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Higher Education and Employment.

 
 
Elmud
 
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 07:22 pm
I was thinking about my niece this week. She has spent a lot of time and effort achieving her masters degree. She has spent the past few months seeking employment that is compatible with her level of education. She can find none. She has been willing to take just about any job available, but, she has to refrain from divulging any info about her educational level because they would consider her to be overqualified and the moment something better came along, they know she would split. So, she has all this education, and no place to go with it.

In another case, I know a young man who is a computer analyst. He got his degree from Ariz. State Univ. years ago and has been working for a large corporation for some time. He was layed off along with hundreds of others. Their jobs were sent overseas. So now, he freelances. No jobs available.

In times past, it was always my thought that higher education insured that a person could secure quality employment that could last a lifetime. I do not think that is the case anymore. Maybe there are too many wannabe chiefs and not enough native americans. I don't know. My girls are in college. One, going for her nursing degree, {which I feel is a good field to get into considering there is a shortage of nurses, and also, because there will always be a demand for nurses), another, is going into health care administration which i believe is also secure for the same reasons. My little one, the youngest, is studying to be an English teacher. I feel that the field of education is also somewhat secure. But, what about the others? How much work is out there for the Astro Physicist? The philosopher? The chemists? And why, in the world are we shipping our jobs overseas anywho?

I want to throw this in. I build cabinets. There is American made equiptment that we use, that is quality equiptment. There is also Chinese equiptment that we have, because it was less expensive, that is far inferior to the American made. It simply falls apart after minimal use. Its junk. There is american made plywood that we often use, which is quality material. But, due to cost, there have been times when foriegn plywood was purchased instead of the american plywood. Mostly, Chinese or South American. Once again, the foriegn plywood is not only out of square, but it delaminates as well. Its junk.

It is my belief that if our young people are going to make an investment in education, then they should expect to recieve the dividends that quality education has always provided. Maybe we have overprised ourselves. But, that is another subject. The focus of this message is the disappearance of quality jobs for educated young people, and why.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 742 • Replies: 8
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Didymos Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 07:56 pm
@Elmud,
I'm very sorry about your niece's situation - it's a terrible shame. In an optimistic mood I would say that she is facing the same troubles we all face with the current economic crisis. But I also worry about a surplus of educated people in certain fields: not enough jobs to go around.

Elmud wrote:

It is my belief that if our young people are going to make an investment in education, then they should expect to recieve the dividends that quality education has always provided. .


I agree. But this prompts a larger question: why should we seek higher education? Money? Or the stand-alone benefits of having a better education?

The answer is certainly both, but even when the financial benefits are not to be found shouldn't we place value on the education itself? For something other than earning potential?
Theaetetus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 08:06 pm
@Elmud,
I am a philosophy and classics major so I realize I could be in a very similar situation after my schooling. One thing I do have going for me though is that many of the professors that know ancient Greek are old and probably retiring in the near future. Not to mention, my grades will easily get me into graduate school. Most of my classmates will be screwed though because they have no skills or knowledge that separate themselves from the majority of philosophy majors, and probably will end up working jobs that for them give low job satisfaction.

I see education as a tool to live a more fulfilling life, than job training. I have knowledge that will provide a life time of interesting conversation and reflection that I would not have ended up with without my education. Sure, I will not have the most practical degree when finished, but if that was my concern, I would have continued on with my electrical engineering schooling. I think the current economic crisis is going to put an end to society as we know it, and the utility of education may be less important.
0 Replies
 
Aedes
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 08:10 pm
@Elmud,
Job security and job satisfaction are highly valuable dividends of a higher education, and this can be independent of income.
0 Replies
 
Elmud
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Apr, 2009 09:54 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:


The answer is certainly both, but even when the financial benefits are not to be found shouldn't we place value on the education itself? For something other than earning potential?

Yeah. I agree with you Didymos. I suppose the way I look at it, as a father, I do not want my children to break their backs making ends meet the way I had to do. To grow old prematurely due to the fact that you just have worn yourself out. That is why I'm fortunate to have children who found an escape from this through education. I just feel like maybe, there should be some sort of employment placement programs in our schools relative to anyones chosen field which would provide some sort of incentive and security that could follow up our kids education. I would hate to see a potential college professor standing in an unemployment line or a soup line. You young people are the future. I want your future to be solvent, and secure. I want your investment to pay off. You've earned it, and it should be there for you. Education is an investment in the future. With any investment, there should be a return.
Dewey phil
 
  1  
Reply Wed 22 Apr, 2009 11:46 pm
@Elmud,
Elmud: "And why, in the world are we shipping our jobs overseas anywho?"


Dewey: As I understand it, we're just doing now what we would have to do eventually. Our companies cannot sell their costly goods in the highly competitive global market To stay afloat, they must employ cheaper labor.

Not to worry! The outsourcing benefits us. The increased employment in the outsourced countries gives them the money to buy more from our companies. That, in turn, enables us to develop or expand our production and thus create new or additional employment opportunities. It's free trade the way it should be. It's worldly win-win, the only way to go!


Elmud: "The focus of this message is the disappearance of quality jobs for educated young people, and why."


Dewey: Like Elmud's, my family has young people having to make career decisions in this fast-changing job market. It's really hard, I know. But, as I tell my youngsters (in the rare times they listen to me): "The sad statistics are averages, but you kids are not average. The job market is a matter of demand and supply. See where the demand is. Go for it."
0 Replies
 
Victor Eremita
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Apr, 2009 12:35 am
@Elmud,
Quote:

I was thinking about my niece this week. She has spent a lot of time and effort achieving her masters degree. She has spent the past few months seeking employment that is compatible with her level of education. She can find none. She has been willing to take just about any job available, but, she has to refrain from divulging any info about her educational level because they would consider her to be overqualified and the moment something better came along, they know she would split. So, she has all this education, and no place to go with it.
In another case, I know a young man who is a computer analyst. He got his degree from Ariz. State Univ. years ago and has been working for a large corporation for some time. He was layed off along with hundreds of others. Their jobs were sent overseas. So now, he freelances. No jobs available.

Yeah. I quite understand. I have Honours Bachelors in Philosophy, but I don't mention that at all when I was interviewing. I mention that I have a Bachelor with good to excellent grades in my Computer Engineering courses. It took me almost a year to find work in the tech field.
Quote:

In times past, it was always my thought that higher education insured that a person could secure quality employment that could last a lifetime. I do not think that is the case anymore.

I never thought that at all. A higher education meant that it was more probable to get employment, but that networking, luck, and CHARISMA were more important for securing a job.
Quote:

Maybe there are too many wannabe chiefs and not enough native americans. I don't know. My girls are in college. One, going for her nursing degree, {which I feel is a good field to get into considering there is a shortage of nurses, and also, because there will always be a demand for nurses), another, is going into health care administration which i believe is also secure for the same reasons. My little one, the youngest, is studying to be an English teacher. I feel that the field of education is also somewhat secure. But, what about the others? How much work is out there for the Astro Physicist? The philosopher? The chemists? And why, in the world are we shipping our jobs overseas anywho?

My take is that if everyone has a higher education.... no one has a higher education. Because of that, there are so many qualified people and so little job positions for each of these people, and thus leading to lack of employment. There were so many Computer Science guys, but not enough jobs to fill it; the years 2001-2006, 2009 were the worst years for being a CS graduate in North America.
Quote:

I want to throw this in. I build cabinets. There is American made equiptment that we use, that is quality equiptment. There is also Chinese equiptment that we have, because it was less expensive, that is far inferior to the American made. It simply falls apart after minimal use. Its junk. There is american made plywood that we often use, which is quality material. But, due to cost, there have been times when foriegn plywood was purchased instead of the american plywood. Mostly, Chinese or South American. Once again, the foriegn plywood is not only out of square, but it delaminates as well. Its junk.

It's much cheaper, and the official blurb is that its supposed to be "good as or better than" its Canadian or American made product (even though you and I might think it's "junk"). And not even products, jokes like Indian Call Centres, have merit: why pay a Canadian $12/hour, when you can pay the Indian counterpart minimum wage (45 rupees = $1.10 Canadian dollar), for pretty much the same quality work (aka, read from a script, practice on the training model). It's about saving money all da way.
Quote:

It is my belief that if our young people are going to make an investment in education, then they should expect to recieve the dividends that quality education has always provided. Maybe we have overprised ourselves. But, that is another subject. The focus of this message is the disappearance of quality jobs for educated young people, and why.

The official blurb about higher education is that it is an end onto itself rather than a means. Of couse a means is necessary in our day to get work and thus money. My views on education since passing through university has become more pessimistic (in terms of employment). I think that although education is an investment, it is also a platform for individual growth. Being entitled to dividends has just become a privilege for great individuals (and if there's room/surplus/good economic conditions; very good individuals)
Labyrinth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 7 May, 2009 11:18 pm
@Victor Eremita,
Isn't this because our university system is basically 9 centuries old? If I'm not mistaken, in the first universities, students earned the classics degree still offered today. However, back then if one learned how to write, he was able to get a position in a political court setting rather easily. I'm going by hazy memory here from I think, The Renaissance of the 12th Century by C.H. Haskins. The universities failed to evolve accordingly with the demands of the workforce. But then again, if people keep buying the degrees offered, they'll keep offering them. I guess we feel we unquestionably must go to college in times where acquiring a special skill in a tech school might provide better security (at least for a while).

I took a different approach, and you can call me a sellout if you want :bigsmile:. I got a pharmacy degree. The subject matter bores me to tears, but I keep up with it to be able to do my job well. I consider it simply "my trade." It secures me leisure time to pursue my real studious interests. I always thought it was ironic that when I was finally done with school, it was only then I was able to start what I considered my true study :Not-Impressed:.
Zetetic11235
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Jun, 2009 02:55 pm
@Labyrinth,
I currently feel that the only arena that seems right for me is in academia. This is a bit speculative, my mom was an adjunct for a while and gave me her insights, plus I have witnessed a good amount of the interactions that take place between the professors and between the professors and administrators ect. It is sort of a perverted meritocracy. If you are good work, you might do well for yourself, or you might be taken advantage of. If you do good work, and you can play the political games better than those who you work with/under, then you will be successful. I am very strategic about how I deal with people, and I think that I understand situations well enough to make sure I come out ahead.

I do find it a sad state of affairs that academia is so plagued by its politics, but I think that the politics of academia will be easier for me to deal with than the politics of the business world. Plus, I doubt that I could investigate what I want to investigate in the business world.
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