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Old 11-26-2011, 02:47 PM   #21
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I think it's become a skill-mismatch issue. I wonder if the electrical / mechanical / civil / aerospace engineering degrees have as much trouble finding work as the liberal arts degrees?
My daughter, a sophomore civil engineering major at Rice U, says "Lifetime employment".

I've tremendously enjoyed reading her civil engineering textbooks. If not for the grace of a fantastic high-school chemistry prof and the U.S. Navy's submarine force...
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Old 11-26-2011, 02:51 PM   #22
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I think it's become a skill-mismatch issue. I wonder if the electrical / mechanical / civil / aerospace engineering degrees have as much trouble finding work as the liberal arts degrees?

The blue collar jobs - plumbers, electricians, welders - seem to be in demand in this area.
Keep in mind also that there used to be a lot more "on the job training" than there is today. A few decades ago, a business would train the right person with a "background/education mismatch." These days? Forget it! No matter how good you could be, if you don't have the right "papers" and direct experience, no amount of conscientiousness or demonstrated ability to learn matters today. And why would Corporate America pay for training any more when you can get taxpayer-subsidized universities and desperate job seekers to pay for it?

The bottom line is that we live in an era, like it or not, where the folks who are hiring have more power over regular people than ever since WW2.
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:51 PM   #23
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I find all this stereotyping of how all the kids coming out of college today are worthless whiners is absurd. Sure there are some, and without a doubt they were there when you graduated. However, the entry level opportunities today pale in comparison to what most of us had available at that age. I'd like to see some of you come out of college in 2010-11 and not feel frustrated or at least feel lucky to have landed something and thats not to mention the same for all those who have been productive in their jobs only to be laid off.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:09 PM   #24
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My B.S. in Electrical Engineering helped when looking for a job, though the search was still a PITA.

Still, what really amazed me was how very much easier it became to find a decent job with a Ph.D than with just the B.S.E.E. The doors just flew open, metaphorically speaking.

I really didn't expect that; if my recollection is correct, statistics would say that a B.S.E.E. is more marketable than a Ph.D in Oceanography. I would advise any young person in college to hit the books hard as an undergrad, since if you don't, you may not be able to get a graduate assistantship (and who could pay for grad school these days without one and the free tuition it generally includes?).
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Old 11-26-2011, 07:09 PM   #25
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A BSEE is definitely the most marketable of the undergrad degrees, but even for them in this economy it is a tough job search. Some jobs are offering pay that is 2/3's or even 1/2 of what they were four years ago.

All engineering degrees are definitely not equal, employers want a particular degree and will completely screen out people who do not have that degree. You would be surprised how limited the job position openings are for certain types of engineering, such as civil, industrial, mechanical, etc... that really have pretty limited opportunities. The bio/chem engineering jobs can particularly limited, because there are a significant number of PhD's in those areas.
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Old 11-26-2011, 08:19 PM   #26
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a B.S.E.E. is more marketable than a Ph.D in Oceanography.
You really are a glutton for punishment, aren't you?

I worked with a lieutenant who had his BS EE, and while he was on his final two years of active duty he did an online MS EE from Hawaii with U of Wash. He got hired by an Oregon EE consulting firm, and the first thing they did was send him back to U-Dub for his PhD.

One very happy ex-nuke...
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:22 AM   #27
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Makes one wonder if it is really worth it to run up all of those college loan bills. Sure am glad that I paid for my education the old fashioned way, work and scholarships.
I had the dream financial aid package...
NYS Regents Scholarship (tuition only to 4 year SUNY school)
NDSL (pay back loan)
BEOG and SEOG
College W*rk-Study Program, Physics lab assistant

Graduated in 1980 with a BS Physics into a screaming recession and what turned out to be an 8 year hiring freeze for the federal government. So much for my plan to w*rk for the USGS as a geophysicist.
So I w*rked as a small engine mechanic (again), PT substitute teacher, hardware/paint clerk, cleaned houses (again), and took some programming courses. I eventually got into computer system management (private sector) and was not able to return to anything purely scientific until 1988 (federal j*b). Then I was able to take graduate level Engineering courses while w*rking for the Fed.

Today's college graduates need to understand that they have to be flexible and stick to it. No j*b in their field? Put away the crying towel, and take some post Bachelor's broadening courses.
It ain't rocket science!
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Old 11-27-2011, 07:57 AM   #28
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I agree with Freebird - if you can't get a job in your field, then it's time to change fields. I think people tend to forget that jobs and careers are not always synonymous. I was just thankful to have any kind of a paying job in my early years. I picked vegetables, processed cattle, flipped burgers, worked in a trophy manufacturing company, did some office work, and then lucked into an entry level customer service job in a Megacorp and found I had almost unlimited possibilities there.

I never once stood around with my hands in my pockets doing a pity-party. I couldn't afford to...
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:09 AM   #29
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When there are 15 million un/underemployed people and 3 million jobs available, what one studies makes a difference, but only up to a point. To call them whiners is cruel, but more importantly, it misses the point.
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:25 AM   #30
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Hell, I would have babysat, mowed lawns and shoveled snow if it came down to that.

I guess my point was if there are no j*bs, you need to be creative and find something to do outside the traditional routes.

Employment environment in 1980.

http://stats.bls.gov/opub/mlr/1981/02/art1full.pdf
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:27 AM   #31
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This link quotes real data that is significant.

Lifetime Earnings Soar with Education – How a Higher Education Leads to Higher Lifetime Earnings

HS vs BA vs MBA vs PhD earnings have been significant in every article read.

What you can question is the cost of the degree. If child goes to an expensive institution, and the degree does not directly relate to a career, it will be more challenging to overtake the hs student who goes right to work and chalks up 4-5 years of earnings while college graduate mounts $25-50K of debt.
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:35 AM   #32
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Hell, I would have babysat, mowed lawns and shoveled snow if it came down to that.

I guess my point was if there are no j*bs, you need to be creative and find something to do outside the traditional routes.

Employment environment in 1980.

http://stats.bls.gov/opub/mlr/1981/02/art1full.pdf
Creativity and a non-traditional approach is good advice, as is baby sitting, mowing lawns, etc. It may help you, or me, and a few more. But it does not help the other 10M+ unemployed.

When we look at this by individual we see training, attitude and personal initiative as the solution. In aggregate, however, the problem is the shortage of jobs, not a poor work ethic.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:05 AM   #33
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I really didn't expect that; if my recollection is correct, statistics would say that a B.S.E.E. is more marketable than a Ph.D in Oceanography. I would advise any young person in college to hit the books hard as an undergrad, since if you don't, you may not be able to get a graduate assistantship (and who could pay for grad school these days without one and the free tuition it generally includes?).
Anyone that has the brains and perseverence to go that far is impressive in my mind. W2R, have you considered a part time job helping retirees set up their reef aquariums?

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Old 11-27-2011, 09:16 AM   #34
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Creativity and a non-traditional approach is good advice, as is baby sitting, mowing lawns, etc. It may help you, or me, and a few more. But it does not help the other 10M+ unemployed.
.............
Ironically, we have 12 million undocumented workers in this country and they are...........nannies, lawn mowers, etc. They are doing jobs that most Americans consider beneath them.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:40 AM   #35
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Ironically, we have 12 million undocumented workers in this country and they are...........nannies, lawn mowers, etc. They are doing jobs that most Americans consider beneath them.
About half that number are children, seniors or others that do not work. The labor force has 5.2% of undocumented workers. Many of these are jobs that employers (unlawfully) pay no payroll taxes, including nannies and lawn care. Cracking down on businesses (and individuals) that employ without complying with labor laws would be helpful for employment and also Social Security and Medicare funding. What jobs people are willing to take is not clear, but the measure should not be vs. unlawful exploitation.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:49 AM   #36
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The impression I get from some young people, is they have the illusion that a college degree is somehow a guarantee that they are shielded from working low hourly wage jobs. When that proves to be untrue, they return home to their sympathetic parents, rather than take what jobs are available.
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:54 AM   #37
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Just for fun and to give myself a reality check on employment opportunites in a chronic economically depressed area (upstate NY) , I went to indeed.com and did a search on "minimum wage" j*bs within 50 miles of Utica NY.

I was very surprised at the results. If you scroll down to the Related Searches, there are quite a few j*bs out there.
Minimum Wage Jobs, Employment in Utica, NY | Indeed.com

Same geographical area, this time using keywords "bachelor degree".
Bachelor Degree Jobs, Employment in Utica, NY | Indeed.com
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Old 11-27-2011, 09:56 AM   #38
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Our niece's husband dropped out of med school to be a full time pilot. He now flies corporate, and is going back to school - photography. I can't figure that one out - can't see where the secure jobs are. Nor can I figure out why at the age of 56 I want to go back and get a degree in history. I'm not looking for a job. Maybe one's passion for a degree isn't related to their need for employment as much as I once thought it was.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:26 AM   #39
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Sometimes I think this board should be called, "The Glass House ER Forum". When you were in college, in the good old days, everyone studied hard and joined "worthwhile" groups like student government and never skipped class or did anything crazy? That tells me that you missed the 60s. It also tells me that no one here graduated during the 70s oil crisis, or the 80s crisis, or the 90s recession, or the 00 dot bomb. Or, perhaps, everyone here is an economic automaton, always making the correct decisions since they were 3 years old.

Empathy isn't a four letter word.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:55 AM   #40
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I graduated in the early 90s recession and delivered pizza for several months until I landed a job with a car rental agency. Great use for my economics degree, but within a year or two I had started my real career. The problem now is that that period of struggling seems to be extended and that student loan load is not real forgiving.
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