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1 in 2 new graduates are jobless or underemployed - Page 3

post #31 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post

I see probably 75 humanities students a semester one on one, and these are my personal impressions. there are a couple types of people:
1. there are people who are history majors because they love, LOVE, LOVE!! history and these people get great grades and work hard. because they have good grades and a strong work ethic, they will succeed.
2. there are people who are history majors because they have a specific plan to use the degree -- teaching MA, MLS, etc
3. there are people who are history majors because they couldn't get into the art program and they once had a history class in high school. this is like... 85%? of the people I see and I think they make up the majority of the unemployed. they would be equally rudderless and unmotivated in any major, they just happened to fall into humanities because it's a university catch all.

1. True.
2. That depends on the requirements of the state, so I'll assume in your area they need to be history majors to teach.
3. True. This doesn't mean history isn't a useless major, but it does show (as I've said before) that university education is just a way to learn what should have been learned in high school (and people getting a 2.8 GPA and sliding by the minimum graduation requirements likely only know as much as a well-prepared high school student).
Quote:
Originally Posted by passingtime View Post

Raw CS grads tend not to have a specialty and just be cannon fodder (this is a broader problem with US undergrad degrees but that is a separate rant). If they want to avoid unemployment then, to Teger's point, they need to take a more active role in their education and pick an area that is likely to remain in demand and focus on that. This gives recruiters an incentive to hire them because they have some knowledge of the post they are trying to fill even if they have no commercial experience. There is hiring but it is for specific roles rather than the IT equivalent of assembly line workers.
Likewise I would suggest that a creative writer considers getting into technical writing. There is always a need for people to produce documentation and it is easy to get started, simply invest some time in doing tech writing for one of the large open source projects. That is easy (unpaid) work to get and it gets your name in front of a huge number of people.

Most technical writing positions are freelance and a background in the associated field are prerequisites.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post

I don't think you read my post. Again, I think the statistics aree skewed because many of the people who are in Humanities programs couldn't get accepted to Computer Science, or Engineering, or Business programs. There's a big difference between graduating with a 4.0 and a 2.8, and I think a lot of the people quoted in these articles graduated with a 2.8.

I read the post. I just don't think people who want to study computer science or engineering can't get accepted to the program and decide to instead go into the humanities (especially since there are specialized analogues that exist in social sciences that would likely appeal to such people). Beyond that, it's very easy to improve grades in community college while earning credit in for engineering and computer science majors.
post #32 of 127
I'm pretty sure this is true in almost any state, but to get an MA in secondary education (middle school, high school) you need to have a BA/BS in the area you want to teach. I'm sure there's ways around this, but It'd be a pain. history BA lets you teach social studies.
post #33 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by why View Post

Most technical writing positions are freelance and a background in the associated field are prerequisites.

I work in IT and hire tech writers from time to time so all I can say is this approach would work with me and I have seen others do it. Pick a field like IT where the bar is low and find an open source project to practise on, since IT people hate doing documentation there is seldom going to be any competition. Once you have produced some documents you have a track record and everything becomes easier.

I am probably biased because I freelanced for 20 years (and did very well out of it) but once you build a pool of customers you are not going to be out of work, and probably have more job security than most employees since you are not dependent on a single employer.
post #34 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Concordia View Post

My brother-in-law got a PhD in chemistry from one of the top universities in his field, and further appalled his lawyer father by announcing that he wanted to teach high school. He moved to the middle of nowhere in Illinois (where my sister got a job teaching undergrads with HER PhD), and found that the hiring politics in the public schools were so weird that he couldn't get work except for occasional subbing and maintaining the computer center.

He could always fall back on a career in the methamphetimine industry.
post #35 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pennglock View Post

He could always fall back on a career in the methamphetimine industry.

I think that is what he is aiming for
post #36 of 127

2 year degree in surveying

60k out of school

licensure in 4 years

100k+

 

extreme shortage

most licensed surveyors (in my state) are engineers grandfathered in 30 years ago and average age is over 65

 

 

post #37 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post

or, major in you want, and:
1. get excellent grades.
2. get an internship.
3. establish connections.
4. hold a job while in college, even if it's a work study job or working for your university.

I think the moral of the story is that top performers are still fine and would be fine studying anything where they would be driven to be a top performer. Most people don't care what you studied after a year of kicking ass in the workforce (see points #2 and 4).

Fuckups will still be fuckups.

Everyone else needs to recognize that maybe they aren't the kind of person who can push through into something successful with a classics degree. There are people who probably do need a pre-professional education in addition or opposed to a general liberal arts education. If you aren't one for acquiring skills in your own or proving yourself to potential employers by being in the top 10% of performers, you are going to benefit heavily from some training that builds you up and pushes you down a path. It doesn't have to be a trade school--it can be something that provides a liberal education while forcing you into something practical that you wouldn't otherwise pick up like engineering, pharmacy, nursing, accounting, applied finance, whatever.

Problem is that nobody wants to think that they are in the third group. So they go through doing whatever they want and pop out with a degree, but they aren't the people who have acquired a bevy of skills on their own and through internships or who have made solid connections (not the BS connections that you make by going to a senior year recruiting event and adding your resume to a stack while you collect some business cards and maybe send an "it was nice to meet you" email). They are lost and they don't know what to do.
post #38 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by otc View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post

or, major in you want, and:
1. get excellent grades.
2. get an internship.
3. establish connections.
4. hold a job while in college, even if it's a work study job or working for your university.

I think the moral of the story is that top performers are still fine and would be fine studying anything where they would be driven to be a top performer. Most people don't care what you studied after a year of kicking ass in the workforce (see points #2 and 4).

Fuckups will still be fuckups.

Everyone else needs to recognize that maybe they aren't the kind of person who can push through into something successful with a classics degree. There are people who probably do need a pre-professional education in addition or opposed to a general liberal arts education. If you aren't one for acquiring skills in your own or proving yourself to potential employers by being in the top 10% of performers, you are going to benefit heavily from some training that builds you up and pushes you down a path. It doesn't have to be a trade school--it can be something that provides a liberal education while forcing you into something practical that you wouldn't otherwise pick up like engineering, pharmacy, nursing, accounting, applied finance, whatever.

Problem is that nobody wants to think that they are in the third group. So they go through doing whatever they want and pop out with a degree, but they aren't the people who have acquired a bevy of skills on their own and through internships or who have made solid connections (not the BS connections that you make by going to a senior year recruiting event and adding your resume to a stack while you collect some business cards and maybe send an "it was nice to meet you" email). They are lost and they don't know what to do.

Agree with everything you said here. The issue is that the current system encoirages students to go down these dead-end paths. There is also a lot of knowledge that is obvious in hindsight but completely missed by 18-20 year olds. There needs to be better career education at the high school level (and not "Everyone here needs to go to college to be successful").

The biggest issue however is student loans. We need to identify this bottom 90% and prevent them from getting loans for useless degrees. If you want money, you either need to be a top performer or be studying something that grants you actual skills.

The problem we have is not underemployed college graduates, but rather an over educated and over-indebted workforce.
post #39 of 127
I would venture to say that it has a lot to do with the fact that college has become so common.

Back when only the best and brightest (or those with powerful family connections who would be fine anyways) were going to college, it was fine to study whatever you wanted because everyone had shown themselves to be a top performer just by finishing college.

Now pretty mediocre people can get degrees at good schools, especially places like Midwestern flagship state schools. The best students at those schools are still doing fine, (I have a coworker with an english degree from UIUC who is rocking it in a firm filled with econ degrees from elite schools) but the average people are ending up majoring in History or English or Spanish since it was their favorite class in high school and they are a little bit too scared of the year of math prerequisites for most other fields of study.
post #40 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by why View Post

1. True.
2. That depends on the requirements of the state, so I'll assume in your area they need to be history majors to teach.
3. True. This doesn't mean history isn't a useless major, but it does show (as I've said before) that university education is just a way to learn what should have been learned in high school (and people getting a 2.8 GPA and sliding by the minimum graduation requirements likely only know as much as a well-prepared high school student).
Most technical writing positions are freelance and a background in the associated field are prerequisites.
I read the post. I just don't think people who want to study computer science or engineering can't get accepted to the program and decide to instead go into the humanities (especially since there are specialized analogues that exist in social sciences that would likely appeal to such people). Beyond that, it's very easy to improve grades in community college while earning credit in for engineering and computer science majors.

I'm sorry but this just isn't true. It happens all the time. At my school the GPA requirements to get in (and stay in) the Business and Engineering programs are much, much higher than those in English.

Also, in every school I've seen, you don't transfer GPA from a CC, just the credits, and they usually don't offer anything specialized enough to qualify as a 300 level or higher course.
post #41 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post

I'm sorry but this just isn't true. It happens all the time. At my school the GPA requirements to get in (and stay in) the Business and Engineering programs are much, much higher than those in English.
Also, in every school I've seen, you don't transfer GPA from a CC, just the credits, and they usually don't offer anything specialized enough to qualify as a 300 level or higher course.

+1

In Australia, rather than apply for each individual university you apply for a program within that university. Without question the top programs in terms of barriers to entry are medicine, law, business, engineering and advanced mathematics. While the average student in those programs are no geniuses, I went from 'smart but worked hard for the marks' to 'running circles around the competition' in my philosophy courses. The difference is the work ethic and the quick first step towards finding the information you need to succeed.

Unfortunately, while many of the humanities students who are passionate about what they do are top performers regardless, many are there just for the piece of paper.
post #42 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nereis View Post

+1
In Australia, rather than apply for each individual university you apply for a program within that university. Without question the top programs in terms of barriers to entry are medicine, law, business, engineering and advanced mathematics. While the average student in those programs are no geniuses, I went from 'smart but worked hard for the marks' to 'running circles around the competition' in my philosophy courses. The difference is the work ethic and the quick first step towards finding the information you need to succeed.
Unfortunately, while many of the humanities students who are passionate about what they do are top performers regardless, many are there just for the piece of paper.

How many years do Aussies spend in school before applying to uni? Is it like the UK where you have "college" level stuff first? In the US, most/many university applicants have only a vague idea of what they want to do. It's part of the problem really, many spend 5-6 years in school because they switch majors a couple times.
post #43 of 127
I think some students don't know what they want to do because of the lack of a career development program at their high school/college or they just don't know such jobs exists.

Take me for example, after 3-4 months in my M.S. program, I knew that I had no interest in doing engineering and felt like everything I was doing in school was a waste of time (still do actually). I talked to many people, both students and non-students, about career options and was exposed to many other fields that I have never even thought or heard of. At my undergrad school, doing something besides engineering with an engineering degree was unheard of so I didn't really have exposure to other fields such as consulting, finance, etc.

I don't think spending a 1 year or 2 more finding out what you don't like is a bad thing since you at least tried to pursue what you thought you liked.
post #44 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post

I'm sorry but this just isn't true. It happens all the time. At my school the GPA requirements to get in (and stay in) the Business and Engineering programs are much, much higher than those in English.
Also, in every school I've seen, you don't transfer GPA from a CC, just the credits, and they usually don't offer anything specialized enough to qualify as a 300 level or higher course.

The point of going to a community college is to have the prerequisite academic history to enter a program, so a person isn't doomed if they didn't get a high enough GPA in high school (which in my opinion shows little). And the difficulty of staying in a program is immaterial since the same people that receive high GPAs in easier programs (the people that follow your model of simply working hard) and such will likely have little trouble staying in more difficult programs.

My point is that people don't want to major in certain fields for reasons that aren't strictly academic.
post #45 of 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post

How many years do Aussies spend in school before applying to uni? Is it like the UK where you have "college" level stuff first? In the US, most/many university applicants have only a vague idea of what they want to do. It's part of the problem really, many spend 5-6 years in school because they switch majors a couple times.

I finished high school at 18, and so did most of my friends. The Australian university system is entirely geared towards preparing graduates for industry. For example, in the engineering program you cannot graduate without at least 60 days of work experience under your belt. Most of the programs that are not 'pure' (i.e. philosophy) also run networking events.

The only thing I can say is different between high school here and the states is the level of difficulty you can voluntarily take on. I understand that calculus is mostly a subject that mostly only AP students take in the states. I can honestly say that most of my friends learnt how to take limits in grade 9 and we were covering projectile motion at 17 or so.

As for graduating times, we usually have kids who defer their degrees simply to gain work experience relevant to their field, not to 'figure themselves out'.
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