What Not to Get That Degree In

Used to be, a college degree was a reasonably sure fire ticket to employment. Not in today’s America. Here are some numbers which are scary…

Interestingly enough – there are several engineering fields on this list. So much for “rebuilding” America. The majority of these are services oriented.

A Tin Cup, Instead of a job

25 college majors with the highest unemployment rates

The worst nightmare of a college student has got to be graduating without a job. And the college major that a student selects can actually increase his or her chances of getting stuck in an unemployment line.

College majors that are hampered by highunemployment rates include a variety of psychology degrees, fine arts and architecture. The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce delved into U.S. Census Bureau statistics to determine the employment rates of 173 college majors; I crossed them against a list of the most popular college majors.

College majors with the highest unemployment

  • 1. Clinical psychology 19.5%
  • 2. Miscellaneous fine arts 16.2%
  • 3. United States history 15.1%
  • 4. Library science 15.0%
  • 5. (tie) Military technologies; educational psychology 10.9%
  • 6. Architecture 10.6%
  • 7. Industrial & organizational psychology 10.4%
  • 8. Miscellaneous psychology 10.3%
  • 9. Linguistics & comparative literature 10.2%
  • 10. (tie) Visual & performing arts; engineering & industrial management 9.2%
  • 11. Engineering & industrial management 9.2%
  • 12. Social psychology 8.8%
  • 13. International business 8.5%
  • 14. Humanities 8.4%
  • 15. General social sciences 8.2%
  • 16. Commercial art & graphic design 8.1%
  • 17. Studio art 8.0%
  • 18. Pre-law & legal studies 7.9%
  • 19. Materials engineering and materials science and composition & speech (tie) 7.7%
  • 20. Liberal arts 7.6%
  • 21. (tie) Fine arts and genetics 7.4%
  • 22. Film video & photography arts and cosmetology services & culinary arts (tie) 7.3%
  • 23. Philosophy & religious studies and neuroscience (tie) 7.2%
  • 24. Biochemical sciences 7.1%
  • 25. (tie) Journalism and sociology 7.0%

It’s Not the Education System That’s Broke

[MISMATCHstats]You hear this refrain frequently – that American companies can’t find qualified or educated workers. With the recent exposure that many companies automatically exclude the unemployed as potential employees – it’s becomming incresingly obvious that it is not the education system that is the problem…

It’s the companies themselves.

Some years ago many companies started using automated search engines which sorted resumes looking for keywords. The growth of the Internet has also meant the growth of potential resumes which a company can choose from. Keyword searches are based on the faulty idea that someone who is qualified for a potential position will include those words in the resume. So for instance, a candidate with an ITIL, Six Sigma, or PMI certification would include those terms in the resume. Since real work skills, accomplishments, and experience don’t translate to such simpleminded analysis – the impact of this was to devalue the experience of anyone who could actually do the job, and raise the value of folks who became certification whores.

Leading to the surreal environment where the self proclaimed “father of the Internet” couldn’t get hired for a technical job in the industry he created – or a guy who had actually designed and built bridges over rivers for 25 years…

Is suddenly “unqualified” for a job to design and build bridges, because he hadn’t built a bridge over a creek.

Enabled by the power of the computer, Human Resources folks were able to get very precise in developing requirements for potential hires. This meant developing skills criteria where no one, who wasn’t already doing the job for the hiring company (and usually even the person in the job couldn’t qualify for), could ever fit. Years ago, I took a job with a company which had developed a proprietary technology which was only utilized at that time in 3 other places in the world, including DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – which is a small group of really smart guys working on super secret technology projects), and MIT being two of the three other places. My advantage? I had at least read about it in technical publications. Recognizing that the pool of folks who knew anything about the technology was exceedingly small – the company had an aggressive internal education program to bring employees up to speed.

Today, companies don’t want to invest in training employees – believing that the alphabet soup of outside certification agencies is somehow going to produce qualified employees. It doesn’t, what it produces is a lot of employees with the common toolkits to work – which is a large distance from having the real functional skills.

Being in the tech industry means getting approached by headhunters several times a week, sometimes on resumes that are 10 years or more old. My last name is the same as a company which produces a very sophisticated software system. For years I’d get calls from breathless headhunters looking for programmers familiar with the system. Never occurred to these folks that if I was the guy who had created the system, and CEO of the company bearing my last name…

WTF would I be looking for a junior or mid-level programming job? Continue reading

Racism Will Make You Stupid

In another of those Racism Making People Stupid Moments (the last one was Rush Limbaugh defending the violent criminal gang, LRA), yet another Republican lets his racism against President Obama get in the way of common sense…

Accornero, apparently is upset about “illegel” immigrants. Small problem with “Acornhead’s” logic though – more illegal immigrants have been deported under Obama than during Bush. Indeed, the number has risen each year during the Obama Administration, and by some counts, President Obama has deported more illegal aliens in 3 years than Bush did during the entire 8 years of his stolen Presidency.

The next problem with “Acornhead’s” logic is that “illegal” immigrants aren’t exactly our “enemy”. As in any group of people there are some illegal immigrants who are criminals, or commit criminal acts – but they aren’t here to kill the fatted calf (they are not as stupid as conservatives!)…

They are here to make money, the old fashioned way…

By working for it.

Suddenly, at least in the eyes of the froth-mouth right wing – anybody who wants a job and wants to do honest work for a living is “Public Enemy #1″, “traitors”, a “mob”. When the working folks of this country become the enemy…

I think we know who the real traitors are.

Harry Accornero, New Hampshire GOP Lawmaker, Accuses President Obama Of Treason

A Republican New Hampshire state lawmaker is calling for the formation of a commission to bring charges of treason against President Obama.

Harry Accornero (R-Laconia) sent an email to every New Hampshire state representative stating that President Obama “has crossed the line, and under Article III section 3 of our Constitution is guilty of treason by giving aid and comfort to the enemy and attempting to overthrow our government from within.”

“I am formally asking you to bring a commission of treason against Mr. Barack Husain [sic] Obama,” wrote Accornero in the email, posted by Blue Hampshire and obtained by The Huffington Post. “We have a President who allows our borders to be violated by illegals of any country while we are at war. He allows them work permits, access to our services and when apprehended by law enforcement refuses to have them jailed or deported.”

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Accornero said he had to act on the injustices he feels the Obama administration is performing.

“I’ve been contemplating this for awhile and just been getting fed up with what’s going on in Washington and what the president is doing to our country,” he said. “I wrote a few letters into the local paper and I sent it to Congressman [Frank] Guinta and it just falls on deaf ears.”…

SAT Scores Tank

The Writing/Reading part of the College Test has hot new lows. “Merde” – we are producing more conservatives!

One of the drivers of this is likely the fact that 27% of those taking the SAT don’t speak English as a first language. 10 Years ago that number was 19%.

I’m not a big believer that the College Tests, the SAT and tit’s competitor the ACT indicate anything more a than acculturation to the education model. Change the model, and you change the “important” skills. The issue here is we have a system which encourages kids to go to college, even though we aren’t creating jobs for them when they graduate. Perhaps the “problem” in American Education is finding a way to make it more reactive to market demand?

And perhaps we need on hell of a lot more Scientists and Engineers, and an economy which rewards people with those skills.

SAT Scores Fall as Number of Test-Takers Rises

Average SAT scores fell across the board this past year—down 3 points in critical reading, 2 points in writing, and 1 point in math.

This year, 1.65 million students in the high school graduating class of 2011 took the college-entrance exam, up from 1.6 million for the class of 2010, according to results released today.

The increase in test-takers can lead to a decline in mean scores, the College Board says, because more students of varying academic ability are represented.

Regardless of the drop in mean scores, according to a press release from the New York City-based College Board, the test’s sponsor, “there are more high-performing students among the class of 2011 than ever before.”

Each section of the test is scored from 200 to 800, with a 2400 for all sections combined being perfect. Critical-reading scores in this year’s report compared with last year’s dropped from 500 to 497, math from 515 to 514, and writing from 491 to 489, for an overall score change from 1506 to 1500—all statistically significant. Since 2007, the first year that College Board June cohort data are available, critical reading and math scores have each had a 4-point decline, while math scores have remained stable.

The new total test-taking figures show the gap further narrowing between the SAT and the rival ACT, which unveiled its numbers last month with 1.62 million students in the class of 2011 taking the test, an all-time high for the Iowa City, Iowa-based testing company as well. Last year, the College Board began including all test-takers through June of their senior year and did so again.

 

 

Them That’s Got… Jobs

<a href=”Ray Charles – Them That Got.mp3“>

I’ve gotten down to my last pair of shoes
Can’t even win a nickel bet
Because, ah them that’s got are them that gets
And I ain’t got nothin yet

I’m sneakin in and out duckin’ my landlord
All I seem to do is stay in debt
Because, ah them that’s got (yeah) are them that gets
And I tell you all I ain’t got nothin’ yet

That old sayin them that’s got are them that gets
Is somethin I can’t see
If ya gotta have somethin
Before you can get somethin
How do ya get your first is still a mystery to me

I see folk with long cars and fine clothes
That’s why they’re called the smarter set
Because they manage to get
When only them that’s got supposed to get
And I ain’t got nothin yet…

Another one of those things that makes you go….”Huh?” In an Americas with 6.5 million unemployed, and perhaps another 10 million underemployed or “discouraged”… The moron which came up with this one…

Needs to be fired.

Job listings say the unemployed need not apply

Hundreds of job opening listings posted on Monster.com and other jobs sites explicitly state that people who are unemployed would be less attractive applicants, with some telling the long-term unemployed to not even bother with applying.

The New York Times’ Catherine Rampell said she found preferences for the already employed or only recently laid off in listings for “hotel concierges, restaurant managers, teachers, I.T. specialists, business analysts, sales directors, account executives, orthopedics device salesmen, auditors and air-conditioning technicians.” Even the massive University of Phoenix stated that preference, but removed the listings when the Times started asking questions.

The concerted shunning of unemployed Americans by prospective employers was a common theme that cropped up in the thousands of responses that poured in when we asked Yahoo! readers to share their experiences of unemployment for our “Down But Not Out” series.

Reader Susan W. said she was being treated “as if it were my fault I was unemployed, regardless of the fact that I had put out hundreds of resumes and applications.”

Legal experts told the Times that explicitly barring unemployed people from applying does not qualify under the statutory definition of discrimination, since unemployment is not a federally protected status like age or race. But the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently set out to establish whether employers were discriminating against certain protected groups because they are overrepresented in the ranks of the unemployed, such as African-American and older workers. (We covered that meeting here.) New Jersey recently passed a law barring employment ads that seek to rule out applications from those who are unemployed.

Even if the practice of weeding out unemployed applicants doesn’t fit the legal definition of discrimination, it sure feels unfair for the more than 6.3 million Americans who have been out of work for more than six months to be told they are automatically disqualified for the few openings that are out there. “I feel like I am being shunned by our entire society,” Kelly Wiedemer, an unemployed information technology specialist, told the Times.

Homeless Guy Lands Radio Job After Interview

This guy has got “The Voice”, which takes a lot of years to develop. Having at one point in my life done some minor work as  a DJ and announcer – I can tell you it takes a lot of work to get this right!

A homeless voice has the sound of a fairy tale

The smooth baritone of Ted Williams became an Internet sensation yesterday when a Dispatch.com video compelled millions of viewers to take a closer look (and listen) at a homeless panhandler who sometimes works the Hudson Street ramp off northbound I-71.

Carrying a hand-scrawled cardboard sign touting his “God-given gift of voice,” an otherwise ragged Williams was recorded last month offering up his radiant pipes to an idle commuter for spare change.

That voice delivered.

Eclipsing the initial awe over Williams’ “gift” were the scores of phone calls that followed – media inquiries and potential job offers that could ultimately provide the one-time radio announcer with a second chance.

“My boss said to me: ‘If you don’t get him hired, you’re fired,'” said Kevin McLoughlin, director of post-production films for the National Football League. He contacted The Dispatchlast night in search of Williams.

“I can’t make any guarantees, but I’d love to get him some work.”

The 97-second clip – posted Monday on Dispatch.com and copied yesterday morning to YouTube by an anonymous user – was filmed on a whim by Dispatch videographer Doral Chenoweth III.

As blog entries, Facebook posts and Twitter exclamations turned viral, so did the calls from news producers at ABC, CBS and CNN, as well as national talk shows.

“We run into these guys at the exit ramps and we pretty much ignore them,” said Chenoweth, who was en route with his wife to the grocery store when he first saw Williams. “This guy was using his talent.”

 

 

 

No Longer Just Jose on the Corner Anymore…

Competition at the curbside…

Pinched Workers Seek Out Day Labor

High Joblessness Forces More People From Desk Jobs to Curb-Side Hiring Sites; a Bank Teller Takes Up Housecleaning

The face of day labor appears to be changing, with more women, non-Latinos and former white-collar workers taking up manual labor.

Amid continued high joblessness, employers say they are seeing more workers at curbside hiring sites, or seeking work through less traditional routes such as Craigslist, who before the downturn might have had full-time jobs.

Many lost desk jobs in the hard-hit auto, construction and financial industries. Some see manual labor such as housecleaning or hauling debris, where people are hired and paid per diem, as the only way to survive when jobs in their prior fields have become scarce.

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