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Education Businesses Canada The Almighty Buck

Value of University Degree Continues To Decline (www.cbc.ca) 393

BarbaraHudson writes: Following up from an earlier report from Statistics Canada (pdf), the Parliamentary Budget Officer warns that an increasing number of university graduates are overqualified for their jobs. The CBC reports: "Last year, 40 per cent of university graduates aged 25-34 were overqualified for their job. Five years ago, that percentage was only 36 per cent. In 1991, it hit a low of 32 per cent, or less than one out of every three university graduates. The problem is bigger than that, because those young workers spent money, time, and resources to get those qualifications.
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Value of University Degree Continues To Decline

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  • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Monday November 16, 2015 @09:29PM (#50944561)

    "Everyone" says you'll go nowhere without a college degree. But guess what? This is neither what many kids want nor society needs.

    Vocational schools need to amp up the sales pitch. Machinists of the Tools and Die variety make 40$ and 50$ an hour, and that ain't bad.

    Some people just are not interested in the 4 year menu.

    • This (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @09:38PM (#50944623) Journal
      In the context of the article, it seems to me "overqualified" means - you bought an education which you cannot use / do not need for your work.

      E.g. having a university degree is "overqualified" for a barista job. Sadly, there are many (usually non STEM) degrees for which there is literally zero demand by employers. Where are the counselors on the front end of the university acceptance process? Hmm, seems like they just take students for the good of the school, not the needs of the student, or society.
      • Re:This (Score:5, Informative)

        by creimer ( 824291 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @09:50PM (#50944689) Homepage

        E.g. having a university degree is "overqualified" for a barista job.

        I spent my first three years out of college working as a backup cook for a restaurant. Why? I skipped high school and went into college, getting a college degree without getting a high school or G.E.D. diploma. Most entry-level employers focused on the high school diploma and refused to hire me even though I had a college degree. I didn't start my technical career until a roommate's company hired me on as an "intern" because they didn't have the budget to hire a full-time staffer. With the economy in the Great Recession crapper, I know a lot of "overqualified" baristas.

      • Re:This (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TWX ( 665546 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @09:52PM (#50944709)
        There are more journalism graduates per year than there are journalism jobs in the totality of the profession.

        I blame two things on creating this situation- a college degree requirement or strong preference where it does not actually contribute anything, and a glut of people going through programs in college to get any degree in order to satisfy the unnecessary requirements.

        Now that there's a bubble in the number of those seeking college, colleges charge more for tuition. That in turn means students take on a greater debt-load or their families spend disproportionate money on something. Those that do not finish college or can't find the work that they trained for effectively wasted tens of thousands of dollars or more. It also means unscrupulous businesses operating as colleges can collect tuition money so long as they manage to squeak-by with their accreditation, and I'm not entirely certain that the ratio of enrollees-to-graduates factors into accreditation.

        I think that we need stronger rules for accreditation and we need employers to stop pushing so damn hard for college-graduates for jobs that do not need them. We also need to be more realistic about the sizes of programs based on the actual growth of fields they train for and to put an end to churning out orders-of-magnitude more graduates than there are jobs. I'm looking at you, music schools, journalism schools, business schools, and your ilk.
        • Re:This (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2015 @02:03AM (#50945697) Journal

          There are more journalism graduates per year than there are journalism jobs in the totality of the profession.

          But journalists have skills that can be used in other areas, such as HR (interviews); research, such as marketing or competitive research; and business writing. Just because you don't get your target profession doesn't mean you can't use any of your major.

      • Re:This (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @10:52PM (#50944955) Homepage

        E.g. having a university degree is "overqualified" for a barista job.

        Well, part of the problem is the economy has been changing.

        Employment trends have been losing full-time jobs, and people have been moving to more and more part time jobs.

        Because companies are downsizing and offshoring, and generally not hiring people with skills any more.

        Essentially since 2008, economies have been cannibalizing themselves, and more and more jobs are getting crappier and crappier.

        So, ask yourself why those people are working as baristas ... the answer is MBAs and CEOs have been carving the jobs out of the economy to turn it into "shareholder value" and "cost savings".

        This has nothing to do with university acceptance policies, and everything to do with globalization gutting jobs and leaving very little skilled work domestically. Because we've been following the idiotic policies of cutting corporate taxes in the hopes they'll create jobs, and not tying to cuts to actually driving the economy instead of gutting it.

        And the jobs which do exist are being driven down in value to 'temporary foreign workers'. We've given corporations everything they want, and in return they've fucked all of us.

        Welcome to the New Fucking World Order, bitches. It's all downhill from here.

        • Re:This (Score:5, Insightful)

          by NotQuiteReal ( 608241 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @11:01PM (#50944987) Journal
          How many of these degrees look like they will lead to a job [berkeley.edu]? To be sure there are many, that are good degrees, and if it weren't considered a microagression to point it out, most sane people can also point out those degrees that one should probably not go into debt to acquire. Or certainly not complain about it if that is one's choice.
        • by khallow ( 566160 )

          Essentially since 2008, economies have been cannibalizing themselves, and more and more jobs are getting crappier and crappier.

          And yet China and India don't have this problem. Maybe you should ask yourself why, when you've gotten everything you've wanted for labor policy for the past century, that this problem exists in the first place.

      • Re:This (Score:5, Insightful)

        by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @10:55PM (#50944961) Journal

        In the context of the article, it seems to me "overqualified" means - you bought an education which you cannot use / do not need for your work.

        Or, it can mean that the only jobs available for most college grads are shitty jobs.

        How in the world do you use the percentage of students who are overqualified for their first job as a measure of the value of an education instead of as a critique of the corporate workplace?

    • by creimer ( 824291 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @09:40PM (#50944641) Homepage
      The construction trades are facing a critical shortage of electricians, plumbers and whatever else, as foreign workers had left the country after the Great Recession and older workers are retiring.
      • At the end of the day, it is still considered as unskilled work.

        Second, it faces the threat from unchecked use of illegals.

        Third, it actually has a hard limit on age due to the physical nature of work.

        • by lgw ( 121541 )

          You're thinking of construction gruntwork (largely replaced by equipment these days), not the skilled trades. There are strict licensing and apprenticeship requirements that limit supply (and also make it hard to get started, of course). The jobs pay well enough, but you do need to be a bit entrepreneurial to keep doing it as you age. If you can get past a "1 truck company", however, you'll earn a fantastic living in middle age.

    • Vocational schools need to amp up the sales pitch. Machinists of the Tools and Die variety make 40$ and 50$ an hour, and that ain't bad.

      In the massive factories that cover most of Canada?

      The Tool and die machinist jobs I was able to find had 3 of them at $80K+ a year ($40/hour = $83,200/year), and all require more than 5 years experience, two of them in supervisory roles.

      http://ca.indeed.com/jobs?q=Ca... [indeed.com]

      Manufacturing happens in China. Nice try on the selling of vocational ed, though...

    • More to the point, most people aren't cut out for what the 4 year institutions sell as their vision of themselves. Try as you might, if you're meant to be a truck driver, no amount of schoolin' is going to turn you into a philosopher, rocket scientist, or pure mathematician.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 17, 2015 @02:02AM (#50945691)

      I used to be a CNC machinist. Tool and Die machinists are not representative of the salary you can expect as a college dropout gone tradeschool. You can expect to make $25-30 in a city or $18-25 away from a population center. Most of the people you're selling this idea to are going to become machine operators. It's a hard and competitive industry with razor thin margins and high stress. I'm convinced the 2 years I spent in that industry aged me by 5...

      For those not in the know: Tool and Die makers almost universally have white beards and pass on sage advice to the younger generation from their 25+ years experience. You can go through an apprenticeship to become one in a union shop but for the most part: nobody is going to hire someone in to that position who has less than 5-10 years experience running manual machines/programming CNC equipment.

      Contrast that you what you can make with a CCNA or doing plumbing: I do not recommend Machining as a viable career choice unless you loved metal shop in high school and want to turn a hobby in to something you hate. The best machinists are usually mechanical engineers who got tired of sitting at a desk.

  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Monday November 16, 2015 @09:29PM (#50944563)

    University graduates were rare. There were far fewer universities and university places. Thus the intrinsic value of having a degree was higher, all other things being equal. And the difference in education between someone who had finished university and someone who had not was readily apparent. Nowadays the lines have become blurred. The sheer volume of graduates means that you are competing against many people who have exactly the same educational qualifications as you, whereas before it was a distinct advantage.

    A degree is no longer a guarantee of a decent job in your field. In fact nowadays a Bachelor's is almost a minimum requirement for many jobs. On the other hand, NOT having a degree can be a disadvantage. It's up to the individual to weigh themselves carefully and judge whether the time and effort and debt required to receive higher education are worth it. A brilliant person will shine through even when covered in mud, and you can polish a turd as much as you want but it will remain a turd. So are you brilliant, or a turd? This should influence your decision.

    • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @09:43PM (#50944655) Journal

      So are you brilliant, or a turd? This should influence your decision.

      Likely as not, people suffer greatly as honest appraisers of their own self worth, and yet, without some unfounded self-confidence, there is very limited individual success.

      We might infer, from that information, that those individuals gifted with inflated self worth are statistically more likely to succeed.

      • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *

        hat those individuals gifted with inflated self worth are statistically more likely to succeed.

        Some people might call that "self confidence", and yes it is directly proportional to success.

      • by TheSync ( 5291 )

        Likely as not, people suffer greatly as honest appraisers of their own self worth

        Private banks might be better at doing an evaluation of whether you will make enough to be able to pay off your loans after graduation.

        But in the US, the government first started guaranteeing private loans, then they just totally socialized them - although you can not use bankruptcy to get out of them.

        • But in the US, the government first started guaranteeing private loans, then they just totally socialized them - although you can not use bankruptcy to get out of them.

          Right on. But in the grand scheme of things, is it better that the mean student loan debtor did not improve his/her position in life,

          or, is it worthy to consider the exemplary student had access to the education that led to a workable artificial Martian atmosphere?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The more important thing to weigh is the opportunity cost (4 years down the shitter) and student loans (unless you're a desires minority or athlete and get a full ride for those reasons). In most cases, it's not worth it to go for a degree.

      Universities have been dumbed down , hugely so. What used to be a place of higher intellectual discussion now is a 4 year party with some liberal PC brainwashing in between. And then these women's studies or English lit bozos come out of college and question why they can'

      • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Monday November 16, 2015 @09:57PM (#50944729)

        Universities have been dumbed down

        This I fully agree with. I've seen graduates who can't do basic arithmetic without a calculator much less the ability to apply their knowledge to a situation they have not specifically encountered before. I think it's because students are taught to pass tests instead of taught actual practical and applied knowledge.

      • by creimer ( 824291 )
        My late father complained for years that kids don't know how to make change. When I worked in a restaurant as a backup cook after college, we had a three-hour power blackout that took down the ordering terminals and none of the wait staff could make change or write out an order slip. Management closed down the restaurant after 30 minutes.
    • Somewhat wishful thinking. My work for example hires 90% of our employees fresh out of school often after having done a 1 year coop placement with us at some point in their schooling. No schooling, no coop, no coop no hire, or at least very very unlikely. I imagine it is like that at a lot of companies. You put a job posting up and you have at least 10X the applications as the positions, you need a quick way to narrow things down. So: no degree, there goes a few, typo in the resume or too long/short there g

      • If the co-op was done for free, it's exploitative. The school benefits (they continue to collect tuition), the business benefits (free labor), the student gets screwed from both ends.
    • back in the old days you couldn't just declare there were no qualified applicants and bring over an H1-B. You had to settle for someone without a college degree. Because of this there was still a future for people who didn't finish college. Now outside of diesel mechanic it's a death sentence. You'll never make more than $15/hr (give or take for your region) because why the hell would I take a risk and spend money training some punk without a degree when I can get an H1-B fresh off the presses, run him/her
    • by FrozenGeek ( 1219968 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @10:33PM (#50944885)

      Also depends on the degree you receive. A degree in philosophy or polysci or whatever is not likely going to make you highly marketable. Normally, I would say that you're pretty safe with an STEM degree. However, I attended a conference this weekend that leaves me wondering. One of the speakers was a comp sci prof from my alma mater. The stuff she said sounded more like something I'd expect from a sociology prof. If that's what's passing for comp sci these days, I'd have to question the value of a comp sci degree.

      For the record, I'm not a misanthrope. I just dislike people.

    • So are you brilliant, or a turd?

      The two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. :-)

    • I'd say that in the UK at least, there's a twist on this.

      Our graduate numbers have soared since the early 1990s, as a result of the policies of successive Governments (most notably the closure/rebranding of the vocational-focussed polytechnics and the Blairite policy of 50% of teens going to university). Alongside that, the average quality of graduate employment and the size of the average "graduate premium" on salaries has fallen sharply.

      That said, when you look at the detail, the situation has changed a l

  • I mean, if 32% were overqualified in '91, 40% really isn't *that* big of a swing. It's still alarmingly high, though.

    • It's 25% more, whereas it would have been hoped that it would be 25% less as things evolve. 2 out of 5 graduates not being able to find jobs that their education was supposed to prepare them for is a huge waste of human potential.
      • by ranton ( 36917 )

        It's 25% more, whereas it would have been hoped that it would be 25% less as things evolve.

        Some may hope that but it would be fairly silly to expect the value of a degree to go up when more people are getting them. I would think it is obvious that the value of anything goes down the more common it becomes.

        2 out of 5 graduates not being able to find jobs that their education was supposed to prepare them for is a huge waste of human potential.

        Its only a waste compared to a fictional world where 100% of them find jobs that use their potential to its fullest. When compared to the more likely alternative, where they don't get a degree and simply have less total potential, it doesn't seem like a waste. I know I have been able to do a far

    • low of 32 per cent, or less than one out of every three university graduates.

      Whatever the percentage, it's good to know we're still qualified to verify the math in the summary! Suck it Vo-tech grads!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2015 @09:30PM (#50944571)

    If so many people are overqualified, then why all the complaints about not being able to find qualified workers and why all the foreign workers in both Canada and the US.

    It couldn't be because of the crappy wages being offered, could it?

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      If so many people are overqualified, then why all the complaints about not being able to find qualified workers and why all the foreign workers in both Canada and the US.

      It couldn't be because of the crappy wages being offered, could it?

      In some cases yes, in others it's the company abusing the process to push the workers out so they can pay less in wages. This is happening here in Canada with Welders and Pipefitters who make in the $30-70 range depending on your location.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kellamity ( 4286097 )
      Because university graduates need on the job training, but an imported worker comes to you custom picked for their experience? Why train a grad to be your next SAP developer when you can get one from India who already knows how to do it?
  • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy&tpno-co,org> on Monday November 16, 2015 @09:32PM (#50944579) Homepage

    ...does "overqualified" mean "has a degree but can't be trusted to change a lightbulb"?

    Because ya. Holy hell, ya.

  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @09:44PM (#50944657) Journal

    I've seen multiple studies showing that in the longer run a degree more than pays for itself on average, even liberal arts.

    This seems like a contradiction to TFA. One possible theory to reconcile this is that it takes time to find or become ready for positions that use education.

    The idea that you'll be doing more than just grunt work out of college is perhaps unrealistic. Employers want educated AND experienced employees. It takes a while to get sufficient experience.

    Even if you start in grunt work, learn what you can around you, pick up tidbits, listen and learn in meetings, go out of your way to do extra, read the policy & procedure manuals, practice your people skills, understand how your little corner of the work-load affects the rest of the org. Clues are all over the place. Education doesn't end out of college.

    • I've seen multiple studies showing that in the longer run a degree more than pays for itself on average, even liberal arts.

      This seems like a contradiction to TFA. One possible theory to reconcile this is that it takes time to find or become ready for positions that use education.

      The idea that you'll be doing more than just grunt work out of college is perhaps unrealistic. Employers want educated AND experienced employees. It takes a while to get sufficient experience.

      Even if you start in grunt work, learn what you can around you, pick up tidbits, listen and learn in meetings, go out of your way to do extra, read the policy & procedure manuals, practice your people skills, understand how your little corner of the work-load affects the rest of the org. Clues are all over the place. Education doesn't end out of college.

      I think it takes a lot of commitment and drive to finish college especially when older. Most do not finish college the last time I looked. I would argue those that finish a degree or more likely to engage and keep learning, getting certified, and following thru projects and all the things above than those that don't? Not that the piece of paper brings more value.

      In IT you are always learning or you rot away in help desk. Degree or not you need a cert to touch the cisco switches. You need a math or cs degree

  • by TheSync ( 5291 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @09:52PM (#50944697) Journal

    From The Option Value of Human Capital: Higher Education and Wage Inequality [marginalrevolution.com]

    "...we find that subsidies inducing marginal students to attend colleges will have a negligible net benefit: Such students are far more likely to drop out of college or become underemployed even with a four-year degree, implying only small wage gains from college education."

  • Underwater basket weaving? Well, that would be okay if it taught my relief to show up on time...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 16, 2015 @10:03PM (#50944755)

    The problem is not that most folks are overqualified with university degrees, BUT

    corporation don't train their employees anymore for their job nor future needs via corporate strategy. Instead candidates must guess what the industry needs (via hype by marketing agencies and wall st) and go with the university degree since it guarantees some level of qualification--which is also what the universities advertise and push their high tuition costs (profit!).

    If corporations provide a consistent and future proofing level of training to their employees, tuition costs would be lower, people would be qualified for their jobs, people & corporation would feel productive. Instead universities profit and corporate higher ups profit (due to the lack of training budget--and we know that's a big dent, just look at how much the gov't spends on training).

  • by Idarubicin ( 579475 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @10:10PM (#50944789) Journal

    ... an increasing number of university graduates are overqualified for their jobs.... 40 per cent of university graduates aged 25-34 were overqualified for their job.... The problem is bigger than that, because those young workers spent money, time, and resources to get those qualifications.

    It could be a problem, but we're missing some information. This is looking at people aged 25-34. A lot of them are taking crappy entry-level jobs. A lot of them don't have any significant work experience, and have trouble breaking into their preferred fields. A lot of them have student loans and other financial obligations, and just need to take a job - any job - to keep food on the table and a roof overhead. (That, in itself, is another kettle of problems that I'm not going to go into right now.)

    An important question is, then, how many of them are still overqualified by the time they're into the 35-44 age bracket? Was the extra education actually "wasted", or did they eventually come out ahead because they didn't have to drop out of the workforce later on to go back to school to get the education they missed in their twenties? Did their extra "unnecessary" knowledge help them move up the ladder faster than they would have without it? (I'm not looking for anecdotes - of which I am sure there exist examples to suit any preferred narrative - but rather real data.)

    And that leaves aside the rather more philosophical question of whether or not it's generally a Good Thing to have more university-educated individuals in it, even if they don't need those degrees specifically as job training. Are universities now only vocational schools, and only of value to society in that context? If I can't cash in my degree for a high-paying job, is it worthless?

    • If 40% of those university graduates are still overqualified by their mid-thirties, they've already been typecast by their experience in the 25-35 range.
      • If 40% of those university graduates are still overqualified by their mid-thirties, they've already been typecast by their experience in the 25-35 range.

        That's certainly a problem with the data provided--it bundles together the fresh-out-of-school 25-year-olds with the decade-plus-in-the-workforce 34-year-olds. There's a lack of resolution. It could be that 40% of 25-year-olds and 40% of 34-year-olds are "overqualified". Or it could be that 60% in the 25-29 age group are overqualified, and just 20% of the 30-34 bracket.

        Actually, that brings to mind another confounder to the interpretation of these data. As more young people get more years of formal ed

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @10:11PM (#50944793)
    the job market is. Outsourcing + H1-Bs (insourcing? idk...) means it's hard to get a job in your field and you settle for something that pays less. This is what happens when countries swing so far right they stop protecting their working class.
    • The unemployment rate for STEM jobs is around 2%. Many tech jobs are well into 6 figures. I really don't think H1B visas are causing an actual problem here.

      On the other hand, there has never been much of a demand for "liberal arts" majors, but universities keep cranking them out, and parents keep going into debt so their kids can get these degrees.

      What's happening is that people are starting to finally realize that a college degree isn't for everyone. We've been sold a bill of goods by the education inst

  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @10:17PM (#50944809)

    The U.S. is arguably the most capitalistic and market oriented country on the face of the earth yet amazingly we manage to produce vast swaths of the electorate that somehow think economy is some strange kind of magic run by dragons and fairies.

    What did anyone think would happen if we produced more degrees without insuring there would be demand for them ?

    On the one hand you had simple supply and demand hitting the prices http://www.wsj.com/articles/co... [wsj.com]

    Simplified tuition aid was mostly a handout to universities not students.

    Then you have depressed pricing for the labor of people who earned a degree.

    • by creimer ( 824291 )

      What did anyone think would happen if we produced more degrees without insuring there would be demand for them ?

      They were the lucky one who won the lottery and everyone else was screwed. It's the American way.

    • Then you have depressed pricing for the labor of people who earned a degree.

      The cynic in me wonders if that was the intent from the very beginning: Create a narrative that "everyone needs to go to college", create loan programs so that just about anyone can go (and rack up massive debt in the process), then sit back and watch as the value of having a college degree, and the wages of workers with degrees, both decline. At the very least, that is surely not a disappointing outcome for wealthy business owners, CEOs, etc.

      A cynic might also wonder if that is the intention of all of the

      • There is no smoked filled room where people are brainstorming how to make your life hard. Rich people aren't thinking about how to screw you over...they aren't thinking about you at all. Nobody tricked you into going to collge; you are responsible for your own decisions.

  • The 50 largest businesses in Canada are all in the business of selling off natural resources to the US, or are banks which primarily exist to help fund selling off natural resources to the US. Of course they are not going to have as much need for college graduates as a nation with a more diverse, developed economy.

    • by TheSync ( 5291 )

      If you look at the list of largest companies [wikipedia.org] in Canada, it is true that a huge number of them are resource-oriented. Of course all the big banks are on the list. Bombardier is #42, and Rogers & Shaw cable, and Telus are there as well.

  • Blame H1-B's? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @10:29PM (#50944867) Homepage Journal
    Maybe if asshole business people weren't importing cheap labor from overseas and hiring our own citizens for a living wage, we wouldn't have this problem. Subsequently we also wouldn't have the problem down the road of 'not having qualified applicants', which is their lame-ass excuse for importing cheap-ass labor from overseas on H1-B's in the first place! MEMO TO CORPORATE AMERICA: Stop shitting on our citizens!
  • I've found what makes me "marketable" is to have a broad knowledge of the skill.

    It varies for disciplines.

    In my case, having an ability to design both analog and digital circuits. An understanding of how to manufacture the product. The ability to work cross-culture and actually enjoy the process. To be able to converse with the folks on the loading docks, the R&D bunch, the suits (playing that game disgusts me as they're shallow and short term in some cases).

    It's a choreograph but it can be done and

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A "college degree" is a piece of paper. And from an employer's perspective, it is worthless. Pieces of paper do not solve problems. Employees solve problems. Employers have problems that need to be solved - that is the only reason they hire people - so if you want to get and keep a job, you have to be able to solve more problems than you create.

    Lot of employers look for diploma's when evaluating potential hires, since there is a correlation between holding a diploma and being able to solve problems. Bu

  • I'm in my mid to late 40's now with a pretty good career. And I've been in the position of hiring today's grads upon occasion. Some are really, really smart. Most, IMHO, not so much. Sure, their abilities to do Powerpoint, make pretty Word docs and even crunch a few spreadsheets are okay in an academic sense. But, holy crap, I need a business sense. And more than a business sense: an ability to go and talk to a customer, build a business relationship, establish trust and do business! I don't need another du

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Stop complaining that the kids don't have business experience. They have an education. It's up to employers to give them business experience. You are what is wrong with corporate America/Canada

    • What does it feel like to be a cliche? You are making the same exact complaint that every generation since the beginning of time has made: "These kids today, no know how lift boulder, no good at hunt--makes me angry, makes gods angry, will have bad harvest and world will end".

      Yet, somehow, the world has steadily improved. Try stepping out of your own personal anecdotal experience once in awhile.

  • by Pete Venkman ( 1659965 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @11:31PM (#50945127) Journal
    Not all degrees are created equal.
  • Inefficient (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dega704 ( 1454673 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @11:31PM (#50945133)
    I'm sure this varies with different fields, but it seems like many degrees involve spending a lot of money to learn copious amounts of extraneous material with no real world application to the career you are aiming for. I went to a technical college and had a couple of classmates who had previously been working on computer science degrees. They quit because they just plain weren't learning the skills that they needed for the IT careers they were pursuing. On top of that I have met people on several occasions who were flabbergasted to find out that I had obtained my current position with only an associates degree. I didn't have the heart to tell them about my co-workers who have nothing but their high school diplomas. Of course many of us have certifications as well. I dare someone to try and tell me those are a waste of money with this elephant in the room.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @11:44PM (#50945187)

    I think by "overqualified" they mean that more people have a piece of paper that says they majored in some subject but are instead working in some "lesser" area.

    But what about REAL qualifications - i.e. writing. t doesn't matter what field you are talking about either, except perhaps McDonalds burger flipper and I'll bet even THEY benefit from a higher standard of literacy.

    I've met a lot of people over the years in companies who cannot express ideas in writing very well and it sure does not seem like that number is going north even as more people are "qualified" than ever before.

  • by Atmchicago ( 555403 ) on Monday November 16, 2015 @11:46PM (#50945197)

    Is higher education vocational training, or is it it how we instill the broad knowledge and critical thinking skills necessary for an informed population? Vocational training doesn't belong in universities. Of course, people learn useful skills and develop specialization while in college, but the real end goal for students is to emerge as critical thinkers who then pursue their career of choice. In some cases, that means an advanced degree, and in other cases it means the job market, with on-the-job training.

    A major problem is that a lot of people go to college when really they just need job training. They don't care for, and don't receive, the real education that college degrees represent.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      And some people go a completely different path away from their chosen academics.

      A former boss of mine has owned her business for 30 years. She was a psychology major turned self-employed mom who built and sold furniture, eventually creating a product as a manufactuer. Her business is valued well into the 10's of millions, and is still privately owned. Not bad for a 'small business.'

    • Well said. I wish I could mod your comment up.

    • Well said. I wish I could mod up your comment.

  • by WindBourne ( 631190 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2015 @01:22AM (#50945557) Journal
    The real issue is that so many kids today take degrees that society does not need. How many journalists, philosophers, artists, any business item esp MBA, Law, etc does a society need? Basically, too many ppl are pursuing easy degrees. What is needed are things like engineering, nursing, medicine, computer science, etc.

    And yes, at the same time, we need to add more to vocational. So does Canada.
  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <moiraNO@SPAMmodparlor.com> on Tuesday November 17, 2015 @04:15AM (#50946021)

    It's about time this happened. It's like Peter Thiel said back in 2010 or so: The housing bubble hasn't disapeared - it's just moved on to academic education.

    I have no notable formal training or education in my field and yet I can outprogramm and outconfigure most of those with an academic background. Why? I'm an 80ies computer kid that learned most of this stuff from buddies and of the bbses and networks.
    Whenever I go to an university I notice that they are 2 decades behind in technology and standards.

    I'm all for hard subjects and fields getting a solid education and that includes academic education. But to much of that is happening in the isolated ivory tower. It is long overdue that the job market gets more diversified in terms of where the people come from. You have to be so specialized in todays world that even an academic training can be to general.

    That's why certified SAP and Oracle experts often earn more than their purely academic counterparts.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Tuesday November 17, 2015 @04:33AM (#50946081)

    The value of college degrees decline because we hand them out for free today. Everyone's a winner, hooray! And because precious snowflake MUST have a degree, we can't simply accept that anyone could simply be too stupid to warrant getting one. So degrees get dumbed down to the point where they become utterly pointless. When everyone has a lump of gold, gold is worthless.

    Governments all over the globe have been pushing for more academics. We need more people with a degree! University degrees used to be something the upper 10% (if that) of people had. That's not enough, we need AT LEAST 25%! And lo and behold, we got them. Did we suddenly get so much smarter that more than twice the people could get one? Or is it more likely that it was dumbed down until a quarter of the population is good enough?

    This of course affects the job market. Because we sure don't get more jobs to fill. The requirements for jobs went up in turn. Suddenly every job needs you to have a college degree, even if it's at best ridiculous to require one. But we can get a college educated person for the same price as someone without, so why not require it?

    In turn, jobs that used to require college education now demand additional relevant certification. Which makes sense for top level positions and positions where a certain experience and additional training is a given, but we're talking entry level positions here. And no later than that we're getting to where your wallet becomes more a factor than your skill. Because in some fields the relevant certs cost money on par with another year of college. Or, depending on your country, even more.

    Of course that devalues university degrees.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin

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