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For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma 728

Posted by Soulskill
from the education-inflation dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "The NY Times reports that a college degree is becoming the new high school diploma: the new minimum requirement for getting even the lowest-level job. Many jobs that didn't require a diploma years ago — positions like dental hygienists, cargo agents, clerks and claims adjusters — increasingly requiring a college degree. From the point of view of business, with so many people going to college now, those who do not graduate are often assumed to be unambitious or less capable. 'When you get 800 résumés for every job ad, you need to weed them out somehow,' says Suzanne Manzagol. A study by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce found that more than 2.2 million jobs that require a minimum of a bachelor's degree have been created (PDF) since the 2007 start of the recession. At the same time, jobs that require only a high school diploma have decreased by 5.8 million in that same time. 'It is a tough job market for college graduates but far worse for those without a college education,' says Anthony P. Carnevale, co-author of the report. 'At a time when more and more people are debating the value of post-secondary education, this data shows that your chances of being unemployed increase dramatically without a college degree.' Even if they are not exactly applying the knowledge they gained in their political science, finance and fashion marketing classes, young graduates say they are grateful for even the rotest of rote office work they have been given. 'It sure beats washing cars,' says Georgia State University graduate Landon Crider, 24, an in-house courier who, for $10 an hour, ferries documents back and forth between the courthouse and his company's office."
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For Businesses, the College Degree Is the New High School Diploma

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  • by ggraham412 (1492023) on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:49PM (#42982323)
    Really, does it take 4 (or is it 5 now!) years to train people to be file clerks?
    • by bbeesley (2709435) on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:53PM (#42982377)
      yes apparently...unless of course you are HR and have the responsibility of weeding potential candidates for that you just need the ability to blindly check resumes for a list of arbitrary requirements
      • by hawguy (1600213) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:09PM (#42982625)

        yes apparently...unless of course you are HR and have the responsibility of weeding potential candidates

        for that you just need the ability to blindly check resumes for a list of arbitrary requirements

        I've found that our HR department does a much better job of screening candidates than I do as the hiring manager -- I don't really have the time to adequately screen 300 resumes, so I'll make a first pass and screen on criteria that I can filter out using the candidate management system -- desired salary range, education level, years of experience, and the 3 questions that candidates have to fill out while applying.

        And a note to job seekers: when you apply for a job online and the system asks you to answer a few specific questions about the job before you submit your resume, fill out those questions carefully, because those are weedout questions, when the hiring manager scans the list of candidates, he's not even going to look at your resume if he doesn't like the answer to those questions.

        And be realistic with salary ranges, entering a range that's unrealistically low is as bad as one that's unrealistically high... don't assume that a low salary will guarantee that you'll pass the screening. If someone is applying for a senior developer position and includes $20 - $30K in his acceptable salary range, I'm not even going to look at his resume because he either doesn't know what someone in his position should be earning, or he's not good enough to command a reasonable salary.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:21PM (#42982817)

          Oh bullshit.

          If my business ever grows to the point of needing H.R. this will specifically left out of their jobs. We're in a situation in the U.S. right now where anyone with a unique background or who doesn't nicely fit into an H.R. cubby hole isn't getting a job and it's a travesty. It's letting very smart and capable people sit by the side of the road while the people who simply play the game right get in.

          All these H.R. rules, all the bullshit with resumes is holding things back. I would rather someone with real knowledge spend some time with the "300 resumes" than someone who thinks Microsoft Office is high tech sift through and let good candidates hit the trash because they have missed on check mark on the form.

          • by hawguy (1600213) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:45PM (#42983173)

            Oh bullshit.

            If my business ever grows to the point of needing H.R. this will specifically left out of their jobs. We're in a situation in the U.S. right now where anyone with a unique background or who doesn't nicely fit into an H.R. cubby hole isn't getting a job and it's a travesty. It's letting very smart and capable people sit by the side of the road while the people who simply play the game right get in.

            All these H.R. rules, all the bullshit with resumes is holding things back. I would rather someone with real knowledge spend some time with the "300 resumes" than someone who thinks Microsoft Office is high tech sift through and let good candidates hit the trash because they have missed on check mark on the form.

            That's great that you have the time to adequately screen every candidate, but when I have 5 job reqs open, each with 200+ resumes to screen, I really don't have the time to look at each resume (and I know I'm not the only one), so answer those screening questions carefully.

            If you have a unique background, then find another way to get your resume in front of the hiring manager. This is where social networking comes in handy. I've had candidates track me down on LinkedIn and email their resume that way - I always look at those resumes since I know that it's not someone who's shotgunning his resume across every open job posting they can find regardless of relevancy to his experience.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              On the other side of the table, I wouldn't be happy working for someone like you. You treat hiring an employee as some kind of minimal task diminished by shortcuts instead of looking at the Big Picture -- capable, dependable, and solid staff are not just more productive as individuals but they add to the collective foundation your company depends on to continue functioning. I'm not talking about the bullshit 'team mentality' people like you tout as a priority, I'm referring to the actual atmosphere and work

        • If someone is applying for a senior developer position and includes $20 - $30K in his acceptable salary range, I'm not even going to look at his resume because he either doesn't know what someone in his position should be earning, or he's not good enough to command a reasonable salary.

          So what should a junior developer with no full-time experience put down as an acceptable salary range? In general, what steps should one take to learn "what someone in his position should be earning" for each combination of job title, years of experience, and location? Is there a widely accepted set of reliable statistics?

          • by SJHillman (1966756) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:41PM (#42983101)

            There are numerous websites that will provide salary figures for many common job titles. However, you really should have a general idea of what you're worth based on how much you've made in previous jobs and what's acceptable to you. It works both ways - I've turned down jobs because the hiring company had no idea of the salary range they should be willing to offer (IE: I was offered $30k for a senior sysadmin/web dev/programmer position that required a Bachelor's and 5 years experience)

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Lumpy (12016)

          I refuse to fill those out. Hell, I refuse to fill out an "application" more than writing "see resume" on it. when I am looking I usually have 4 companies or more looking to get my attention, I am not jumping through your busywork hoops just because you want to feel important.

          That might be a fun thing to do to the common people that are a dime a dozen, but I dont play silly HR games. I handed you a nice resume, and more copies of it in the interview, that is all you get.

          I'm guessing you would freak ou

          • by hawguy (1600213) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:58PM (#42983349)

            I refuse to fill those out. Hell, I refuse to fill out an "application" more than writing "see resume" on it. when I am looking I usually have 4 companies or more looking to get my attention, I am not jumping through your busywork hoops just because you want to feel important.

            That's fine, you probably wouldn't be applying for one of my company's jobs in the first place, and even if you did, you probably wouldn't want to work there if filling out a job application is jumping through too many hoops. Nor would we want you there.

            That might be a fun thing to do to the common people that are a dime a dozen, but I dont play silly HR games. I handed you a nice resume, and more copies of it in the interview, that is all you get.

            Well, except that your resume wouldn't have made it past HR screening if you just wrote "see resume" on it.

            I'm guessing you would freak out when I take a big sharpie to your contract and strike out the stuff I dont like, inital the changes, and then sign it. I do that to ALL contracts, only a fool signs a contract as written.

            Well, I wouldn't freak out... I'd probably smile and take your changes, and since i'm not authorized to approve changes, I'd take your marked up contract and pass it on to Legal. Then in the 2 weeks while waiting for their review, I'd hire someone else who's more suited for the job. I don't care how good your technical skills are if you're not able to work effectively in the organization.

            • by h4rr4r (612664)

              Who would want to work for that bureaucratic nightmare?

              If it takes two weeks to get a contract fixed, everything is going to be red tape, politics and BS.

          • by yurtinus (1590157) on Friday February 22, 2013 @04:51PM (#42984029)
            I too am the shit!
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:10PM (#42982639)
        How about weeding them out according to character? Like how many candidates do you see who spend just a few months on a job before hopping to the next? Guys who just can't commit themselves to one thing for a reasonable amount of time (read: 3 years). I am a recruiter and I see several profiles where candidates are in a job only for a few months before they're on to their next. Base the selection criteria on their actual achievements in their past jobs, as well as their reputation for committing to something before bailing. That's a much better criteria on which to base a future employee selection
        • by Kelbear (870538)

          HR made them do it. HR bases salaries on prior pay + % markup. So what if the person was underpaid in the prior position? What if they had built up their value so that they're worth more? HR blindly magnetizing pay to past amounts means that people end up getting paid less than their current actual value.

          So if someone can only get meager increases because they're handcuffed to a low base pay, what can they do to catch up? Answer: Switch jobs more often. Since the increments are always going to be small, the

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:11PM (#42982661)

        Arbitrary requirements are there for a reason: CYA. In order to avoid expensive litigation and settlements in a number of states, it's a very good idea to have enumerable reasons and missed requirements for not hiring someone.

        A college degree is simply a way to pare down the number of candidates you have to evaluate. If you have a position that states a Bachelor's degree is required and there are 500 applicants, 300 of which have college degrees, you have the ability to very quickly and more importantly, in a very riskless way, eliminate 200 candidates for the position.

        Do you think most hiring managers or team managers give a flip if your entry-level helpdesk or file clerk or what have you has a degree? Not even in the slightest. They care about the fact that they can safely and quickly eliminate potential candidates for said position when a large number of people apply.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:47PM (#42983203)

          The problem is that this process selects people who were foolish enough to take on student loan debt when they only have the skills for a highschool-level job. It would be smarter to throw out the people with degrees when filling low-level positions.

        • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Friday February 22, 2013 @05:20PM (#42984481) Homepage

          In order to avoid expensive litigation and settlements in a number of states, it's a very good idea to have enumerable reasons and missed requirements for not hiring someone.

          You know, I think that sometimes engineers and their managers are far too worried about legal challenges to hiring decisions. I've been in this business for thirty-five years and have been associated with hiring situations all along the way and have never seen a candidate try to sue a company for not offering an interview or job. This is across about ten companies in two states (granted, neither of these were New York or California, although a few of the companies were headquartered in the latter). I just think that most of people crying about "lawsuits" are spouting crap and are simply scared without reason, based on urban legend.

          Show me the statistics. And show me that a simple pass over the resumes of the few who might bring suit, should someone choose to sue, doesn't show enough issues to give a defensible case.

          That being said, if you get a valid resume and you're playing the "I want to hire an H1-B" game, then you deserve to be sued - you are breaking the law, after all.

        • So in order to avoid getting sued, you're filtering candidates in a way that SCOTUS has already ruled is grounds for a discrimination suit?

          Griggs v. Duke Power Co. [wikipedia.org]

        • A college degree is simply a way to pare down the number of candidates you have to evaluate. If you have a position that states a Bachelor's degree is required and there are 500 applicants, 300 of which have college degrees, you have the ability to very quickly and more importantly, in a very riskless way, eliminate 200 candidates for the position.

          This selection criteria is not pertinent to the solution. Yet you offer it like a gem of wisdom that needs no explanation.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:57PM (#42982457)
      Ubuntu £inux is making America go broke. Ubuntu's philosophy of openness is a lie because they steal your information and sell it to the Amazon and NSA agents who use it to profile you. To what end nobody knows. Microsoft has tried to prevent Ubuntu from creating the first serious monopoly in computing history but anti trust laws have proven noneffective against the Ubuntu juggernaut. It won't be long until the Canonical tax drives the cost of computers through the roof so only the rich can afford one. Did you know that Ubuntu can't run the hit release Aliens: Colonial Marines? This is a serious offense because Ubuntu could kill the video game industry causing millions to lose jobs. All that in the name of communism. Rest assured that Canonical is no hippie paradise: their phones will contain black ops NSA tracking ribbons that can geolocate you without electricity anywhere in the world, the same technology used to track $20 bills. Some speculate the NSA works for Canonical, but there is no proof. But you have to ask the question.
    • by unixisc (2429386) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:03PM (#42982549)

      Precisely!!!

      This is one of the tragic developments when every job - right down to a janitor's - requires a degree. There are plenty of jobs which do not require anything more than high school, and indeed, people who drop out and go for these are sensible in not wasting time for something they're not meant for. Just as not everybody's gonna be a PhD, similarly, not everybody is gonna be a bachelors or masters. Things like truck drivers, file clerks, postal workers, AAA workers, pizza delivery guys - all of these are important jobs that need to be filled, and none of them require college degrees.

      In fact, by requiring higher educational qualifications for these lower level jobs, while the price of education is going up due to the resultant increasing demand, the value of it is going to the toilet. It's a cliché that one needs a good education to be successful - and by successful, I don't mean being one of those party goers in Madison Avenue or Beverly Hills. I mean anybody who can nail a job and lead a content family life. By requiring an education for every job, it just artificially shoots up living costs, puts greater burdens on schools & colleges, and forces overqualified people into the workplace - or more kids staying at home w/ their parents.

      For the lower level jobs that don't require much education in & of itself, a better metric would be to pick employees based on character, as opposed to education. Is s/he someone who's dedicated to the job, punctual, honest and capable of sticking to a job for a reasonable amount of time? Too many people in the work force - particularly younger workers - change jobs every few months, which is a telltale sign of a lack of commitment and eager to try making a fast buck. Why not weed out those, instead of checking whether the girl you are gonna hire as a secretary or someone who'll work in the office cafeteria has a Masters degree? This is the result of too much of an emphasis being given on education - even when it's not needed!

      • by HeckRuler (1369601) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:58PM (#42983345)

        The problem is that no one really wants to have a shit job. And most of these kids are perfectly competent enough to go be a biologist, a lab tech, a philosophy consultant (as if that was a job), but there are plenty of people that are better then they are and they can't get a job in their field. So they drop down a peg and go be a pizza boy. And it turns out there enough that drop down that all pizza boys are now expected to have a college degree.

        If you have an average US highschool grad who can afford to go to college, wouldn't you tell him to go get a degree? It's a real downer to accept that, even though you were smart enough and had enough money, that you probably shouldn't even try to get a good life. That you should lie down and accept a blue-collar job of hard work and a shitty retirement when you're too old to break your back every morning. There's a big push to be successful. That's normal. And success is pretty much defined as getting a good job, by having a good degree.

        You're looking at it from the perspective of people hiring. That they really shouldn't put so much weight on a degree. But from the hiree's perspective, OH DEAR GOD YOU NEED A DEGREE. The split used to be those with a college degree and those without. Right now there is another split is between people with worthwhile degrees; science, technology, engineering, and math, and those with degrees like philosophy, history, or English. Too many people for too long felt that ANY sort of degree would guarantee a good life. That's no longer true. It puts you above the have-nots, but not by far.

        I think we need more tracking in highschool. To set people up for their path. Either meaningful college, tech schools, or straight to the workforce.

        • by unixisc (2429386)

          No, let's look at it from the hiree's POV. You want to design the next CPU or ARM that goes into a cellphone, you get a BS or an MS in Computer Engineering, w/ a heavy focus on architecture, and then when you apply, you apply for those jobs. If you were going to work for AAA fixing flat tires, it's not a bad career choice - it's certainly work that needs to be done by millions of those who can't change their own tires. Or if one wants to be a janitor - again, not a bad job, b'cos while in the future, rob

      • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Friday February 22, 2013 @04:03PM (#42983421) Journal

        Precisely!!!

        This is one of the tragic developments when every job - right down to a janitor's - requires a degree. There are plenty of jobs which do not require anything more than high school, and indeed, people who drop out and go for these are sensible in not wasting time for something they're not meant for. Just as not everybody's gonna be a PhD, similarly, not everybody is gonna be a bachelors or masters. Things like truck drivers, file clerks, postal workers, AAA workers, pizza delivery guys - all of these are important jobs that need to be filled, and none of them require college degrees.

        In fact, by requiring higher educational qualifications for these lower level jobs, while the price of education is going up due to the resultant increasing demand, the value of it is going to the toilet. It's a cliché that one needs a good education to be successful - and by successful, I don't mean being one of those party goers in Madison Avenue or Beverly Hills. I mean anybody who can nail a job and lead a content family life. By requiring an education for every job, it just artificially shoots up living costs, puts greater burdens on schools & colleges, and forces overqualified people into the workplace - or more kids staying at home w/ their parents.

        For the lower level jobs that don't require much education in & of itself, a better metric would be to pick employees based on character, as opposed to education. Is s/he someone who's dedicated to the job, punctual, honest and capable of sticking to a job for a reasonable amount of time? Too many people in the work force - particularly younger workers - change jobs every few months, which is a telltale sign of a lack of commitment and eager to try making a fast buck. Why not weed out those, instead of checking whether the girl you are gonna hire as a secretary or someone who'll work in the office cafeteria has a Masters degree? This is the result of too much of an emphasis being given on education - even when it's not needed!

        What does going to college tell you about a persons character? It tells me they're submissive to authority and lack initiative, which is great for many roles. A person who rejects the idea that he should sit at the feet of the wise old professor and learn and instead go out into the world and get to work making waves might not suck up what you give them and ask you if they're doing ok.

        Mediocrity and reliability go to school. The worst and best reject it.

        • Limited world view (Score:5, Insightful)

          by ace37 (2302468) on Friday February 22, 2013 @06:26PM (#42985311) Homepage

          What does going to college tell you about a persons character? It tells me they're submissive to authority and lack initiative, which is great for many roles. A person who rejects the idea that he should sit at the feet of the wise old professor and learn and instead go out into the world and get to work making waves might not suck up what you give them and ask you if they're doing ok.

          Mediocrity and reliability go to school. The worst and best reject it.

          You can go about making your waves. Make big ones - I genuinely hope you do and you have a great time.

          I analyze and evaluate the structural performance of supersonic fighter jets, which make waves, but of a different type entirely. My values and goals simply don't match yours.

          Those of us who wish to be movers and shakers in STEM must first know the basic building blocks, and those are easily learned from the wise old professors who built these things before us. I strive for reliability in specific ways and pick an choose which authorities it is in my best interest to submit to. If you think my peers and I lack initiative and must be "mediocre," I think you need to open your eyes to different ways of viewing the world.

      • In addition, requiring college degrees for mindless jobs ensures that the person you hire will be unhappy with the job. "I have a college degree and I'm asked to sweep the floor? I quit!" But then, this works in favor of those doing the hiring, doesn't it? A job position that keeps coming up open means they have work today. Hiring people actually suited to their job would quickly put the HR person on half wages.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I don't know, but judging by job listings hiring for IT positions, they care more about what you can actually do. Every single time you see a degree mentioned it's, "or equivalent work experience".

      Maybe there's a practicality in IT that we don't always appreciate.

    • by gandhi_2 (1108023) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:04PM (#42982565) Homepage

      This story can't be true in all markets.

      In my area, many employers look at a degree as something to be avoided if it isn't outright needed.

      They don't really want a know-it-all with all these great job options out there (their perception, not necessarily reality).

      They want you to know how to do the job already, but still need the employer.

      I got more calls back when I used my still-in-school resume.

      • by MickyTheIdiot (1032226) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:26PM (#42982905) Homepage Journal

        I went to get a masters degree in an area outside of my original studies because I wanted to move into technical jobs. I didn't have experience yet but I thought that all education was good and I would make it clear that I went to school to *learn* and I was willing, even with an advanced education, to start at the bottom and work up.

        It darn near killed my career. *Every* HR drone has been taught that the only reason to go to school is to get more money. EVERY one.

        It didn't matter what I put into the cover letter. It didn't matter what I said. Master's Degree = roundfile. It didn't matter that the company could get a well educated worker at a bargain price.

        The fact that H.R. can not see beyond simple rules and labels is hurting corporations. The fact they're too stupid to understand this simply backs up my point.

        • by nblender (741424) on Friday February 22, 2013 @04:12PM (#42983545)

          The best piece of advice I received as a young man was "A degree shows people you can be taught. Work experience shows people you can be employed."

          I began my 28 year career in software development shortly after that conversation. I make good money on long term contracts. I am a senior developer. I do not have a degree.

          Unfortunately, I'm fairly sure this is no longer a plausible scenario and why I'm encouraging my son to either develop instant world-peace solving brilliance, or resign himself to another 4 years of post secondary education.

    • by Squiddie (1942230)
      And you better have ten years of experience too!
    • by pongo000 (97357)

      Really, does it take 4 (or is it 5 now!) years to train people to be file clerks?

      That's not the point. High school diplomas have become so watered down now (IAAT) that they really serve no purpose: Teachers are coming under increased pressure to pass students, administrators side with parents of failing students, and even state legislators lower the bar of standardized testing to the point where the tests themselves are meaningless as a measuring stick of success.

      Businesses are starting to recognize that

  • Signalling (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:51PM (#42982349)
    the key statement is:

    'When you get 800 résumés for every job ad, you need to weed them out somehow,'

    As one professor pointed out in an econ class - the real value of a degree is the signal it sends - you are someone who at least can stick to something long enough to finish it. Simply put, it takes some of the workload off of the person looking to hire.

    • Someday, an enterprising staffing firm will figure out a cheaper way to send the signals you're speaking of, and make millions on the spread.
      • by Myopic (18616) *

        Maybe, but I doubt it. If so, someone would have done it. A four-year bachelor's degree can be had for six months of middle-class wages so it's not expensive at the low end. People who refuse to go get one "because of the cost" are lying to themselves, or to you. My guess is they just couldn't make it.

        I did know one guy, once, who was just as smart as me but only had a high school degree. He had managed to worm his way into a middle-class government job, but he'd hit the ceiling of where he could go without

        • by dubbreak (623656)

          He had managed to worm his way into a middle-class government job, but he'd hit the ceiling of where he could go without a BA.

          And there's the rub. If you are sufficiently intelligent you can get by without a degree for some time. I know two excellent software developers that didn't complete University. One graduated highschool at 16 (from a prestigious private school) then dropped out of University due to huge money offers during the .Com bubble. Another decided he'd had enough with tech support and learned to code. Smart guy, would have done fine in University but he started working right after highschool then got himself a decen

    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

      It's always been tough for new grads, they tend to set unrealistic expectations, just cause you're good at what you do in your class in college, doesn't mean your going to land the next available senior position at a company. In fact, it's a bad fit, 100% of the time, nobody is ready for that w our current schooling systems. There's more mid-level jobs, than starter jobs, but there's work to be had for the person who isn't looking to land into a fortune 500 on their first try. What I've found is like hig

    • the real value of a degree is the signal it sends

      Very true!

      you are someone who at least can stick to something long enough to finish it.

      That is not the message a modern degree sends.

      The modern degree sends a message that you are a herd animal, to the point that you will stay with the herd even to the point of your own financial ruin.

      There's no question that to some companies a docile herd animal with no instincts for self-preservation is a valuable resource. I'm just not sure I'd want to work for them giv

      • by argStyopa (232550) on Friday February 22, 2013 @04:32PM (#42983769) Journal

        "The modern degree sends a message that you are a herd animal..."
        blah blah blah whatever.

        You know what? It does. And in this case, the employer is ALSO a herd animal, and if you want to get hired, you need to convince them that YOU can be a good herd animal too.

        Don't want to "kowtow to that corporate herd bullshit"? Fine, found your own company, I hope you're hugely successful. But you need to understand that sink or swim, you're on your own.

        I'm sick and tired of purported iconoclasts saying they disregard social norms, but then beg for the protections/benefits that COME from being part of the herd. It's easy to be a brave individualist when you're living in mom's basement.

    • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:58PM (#42982487)

      It is inefficient to make everyone spend 4 extra years in school just so lazy recruiters can save themselves a couple hours, to say the least.

    • by sjames (1099)

      Of course, for the more astute, it sends the signal that you have some big loans to pay off and you're going to need a bigger paycheck to do it.

    • Re:Signalling (Score:5, Interesting)

      by madhatter256 (443326) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:19PM (#42982775)

      It also signals you are likely loaded with student loan debt and are desperately in need of a job. This will gives you a disadvantage as the company will you see a hard-working, low payable employee. In other words, your ass will get ridden by management and subliminally reminded that they can easily let you go, which will effectively limit your career growth.

      I see this in all types of careers.

      Another source for the devaluation of the 4-year college degree are these Baccalaureate degrees from these for-profit universities.

      Having a masters degree, even more debt, helps you grow in your career and in a few years from now, a masters will be considered a "diploma" in the math/science industry. These for-profit schools are beginning to push these degrees to unsuspecting victims.

  • Indeed (Score:5, Insightful)

    by masternerdguy (2468142) on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:51PM (#42982357)
    What a fine way of guaranteeing every citizen massive debts (public or private) for the privilege of a job.
    • Re:Indeed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by thoughtlover (83833) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:02PM (#42982537)
      Especially when the job's wages they make don't come close to paying off their degree. Honestly, I don't think that a degree says much about a person. Everyone's story is different. I didn't finish my bachelor's degree because I didn't think they had anything useful to teach me --I taught the staff, students, and teachers at the university more about computers than they taught me anything about anything --other than a 4-year degree is a big waste of money. And, I still work at the university after 13 years there, doing quite well. And I have no degree, whatsoever. What the institution wants you to think is they will make you successful...in reality, you have to want to make yourself. No one can do it for you. While I'm sure that a degree backed from an Ivy-league will be beneficial, the true possibility of success is measured out with a person's internal desire to succeed, everyday.
      • Re:Indeed (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:12PM (#42982681)
        You don't see the big picture, mate. By making $25k and even $75k and $150k student loan debt normal they can control you. Like the coal miners of the 1800s they want you indebted to them, even if you can never pay it back, so they can always have leverage on you. They already have more money than you can possibly imagine, so they're willing to sink some costs if they can have permanent control over you, forever. Now you might be thinking you don't need college or that you can pay your loan off, but the odds are artificially stacked against you. They've stacked the deck so that it's nearly impossible to break from the cycle, and if you do manage to ascend they try to integrate you into their culture so you don't try to dislodge them. Isn't that great?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:51PM (#42982361)

    ...than have a massive pile of debt that I don't expect to pay off until I'm 50 and still making car washing wages.

    • by unixisc (2429386) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:12PM (#42982677)
      You're gonna need a PhD in Molecular Biology for that
    • by Myopic (18616) *

      Me too.

      But I'd rather have this nice cushy job having paid off my student loans in 6 years and now making two-times the national median income, than wash cars. And I could have paid them off in 2 years but the loans were so incredibly cheap that it was uneconomic to pay them off faster. Wow, damn, education is so cheap compared to its value! What a great country we live in!

      It sounds to me like you are making excuses for failure but it is possible you are just trolling.

  • by Synerg1y (2169962) on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:52PM (#42982365)

    Over qualification, if somebody is actually requiring a college degree to scan groceries (clerk), they can go shove it. Then again according to this article the people at the NY Times only have HS diplomas, so should anybody really listen to them?

    Also, based on the example given, Landon Cider sounds like he went for a law degree and rather than becoming the billionth lawyer, he got stuck as the water boy.

  • This is spam (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:53PM (#42982387)

    I wouldn't use the NY Times to line a birdcage.

    By CATHERINE RAMPELL

    "joining The Times, Catherine wrote for the Washington Post editorial pages and financial section and for The Chronicle of Higher Education"

            * The Chronicle of Higher Education
            * 1255 Twenty-Third St, N.W.
            * Washington, D.C. 20037

    So this is basically a lobbyist for higher ed encouraging everyone to take out education loans.

    No thanks.

  • -1, Obvious? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Gothmolly (148874) on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:54PM (#42982411)

    Can we mod an entire article down? How is this news for anyone?

  • No Degree for Me (Score:2, Informative)

    by JHutson456 (2518246)
    I guess I'm just lucky then? I have no degree and get $20 an hour. This place isn't even the best paying company in the area either. I'll skip the indoctrination and keep earning double what these college kids get.
    • Well...yes, you are lucky. I know people similar to your situation that managed to get the right positions and connections early on such that the empty college line on their resume was inconsequential. I also know college graduates like the one mentioned in the summary who seem stuck in an endless loop of shit jobs that they're constantly laid off from (not fired).

      The way I see it it's all about how you get your foot in the door. Some people find their connections out of high school and others require that

    • I make a cool 65k working in STL without a degree. I make more than my friends, some of whom have Masters degrees in CS. Article is tripe written by a Higher Education shill.
    • Intern pay (Score:4, Informative)

      by sjbe (173966) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:24PM (#42982867)

      I have no degree and get $20 an hour.

      Wow, $20 an hour. Impressive. [/sarcasm] That's about what, $40,000 per year if you work full time? The average starting salary for an engineering graduate in 2011 was around $61,000 [knovel.com]

      I'll skip the indoctrination and keep earning double what these college kids get.

      You make barely more [psu.edu] than an engineering intern gets while still in school. You're really showing them how it's done.

  • Two months ago, Hugh Pickens writes: "Just Say No to College" [slashdot.org] and today he's relaying to us 'your chances of being unemployed increase dramatically without a college degree.'

    *head explodes*

    So ... Hugh Pickens wants everyone to be unemployed?
  • having a degree from GSU barely qualifies some of their graduates for shuttling documents. I think there are people that graduate that do nothing other than stare at a wall.

  • by mackai (1849630) on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:59PM (#42982495)
    Unfortunately, it is also a reflection on the ease with which a lot of people make it through high-school without ever having to learn much in the way of responsibility. For example, when you work, your employer actually expects that you will show up on Monday morning and be somewhat functional. The college degree is no guarantee to the prospective employer but it usually has required more self-discipline than high-school.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    The military has many programs and partnerships to help you get your degree while you are serving but most are from little unknown colleges. The oppurtunity is there though.

    I could have got a Nuclear Technolgies degree using my military training, experience, and background and nothing but a few cleps. I slacked off and never did it. That was 15 years ago and I never thought i would need it. I got out of that field and I am now the network manager at a large international company. Even though I made it

  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:01PM (#42982533) Homepage

    Well with initiatives like "No child Left behind", where you really have to work at failing for the school system to let you, a college diploma is the only standardised ubiquitous way that a HR person can tell if someone is likely not a complete waste of space.

    Non-college graduate here.

  • Screw HR... (Score:5, Informative)

    by chill (34294) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:07PM (#42982591) Journal

    It isn't what you know, it is WHO you know.

    Stop answering job ads by filling out forms and sending them to HR drones. Find a way to make direct contact with people who make hiring decisions. Network. Schmooze. Volunteer at charitable events -- especially charity golf events.

    When I was out of work I volunteered to update the web presence of an exclusive downtown executive club in a big city. It was a horrid mess of Cold Fusion and Visual Basic -- the old kind, before dot Net. Fixing it wasn't point. Getting free invites to attend functions at the exclusive downtown business club got me to rub elbows with people who made hiring decisions -- and needed competent IT employees.

    Getting ahead without a degree can be done. Yes, it is harder, but alternate paths do exist if you try. And then there is the "I have no student loan debt" benefit.

    You'll also be surprised how many of the people who own their own successful businesses at those exclusive clubs never finished college.

  • I own businesses in the Midwest and South Florida. When I post a job listing (usually through Craigslist), I specifically request people with no degree apply.

    In the past 9 years, 100% of people I've hired were undegreed. These were the people I wanted, because they specifically weren't indoctrinated into the college mentality. I want self-starters, people I can later on invite to become a business partner. I also don't want political correctness, feminism or any of the other progressive mindsets in any

  • by WilliamGeorge (816305) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:16PM (#42982743)

    The educational system in this country is BS at this point. I dropped out of college 3 times - the first time, to pursue an internship which my university didn't officially endorse, then again after returning to that same university, and then again from an online college. I began to realize that what I was learning was in no way going to help me in my chosen field, and I have a perfectly fine job which could not possibly benefit from a degree anyhow.

    The problem is not that people should need a 4-year degree for basic jobs, but that the K-12 system is no longer sufficiently educating many graduates - and that HR departments are either lazy or overloaded to the point where they just slap a 4-year degree down as a minimum requirement (whether the position really needs it or not). Because I graduated from a very good private high school, and actually tried during those years, not just sliding by, I have plenty of knowledge, skill, and experience to hold myself just fine in the sorts of jobs that interest me.

    I've held my current job for over seven years now, which is a good indication of interest in a career, rather than just a paycheck - and ought to be plenty of proof to any future companies I might want to work for that I can 'stick with something'... when it is worthwhile. Frankly, any company not willing to look over my full resume and consider my value without regard to my college education is one I wouldn't want to work for anyways.

  • by Cowclops (630818) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:26PM (#42982897)

    " 'It sure beats washing cars,' says Georgia State University graduate Landon Crider, 24, an in-house courier who, for $10 an hour, ferries documents back and forth between the courthouse and his company's office."

    I work for a full service car wash as a supervisor. I wash cars. I don't have a college degree. I both make more than $10 an hour and would rather be washing cars than sitting at a desk. So this quote in the summary really made me laugh.

  • by boorack (1345877) on Friday February 22, 2013 @04:09PM (#42983501)
    This is especially troublesome for US. US student has to get into hundreds of thousands dollars of (non-dischargable) debt in order to get his degree in order to have a job in a corporation (even if it means flipping burgers). On the other hand corporations are sucking nearly every bit of fresh air and war between big and small business is pretty much open nowadays with big business winning this war (as mr. Buffet told us that some time ago). In such environment getting a decent job without becoming a debt slave becomes harder every passing day. Welcome to a new feudalism.
  • Pay to Play Society (Score:4, Interesting)

    by al0ha (1262684) on Friday February 22, 2013 @04:54PM (#42984089) Journal
    This is what happens when you have created a pay-to-play society like here in the US.

    Education these days is nothing more than another form of corporate profit and requiring college degrees for even menial jobs is nothing more than a method to force people into a form of indentured servitude.

    How's that you say? Well debt == enslavement and where is most people's largest amount of debt outside of their home? Debt which can not be discharged by declaring bankruptcy? Student loans.

    Now be a good slave and get in line to get your expensive degree so you can work at McCrapphole corporation.
  • by buybuydandavis (644487) on Friday February 22, 2013 @05:13PM (#42984355)

    "'When you get 800 résumés for every job ad, you need to weed them out somehow,' "

    The goal is not to filter resumes. The goal is to find the best applicant for a given amount of search effort.

    The problem is, companies are decidedly unserious about putting in the effort to find someone. For all the talk about how hard it is to find qualified applicants (let alone the best), companies are busy filtering resumes for typos, the currently unemployed, and past periods of unemployment.

"If you want to eat hippopatomus, you've got to pay the freight." -- attributed to an IBM guy, about why IBM software uses so much memory

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