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1 in 2 new graduates are jobless or underemployed

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Tck13, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

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    Yeah, I know that, but it doesn't really make sense. Schools have made this decision to hire lots of adjunct faculty and only give them a few classes. It makes sense for people with no experience, less risk of the school getting stuck with a shitty teacher doing a bunch of classes. What I don't understand is why they won't give experience people more sections instead of going out and hiring another couple adjuncts. It's the worst sort of false savings. The experienced people eventually filter their way into the few full-time jobs, many leave teaching entirely, and most of the classes get taught by relatively new people who haven't mastered their craft yet.

    People aren't even asking for tenure these days, just full time work. It's pretty degrading to get paid $7k a semester to teach two classes when you have a PhD and you can't find anything better. I was lucky and got a full-time gig when I didn't have any experience, but there wasn't any growth potential (good luck getting a tenure position) and the pay/benefits were still pretty poor for a PhD position (~$45k, no health or retirement benefits). I get substantially more than that as a post-doc researcher, and would be looking at double or more in an entry level industry science position. I really would have a hard time advising anyone to go after a teaching job at the college level right now, unless they want to do it part time.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  2. Tck13

    Tck13 Senior member

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    Yeah, it sucks. This is exactly why I am choosing a different path. Teaching sounds like a great gig but the expense outweighs the benefits.
     
  3. why

    why Senior member

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    No, the humanities job statistics are skewed because most of the majors are useless (and easy, and pointless, and...). Look at yourself as an example: you have a job whereas others in your field don't. If you and those others you spoke of had graduated with a degree in computer science do you think any of you would be looking for a job, let alone working hard and 'networking' to land one of the few available jobs as an adjunct intern at an adjunct of academia? Your degree is simply not worth as much and it's no surprise why: it's useless (and easy, and pointless, and...).
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  4. why

    why Senior member

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    Yeah, because engineers for example are probably unable to do the basic office jobs that most humanities majors are likely to receive. In other words, there's a lot of crossover in some of these fields of study and some fields are completely subsumed by others. That's precisely the reason some are useless.
     
  5. Jr Mouse

    Jr Mouse Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    You don't believe there are any out of work computer science majors, because of the economy? :confused:
     
  6. Nereis

    Nereis Senior member

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    They aren't out of work, just working as systems administrators at shitty firms for 30K a year and no benefits.
     
  7. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    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.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. passingtime

    passingtime Senior member

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    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.
     
  9. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2012
  10. why

    why Senior member

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    Yes, because clearly Teger's classmates are the only people in the world that exist.

    Moreover, I think it's obvious that this should be read as hyperbole.
     
  11. why

    why Senior member

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    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.
     
  12. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    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.
     
  13. passingtime

    passingtime Senior member

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    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.
     
  14. Pennglock

    Pennglock Senior member

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

    ImaPro Senior member

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    I think that is what he is aiming for
     
  16. Arthur PE

    Arthur PE Senior member

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    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
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2012
  17. otc

    otc Senior member

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    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.
     
  18. austinite

    austinite Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  19. otc

    otc Senior member

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    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.
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. Teger

    Teger Senior member

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    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.
     

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