a certain amount of background knowledge) in whatever field they need. For higher positions they look for people with experience in that field of work - having the degree is usually implied as without the degree you wouldn't be able to get a job or experience.

      And of course that degree takes like four years of study. After that you have had 18+ years of work, which defin

    • by Anonymous Coward

      "From my experience, the degree doesn't do much but get you in the door"

      Almost anybody would tell you that a degree only "got them in the door", and that the vast majority of their professional knowledge comes from experience. But that doesn't diminish the the value of a degree one iota. Getting in the door is by far the absolute hardest part of any career. The barriers are tremendous. A degree is the obvious and easiest way to help you get over that hump.

      People who say "a degree only ..." are trying to hig

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Nobody's got any of that nowadays.
    Nobody's forced to get along in big families and small towns anymore, and school hasn't picked up on those subjects, as if they were somehow "lesser" than math or physics.
    And then we're surprised we end up in a dog-eat-dog society with monsters like Goldman Sachs and Monsanto.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday November 25, 2012 @01:14PM (#42087659)

    Six siblings: 1 doctor MD brother, 2 Ph.D. sisters (in maths and English lit), 2 nurse/RN sisters, one with college degree only. Me? "only" an MA in biophysics here since I bailed on the PhD program to do technology. It is fair to say that our family all got hit pretty hard by the education bug. Our Mom didn't complete college so we learned to respect hard work outside of academia. Compared to degrees, persistence and good direction is what counts in life. Thanks Mom!

    • by mcmonkey (96054)

      My sister took a few college courses. (Notice I didn't say "completed" or "passed".) Her high school diploma is of the "if we give you this piece of paper and let you wear a gown in June, do you promise to never come back?" variety.

      I have a BS in chemistry and math and am close to finishing a Masters in IT with a concentration in mathematics and computation.

      I am married but have no kids. She is married and has three girls--11, 9, and 7. The household runs, and the kids are healthy and happy. I can oper

    • by Zordak (123132)

      BSEE and JD for me. Eight biological siblings: Doctor (MD), Biochemist (MS), Mom working (slowly) on a degree in Special Education (hubby is a prison guard), Mom working on (music?) degree (hubby is an engineer, BSME), Mom with no apparent educational aspirations (hubby is working on a DDS), Ditto (hubby is an AF F-16 mechanic, but not planning to be career military), CS student (mathematically briliant but a little anti-social with Asperger's), and youngest applying to the Police Academy. I also have four

  • by macwhizkid (864124) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @01:28PM (#42087765)

    Grew up hearing about how education is indispensable from my two first-gen college-educated parents. Went through high school with very little effort, graduated near the top of my class, got a degree in physics at a well-known university. But here I am, late 20's, with a tenuous job as a research associate, not knowing whether I'll still have a job next year given the uncertainty with federal research funding.

    Younger sister on the other hand (currently in her early 20's), struggled a bit in high school, dropped out of college after freshman year, to the utter dismay of my parents. She got a job washing dishes and worked her way up, now works for a farmers market delivering produce to local restaurants. She earns almost as much as I do now, and without the uncertainty that the {Republicans | Democrats} will legislate her out of a job next year over the latest government spending fight. It's a pretty safe bet that 10 years from now people will still be eating vegetables.

    In theory my career opportunities and income should exceed hers in the years ahead, but I say that with a whole lot less confidence than I did a couple years ago.

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      Perhaps they didn't tell you, but you can look for another job using your degree and experience as reference.

  • by NixieBunny (859050) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @01:35PM (#42087805) Homepage
    All of us went to college. The two of us who studied electronics both dropped out for the same reason - we already had electronics jobs that were teaching us way better than school was.
    My other brother got a degree in mechanical engineering and has never used it, unless you consider fixing cars to be using it. OK, he does work with a FIRST robotics team, so that counts for something.
    My sister had an interesting experience - she was taking a sculpture class as a 40-year-old housewife, and noticed that the other students were watching her instead of the teacher. So she started her own sculpture school and is doing well.
    • by cayenne8 (626475)
      I've noticed that most of my friends....self included, really have never much used their college degrees in their careers.

      I was a Biochem. major....and have never worked a day in my life doing anything related to biochemistry....I kinda fell into IT in the early 90s.....

      I only know one friend, that was a civil engineer major, that works as....a civil engineer.

      • by rvw (755107)

        I've noticed that most of my friends....self included, really have never much used their college degrees in their careers.

        I was a Biochem. major....and have never worked a day in my life doing anything related to biochemistry....I kinda fell into IT in the early 90s.....

        I only know one friend, that was a civil engineer major, that works as....a civil engineer.

        I've studied Computing for two years, then Psychology for several years, and I've followed courses in law and theology. What I found interesting is that each kind of study has its own method of studying and completely different from what I thought before I did those studies. Psychology - what I learned from it is to doubt everything - nothing is for granted. Law is a lot of hard work, and much less clear than what it appears.

        You may not use the study in your job, but it molds you and it makes that you appro

    • I was self taught in electronics also. I supplimented that with training in the Navy. Instead of a college degree, I have my Journeyman ISCET certification. It is recognized by most employers as a degree, but without the student loan. []

  • I'm in uni at the moment and my brother is in secondary school so I suppose that means I've got more formality by quantity but by purely the formality of it, we're on the same path I suppose. I bet I'm like a kid compared to the general slashdot community
  • I considered "in a nutshell" formal for my time, and have a much more advanced grasp of technology than anyone coming out of a college. My brother got a masters and I am proud of that, but "formal" is inappropriate in any tech field except engineering.
    • by Trepidity (597)

      I learned a lot of the theoretical parts of CS in college, along with some mathematical tools (linear algebra, discrete math, etc.) which have been useful at various times. Sure, I could've self-taught, but afaict most people (including me) don't really self-teach the mathematical underpinnings of CS. Now if you mean programming skill, I agree university isn't where you usually pick that up.

  • Come on /., you're doing a marketing survey? What, slashdot is going to give over that information to some online ad company? For what it's worth, I have less "formal" education than my siblings, but you'll have to put that information into your database manually. :-)
    • by mcmonkey (96054)

      Come on /., you're doing a marketing survey?

      Welcome to /.. You must be new here.

      The polls have been marketing surveys for a long time. "How Do You Participate In Black Friday?" "Are you better off than you were four years ago?" "How Long Is Your Morning Commute?" "I found my current job through" "I reach my workplace, primarily/typically, by" "My primary phone runs" etc.

      This is not a recent development.

  • by DERoss (1919496) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @03:40PM (#42088565)

    My younger brother and I both have bachelor's degrees from the University of California system. I also took some post-graduate classes, but not towards a master's degree. We both have had successful careers. I retired early. My brother is semi-retired, investing in residential housing and occasionally working as a real estate agent.

    The next generation is different. My brother had no children. I have a son and a daughter. My son stopped his college education, lacking only 3-6 units to complete his bachelor's degree. He is in the insurance industry and has been laid-off more than once; when he is working, he earns a very good income. My daughter has two bachelor's degrees (journalism and education) and a master's degree; she has been thinking of getting a doctorate. She has become a recognized authority on the use of technology in adult education and teaches undergraduate courses in that subject at a university. She too earns a good income.

  • ... but his doctorate is in macroeconomics, so it doesn't count.
    Most of macroeconomic theory is junk science anyway. If you are really interested in macroeconomics, you should study statistics, economic history, political science etc. instead. Of course he got a good share of that too, but not enough to do a doctor in my opinion.

    My sister went to college for two years studying design but got no degree.
    I have a Master's degree in Computer and Systems Sciences.

    Therefore, I do consider myself to have better fo

    • by Anonymous Coward
      This post reflects more on your attitude towards your brother than you probably want to admit.
      • by Misagon (1135)

        No, I admit everything, otherwise I would not post.
        Of course I am jealous of him having a doctorate. I am also jealous of him going to Berkeley to study, and of the inflated salary that his degree has given him.

        I could also admit that I have always thought of him as somewhat of a buffoon. I have read a few of the papers that my brother have produced, and have concluded that it is of no consequence.

        I have thought of his field of study as being mostly junk even before he expressed an interest in it.
        Events in

  • I voted the same as my siblings. I come from a family of seven siblings, and I am the youngest. 4 of us have got a university degree, and three only finished highschool.
    The amazing part though is that my mum was illiterate and my dad has never has formal schooling (friends in the army taught him to read and write). They both valued education so much that sacrificed a lot for us to go to good schools.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Compared to my siblings, I'm an only child"

    Sounds like someone got locked in the basement as a child...

  • ... rotten, selfish, etc. according to my queen and king ants. :P

  • by jalind (149055) on Sunday November 25, 2012 @07:23PM (#42089687) Homepage

    Never finished school, but have about 32 hours of mathematics and physics and other general classes towards a BS in Physics. IMHO, the formal education makes no difference unless the experience of obtaining it creates the ability to think. Of all the PhD mathematicians and physicists, the MBAs and MScs and others with whom I've worked in the last 35 years in IT, the very best were the ones who learned how to think really well however they were educated. The worst sometimes had more yardage on their transcripts, but saw it only as a ticket to punch for a high paying job. They were the ones who were really adept at getting a job, putting on a good show while at work, getting everyone else to solve the really difficult aspects of their work and moving on to greener pastures when they got cornered with their own mediocrity.

    The one thing I have observed is that higher education and popular culture in the US is progressively rewarding the latter behavior. Geek, nerd and other perjorative appellations clearly reflect what current popular culture thinks of the deep thinkers. Instead, we reward a culture that glorifies gangsta rapper drug lords and image-without-substance from Hollister and Abercrombe & Fitch.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm an only child, you insensitive clod

  • I completed a B.S. in Computer Information Systems and am currently working on a M.S. in Information Assurance. Neither my bother or sister ever attended a single college course. My sister was at best an average student in high school and graduated without having to struggle. My brother was a sub-par student who only graduated on-time due to a last chance program that really makes a mockery out of obtaining a high school diploma.

    As far as the worth of the degrees it is very mixed. I didn't go to colleg

    • Same here....

      Neither of my parents went to college. My mother went to Nursing school and my father finished high-school. They both pushed me to go to university.

      I have a BS in Business Admin, a BS in Comp Sci, and a MS in IT Management. I'm a senior network design/architect/engineer for a large biotech company, making a good salary.

      My first sister, just over a year younger, has a BS in Business and used to work at a call center for a resort company. This was great as she was able to get resort discounts

  • by subreality (157447) on Monday November 26, 2012 @01:03AM (#42091185)

    He graduated college. I dropped out of high school and went the self-education route. He hates his job. I love my job and earn 3 times as much while working 60% the hours.

    We are very different people and there's no way I could have finished a degree (I wanted to, but I'm simply miserable in a formal schooling environment; in retrospect I'm very glad I dropped out and I wish I had done so sooner; it was very bad for my mental health); he would have not had the skills to get by at all without college. YMMV. Do what's right for your own situation.

  • Two older siblings, one with BSc and PhD, other with SB and working on EE. I'm still finishing high school, so considerably less schooling, and since I don't wear my formal gowns to school that often, definitely considerably less formal schooling. But unlike age, where I can never ever catch up, someday I hope to catch up and overtake with bachelors and then MD, maybe MD/PhD? . ;>)
  • So, both my brothers have Doctorates, and I'm just a BSc. If I had need for a Doctorate by now, I'd have got one by now. (Astrophysics and Veterinary Medicine both kind of need Doctorates, IT support doesn't.)
  • My twin brother and I are both college graduates, with additional training on top of our Bachelor's degrees. He is a chemist, and I am in IT.

    Both my sister and younger brother dropped out of high school, as both of our parents did when they were younger. To this day, we don't know we got the drive to educate ourselves, but we are grateful we have it. I am trying to pass it on to my two kids. They know that they are expected to do their best in school, and to go on to college.

  • Me - eldest - degree in Agricultural Business Management, then an MSc in Computer Science (didn't want to admit I was a geek at first, thought I'd want to take over the family business one day - see below). I now work in the financial industry, having previously risen to the dizzy heights of Systems Manager at a large University in London after 17 years of broadly-enjoyable slog.

    My sister - education degree. Taught for 10+ years, was getting ready to take over as headmistress, then our Dad died. Once everyt

  • My sister has a BS and MS. I have a BS... but I took the same amount of time to earn that BS as she did her BS and MS. So we spent the same amount of time in school.... which one of us has more education?

  • I've got 1 degree, my sister has 2 and my brother has none. So I really wanted to check the first two options. But I just averaged the numbers out and selected the third choice.
  • Me: High school dropout with GED, BSEE, year of unfinished master's (couldn't stand the though to another year to jump through all the bogus thesis hoops). I work as a design engineer, and do pretty good at it.

    Older Brother: Finished HS (was a good warning sign for me that it could destroy enthusiasm spending 4 years with burnouts), 6 years of loans to get a Journalism and Broadcasting degree that he never really wanted in the first place. Now he's a house husband...

    Much younger half-Sister: Just finis

  • by dohnut (189348)

    I'm the oldest of 5 boys and I have the least amount of (formal) education. FYI, there is a 16 year gap between me and my youngest brother.

    1) Me: College dropout (4yr university (comp sci) - attended for 1.5yrs) Job: Software developer.
    2) Next: Electrical Engineer (4yr university). Job: Works for an electric power company (utility).
    3) Next: BA Marketing (attended probably 4 different 4yr universities and changed majors 4 times over a 14yr time span). Job: PR/Communications director for an affluent (redunda

  • I got a BS ten years ago. My brother, who is two years younger than me, is still in school. He has multiple undergraduate and masters degrees, and is working on multiple doctorates. Hearing that, you might think he's "smarter" than me, and while he's certainly more educated, in a sense, his education is in Russian language and music composition. And the reason he's stayed so long in school (in my opinion) is that due to mental illness, it is difficult for him to cope with adult life like the rest of us do.
  • What's substantially more or less?

    I have a BA, a law degree (JD), and a master's degree (LLM).
    My sister has a BA, two master's degrees (MA and M.Ed.) and a PhD.
    So I have ~4.5 years of post-BA, and my sister has 6-7. Is that substantially more? We both have more education than about 95% of the public....

  • My sister went to University and graduated. I didn't. But then again, I have a job and she doesn't.

    I wouldn't mind getting a degree some day, but all in all I still prefer my situation to hers.

  • I have a B.S. in resource management (land management, user impacts, etc) I've been a Unix/Linux admin since the kernel 1.x days. While I certainly did learn many skills while in school, the degree itself has had virtually no direct application in my actual work. I'm addicted to learning on my own so it doesn't really matter what my formal education was. Would I have gotten interviews and job offers without the degree? Probably not, but you need something to get past the HR types. Sadly, that's what the

  • I have a younger sister. She went through college and is currently a Registered Nurse (RN) working at a well respected hospital here in California. I took a couple of semesters of community college and have been working in IT since I was 18. Other than an ROP class in Novell Netware and an MCP for Windows Server 2000 I do not have any formalized computer training.

    I am currently making six figures, getting five figure yearly bonuses. I help run IT Operations and am actively engaged with the executive sui

  • I make more money than my big brother Bob,
    But, he's got a haircut, and he's got a real job

Basic is a high level languish. APL is a high level anguish.


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