A while back a special aired on Food Network about the Hunger Crisis in America and it featured a particular man and his family that could not help but touch your heart. He is raising his son by himself and doing custom furniture and upholstery in his garage just to try and keep them fed. Now go back a year or two and this man had a degree in Economics and a promising career in the mortgage industry. He bought a nice home and things were going well and his education was providing him with a nice life for his son. Now fast forward the to economy and mortgage industry tanking and this man is about to have his house auctioned off and struggles to even afford to feed himself and family. This is not the case of lazy person or someone who went down the wrong path. This was an educated gentleman who followed the system and worked to receive qualifications that were supposed to benefit him in life. Unfortunately, he is not alone and many have been failed by there education. Many worked tirelessly for degrees that now enable them to at best work a minimum wage job. Something is wrong here and needs to be fixed if we ever expect education to be restored to its former glory and value.
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An interesting article came out recently about zero unemployment. It claimed that the unemployment rate of certain niche degrees was 0 percent. Now of course everyone would love to graduate and find a wonderful job right away, but that’s far from reality. However, their seems to be some fields that claim their are more jobs than workers right now…hard to believe considering the economy. Students majoring in Astrophysics,Actuary Science, Pharmacology and Geophysics are said to have job offers rolling in even before they graduate. This may be true for some schools and some areas, but is certainly not the norm. Not to mention those majors are difficult and not what your typical college student dreams of pursuing. Another tricky thing to consider in the concept of zero unemployment is the fact that it does not count those students who move onto graduate school as unemployed. That is a major glitch considering that the majority of those involved in these fields go onto obtain a masters degree or higher during their education.
The point is there is really no guarantee of which education niche will land you a job right away. Even professionals in these highly sought after fields claim the abundance of jobs will change soon just like every other field as more graduates enter the job market. There may be some degrees that are safer bets than others, but the bottom line is a higher education should be worth more than it currently is no matter what the degree focus. If you are going to spend tens of thousands of dollars and dedicate four years of your life or more to specializing in something it should pay off in some way some how. That’s sadly not the case and degree is no longer a degree and education is going to have to change if we ever want to begin to fathom a zero unemployment rate.
As college costs are rising and so are the number of new graduates it makes you wonder if higher education is becoming a for profit industry instead of a service. A college degree has certainly never been cheap, but current costs are outrageous. The average cost per year of a four year public university is around $21000! Now no one expects tuition to be the same it was 20 or 30 years ago, but tuition seems to increase by giant leaps on a consistent basis. It cannot just be keeping up with operation costs, these schools are most likely making a profit. Has the high cost caused lower enrollment numbers? Not a chance, students are just taking on more debt. It makes you wonder if higher education has the student in mind or just the amount of money they bring in tuition. Is this what is wrong with education? If higher education was more student and service focused would graduates have abetted chance at finding employment and have their degree held in higher regard by potential employers.
New college students are presented with a plethora of degree options and majors. Usually those who have trouble deciding or not sure where to start visit one of the college counselors at their particular school. These counselors then help you find out what interest you and what path you should take during your education.
Here is the part that no longer makes sense. There are numerous studies and data available that suggest certain degrees are not likely to lead to gainful employment much less a nice salary. However schools still offer them and counselors still encourage students to pursue them. My question to you is “How can we continue to offer and recommend an education that will not even come close to helping one provide for themselves?” We still charge them the same outrageous tuition and allow them to rack up loans. It almost seems like a scam and a situation that only benefits the schools and loan companies.
Let’s consider the following: In our society there are different levels of quality for our various products and service. We know and accept that often times the higher quality and service will cost us quite a bit more than the cheaper bargain end option which likely offers far less quality and service. Basically if you want the best you will end up paying for it and you get what you pay for!
Now educational institutions do not operate this way at all. They provide products that will greatly vary in their benefit and pay off to the student or “customer if you will”. However the high tuition remains the same for all offerings. It seems like the reward should justify the investment and this is far from the case in higher education offerings. Now certainly money isn’t everything to some people and there is nothing wrong with pursuing their passion in life whether they reap great rewards or not. It just seems as if schools and counselors should fully disclose the fact that an education no longer guarantees success. Many young people entering college have heard their whole lives that they must have an education to succeed. Now that our country, economy, job market and workforce have changed greatly it seems time that education do the same. Maybe some degrees have become irrelevant and perhaps many no longer warrant the high cost of tuition and large debt many will have accumulated when they graduate.
So do you think there are some degrees that are no longer relevant?
Should the cost of all degrees be the same despite their earning and employment potential?
Are Colleges and Universities doing a disservice to students and perhaps even being unethical by promoting degrees with little worth?
So you have combed the Internet and papers looking for those job opportunities and you are ready to apply. A cover letter and resume is your first chance to make a lasting impression. Its like a sales pitch except you do not know too much about the reader and you have on average about 30 seconds before they are finished reading it. Resume and Cover Letters for job openings are too often over thought and over done. What many do not realize is the potential employer wants to know what the job seeker can do for them. Being capable of printing fancy font and exaggerating details are not part of what they are seeking in a potential employee. There are thousands and thousands of sources for professional resume templates and cover letter examples claiming they are guaranteed to get you an interview. That’s fine, but there are a lot of things that you need to know that come from the experience only an average job seeker would possess. The best things you can do for your resume, cover letter and your chances of gaining employment come from trial and error. So we now have page dedicated to helpful advice for all your professional resume and cover letter needs. So check out the page and maybe improve your chances of getting in the door and actually giving your sales pitch face to face with the boss!
Getting a college degree is a major accomplishment, but some strive for even more. That’s when we go off to graduate school to increase our marketability,knowledge and credentials. Sure its even more debt,but it we hope that it will pay off later. However, what if you went the extra mile only to find out you were in the same situation as before you started? Job Opportunities are tough for everyone right now so logically people do what they can to distinguish themselves from the competition and make themselves a more desirable candidate. A Masters Degree should certainly earn the respect of most employers and recruiters. The only problem is your not the only one who had that idea. As the economy soured many of those unable to find work either returned to school or chose to stay on for graduate school to seek refuge until things improved. Things have not improved that quickly though and what we are left with is an an even larger group of highly educated job seekers. So when you put in that application thinking you are a sure thing for the job because you have achieved a graduate education remember that you are now not just one of thousands of applicants , but one of the thousands of educated applicants. In the end many are forced to take entry level positions they could have obtained with little or no education. The types of jobs that pay very low and never call on that hard earned Masters Degree.
So we are left with a few reasons education has lost its value in the job market. Is it because of the vast numbers of educated people seeking jobs that employers have the upper hand or is it because the economy has caused companies to focus more on the costs of the candidate not the quality they would bring to the position?
When Whitney Houston, one of the greatest entertainers of our time passed away a while back I could not help but understand the significance of her body of work. What I understood truly for the first time in my life is exactly how timeless her music is and will continue to be. You may ask, what does that intro have to do with the current state of education. It’s simple, as we look for answers in 2012 and we continue to come up short it is realized that just another trendy answer to the education hot topics just won’t do. A solution dictated by presidential term and not by generational necessities is no longer good enough and at this point it’s no longer relevant. The state of our education commands resolve that will transcend the time we live in and successfully take us to a future worth fighting for. Our generation is looking for timeless solutions that will transcend time, trends or the sexy political hot topics of the day. Just like a very few select music artists could have been played 20 years ago, can be played today, and will still be very relevant 20 years from now…these are the very same type of solutions we need in our education system. No more one hit wonders…please!
So the recent news is that graduates are starting to see more employment opportunities and that companies are now rehiring after cutting some many jobs during the recession. First, I don’t know many graduates who are experiencing this and second how can they state companies are hiring workers again like the bad economy is over for now. The last two weeks alone has been filled with bankruptcy news and large companies such as JC Penney cutting massive numbers of jobs and laying off workers. Now maybe they are talking about jobs that do not even require or warrant an upper level education and those are the jobs that are so plentiful. Still I don’t see it.
Take a look at these articles stating the tide is turning if you will.
College grads’ job outlook improving: Challenger
College grads can expect more hiring for entry-level spots: survey
The country’s 1.7 million grads will benefit as companies look to rebuild after hacking away at workers during the recession.
As I sit here awaiting for an internal mental implosion the recurring theme that plays in my head as I make goo-goo eyes at my beautifully framed Maters Degree is, I did not go to school for this! You network, intern, work hard in school and even harder for our employers and at the end of the day you graduate underemployed or not employed at all.
Just a few years ago jobs where plentiful…but what does that really mean to us today? Really think about it…according to recent studies a young person drops out of high school every 26 seconds. Yet, how many people have completed their higher education journey and are still currently underemployed if employed at all? Does this directly correlate in any way shape or form to our drop out rate?
What is so amazing through my journey I have encountered so many people with the exact same parallel of issues despite gender, race, or socio economic background, degree of study, professional background or past work experience. Why are so many people singing the same song despite endless efforts, networking, trying to get your foot in the door, window, roof…whatever it takes, even getting to know someone on the inside of the organization who can help you. We even stoop to becoming the Human Resources department personal frustration outlet! All in the name of being able to pay our bills on time, we do all those things and even more..
College Aid Not Keeping Pace with College Costs
APRIL 15, 2012