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Old 05-05-2012, 06:05 AM   #16
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Young people and jobs


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Originally Posted by Daniel Holzman View Post
I graduated from college with a degree in forestry (you know, the things that grow out of the ground) back in 1977. There was a recession happening, I couldn't get a forestry job, but somehow I managed to land an engineering job 1000 miles away from where I graduated doing water resources work. In 35 years, I have never done any forestry, but se la vie. So it is nothing special to get out of college with a degree in X and never do X. I don't think college was ever set up to teach a specific usable skill, sort of a tool box approach that hopefully lets you do something. If you want to learn a specific skill set, community college is a better bet, or maybe trade school, but not traditional four year college.
My apologies for my ignorance as I did not go to college therefore, my critical thinking skills may be dull here...

So a student gets a degree in agriculture,zoology,forestry,mechanical engineering etc. and they have NOT been trained for a specific field of employment ? ...

Hmmm, so we are ending up with four year degreed students working in fields of employment they are not truly qualified to work in. So basically, we consumers are paying a higher price for the college educated employee's "on the job training" while they endeavour a new career...

I went to electrical trade school to learn how to become a electrician and eventually became a self employed contractor. I dont ever recall telling one of my customers when they inquired about my qualifications, telling them I went to school to be an attorney, then I changed my mind about my career choice and was just learning electrical work as I went along...

Thanks for making the point of my OP.


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Old 05-05-2012, 07:03 AM   #17
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Thanks for making the point of my OP.
Think I totally missed it. I do know kids that can and will work even for the learning experiences. 58 the end of this month. I can call anybody kids now right?

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Old 05-05-2012, 07:16 AM   #18
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Back when I was just 57, I had one of the college kids at work helping me do something. His cell phone rang and the person that called him apparently asked him what he was doing. He replied, " I am in the front office right now helping this, " Old Dude"..

Yeah, so I can call them kids, even though I know they are young adults.
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Old 05-05-2012, 07:39 AM   #19
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I don't think the concept of a graduate working in an unrelated field is anything new.

As for the educators not providing real world experience, they aren't supposed to, they are to train a students mind to think, providing a student with experience in, "What question needs to be asked" and "Where to find the answer".

Experience can only be achieved through doing, this is why many schools have intern programs, and those schools that do have a very high placement ratio of graduates.

As for todays work opportunities, yes there is some challenges, but through perseverance doors open up eventually.

Just my thoughts for what its worth.

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Old 05-05-2012, 10:27 AM   #20
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Where I work I know 6 college grads that are working in unrelated fields to the degree they acquired. Why ? They just need a job and cannot find a job with their degree. (someone is not teaching these kids how to get educated to actually make a living maybe ? ) ..

When I got out of high school in 1970 when the dinosaurs still roamed the earth, it was no problem for any of us graudates back then to get a job. I graduated on friday night and went to work two days later as there were factory/construction jobs a plenty. Now in 2012 we have too many people and not enough jobs to go around..

The USA manufacturing base has been diminished and the immigrants from south of the border are taking the manual labor/construction jobs. What are the youngsters that dont have a college degree (and even some with a degree) supposed to do for a living these days ?...

I can see why so many of the youth nowadays are just angry. What was that old country song, " Dont leave a working man, with no place to go "..

It doesnt look well for the young people today (or any other age really) in the job market, its no wonder they want us old farts to die off and leave a job opening........

Bump....... So many are losing my point here. I never questioned the educational institutions abilities or methods of teaching. Its simple, either you go to college to learn a specific field that will at least enhance ones opportunity of employment... Or...

One goes to just have a college degree in something just to put on their resume. Now this one ^ worked 20 years ago but not any longer in todays economy. There is too much competition, and the massive amount of college grads taking low paying jobs is devaluing the college degree...

I re-state.... someone needs to help our youth to understand that getting a education is great, but do not expect employers to hang out banners to hire them just because they got a degree in something. Get a freaking degree in a field of work that has the potential for good wages, growth, and hopefully for one that will still exist a year from now.
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Old 05-05-2012, 10:32 AM   #21
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I am starting to think that your point is bent around making a debate on your point, in other words anyone elses perspective is not qualified to be posted here.

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Old 05-05-2012, 11:56 AM   #22
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Colleges are turning out lots of chiefs, not indians.
Some turn out 'professionals' too. Lawyers, dentists, doctors, for instance should be able to walk out the door, rent an office and be in business for themselves the next day. The ones in the medical field even serve internships before graduating. It was called 'Hanging out a Shingle' when I was a lad.

It's all in the reasons and mindsets for getting an education.
Getting an education to be an office manager or teacher can be a crapshoot. Same for majoring in the arts, or music for instance.

I'm not putting this well, but I understood the OP. I'll even apologize for my stereotyping certain folks.

BTW Daniel. After buying a country property and trying to keep the garden and other areas cleared, I realized that 'tree' was another way to spell 'weed'.
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Old 05-05-2012, 12:55 PM   #23
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Colleges are turning out lots of chiefs, not indians.
Some turn out other kinds. That know how to play in both worlds.

Ying/yang.
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:17 PM   #24
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I am starting to think that your point is bent around making a debate on your point, in other words anyone elses perspective is not qualified to be posted here.

Mark
I see nothing wrong with debating a topic, but I will not be around for argueing and P-matches though. Debating a topic brings to the table various opinions and facts about topics from people of all educational levels with various life experiences, that I and others can learn from. ...

I am a old dude but I still love learning. Sometimes I may come across as brash, but some of that is my inability to always put in to the correct words, what I am trying to say. My apologies to you Mark for that... and others if so needed...

I enjoyed your post and it was spot on, but one sentence made it appear my point was directed at a malfunction of our educational systems. Not so...

Here is what your post said :
As for the educators not providing real world experience, they aren't supposed to, they are to train a students mind to think, providing a student with experience in, "What question needs to be asked" and "Where to find the answer".



My point in my OP is that I have noted at work and now even more have pointed out on this thread, that young people are getting degrees that are not providing them employment in the field they were trained for. We all deviate from our job careers sometimes as needed for family issues, health or location changes. Nothing wrong with that...

My other point as I have stated, is anyone helping these young people get good information as to what career they should be getting a degree in ? In other words, dont the adult members of a family or even successful friends ever get these kids ears and say, " Hey, I know you want to be a _______- but have you researched how many job openings are in that field. Just a thought and my perspective.

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Old 05-06-2012, 09:40 PM   #25
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My point in my OP is that I have noted at work and now even more have pointed out on this thread, that young people are getting degrees that are not providing them employment in the field they were trained for. We all deviate from our job careers sometimes as needed for family issues, health or location changes. Nothing wrong with that...

My other point as I have stated, is anyone helping these young people get good information as to what career they should be getting a degree in ? In other words, dont the adult members of a family or even successful friends ever get these kids ears and say, " Hey, I know you want to be a _______- but have you researched how many job openings are in that field. Just a thought and my perspective.
Perhaps this is where we've failed them. Most of the younger generation I interact with have poor social skills, can't look you in the eye, mumble when they talk, no confidence, it would seem. Perhaps that is from being connected but not truly talking to another person.(Put the phone down.haha)
The other part of the problem, from my perspective, is that they've been in a system that won't tell them they've failed at something. We've protected their self esteem at every point, everybody gets a pass. IMHO, self esteem comes from actually accomplishing what you set out to do, solving the obstacles along the way. As an example, I'm going to be starting schooling part time to become a plumber. Not that I don't like what I do now, just want options, if I need a change. I also know, from interacting face to face with the owner of a plumbing company, that he has extremely busy periods of the year where he could use help. I plan on offering my services for free to him, for the experience, because my schedule allows me to. If he says, "no thanks", I won't worry about it, but without the confidence I've built in myself over the years from actually figuring out what works from failing at things, I wouldn't have had the confidence to even ask.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:59 PM   #26
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You can also look to the older generation as part of the problem. How many are working into their 60s because they didn't save properly for retirement. That keeps the 30 and 40 somethings in lower positions, not moving up and making room for the new 20 somethings.
I read a historical book on FDR, and one of the amazing (to me) things was WHY FDR came up with Social Security. The economy was inching along, improving slowly, he was creating things to employ thousands of people, yet the unemployment rate wouldn't budge. He looked overseas, and saw a plan where when people got to a certain age, they were paid a pension by the government and they left the workforce. He realized this would not only force older people out of the workforce, opening jobs up for the younger people, but also give a chunk of the population spending money, which would increase productivity (back when things were made in the USA).

It just amazed me because the most common reason I read of why FDR came up with SS was to make the abject poverty of the elderly a bad memory. According to the biographer, this did not come up in FDR's reasonings!

There is no doubt that the economy isn't great, but many employers are saying the people that show up are lacking the necessary skills they need. We recently had a "manufacturing summit" here with the Governor and Senators and all those people. And the manufacturers were saying "look, I've expanded, I need another 100 people, but manufacturing isn't as simple as it used to be. It's computer driven, you need some tech skills, you need to be able to use high tech tools and lasers, and all that, and the kids we're getting out of college have none of that".

Interesting discussion!
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:03 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Jeeps View Post
My apologies for my ignorance as I did not go to college therefore, my critical thinking skills may be dull here...

So a student gets a degree in agriculture,zoology,forestry,mechanical engineering etc. and they have NOT been trained for a specific field of employment ? ...

Hmmm, so we are ending up with four year degreed students working in fields of employment they are not truly qualified to work in. So basically, we consumers are paying a higher price for the college educated employee's "on the job training" while they endeavour a new career...

I went to electrical trade school to learn how to become a electrician and eventually became a self employed contractor. I dont ever recall telling one of my customers when they inquired about my qualifications, telling them I went to school to be an attorney, then I changed my mind about my career choice and was just learning electrical work as I went along...

Thanks for making the point of my OP.
You said one thing key here and that's critical thinking skills. That is one objective for obtaining a degree. There are common courses in most assosiate, bachelor, master, on to doctorate that are designed to have the common goal of increasing ones "critical thinking skills." That is why someone can get a degree in Forestry but then go on to work in Engineering. Or even get an associates in Chemical Engineering then go to work as a Computer Programmer. An employer will look at that degree and say to themselves "well this person doesen't have the specific training I am looking for but this degree demonstrates their ability to learn the job I am hiring them for quickly", provided the field is somewhat related. That's far from saying that everyone needs a degree to get ahead. Many do not. It the trades it is much more valuable to build up a skill set over a number of years and keep learning as one goes. The guy that did my kitchen renovations last year is a house builder by trade and his formal education ended in the 8th grade. He made a valid point that he was making more money than his kids' teachers who have master's degrees.
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Old 05-08-2012, 09:10 PM   #28
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Good post Jim,


I am starting to sound like a broken record here...

This week I talked to 3 of the college graduates at work about why they chose the degree they acquired in college ....

The common reply was, " I dont know, it just seemed like a good career choice at the time". All 3 of these guys are now going back to school to get a degree for a field of employment that will be more lucrative for them. One of them graduated with a degree in the "arts" and is now going back to school to become an attorney. My point being made again by these 3 guys...

Yes, they got degrees, Yes, they proved they have the ability to think and to stay with, and to complete the goal of 4 years of post HS education. All good credits on a resume. ...

Yes, and I know they have not lost anything other than the value of the dollars it took to pay for their four years of college. But they are now playing catch up and will be competing now with even MORE apllicants that are already qualified to do, what they are now going back to school to learn. ..

I stand by my OP, these young folks today need better guidance on getting their career choice RIGHT the first time around, whenever they are getting ready to spend $60-100K and four years of their life in college. jmo

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Old 05-09-2012, 07:48 AM   #29
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I know for me, at 18, I had no real idea of what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. Stores were selling the Commodore VIC-20 and C64 computers (remember those?!) and I got one and was hooked, so I went into computers. It has served me well, but I will say, almost everything the colleges taught me on computers, has been almost completely useless in the real world. Experience on the job has served me far better.

I always thought pushing an 18 or 19 year old kid to jump in, set up a four or five year plan, go into debt some huge amount, and lay out what you're going to do for the rest of your life is a bit ridiculous. I have had far better success taking college courses in my 30's and beyond.
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Old 05-09-2012, 09:29 AM   #30
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Jeeps, I don't know if going back to school to be an attorney will work out to be a better choice for that kid or not. There are a lot of attorneys out there competing for positions right now. My sister completed her JD at around 40 and could not find a position in a firm due to her age and medical problems. She is just barely getting by in her own practice, takes a lot of pro Bono and probably has no hope of paying off the seven figure loans she took out to get there. On top of student loans, she had to borrow enough to live on while going to school full-time.

That is a valid point, kids really need clear objectives in today's market so they can pay off their loans. My son started out as an engineering major but realized in his first semester that that the market was too competitive and also decided engineering was not for him. He is now a biology major and is considering a career either as a veterinarian or research. There really is no guarantee he will find gainful employment. If he was good with his hands, at fixing things, and really wasn't into college I would have encouraged him to pursue a trade and not pushed him into college.

I still think the military is a good option for kids who are not really sure what they want to do. It worked for me. I had a better idea of the career path I wanted to take when I got out and had veteran's benefits to use to help pay for college.

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