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Has all major YouTube content devolved into shilling?

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tcmx3

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So, as a young(er) and online person, I have been on youtube since the early days. I have felt that YouTube content had improved steadily over the years, and that recently there had been an explosion in good content.

But very recently I've noticed a hugely worrying trend. It feels like anyone making content regularly on YouTube is turning to sponsors. In fact, I dont think I'm alone in this opinion because Google recently announced changes to the YouTube advertising scheme that basically allows them to monetize your video for you, and **** you if you don't like it oh and if you aren't on a certain tier of use then they don't share that revenue. Which I think also confirms it's not the end user using adblockers to skirt ads because then the big GOOG would be looking for something outside of that system.

It can vary in its extremity, but IMO this is a fast track to bad content. And by bad content, there's the "why does this exist?" version such as beer sponsored Thanksgiving stand & stirs featuring suspect recipes, but there's also that dangerous and insidious early TV version where people are promoting garbage (anything to do with vaping, vitamins, loot-box based mobile games, etc) or perhaps engage in a bit of "imaginative" reviewing of the products featured on their channel to insure continued access.

This is in addition to Patreons, GoFundMes, Kickstarters, etc. Now look, most of these folks aren't making huge money. I know it's tempting to look at the views and Alphabet's market cap/profit numbers but the profit sharing with creators is small. They're doing this because they're getting squeezed. In fact, I'm friends with a content creator with several >500k view videos (so not huge, but not nothing either) and he's lucky to make a few grand a quarter, a far cry less than I make sitting at a desk smashing my head into a wall until my model metrics look good enough. But at any rate, the end result feels awful to me.

It seems to me that YouTube has devolved into shilling, Instagram is just 100 million ads + all the disingenuous influencer stuff, Facebook is an unusable hellsite that should be nuked off the face of the earth, Twitter is just who can be angrier than who, and we're getting pumped for every last cent by the horribly fractured streaming system where no one has enough content anymore and you're often asked to part with six times what you paid for a channel on cable to watch 1 show release 8 episodes over 2 months, plus some really badly made movies.

I dont know if my noticing this is more to being stuck at home, or if it really is worse recently. What do you all think?

 

WildBoar

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and please let's not forget the whole forced move away from analog cable TV to digital, which eliminated the ability to watch scrambled Cinemax After Dark and forced people to wait until they were old enough to move out of their parents' house and pay for cable themselves, including the $$$ movie channels that included some "adult content". A huge freakin' scam to bleed money out of the young male population throughout the US (and possibly the world). That likely laid the groundwork for everything else you are pointing out.

On a more serious note, anyone who terms themselves an 'influencer' is anything but one in my book. They are an immediate ignore unless perhaps they are scantily clad in their veiled ads. But it's cool that their content may still exist in 20 years so their little kids can stumble across it and ask mommy why she was in her underwear advertising a sports drink.
 

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“Look, son. If I can say so myself; I was hot as fuuuck. My hotness bought all those games you wanted. Remember that trip to Disney? These titties paid for that. Be grateful.”
 

ecchef

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A sad, but accurate commentary on our society as a whole.
 

esoo

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It's really about people trying to make money. It's easier to try and shill something than come up with original content. Been the case on the Internet for a long time. $1000 in a camera/mic/sound deadened room and you've got a studio and away you go. Cost of entry is low, so lots of people do it.
 

ModRQC

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Welcome to the desert of the Real. I never subscribed to IG nor Twitter, FB I go contain whatever notifications I get every once in a while, and on YouTube select my content. I also avoided the streaming platforms like the plague. I even buy Paypal direct anytime I can. All this relating to one scheme: avoiding popular platforms because stupidity is aggravating, and avoiding to create accounts every goddamn click I make. I buy printed books and read like 25 years ago. I watch stuff where I can learn something, but so little TV. I think we've yet to see the most debilitating lows these trends will hit.
 

tcmx3

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It's really about people trying to make money. It's easier to try and shill something than come up with original content. Been the case on the Internet for a long time. $1000 in a camera/mic/sound deadened room and you've got a studio and away you go. Cost of entry is low, so lots of people do it.
I'm not sure that really checks out. The amount spent on content on YouTube production for the major content creators has risen significantly over time, to the point where now there's a TON of "produced" content all over the place that is pretty expensive to produce. Unless you're one of the early adopters who has a dedicated audience, the chance is that if you're doing the numbers it's because you've invested a lot of money and time into it.

Yet we're stilling see all this sponsored content.

I would argue that when it was easier to get a little bit of ad revenue from lower production values, things were better. More solid content by people who knew what they were talking about.

One effect that a shill based system has is that content creation by shallow content, loud personalities, and about things that rustle people's jimmies (e.g. look at all the clickbait titles these days) rises to the top. So basically, YouTube is devolving into television, except with the worst millennial sensibilities instead of the worst boomer sensibilities.

I think we're starting to see the real impact of how these social media platforms were specifically designed to take a much larger cut from content creators than the prior generation of platforms. Google's market cap is 1.18 TRILLION dollars on 160 BILLION dollars of revenue per year. YouTube, which is the second largest search engine on the internet, is printing money for them with advertising.

Yet content creators appear to be fighting over the scraps, and now half the content is some awful moron making weird ****ing noises and doing slow motion "b-roll" between hammering me with the newest "box of **** I dont need" or questionably marketed junk.
 

esoo

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I think we're starting to see the real impact of how these social media platforms were specifically designed to take a much larger cut from content creators than the prior generation of platforms.
The thing is that is that the platform is not so much taking a cut as reducing the payout.

5 year ago:
Social Media Platform - let me give you a platform for free, and i'll give you ads you can put in. We both win - I get the money for the eyeball, and I'll share some of that.
Content Creator: Cool that works.
Today:
Content Creator: I'm not making as much money from you.
Social Media Platform: Sorry, but there is additional 10 million of you, I have to share the revenue with them to, and our shareholders want us to see profits every quarter, so we had to share the payout amongst more of you
When the basic point of entry is a smartphone that can record, anyone can be a content creator and try taking a part of the pie. And for every X "content creator/influencer/shill" (where X is some suitably large number) there is 1 content creator that is actually making real content that is worth something but they are swamped by the crap. There is one pie and more people are taking a part of it today than ever before. And that X number is increasing daily because companies will pay to create shill accounts to get people to buy there stuff (for example Kamikoto is one of those as far as I'm concerned)
 

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Youtube and ads is getting out of hand, indeed. Though there are still some smaller channels (100-1000 subscribers) where ads are nonexistent or rare, and they still have great content. Whenever a video has too many ads, I just close youtube and do something different. I am also on IG and there it’s much less. No forced ads in stories, unless the content creator again chooses to do so, and then it’s an easy unsubscribe.

I’m still waiting for a less commercial IT giant to stand up and make a platform for content where commercial interests are less prevalent.
 

esoo

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Ads on the internet in general are out of hand

I run ad block in every browser I can and Adguard ad blocking DNS at home.

Otherwise the internet is unbearable
 

daveb

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Once upon a time print reporters would tell a story by putting as many salient facts up front - cause that's what they knew people would read. Then the story was continued on page xx, with all the stuff people wouldn't read. Page xx was also where the advertisements were.

Today there is a catchy headline and then "click" buttons ad nauseum, with express intent of taking you one line at a time by as many advertisements as possible before you get to the "facts" of the story. Which may or may not be related to the headline you started with.

It's no wonder most writers suck - if they told a meaningful story succinctly there would be no money in it for anyone.

Off with their heads.
 

MarcelNL

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I am cutting Google / Chrome etc use more and more, never was a big fan of Youtube even when it has some GREAT content, have stayed away from social media and do not regret it as everything I do see of it is becoming shallower and shallower and more commercial.
Adblockers rule!
I'm happy to pay for content I choose, like a forum, donate for freeware or pay for commercial software, music books movies etc. To the point where I eagerly await the option to pay a fee to get rid of commercials in TV programs. We do have Netflix and pretty much only watch that bit of TV content that interests us and only if we can view after the fact and skip the ads, our TV consumption is quite low but diminishing. Music is playing like 6hrs a day, Tidal, own collection, no ads please. Somehow Youtube does not add commercials when using a plugin in Daphile (audiophile OS running on my streamer NUC) :)
 

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I don't know ...

From my point of view maybe there are two basic responses:

1. (same basic idea as @ModRQC ) The internet in 2021 is a package deal, and if you don't like the deal, don't buy; or send the entire package back and ask for a refund.

2. The internet in 2021 is defective as shipped, and the manufacturer is not interested in repairing it and won't provide a working replacement, so to hell with the manufacturer, rip it apart and try to fix it yourself. (for example, using applications that actually do what you want them to do, blocking out whatever content you don't want, and so on.)
 
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DavidPF

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My own direct answer to the original question: No, because "major YouTube content" means exactly the same thing as "what's on YouTube that I want to watch". There is no other criterion to make something on YouTube "major" except that I like it or was looking for it. (Or, in your case, that you like it or were looking for it.)

Hint: YouTube isn't how to find stuff on YouTube. That's like sending a truly devoted, committed Bacardi salesman out to buy liquor for you, saying "I don't know, just bring something good". (Actually it's even worse than that.) Anyway, you don't need three guesses to figure out what he'll come back with. Letting YT show you what's good on YT is futile - of course you get shills.
 
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DavidPF

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Shortening and maybe improving my previous reply:

- There is, to put it mildly, a lot of stuff on the internet.

- If you don't want any of it, then just don't. But consider, are you against all of the content, or are you only against the marketing methods?

- If you do want some of it, you'll need a way to find just the parts you're after, because nobody can handle the entire internet at once. This may involve (in any order) actually deciding what you want, sorting, searching, skimming/glancing, and making-actual-use-of. And during that process you may or may not want to use pieces of specialized software that narrow it down by only seeing a certain part of what's available. (for example a communication app that only sees messages, a picture app that only sees pictures, or whatever)

- Here's Google (also owner of YouTube):

- The first thing they did (from most people's point of view), long ago, was catalogue every word on the internet, or close enough. If you wanted to use the internet to find out how to make sauerkraut, you could enter that word on Google to find every instance in which anyone on the internet ever typed "sauerkraut". You would get back a big list.

- But once Google had that list, they looked for ways to put it to work for themselves. And this is where the problem is, because what they came up with was to stand waiting beside their list like an opportunistic kind of panhandler stands beside a parking lot. Instead of offering to sell you a fake parking pass, Google is saying "That's an awfully long list - here, let me sort it for you (heh heh heh)". The reason they want you to let them sort your list, of course, is the same reason the parking-lot panhandler wants you to buy the ticket he's got in his hand instead of one from the machine.

- Google and YouTube don't SAY they're sorting your search results and only showing you the ones that benefit them. They just go ahead and do it. And as they get better and more effective at that, the number of real, non-shill results you get goes lower and lower.

- Solution: use other software, other apps, other search methods, that eliminate Google's opportunity to say "That's an awfully long list - here, let me sort it for you (heh heh heh)".

OK, that wasn't shorter.
 

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I don't know what you mean by "major YouTube content." Maybe I don't ever watch any of that?

All I know is that when I go look for information about sharpening, or how to do some tricky thing like change a bin thermostat in an ice maker, or convert a generator to propane, I find great content from people who seem to just want to help. I'm grateful.
 

Matt Zilliox

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We have been taught to consume... this is now the cost of that priority. Nothing is sacred, everything now monetized. Its really weird how us sheep just want to be told what to buy by amateurs on the internet... of course it could also be the product of crap job prospects. When you go into debt for college on the promise its an investment then find out its more of a lottery, what else ya gonna do but try to get some cash out of the folks who won't just hire you.
 

LostHighway

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"...the folks who won't just hire you."
Or the folks who will hire you for zero-hour contract jobs or "gig economy" jobs like driving an Uber. If the oligarchs have their way most of those under 40 can look forward to that brave new world where people have no job security, no safety net, own nothing, and are expected to work until they die and be happy about it.
 

DavidPF

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I don't know what you mean by "major YouTube content." Maybe I don't ever watch any of that?
I'm pretty sure it means "the items that are shown most prominently on the YT website or app, the ones that Google causes to be easy to find"
 

WildBoar

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damn, sounds like maybe not all people choose a major in college that has good long-term job prospects? I've never heard of obtaining an engineering resulting in a 'lottery' for future employment prospects with the exception of aerospace. In the Civil field in the US we've been short of graduates for over 20 years. If you can make it through the university you can get a job in the field and have a long career.

As far as 'work until you die' that pretty much becomes a reflection on who good you are at saving. Want the gov't to fund everyone in retirement? Then expect to pay a lot more in taxes while you are working, and to be no better off.

Get a degree in a field with good employment prospects and start putting money into a retirement account right away. The sooner you start the sooner you will be able to stop working.

Another way to not work until you die is to move to a place with a lower cost of living. If you want to stay in a major metropolitan area it will be much harder.
 

tcmx3

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damn, sounds like maybe not all people choose a major in college that has good long-term job prospects? I've never heard of obtaining an engineering resulting in a 'lottery' for future employment prospects with the exception of aerospace. In the Civil field in the US we've been short of graduates for over 20 years. If you can make it through the university you can get a job in the field and have a long career.

As far as 'work until you die' that pretty much becomes a reflection on who good you are at saving. Want the gov't to fund everyone in retirement? Then expect to pay a lot more in taxes while you are working, and to be no better off.

Get a degree in a field with good employment prospects and start putting money into a retirement account right away. The sooner you start the sooner you will be able to stop working.

Another way to not work until you die is to move to a place with a lower cost of living. If you want to stay in a major metropolitan area it will be much harder.
the fact that you dont see a problem with having to go into awful, boring fields to get by doesnt mean it isnt a problem.

there are already too many mbas, lawyers, computer programmers, etc.

you complain that there arent enough grads in your field in the next sentence too, well that's a reflection that young people dont think it's worth their time. there was probably some kid who would have been great at it but decided it was better to be a mediocre front end dev because at least then he could afford to pay back his loans.

btw all the kids in my family get to get whatever degrees they want because there is already money. guess those kids who are really passionate about history or theatre really messed up when they went and decided to be born poor.

I just want to add of all the stuff you've said, the only thing I dont do myself is move out of a major metro area. Im trying to make some money here, there are no prospects outside of cities, and I dont want to move somewhere where the primary export is rx drug addiction.
 

WildBoar

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The moving out of a metro area is for when you are ready to retire (i.e., not work until you die). Then the money you saved, your social security checks and your IRA/ 401k payouts will support you for more years.

So now 'awful, boring' is added to the equation. Before it was you get a degree and then it's a lottery if you get a good job. I guess I really am out of touch with the newer generations. "I want to change the world! I want to work for a non-profit and do good! And I want my starting pay to be $110k/ year and I want to be able to surf the internet all day!" fuk it -- you want financial security be prepared to work. There is a reason it's called 'work' and not 'fun.'

Part of the reason there are not enough students in this field is because you need good grades to get into a program, and you actually have to work pretty hard the first two years of engineering school. An amazingly high % of students dropped out and went over to the much easier business school. Engineering salaries were ~35% higher than business grad salaries when I graduated, unless the business grad had a masters.

No question engineering is not 'sexy'. Computer stuff and the exploding internet took away many potential students in the late '90s. Hell, the promise of $65k-$80k starting pay and a leased BMW for 3 years if you got into Tech attracted a metric crapload of potential students. And Civil Engineering programs did not help by exclaiming that environmental engineering was the new 'job of the century', and the vast majority of CE students went for environmental engineering degrees. Great money for the schools, as environmental even attracted many non-engineering types. And as the graduates started flooding out of the schools the market immediately became oversaturated with environment engineers, all while there were not nearly enough grads with backgrounds in structural, site development, highway and bridge design, etc. It eventually recovered a bit, but then the economy boomed and the construction management firms jumped in a started hiring students as they finished their junior years. The CM firms had deep pockets (much deeper then the typical smallish engineering firm) and could afford to pay $10k hiring bonuses and wait a year for the student to graduate. It really squeezed engineering firms. But hey, if you were a CE student what wasn't there to like?

I can't say if the profession is 'worth someone's time', but I sure as crap know a lot of people who went that route and have done very well. Some even do well enough to buy way more chef knives than is needed in a sane household :D

Maybe being around construction sites as buildings are built is boring to you. And crawling all around existing buildings figuring out what is wrong with them and how to repair them. Or developing solutions to drinking water supply issues. Or designing better HVAC systems that can help prevent the spread of Covid. Or figuring out how to help p[event flooding from reoccurring in at-risk neighborhoods. But to some of us it is more exciting than sitting all day in an office chair reviewing the latest inventory numbers of the company paperclip supply, or waiting to click on the 'buy' button as soon as the online store puts more PS5s up for sale.
 

tcmx3

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The moving out of a metro area is for when you are ready to retire (i.e., not work until you die). Then the money you saved, your social security checks and your IRA/ 401k payouts will support you for more years.

So now 'awful, boring' is added to the equation. Before it was you get a degree and then it's a lottery if you get a good job. I guess I really am out of touch with the newer generations. "I want to change the world! I want to work for a non-profit and do good! And I want my starting pay to be $110k/ year and I want to be able to surf the internet all day!" fuk it -- you want financial security be prepared to work. There is a reason it's called 'work' and not 'fun.'

Part of the reason there are not enough students in this field is because you need good grades to get into a program, and you actually have to work pretty hard the first two years of engineering school. An amazingly high % of students dropped out and went over to the much easier business school. Engineering salaries were ~35% higher than business grad salaries when I graduated, unless the business grad had a masters.

No question engineering is not 'sexy'. Computer stuff and the exploding internet took away many potential students in the late '90s. Hell, the promise of $65k-$80k starting pay and a leased BMW for 3 years if you got into Tech attracted a metric crapload of potential students. And Civil Engineering programs did not help by exclaiming that environmental engineering was the new 'job of the century', and the vast majority of CE students went for environmental engineering degrees. Great money for the schools, as environmental even attracted many non-engineering types. And as the graduates started flooding out of the schools the market immediately became oversaturated with environment engineers, all while there were not nearly enough grads with backgrounds in structural, site development, highway and bridge design, etc. It eventually recovered a bit, but then the economy boomed and the construction management firms jumped in a started hiring students as they finished their junior years. The CM firms had deep pockets (much deeper then the typical smallish engineering firm) and could afford to pay $10k hiring bonuses and wait a year for the student to graduate. It really squeezed engineering firms. But hey, if you were a CE student what wasn't there to like?

I can't say if the profession is 'worth someone's time', but I sure as crap know a lot of people who went that route and have done very well. Some even do well enough to buy way more chef knives than is needed in a sane household :D

Maybe being around construction sites as buildings are built is boring to you. And crawling all around existing buildings figuring out what is wrong with them and how to repair them. Or developing solutions to drinking water supply issues. Or designing better HVAC systems that can help prevent the spread of Covid. Or figuring out how to help p[event flooding from reoccurring in at-risk neighborhoods. But to some of us it is more exciting than sitting all day in an office chair reviewing the latest inventory numbers of the company paperclip supply, or waiting to click on the 'buy' button as soon as the online store puts more PS5s up for sale.
Im not sure what world you live in, but it's not the same one I do.

No one acts the way you describe, undergraduate engineering (especially back when I suspect you got yours) isnt hard, and it mostly sounds like you've built up a lot of stuff to justify your own life choices.

If you want to see someone who works hard go look at the single mom who works two jobs to make ends meet.

And really, the fact that you're dismissive of people who want to go into non-profit or make the world better, dude you need to get your priorities in line that stuff is important.
 

tcmx3

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honest to goodness 99% of people I meet just want some stability and to be treated with a bit of dignity.

if we're going to go full millenial trope Im going to go call someone from the greatest generation and dig up all the stuff they said about you lot come on can we treat each other with some empathy please?
 

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Content is now the filler to the advertising stream, its all about the eyeballs and advertising.
 

DavidPF

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Content is now the filler to the advertising stream, its all about the eyeballs and advertising.
I block ALL ads everywhere. I haven't seen an ad I didn't literally search for, in a long time. People may whine that I'm doing something nasty to them by blocking the ads they want me to let their chosen third-party providers sneak in front of me. If that's a legitimate business model, then blocking ads to get a better experience is a legitimate business model too, and I just happen to be the better businessman in that case. (A rare thing, I assure you.)
 

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Interesting posts here. Have noticed a lot I have searched pops up. Latest wanted to aggressively invest with my Roth IRA would go to stock pickers sites pay a low intro fee only to be asked for thousands for special services to make you rich. Paid a site 49.00 after watching a slick video of stock that will make you rich like getting into Amazon early. When looked up the stock it was a biotech noticed the insiders dumped their stocks before giving trail results that were complete failure. This all happened before I watched the video.

Not only that they gave away my email to other get rich quick scams email flooded. Have managed to get rid of most of it.

When I'm on you tube stock picker ads pop up all the time, just ignore them. Like to watch John John Florence videos sailing his Gunboat Catamaran around the Pacific, & surfing empty breaks in far of places.

My Social media is limited to KKF :cool:

TV doesn't almost everyone tape shows & movies on DVR so you can easy skip commercials.

Just watched on PBS about Alex
Jones who finally got kicked off social media.
It was mentioned that they were fine with him because had millions of followers who made him & network providers lots of money. Only after the amazing bull he preached ruined people's lives & the lawsuits started coming in.
He was the guy who said Obama was born in Kenya. Then Trump started up about it
That's when Obama provided birth certificate from Hawaii with David Sinclairs doctor signature. He had passed away & how the family in Hawaii found out about it. That's nothing compared to other stuff Alex Jones has done. Didn't know about any of this until watched on PBS. Like someone said here the internet is vast what you look at comes back to you in ads etc. & similar sites to explore.
 

Matt Zilliox

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Look. I know some professions still have jobs, my wifes a doctor, always jobs for the high end.. don't go so far in your assessment, im not referring to myself, I graduated in economics some 20plus years ago. Its not the same anymore though.

Not all folks have a math or engineering brain.

Nobody tells you before you pick your major which jobs are looking. Not all people live in a city, or want to.

My generation said go to college and you will get a job good enough to pay off loans.

Period. Just go.

How many 40 yr olds still have student debt?
Lots

So great. Ill tell my buddies kids engineering is a gig w jobs.

Its an exception. Not the norm. One only has to look around. I used to live in portland, the place where masters degrees cook your food and serve your beer.

Its an odd world, not the one my parents told us about, and changing faster than ever.
 
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