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

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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  • 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.


    "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.

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

    by JHutson456 ( 2518246 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:56PM (#42982451)
    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @02:59PM (#42982499)

    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 this far, I see our hiring practices changing to require degrees. Even off the wall degrees that have nothing to do with the job come past me. I personally still consider past work experience in the area we are hiring for as the most important criteria and military experience and college degree second but our HR department does not.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:03PM (#42982551)

    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.

  • 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.

  • 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
  • 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 []

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

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

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @03:43PM (#42983135) Homepage

    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 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.

  • Re:Signalling (Score:5, Informative)

    by Myopic ( 18616 ) * on Friday February 22, 2013 @05:26PM (#42984587)

    First of all, $70,000 income for two people is well above poverty. The national median income for a family of four is fifty-some thousand and the poverty line is below twenty thousand. $70k might not be rich but don't cry too much in your milk because you are doing okay.

    Second of all, an entry-level accountant [] makes about $45,000 per year. That means you make about $25,000 a year so I assume you are a doing unskilled labor. The $20,000 difference in your salaries is the value of her education, so she'll earn enough to pay for her degree in 3.5 years. For the 48 years after that, her higher salary is gravy.

    If she can scratch up from entry-level accountant to slightly higher rank accountant [] then she'll get there even faster than three and a half years.

    If you are complaining about this, try to imagine what it would be like if you were both doing unskilled labor. That's real poverty. You're living okay on that education of your wife's. Treat her well, she's your meal ticket with that education of hers.

  • by istartedi ( 132515 ) on Friday February 22, 2013 @07:23PM (#42985907) Journal

    So where should one obtain related work experience without already having related work experience?

    Based on my 20 years of experience as an ethics consultant and 10 years as the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, you should just lie about it.

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.