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Thread: Graduate Degrees, the Job Market, and Unemployment

  1. #1

    Default Graduate Degrees, the Job Market, and Unemployment

    I don't know if I'm the only one here, but there may be many in the same boat.
    I currently have a job that has a limited term of employment. Needless to say it will be over soon and I have been looking for a job for months now.
    I've got a huge resume loaded with tons of diversified experience, and a Masters Degree to boot, and I find its almost impossible to obtain a job. It truly baffles me how difficult it is to even get an interview anymore. Although this is the case I'm also surprised that I see people get nice jobs in my fields simply because they know someone who knows someone that dated someone who knows someone else without the necessary education or experience needed for the job.

    My question is when in the history of our society did knowing someone become more important than education or developed skills? It's incredible how much this doesn't make sense.
    It also baffles me that when I apply for jobs that are next to minimum wage the prospective employer won't hire me because of too much experience, too much education, or the whole overqualified nonsense. I need the chance to earn pittance as much as the next guy!
    At this rate it looks like I'll be headed to the unemployment line, and then maybe an OWS rally somewhere.

    Have we gone coo coo as a society?

  2. #2

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    Koo Koo as in too many over educaited desk jockeys. America became great by the sweat of our brow and the skills in our hands but now no one wants to get dirty. Trades people are in high demand, lots or well paying jobs and only retirees with the skills. Where I work we need toolmakers, machinests, welders, machanics, electricians and the like and no one qualified applies. No college required just the type who grew up playing with tools not video games.

  3. #3

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    I heard someone speak to this on Public Radio. What she did was to do volunteer work, and eventually got hired. By working for less or volunteering at a place where you would like to be hired, it lets them know you. Either way, if it depends on who you know, then you've got to go where "they" are so they can know you. Being a church musician, I know that many employers go to church. That's one place to get known. There are business organization like The Kiwanas Club which you could join. You simply have to find ways to market yourself like you are the product.

  4. #4

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    Now days when it comes to looking for a good job it's who you know not what you know. I'm a little over 20K in debt with federal student loans and can't even find a job in health care which from my understanding is in high demand. I'm regretting my decision to go back to school now and wish I would have signed up with an apprenticeship program or something. America's service based economy is failing and many college graduates are either unable to find jobs at all or forced to take up jobs that high school age people are qualified to do. College education is becoming worthless because it's so easy to get student loans and rack up all kinds of debt. Now everyone has a college degree so it's nothing really special. I'm in the same boat as you are RangerR, I apply for like fast food jobs and I'm told I'm overqualified. I'm a disabled individual so I'm seeking help from the state vocational rehabilitation office in my area.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerR View Post
    My question is when in the history of our society did knowing someone become more important than education or developed skills? It's incredible how much this doesn't make sense.
    The problem is, it really does make sense.. it just sucks.

    Education and skill set are only half of the equation these days. Personal character is the other half. Someone who is vouched for by someone the company trusts is more likely to be a good fit.. especially as the person doing the vouching knows both what the companies corporate culture is, and the personality of the person they are recommending. This is a huge leg-up over just reading someones resume and depending on the references they've provided. This is why referral programs are becoming the norm at a lot of places.

    I know all of that isn't particularly helpful to your situation. The only thing I can recommend is learn to network. It sucks and we hate doing it... but it is becoming essential. You are currently working somewhere, use that as an opportunity to branch out into your industry. Join industry associations.. attend conferences.. etc. Become someone who others will vouch for.

  6. #6

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    I understand the value of working hard, and working for far less than what you are wanting that's why I worked full time all through high school and college for next to nothing in pay. I got degrees, certifications, and experience in administration, politics, finance & accounting, broadcasting, computer networking, graphic design, English education, and construction. It still bothers me that it comes down to who you know. It just bothers me when I see people with no experience in any skilled trade or without an education get jobs just based on who they know.
    It feels like I've been lied to all my life. Every person my age was told to work hard, get an education, keep your nose clean, and things will work out for you.
    If I ever have kids I think I will advise them against going to college, and simply go and responsibly party with everyone they know just so they can build connections.



    Quote Originally Posted by dogboy View Post
    I heard someone speak to this on Public Radio. What she did was to do volunteer work, and eventually got hired. By working for less or volunteering at a place where you would like to be hired, it lets them know you. Either way, if it depends on who you know, then you've got to go where "they" are so they can know you. Being a church musician, I know that many employers go to church. That's one place to get known. There are business organization like The Kiwanas Club which you could join. You simply have to find ways to market yourself like you are the product.
    I really do agree with this but it is really hard to do this when you live in a small town where decent jobs have disappeared. I know I need to move to a larger place where I can make these connections. I can't move to a large city without a job because of student load debt and the large increase in cost of living that would go along with moving to a large city. Its a catch 22, I can't afford to move to a large city, but I can't afford not to.

    Sorry to be such a whiner on this subject... Things are just bad right now are the job market is a little imbalanced, and the hiring process is a little screwy.

    Thanks for listening to me rant.

  7. #7

    Default

    It depends what Your degrees and experience are in too..


    I do think its kind of sad when having a college education today doesnt mean alot and you really need a Graduate degree to have any chance.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by RangerR View Post
    My question is when in the history of our society did knowing someone become more important than education or developed skills? It's incredible how much this doesn't make sense.
    It depends on what field your in. If your field has a lot of people with the same degrees and similar credentials, then it shouldn't be too surprising that knowing someone weighs heavily in the mind of an employer. That's what makes someone stand out when everyone else is just as capable of doing the job. But knowing people has almost always been an influential factor when hiring someone. Networking is everything.



    It also baffles me that when I apply for jobs that are next to minimum wage the prospective employer won't hire me because of too much experience, too much education, or the whole overqualified nonsense.
    It's because they think you'll find a better job and bail, so they don't want to waste resources training you if they're only going to have to look for your replacement six months later. They're looking for someone who will be able stick with the job for a good while. But yeah, being overqualified is the pits. It might just be better to pare down your resume and downplay how qualified you are, as ironic as that seems.



    Quote Originally Posted by RangerR View Post
    If I ever have kids I think I will advise them against going to college, and simply go and responsibly party with everyone they know just so they can build connections.
    YES! I honestly think our country would do better if people didn't bury themselves in education debt and then compete with each other for minimum wage jobs. What ever happened to going straight from high school to a decent full time job? And frankly, you really don't need half of the skills you learn in college to succeed in most jobs. I'm not saying college skills don't help, but they're certainly not necessary.

  9. #9

    Default

    You aren't being a whiner. This is a common problem for graduated students. I suspect when all is said and done, you will have to make a move to a bigger market. When I graduated, I taught at a private boarding school for a year. Since they provided a room, a horrible room, I had my room and board for free. I used that year to pay off a lot of my student loan. I hope you can find something and get your life on track.

  10. #10
    Peachy

    Default

    There's two reasons for this really:
    (1) The whole society is putting more emphasis on social networking. Just look at the popularity of places like Facebook, or LinkIn (that business-related social network). Companies spend millions of dollars to send their promising top employees to get an MBA, not because they need their employees to redo high school math, or learn about 1 or 2 recent economic models (that's all they ever do, it seems), but because of the networking aspect. They'll get to know other people in high positions in other companies, thus gaining knowledge, influence or even some understanding for other businesses, or competitors. Anyway, social networks are just one source for people and companies to find each other, and not being able to or not wanting to use that channel just means less chances to get hired...especially in our times where everyone thinks social networks are the best thing since sliced bread and that other ways of communication are old fashioned and should die already. Not being part of a fad (no matter how stupid it is) seems to make things harder at times.
    (2) Your economy is still in deep shit. As such, companies are trying to avoid the risk of hiring people that may turn out to be useless. In an environment like that, a personal recommendation (even from someone who knows the cat who ate the flea that bit the dog of the girl who once bumped into this guy your ex dated 20 years ago) seems to count more than a full CV and a pile of college degrees. We're still humans, and if you hire the wrong person for your company because that person was suggested to you by someone else you can still blame whoever suggested the person rather than having to blame yourself for choosing the wrong guy from the stack of applications. When the labor market is empty, or when the economy is doing so well that a wrong decision won't put your company at risk companies will take the risk of hiring people they aren't 100% sure of. If, however, people are lining up 3 miles down the road for just one open position, companies can be choosy and will avoid risk.

    See if you can milk your social network for a few "first contacts". At the end of the day, a brilliant CV with a recommendation from someone known to the company will seal the deal. You've already got the CV part down...the contact part is definitely the easier part of it! Or wait until your government instills panic into your economy that demographics will cause the job market to be as empty as Greece's government vaults in a few years so companies snatch up the good employees now and keep them at every cost because they fear they won't be able to find any more staff for the next 30 years to come. That's what cured our job market, even through the 2009 crisis.

    Peachy

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