somewhatwayward wrote:Probabilistic expected value that includes a breakdown like dingbat provided in his response to me (eg, 30% chance of 0K, 30% of 40K, 30% of 50K, 10% of 100K; expected value = $37K (math done in head so sorry if off)) is more valuable in my opinion than just saying the expected value is $37K. I see what you are saying that this is basically the best we can do since it is impossible to look into the future to know whether you will be the one who gets the job. I hope $37K expected value would scare anyone off. But if that number is higher, say, $80K, but there is still a 20 or 30% chance of unemployment, I think the expected value alone without the breakdown can mislead people (not to mention the 5 million cognitive biases that kick in and sometimes even justify going to the $37K school). I guess it is the same as wanting to see the standard deviation in addition to the mean.

Couldn't agree more. Of course, you'll still have some turd who thinks a 10% chance of making more than $20k is better than flipping burgers at McDonalds, whatever the price.

I also have to add someone else's argument that if the choice is unemployment or 3 more years of studying, it's a completely rational decision to attend, placement statistics be damned.

We can't stop every lemming from running off a cliff, but for those who are willing to listen, we can do our best to provide the clearest picture possible